Monday of the Twenty-first Week in Ordinary Time

Monday, August 23, 2021

Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, we pray with Psalm 149, the beautiful praise song which is part of the rousing conclusion of this Book:

Let them praise God’s name in the festive dance,
    let them sing praise to God with timbrel and harp.
For the LORD loves this people,
    and adorns the lowly with victory.

Psalm 149: 3-4
Let them praise God’s Name in festive dance,
for the Lord takes delight in them.
Psalm 149: 3-4

Walter Brueggemann describes these final psalms here:

One of the richest deposits of such hymns of praise is at the conclusion of the Psalter in Psalms 146–150, in which the particulars of psalmic praise wanes, and the exuberance of praise becomes more vigorous and bold. In Psalm 148, the singers can imagine all creation, all creatures, including sea monsters and creeping things, united in praise of YHWH. By the culmination of the sequence in Psalm 150, there is a total lack of any specificity, and users of the psalm are invited to dissolve in a glad self-surrender that is to be enacted in the most lyrical way imaginable. Such praise is a recognition that the wonder and splendor of this God—known in the history of Israel and in the beauty of creation—pushes beyond our explanatory categories so that there can be only a liturgical, emotive rendering of all creatures before the creator.

Walter Brueggemann: From Whom No Secrets Are Hid

For me, these final psalms are like a resounding cymbal crash at the masterpiece’s end. It is a prayer simply to let these glorious lines sing and dance in our hearts:

Hallelujah!
Sing to the Lord a new song;
sing the praises of God in the beloved community. 
Let us rejoice in our maker;
let us be joyful in our sovereign God.
Let us praise the name of the Lord in the dance;
let us sing praise to God with timbrel and harp. 
For the Lord takes pleasure in this people
and adorns the poor with victory. 
Let the faithful rejoice in triumph;
let them be joyful even as they rest.

Psalm 149

No poem today. Instead two pieces of music to delight in Psalm 149

  1. Total Praise: One of my favorite hymns beautifully performed here in sign language.

2. Psalm 149 by Antonín Leopold Dvořák, original Czech. English version and sample of music below.

English

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