Clergy Notes — Ninth Sunday After Pentecost, July 30, 2023

A small group of us, half a dozen or so, continues to gather on Zoom day by day to celebrate Morning and Evening Prayer.  The core of these services is the recitation of the Psalms, the hymn book of Israel of old, the prayers Jesus and his disciples would have offered, the prayer of the Church down the ages.  Early monastic communities read through the whole Psalter every day; the Rule of St Benedict expects all 150 psalms to be prayed each week; Cranmer’s Book of Common Prayer spreads them over a month.  The Lectionary we use follows roughly a seven-weekly cycle.

This regular praying of the psalms becomes in a sense the life-blood of our individual prayer, and that of the whole church, around the world and down through the ages.  The evening hymn puts it this way:  ‘As o’er each continent and island the dawn leads on another day, the voice of prayer is never silent, nor dies the strain of praise away.’  The strength of this prayer is the solidarity it offers with the prayer of all God’s people, of every time and place.

Reading through the Book of Psalms we discover that they are written from a variety of perspectives:  indeed it has been said that they express every human emotion and response to God.  We find praise, triumph and thanksgiving; confession and lament; prayers of intercession; songs of hope; fear, anguish, and anger.  Different psalms will help us open ourselves to God, depending on our particular mood or state of mind.

Here are some which I find myself turning to on occasion, according to circumstance (in numerical order, for ease of reference):

  • 22 – My God, my God, why have you forsaken me;
  • 32 – Blessed are they whose sin is forgiven;
  • 51 – Have mercy on me, O God, in your great kindness;
  • 62 – For God alone my soul in silence waits;
  • 96 – I will sing to the Lord a new song;
  • 121 – I lift up my eyes to the hills; from where is my help to come;
  • 139 – O Lord, you have searched me out and known me;
  • 150 – O praise God in his holiness.

Perhaps you might find some time to look through the Book of Psalms:  I trust that you will discover those which resonate with you.

Every blessing,

Fr Kevin


Morning Prayer 9.00 am               Monday – Saturday
Evening Prayer  5.00 pm               Every day
Zoom ID: 986 3976 8391
Passcode: 762469