29 May 2014

The Niagara Psalter: Psalm 47

On this Ascension Day I have posted one more selection from my growing Niagara Psalter collection: Psalm 47, which is a joyous celebration of God's kingship over, not only his own people, but all the nations of the earth and the symbols of their power. The text has obvious relevance to today's observance, namely, the formal end of Jesus' earthly ministry and his enthronement at the right hand of God the Father, where he reigns as king and intercedes on our behalf and from whence, as the Creed puts it, "he shall come to judge the living and the dead." I have named the tune PLAUDITE, from the Latin Vulgate translation of this Psalm. It is in the ionian mode, and the text is unrhymed:

Peoples, clap your hands together;
shout to God with songs of joy!
For the LORD Most High is awesome,
great king over all the earth.
He subdued the pagan peoples,
put them underneath our feet,
gave their land to us as promised,
Jacob's pride bestowed in love.

God goes up as shouts of triumph
follow him in his ascent,
With the sound of blasting trumpet,
see the LORD ascend on high.
Sing your praise to God, sing praises;
praises sing to God our King.
For of earth our God is Ruler;
sing to him a psalm of praise.

God reigns over every nation;
God is seated on his throne.
All the princes of the peoples
gather in his presence now
as the people who inherit
what God promised Abraham.
For the shields of earth are God's, who
is exalted and most high.

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