These words, from the beginning of Psalm 149, are echoed throughout the other 149 poems/prayers that make up the Book of Psalms.  For nearly 2500 years, the psalms have played a central role in the lives of Jews and Christians alike.  They have been sung in public worship and prayed in private devotion.  They have been meditated upon by saints, commented upon by scholars, and set to a variety of musical styles ranging from Gregorian chant to Bach and Brahms, Ives and Stravinsky. The Book of Psalms is not only a treasury of prayers.  It is a school of prayer in which the inspired Word of God teaches us how to pray just as Jesus, God’s Word made flesh, taught his disciples when he introduced them to the Our Father.


St. Francis Adult Education Center is pleased to offer an intensive summer workshop on the psalms.  This course will meet twice a week for three weeks in July.  For the first five classes, participants will have the option of registering for the noon session (12 – 1:15 p.m.) OR the evening session (6:15 – 7:30 p.m.).  Taught by three members of St. Francis of Assisi’s parish staff—Mr. Joseph Nuzzi, Fr. Bill Beaudin and Fr. Timothy Shreenan—the course will cover the following topics:


Week 1 (July 11, 12)  The Psalms:  Hymnal of the Jerusalem Temple


Joseph Nuzzi will introduce participants to the various types and major themes of the psalms, the characteristics of the Hebrew poetry in which the psalms were written, and the role of the psalms in the religious life of Israel.


Week 2 (July 18, 19)  The Psalms:  Prayer Book of the Christian Church


Fr. William will explore the influence of the psalms on the New Testament, the Church’s liturgy, and Christian spirituality, and will discuss what it means to find Christ in the psalms and to pray the psalms with Christ.


Week 3 (July 25)  The Psalms:  Muse for Artists and Musicians


Fr. Timothy will demonstrate how the psalms have been the inspiration for some of the western world’s finest artistic creations in images and sounds.


The workshop will conclude on the evening of July 26 in St. Francis of Assisi Church where the various themes of the course will be brought together in an introduction by Fr. William and a celebration of Solemn Sung Vespers by the workshop’s participants.


INSTRUCTORS: Joseph Nuzzi, Fr. William Beaudin, Fr. Timothy Shreenan

Wednesdays and Thursdays:  July 11, 12; 18, 19; 25, 26

12:00 PM – 1:15 PM  OR  6:15 PM – 7:30 PM; San Damiano Hall