The Liturgy of the Hours
Compiled by Fr. Felix Just, S.J., Ph.D.


Psalms and Verses Omitted from the Four-Week Psalter

The Psalter of the Liturgy of the Hours includes almost all the verses of almost all the psalms, with very few expecttions. If one considers the teachings of Jesus, then it should be clear why three entire psalms and a few selected verses from fifteeen other psalms were omitted. Consider what Jesus taught, as we read in two of the Gospels:

Verses Omitted from Particular Psalms:  

Four-Week Psalter Psalm verses used Verse(s) Omitted Text Omitted (NAB translation)
Week 1: Monday MP Ps 5:2-10, 12-13 omit v. 11 Declare them guilty, God; make them fall by their own devices.
Drive them out for their many sins; for they have rebelled against you.
Week 1: Tuesday EP Ps 21:2-8, 14 omit vv. 9-13 9 Your hand will find all your enemies; your right hand will find your foes!
10 At the time of your coming you will make them a fiery furnace.
Then the LORD in his anger will consume them, devour them with fire.
11 Even their descendants you will wipe out from the earth, their offspring from the human race.
12 Though they intend evil against you, devising plots, they will not succeed,
13 For you will put them to flight; you will aim at their faces with your bow.
Week 1: Friday DP Ps 28:1-3, 6-9 omit vv. 4-5 4 Repay them for their deeds, for the evil that they do.
For the work of their hands repay them; give them what they deserve.
5 Because they do not understand the LORD’s works, the work of his hands,
He will tear them down, never to rebuild them.
Week 2: Monday OR Ps 31:1-17, 20-25 omit vv. 18-19 18 Do not let me be put to shame, for I have called to you, LORD.
Put the wicked to shame; reduce them to silence in Sheol.
19 Strike dumb their lying lips, which speak arrogantly against the righteous in contempt and scorn.
Week 2: Monday DP Ps 40:2-14, 17-18 omit vv. 15-16 15 May those who seek to destroy my life be shamed and confounded.
Turn back in disgrace those who desire my ruin.
16 Let those who say to me “Aha!” Be made desolate on account of their shame.
Week 2: Tuesday DP Ps 54:3-6, 8-9 omit v. 7 Turn back the evil upon my foes; in your faithfulness, destroy them.
Week 2: Wednesday DP Ps 55:2-15, 17-24 omit v. 16 Let death take them; let them go down alive to Sheol, for evil is in their homes and bellies.
Week 2: Thursday DP Ps 56:2-7b, 9-14 omit v. 8 They are evil; watch them, God! Cast the nations down in your anger!
Week 3: Friday OR Ps 69:2-22, 30-37 omit vv. 23-29 23 May their own table be a snare for them, and their communion offerings a trap.
24 Make their eyes so dim they cannot see; keep their backs ever feeble.
25 Pour out your wrath upon them; let the fury of your anger overtake them.
26 Make their camp desolate, with none to dwell in their tents.
27 For they pursued the one you struck, added to the pain of the one you wounded.
28 Heap punishment upon their punishment; let them gain from you no vindication.
29 May they be blotted from the book of life; not registered among the just!
Week 2: Thursday EP Ps 72:1-19 omit final v. 20 The end of the psalms of David, son of Jesse.
Week 3: Thursday DP Ps 79:1-5, 8-11, 13 omit vv. 6-7,12 6 Pour out your wrath on nations that do not recognize you, on kingdoms that do not call on your name,
7 For they have devoured Jacob, laid waste his dwelling place.
12 Turn back sevenfold into the bosom of our neighbors the insult with which they insulted you, Lord.
Weeks 1,2,3,4: Sunday EP-II Ps 110:1-5, 7 omit v. 6 Who judges nations, heaps up corpses, crushes heads across the wide earth,
Week 4: Tuesday EP Ps 137:1-6 omit final vv. 7-9 7 Remember, LORD, against Edom that day at Jerusalem.
They said: “Level it, level it down to its foundations!”
8 Desolate Daughter Babylon, you shall be destroyed, blessed the one who pays you back what you have done us!
9 Blessed the one who seizes your children and smashes them against the rock.
Week 4: Wednesday EP Ps 139:1-18, 23-24 omit vv. 19-22 19 When you would destroy the wicked, O God, the bloodthirsty depart from me!
20 Your foes who conspire a plot against you are exalted in vain.
21 Do I not hate, LORD, those who hate you? Those who rise against you, do I not loathe?
22 With fierce hatred I hate them, enemies I count as my own.
Week 4: Friday DP Ps 140:1-9, 13-14 omit vv. 10-12 10 Those who surround me raise their heads; may the mischief they threaten overwhelm them.
11 Drop burning coals upon them; cast them into the watery pit never more to rise.
12 Slanderers will not survive on earth; evil will hunt down the man of violence to overthrow him.
Week 1: Sunday EP-I Ps 141:1-9 omit final v. 10 Let the wicked fall into their own nets, while only I pass over them safely.
Week 4: Thursday MP
& Night Prayer: Tuesday
Ps 143:1-11 omit final v. 12 In your mercy put an end to my foes; all those who are oppressing my soul, for I am your servant.

Abbreviations: DP = Daytime Prayer; EP = Evening Prayer; EP-I = Evening Prayer I of Sundays; EP-II = Evening Prayer II; OR = Office of Readings


Psalms Omitted Completely:

Psalm 58

1 For the leader. Do not destroy. A miktam of David.

2 Do you indeed pronounce justice, O gods; / Do you judge fairly you children of Adam?
3 No, you freely engage in crime; / your hands dispense violence to the earth.
4 The wicked have been corrupt since birth; / liars from the womb, they have gone astray.
5 Their venom is like the venom of a snake, / like that of a serpent stopping its ears,
6 So as not to hear the voice of the charmer / or the enchanter with cunning spells.

7 O God, smash the teeth in their mouths; / break the fangs of these lions, LORD!
8 Make them vanish like water flowing away; / trodden down, let them wither like grass.
9 Let them dissolve like a snail that oozes away, / like an untimely birth that never sees the sun.
10 Suddenly, like brambles or thistles, / have the whirlwind snatch them away.
11 Then the just shall rejoice to see the vengeance / and bathe their feet in the blood of the wicked.
12 Then people will say: / “Truly there is a reward for the just; / there is a God who is judge on earth!”

Psalm 83

1 A song; a psalm of Asaph.

2 God, do not be silent; / God, do not be deaf or remain unmoved!
3 See how your enemies rage; / your foes proudly raise their heads.
4 They conspire against your people, / plot against those you protect.
5 They say, “Come, let us wipe them out as a nation; / let Israel’s name be remembered no more!”
6 They scheme with one mind, / they have entered into a covenant against you:
7 The tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites, / of Moab and the Hagrites,
8 Gebal, Ammon, and Amalek, / Philistia and the inhabitants of Tyre.
9 Assyria, too, in league with them, / backs the descendants of Lot.

10 Deal with them as with Midian; / as with Sisera and Jabin at the wadi Kishon,
11 Those destroyed at Endor, / who became dung for the ground.
12 Make their nobles like Oreb and Zeeb, / all their princes like Zebah and Zalmunna,
13 Who made a plan together, / “Let us take for ourselves the pastures of God.”
14 My God, make them like tumbleweed, / into chaff flying before the wind.
15 As a fire raging through a forest, / a flame setting mountains ablaze,
16 Pursue them with your tempest; / terrify them with your storm-wind.
17 Cover their faces with shame, / till they seek your name, LORD.
18 Let them be ashamed and terrified forever; / let them perish in disgrace.
19 Let them know that your name is LORD, / you alone are the Most High over all the earth.

Psalm 109

1 For the leader. A psalm of David.

2 O God, whom I praise, do not be silent,
for wicked and treacherous mouths attack me. / They speak against me with lying tongues;
3 with hateful words they surround me, / attacking me without cause.
4 In return for my love they slander me, / even though I prayed for them.
5 They repay me evil for good, / hatred for my love.

6 Appoint an evil one over him, / an accuser to stand at his right hand,
7 That he may be judged and found guilty, / that his plea may be in vain.
8 May his days be few; / may another take his office.
9 May his children be fatherless, / his wife, a widow.
10 May his children wander and beg, / driven from their hovels.
11 May the usurer snare all he owns, / strangers plunder all he earns.
12 May no one treat him with mercy / or pity his fatherless children.
13 May his posterity be destroyed, / their name rooted out in the next generation.
14 May his fathers’ guilt be mentioned to the LORD; / his mother’s sin not rooted out.
15 May their guilt be always before the LORD, / till their memory is banished from the earth,
16 For he did not remember to show mercy, / but hounded the wretched poor / and brought death to the brokenhearted.
17 He loved cursing; may it come upon him; / he hated blessing; may none come to him.
18 May cursing clothe him like a robe; / may it enter his belly like water, / his bones like oil.
19 May it be near as the clothes he wears, / as the belt always around him.
20 May this be the reward for my accusers from the LORD, / for those speaking evil against me.

21 But you, LORD, are my Lord, / deal kindly with me for your name’s sake; / in your great mercy rescue me.
22 For I am poor and needy; / my heart is pierced within me.
23 Like a lengthening shadow I am gone, / I am shaken off like the locust.
24 My knees totter from fasting; / my flesh has wasted away.
25 I have become a mockery to them; / when they see me, they shake their heads.
26 Help me, LORD, my God; / save me in your mercy.
27 Make them know this is your hand, / that you, LORD, have done this.
28 Though they curse, may you bless; / arise, shame them, that your servant may rejoice.
29 Clothe my accusers with disgrace; / make them wear their shame like a mantle.
30 I will give fervent thanks to the LORD; / before a crowd I will praise him.
31 For he stands at the right hand of the poor / to save him from those who pass judgment on him.

 

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