1 O God, why have you utterly disowned us? ♦
Why does your anger burn
against the sheep of your pasture?
2 Remember your congregation that you purchased of old, ♦
the tribe you redeemed for your own possession,
and Mount Zion where you dwelt.
3 Hasten your steps towards the endless ruins, ♦
where the enemy has laid waste all your sanctuary.
4 Your adversaries roared in the place of your worship; ♦
they set up their banners as tokens of victory.
5 Like men brandishing axes on high in a thicket of trees, ♦
all her carved work they smashed down with hatchet and hammer.
6 They set fire to your holy place; ♦
they defiled the dwelling place of your name
and razed it to the ground.
7 They said in their heart, ‘Let us make havoc of them altogether,’ ♦
and they burned down all the sanctuaries of God in the land.
8 There are no signs to see, not one prophet left, ♦
not one among us who knows how long.
9 How long, O God, will the adversary scoff? ♦
Shall the enemy blaspheme your name for ever?
10 Why have you withheld your hand ♦
and hidden your right hand in your bosom?
11 Yet God is my king from of old, ♦
who did deeds of salvation in the midst of the earth.
12 It was you that divided the sea by your might ♦
and shattered the heads of the dragons on the waters;
13 You alone crushed the heads of Leviathan ♦
and gave him to the beasts of the desert for food.
14 You cleft the rock for fountain and flood; ♦
you dried up ever-flowing rivers.
15 Yours is the day, yours also the night; ♦
you established the moon and the sun.
16 You set all the bounds of the earth; ♦
you fashioned both summer and winter.
17 Remember now, Lord, how the enemy scoffed, ♦
how a foolish people despised your name.
18 Do not give to wild beasts the soul of your turtle dove; ♦
forget not the lives of your poor for ever.
19 Look upon your creation,
for the earth is full of darkness, ♦
full of the haunts of violence.
20 Let not the oppressed turn away ashamed, ♦
but let the poor and needy praise your name.
21 Arise, O God, maintain your own cause; ♦
remember how fools revile you all the day long.
22 Forget not the clamour of your adversaries, ♦
the tumult of your enemies that ascends continually.
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.