We began tonight's study with an outline of the rankings of liturgical days: Solemnities, Feasts, and Obligatory and Optional Memorials.
We continued with the burst of praise that is Psalm 113. We explained the meaning of the word Hallelujah and the reasons behind the different spellings and pronunciations. We looked at its cultural context amidst the return from the Babylonian exile and its praise of a God who is both transcendent and immanent. Finally, we discussed how a Jewish and Christian understanding of the reference the barren woman bringing forth children might be different.
We conclude with another explosion of praise — Psalm 147:12-20. We explain why the Divine Office starts in the middle of the psalm and its context around the rebuilding of the wall of Jerusalem with several references to the Book of Nehemiah. We end in appreciation of how what God is doing in Christianity is different than any other religion and how that is a source of our praise.
Tonight's study started with the background of the pictured destruction of Rome and the harlot upon the beast that set the stage for Revelation 19. We briefly discuss the word "Hallelujah" and its evolution into "Alleluia". We spend some time examining the idea of eternal punishment and what the earliest Church believed about it. We conclude with an exploration of the bride making herself ready.
Tonight's study begins with Psalm 4 as a possible response of David to Absalom's rebellion. We branched into how we can and must find joy in our afflictions, digressed into one reason for intercessory prayer including prayer to Saints, and concluded with a discussion of complete trust in and surrender to the will of God.
We then continued on to Psalm 134 by first introducing the Songs of Ascents. We referenced the round the clock praise of God in the temple and its extension into our need and desire as a community to provide for those who today offer their lives in constant prayer and praise. With finished by dwelling on the deep intimacy we can have with God.
We then turned off the cameras and prayed Night Prayer of the vigil of All Saints which uses Pss 4 and 134 as the psalmody.
In this study, we begin by setting the context of Psalm 15 as David bringing the Ark of the Covenant to Zion. To do so, we spend time exploring the history of the Ark and its journey including the abuse of religion while the Ark is in Shiloh, the capture and return of the Ark, and the disturbing incident of Uzzah being killed for steadying the Ark during transport. This leads to a discussion on conscience. We then expound the psalm itself including the issues of "despising the reprobate" and not lending money at interest.
We explore Psalm 8 in this study both from the perspective of the psalmist musing on the greatest of God as revealed in His creation and yet having such concern and granting such exaltation to mankind and from the perspective of Christians awestruck at the wonder of what God is doing in Christianity through Jesus and the hypostatic union. We discussed the danger the power God wishes to give us poses and the need for conversion to be prepared to receive such power. We also look at some of the ways the New Testament writers used this psalm and saw it as prophetic.
This study explores Psalm 63 including its possible context of Absalom's rebellion against David. We considered how we can still see God's power and glory in His sanctuary today. We dwelt upon what it means to value God's love even more than life itself. We spoke of spiritual delights and intimacy with God and challenged ourselves to see how close we are to Him gauged against this psalm.
We cover the topic of deutero-canonical works and a brief history of the Old Testament canon in the first part of the study since this section of scripture is part of the deuterocanon. We then continue with the context and content of this great invitation to all creation to praise God.
We examine Psalm 149 in this study as the last of the psalms for Morning Prayer for the Solemnity of All Souls. We discuss the context and dwell chiefly on the points the second exodus, the wonder of God delighting in His people, and the unpleasant need to eventually deal with those who reject God in order to bring about lasting peace.
Tonight's study starts with Psalm 120. We use it as an opportunity to discuss verbal emphasis which is lost translating from Hebrew to English and ways in which we can try to recover that emphasis. We examined the psalmist's lament over living among those who are wicked and then explored a Christian approach to the same difficulty.
The second half continued with Psalm 121. We discussed how the Psalms provide a variety of human perspectives on the same unchanging God, God's persistence providence, and how sometimes it seems that providence is lacking.
We try to capture the awe and amazement of a pilgrim coming to Jerusalem to worship as we explore this Psalm. This leads naturally to a discussion of the awe and amazement in our lives as Christians to have God ever present and the sublime wonder of worship in Holy Eucharist, Holy Thanksgiving. We discuss the Church as the new Jerusalem and the temple of God, the implications for worship, and the need to build this new Jerusalem in peace and unity. We digress to discuss the sacrifices of the Day of Atonement in Leviticus 16 to better understand the section of the Letter to the Hebrews that discusses the need to assemble together. We conclude with a discussion of how it is God who makes the Church special.