Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

“Sit on my right”

August 21st, 2011, Promulgated by Bernie

Psalm 110

The Lord’s revelation to my Master:
“Sit on my right:
your foes I will put beneath your feet.”

The Lord will wield from Zion
your scepter of power:
rule in the midst of all your foes.

A prince from the day of your birth
on the holy mountains;
from the womb before the dawn I begot you.

The Master standing at your right hand
will shatter kings in the day of his great wrath.

He shall drink from the stream by the wayside
and therefore he shall lift up his head.

Cathedral of Cefalù, Sicily, the apsidal mosaic: Christ Pantocrator.

Picture Source

What are appropriate images for the chancel areas of Catholic churches? I have explored that question in a number of posts (see “Chancel Images” under archives; also, “Catholic Images?”). There are several possiblities that I think are proper for today’s world. There are many more if we survey all of the history of Christian liturgical art, but let me suggest one that we couldn’t go wrong with that comes to mind when I recite Psalm 110, which is sung/prayed at Vespers every Sunday.

Below is a quote concering Psalm 110 that I like from Praying the Psalms: A Commentary by Stanley L. Jaki.

“Those not tuned to the great lessons of apologetics about Christ might take a lesson or two about Him from art history. …Far more than anyone He inspired the greatest masterpieces, such as the mosaics of Christ the Pantokrator (the Almighty Ruler of the universe) in Romanesque basilicas. Few are fortunate to see the huge image of Christ gazing down from the apse of the Norman cathedral in Cefalu, Sicily, as the Sunday vespers are being chanted.  …Future began with Him and all future belongs to Him.  …There is no ‘Common Era’ except the one in communion with Him.

“Nor is there a cosmos without Him in whom God created everything. The Lord’s words to David’s Master should resound in our ears as crossing through the entire cosmos, which today looms incomparably larger in its countless galaxies than a cosmic tent covered with a firmament. In a truly cosmic sense, Christ is the Alpha and Omega, comparable with whom the gigantic cosmos looks puny indeed, to say nothing of a ‘fundamental particle’ called omega, which, like other such particles, is anything but fundamental.”

Interior of Cefalu Cathedral, Sicily.

Picture Source

Supplement as of 10:45 PM August 21: A reader has sent us a link to a polyphonic setting of this psalm, as sung at Solemn Vespers at St. Anne Church this past May. Enjoy!

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One Response to ““Sit on my right””

  1. christian says:

    As always Bernie, a good post!

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