The 23rd Psalm

Dec 31, 2009 | 0 comments

I have loved the stars too fondly

“I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night.”

The 23rd Psalm is a popular reading at Jewish and Christian funerals. It affirms that though we face trials in life, with God’s support we move through the dark times and can achieve wholeness and fulfillment.

Newer translations of this psalm have appeared in the last few decades. The version that follows is the traditional translation with some of the somewhat awkward “est” endings to verbs. If you prefer to use gender neutral names, you can replace “The Lord” and “He” with “God,” “The Divine,” or the Hebrew name “Adonai.”

A psalm of David:

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

He makes me to lie down in green pastures,

He leads me beside the still waters.

He restores my soul.

He guides me in straight paths for His Name’s sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,

I will fear no evil

For Thou art with me.

Thy rod and Thy staff, they comfort me.

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies.

Thou annointest my head with oil,

My cup runneth over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,

And I shall dwell in the House of the Lord forever.

Other Readings

You can find this reading in any Bible that includes Psalms. You can also find it and other appropriate readings for funerals and memorial services in Gail Rubin’s books, A Good Goodbye: Funeral Planning for Those Who Don’t Plan to Die and Hail and Farewell: Cremation Ceremonies, Templates and Tips.

Gail Rubin, Certified Thanatologist and The Doyenne of Death®, is a pioneering death educator and Certified Funeral Celebrant. If you are looking for a celebrant in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Gail can help you create a meaningful, memorable “good goodbye.”

A Good Goodbye