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Rituale Romanum

The Seven Penitential Psalms and Litany of the Saints

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These are used on a number of occasions, for example, as prayers for the sick, especially during the administration of the last sacraments.

Antiphon: Do not call to mind, Lord, our offenses or those of our parents; * nor take retribution on our sins.

P: Lord, reprove me not in your anger, * nor chastise me in your wrath.

All: Have pity on me, Lord, for I am languishing; * heal me, Lord, for my body is in terror;

P: My soul, too, is utterly terrified; * but you, O Lord, how long

All: Return, O Lord, save my life; * rescue me because of your kindness,

P: For among the dead no one remembers you; * in the nether world who gives you thanks?

All: I am wearied with sighing; every night I flood my bed with weeping; * I drench my couch with my tears.

P: My eyes are dimmed with sorrow; * they have aged because of all my foes.

All: Depart from me, all evildoers, * for the Lord has heard the sound of my weeping;

P: The Lord has heard my plea; * the Lord has accepted my prayer.

All: All my enemies shall be put to shame in utter terror; * they shall fall back in sudden shame.

P: Glory be to the Father.

All: As it was in the beginning.

P: Happy is he whose fault is taken away, * whose sin is covered.

All: Happy the man to whom the Lord imputes no guilt, * in whose spirit there is no guile.

P: As long as I would not speak, my bones wasted away * with my groaning all the day.

All: For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; * my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer.

P: Then I acknowledged my sin to you, * I did not conceal my guilt.

All: I said, "I confess my faults to the Lord," * and you took away the guilt of my sin.

P: For this shall every faithful man pray to you * in time of stress.

All: Though deep waters overflow, * they shall not reach him.

P: You are my shelter; from distress you will preserve me; * with glad cries of freedom you will ring me round.

All. I will instruct you and show you the way you should walk; * I will counsel you, keeping my eye on you.

P: Be not senseless like horses or mules; with bit and bridle their temper must be curbed, * else they will not come near you.

All: Many are the sorrows of the wicked, * but kindness surrounds him who trusts in the Lord.

P: Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, you just; * exult, all you upright of heart.

All: Glory be to the Father.

P: As it was in the beginning.

Psalm 37

P: Lord, in your anger punish me not, * in your wrath chastise me not;

All: For your arrows have sunk deep in me, * and your hand has come down upon me.

P: There is no health in my flesh because of your indignation; * there is no wholeness in my bones because of my sin,

All: For my iniquities have overwhelmed me; * they are like. a heavy burden, beyond my strength.

P: Noisome and festering are my sores * because of my folly,

All: I am stooped and bowed down profoundly; * I go all day in mourning,

P: For my loins are filled with burning pains; * there is no health in my flesh.

All: I am numbed and severely crushed; * I roar with anguish of heart.

P: O Lord, all my desire is before you; * my groaning is not hid from you.

All: My heart throbs; my strength forsakes me; * the very light of my eyes has failed me.

P: My friends and my companions stand back because of my affliction; * my neighbors stand afar off.

All: Men lay snares for me seeking my life; they look to my misfortune, they speak of ruin, * treachery they talk of all the day.

P: But I am like a deaf man, hearing not, * like a dumb man who opens not his mouth.

All: I am become like a man who neither hears * nor has in his mouth a retort.

P: Because for you, Lord, I wait; * you, Lord my God, will answer

All: When I say, "Let them not be glad on my account * who, when my foot slips, glory over me."

P: For I am very near to falling, * and my grief is with me always.

All: Indeed, I acknowledge my guilt; * I grieve over my sin.

P: But my undeserved enemies are strong; * many are my foes without cause.

All: Those who repay evil for good * harass me for pursuing good.

P: Forsake me not, Lord; * my God, be not far from me.

All: Make haste to help me, * O Lord, my salvation!

P: Glory be to the Father.

All: As it was in the beginning.

Psalm 50

P: Have mercy on me, O God, in your goodness; * in the greatness of your compassion wipe out my offense.

All: Thoroughly wash me from my guilt * and cleanse me of my sin.

P: For I acknowledge my offense, * and my sin is before me always:

All: "Against you only have I sinned, * and done what is evil in your sight,"

P: That you may be justified in your sentence, * vindicated when you condemn.

All: Indeed, in guilt was I born, * and in sin my mother conceived me;

P: See, you are pleased with sincerity of heart, * and in my inmost being you teach me wisdom.

All: Cleanse me of sin with hyssop, that I may be purified; * wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

P: Let me hear the sounds of joy and gladness; * the bones you have crushed shall rejoice.

All: Turn away your face from my sins, * and blot out all my guilt.

P: A clean heart create for me, O God, * and a steadfast spirit renew within me.

All: Cast me not out from your presence, * and take not your holy spirit from me.

P: Give me back the joy of your salvation, * and sustain a willing spirit within me.

All: I will teach transgressors your ways, * and sinners shall return to you.

P: Free me from blood guilt, God, my saving God; * then my tongue shall revel in your justice.

All: Lord, open my lips, * and my mouth shall proclaim your praise.

P: For you are not pleased with sacrifices; * should I offer a holocaust, you would not accept it.

All: My sacrifice, O God, is a contrite spirit; * a heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn.

P: Be bountiful, Lord, to Sion in your kindness * rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem;

All: Then shall you be pleased with due sacrifices, burnt offerings and holocausts; * then shall they offer up bullocks on your altar.

P: Glory be to the Father.

All: As it was in the beginning.

Psalm 101

P: O Lord, hear my prayer, * and let my cry come to you.

All: Hide not your face from me * in the day of my distress.

P: Incline your ear to me; * in the day when I call, answer me speedily.

All: For my days vanish like smoke, * and my bones burn like fire.

P: Withered and dried up like grass is my heart; * I forget to eat my bread.

All: Because of my insistent sighing * I am reduced to skin and bone.

P: I am like a desert pelican; * I have become like an owl among the ruins.

All: I am sleepless, and I moan; * I am like a sparrow alone on the housetop.

P: All the day my enemies revile me; * in their rage against me they make a curse of me.

All: For I eat ashes like bread * and mingle my drink with tears.

P: Because of your fury and your wrath; * for you lifted me up only to cast me down.

All: My days are like a lengthening shadow, * and I wither like grass.

P: But you, Lord, abide forever, * and your name through all generations.

All: You will arise and have mercy on Sion, * for it is time to pity her, for the appointed time has come.

P: For her stones are dear to your servants, * and her dust moves them to pity.

All: And the nations shall revere your name, O Lord, * and all the kings of the earth your glory.

P: When the Lord has rebuilt Sion * and appeared in His glory;

All: When He has regarded the prayer of the destitute, * and not despised their prayer.

P: Let this be written for the generation to come, * and let His future creatures praise the Lord:

All: "The Lord looked down from His holy height, * from heaven He beheld the earth;

P: To hear the groaning of the prisoners, * to release those doomed to die,"

All: That the name of the Lord may be declared in Sion; * and His praise in Jerusalem,

P: When the peoples gather together, * and the kingdoms, to serve the Lord.

All: He has broken down my strength in the way; * he has cut short my days.

P: I say: O my God, take me not hence in the midst of my days; * through all generations your years endure.

All: Of old you established the earth, * and the heavens are the work of your hands.

P: They shall perish, but you remain * though all of them grow old like a garment.

All: Like clothing you change them, and they are changed, * but you are the same, and your years have no end.

P: The children of your servants shall abide, * and their posterity shall continue in your presence.

All: Glory be to the Father.

P: As it was in the beginning.

Psalm 129

P: Out of the depths I cry to you, Lord; * Lord, hear my voice!

All: Let your ears be attentive * to my voice in supplication:

P: If you, Lord, mark iniquities, * Lord, who can stand?

All: But with you is forgiveness, * that you may be revered.

P: I trust in the Lord; * my soul trusts in His word.

All: My soul waits for the Lord * more than sentinels wait for the dawn.

P: More than sentinels wait for the dawn, * let Israel wait for the Lord,

All: For with the Lord is kindness * and with Him is plenteous redemption;

P: And He will redeem Israel * from all their iniquities.

All: Glory be to the Father.

P: As it was in the beginning.

Psalm 142

P: Lord, hear my prayer; hearken to my pleading in your faithfulness; * in your justice answer me.

All: And enter not into judgment with your servant, * for before you no living man is just.

P: For the enemy pursues me; he has crushed my life to the ground; * he has left me dwelling in the dark, like those long dead.

All: And my spirit is faint within me, * my heart within me is appalled.

P: I remember the days of old; I meditate on all your doings, * the work of your hands I ponder.

All: I stretch out my hands to you; * my soul thirsts for you like parched land.

P: Hasten to answer me, Lord, * for my spirit fails me.

All: Hide not your face from me * lest I become like those who go down into the pit.

P: Let me feel your kindness without delay, * for in you I trust.

All: Show me the way in which I should walk, * for to you I lift up my soul.

P: Rescue me from my enemies, Lord, * for in you I hope.

All: Teach me to do your will, * for you are my God.

P: Your spirit is good; * may it guide me on level ground.

All: For your name's sake, Lord, preserve me; * in your mercy free me from distress.

P: And in your kindness destroy my enemies; bring to nought all my foes, * for I am your servant.

All: Glory be to the Father.

P: As it was in the beginning.

Antiphon: Do not call to mind, Lord, our offenses or those of our parents; * nor take retribution on our sins.


{The Litany of the Saints is used in ordination, Forty Hours', processions, and other occasions. Both the Roman Ritual and the Roman Pontifical direct that the first three invocations be repeated. The music for this litany is given in the music supplement. The invocations are sung (or recited) by the chanters or the priest; the responses by all.}

P: Lord, have mercy.

All: Lord, have mercy.

P: Christ, have mercy.

All: Christ, have mercy.

P: Lord, have mercy.

All: Lord, have mercy.

P: Christ, hear us.

All: Christ, graciously hear us.

P: God, the Father in heaven.

All: Have mercy on us.

P: God, the Son, Redeemer of the world.

All: Have mercy on us.

P: God, the Holy Spirit.

All: Have mercy on us.

P: Holy Trinity, one God.

All: Have mercy on us.

Holy Mary, pray for us, (After each invocation: "Pray for us.")

Holy Mother of God,

Holy Virgin of virgins,

St. Michael,
St. Gabriel,
St. Raphael,

All holy angels and archangels,

All holy orders of blessed spirits,

St. John the Baptist,

St. Joseph,

All holy patriarchs and prophets,

St. Peter,

St. Paul,

St. Andrew,
St. James,

St. John,

St. Thomas,

St. James,
St. Philip,

St. Bartholomew,

St. Matthew,
St. Simon,
St. Thaddeus,
St. Matthias,
St. Barnabas,
St. Luke,
St. Mark,

All holy apostles and evangelists,

All holy disciples of the Lord,

All holy Innocents,

St. Stephen,
St. Lawrence,

St. Vincent,

SS. Fabian and Sebastian,

SS. John and Paul,

SS. Cosmas and Damian,

SS. Gervase and Protase,

All holy martyrs,

St. Sylvester,
St. Gregory,
St. Ambrose,

St. Augustine,

St. Jerome,

St. Martin,

St. Nicholas,

All holy bishops and confessors,

All holy doctors,

St. Anthony,
St. Benedict,
St. Bernard,
St. Dominic,
St. Francis,

All holy priests and levites,

All holy monks and hermits,

St. Mary Magdalen,

St. Agatha,
St. Lucy,
St. Agnes,
St. Cecilia,
St. Catherine,
St. Anastasia,

All holy virgins and widows,

P: All holy saints of God,

All: Intercede for us.

P: Be merciful,

All: Spare us, O Lord.

P: Be merciful,

All: Graciously hear us, O Lord.

From all evil, deliver us, O Lord.* (After each invocation: "Deliver

us, O Lord."
From all sin,

From your wrath,

From sudden and unprovided death,

From the snares of the devil,

From anger, hatred, and all ill will,

From all lewdness,

From lightning and tempest,[1]

From the scourge of earthquakes,

From plague, famine, and war,[2]

{The following invocation is used only at Forty Hours': From dangers

that threaten us,}

From everlasting death,

By the mystery of your holy incarnation,

By your coming,

By your birth,

By your baptism and holy fasting,

By your cross and passion,

By your death and burial,

By your holy resurrection,

By your wondrous ascension,

By the coming of the Holy Spirit, the Advocate,

On the day of judgment,

P: We sinners,

All: We beg you to hear us.

That you spare us, * (After each invocation: "We beg you to hear us.")

That you pardon us,

That you bring us to true penance,

That you govern and preserve your holy Church,

That you preserve our Holy Father and all ranks in the Church in holy


That you humble the enemies of holy Church,

That you give peace and true concord to all Christian rulers,

That you give peace and unity to the whole Christian world,

That you restore to the unity of the Church all who have strayed from

the truth, and lead all unbelievers to the light of the Gospel,

That you confirm and preserve us in your holy service,

That you lift up our minds to heavenly desires,

That you grant everlasting blessings to all our benefactors,

That you deliver our souls and the souls of our brethren, relatives,

and benefactors from everlasting damnation,

That you give and preserve the fruits of the earth,[3]

That you grant eternal rest to all the faithful departed,[4]

That you graciously hear us,

Son of God,

P: Lamb of God, who take away the sins of the world,

All: Spare us, O Lord.

P: Lamb of God, who take away the sins of the world,

All: Graciously hear us, O Lord.

P: Lamb of God, who take away the sins of the world,

All: Have mercy on us.

P: Christ, hear us.

All. Christ, graciously hear us.

P: Lord, have mercy.

All: Christ, have mercy.

P: Lord, have mercy. Our Father (the rest inaudibly until:)

P: And lead us not into temptation.

All: But deliver us from evil.

Psalm 69

P: Deign, O God, to rescue me; * O Lord, make haste to help me.

All: Let them be put to shame and confounded * who seek my life.

P: Let them be turned back in disgrace * who desire my ruin.

All: Let them retire in their shame * who say to me, "Aha, aha!"

P: But may all who seek you * exult and be glad in you,

All: And may those who love your salvation * say ever, "God be glorified!"

P: But I am afflicted and poor; * O God, hasten to me!

All: You are my help and my deliverer; * O Lord, hold not back!

P: Glory be to the Father.

All: As it was in the beginning.

After the psalm the celebrant (still kneeling) sings the following prayers in the ferial tone:

P: Save your servants.

All: Who trust in you, my God.

P: Let us find in you, Lord, a fortified tower.

All: In the face of the enemy.

P: Let the enemy have no power over us.

All: And the son of iniquity be powerless to harm us.

P: Lord, deal not with us as our sins deserve.

All: Nor take retribution on us on account of our sins.

P: Let us pray for our sovereign Pontiff N..

All: The Lord preserve him and renew his life, make him happy on earth, and deliver him from the ill will of his enemies.

P: Let us pray for our benefactors.

All: Lord, for the glory of your name, reward with everlasting life all those who do good to us.

P: Let us pray for the faithful departed.

All: Lord, grant them eternal rest, and let perpetual light shine upon them.

P: May they rest in peace.

All: Amen.

P: For our absent brethren.

All: Save your servants who trust in you, my God.

P: Lord, send them aid from your holy place.

All: And watch over them from Sion.

P: Lord, heed my prayer.

All: And let my cry be heard by you.

P: The Lord be with you.

All: May He also be with you.

The Collects for Forty Hours' are given in their proper place (see Forty Hours' Adoration).

Let us pray.

God, whose nature is ever merciful and forgiving, accept our prayer that we and all your servants, bound by the fetters of sin, may be pardoned by your loving kindness.

We beg you, Lord, hear the plea of your suppliants, pardon the sins of your penitents, and kindly grant us your tender forgiveness along with your peace.

Show us, O Lord, your indescribable mercy, blot out our transgressions, and graciously deliver us from the condemnation they deserve.

God, who are offended by our sins but appeased by our penances, may it please you to hear the entreaties of your people and to turn away the stripes that our transgressions rightly deserve.

Almighty everlasting God, be gracious to your servant, N., our sovereign Pontiff, and in your kindness lead him on the path of everlasting salvation; may he by your grace seek only that which pleases you and carry it out with all his might.

God, from whom come holy desires, right counsels, and good works, give to your servants that peace which the world cannot give; so that our hearts may be dedicated to the observance of your law, freed from fear of our enemies, and tranquil in the knowledge of your protection.

Lord, inflame our affections and our understanding with the fire of the Holy Spirit, that we may serve you with a chaste body and please you with a pure heart.

God, the Creator and Redeemer of all the faithful, grant to the souls of your departed servants remission of all sins; and by our fervent prayers may they obtain the pardon they have always desired.

We beg you, Lord, let a breath of your grace prompt our undertakings and guide them along their course, so that our least prayer and work may ever begin in you and end in you.

Almighty everlasting God, Lord of both the living and the dead; deal mercifully with all whom you foresee shall be yours by faith and good works. Hear us, your lowly servants, and grant that those for whom we earnestly offer our prayers, whether this present world still detains them in the flesh or the world to come has already claimed their souls, may obtain pardon of all their sins, through your mercy and goodness and through the intercession of your saints. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, forever and ever.

All: Amen.

P: The Lord be with you.

All: May He also be with you.

P: May the almighty and merciful Lord graciously hear us.

All: Amen.

P: May the souls of the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace.

All: Amen.

If the papacy is vacant, in place of the invocation "That you preserve our Holy Father and all ranks in the Church" etc., the invocation will be "That you preserve all ranks in the Church," etc. And the verse "Let us pray for our sovereign Pontiff, N.," together with its response and prayer is omitted.


1. In the procession for averting tempest this invocation is said twice.

2. In the procession in time of death and plague this invocation is said twice.

3. In the procession in time of famine and want this invocation is said twice (see Procession in Time of Famine).

4. In ordination the bishop rises at this point and inserts three special invocations (see Ordination of Priests).

In the blessing of a new church the priest rises here, and making the sign of the cross inserts a special invocation (see Blessing of a New Church or Public Oratory)

In the reconciliation of a profaned church--see Rite for Reconciling a Profanced Church.

In the reconciliation of a profaned cemetery--see Rite for Reconciling a Profaned Cemetary.

In the procession for petitioning rain--see Procession for Imploring Rain.

In the procession for petitioning calm weather--see Procession for Imploring Fair Weather.

In the procession in time of death and plague--see Procession in Time of Epidemic and Plague.

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