Cantors throughout the United States and elsewhere have long known Kathleen Harmon, SNDdeN, as a reliable teacher and mentor in how they understand and practice their important ministry. In Becoming the Psalms, she explores the spirituality of the psalms, a spirituality that shaped God's people in the past, forms the church today, and leads us into the future. Each chapter offers cantors who pray and sing the psalms a better understanding of the role of the psalms in shaping faith.
Kathleen Harmon is known as the author of Music Notes, a popular column in the journal Liturgical Ministry. Becoming the Psalms showcases some of her finest entries as well as new material exploring the relationship between praying the psalms privately and praying them liturgically, as well as the function of the responsorial psalm as proclamation.
Kathleen Harmon, SNDdeN, is the music director for programs of the Institute for Liturgical Ministry in Dayton, Ohio, and is the author of numerous publications including The Mystery We Celebrate, the Song We Sing: A Theology of Liturgical Music, The Ministry of Cantors, and The Ministry of Music. She is also a contributor to the Living Liturgy™ family of resources, published by Liturgical Press. An educator and musician, she facilitates liturgical music workshops and cantor formation programs. She holds a graduate degree in music and a doctorate in liturgy.
"In Becoming the Psalms, Kathleen Harmon, SNDdeN, artfully combines solid scriptural scholarship about the psalter with a theological-liturgical grounding, and pragmatic insight drawn from years of experience as a teacher and singing liturgical minister. The book delves deeply into the psalter in a number of ways, though always through a language that will be accessible to most readers. She is to be congratulated for taking on texts from the psalter that may be difficult for those who have to proclaim or hear them; for addressing the need to keep praying even when God seems silent; and for concluding with our need to live out these rich, ancient texts daily, as disciples. This volume will be a first-rate addition to the bookshelf of anyone involved in liturgical music ministry, scripture study, preaching, or spirituality."
Alan J. Hommerding, Senior Liturgy Publications Editor, World Library Publications
In this lucid, accessible book, Kathleen Harmon describes the deep and lasting value of praying the Psalms in Christian worship. She describes the formative power of the Psalms to strengthen the life of faith and to sharpen our perception of God and God's love for the world. This book promises to inspire those beginning their journey with the Psalms, as well as to spark renewed vitality for life-long worshipers.
John D. Witvliet, Director, Calvin Institute of Christian Worship, Professor of Worship, Calvin College and Calvin Theological Seminary
Kathleen Harmon has written an accessible guide to the Psalms and their value and use for a life of faith. She is informed about current scholarship and effectively draws such work toward a Christ-centered spirituality.
Walter Brueggemann, Columbia Theological Seminary
Harmon's book is, undoubtedly, a wisely chiseled initiation, and anyone who attentively goes through it will most probably want to delve into the world of the psalms more profoundly.
Becoming the Psalms: A Spirituality of Singing and Praying the Psalms is a worthy book, and because of its small size, one which will be easily accessible to a variety of groups. It is to be commended to all who seek to grow their appreciation of the biblical Psalter, and the many ways it can enrich our lives of prayer both individually and as the Church.
Jonathan Hehn, OSL, is a Presby-Lutheran musician and liturgist currently serving Good Shepherd Lutheran and Saint Leo University in Tampa Florida
Harmon's own words provide the essence of what it means to pray the psalms. `When we pray and since the psalms, then-whether alone or with others, whether in private prayer or gathered for liturgical prayer-we are praying and singing ourselves into being: being one with God, being one with the community of the faithful, and being one with all of humankind.
Maureen McCarthy, OSU, Emmanuel
Kathleen Harmon has given us a look at the psalms that is simultaneously inspiring and informative. She shows us from several perspectives how the psalms shape who we are, both individually and communally, and we are led to realize how we need both lament and praise. Her book makes us want to steep ourselves in the spirituality of these prayer-poems and truly "become the psalms." The last chapter alone makes the book worth having.
Irene Nowell, OSB, Adjunct Professor of Theology, St. John's University School of Theology