Psalm 103.  Benedic, anima mea

A song of creation

On the first Sabbath afternoon, God looked down upon his finished creation.  In memory of this event we now sing the song of creation.  By meditating on the works of creation, we shall be inspired to sing the praises of their Creator.  And we shall have to deplore our sins:  in God's inanimate works there is perfect order and obedience, but we have brought disorder into creation by our transgressions.

God, clothed in light

Bénedic ánima mea, Dómino: * Dómine, Deus meus, magnificátus es veheménter.
2  Confessiónem, et decórem induísti: * amíctus lúmine sicut vestiménto.
3  Exténdens cælum sicut pellem: * qui tegis aquis superióra ejus.
4  Qui ponis nubem ascénsum tuum: * qui ámbulas super pennas ventórum.
5  Qui facis ángelos tuos, spíritus: * et minístros tuos ignem uréntem.

Bless the Lord, O my soul: * O Lord my God, thou art exceeding glorious.
2  Thou art clothed with praise and beauty : * decked with light as with a garment.
 Who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain : * who coverest the heights thereof with water.
4  Who makest the clouds thy chariot, * who walkest upon the wings of the wind.
5  Who makest thine angels spirits, * and thy ministers a flaming fire.

Separation of land and water

6  Qui fundásti terram super stabilitátem suam: * non inclinábitur in sæculum sæculi.
7  Abyssus, sicut vestiméntum, amíctus ejus: * super montes stabunt aquæ.
8  Ab increpatióne tua fúgient: * a voce tonítrui tui formidábunt.
9  Ascéndunt montes: et descéndunt campi * in locum, quem fundásti eis.
10  Términum posuísti, quem non transgrediéntur: * neque converténtur operíre terram.

6  He hath laid the earth upon its foundations, * that it never should move at any time.
7  The deep is clothed as with a garment; * the waters stand above the hills.
8  At thy rebuke they shall flee; * at the voice of thy thunder they shall fear.
9  The mountains ascend, and the plains descend * even unto the place which thou hast appointed for them.
10  Thou hast set them their bounds, which they shall not pass, * neither turn again to cover the earth.

Springs and fountains

11  Qui emíttis fontes in convállibus: * inter médium móntium pertransíbunt aquæ.
12  Potábunt omnes béstiæ agri: * exspectábunt ónagri in siti sua.
13  Super ea vólucres cæli habitábunt: * de médio petrárum dabunt voces.

11  Thou sendest forth springs in the vales : * between the midst of the hills the waters shall pass.
12  All beasts of the field shall drink thereof, * and the wild asses shall quench their thirst.
13  Above them shall the fowls of the air have their habitation, * from the midst of the rocks they shall give forth their voices.

Life upon the earth

14  Rigans montes de superióribus suis: * de fructu óperum tuórum satiábitur terra :
15  Prodúcens fœnum juméntis: * et herbam servitúti hóminum :
16  Ut edúcas panem de terra: * et vinum lætíficet cor hóminis :
17  Ut exhílaret fáciem in óleo: * et panis cor hóminis confírmet.
18  Saturabúntur ligna campi, et cedri Líbani, quas plantávit: * illic pásseres nidificábunt.
19  Heródii domus dux est eórum: * montes excélsi cervis : petra refúgium herináciis.

14  Thou waterest the hills from above; * the earth shall be filled with the fruit of thy works.
15  Bringing forth grass for the cattle, * and green herb for the service of men;
16  That thou mayest bring food out of the earth, * and wine that maketh glad the heart of man:
17  And oil to make him a cheerful countenance, * and bread to strengthen man's heart.
18  The trees of the field shall be filled, even the cedars of Lebanon which he hath planted; * wherein the sparrows shall make their nests.
19  The highest of them are a dwelling for the heron : * the high hills are a refuge for the deer, and the stony rocks for the porcupine.

The march of time
a)  the night

20  Fecit lunam in témpora: * sol cognóvit occásum suum.
21  Posuísti ténebras, et facta est nox: * in ipsa pertransíbunt omnes béstiæ silvæ.
22  Cátuli leónum rugiéntes, ut rápiant: * et quærant a Deo escam sibi.

20  He appointed the moon for its seasons, * and the sun knoweth his going down.
21  Thou hast made darkness that it may be night; * wherein all the beasts of the forest do move.
22  The young lions, roaring after their prey, * do seek their meat from God.

b)  the day

23  Ortus est sol, et congregáti sunt: * et in cubílibus suis collocabúntur.
24  Exíbit homo ad opus suum: * et ad operatiónem suam usque ad vésperum.

23  The sun ariseth, and they are gathered together, * and they shall lie down in their dens.
24  Man shall go forth to his work, * and to his labour until the evening.

The animals

25  Quam magnificáta sunt ópera tua, Dómine! * ómnia in sapiéntia fecísti : impléta est terra possessióne tua.
26  Hoc mare magnum, et spatiósum mánibus: * illic reptília, quorum non est númerus.
27  Animália pusílla cum magnis: * illic naves pertransíbunt.

25  O Lord, how great are thy works! * in wisdom hast thou made them all; the earth is full of thy riches.
26  So is the great sea which stretcheth wide its arms : * wherein are things creeping innumerable.
27  The beasts both small and great : * there the ships shall go.

All life depends on God

28  Draco iste, quem formásti ad illudéndum ei: * ómnia a te exspéctant ut des illis escam in témpore.
29  Dante te illis, cólligent: * aperiénte te manum tuam, ómnia implebúntur bonitáte.
30  Averténte autem te fáciem, turbabúntur: * áuferes spíritum eórum, et defícient, et in púlverem suum reverténtur.
31  Emíttes spíritum tuum, et creabúntur: * et renovábis fáciem terræ.

28  This sea dragon, whom thou hast made to take his pastime therein : * these wait all upon thee, that thou mayest give them food in due season.
29  What thou givest them, they shall gather up; * when thou openest thy hand, they shall all be filled with good.
30  But if thou turnest away thy face, they shall be troubled: * thou shalt take away their breath, and they shall die, and shall return to their dust.
31  Thou shalt send forth thy spirit, and they shall be created; * and thou shalt renew the face of the earth.

Finale:  Sabbath rest

32  Sit glória Dómini in sæculum: * lætábitur Dóminus in opéribus suis :
33  Qui réspicit terram, et facit eam trémere: * qui tangit montes, et fúmigant.
34  Cantábo Dómino in vita mea: * psallam Deo meo, quámdiu sum.
35  Jucúndum sit ei elóquium meum: * ego vero delectábor in Dómino.
36  Defíciant peccatóres a terra, et iníqui ita ut non sint: * bénedic, ánima mea, Dómino.

32  May the glorious majesty of the Lord endure for ever; * the Lord shall rejoice in his works.
33  He looketh upon the earth, and maketh it to tremble : * he toucheth the mountains, and they smoke.
34  I will sing unto the Lord as long as I live; * I will praise my God while I have my being.
35  Let my speech be acceptable to him: * but my joy shall be in the Lord.
36  Let sinners be consumed out of the earth, and the ungodly so that they be no more : * O my soul, bless thou the Lord.