give us grace that we may cast away the works of darkness,
and put upon us the armour of light,
now in the time of this mortal life,
in which thy Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility;
that in the last day,
when he shall come again in his glorious Majesty,
to judge both the quick and the dead,
we may rise to the life immortal;
through him who liveth and reigneth
with thee and the Holy Ghost, now and ever. Amen.
1 Samuel 16.14-23
Now the spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord tormented him. 15And Saul’s servants said to him, ‘See now, an evil spirit from God is tormenting you. 16Let our lord now command the servants who attend you to look for someone who is skilful in playing the lyre; and when the evil spirit from God is upon you, he will play it, and you will feel better.’ 17So Saul said to his servants, ‘Provide for me someone who can play well, and bring him to me.’ 18One of the young men answered, ‘I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite who is skilful in playing, a man of valour, a warrior, prudent in speech, and a man of good presence; and the Lord is with him.’ 19So Saul sent messengers to Jesse, and said, ‘Send me your son David who is with the sheep.’ 20Jesse took a donkey loaded with bread, a skin of wine, and a kid, and sent them by his son David to Saul. 21And David came to Saul, and entered his service. Saul loved him greatly, and he became his armour-bearer. 22Saul sent to Jesse, saying, ‘Let David remain in my service, for he has found favour in my sight.’ 23And whenever the evil spirit from God came upon Saul, David took the lyre and played it with his hand, and Saul would be relieved and feel better, and the evil spirit would depart from him.
I will exalt you, O Lord,
because you have raised me up
and have not let my foes triumph over me.
O Lord my God, I cried out to you
and you have healed me.
You brought me up, O Lord, from the dead;
you restored me to life from among those that go down to the Pit.
Sing to the Lord, you servants of his;
give thanks to his holy name.
For his wrath endures but the twinkling of an eye,
his favour for a lifetime.
Heaviness may endure for a night,
but joy comes in the morning.
In my prosperity I said,
‘I shall never be moved.
You, Lord, of your goodness,
have made my hill so strong.’
Then you hid your face from me
and I was utterly dismayed.
To you, O Lord, I cried;
to the Lord I made my supplication:
‘What profit is there in my blood,
if I go down to the Pit?
Will the dust praise you or declare your faithfulness?
‘Hear, O Lord, and have mercy upon me;
O Lord, be my helper.’
You have turned my mourning into dancing;
you have put off my sackcloth and girded me with gladness;
Therefore my heart sings to you without ceasing;
O Lord my God, I will give you thanks for ever.