St Ephrem the Syrian: Let your mouth sing psalms and your mind pray

IT is better to sing than to read. Sing. People say that he who sings does not think ill.

Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica

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IF you stretch out your hand to work, let your mouth sing psalms and your mind pray.

Let psalmody be continually on your mouth, for when God is being named he puts the demons to flight and sanctifies the singer.

Psalmody is calm of soul, author of peace. Psalmody is convenor of friendship, union of the separated, reconciliation of enemies.

Psalmody attracts the help of the Angels, is a weapon in night-time fears, repose of the day’s toils, safety for infants, adornment for the old, consolation for the elderly, most fitting embellishment for women.

It make deserts into homes, market places sober.

It 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.

Psalmody is the work of the Angels, the commonwealth of heaven, spiritual incense.

Psalmody is enlightenment of souls, sanctification of bodies.

St Ephrem the Syrian, “Three Short Discourse”, No. 2: On Psalmody. From Anastasis.

More Psalms, and more on the Psalms, on my dedicated Page.

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Psalm 135(136)

Alleluia.

1 Give thanks to the Lord: for he is good: for his mercy endures for ever. 2 Give thanks to the God of gods; for his mercy endures for ever. 3 Give thanks to the Lord of lords: for his mercy enduresfor ever.4 To him who along has wrought great wonders: for his mercy endures for ever. 5 To him who made the heavens by understanding; for his mercy endures for ever. 6 To him who established the earth on the waters; for his mercy endures for ever. 7 To him who alone made great lights; for his mercy endures for ever. 8 The sun to rule by day; for his mercy endures for ever. 9 The moon and the stars to rule the night; for his mercy endures for ever.

10 To him who smote Egypt with their first-born; for his mercy endures for ever. 11 And brought Israel out of the midst of them; for his mercy endures for ever: 12 with a strong hand, and a high arm: for his mercy endures for ever. 13 To him who divided the Red Sea into parts: for his mercy endures for ever: 14 and brought Israel through the midst of it: for his mercy endures for ever: 15 and overthrew Pharao and his host in the Red Sea: for his mercy endures for ever. 16 To him who led his people through the wilderness: for his mercy endures for ever.

17 To him who smote great kings: for his mercy endures for ever: 18 and slew mighty kings; for his mercy endures for ever: 19 Seon king of the Amorites: for his mercy endures for ever: 20 and Og king of Basan: for his mercy endures for ever: 21 and gave their land for an inheritance: for his mercy endures for ever: 22 even an inheritance to Israel his servant: for his mercy endures for ever.

23 For the Lord remembered us in our low estate; for his mercy endures for ever: 24 and redeemed us from our enemies; for his mercy endures for ever. 25 Who gives food to all flesh; for his mercy endures for ever. 26 Give thanks to the God of heaven; for his mercy endures for ever.

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