Psalm 51

1    Have mercy on me, O God, in your great goodness;  

according to the abundance of your compassion

    blot out my offences.

2    Wash me thoroughly from my wickedness  

and cleanse me from my sin.

3    For I acknowledge my faults  

and my sin is ever before me.

4    Against you only have I sinned  

and done what is evil in your sight,

5    So that you are justified in your sentence  

and righteous in your judgement.

6    I have been wicked even from my birth,  

a sinner when my mother conceived me.

7  Behold, you desire truth deep within me  

and shall make me understand wisdom

    in the depths of my heart.

8    Purge me with hyssop and I shall be clean;  

wash me and I shall be whiter than snow.

9    Make me hear of joy and gladness,  

that the bones you have broken may rejoice.

10  Turn your face from my sins  

and blot out all my misdeeds.

11  Make me a clean heart, O God,  

and renew a right spirit within me.

12  Cast me not away from your presence  

and take not your holy spirit from me.

13  Give me again the joy of your salvation  

and sustain me with your gracious spirit;

14  Then shall I teach your ways to the wicked  

and sinners shall return to you.

15  Deliver me from my guilt, O God,

    the God of my salvation,  

and my tongue shall sing of your righteousness.

16  O Lord, open my lips  

and my mouth shall proclaim your praise.

17  For you desire no sacrifice, else I would give it;  

you take no delight in burnt offerings.

18  The sacrifice of God is a broken spirit;  

a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

19  O be favourable and gracious to Zion;  

build up the walls of Jerusalem.

20  Then you will accept sacrifices offered in righteousness,

    the burnt offerings and oblations;  

then shall they offer up bulls on your altar.


Common Worship: Services and Prayers for the Church of England, material from which is included here,
is copyright © The Archbishops' Council 2000 and published by Church House Publishing.

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