Heartwatch – Singing the Psalms, Benedictine style

Psalms 59:16-17
But I will sing of your strength,
in the morning I will sing of your love;
for you are my fortress,
my refuge in times of trouble.
You are my strength, I sing praise to you;
you, God, are my fortress,
my God on whom I can rely.

One of my favourite prayer times at the Vine, our inner city prayer room, is on Wednesday morning. At 8 am, our resident Benedictine, Peter Tigchelaar, leads us in an hour of silence, Lectio Divina (a contemplative, prayerful way of reading scripture), and singing the Psalms, Benedictine style, to ancient “tones” (tunes).

Praying and singing the scriptures has always been a core value in GOHOP. Our values document states :

We value the Word of God as revealed in the Bible as an indispensable guide to prayer and the Holy Spirit as a helper and teacher.

I recall one morning when I woke up tired and cranky, and didn’t want to make the 40 minute walk to the prayer room. I was tempted to bury my head under the pillow, I sensed The Lord speaking to me,

“Submit yourself to the psalms.”

The book of Psalms was not only the hymn book of the early church, but it has also shaped the devotional life and practice of monastics through the millennia. In light of that, it makes good sense to me to build the contemplation of and prayer and singing with the psalms into my prayer life. Plus, I can totally relate to the psalmist as he ran the gamut of human emotion, and gave voice to his process with God.

2 thoughts on “Heartwatch – Singing the Psalms, Benedictine style

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