Table of contents for Morning Prayer
This is the beginning of a short series of posts primarily directed at local residents of Moscow, and more specifically college students. But this could easily apply to other people in other places and could be applied in your local context in any number of fruitful ways.
You don’t know all 150 Psalms.
The Psalter is God’s hymnbook. It’s the inspired song book that forms the foundation of our worship and devotion to Christ. It was once the common expectation that Christians would seek to learn all 150 Psalms. Daily prayer services were structured to systematically work through all 150 psalms regularly. Medieval monasteries commonly sung the entire Psalter every week! We have only one daily service: 7:30 am Monday-Friday @ New St. Andrews College, but how else are you planning to learn all 150 psalms? We chant through 2-3 psalms each day, working our way through the psalter a little over three times in the course of a school year.
You need to be at morning prayer because you don’t know all 150 psalms. Come for prayer, come learn the Psalms.
St. Athanasius on the Psalms:
So then, my son, let whoever reads this Book of Psalms take the things in it quite simply as God-inspired; and let each select from it, as from the fruits of a garden, those things of which he sees himself in need. For I think that in the words of this book all human life is covered, with all its states and thoughts, and that nothing further can be found in man. For no matter what you seek, whether it be repentance and confession, or help in trouble and temptation or under persecution, whether you have been set free from plots and snares or, on the contrary, are sad for any reason, or whether, seeing yourself progressing and your enemy cast down, you want to praise and thank and bless the Lord, each of these things the Divine Psalms show you how to do, and in every case the words you want are written down for you, and you can say them as your own.
-Athanasius, On the Incarnation, Appendix P. 116.