Gregorio ALLEGRI – “Miserere mei, Deus” The Choir of New College, Oxford (Edward HIGGINBOTTOM) (This is the first psalm sung in Lent & the last on Holy Saturday night.)
Psalm 51 (50): 3. Miserere mei Deus secundum magnam misericordiam tuam et secundum multitudinem miserationum tuarum dele iniquitatem meam 4. Amplius lava me ab iniquitate mea et a peccato meo munda me 5. Quoniam iniquitatem meam ego cognosco et peccatum meum contra me est semper 6. Tibi soli peccavi et malum coram te feci ut justificeris in sermonibus tuis et vincas cum judicaris 7. Ecce enim in iniquitatibus conceptus sum et in peccatis concepit me mater mea 8. Ecce enim veritatem dilexisti incerta et occulta sapientiae tuae manifestasti mihi 9. Asparges me hysopo et mundabor lavabis me et super nivem dealbabor 10. Auditui meo dabis gaudium et laetitiam et exultabunt ossa humiliata 11. Averte faciem tuam a peccatis meis et omnes iniquitates meas dele 12. Cor mundum crea in me Deus et spiritum rectum innova in visceribus meis 13. Ne proicias me a facie tua et spiritum sanctum tuum ne auferas a me 14. Redde mihi laetitiam salutaris tui et spiritu principali confirma me 15. Docebo iniquos vias tuas et impii ad te convertentur 16. Libera me de sanguinibus Deus Deus salutis meae et exultabit lingua mea justitiam tuam 17. Domine labia mea aperies et os meum adnuntiabit laudem tuam 18. Quoniam si voluisses sacrificium dedissem utique holocaustis non delectaberis 19. Sacrificium Deo spiritus contribulatus cor contritum et humiliatum Deus non despicies 20. Benigne fac Domine in bona voluntate tua Sion et aedificentur muri Hierusalem 21. Tunc acceptabis sacrificium justitiae oblationes et holocausta tunc inponent super altare tuum vitulos
To the end, a psalm of David. when Nathan the prophet came to him, after he had sinned with Bathsheba. 1 Have mercy upon me, O God, after thy great goodness: according to the multitude of thy mercies do away mine offences. 2 Wash me throughly from my wickedness: and cleanse me from my sin. 3 For I acknowledge my faults: and my sin is ever before me. 4 Against thee only have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified in thy saying, and clear when thou art judged. 5 Behold, I was shapen in wickedness: and in sin hath my mother conceived me. 6 But lo, thou requirest truth in the inward parts: and shalt make me to understand wisdom secretly. 7 Thou shalt purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: thou shalt wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. 8 Thou shalt make me hear of joy and gladness: that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice. 9 Turn thy face from my sins: and put out all my misdeeds. 10 Make me a clean heart, O God: and renew a right spirit within me. 11 Cast me not away from thy presence: and take not thy holy Spirit from me. 12 O give me the comfort of thy help again: and stablish me with thy free Spirit. 13 Then shall I teach thy ways unto the wicked: and sinners shall be converted unto thee. 14 Deliver me from blood-guiltiness, O God, thou that art the God of my health: and my tongue shall sing of thy righteousness. 15 Thou shalt open my lips, O Lord: and my mouth shall shew thy praise. 16 For thou desirest no sacrifice, else would I give it thee: but thou delightest not in burnt-offerings. 17 The sacrifice of God is a troubled spirit: a broken and contrite heart, O God, shalt thou not despise. 18 O be favourable and gracious unto Sion: build thou the walls of Jerusalem. 19 Then shalt thou be pleased with the sacrifice of righteousness, with the burnt-offerings and oblations: then shall they offer young bullocks upon thine altar.
Friends, in our Gospel today, Jesus defines the fundamental sacredness of marriage. I’m convinced that the deep sacramental and religious meaning of marriage—even within the Church—has been, in recent years, dramatically compromised. We say that marriage is a vocation, but do we mean it?
We can look at human sexual relationships at a number of different levels. Two people can come together purely for physical pleasure, for economic reasons, or for psychological companionship. And we might witness two people coming together out of authentic love.
But none of these levels is what the Bible means by marriage. When I was doing parish work I would invariably ask young couples, “Why do you want to get married in church?” Most would say something like, “Because we love each other.” But I would reply, “Well, that’s no reason to get married in church.”
They usually looked stunned, but I meant it. You come to church to be married before God and his people when you are convinced that your marriage is not, finally, about you; that it is about God and about serving God’s purposes; that it is, as much as the priesthood of a priest, a vocation, a sacred calling.