Sunday, March 17
Note: Writers on Sundays were asked to address the power of psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs in their lives.

Poetic words that spark our imagination are part of the appeal of all the psalms. In the psalms, “the seas roar, the trees of the forest sing. The earth rejoices.” Through the poetry of the psalms we are taken to the heights of joy or to the depths of the valleys of shadows. Psalms lift our spirits and turn our hearts to God, the Creator.

“Bless the Lord, my soul,
and bless God’s holy name.
Bless the Lord, my soul,
who leads me into life.”

The hymn refrain, “Bless the Lord My Soul,” is based on Psalm 103. It was composed for the Taizé community by Jacques Berthier (1923-1994), the organist of Saint-Ignace Church in Paris. The Taizé Community, an ecumenical community in Taizé, France, was founded in 1940. This community brings together people from around the world to pray and meditate using scripture and song.

Singing the psalms is a form of prayer that brings us closer to God. In this Taizé hymn refrain, the repetition of the words and music offer us a chance to go deeper into the words of scripture, helping us to clear our minds and focus only on our prayer to God. When used as an introit, this refrain transports us from our daily lives and helps us prepare for worship.

For every moment of our lives, there is a psalm. A psalm of trust, a psalm of lament, a psalm of thanksgiving, a psalm of praise. As we move from the valleys of shadows to the highest mountains of our lives, may we turn to the psalms for comfort, strength and praise.

If you would like to listen to the refrain, “Bless the Lord My Soul,” here is a link:

A Psalm Prayer: God of life and love, we bless your holy name. We lift our praises to you. May our meditations be acceptable in your sight. Amen.

Miriam Gentle

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