29 April 2022
Praying with the Psalms in Easter:
29 April 2022 (Psalm 65)
During this season of Easter, I am reflecting each morning on the Psalms, and in this Prayer Diary on my blog each morning I am reflecting in these ways:
1, Short reflections on a psalm or psalms;
2, reading the psalm or psalms;
3, a prayer from the USPG prayer diary.
Psalm 65 begins a group of four psalms which are hymns of thanksgiving (Psalms 65-68), in contrast to the preceding psalms, which are laments. The Jerusalem Bible suggests this psalm is set ‘after a good year with plentiful rain.’
In the slightly different numbering in the Greek Septuagint and Latin Vulgate, this psalm is counted as Psalm 63.
Psalm 65 begins in the style of a prayer, transitions to a description of God, and concludes with praise to God.
Verse 1 in the New Revised Standard Version is translated: ‘Praise is due to you, O God, in Zion; and to you shall vows be performed’. But some translations introduce the concept of silence in this verse. For example, the New American Standard Bible translates verse 1: ‘There will be silence before You, and praise in Zion, God, and the vow will be fulfilled for you.’
In Jewish tradition, Psalm 65 is recited on Yom Kippur, and in some traditions at Shmini Atzeret in some traditions, directly follows the festival of Sukkot which is celebrated for seven days. Shemini Atzeret is literally the eighth day. This is a separate – yet connected – holy day devoted to the spiritual aspects of the festival of Sukkot. This year it begins at sunset on 16 October and continues until nightfall on 17 October.
Verse 5 is recited by people present at a brit milah (בְּרִית מִילָה), the covenant of circumcision or religious ceremony of male circumcision.
Psalm 65 (NRSVA):
To the leader. A Psalm of David. A Song.
1 Praise is due to you,
O God, in Zion;
and to you shall vows be performed,
2 O you who answer prayer!
To you all flesh shall come.
3 When deeds of iniquity overwhelm us,
you forgive our transgressions.
4 Happy are those whom you choose and bring near
to live in your courts.
We shall be satisfied with the goodness of your house,
your holy temple.
5 By awesome deeds you answer us with deliverance,
O God of our salvation;
you are the hope of all the ends of the earth
and of the farthest seas.
6 By your strength you established the mountains;
you are girded with might.
7 You silence the roaring of the seas,
the roaring of their waves,
the tumult of the peoples.
8 Those who live at earth’s farthest bounds are awed by your signs;
you make the gateways of the morning and the evening shout for joy.
9 You visit the earth and water it,
you greatly enrich it;
the river of God is full of water;
you provide the people with grain,
for so you have prepared it.
10 You water its furrows abundantly,
settling its ridges,
softening it with showers,
and blessing its growth.
11 You crown the year with your bounty;
your wagon tracks overflow with richness.
12 The pastures of the wilderness overflow,
the hills gird themselves with joy,
13 the meadows clothe themselves with flocks,
the valleys deck themselves with grain,
they shout and sing together for joy.
The theme in this week’s prayer diary of the Anglican mission agency USPG (United Society Partners in the Gospel) is ‘Logging in the Solomon Islands,’ and was introduced on Sunday morning by Brother Christopher John SSF, Minister General of the Society of Saint Francis.
The USPG Prayer Diary this morning (29 April 2022) invites us to pray:
Let us pray for efforts to prevent gender-based violence in the Solomon Islands.
Scripture quotations are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicised Edition copyright © 1989, 1995, National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. http://nrsvbibles.org
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This Psalm brings me back singing the solo part at Harvest Thanksgiving services many years ago. It was a favourite of many parish choirs. The music was by Greene. It evoked for me a deep sense of the generosity of God throughout the created order.
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