Psalmody is the ABC for beginners, progress for the more advanced, confirmation for the perfect, the voice of the Church. It makes festivals radiant; it creates mourning that is in accordance with God, for psalmody draws tears even from a heart of stone.
Saint Ephraim the Syrian
Blessings as we usher in the Nativity Season
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Praise the Lord, for a psalm is a good thing;
Let praise be sweet to our God.
The Lord is building Jerusalem,
And He shall gather together the dispersion of Israel;
He heals the brokenhearted
And He binds up all their wounds.
He numbers the multitude of stars
And calls them all by name.
Great is our Lord, and great is His strength;
His understanding exceeds every measure.
The Lord raises up the gentle,
But humbles sinners to the ground.
Begin with thanksgiving to the Lord;
Sing to our God with the harp,
To Him who covers heaven with clouds,
Who prepares rain for the earth,
Who makes grass grow on the mountains
And the green growth for the service of men,
To Him who gives the cattle their food
And who gives food to the nestlings of ravens
When they call upon Him.
He shall not take pleasure in the strength of a horse,
Nor be pleased with the legs of a man;
The Lord is pleased with those who fear Him,
And with those who hope in His mercy.