Tears in Psalms

As we approach Lent, the beautiful hymn “By the Waters of Babylon” is sung at Orthodox services and starts to set the tone for the season in which we cultivate “joy-creating sorrow.”

Psalm 137

By the waters of Babylon,
there we sat down,
yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion.
We hanged our harps
upon the willows in the midst thereof.
For there they that carried us away captive
required of us a song; and they that wasted us
required of us mirth, saying,
Sing us one of the songs of Zion.

Psalm 58:8

Thou tellest my wanderings:
put thou my tears into thy bottle:
are they not in thy book?

Psalm 116:6-8

The LORD preserveth the simple:
I was brought low, and he helped me.
Return unto thy rest, O my soul;
for the LORD hath dealt bountifully with thee.
For thou hast delivered my soul from death,
mine eyes from tears, and my feet from falling.

Psalm 126:5

They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.


3 thoughts on “Tears in Psalms

  1. I posted just before reading yours…then I went back and referenced this beautiful piece, quoting Psalm 137…so in sync with my own morning meditation. Thank you for adding greatly to my daily – and now my Lenten – journey. Love and light, c


  2. We used to sing a wonderful round to Psalm 137, in a minor key. I miss those old songs from youth. Beautiful. I'm guessing you know about the tears in a bottle. It was common in the ancient world. The Greeks saved their tears too.


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