Misericordia Domini. Psalm 33
The loving-kindness of the Lord filleth the whole world, alleluia: by the word of the Lord the heavens were stablished, alleluia, alleluia. Rejoice in the Lord, O ye righteous: for it becometh well the just to be thankful Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be: world without end. Amen. The loving-kindness of the Lord . . .
Almighty God, who hast given thine only Son to be unto us both a sacrifice for sin, and also an ensample of godly life: Give us grace that we may always most thankfully receive that his inestimable benefit, and also daily endeavour ourselves to follow the blessed steps of his most holy life; through the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
1 St. Peter 2:19–25
This is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God. For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.
Alleluia, alleluia. [St. Luke 24] The disciples knew the Lord Jesus: in the breaking of bread. Alleluia. [St. John 10] I am the good Shepherd: and know my sheep, and am known of mine. Alleluia.
St. John 10:11–16
Jesus said, I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep. I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine, even as the Father knoweth me, and I know I the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.
[Psalm 63] O God, thou art my God, early will I seek thee: and lift up my hands in thy Name, alleluia.
[St. John 10] I am the Good Shepherd, alleluia: and know my sheep, and am known of mine, alleluia, alleluia.
Below are plainsong renditions of the Psalms as published in the Saint Dunstan’s Plainsong Psalter.
One of the most frequently chanted settings of Psalm 23 is by Charles Hylton Stewart (1884-1932). The son of an Anglican organist who was also a priest, Stewart served as an organist in Rochester Cathedral and St. George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle.
Stewart’s setting of Psalm 23 does not conform to the strict structure of Anglican chant, but is one of our choir’s favorite Psalm settings. It is sung here by the Choir of Merton College, Oxford, conducted by Benjamin Nicholas.
Since the Gospel, the Alleluia, and the Communion proper for this Sunday contain the promise of our Lord that he is the Good Shepherd, one of the hymns our parish usually sings on this day is “The King of love my shepherd is.” You may read more about this hymn and listen to our choir’s recordings of it, and of a more elaborate setting by John Rutter, on this page.