A Psalter for Prayer: An Adaptation of the Classic Miles Coverdale Translation, Augmented by Prayers and Instructional Material Drawn from Church Slavonic and Other Orthodox Christian Sources

A Psalter for Prayer: An Adaptation of the Classic Miles Coverdale Translation, Augmented by Prayers and Instructional Material Drawn from Church Slavonic and Other Orthodox Christian Sources

by David Mitchell James

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Reaching back hundreds of years, this volume is the first major English edition to include all the prayers needed to read the Slavic Psalter at home in the Orthodox tradition. The contents include many texts traditionally printed in Orthodox Psalters and not easily found in English. With psalms and biblical canticles adapted from the classic Coverdale translation of the Book of Psalms and the King James Version of the Bible, this record has been carefully edited to agree with the original Greek of the Septuagint as well as with the Latin and Slavonic church translations.

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ISBN-13: 9780884651987
Publisher: Holy Trinity Publications
Publication date: 10/01/2011
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 368
File size: 16 MB
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About the Author

David Mitchell James worked as a translator for the U.S. Army, specializing in French and Slovenian. After taking early retirement from his position as marketing director for the North Shore Music Theater he traveled to Russia to study its language. He lives in Rye, New Hampshire.

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A Psalter for Prayer

An Adaptation of the Classic Miles Coverdale Translation, Augmented by Prayers and Instructional Material Drawn from Church Slavonic and Other Orthodox Christian Sources

By David Mitchell James

Holy Trinity Publications

Copyright © 2011 David Mitchell James
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-88465-198-7


The Song of David the Prophet and King

The First Kathisma

Psalm 1. Beatus vir, qui non abiit &c. A Psalm of David. Without superscription in the Hebrew.

BLESSED is the man that hath not walked in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stood in the way of sinners, and hath not sat in the seat of the scornful.

2 But his delight is in the Law of the Lord, and in His Law will he exercise himself day and night.

3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the water-side, that will bring forth his fruit in due season; his leaf also shall not fall, and all whatsoever he doeth, it shall prosper.

4 Not so are the ungodly, not so; but they are like the dust, which the wind scattereth away from the face of the earth.

5 Therefore the ungodly shall not rise at the judgment, neither the sinners in the council of the righteous.

6 For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous, and the way of the ungodly shall perish.

Psalm 2. Quare fremuerunt gentes? A Psalm of David.

WHY have the heathen raged, and the peoples imagined vain things?

2 The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers gathered together, against the Lord, and against His Christ:

3 Let us break their bonds asunder, and cast away their yoke from us.

4 He that dwelleth in heaven shall laugh them to scorn; the Lord shall have them in derision.

5 Then shall He speak unto them in His wrath, and vex them in His sore displeasure.

6 Yet I am set up as King by Him upon His holy hill of Zion,

7 Preaching the Lord's commandment. The Lord said unto Me, Thou art My Son, this day have I begotten Thee.

8 Desire of Me, and I shall give Thee the nations for Thine inheritance, and the utmost parts of the earth for Thy possession.

9 Thou shalt herd them with a rod of iron, and break them in pieces like a potter's vessel.

10 Be wise now therefore, O ye kings; be instructed, all ye that are judges of the earth.

11 Serve the Lord in fear, and rejoice unto Him with trembling.

12 Choose chastening, lest the Lord be angry, and so ye perish from the right way, when His wrath be suddenly kindled; blessed are all they that put their trust in Him.

Psalm 3. Domine, quid multiplicati? A Psalm of David, when he fled from Absalom his son.

LORD, why are they increased that trouble me? Many are they that rise against me.

3 Many one there be that say of my soul, There is no salvation for him in his God.

4 But Thou, O Lord, art my helper, my glory, and the lifter up of my head.

5 I did call upon the Lord with my voice, and He heard me out of His holy hill.

6 I laid me down and slept, and rose up again, for the Lord will sustain me.

7 I will not be afraid for ten thousands of the people that have set themselves against me round about.

8 Arise, O Lord; save me, O my God, for Thou hast smitten all who without cause are mine enemy; Thou hast broken the teeth of sinners.

9 Salvation is of the Lord, and Thy blessing is upon Thy people.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; both now, and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia. Glory be to Thee, O God. Thrice.

Lord, have mercy. Thrice.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; both now, and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

Second Stasis

Psalm 4. Cum invocarem. Unto the end, in verses, a Psalm of David.

WHEN I called, the God of my righteousness heard me; Thou hast set me at liberty when I was in trouble. Be gracious unto me, and hearken unto my prayer.

3 O ye sons of men, how long will ye be heavy-hearted; why do ye take such pleasure in vanity, and seek after falsehood?

4 Know ye also, that the Lord hath made His holy one wonderful; when I call upon Him, the Lord will hear me.

5 Be angry, and sin not; for what ye say in your hearts, be sorry upon your beds.

6 Offer the sacrifice of righteousness, and put your trust in the Lord.

7 There be many that say, Who will show us any good? The light of Thy countenance hath been signed upon us, O Lord.

8 Thou hast put gladness in my heart; from the fruit of their wheat, and wine, and oil are they increased.

9 I will lay me down in peace, and also take my rest, for it is Thou, Lord, only, who hast made me to dwell in hope.

Psalm 5. Verba mea auribus. Unto the end, for her that obtaineth the inheritance, a Psalm of David.

HEAR my words, O Lord; consider my cry.

3 Attend unto the voice of my supplication, my King, and my God, for unto Thee will I pray, O Lord.

4 Early in the morning shalt Thou hear my voice; early in the morning will I stand before Thee, and Thou shalt watch over me.

5 For Thou art a God that hast no pleasure in wickedness; the evil-doer shall not dwell nigh Thee.

6 Such as be lawless shall not stand in Thy sight, for Thou hatest all them that work iniquity.

7 Thou shalt destroy all them that speak lies; the Lord will abhor the blood-thirsty and deceitful man.

8 But as for me, by the multitude of Thy mercy I will come into Thine house; in Thy fear will I worship toward Thy holy temple.

9 Lead me, O Lord, in Thy righteousness; because of mine enemies, make my way plain before Thee.

10 For there is no truth in their mouth; their heart is vain; their throat is an open sepulcher; they flatter with their tongue.

11 Judge them, O God; let them fall through their own imaginations; cast them out according to the multitude of their ungodliness; for they have embittered Thee, O Lord.

12 And let all them that put their trust in Thee be glad; they shall ever rejoice; and Thou shalt dwell in them and they that love Thy Name shall be joyful in Thee.

13 For Thou wilt bless the righteous, O Lord, for with the shield of Thy favorable kindness hast Thou crowned us.

Psalm 6. Domine, ne in furore. Unto the end, in verses, a Psalm of David, among the hymns for the octave.

O LORD, rebuke me not in Thine anger, neither chasten me in Thy wrath.

3 Have mercy upon me, O Lord, for I am weak; O Lord, heal me, for my bones are vexed.

4 My soul also is sore troubled; but Thou, O Lord, how long?

5 Turn Thee, O Lord, and deliver my soul; O save me, for Thy mercy's sake.

6 For in death no man remembereth Thee, and who will give Thee thanks in hell?

7 I am worn out with my groaning; every night wash I my bed, and water my couch with my tears.

8 Mine eye is clouded with anger; I have grown old among all mine enemies.

9 Away from me, all ye that work iniquity, for the Lord hath heard the voice of my weeping.

10 The Lord hath heard my petition; the Lord will receive my prayer.

11 Let all mine enemies be confounded and sore vexed; let them be turned back, and put to shame suddenly.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; both now, and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia. Glory be to Thee, O God. Thrice.

Lord, have mercy. Thrice.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; both now, and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

Third Stasis

Psalm 7. Domine, Deus meus. The Psalm of David, which he sang unto the Lord, concerning the words of Cush the Benjamite.

O LORD my God, in Thee have I put my trust; save me from all them that persecute me, and deliver me;

3 Lest they seize my soul like a lion, and tear it in pieces, while there is none to deliver, nor to save.

4 O Lord my God, if I have done any such thing, if there be unrighteousness in my hands;

5 If I have repaid evil unto him that dealt unfriendly with me, may I then fall back empty before my enemies.

6 Then let the enemy persecute my soul; yea, let him take and trample my life into the dirt, and lay mine honor in the dust.

7 Arise, O Lord, in Thy wrath, exalt Thyself in the borders of mine enemies, and rise up, O Lord my God, by the injunction that Thou hast enjoined,

8 And a congregation of the peoples shall gather round Thee; and for their sakes return Thou on high.

9 The Lord shall judge the peoples; give sentence with me, O Lord, according to my righteousness, and according to the innocency that is in me.

10 O let the wickedness of sinners come to an end, and guide Thou the righteous, O God, who triest the very hearts and reins.

11 My help is from God, who saveth them that are true of heart.

12 God is a righteous Judge, strong, and patient, and inflicteth not vengeance every day.

13 Except ye be converted, He will whet His sword; He hath bent His bow, and made it ready.

14 He hath fitted it with the instruments of death; He hath forged his arrows in the fire.

15 Behold, he hath travailed with unrighteousness, he hath conceived sorrow, and brought forth iniquity.

16 He hath graven a pit, and digged it up, and is fallen himself into the hole he made,

17 For his travail shall come upon his own head, and his unrighteousness shall fall on his own pate.

18 I will give thanks unto the Lord, according to His righteousness, and I will praise the Name of the Lord Most High.

Psalm 8. Domine, Dominus noster. Unto the end, on the presses, a Psalm of David.

O LORD, our Lord, how wonderful is Thy Name in all the world; for Thy majesty is lifted high above the heavens!

3 Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast Thou perfected praise, because of Thine enemies, to destroy the enemy, and the avenger.

4 For I will consider the heavens, even the works of Thy fingers, the moon and the stars which Thou hast ordained.

5 What is man, that Thou art mindful of him? Or the son of man, that Thou visitest him?

6 Thou hast made him little lower than the angels; Thou hast crowned him with glory and honor,

7 And hast set him over the works of Thy hands; Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet;

8 All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field;

9 The fowls of the air, and the fishes of the sea, and whatsoever walketh through the paths of the seas.

10 O Lord, our Lord, how wonderful is Thy Name in all the world!

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; both now, and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia. Glory be to Thee, O God. Thrice.

¶ After the First Kathisma, the Trisagion Prayers, and these troparia, in Tone I:

Conceived in iniquities, prodigal that I am, I dare not gaze upon the heights of heaven; yet, confident of Thy love for mankind, I cry: O God, cleanse me and save me, a sinner!

If the righteous man can hardly be saved, where shall I, a sinner, find myself? I have not borne the burdens and heat of the day; yet, number me among them that were hired at the eleventh hour, O God, and save me!

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

Make haste to open unto me Thy Fatherly embrace, for as the Prodigal I have wasted my life. In the unfailing wealth of Thy mercy, O Saviour, reject not my heart in its poverty, for with compunction I cry unto Thee, O Lord: Father, I have sinned against heaven and before Thee.

Both now, and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

O most holy Virgin, hope of Christians, with the heavenly hosts unceasingly entreat God, to Whom thou gavest birth in manner past understanding and recounting, that He grant remission of sins and amendment of life unto all of us who with faith and love ever honor thee.

Lord, have mercy [40]. And this Prayer:

O MASTER, Almighty, Unapproachable, Origin of light, and Power beyond comprehension, Who art the Father of the hypostatic Word, and from Whom came forth the Spirit Who is one with Thee in power; Who, for the sake of the mercy of Thy loving-kindness and Thine ineffable goodness, hast not scorned human nature, which is held fast in the darkness of sin, but hast illumined the world with the divine beacons of Thy sacred teachings, the Law and the Prophets; Who in latter times wast well pleased for Thine only-begotten Son to shine forth upon us in the flesh and guide us to the effulgence of Thy glorious light, may Thine ears be attentive unto the voice of our supplication; and grant, O Lord, that we may pass the whole night of this present life with a vigilant and watchful heart, awaiting the coming of Thy Son and our God, the Judge of all. And may we, without having lain down to sleep, but keeping vigil and upright, enter together into His joy, where the voice is unending of them that behold the ineffable beauty of Thy face. For Thou art a good God and the Lover of mankind, and unto Thee do we ascribe glory, to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; both now, and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.


The Second Kathisma

Psalm 9. Confitebor tibi. Unto the end, on the hidden things of the Son, a Psalm of David.

I WILL give thanks unto Thee, O Lord, with my whole heart; I will speak of all Thy marvelous works.

3 I will be glad and rejoice in Thee; yea, I will sing unto Thy Name, O Thou Most Highest.

4 When mine enemies are driven back, they shall falter and perish at Thy presence,

5 For Thou hast maintained my judgment and my cause; Thou hast sat on the throne, Who rightly dividest the truth.

6 Thou hast rebuked the heathen, and the impious one hath perished; Thou hast wiped out his name for ever and ever.

7 The swords of the enemy are utterly broken, and Thou hast destroyed his cities; with a clamor is his memory wiped out,

8 But the Lord endureth for ever; He hath prepared His throne for judgment,

9 And He shall judge the whole world unto truth; He shall minister judgment unto the people in righteousness.

10 The Lord is become also a refuge for the poor, a helper in due time of trouble.

11 And let them that know Thy Name put their trust in Thee, for Thou, Lord, hast never forsaken them that seek Thee.

12 O praise the Lord which dwelleth in Zion; proclaim His doings among the nations.

13 As the blood-avenger doth He remember them; He forgetteth not the complaint of the poor.

14 Have mercy upon me, O Lord; see how mine enemies humiliate me, Thou that liftest me up from the gates of death,

15 That I may show all Thy praises within the gates of the daughter of Zion; we will rejoice in Thy salvation.

16 The heathen are sunk down in the ruin that they made; in the same net which they hid privily is their foot taken.

17 The Lord is known by the judgments He dealeth; the sinner is trapped in the work of his own hands.

18 Let the sinners be turned into hell, all the nations that forget God.

19 For the lowly shall not always be forgotten; the patient abiding of the poor shall not perish for ever.

20 Arise, O Lord, and let not man have the upper hand; let the heathen be judged before Thee.

21 Set a law-giver over them, O Lord, that the heathen may know themselves to be but men.

22 Why standest Thou so far off, O Lord, and disdainest us in the needful time of trouble?

23 When the ungodly man vaunteth himself, the poor man flareth up; they are taken in the crafty wiliness that they have imagined.

24 For in the lusts of his soul the sinner commendeth himself, and he that offendeth counteth himself blessed.

25 The sinner hath provoked the Lord; he is so wrathful, that he careth not; God is not before him.

25 His ways are always defiled; Thy judgments are far above out of his sight; he shall have power over all his enemies.

27 For he hath said in his heart, I shall never be cast down; from generation unto generation shall no harm happen unto me.

28 His mouth is full of cursing, bitterness, and deceit; under his tongue is toil and misery.

29 With the rich he sitteth thievishly in lurking dens, to murder the innocent; his eyes are set against the poor.

30 He lurketh in secret as a lion in his den, that he may ravish the poor; to ravish the poor, when he getteth him into his net.

31 He humbleth himself; he croucheth and falleth, that the poor may fall into his hands.

32 For he hath said in his heart, God hath forgotten; He hath turned away His face, that He may never see.

33 Arise, O Lord my God, let Thy hand be lifted up; forget not Thy poor before the end.

34 Wherefore hath the wicked man blasphemed God? Because he hath said in his heart, He will not look into it.

35 Thou seest, for Thou beholdest misery and anger, that Thou mayest take the matter into Thy hand. The poor man is abandoned unto Thee; Thou art the helper of the orphan.

36 Break Thou the arm of the sinner and the evil man; his sin shall be sought, and shall not be found.

37 The Lord is King for ever, and for ever and ever; ye heathen shall perish out of His land.

38 Thou hast heard the desire of the poor, O Lord; Thine ear hearkeneth unto the disposition of their hearts.

39 O judge for the fatherless and humble, that no man on earth may continue to boast.

Psalm 10. In Domino confido. Unto the end, a Psalm of David.

IN the Lord have I put my trust; how say ye then to my soul, Flee as a bird unto the hills?

2 For lo, the sinners have bent their bow, they have made ready their arrows within the quiver, that they may in darkness shoot at them which are true of heart.

3 For they have cast down what Thou hast built, but what hath the righteous done? The Lord is in His holy temple.

4 The Lord's throne is in heaven; His eyes consider the poor, and His eye-lids try the children of men.

5 The Lord trieth the righteous and the ungodly, but he that delighteth in wickedness hateth his own soul.

6 Upon sinners He shall rain down snares; fire and brimstone, and the stormy wind, shall be the portion of their cup.

7 For the Lord is righteous and loveth righteousness; His countenance hath beheld just things.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; both now, and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia. Glory be to Thee, O God. Thrice.

Lord, have mercy. Thrice.


Excerpted from A Psalter for Prayer by David Mitchell James. Copyright © 2011 David Mitchell James. Excerpted by permission of Holy Trinity Publications.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents


The Athanasian Creed,
A Brief Summary of the Faith,
The Letter to Marcellinus,
St. Basil the Great on the Psalms,
Sayings of Augustine the Teacher, and Others, on the Power of the Psalms,
A Commentary of Theodoret on the Fifth Psalm,
Extract from St. John Chrysostom's Panegyric on the Psalms,
For All Who Wish to Chant the Psalter,
How the Psalter Is to Be Said Throughout the Whole Year,
Prayers Before Reading the Psalter,
The First Kathisma,
The Second Kathisma,
The Third Kathisma,
The Fourth Kathisma,
The Fifth Kathisma,
The Sixth Kathisma,
The Seventh Kathisma,
The Eighth Kathisma,
The Ninth Kathisma,
The Tenth Kathisma,
The Eleventh Kathisma,
The Twelfth Kathisma,
The Thirteenth Kathisma,
The Fourteenth Kathisma,
The Fifteenth Kathisma,
The Sixteenth Kathisma,
The Seventeenth Kathisma,
The Eighteenth Kathisma,
The Nineteenth Kathisma,
The Twentieth Kathisma,
The Canticles,
The First Canticle,
The Second Canticle,
The Third Canticle,
The Fourth Canticle,
The Fifth Canticle,
The Sixth Canticle,
The Seventh Canticle,
The Eighth Canticle,
The Ninth Canticle,
Prayers After Reading the Psalter,
The Megalynaria & Selected Psalms for the Principal Feasts,
The Rite Chanted Following the Departure of the Soul from the Body,
Reading the Psalter for the Departed,
The Commemoration,
The Rite for Singing the Twelve Psalms,
From the Fathers Concerning the Cell Rule,
The Hymn of St. Ambrose, Bishop of Milan,
Appendix: The Numbering of the Psalms,

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