Saturday, March 03, 2007

Lent: Day 10

Shepherd Me, O God

Text and Music by Marty Haugen, paraphrasing Psalm 23

What would Lent be without at least one reflection on Psalm 23? One of the most profound settings of this psalm, for me, is Haugen's "Shepherd Me, O God." It is written, as many of Haugen's GIA settings are, in a cantor verse/congregation refrain pattern. The refrain goes:

"Shepherd me, O God,
Beyond my wants,
Beyond my fears,
From death into life."

The "bridge" verse goes like this:

"You have set me a banquet of love
In the midst of hatred,
Crowning me with love
Beyond my pow'r to hold."

You can listen to "Shepherd Me, O God", and purchase it in MP3 format, here.

If you're unfamiliar with the GIA liturgical music tradition, I encourage you to do some reading of their many fine examples of scripture-made-song. Though Haugen's is one of the "biggest" names in this tradition, he's by no means the only one. An entire generation of Catholics and other Christians (who are open to ecumenical use of these fine resources) have experienced the Scripturesin a new, approachable way, thanks to GIA's publishing of these composers' and hymnists' creations. It's probably the most effective modern phenomenon in the psalm-singing tradition.

1 comment:

P.S. an after-thought said...

Our humble little church choir sang this a week or two ago. We really like Haugen's music. He will be speaking at an event in Duluth on May 5.

Our choir director/piano player became acquainted with more of Haugen's music when her daughter played piano at the Catholic church for awhile. Aparently the Catholics commission quite a bit of music.