Psalm 137:9


I was just wondering if verse 9 in Psalm 137 is included in the Liturgy of the Hours. I have been praying it sometimes (only morning and evening) and never encountered it yet. Are there any verses from Psalms that do not appear in those prayers? Thanks.


Remember that the Liturgy of the Hours has 7 prayers each day so you may be missing alot if you only say morning and evening. I am not sure what Psalms are missing in the Liturgy of the Hours. Good question though. One interesting note, I believe its the Penitential Psalm 51 is always said on Fridays.


The verse says:
“(Daughter of Babel) … a blessing on anyone who seizes your babies and shatters them against a rock!” (NJB)

I was just wondering if it is repeated in the Liturgy of the Hours or if this verse is omitted.


Yes, a few verses were omitted. From what I have read, these verses appeared in the original Latin Office, but when the official Office was released in English some of these more violent verses were left out. Praying them in Latin wasn’t so much of a problem, but in English… It’s only a few verses here and there, and none of the omissions detract from the essence of the psalm. I don’t remember exactly which verses. Maybe someone can help us out.


Psalm 137:1-6 is the second Psalm in the Week IV, Tuesday, Evening Prayer.
Verses 7,8,&9 are not included.

Here is a Chart showing the Psalms used in the LOH.

(OR=Office of Readings; MP=Morning Prayer; DP=Daytime Prayer; EP=Evening Prayer; NP=Night Prayer)


Thanks so much. I’m glad it’s not included. I was wondering what to do if I come across that verse in the prayer if I could skip it or not. Now I don’t have to worry about it :slight_smile:


We shouldn’t want to avoid any part of the Psalms, or any part of God’s word. We can’t pick and choose only the pleasing parts of Scripture and reject the unpleasant parts. That is how other religions deal with Scripture but not how Catholics deal with Scripture.

Psalm 137 was written when God’s chosen people had been taken captive by their enemy, exiled to Babylon. It is a prayer for salvation at the hand of God. Why would anyone want to avoid a prayer asking for the salvation of God’s people. :confused:

Read 2 Maccabees 7 about the woman who’s seven sons are tortured and murdered before her eyes. It is violent, but it is also a beautiful picture of Mary whose own son was violently murdered. The mother of the seven sons exhorts them to be faithful to God’s law so that she can get them back when they rise from the dead. It is a beautiful picture of the faith of Jewish woman and it forshadows the absolute faith of Mary that Her Son would rise from the dead if he stayed faithful to the mission he had been given.

Should we reject 2 Maccabees 7 because it is violent? It is even read in the Mass, Nov 10 of last year.



TimothyH - what you said is true, I don’t have problems with that but you totally missed MY point - I do not want to PRAY the verse 9 because I would never pray for the children of my enemies to be shattered against a rock. It’s just not my thing.


Hello Hortenzie,

Was reading around, and I think verse 9 refers primarily to “eye for an eye” kind of justice; as the Babylonians had commited such crimes to the Jew’s. I suppose one would have prayed on these psalm with tears in the eyes, fresh from a grave injustice, for the perfect justice of God to come forth. It’s not in the office, and I suppose that makes sense (and since the Church as said so, the so be it).

Daniel Rooke.


It is a great help to reading the psalms by applying them in a figurative way in our lives today.

For example the verse you cited, I would read that as applying to the Devil, and his workers, being shattered against a rock. That I have nothing to do with him or his kind.

When I read about Jerusalem in some psalms, it is a figure for heaven or it could be a figure of the church.

Here is a website that may help you understand the psalms by Augustine.

May the Lord’s light shine on you.


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