Summer of Psalms

Psalm 139 - Summer of Psalms photo

During Lent and Easter of 2018, St. Michael’s parishioners loved participating in The Good Book Club, reading all of the Gospel According to Luke and the Acts of the Apostles together. As the experience drew to a close, we kept getting the same question:

What’s next?

If you want to stay engaged with scripture in the same thoughtful and thorough ways we’ve been practicing together this spring, then get ready for the Summer of Psalms.

 

What are the Psalms?

“This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it!” 

For nearly 3,000 years, humans have reached out to the divine through the Psalms, the Hebrew Bible’s book of hymns that reveal the gratitude, fear, and longing of the human heart. The poetry of the Psalms expresses the awe at the world’s beauty; offer prayers for hope, justice or solace in the face of suffering; and express the range of human emotions – elation and weariness, joy and despair. (Mark Bussell – White Light Festival)

This summer, join us in reading the Psalms and see how these early songs still resonate with us today.

What’s the plan?

Between May 27 and September 2, we invite you to join St. Michael’s in reading all 150 psalms. That works out to about a psalm or two per day.

How do I discuss them?

There’s no single right answer to this question, but we have a few ideas:

  • Read the Psalm(s) together at the dinner table and discuss the reflection question.
  • Read the Psalm(s) in the morning and pray or journal about the reflection question.
  • Read the Psalms(s) on your commute and share your thoughts on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram using the hashtag #SummerPsalmsSMC.

Where do I find them?

We’ll post links to each week’s Summer of Psalms readings and reflection questions, right on this page (shortcut: saintmichaelschurch.org/psalms). Our companions on this journey will be Lincoln Center’s curators of The Psalms Experience, a 2017 multimedia festival featuring the psalm translations of Bible scholar Robert Alter and Norman Fischer paired with photos from the New York Times archive.

If you don’t want to read on your web browser, might we recommend a paper or electronic Bible or Book of Common Prayer app?

Every Bible has the Book of Psalms, usually between Job and Proverbs. If you don’t own a good printed Bible with study notes, we recommend the New Revised Standard Version (New Oxford Annotated or HarperCollins) or the Common English Bible.

If you’re looking for a high-quality Bible app, try NeuBible (currently iPhone only), Olive Tree (all platforms), or Our Bible (iPhone and Android, includes progressive commentaries).

The Book of Common Prayer contains a poetic (and public domain) translation of the Psalms. You can access it at bcponline.org or in the Book of Common Prayer app.

**

Enjoy the Summer of Psalms!

Image credit: Matt Botsford on Unsplash