Fr. James' Lectionary

The Lectionary is both a reading program for completing all of Holy Scripture on a one year schedule, and a daily comment on a portion of the day's reading wedded to a poem to give an added perspective on the theme.

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Location: Amherst, Virginia, United States

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Singers: Bible Comment on I Chronicles 6 with poem by Christopher Smart, A Song to David

Daily Readings
Wisdom of Solomon 15, I Samuel 28, I Chronicles 6, Romans 16

Daily Text: I Chronicles 6

Singers
The text of I Chronicles six varies, for some translations include the first fifteen verses within chapter five. Those verses detail a priestly genealogy that has for centuries been accepted as a high priestly list. However, there is little internal evidence that these are all high priests, rather they seem to be a referring to an Aaronic genealogy that extends down into the Persian period in the 400’s. It is one of the most extensive lists of Levite priests in Scripture, but it is not composed exclusively of high priests.

The second section of chapter six begins also with Levi, but this time details Levites not descendants of Aaron. Rather they are descendants of Gershom, Kohath and Merari, in David’s time; Asaph, Heman and Ethan. These are the singers, the ones responsible for music in the temple. According to 6:31 David appointed them; theirs was not an order that extended back to the times of Moses. Aaron’s sons continued to be the priests offering sacrifices and caring for the Holy of Holies and the Holy Place, but alongside of them came these Levites whose roles were clearly defined as encompassing liturgy and worship, song and praise. They brought to life the worshipful service of the faithful in Israel. Like Aaron’s descendants they were assigned lands to support them, and these lands are detailed in the final section of the chapter from verses 54-81.

The singer’s names are on many of the Psalms as in 78, 88 and 89. What would we do without the musicians among us in every age?

from A Song to David
Christopher Smart

Glorious the sun in mid career;
Glorious th’ assembled fires appear;
Glorious the comet’s train:
Glorious the trumpet and alarm;
Glorious th’ almighty stretch’d-out arm;
Glorious th’ enraptur’d main:

Glorious the northern lights astream;
Glorious the song, when God’s the theme
Glorious the thunder’s roar:
Glorious hosanna from the den;
Glorious the catholic amen;
Glorious the martyr’s gore:

Glorious—more glorious is the crown
Of Him that brought salvation down
By meekness, call’d thy Son;
Thou that stupendous truth believ’d,
And now the matchless deed’s achiev’d,
Determined, Dared, and Done.
513:97

Collect for the Day
Accept our prayers, most merciful Father, through your Son Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with you and your Holy Spirit, belong glory and honour, worship and praise, now and for ever.

[476:649:from The Consecration of the Priest]

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