Home Surely Goodness And Mercy (Psalm 23 With Cantors 1, 2 & 3)

Surely Goodness And Mercy (Psalm 23 With Cantors 1, 2 & 3)

Composer Richard Bruxvoort Colligan offers this distinctively emergent, contemporary setting of Psalm 23 that could serve as a lectionary Psalm. He has included a full lead sheet for the musicians that can be reproduced in the worship bulletin, as well asan MP3 sound track, and his own theological notes on the setting. Richard is engaged in writing musical settings of ALL the Psalms ?? a project that will take a number of years to complete.

Surely Goodness and Mercy - Lead Sheet (PDF format)
Surely Goodness and Mercy (MP3 format)

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all my life
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all my life

Verse 1, Spoken
The realm of God: Like a woman kneading dough,
Like a farmer planting seed,
Like the last who will be the first in line.

Verse 2, Spoken
The realm of God: Like a merchant buying pearls,
Like a dad welcoming his son back home,
Like a net gathering all the many fish

Verse 3, Spoken
The realm of God: Like the workers in the field,
Like a city on a hill,
Ten people who were healed,
And one serving that can feed a city.

Surely Goodness and Mercy (Psalm 23) Theological Notes

Psalm Synopsis
Perhaps the most beloved Psalm of all, Psalm 23 offers a wealth to glean from the text. The themes of God's provision and guidance are central in most interpretations. In a worship context, there are possibilities of leading the assembly into praise, into comfort, or into discipleship.

Liturgical Theology
Psalm 23 has inspired several congregational songs for The Psalm Project. "Surely Goodness and Mercy" focuses on the Psalmist's confession of God's passion: God's love is relentlessly pursuing him all his days. This gospel is echoed in the Song of Songs and Romans 8.

"Surely Goodness and Mercy" has been used to proclaim Absolution as an assembly.

This antiphonal chant juxtaposes the Hebrew pastoral context of the refrain with the parables of Jesus in the spoken verses. The verses offer short, evocative images from Jesus' preaching. The antiphon takes us back to the Shepherding Psalm. The dialogue is rich with implications: Jesus as the Good Shepherd, Jesus identifying with the YHWH of Israel, the integration of our psalmist ancestor's faith with the eschatology of Jesus' parable images, the passion of Christ in the dark valley when the lectionary brings the Psalm to us in Lent, the glory of God's Resurrection Life when the Psalm arrives to us in Easter.

Besides the parables, the final lector verse reminds us of Jesus' feeding of the multitude and the healing of the ten lepers, both stories of God's "goodness and mercy" that penetrate the lives of the people of God.

It is a postmodern sensibility to integrate past, present and future. This song offers such an opportunity with the dialogue between the two Testaments.

Place in Worship
A Call to Worship, Confession/Absolution, or Song for Prayer with three lectors. Preferably, the lector team includes at least one elder and one child, both genders represented.

Richard Bruxvoort Colligan may be contacted through his website at www.worldmaking.netor his office phone at 563-933-4069.

Copyright © 2006 Richard Bruxvoort Colligan, www.worldmaking.net. Phone: 563-933-4069. Used with permission.