Psalm 130
"From the depths, I have cried out to you, O Lord"
Penitential psalm
De profundis, in Les Très Riches Heures du duc de Berry, Folio 70r, held by the Musée Condé, Chantilly
Other name
  • Psalm 129 (Vulgate)
  • "De profundis"
LanguageHebrew (original)

Psalm 130 is the 130th psalm of the Book of Psalms, one of the penitential psalms and one of 15 psalms that begin with the words "A song of ascents" (Shir Hama'alot). The first verse is a call to God in deep sorrow, from "out of the depths" or "out of the deep", as it is translated in the King James Version of the Bible and the Coverdale translation (used in the Book of Common Prayer), respectively. In Latin, it is known as De profundis.[1]

In the slightly different numbering system used in the Greek Septuagint version of the Bible, and in the Latin Vulgate, this psalm is Psalm 129.

The New American Bible Revised Edition (2010) divides the psalm into two parts: verses 1-4 are a cry for mercy; verses 5-8 are a model expression of trust in God.[2]

The psalm forms a regular part of Jewish, Catholic, Lutheran, Anglican and other Protestant liturgies. It is paraphrased in hymns such as Martin Luther's "Aus tiefer Not schrei ich zu dir" in German. The psalm has often been set to music, by composers such as Orlando di Lasso and Heinrich Schütz. John Rutter set it in English as a movement of his Requiem.


Verse Hebrew Latin English (King James Version)
1 שִׁ֥יר הַֽמַּֽעֲל֑וֹת מִמַּֽעֲמַקִּ֖ים קְרָאתִ֣יךָ יְהֹוָֽה De profundis clamavi ad te Domine. Out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O Lord.
2 אֲדֹנָי֘ שִׁמְעָ֪ה בְק֫וֹלִ֥י תִּֽהְיֶ֣ינָה אָ֖זְנֶיךָ קַשֻּׁב֑וֹת לְ֜ק֗וֹל תַּֽחֲנוּנָֽי Domine, exaudi vocem meam.

Fiant aures tuæ intendentes in vocem deprecationis meæ.

Lord, hear my voice: let thine ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications.
3 אִם־עֲו‍ֹנ֥וֹת תִּשְׁמָר־יָ֑הּ אֲ֜דֹנָ֗י מִ֣י יַֽעֲמֹֽד Si iniquitates observaveris, Domine, Domine, quis sustinebit? If thou, Lord, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand?
4 כִּֽי־עִמְּךָ֥ הַסְּלִיחָ֑ה לְ֜מַעַ֗ן תִּוָּרֵֽא Quia apud te propitiatio est; et propter legem tuam sustinui te, Domine.

Sustinuit anima mea in verbo eius:

But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared.

I wait for the Lord, my soul doth wait,

5 קִוִּ֣יתִי יְ֖הֹוָה קִוְּתָ֣ה נַפְשִׁ֑י וְלִדְבָ֘ר֥וֹ הוֹחָֽלְתִּי Speravit anima mea in Domino. … and in his word do I hope.
6 נַפְשִׁ֥י לַֽאדֹנָ֑י מִשֹּֽׁמְרִ֥ים לַ֜בֹּ֗קֶר שֹֽׁמְרִ֥ים לַבֹּֽקֶר A custodia matutina usque ad noctem, speret Israël in Domino. My soul waiteth for the Lord more than they that watch for the morning: I say, more than they that watch for the morning.
7 יַחֵ֥ל יִשְׂרָאֵ֗ל אֶל־יְהֹ֫וָה כִּֽי־עִם־יְהֹוָ֥ה הַחֶ֑סֶד וְהַרְבֵּ֖ה עִמּ֣וֹ פְדֽוּת Quia apud Dominum misericordia, et copiosa apud eum redemptio. Let Israel hope in the Lord: for with the Lord there is mercy, and with him is plenteous redemption.
8 וְהוּא יִפְדֶּ֣ה אֶת־יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל מִ֜כֹּ֗ל עֲוֹֽנוֹתָֽיו Et ipse redimet Israël ex omnibus iniquitatibus ejus. And he shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities.

A marginal note in the Masoretic Text tradition indicates that Psalm 130:2 is the middle of the whole Ketuvim (Book of Writings) section in Hebrew.[3]

Liturgical usage


Scroll of the Psalms

Psalm 130 is recited as part of the liturgy for the High Holidays, sung responsively before the open Torah ark during the morning service from Rosh Hashanah until Yom Kippur. The custom of reciting this psalm during these times had long lain dormant until it was revived in the Birnbaum and Artscroll siddurim in the 20th century.[4]

Psalm 130 is one of the 15 Songs of Ascents recited after the Shabbat afternoon prayer in the period between Sukkot and Shabbat HaGadol (the Shabbat prior to Passover).[5] In some congregations, it is said on every weekday. In Hebrew, it is often referred to as "Shir HaMa'alot MiMa'amakim" after its opening words.

It is recited during the Tashlikh prayer.[6]

It is one of the psalms traditionally recited "in times of communal distress".[7]

Verses 3-4 are part of the opening paragraph of the long Tachanun recited on Mondays and Thursdays.[8]

Catholic Church

Ordinary use

According to the Rule of Saint Benedict established around 530, the psalm was used at the beginning of the vespers service on Tuesday, followed by Psalm 131 (130).[9][10]

Psalm 130 came to be associated with the seven penitential psalms which were recited after the hour of Lauds on Fridays in Lent in the medieval Christendom.[11]

In the current Liturgy of the Hours, the psalm is recited or sung at vespers on the Saturday of the fourth week of the four-weekly cycle of liturgical prayers, and on Wednesday evenings. In the Liturgy of the Mass, Psalm 130 is read on the 10th Sunday of Ordinary Time in Year B, on the 5th Sunday of Lent in Year A,[a] and on the Tuesday in the 27th Week in Ordinary Time on weekday cycle I.[b] It is also used as the entrance antiphon on the 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time.

Bell prayer

Requiem Mass and the prayer for the dead

The De Profundis bell is a slow, solemn and measured toll of the bell that marks the end of the day.

In 1610, Pope Paul V established the custom of ringing the De Profundis bell on All Saints' Day.[12]

Pope Clement XII encouraged Christians through his brief Caelestes Ecclesiae thesauros promulgated on August 14, 1736, to pray daily for the souls in Purgatory inviting all to kneel at the first hour of nightfall and devoutly recite Psalm 130 with a Requiem aeternam at the end of it. Pope Pius VI by a rescript of March 18, 1781, granted an equal indulgence to those who should pray the De Profundis in any place where no bell for the dead is sounded.[13] The Catholic tradition became that the De profundis and the versicle Requiem æternam were said after the evening Angelus.[14]

Consecration of new bell

According to the Rituale Romanum, the recitation of Psalm 130 accompanies the blessing of a new bell in a church or chapel, perhaps because the tolling of a church bell connotes a transition through death to life beyond.[15]

Book of Common Prayer

In the Church of England's Book of Common Prayer, this psalm is appointed to be read on the evening of the twenty-seventh day of the month,[16] as well as at Evensong on Ash Wednesday.[17]


De Profundis was used as the title of a poem by Spanish author Federico García Lorca in Poema del cante jondo.

A long letter by Oscar Wilde, written to his former lover Lord Alfred Douglas near the end of Wilde's life while he was in prison, also bears the title "De Profundis", although it was given the title after Wilde's death. Poems by Alfred Tennyson, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Charles Baudelaire, Christina Rossetti, C. S. Lewis,[18] Georg Trakl, Dorothy Parker and José Cardoso Pires bear the same title.

In the novel Fires on the Plain by Shōhei Ōoka, the character Tamura makes reference to the psalm's first line "De profundis clamavi" in a dream sequence.[19]

Musical settings

This psalm has frequently been set to music. It was sometimes used for funeral services, especially under its Latin incipit "De profundis":


Some other works named De profundis but with texts not derived from the psalm are:





  • Arne Nordheim (Clamavi for solo cello)
  • Simon Steen Andersen (De Profundis for solo soprano saxophone also playing percussion)
  • Djuro Zivkovic (in Citadel of Love the second movement 'De Profundis' - for chamber ensemble)


Martin Luther paraphrased Psalm 130 as the hymn "Aus tiefer Not schrei ich zu dir" (Out of deep distress I cry to you), which has inspired several composers, including Bach (cantatas Aus der Tiefen rufe ich, Herr, zu dir, BWV 131 and Aus tiefer Not schrei ich zu dir, BWV 38), Mendelssohn and Reger.


  1. ^ The cycle of Sunday Mass readings takes place over three years.
  2. ^ The lectionary on weekdays follows a bi-yearly cycle, alternating every other year.


  1. ^ Parallel Latin/English Psalter / Psalmus 129 (130) Archived 2017-05-07 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ Psalm 130: NABRE
  3. ^ Shepherd, Michael (2018). A Commentary on the Book of the Twelve: The Minor Prophets. Kregel Exegetical Library. Kregel Academic. p. 23. ISBN 978-0825444593.
  4. ^ Cohen, Jeffrey M, 1,001 Questions and Answers on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, p. 167.
  5. ^ Scherman, Rabbi Nosson (1984). The Complete Artscroll Siddur (3rd ed.). Mesorah Publications Ltd. p. 530. ISBN 0-89906-650-X.
  6. ^ Scherman (2003), p. 772.
  7. ^ Weintraub, Rabbi Simkha Y. "Psalms as the Ultimate Self-Help Tool". My Jewish Learning. Retrieved January 18, 2018.
  8. ^ Scherman (2003), p. 125.
  9. ^ Psautier latin-français du bréviaire monastique, 2003 [1938], p. 502.
  10. ^ Rule of Saint Benedict, traduction de Prosper Guéranger, Abbaye Saint-Pierre de Solesmes, 2007 [réimpression]((citation)): CS1 maint: others (link).
  11. ^ Jeffrey, David Lyle (1992). A Dictionary of Biblical Tradition in English Literature. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing. p. 185. ISBN 978-0-8028-3634-2.
  12. ^ Hillier, Paul (1997-04-24). Arvo PÄrt. Clarendon Press. p. 20. ISBN 978-0-19-159048-1.
  13. ^ Society of Saint Vincent de Paul (1869). Rules and Indulgences Granted by the Sovereign Pontiffs: With the Explanatory Notes Annexed. From the Manual of the Society. Council of New York. p. 65.
  14. ^ Heaven (1866). The path to Heaven, a collection of all the devotions in general use. p. 193.
  15. ^ Jeffrey, David Lyle (1992). A Dictionary of Biblical Tradition in English Literature. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing. p. 185. ISBN 978-0-8028-3634-2.
  16. ^ Church of England, Book of Common Prayer: The Psalter as printed by John Baskerville in 1762, pp. 297-298
  17. ^ "The Book of Common Prayer: Proper Psalms On Certain Days" (PDF). The Church of England. p. 6. Retrieved 19 April 2023.
  18. ^ Lewis, C. S., De Profundis, accessed 13 June 2022
  19. ^ Ōoka, Shōhei (1957), Fires on the Plain, Tokyo, Japan: Tuttle Co., p. 86, ISBN 978-0-8048-1379-2.
  20. ^ Free scores by De profundis (in g) (Antonio Salieri) in the Choral Public Domain Library (ChoralWiki)
  21. ^ Francesco Barsanti: Sei Antifon, Op. 5 in Sacred Vocal Music, 2018
  22. ^ Free scores by De profundis clamavi (Nicolaus Bruhns) in the Choral Public Domain Library (ChoralWiki)
  23. ^ Free scores by De Profundis H.156 (Marc-Antoine Charpentier) in the Choral Public Domain Library (ChoralWiki)
  24. ^ Free scores by De Profundis H.189 (Marc-Antoine Charpentier) in the Choral Public Domain Library (ChoralWiki)
  25. ^ De Profundis Clamavi ad Te, Lietuvą: Elements of Lithuanian Nationalism in Čiurlionis’s De Profundis Cantata
  26. ^ De Profundis, S.23 (Lalande, Michel Richard de): Scores at the International Music Score Library Project
  27. ^ "Henry Desamrest".
  28. ^ Free scores by De profundis clamavi (Josquin des Prez) in the Choral Public Domain Library (ChoralWiki)
  29. ^ De Profundis Oratorienchor Potsdam
  30. ^ De profundis clamavi / composer / Andrea Gabrieli (c1510-1586) Hyperion Records
  31. ^ Free scores by De profundis clamavi (Christoph Willibald Gluck) in the Choral Public Domain Library (ChoralWiki)
  32. ^ David Fay: Sofia’s Choice: Gubaidulina at 80 at the Royal Academy of Music, 23 February 2012.
  33. ^ [Arthur Honegger / Symphony No. 3 'Liturgique'] BBC
  34. ^ La Flute de Pan. "De profundis".
  35. ^ Pothárn Imre. "De Profundis Clamavi"
  36. ^ Out Of The Depths (Psalm 130) op. 142; 3 Edition Peters
  37. ^ "Boulanger, Lili, Musical score". Repertoire Explorer. Retrieved 12 March 2016.
  38. ^ The attribution of the melody is uncertain, see Braatz, Thomas; Oron, Aryeh. "Chorale Melody: Aus tiefer Not schrei ich zu dir (I+II)". Retrieved 17 February 2020.
  39. ^ Psalm 130 Sikorski