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Tuesday, 10 January 2017

'Benedicam Dominum' - 'I will bless the Lord' (Psalm 33)

‘I will bless the Lord at all times’ – Psalm 33.

                    'Job mocked by his wife' (c1625) - Georges de la Tour

In Orkney, over the Christmas period, we have experienced torrential rain, hurricane force winds, and occasional thunder and lightning, resulting in periodic loss of mains electricity, and complete loss of the internet due to a burnt-out internet hub. After a wait of nearly two weeks, we have just received a replacement hub, and somewhat belatedly I wish all friends and visitors to this site, a blessed, peaceful, and happy New Year.

In my St Andrew’s missal, c.1959, Psalm 33 - 'Benedicam Dominum', is included in the ‘thanksgiving prayers’ after Holy Communion.
To mark the end of 2016 and the start of a New Year, what better than to offer this prayer of gratitude. 

PSALM 33.      ‘Benedicam Dominum’.

I will bless the Lord at all times:
      His praise shall be always in my mouth.
In the Lord shall my soul be praised:
      Let the meek hear and rejoice.
O magnify the Lord with me:
      And let us extol His name together.
I sought the Lord, and He heard me:
      And He delivereth me from all my troubles.
Come ye to Him and be enlightened:
      And your faces shall not be confounded.
This poor man cried and the Lord heard him:
      And saved him out of all his troubles.
The angel of the Lord shall encamp round about them that fear Him:
      And shall deliver them.
O taste, and see that the Lord is sweet:
      Blessed is the man that hopeth in Him.
Fear the Lord, all ye His saints:
      For there is no want to them that fear Him.
The rich have wanted, and suffered hunger:
      But they that seek the Lord shall not be deprived of any good.

Come, children, hearken to me:
      I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
Who is the man that desireth life,
      Who loveth to see good days?
Keep thy tongue from evil,
      And thy lips from speaking guile.
Turn away from evil and do good:
      Seek after peace, and pursue it.

The eyes of the Lord are upon the just:
      And His ears unto their prayers.
But the countenance of the Lord is against them that do evil things:
      To cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.
The just cried, and the Lord heard them:
      And delivered them out of all their troubles.

The Lord is nigh unto them that are of contrite heart:
      And He will save the humble of spirit.
Many are the afflictions of the just:
      But out of them all will the Lord deliver them.
The Lord keepeth all their bones:
      Not one of them shall be broken.

The death of the wicked is very evil:
      And they that hate the just shall be guilty.
The Lord will redeem the souls of His servants:
      And none of them that trust in Him shall offend.


                           Christ and the Penitent Thief (St Dismas) - Titian

                                                                  Feast of the Epiphany

                                                                     Adoration of the Magi

 'When Jesus therefore was born in Bethlehem of Judea, in the days of King Herod, behold, there came wise men from the East to Jerusalem, saying:  Where is he that is born king of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the East, and are come to adore him. And King Herod hearing this, was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.'

                                           'The Flight into Egypt' (1650) - Murillo
 'Behold an angel of the Lord appeared in sleep to Joseph, saying:  Arise, and take the child and his mother, and fly into Egypt:  and be there until I shall tell thee.  For it will come to pass that Herod will seek the child to destroy him. Who arose, and took the child and his mother by night, and retired into Egypt: and he was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which the Lord spoke by the prophet, saying:  Out of Egypt have I called my son.'

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