Wedding Lectionary: Psalm 148: (13a) 1-2, 3-4, 9-10, 11-13a, 13c-14a

Another “Alleluia Psalm” offers itself as a wedding choice. Along with the 112th, Psalm 148 puts a structure of praise on the lips of the assembly and her psalmist:

Let all praise the name of the Lord.

or:

Alleluia.

Alleluia.

Praise the Lord from the heavens,

praise him in the heights;

Praise him, all you his angels,

praise him, all you his hosts.

First we have a procession of the heavenly court of angels, followed by heavenly bodies:

(refrain)

Praise him, sun and moon;

praise him, all you shining stars.

Praise him, you highest heavens,

and you waters above the heavens.

Praise is invited from the landscapes of the planet, then the plants and animals:

(refrain)

You mountains and all you hills,

you fruit trees and all you cedars;

You wild beasts and all tame animals,

you creeping things and winged fowl.

Praise is requested of the human race, not just the believers in Israel:

(refrain)

Let the kings of the earth and all peoples,

the princes and all the judges of the earth,

Young men too, and maidens,

old men and boys,

Praise the name of the Lord,

for his name alone is exalted.

Why should we offer praise? As if the occasion of a wedding weren’t enough, God shows his strength and power (the metaphor of the horn) for those who have been chosen:

(refrain)

His majesty is above earth and heaven,

and he has lifted his horn above the people.

(refrain)

This psalm is chosen fairly often for weddings. Any musical setting with “alleluia” has to be really good to match this text well.

When would I recommend it? Any Easter wedding, certainly. For Christians, we might see God’s expression of power (lifting his horn) as Christ’s Paschal Mystery, especially the Resurrection. Psalm 148 matches well with either Creation reading from Genesis. If it’s hard to imagine a wedding that’s not a joyous celebration, I’d say it’s hard to imagine a liturgy for which this could not be a good choice.

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
This entry was posted in Rite of Marriage, Scripture. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Wedding Lectionary: Psalm 148: (13a) 1-2, 3-4, 9-10, 11-13a, 13c-14a

  1. To tell truth, this Psalm has been a part of Orthodox Matins, at least since the fifth century or so. Glad to see you espousing something Orthodox, at least on occasion.

    • Jeff says:

      Fifth century– purely Catholic which the later split shares in, but it’s Catholic espousing Catholic.

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