The Book of Psalms in Music and Art

Psalms in Music

The Psalms were the first poetry and prayer that I encountered as a child, and they still bring daily joy, peace, and comfort. I recently found this playlist of the entire book of Psalms in music, sung by a variety of English Cathedral Choirs, and I’ve been playing it almost nonstop. If you love the Psalms, meditative music, or simply want to cultivate a taste for beauty, truth, and goodness. I think you’ll enjoy this peaceful compilation of Psalms in music. I can’t think of a better way to absorb them!

st-florian-psalter-leaf-15thc

Psalms in Art

The Psalms have also inspired beautiful art and illumination such as the page above, identified as “A leaf from the Sankt Florian Psalter,” which was created around the turn of the 14th/15th century. An illuminated manuscript is the highest form of copywork, as it combines copied text with illustrations or other ornamentation intended to illuminate the beauty and significance of the text. The process of creating an illuminated page allows the artist to meditate on the meaning of the work he or she is illuminating, and in considering the best way to highlight the work, it is possible to come to new insights about the meaning of the text.

If you would like to try illumination, you don’t have to begin with calligraphy, ink, and gold leaf — you can start illuminating a copywork passage or even the margins of your Bible with a fine-tip acid-free pen and colored pencils. I’ll write more about how to do this another time.

Meanwhile, I hope you will enjoy meditating with the Psalms in music and art. We are shaped by the things we see and hear in our daily lives, and I have found that being purposeful about what I allow in has given me space to grow and learn, and the ability to take time for things that matter. May you find joy in the small beauties of your daily life!

The leaf from the St. Florian Psalter is in the public domain in the U. S. and in the country of origin due to its age. Links to Amazon are affiliate links to things I own and use consistently (you can see the full affiliate disclosure at the bottom of this page).

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2 Responses

  1. I especially like your comment: “We are shaped by the things we see and hear in our daily lives and I have found that being purposeful in what I allow in has given me space in which to grow and learn, and the ability to take time for things that matter.” Janice I have put some of this in practice without consciously identifying the reason, but knowing there is only so much free time outside those things that are necessary in daily living. I appreciate your introducing me to the Book of Psalms in Music.

    • It’s so nice to hear from you! Living purposefully is something I’ve thought about for years, and the older I get, the more important it seems. I know you have taken time to incorporate truth, beauty, and goodness into your life, too. I hope the Psalms in music will be a blessing for you.

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