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Psalm 130 in the Hands of the Great Composers

I recently walked through Psalm 130 with the congregation I pastor.

Psalm 130

My Soul Waits for the Lord

A Song of Ascents.

[1] Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD!
[2] O Lord, hear my voice!
Let your ears be attentive
to the voice of my pleas for mercy!

[3] If you, O LORD, should mark iniquities,
O Lord, who could stand?
[4] But with you there is forgiveness,
that you may be feared.

[5] I wait for the LORD, my soul waits,
and in his word I hope;
[6] my soul waits for the Lord
more than watchmen for the morning,
more than watchmen for the morning.

[7] O Israel, hope in the LORD!
For with the LORD there is steadfast love,
and with him is plentiful redemption.
[8] And he will redeem Israel
from all his iniquities. (ESV)

This is one of the real gems in the inspired Psalm-book. Martin Luther famously called it the “Pauline Psalm.”

During my introduction (you can listen to the audio of the Sunday School lesson I taught here), I noted that many composers have set this Psalm to music.

For those who might be interested in exploring some of the settings of Psalm 130 in the sacred classical music tradition, I put together this Spotify playlist:

This playlist includes selections by Bruhns, Bach, Part, Lassus, Mendelssohn, Rutter, and even Paul Mealor. It’s worth noting that you don’t need to shuffle the playlist. It’s already pretty well mixed together, and entire works are kept together on the playlist. Also, some of the more notable works do appear a couple times.


About Ryan Martin

Ryan Martin is pastor of the First Baptist Church of Granite Falls, Minnesota. Prior to that, he served as the associate pastor of Bethany Bible Church in Hendersonville, North Carolina. He is on the board of directors of Religious Affections Ministries. Ryan received his undergraduate degree at Northland Baptist Bible College, and has received further training from Central Baptist Theological Seminary of Minneapolis, Minn. (M.Div., 2004; Ph.D., 2013). He was ordained in 2009 at Bible Baptist Church of Elk River, Minn. (now Otsego, Minn.). He has a wife and children too. Ryan is the associate editor of Hymns to the Living God (Religious Affections Ministries, 2017). He contributed to the Jonathan Edwards Encyclopedia (Eerdmans, 2017) and is the author of Understanding Affections in the Theology of Jonathan Edwards: "The High Exercises of Divine Love" (T&T Clark, 2018).