Psalm 119, 20 Oct 13

Candleholder from Abbé de Cîteau
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.

– Psalm 119:105

Great verse – perhaps you think back to Scripture Union days – but actually you won’t hear it this Sunday, as it’s just outside our Lectionary reading which includes verses 97 to 104. Never mind, the glow permeates the whole psalm.

As for the verses we do hear, one poet has captured the meaning of the whole of this long psalm in short verses. This is his rather neat riff for our bit:

Mindful of your truth inside me

Meditate with every breath

Needing only you to guide me

Never turning from your path.

This week we are blessed with the return of our regular male quartet (‘B3J’; thank you in advance, gentlemen) maybe even augmented with a couple more men if they are available. The more the merrier so please join in if you wish.

As has been our habit, we again share the verses between one or two cantors and the full group in true call-and-response.  The people respond with the antiphon:

O how I love your teaching; my meditation all day long

which goes like this:

Psalm 119 antiphon
Click to enlarge

I understand that ‘teaching’ in this case is drawn from the Hebrew word Torah. However, it implies a wider meaning than just the early Hebrew books of scripture.

[Thinks: hmm; you could also sing the short verse above to this one.]

By the way, we return to Psalm 119 in another two weeks (3 Nov), a communion Sunday. So rather than the regular antiphon for the first Sunday, we may use this one again. Let me know of any preferences.

Singers: for more information …

Gentlemen, you may do your homework as follows:

  • DOWNLOAD MUSIC including the words of the selected verses
  • LISTEN to MP3 – digitised and not much fun, I know, but the notes are there.
  • REHEARSE together Saturday at 5:00 pm.
Quartet returns with lamps
Lamps for the return of the Quartet?

The verses are sung to the same tune as the antiphon, adapting the words to fit, as usual, guided by the bar lines and hyphen marks in the text.

  • A cantor sings the first line of each verse
  • then all join in to sing the second line in harmony
  • lead the antiphon where shown, in unison at first as people are learning the tune
  • then in full enjoyable harmony for the rest of the psalm.

3 thoughts on “Psalm 119, 20 Oct 13

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