Psalm 121

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The headstone of the English botanist, Joan Margaret Legge in the Valley of Flowers in the Himalaya, quoting the first verse of Psalm 121

Psalm 121 (Greek numbering: Psalm 120) is the 121st psalm from the Book of Psalms. It is one of 15 psalms that begins with the words "A song of ascents" (Shir Hama'alot).




Psalm 121 has the Latin incipit, Levavi oculus. In the Anglican Book of Common Prayer, it is prescribed for use on day 27 of each month, at Morning Prayer.[5] The first verse is frequently quoted on monuments and memorials commemorating those inspired by mountains or hills. A well known example is a stained glass window in Church of St Olaf, Wasdale in the English Lake District National Park, which quotes Psalm 121 as a memorial to members of the Fell & Rock Climbing Club who were killed in the First World War.[6]


Musical settings[edit]

Musical settings for the Latin text have been composed by Orlando di Lasso, Hans Leo Hassler and Herbert Howells amongst others. Settings composed for the English text include John Clarke-Whitfeld, Charles Villiers Stanford and Henry Walford Davies.[8] A setting by William McKie was sung at the funeral of Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother in 2002.[9]


  1. ^ The Complete Artscroll Siddur page 530
  2. ^ The Complete Artscroll Siddur page 295
  3. ^ The Complete Artscroll Siddur page 221
  4. ^ The Complete Artscroll Siddur page 293
  5. ^ a b "The Book of Common Prayer - THE PSALMS OF DAVID - Day 27. Morning Prayer". The Archbishops' Council. Retrieved 27 September 2014. 
  6. ^ "Wasdale – St Olaf’s Church". Visit Cumbria. Retrieved 29 September 2014. 
  7. ^ "Latin Vulgate (Clementine) - Book Of Psalms - Psalm 120". Retrieved 27 September 2014. 
  8. ^ "Psalm 121". Choral Public Domain Library. Retrieved 27 September 2014. 
  9. ^ "Funeral of Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother: Full text of the service held at Westminster Abbey". Guardian News and Media Limited. 9 April 2002. 

External links[edit]