Sing on

No crystal ball could foresee the rapid and ubiquitous onset of COVID-19. The Lenten wilderness experience becomes closer to reality than we ever could have imagined. Following guidelines and with some specific risks in mind, at South Woden our regular singing group has been suspended.

Psalms in the South singers are sending our love, prayers and good wishes to all who are suffering.

As members of our communities must physically withdraw from each other, rehearsal and singing together will be suspended for a season. People are bound to be anxious or threatened by social distancing, sickness and financial hardship; regrettably, it seems that such extreme stress can sometimes incite extreme selfishness. Or loneliness may creep in under the door to rest coldly around you.

Candleholder from Abbé Fontenay

The candles may flicker and smoke — but they are by no means extinguished. Always to hand, the psalms encourage us to keep singing, (Ps.98) and to follow the divine way (Ps. 119) which is essentially the moral and social compass of biblical precepts, later summarised in the New Commandment.

We have just sung Psalm 95 last week, in which frantic thirsting people in the desert became unruly and angry towards Moses. The psalmist says: ‘Sing’. (v.1) May all readers feel secure and sustained in peace, love and trustfulness in these times of anxiety and suffering.

Peace in such turmoil will be hard to achieve: but as William Congreve famously opined:

Music hath charms to soothe the savage breast.

Wherever you are, in family groups or alone, continue to sing the psalms for solace, inspiration and hope:

  • Use these pages and your own imaginative resources
  • Sing your favourite tunes, even from Sunday School days
  • Make up your own tunes
  • Fit psalm text to that ear-worm popular song
  • Don’t be in a hurry, reach for peace
  • Look up a sung psalm on youtube
  • Choose a few simple notes and construct a chant.
  • Look for a key verse, then
  • Make a short paraphrased couplet to hold during the day.
  • Reach out mentally and verbally; share your thoughts
Ps.119:1 in a 1450 Gregorian chant manuscript, Rice University

How long must we wait? (Ps. 13) We know not, but wait in hope (Ps.130:5) until our lament is turned into dancing. (Ps. 30:11-12)

Contact me 

  • Make a comment below (comments may not appear immediately)
  • Use the contact page to report your experience in the psalms, concerns or needs.
  • Canberra people, call or request a call if you would like a chat or a suggested tune.

2 thoughts on “Sing on

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