Psalm 62, 25 Jan 15 (2)

Ps62 in the TWode Psalter 1564-1625
Psalm 62 in the Wode Partbooks 1564-1625

An earlier preliminary post on this psalm, since refined, featured the Wode Partbooks (pronounced ‘wood’)  in the British Library. Tempting, but this Sunday being close to Australia Day we shall not sing from its ancient treasures.

The Psalm

Turning initially to the text, the first verse we read or hear (this reading being verses 5-12) is one that caught our attention in the previous post:

For God alone my soul waits in silence, for my hope is from God (v.5)

David (the psalm is attributed to him) goes on to declare that we have a firm foundation and refuge in God. In verse 10, he takes a heavy swipe at the pursuit of status, wealth and power. I wonder if then as now, 1% of people hold 99% of the wealth.

On a lighter note, I was not going to reblog this good one from Theologygrams as it was more relevant during Advent (the purple, of course), but…  My excuse: verse 10 (‘extortion’) made me.I’m not sure that Thomas Wode would have appreciated it, but you never know. Thanks to Rich Wyld.


Libby is looking for everything Australian to mark the national day on Monday, including an aboriginal version of ‘Our Father’ and other good Australian songs to enjoy. A home-grown psalm response will be offered.

RoosVerses. Psalm 62 in TiS No. 33 is not by an Australian composer such as Christopher Willcock. However it does include verses that, unusually, coincide with the lectionary reading. Further, they are [I regret that I must repeat ‘unusually’] inclusive.

These verses are used by permission from A New Zealand Prayer Book and the tone is from a ‘source unknown’. Is that close enough?

Response. Composers have taken various approaches to that opening verse, interpreting our accessional state as resting, being still or silent, waiting or walking. The response in TiS 33 says:

Rest in God alone my soul.

Simple and gracious, while the first line of the verses says:

Yet be still my soul, and wait for God.

The idea that captured our attention in the Wode partbooks (see the earlier post on Psalm 62) was:

Yet towards God with silence have I walked; in whome alone all health and hope I see.

We shall sing a local composition referring back to the slightly more active interpretation of the old Scottish version in a modern context. Linking the key words, it is built around the following refrain:

In silence walk with God, our refuge and our hope (vv. 5, 7)

Additional notes –

  1. It’s the fourth Sunday which is loosely allocated to the men’s group. In the coming months there’ll be some swapping to match the occasions.
  2. The focus on Australia Day has occasioned variation from the advice given in the last Crystal Ball. I was attracted to the Tallis setting in PFAS 62C but in any case, some part singers are away and it has no refrain so would virtually be an anthem with no participation by the people.
  3. The arrangement of verses and tone to which they are sung is not often found in most of our regular sources, although it is a more common pattern in TiS. Text is presented in four lines with four different corresponding bars, rather than the usual two. This allows a more developed progression of tune and harmony, a nice gift to the cantors. This division also rather invites an antiphonal treatment with two cantors taking half (two lines) each, which pattern we may or may not follow according to how we feel at the time.

2 thoughts on “Psalm 62, 25 Jan 15 (2)

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