Wedding Lectionary: Psalm 145: (9a) 8-9, 10 & 15, 17-18

Psalms 145 is one of three ordinary time common psalms that appear in the wedding Lectionary. Like Psalm 34, it’s an acrostic composition, the first letter of each verse giving the Hebrew alphabet in order. Unlike Psalm 34, it doesn’t really go into much depth on its various themes. Psalm 103 is pretty close in terms of overall theme and development. If you’re an engaged couple trying to choose between 103 and 145, you might as well just consider musical settings of each and pick the one you like.


The Lord is compassionate toward all his works.

This is one awkward refrain to set to music. I composed a setting for my younger brother’s wedding ten years ago and I never got used to the refrain. I’d prefer an alleluia if this is the best the Lectionary or ICEL can devise.

The Lord is gracious and merciful,

slow to anger and of great kindness.

The Lord is good to all

and compassionate toward all his works.


Let all your works give you thanks, O Lord,

and let your faithful ones bless you.

The eyes of all look hopefully to you

and you give them their food in due season.


The Lord is just in all his ways

and holy in all his works.

The Lord is near to all who call upon him,

to all who call upon him in truth.


The psalm begins with an expression of praise to God, but the Lectionary editors plant the wedding psalmist in the middle of the text. The good news is that this collection of verses picks up on one of Psalm 145’s themes, that of faithful believers petitioning God for divine grace.

This idea does work well in the context of the wedding, though more couples choose something along the theme of praise of God. If an engaged couple had a sound awareness of their dependence on God, this is a good choice. This psalm works particularly well with the Old Testament passage from Tobit 8, though it might be a bit much to expect the congregation to be aware of the ins and outs of Tobiah and Sarah’s story.

When looking at any of the Psalm 145 settings for ordinary time, be aware the Lectionary’s text emphasizes the kingship of God. That’s not a bad notion to add to a Catholic wedding. But it doesn’t focus exclusively on the theme of petition and grace the wedding selection offers. I think the Lectionary setting for Sunday Mass is a bit scattered in focus. The wedding verses make for a tighter development.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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14 Responses to Wedding Lectionary: Psalm 145: (9a) 8-9, 10 & 15, 17-18

  1. Megan says:

    I am trying to find the music for Psalm 145 – The Lord is compassionate toward all his works. Do you know where I can find this?

  2. Bethany says:

    I am also trying to find the sheet music for this particular responsorial psalm. I am the cantor in a wedding and no one can seem to find this music. Do you know where I could get some? The wedding is the 19th of september and I was just asked to sing but have no way of knowing where to get the music for this is. It is the same you have listed Psalm 145: (9a) 8-9, 10 & 15, 17-18”. Your help would be greatly appreciated.

  3. Sharon says:

    So does anyone have music for this?? Please help

  4. Todd says:

    Sharon, I have several good settings of this in my files. I wrote one for my younger brother’s wedding about ten years ago. But lacking a particular singer, a particular couple, or knowing if the accompanist is a pianist, an organist, a guitarist, or non-existent, I hesitate to offer suggestions in print here.

    That’s really the job of a parish music director, and it’s a ministry best conducted personally.

    • Kimberly Q. says:

      Hello Todd,

      I’m using this Psalm in my wedding this weekend, and the musicians just told me they do not have the music. I did not foresee this happening, I would need it, so now I’m in a bind! Do you have any recommendations on how I can get this? I’m going to be having 1 cantor sing and a pianist accompany him. Would you be able to help at all?


      Kimberly Q. (kimberly_mark(at)hotmail(dot)com)

      • Susan says:

        Try a Gelineau setting – look his name up, and see a setting for Psalm 144-145. You may have to buy it on line. Don’t worry about the words being exact — The usual published work is “The Lord is comnpassionate toward all his people (or creatures”). if you want “works” in there, just put it in the music.

  5. sam says:

    Susan HooKong-Taylor, Ana Da Costa have a version of the psalm, but they use “i will extol thee my king and my God, and praise thy name forever and ever” as the refrain. it’s on their album, which has “song of the cross” and another beautiful song called “apple of my eye”

    • eileen baer says:

      You might want to check Chabanel Psalms on You Tube. This psalm is sung and info on downloads and music is available. I came across this looking for responsorial psalms for both my daughter’s weddings this year.

  6. Cesar says:

    Jeannie Cotter has a nice setting of Psalm 145, I think Colson does as well. Email me and I’ll shoot you some links.


  7. Gina Cook says:

    I will be singing this Psalm at a wedding also. The first posting was 2008 – it’s now 2012 and still difficult to find music with this refrain. Who would believe it?? I’ll probably just sing it chant style and wing it. Wish me luck!! :)

  8. You can find all the wedding psalms with music here:

  9. Michell says:

    I’m extremely inspired along with your writing skills as smartly as with the structure for your weblog. Is that this a paid subject or did you modify it your self? Either way keep up the excellent quality writing, it is rare to look a great weblog like this one these days..

  10. Evelyn says:

    There is also a nice setting of Psalm 145 I found on YouTube, and you can request the sheet music from the composer. You Tube link:

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