Dueling psalms

A litany for Good Friday, with texts contrasting Psalms 22 and 23

by Ken Sehested

Oh LORD, you are my shepherd, I shall not want.

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from helping me, from the words of my groaning?

You make me lie down in green pastures; You lead me beside still waters.

O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer; and by night, but find no rest.

You restore my soul and lead me in right paths for the Heaven’s Holy Namesake.

In you our ancestors trusted, and you delivered them. To you they cried, and were saved; in you they trusted, and were not put to shame.

Even wending through the darkest valley, I fear no evil.

Do not be far from me, for trouble is near, and there is no one to intervene.

But the scent of Your Presence is there.

O LORD, do not be far away! O Help of the helpless, come quickly to my aid!

Your rod and Your staff — they comfort me.

On you I was cast from my birth, and since my mother bore me you have been my God.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.

I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint.

You anoint my head with oil. My cup overflows.

My mouth is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to my jaws.

Surely goodness and mercy track my steps all the days of my life.

For the Beloved One did not despise or abhor the affliction of the afflicted.

And I shall inhabit the house of the LORD my whole life long.

To the Ancient of Days, indeed, shall all who sleep in the earth bow down; before the Architect of Creation shall bow all who go down to the dust, and I shall live for this Advocate.

©Ken Sehested @ prayerandpolitiks.org