Psalm 125.  In convertendo

Sow in tears, reap in joy

This Psalm presents two splendid pictures: 1) Christ, the Sower on earth, in tears and sweat, sowing the seed by work, prayer, and suffering; 2) the joyful harvest in heaven; with sheaves heavy in merit, Christ comes to the heavenly harvest.

Accordingly, the Psalm has two strophes: 1) thanksgiving for salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ (grace); 2) petition for final salvation in heaven (glory).  The hymn pictures both the life of a Christian as an individual and the Church as pastor of souls.

It is one of the most moving Psalms in the psalter.

Our bonds are broken

In converténdo Dóminus captivitátem Sion: * facti sumus sicut consoláti:
2  Tunc replétum est gáudio os nostrum: * et lingua nostra exsultatióne.
3  Tunc dicent inter Gentes: * Magnificávit Dóminus fácere cum eis.
4  Magnificávit Dóminus fácere nobíscum: * facti sumus lætántes.

When the Lord turned again the captivity of Sion, * then we became like men comforted.
2  Then was our mouth filled with gladness, * and our tongue with joy.
3  Then shall they say among the heathen, * The Lord hath done great things for them.
4  Yea, the Lord hath done great things for us; * whereof we rejoice.

Help us to rebuild

5  Convérte, Dómine, captivitátem nostram, * sicut torrens in austro.
6  Qui séminant in lácrimis, * in exsultatióne metent.
7  Eúntes ibant et flebant, * mitténtes sémina sua.
8  Veniéntes autem vénient cum exsultatióne, * portántes manípulos suos.

5  Turn again our captivity, O Lord, * as the rivers in the south.
 They that sow in tears * shall reap in joy.
7  Going they went and wept, * casting their seed.
8  But coming they shall come again with joyfulness, * carrying their sheaves.