A School of Prayer—From the Foreword by Wilfred J. Harrington, OP
For people who treasure the psalms and yet are often quite mystified by them, help is at hand. Weaving together her expertise in Scripture and liturgy, Margaret Daly-Denton accompanies the reader through a profitable and enjoyable learning experience. From the Psalter as a collection of ancient Israelite religious poetry to the New Testament portrayal of Jesus as pray-er of the psalms, Daly-Denton guides readers through the centuries-long process of reinterpretation that is ongoing as psalms sung in worship shape the everyday prayerfulness of Christians. Throughout this book, suggestions for further reading and contemplation point the reader toward self-directed learning.
Written in an accessible and friendly style, Psalm-Shaped Prayerfulness is intended for newcomers to biblical studies, people training for ministry, church musicians, members of parish liturgy teams, and anyone with an interest in the scriptural roots of Christian spirituality.
Margaret Daly-Denton’s early career was as an organist and composer with an academic and practical involvement in liturgy. Her Alleluia, Amen: Music for the Liturgy, (1-978) was a seminal resource, and her music for the Liturgy of the Hours is sung in monasteries worldwide. She served extensively on ICEL (International Committee on English in the Liturgy). More recently, her doctoral research at Trinity College Dublin on the early Christian reception of the psalms, was published as David in the Fourth Gospel (2000). She has taught Bible and liturgy at various institutions in Ireland.
Margaret Daly-Denton has given us an excellent introduction to the Psalter. This book will be useful for teachers as a textbook. Formation directors may use it to introduce their new members to the Psalms. Individuals will find that it puts new energy into their prayer. I am grateful to Daly-Denton for sharing her wisdom with us.
Irene Nowell, OSB, Worship
This superb study of the Psalter from its inception to its use today enables the reader personally to appropriate this ancient form of prayer. . . . This study is based on sound scholarship, a shrewd literary sensitivity to the poetic material, and an appreciation of the importance of the Psalms in leading the worshipper to a more mature and honest faith.
The Church Times
This is a most timely book. Margaret Daly-Denton shows the way in which the early Christians reinterpreted the Psalms in the light of their Easter experience and goes on to show how we may make our own that long tradition of engagement with the Psalms that has shaped Christian prayerfulness over the centuries.
The Church of Ireland Gazette
This book is not only an excellent and readable scholarly resource; it's also an extremely sensitive exploration of the psalter's significance for both church and synagogue. Daly-Denton describes how the psalter first took shape, what its setting was in the life of Israel, how it was adopted and adapted by early Christians, and, finally, how it fits into Christian worship today. In the book's final section, there is a fine examination of the violence expressed in some of the psalms.
Lawrence Cunningham, Commonweal
As church musicians, we agree on the importance of Psalmody within worship. In warmly recommending this book may I challenge us to really engage with the history, subject matter and relevance of the Psalms, thus further enhancing our understanding.
"An excellent guide and textbook for those embarking on their first expedition into the Pslater. For those Christian worshippers who are seeking a greater appreciation of the psalms, definitely buy this book!"
Diane Cockery, The Furrow
Readers are trained to hear in the psalms resonances of the prayers of Christ and every person's anguished search for 'the God of my salvation.' A book for careful reading and quiet meditation.
James Chukwuma Okoye, CSSp, The Bible Today
This book is for all who take part in Christian liturgy, but we may see it as a special gift to those of us who live the monastic life.. [E]ven for those who have recited the psalms for many years, this book will bring new life to those sacred songs.
Eoin de Bhaldraithe, Tjurunga: An Australasian Benedictine Review
Psalm-Shaped Prayerfulness provides a key to unearth a rich treasure that can nourish us on our faith journey.