Sing a New Psalm: Communicating with God
Through the Prayers of the Church
This online supplemental material coordinates with the lesson that can be found on pages 88–91 of Sing a New Psalm: Communicating with God Through the Prayers of the Church. The study is based on The Revised Grail Psalms, the English translation of the Psalms approved by the Church for liturgical use. In addition to differences in wording of the biblical texts, other translations also may vary in the way that they number some Psalms and verses.
welcome to our study of the Book of the Psalms
We invite groups and individuals doing this 28-lesson Turning to God’s Word Catholic Bible study to take advantage of our supplemental online study pages. Sing a New Psalm: Communicating with God Through the Prayers of the Church has been granted an imprimatur and can be purchased from our website shop. If you have a question for the author, click on the “ask us your question” button on our supplemental pages.
we must accept that our days really are numbered
For this lesson Tami Palladino has drawn a tombstone next to a tree shedding its leaves. In Psalm 90, the Psalmist reminds us that our time on earth is limited. No matter what our situation, all men and women eventually experience physical death. There is a wide variety of ways each of us approaches this certainty, but for Christians, our physical death is viewed as the moment when we enter eternity. What we do with our lives before that happens is of utmost importance. Our strongly held belief in the eternal nature of God and our hope of the eternal life promised by Jesus Christ sustains us through worldly difficulties and motivates us to cling to our faith. What do you see as the most important thing that you would like to accomplish during your remaining time on earth? What can you do today to make the world a better place? Click on the image to enlarge Tami’s illustration, which appears on page 89 of Sing a New Psalm: Communicating with God Through the Prayers of the Church.
check it out—what does it mean that God is holy?
“Holy” on page 91 of Sing a New Psalm examines what it means that something is holy, a key attribute used to describe God. To learn some related words that contribute to our understanding of holiness and its importance to our faith, read Lost in Translation, an online column in which Turning to God’s Word author Matthew Phelps helps readers connect with ancient ideas expressed in the original Scriptures. New entries are posted on Tuesdays. If you’d like to receive Matthew’s comments about biblical languages by email each week, there’s a sign-up form next to the searchable archives.
the popes inspire us—a newer & better song
“Sing a New Song” on page 90 of Sing a New Psalm: Communicating with God Through the Prayers of the Church is an excerpt from a general audience with Pope St. John Paul II. In it, the Holy Father looks at one ancient Christian writer’s interpretation of the new song that is a theme in Psalm 98. Origen saw this hymn as an anticipated celebration of Christian newness.
WHAT DO YOU THINK about singing God’s praises in a new way?
? What new prayer can you offer to God today?
? What is there about some of your regular ways of praying that might be getting old to God?
? In what ways might singing a new song to God help you to remain aware of the limited amount of time you’ve been given on earth?
pragmatic Catholicism—making a sacrifice of praise
Some Christians are confused by the idea of a sacrifice of praise. The following reflection is by Rupert of Deutz, a Benedictine theologian who lived in the late 10th and early 11th centuries in Belgium. Based on the opening chapter of the book of Revelation, it applies to all biblical references about singing a new song to the LORD.
In heaven the sacramental species of bread and wine, which constitute our present sacrifice, will find no place. None of us, however, will ever lack matter for sacrifice there. Our lips will always be able to offer a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving, a hymn of rejoicing and the proclamation of God’s mighty works. … To keep one’s mouth closed and to silence one’s tongue, instead of voicing one’s thanks in acknowledgement of a favor received, is a sure sign of ingratitude. Therefore when John intones this short hymn of praise and thanksgiving: “Glory and power to him forever and ever!” let us all reply: “Amen.” In the words of the Apostle Paul: “Let every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.”
close with a Psalms-based prayer for Wednesday Lauds (Week II)
Many of our Catholic study groups like to conclude their discussions with a prayer based on the scriptural focus of their lesson. If you’re uncomfortable composing your own Bible-based prayers, you can follow our four easy steps. If you prefer, you can pray any of the Psalms in this lesson, or you can use the following short prayer.
O God, you have been the refuge of your people
from generation to generation.
Keep us mindful of the limitations
you’ve placed on our time on earth,
and teach us to view our relationship with you in a new way.
We ask this in the name of your Son, Jesus Christ,
who came to earth to make all things new. Amen.
Lesson 23 O Give Thanks to the LORD, Wednesday Vespers (Week II)—Psalm 136, Psalm 137, and Psalm 138
Lesson 21 The LORD Bless You, Tuesday Vespers (Week II)—Psalm 128, Psalm 131, Psalm 132, and Psalm 133
Despite our best efforts reading and rereading our Bible studies before we send them to be printed, occasionally something wrong or confusing sneaks past us. The commentary “Almighty King, Lover of Justice” on page 91 of Sing a New Psalm: Communicating with God Through the Prayers of the Church misidentifies the paragraph that is the source of a quote taken from the Catechism of the Catholic Church. The material is from paragraph 2064 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, not paragraph 2065. This error will be corrected in future printings.
2064 In fidelity to Scripture and in conformity with the example of Jesus, the tradition of the Church has acknowledged the primordial importance and significance of the Decalogue.
start a Turning to God’s Word Bible study
Thank you for your interest in Sing a New Psalm: Communicating with God Through the Prayers of the Church. A wealth of information about beginning a Turning to God’s Word individual or group Bible study can be found on this website at start a Bible study. Tami, Matthew, and I are available to answer your questions about Turning to God’s Word and to offer support. You may use this email to contact us directly. —Jennifer