Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Christ the King Year A - Psalm 95:1-7a

Psalm 95:1-7a
I can’t read psalm 95 without thinking of the Venite from the Office of Matins in the Lutheran hymnal of my youth. (The 1941 Lutheran Church Missouri Synod red book – the hymnal preferred by God and the angel choirs) It was a long song sung every Sunday and was printed on two pages that required flipping back and forth to sing the next verse. Of course we all had it memorized so the flipping was just liturgical calisthenics which in some ways is the whole point of liturgy. It’s like breathing, something that generally goes unnoticed but is essential for life itself. The Venite wasn’t very interesting musically and it would be hard to think of it as shouting with joy to the rock of our salvation but it became so familiar that fifty years later it reminds me of so much more than the song. That sort of foundational memory is present even when everyday memory fades and in that way the great God who made the seas and molded the dry land is always present until the last song of this life becomes the first of song of the next and we enter God’s face to face presence with thanksgiving. 

1 comment:

  1. It's interesting to me that those of us who grew up with the other Red Book, the 1958 Augsburg edition, didn't normally sing Psalm 95 as part of weekly worship. I don't think it was part of the earlier Augsburg blue Concordia hymnal either.
    Liturgy does become foundational. When I sing childhood liturgies in my head I can envision being in a different place and time, for me comforting and idealistic memories. I wish life and faith could be that simple today.