Psalm 114 or 118, Easter 4 Mar 21

  • Happy Easter to all readers. By the way, if you thought 2020 went by slowly, here we are in April 2021 already and somehow, the previous entry on Good Friday was Psalms in the South post #450. How did that happen?
The first notes of ‘Terra tremuit‘ by William Byrd, quoting Psalm 114:7; ‘Tremble O earth at the presence of God’. By the second bar, the trembling notes of all voices are already evident .

Several liturgies over this Easter weekend produce a list of psalms that might be sung. The list includes Psalm 114 for the vigil and 118 for the resurrection. The latter was mentioned only last week in relation to Palm Sunday (see this post>). TiS 74 is a good choice.

As for 114, the Lectionary follows the Hebrew tradition in which this is sung during Passover (פֶּסַח Pesach in Hebrew, hence Paschal as an adjective). This ‘hallel‘ psalm harks back to the freedom from curse at the Passover. It recalls, as many psalms do, the lessons learned during the traumatic time the Hebrews spent under slavery in Egypt and the miraculous escape across the Red Sea and into the wilderness.

For the children of Abraham this was freedom after horrors, and in a big way. The escape did not remove all hardships but showed a new way. Thus, tales from an alien life provide a timeless lesson.

For more on this psalm, see Psalm 114: Freedom, tremble >


Psalms for All Seasons rolls out a veritable united nations of multicultural music offerings.

You can’t go past 114C ‘Freedom is comin’ for a lively sound and valid prayer. Verses in PFAS are sung to a tone, but we will hear a paraphrase set to the tune of the refrain. There are plenty of spaces in this refrain for a few enthusiastic voices to chime in with ‘O yes I know’ in harmony. (PFAS actually suggest a whole repeat of the refrain with just these words alone.)

More music choices here>

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