Monday, 1 August 2011

Praying the Psalms

I have an unhealthy obsession with archaic language. Noticeth? My favourite translation of Psalm 22 (23) is in the Douay-Rheims. I absolutely love the rhythm, and that DR translation all together. Here it is.

The Lord ruleth me: and I shall want nothing. He hath set me in a place of pasture. He hath brought me up, on the water of refreshment: He hath converted my soul. He hath led me on the paths of justice, for his own name's sake. For though I should walk in the midst of the shadow of death, I will fear no evils, for thou art with me. Thy rod and thy staff, they have comforted me. Thou hast prepared a table before me against them that afflict me. Thou hast anointed my head with oil; and my chalice which inebriateth me, how goodly is it!

Oh! How good that sounds, how prayerful it is! It lets one realise that when we pray we must pay attention. When we pray, it's no use to just say the words, whilst thinking about something different. We must say a prayer with intention. Whether it's a prayer from your heart, or a beautiful prayer in a prayerbook, what's the use of just saying words. One well-prayed Our Father, is better than a thousand said without cause.

Also, another of my favourite translation comes from the Coverdale Psalter.

The Lord is my shepherd : therefore can I lack nothing.
He shall feed me in a green pasture : and lead me forth beside the waters of comfort.
He shall convert my soul : and bring me forth in the paths of righteousness, for his Name's sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil : for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff comfort me.
Thou shalt prepare a table before me against them that trouble me : thou hast anointed my head with oil, and my cup shall be full.
But thy loving-kindness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life : and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

That is most suitable for singing.

And, of course, my absolute favourite is the original Latin.
 Dominus pascit me nihil mihi deerit in pascuis herbarum adclinavit me super aquas refectionis enutrivit me animam meam refecit duxit me per semitas iustitiae propter nomen suum sed et si ambulavero in valle mortis non timebo malum quoniam tu mecum es virga tua et baculus tuus ipsa consolabuntur me pones coram me mensam ex adverso hostium meorum inpinguasti oleo caput meum calix meus inebrians sed et benignitas et misericordia subsequetur me omnibus diebus vitae meae et habitabo in domo Domini in longitudine dierum.

There is nothing better than Latin. My foot is down :)

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