The Psalms in the Liturgy of the Hours
Some Christians have started praying some parts of the Liturgy of the Hours, like the Morning and Evening Prayers in the small Christian Communities, as a preparation for a meeting, in the families and even individually.
Some large communities are praying the Liturgies of the Hours as a preparation for the Holy Mass. However, much more can be done. By introducing some parts of the Liturgy of the Hours where it is not known, by explaining its value to the people, by helping them understand its content, especially the value of the Psalms, by teaching them to pray it properly, by making it more attractive with some singing, etc., the laity will come to appreciate it more and more. From: Enjoying the Psalms by P. Baudena & J. B. Gichuhi – Pauline Publications Africa
You stretch out your hand; your right hand saves me.
I thank you, Lord, with all my heart;
in the presence of the angels to you I sing.
I bow low toward your holy temple;
I praise your name for your mercy and faithfulness.
For you have exalted over all
your name and your promise.
On the day I cried out, you answered;
you strengthened my spirit.
All the kings of earth will praise you, LORD,
when they hear the words of your mouth.
They will sing of the ways of the LORD:
“How great is the glory of the LORD!”
The LORD is on high, but cares for the lowly
and knows the proud from afar.
Though I walk in the midst of dangers,
you guard my life when my enemies rage.
You stretch out your hand;
your right hand saves me.
The LORD is with me to the end.
LORD, your mercy endures forever.
Never forsake the work of your hands!
The prayer of thanksgiving
The psalmist representing the community is filled with gratitude and gives thanks to God for all the favours he has received in the past. From this experience of God’s faithful love, he is confident that God will protect him from any future dangers. This is an example of how God cares for those who seek for his help and his well aware of their needs. He also wants the people of other nations to acknowledge the greatness of Israel’s God who cares for all.
A Christian has an even greater assurance of God’s faithful love to the end. Paul tells the Philippians, “I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work in you will continue to complete it until the day of Christ Jesus” (Phil 1:6).
Prayer: Listen to the prayers of your Church, Lord God; in the presence of the angels we praise your name. You keep the proud at a distance and look upon the lowly with favour. Stretch out your hand to us in our suffering, perfect in us the work of your love and bring us to life. (From The Prayer of the Church)