Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition
Prayer for Cleansing and Pardon
To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David, when Nathan the prophet came to him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba.
51 [a]Have mercy on me, O God, according to thy steadfast love;
according to thy abundant mercy blot out my transgressions.
2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
and cleanse me from my sin!
3 For I know my transgressions,
and my sin is ever before me.
4 Against thee, thee only, have I sinned,
and done that which is evil in thy sight,
so that thou art justified in thy sentence
and blameless in thy judgment.
5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
and in sin did my mother conceive me.
6 Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward being;
therefore teach me wisdom in my secret heart.
7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
8 Fill[b] me with joy and gladness;
let the bones which thou hast broken rejoice.
9 Hide thy face from my sins,
and blot out all my iniquities.
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and put a new and right[c] spirit within me.
11 Cast me not away from thy presence,
and take not thy holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of thy salvation,
and uphold me with a willing spirit.
13 Then I will teach transgressors thy ways,
and sinners will return to thee.
14 Deliver me from bloodguiltiness,[d] O God,
thou God of my salvation,
and my tongue will sing aloud of thy deliverance.
15 O Lord, open thou my lips,
and my mouth shall show forth thy praise.
16 For thou hast no delight in sacrifice;
were I to give a burnt offering, thou wouldst not be pleased.
17 The sacrifice acceptable to God[e] is a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.
18 Do good to Zion in thy good pleasure;
rebuild the walls of Jerusalem,
19 then wilt thou delight in right sacrifices,
in burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings;
then bulls will be offered on thy altar.
- 51 This psalm, known as the “Miserere,” is the one most used in the Office to express repentance for sin.
- Psalm 51:8 Syr: Heb Make to hear
- Psalm 51:10 Or steadfast
- Psalm 51:14 Or death
- Psalm 51:17 Or My sacrifice, O God
The Revised Standard Version of the Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright © 1965, 1966 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.