26 January 2024

Digging into the psalms of the Divine Office (2)

There is a thematic grouping of associated words and ideas which we certainly do not find in every psalm, but which is noticeable in quite a lot of them. It is based on the facts that YHWH is the Name of the Hebrew God; that his Name expresses in a powerful way his presence; and that this presence is to be recognised in his City, and especially his Temple, in Jerusalem, Sion.

Remember that I am writing about when the Jewish deity is called or addressed as 'LORD', not about when he is called 'God'.

So I will select exempli gratia psalm 121 (this is how Christians have always numbered it; 'Masoretic', rabbinic Jews and Protestants number it as 122; the same difference apears in the numeration of other psalms). In the older editions of the Roman Breviary it was appointed to be sung at Vespers on Tuesdays; since the changes made under S Pius X, we use it at Monday Vespers. (In the Liturgy of the Hours, it is appointed on some Sundays.)

I was glad when they said to me "Let us go to the house of the LORD!" Our feet have been standing within your gates, O Jerusalem. Jerusalem, built as a city which is bound firmly together, to which the tribes go up, the tribes of the LORD, as was decreed for Israel, to give thanks to the Name of the LORD ... Pray for the peace of Jerusalem! "May they prosper who love you! Peace be within your walls, and security within your towers!" For my brethren and companions' sake I will say "Peace be within you!" For the sake of the house of the LORD our God, I will seek your good.

Or consider psalm 137 (138): 

I will give thee thanks, O LORD, with my whole heart; before the gods I will sing thy praise; I bow down toward thy holy temple and give thanks to thy Name for thy steadfast love and thy faithfulness; for thou hast exalted above everything thy Name ...

Sometimes the mix is enriched with a mention of the Priests, or the Temple Servants and slaves of YHWH, who serve him by night as well as by day. 

1 comment:

Catholic said...

Any thoughts on the supposed or hinted at Conditional Episcopal Consecration of +Vigano which were hinted at being conferred by +Williamson and +Faure?