The bishop instructed them to perform a sacred task upon the conclusion of the ceremony: "All those who have been promoted to the first tonsure, or the four minor orders, say once the seven penitential psalms with the litany, versicles, and orations.
However, Possidius's text does not identify particular psalms, only that the penitential psalms are few (paucissimi) in number.
Instead of Augustine, it fell to an unlikely source to enumerate the first known list of penitential psalms.
He first mentions a group of penitential psalms in his commentary on Psalm 6, where he writes, "Be mindful however, that this psalm is the first of [the] penitentials.
Benedict of Aniane, a ninth-century reformer of Benedictine rule and practice, sought to give the penitential psalms a place in the Church's public prayer.
Pius V (1568) included the Penitential Psalms in an appendix after the Commons, the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and the Office of the Dead.
Roman Ritual 1614 Title V, Chapter 3], the penitential psalms were indicated in certain prayers for the anointing of the infirm and the reconciliation of penitents on their deathbed.
Outside of the official liturgy of the Church, the penitential psalms also appeared.
LEADING UP TO THE REFORMS OF THE SECOND VATICAN COUNCIL The penitential psalms slowly began to lose their place in the prayer of the Church during the first liturgical reforms of the twentieth century.
Following the reforms of the Second Vatican Council, the future of the penitential psalms and other of the so-called "little offices" became murky and the communication from Rome does not appear at all consistent.
The books provided a compendium of traditional rituals, such as the recitation of the seven penitential psalms and the litany of the saints as well as Gregory's injunction to imitate the actions of the crucified Christ.
Della Robbia's account of the final hours of Agostino Capponi and Pietro Boscoli, sentenced to death in 1513 as conspirators against the Medici, reveals that the men read the Athanasian Creed (which details Christ's Passion, descent into hell, Resurrection and Last Judgment in a discourse on salvation), contemplated the Miserere mei Deus, one of the seven penitential psalms, and denial of Peter (Mark 14:66-72), and recited Psalm 69 ('Save me, O God; for the waters are come in unto my soul') and, repeatedly, the Credo, intermittently, the brothers of the Compagnia dei Neri sang penitential psalms and, at some point, arranged for a Savonarolan Dominican friar to serve as a spiritual counsellor to the two prisoners and take (or coax) their confessions.
64) Sympathetically, they sang to him penitential psalms, particularly the Miserere, and the Litany of Loreto, while he gazed at a panel from their diverse collection of tavolette.
Of the seven penitential psalms, the 102nd would have been especially appropriate, with its references in verse 20 to the 'groaning of the prisoner' and 'to loose those that are appointed to death'.