The Psalms

The Psalms   The book of Psalms (Psalter) in the Old Testament consists of 150 psalms. It contains divinely-inspired hymns and poems traditionally ascribed to the Holy Prophet and King David, although many were authored by others such as Moses and temple musicians. The Psalms are the prayer-book of the Church and are used in services more than any other book of Holy Scripture. They form the core of each of the services of the Daily Cycle and the Divine Liturgy. So prevalent are they in Orthodox worship that St John Chrysostom observed that wherever one looks in the Church, [...]

By |2019-01-29T19:58:39+00:00January 29th, 2019|Comments Off on The Psalms

“Where could I go from Your Spirit, οr flee from Your face?”(Ps 138:7)

«ποῦ πορευθῶ ἀπὸ τοῦ πνεύματός σου, καὶ ἀπὸ τοῦ προσώπου σου ποῦ φύγω;» (Ψαλμ. ΡΛΘ᾽ 7)  “Where could I go from Your Spirit, οr flee from Your face?” (Ps 138:7)   Psalm 138 is a remarkable portrait of the deep awareness the Holy Prophet-King David had of God’s presence in his life. David was well acquainted with every corner of the land of Israel. As a young shepherd, he would wander through the mountains, he spent much of his youth hiding from King Saul in the forests and the caves, and he fought many battles in the plains and deserts [...]

By |2018-04-14T09:32:21+00:00April 14th, 2018|Comments Off on “Where could I go from Your Spirit, οr flee from Your face?”(Ps 138:7)

Psalm 103

Psalm 103 Ο Προοιμιακός (Introductory Psalm read at Vespers)   The start of the Psalm provides us with a description of God’s Creation, and through it, revealing His might and glory. We read of clouds, winds, waters and mountains, all highlighting God’s glory and contrasting small humanity against His greatness and magnitude. But that is not the only image the Psalm projects. Subsequent verses provide a softer image of the Lord’s greatness through all the beautiful elements of Creation such as grasses, springs and trees. There are birds singing and an “earth that is satisfied with the fruit of your [...]

By |2017-12-08T09:57:34+00:00December 8th, 2017|Comments Off on Psalm 103

Psalm 50

Psalm 50   Psalm 50 (English Bibles, 51) is the only Psalm prescribed to be recited in its entirety during every celebration of the Divine Liturgy. Whether in the Liturgy of St Basil or St John Chrysostom, it is the prayer of a murderer and adulterer that the Priest must pray when the congregation commences chanting the Cherubic Hymn in preparation for the Great Entrance of the Holy Gifts. It is a Psalm in which, using the words of that great sinner David, one prays for God’s Holy Spirit, mercy and forgiveness. It is this strong sense of the presence [...]

By |2017-07-16T03:26:24+00:00July 16th, 2017|Comments Off on Psalm 50

“My heart and my flesh have rejoiced in the living God” (Ps 84:3)

«ἡ καρδία μου καὶ ἡ σάρξ μου ἠγαλλιάσαντο ἐπὶ Θεὸν ζῶντα» (Ψαλμ. ΠΓ᾽ 3) “My heart and my flesh have rejoiced in the living God” (Ps 84:3) It is said that David composed this Psalm in the desert beyond the Jordan. He was there because he was being pursued by his son Absalom after having been betrayed by his counsellor Ahithophel. We therefore have David searching for God in the desert. It was adopted later by pilgrims travelling to Jerusalem, so it has become the par excellence Psalm of pilgrimage. The Psalm speaks of an immediate relationship with the Lord. [...]

By |2017-06-19T16:57:49+00:00April 19th, 2017|Comments Off on “My heart and my flesh have rejoiced in the living God” (Ps 84:3)