Jesus Creed

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Our Common Prayerbook 24 – 3

posted by Scot McKnight

Psalm 24:7-10 is a double-set of exclamations: in both v. 7 and v. 9 the psalmist exhorts the gates to open, and in vv. 8 and 10 the psalmist describes YHWH and his entrance into the Temple. In the flow of the psalm, everything changes from vv. 2 to 3 and then from vv. 6 to 7. In vv. 4-6 YHWH is on the Temple hill, but in vv. 7-10 YHWH is entering the Temple. 

One can specify this back and forthness more particularly. One can see vv. 7-10 as the liturgical chants of the people to the gatekeepers and then the gatekeepers ask questions and then perhaps the people are the ones who answer the questions. It may well derive from David’s entry into the Temple with the ark.
Here it is in display, and it leads me to think again of the power and importance of embodied and vocalized worship.

People: Lift up your heads, O gates!
and be lifted up, O ancient doors!
that the King of glory may come in. 
Gatekeeper: Who is the King of glory?
People: The LORD, strong and mighty,
the LORD, mighty in battle. 
People:  Lift up your heads, O gates!
and be lifted up, O ancient doors!
that the King of glory may come in. 
Gatekeeper: Who is this King of glory?
People: The LORD of hosts,
he is the King of glory. Selah

Psa. 24:0   Of David. A Psalm. 
The earth is the LORD’S and all that is in it,
the world, and those who live in it; 
for he has founded it on the seas,
and established it on the rivers.
  
Psa. 24:3     Who shall ascend the hill of the LORD?
And who shall stand in his holy place? 
Those who have clean hands and pure hearts,
who do not lift up their souls to what is false,
and do not swear deceitfully. 
They will receive blessing from the LORD,
and vindication from the God of their salvation. 
Such is the company of those who seek him,
who seek the face of the God of Jacob. Selah
  
Psa. 24:7     Lift up your heads, O gates!
and be lifted up, O ancient doors!
that the King of glory may come in. 
Who is the King of glory?
The LORD, strong and mighty,
the LORD, mighty in battle. 
Lift up your heads, O gates!
and be lifted up, O ancient doors!
that the King of glory may come in. 
10  Who is this King of glory?
The LORD of hosts,
he is the King of glory. Selah


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Dana Ames

posted July 26, 2010 at 8:25 pm


Scot, during the first part of the Pascha service, after we have left a darkened interior (but for our newly lighted candles) and processed, singing, around the outside of the church & grounds, we assemble in front of the doors, and then the priest pounds on the closed doors while the first part of this psalm is chanted. The doors are opened and in we all enter, to a brilliantly candle-lit church. Embodied and vocalized, indeed.
I hope some day you will be able to experience the Orthodox Triduum and Pascha.
Dana



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