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Wednesday, 16 January 2008

What goes unspoken...

I believe I read somewhere that 3 psalms are left out of the current missal and lectionary, that they do not appear anywhere, presumably because they are "difficult" (welcome to the "Church of No Hard Sayings!") or open to misinterpretation.
I wonder if there is an index anywhere, a reference wherein one might find when and if a particular scripture appears, either as the responsorial psalm or as the entrance, offertory or communion chant; either on Sunday or weekday.
Now, I'm not as good about daily Mass as I ought to be, but I don't recall ever hearing much of ol' Seventeen proclaimed:

The earth moved and shook, at the coming of his anger the roots of the mountains rocked and were shaken.
Smoke rose from his nostrils, consuming fire came from his mouth, from it came forth flaming coals.
He bowed down the heavens and descended, storm clouds were at his feet.
He rode on the cherubim and flew, he travelled on the wings of the wind.
He made dark clouds his covering; his dwelling-place, dark waters and clouds of the air.
The cloud-masses were split by his lightnings, hail fell, hail and coals of fire.
The Lord thundered from the heavens, the Most High let his voice be heard, with hail and coals of fire.
He shot his arrows and scattered them, hurled thunderbolts and threw them into confusion.
The depths of the oceans were laid bare, the foundations of the globe were revealed, at the sound of your anger, O Lord, at the onset of the gale of your wrath.

(I suppose it is frightening, not the cuddly God the Father we prefer to think about. Of course, I like storms. There is beauty in the bellow of a blast...)

But this was what jumped out at me from LotH today.

For forty years they wearied me, that generation.
I said: their hearts are wandering, they do not know my paths.
I swore in my anger: they will never enter my place of rest.

Now picture the Father as the cosmic version of "Uncle Bill," exasperatedly wiping and scrunching his own face with his hand as he half snarls, half whines, "Jodieeeeeeeeeeee....."

Yes, I think He's been remarkable patient. (And a good thing for me, too...)

*Not, alas, my trademark phrase


Anonymous said...

GILH 131: Three psalms (58, 83, and 109) have been omitted from the psalter cycle because of their curses; in the same way, some verses have been omitted from certain psalms, as noted at the head of each. The reason for the omission is a certain psychological difficulty, even though the psalms of imprecation are in fact used as prayer in the New Testament, for example, Rv 6:10, and in no sense to encourage the use of curses.

I believe that these and other psalms are left out of the Lectionary. I know many sections of Psalm 119 never appear.


Anonymous said...

Thank you kindly