Season after Pentecost | 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)
Genesis 45:1-15; Psalm 133; (Isaiah 56:1, 6-8; Psalm 67;) Romans 11:1-2a, 29-32; Matthew 15: (10-20), 21-28
Monastic vows sound familiar to anyone who's been to a wedding. In both marriage and celibacy, we promise to be faithful.
It’s the second movement of Leonard Bernstein’s choral work, Chichester Psalms. A boy soprano (or a countertenor), in the “role” of the shepherd boy, David, sings in Hebrew the opening verses of Psalm 23. He is accompanied–sparingly, fittingly–by the harp. The first several measures are tender but not tentative; filled with sentiment, but without sentimentality (this per Bernstein’s instructions). When the women’s voices take over the text at גַּם כִּי־אֵלֵךְ בְּגֵיא צַלְמָוֶת . . . (Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death . . .) there’s an ethereal echo-canon effect. This part of the movement, when executed well, is something sublime.