Psalm 143

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Begning of Ps143 in the Les Très Riches Heures du duc de Berry, ms.65, f.70v.

Psalm 143 is the 143rd psalm of the Book of Psalms in the Masoretic and modern numbering, corresponding to Psalm 142 in the Vulgata Clementina.

It is one of the Penitential Psalms.



Verse 2 is found in the repetition of the Amidah during Rosh Hashanah.[1]

Catholic Church[edit]

Among Catholics [edit | modify the code]

In the tradition, this psalm was selected by St. Benedict of Nursia from 530. According to the rule of St. Benedict, must Psalm 142 (143) is sung as a result of Psalm 51 at the Office for Lauds Saturday (Chapter XIII).[2] Nowadays, a number of monasteries still preserve this tradition.[3]

Psalm 143 is currently the fourth Thursday[4] prayed at Lauds in the Liturgy of the Hours and every Tuesday night at compline.


This psalm is a prayer request. The Psalmist's cry is divided into four stages: the psalmist is sorry and is not better than another; it is at an impasse; but he sees that the Lord has saved other men; so he puts his trust in the Lord. The psalm evokes the problem of a prayer request from the sinner, the one that persecutes the enemy. The solid base that helps the psalmist hope in the LORD is his reminiscence of the past, to verse 5: He sees the action of the Lord in his life. Another element comes in: to be adjusted to the will of the Lord, as the psalmist asks in verse 10. Verse 8 goes in the same direction. At the loyalty of the Lord must be unwavering devotion of the Psalmist, that his prayer is answered.


  1. ^ The Complete Artscroll Machzor for Rosh Hashanah, p. 367[unreliable source?]
  2. ^ Traduction par Prosper Guéranger, p. 41, Abbaye Saint-Pierre de Solesmes, réimpression 2007
  3. ^ Psautier latin-français du bréviaire monastique
  4. ^ Le cycle principal des prières liturgiques se déroule sur quatre semaines.