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Psalmody:
What is it?
Why do we do it?
Sister Edith Bogue
Duluth Benedictine Oblates
15 October 2017
The Psalms as a Book
A Book, Not a Jumble
•The Book of Psalms is the first
book of the Writings in
the Hebrew Bible
•A book in the Christian Bi...
Organization of the Book: Benedictions
•The Book of Psalms is divided into
five sections, each closing with a
doxology (i....
Genres of Psalms
Not all psalms are the same
•Praise
•Lament or complaint
•Royal psalms
•Hymns
•Thanksgiving
•History
•Wisdom psalms
Liturgical vs Private Prayer
•Liturgy: pray all the
psalms in a schedule
•Private: choose a psalm
that suits your need
•Li...
Psalms in Hebrew Worship
Psalms in Hebrew worship
•Temple liturgies
•“Psalm of ascents”
•Sung, with markings
•Also part of the daily prayer
•Some p...
Psalms in Christian Worship
Early Church
•First disciples and apostles prayed the psalms
•Early church continued synagogue prayer
until they were no l...
Medieval
•Monastic liturgy
•Gregorian chant made psalmody beautiful
•Removed it from popular prayer
•Eventually, as Latin ...
Modern times
•Vatican II added a psalm to the readings
at Eucharist, tied to the theme of the Gospel
•Increased the exposu...
Spirituality of Psalmody
Psalmody is intended to be…
•Throughout the day
•Said by heart and from
the heart
•The topic of meditation
•Formation in t...
Psalmody in your life
•Daily prayer
•In liturgy
•Liturgy of Hours
•Lines of psalms that come
to mind
•The “genres” guide o...
Experiences with
Psalmody
-Explore a genre
-Consider context
(before & after)
-Study one psalm
-Pray in community
-Read ab...
Psalmody:
What is it?
Why do we do it?
Sister Edith Bogue
Duluth Benedictine Oblates
15 October 2017
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Psalmody: What is it? Why do we do it?

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Slides from a presentation on the practice of psalmody in Benedictine monasteries.

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Psalmody: What is it? Why do we do it?

  1. 1. Psalmody: What is it? Why do we do it? Sister Edith Bogue Duluth Benedictine Oblates 15 October 2017
  2. 2. The Psalms as a Book
  3. 3. A Book, Not a Jumble •The Book of Psalms is the first book of the Writings in the Hebrew Bible •A book in the Christian Bible •The book is an anthology of individual psalms, with 150 in the Jewish and Western Christian tradition.
  4. 4. Organization of the Book: Benedictions •The Book of Psalms is divided into five sections, each closing with a doxology (i.e., a benediction): •Book 1 (Psalms 1–41) •Book 2 (Psalms 42–72) •Book 3 (Psalms 73–89) •Book 4 (Psalms 90–106) •Book 5 (Psalms 107–150) •Consider each in context
  5. 5. Genres of Psalms
  6. 6. Not all psalms are the same •Praise •Lament or complaint •Royal psalms •Hymns •Thanksgiving •History •Wisdom psalms
  7. 7. Liturgical vs Private Prayer •Liturgy: pray all the psalms in a schedule •Private: choose a psalm that suits your need •Liturgy: pray for the needs of all the world. •A training of the heart
  8. 8. Psalms in Hebrew Worship
  9. 9. Psalms in Hebrew worship •Temple liturgies •“Psalm of ascents” •Sung, with markings •Also part of the daily prayer •Some psalms said several times each day •Spiritual foundation of ancient Judaism •Rituals and liturgies •These are the prayers that Jesus knew
  10. 10. Psalms in Christian Worship
  11. 11. Early Church •First disciples and apostles prayed the psalms •Early church continued synagogue prayer until they were no longer welcome. •Cornerstone of Liturgy of the Hours •Psalmody during pilgrimage
  12. 12. Medieval •Monastic liturgy •Gregorian chant made psalmody beautiful •Removed it from popular prayer •Eventually, as Latin was not used, few lay people prayed the Liturgy of the Hours •“Little Office of the Virgin Mary” replaced it in many places.
  13. 13. Modern times •Vatican II added a psalm to the readings at Eucharist, tied to the theme of the Gospel •Increased the exposure of lay people to psalms •Less understanding of the structure of the psalms as a book
  14. 14. Spirituality of Psalmody
  15. 15. Psalmody is intended to be… •Throughout the day •Said by heart and from the heart •The topic of meditation •Formation in the ways of God’s action in the world •Turning heart and mind to praise and thanksgiving
  16. 16. Psalmody in your life •Daily prayer •In liturgy •Liturgy of Hours •Lines of psalms that come to mind •The “genres” guide our own styles of prayer
  17. 17. Experiences with Psalmody -Explore a genre -Consider context (before & after) -Study one psalm -Pray in community -Read about psalms
  18. 18. Psalmody: What is it? Why do we do it? Sister Edith Bogue Duluth Benedictine Oblates 15 October 2017

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