Psalm 139 and “I Was There to Hear Your Borning Cry”

Certain songs were meant to knit together with certain Psalms. “I Was There to Hear Your Borning Cry” by John Ylvisaker (BOB#116) and Psalm 139 are two such pieces. Here is a responsive reading that uses both pieces:

P: O LORD, you have searched me and you know me.
C: You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.

P You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.
C: Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD.

Congregation Sings: Verse 1

P: You hem me in—behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me.
C: Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.

P: Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?
C: If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.

Congregation Sings: Verse 2

P: If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea,
C: even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.

P: If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,” even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.
C: For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.

Congregation Sings: Verse 3

P: I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
C: My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place.

P: When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body.
C: All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

Congregation Sings: Verse 4