One or more of the following may Psalms is sung or said…
Psalm 119: Your word is a lantern to my feet, and a light upon my path.
Psalm 121: I lift up my eyes to the hills; from where is my help to come?
Psalm 126: When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion, they were we like those who dream…
It makes a difference, whether you sing or say a psalm. Psalms are poems, sung or spoken in Jewish and Christian worship services. Singing comes from a different place in the heart and brain than speaking does – it’s why people who cannot speak can sing (and swear!).
There are times when I cannot speak to God. Words fail me, or seem incapable of conveying what is most important and true for me. Grief can steal my words; anger can keep me from talking with God; I can murmur memorized words without really paying any attention to them or God.
Singing is different. It bypasses my grief, anger, and complacency. Singing can bring me before God when I most need to be there and I am least able to find my way.
There is such wisdom in setting our prayers to music. Sing along, why don’t you?
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: as it was in the beginning, is now and will be forever. Amen.
There’s no “officiant only” service that I’ve ever seen, something that doesn’t require the presence or participation of anyone else. Sure, any of the services can be prayed by someone in solitude – but there’s no pretending that no one else exists.
That makes sense to me, reminding me of a deeper truth; you and I are part of a much larger, older community of prayer that is not limited to the souls currently alive on this planet. You and I, we are part of an unbroken chain of prayer that stretches back to the beginning of creation and will stretch well beyond the span of our lifetimes. Neither as officiant nor as one among the people do we ever pray and praise by ourselves.
Worship isn’t a spectator sport or a television soap opera. It isn’t the job of the officiant to perform for me. I am asked to show up and participate, to serve as a conversation partner in this most basic act of honoring God.