Psalm 128

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Scroll of the Psalms
Miniature illustrating Psalm 128, Blessing on the Faithful, in The Very Rich Hours of the Duke of Berry, Condé Museum, ms.65, f.56r. An old man seated on a throne, surrounded by his eight faithful.

Psalm 128 is the 128th psalm from the Book of Psalms in the Old Testament. It is one of 15 psalms that begins with the words "A song of ascents" (Shir Hama'alot). It contains only six verses, and discusses the blessed state of those who follow Yahweh.[1] Written anonymously, it likely dates to the post-exilic period (that is, after about 539 BCE).[2]



In traditional Jewish practice, Psalm is recited following Mincha between Sukkot and Shabbat Hagadol.[3]It is also recited prior to Aleinu during Motzei Shabbat Maariv,[4] and among the prayers of the Bedtime Shema.[5] Its second verse is found in Pirkei Avot Chapter 4, no. 1[6] and Chapter 6, no. 4.[7]


Traditionally, this psalm was executed, since the Middle Ages, when the Office of none from Tuesday until Saturday, according to the Rule of St. Benedict (530).[8]

In the liturgy of the current Mass, Psalm 128 is the feast of the Holy Family, the 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time of the year A6 and the 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time of the year B. It is also the traditional psalm for wedding masses (missa pro votiva sponso and sponsa).


This psalm was used by Michel-Richard Delalande in 1698 to compose a grand motet which was played in the royal chapel of Versailles to celebrate the offices.


  1. ^ Psalm 128:1-6
  2. ^ James D. G. Dunn (19 November 2003). Eerdmans Commentary on the Bible. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing. p. 427. ISBN 978-0-8028-3711-0. 
  3. ^ The Complete Artscroll Siddur page 530
  4. ^ The Complete Artscroll Siddur page 608
  5. ^ The Complete Artscroll Siddur page 294
  6. ^ The Complete Artscroll Siddur page 565
  7. ^ The Complete Artscroll Siddur page 583
  8. ^ Prosper Guéranger, Règle de saint Benoît, (Abbaye Saint-Pierre de Solesmes, réimpression 2007) p46.