Psalm 133, 17 Aug 2014

How good and how pleasant it is when kindred live together in harmony.IMG_0728.JPG

That’s it, folks. That’s the message of this psalm. Like most of the psalms of ascent, it’s short and sweet. There are a couple of images thrown in to help us savour the psalmist’s message — and they are typical of the psalms, images that stir your imagination, make you think:

  • Fine oil upon the head, flowing down upon the beard, upon the collars of Aaron’s robe. The pristine state of the high priest’s fine robes just don’t count against the value of a holy blessing.
  • The dew of Hermon flowing down upon the hills of Zion. Familial harmony is a blessing spreading gently down from the snowy heights upon the villages and streets of everyday dwellings in the foothills.

All quite cosy? The scene gets more complex if, like Jesus (Matt. 12:49, 50), you open the question of who is kin, who is your brother or sister? Do you have to be Tutsi, Jewish, Sunni, Russian, Protestant  … ? However we define the tribe, we have a long way to go.

Music

An interesting mix of styles can be found for Psalm 133, ranging from a William Byrd’s Ecce quam bonum to Samuel Wesley’s Behold how good it is, for male voices in three parts. Many of them present just verse 1. (Together in song skips this psalm altogether.)

However, during our current series of Renaissance music by Roland de Lassus and Gregorian chant, we are leavening these historical delights with songs from different cultures and styles.

The children’s orchestra  two weeks ago did a fine job on what I might call Evolved Everett. An African-American tune will appear in a couple of weeks. This week, we turn to a nice Spanish song, Miren qué bueno, found in Psalms for all seasons 133D.

All singers invited for this SATB arrangement which will sound great with many voices and a little energy.Latino dancersPhoto shows dancers from Latin America with plenty of energy and style. A little more South American music may be heard at Curtin church hall on Friday evening 22nd August when Los Amigos del Tango presents tunes from those countries.

2 thoughts on “Psalm 133, 17 Aug 2014

  1. Thanks to all singers for an energetic and tuneful rendition of this nice Spanish song. Just for the record, we sang this psalm on 15 April 2012 and used the Isaac Everett response from ‘The emergent psalter’.

  2. Pingback: Crystal Ball, Sep and Oct ’14 | Psalms in the South

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