Isaiah 38:10-14, 17-20

Once I said,

"In the noontime of life I must depart!

To the gates of the nether world I shall be consigned

for the rest of my years."

I said, "I shall see the Lord no more

in the land of the living.

No longer shall I behold my fellow men

among those who dwell in the world."

My dwelling, like a shepherd's tent,

is struck down and borne away from me;

you have folded up my life, like a weaver

who severs the last thread.

Day and night you give me over totorment;

I cry out until the dawn.

Like a lion he breaks all my bones;

day and night you give me over to torment.

Like a swallow I utter shrill cries;

I moan like a dove.

My eyes grow weak, gazing heaven-ward:

O Lord, I am in straits; be my surety!

Lord You have preserved my life

from the pit of destruction,

when you cast behind your back

all my sins.

For it is not the nether world thatgives you thanks,

nor death that praises you;

Neither do those who go down into the pit

await your kindness.

The living, the living give youthanks,

as I do today.

Fathers declare to their sons,

O God, your faithfulness.

The Lord is our savior;

we shall sing to stringed instruments

in the house of the Lord

all the days of our life.