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Liturgical Press

Praying the Psalms in the Voice of Christ

A Christological Reading of the Psalms in the Liturgy of the Hours

Frank J. Matera

Praying the Psalms in the Voice of Christ SEE INSIDE
Praying the Psalms in the Voice of Christ

ISBN: 9780814667590, 6759

Details: 192 pgs, 6 x 9 x 1/2
Publication Date: 01/09/2023
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In Praying the Psalms in the Voice of Christ, Frank J. Matera offers a way to pray the psalms within the Liturgy of the Hours rooted in the New Testament and the great writers of the early church. Taking his cue from Saint Augustine, Matera demonstrates how to hear the voice of Christ in the psalms so that they can be prayed in the voice of Christ and his Body, the church. In addition to this introduction to a christological reading of the psalms, Matera also provides a commentary on the psalms as they occur in the four weeks of the Divine Office.

Frank J. Matera is professor emeritus at The Catholic University of America and pastor of St. Mary's Church in Simsbury, Connecticut. He previously served as professor of biblical studies at The Catholic University of America from 1988 to 2012. He is the former president of the Catholic Biblical Association and the author of more than fourteen books and over fifty articles.

ISBN: 9780814667590, 6759

Details: 192 pgs, 6 x 9 x 1/2
Publication Date: 01/09/2023


"This excellent book offers its readers a clear path to reading, understanding and praying the Psalms, in connection with the practice of Christians since the first century. Fr. Matera has written a lucid, well-structured, and engaging volume for those who read the liturgy of the hours, communicating the practice of early Christianity, and particularly Augustine, in understanding the Psalms as the book of Christ—without denying its origins and character as a book of the Temple and the synagogue. He has created a clear and eloquent companion to the book that joins both testaments and allows its readers to encounter Christ, both foreshadowed and present, with the continuous practice of the church."
Robin Darling Young, The Catholic University of America

"Frank J. Matera is recognized for his many fine exegetical studies of the New Testament. In this book he moves in a different direction, turning to the psalms of the Old Testament as a guide to a prayerful and thorough Christian reading of these revered texts. Taking his cue from Augustine and the Patristic tradition, he invites those who pray the psalms to be attentive to the voice of Christ and his body the church to be heard in these words of Israel’s Scriptures. Touching on the entire range of psalms in the church’s Liturgy of the Hours, this is a valuable guide for those who desire to pray in the spirit of the church."
Donald Senior, CP, President Emeritus and Professor of New Testament, Catholic Theological Union

"The central role of prayer in the life of the Christian church, and other non-Christian religions, is not only a feature of their existence, but also a motivation and driving force for their effective presence in the world and society. The Roman Catholic tradition, continuing a practice that has its origins in the life of Israel, by means of its Liturgy of the Hours invites those closely associated with the life and ministry of the church, and any one else who might feel so inclined, to pray the Book of Psalms across the days, weeks, and months of the year. Frank Matera guides and encourages all who pray the Psalms by associating every hymn with the person and mission of Jesus Christ, recalling a practice of the earliest Fathers and Mothers of the church. A systematic use of this delightful book, structured to follow the use of the psalms as they appear across the church's year, gives profound Christian energy to our daily prayer."
Francis J. Moloney, SDB, Catholic Theological College, University of Divinity, Melbourne, Australia

"Jesus of Nazareth prayed the psalms, quoted the psalms, and interpreted the psalms. After the resurrection, his followers saw the psalms in an entirely new way and prayed them with the voice of Christ. Frank J. Matera opens this horizon so that you can do the same. His book links directly to the Liturgy of the Hours. Before you next pick up morning or evening prayer, pick up this book, read the pages that pertain to that office, and then begin. You will find yourself praying in the voice of Christ."
Fr. Paul Turner, pastor, Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Kansas City Missouri, and author of Words Without Alloy: A Biography of the Lectionary for Mass

"The author’s emphasis on praying—not just understanding—the Psalms rings true on every page of this brilliant book. Matera’s highly informed and nuanced exploration of the Psalms in use in the Roman Catholic liturgy should be a vademecum for all of us. It is a font of wisdom and insight directing us to drink fully from the Psalms themselves as we pray them. This book should be savored and not just 'read' by engaging the passages related to the Psalms assigned in the Hours day by day in order that what the Psalms reveal can resonate in our hearts ever more fully."
Kevin W Irwin, The Catholic University of America, Washington, DC

"The evangelist Luke recounts how the risen Jesus, appearing to his astonished disciples, 'interpreted for them every passage of scripture which referred to himself.' Frank Matera’s book helps us to step into that same kind of encounter, for in the liturgy the risen Lord continues to be present, opening our minds to the understanding of the Scriptures. Matera shares here a Christian way of praying the psalms, rooted in the ways that New Testament and patristic authors did the same. It is a rich guide, psalm by psalm, in the order that they occur in the Liturgy of the Hours."
Abbot Jeremy Driscoll, OSB, Abbot of Mount Angel Abbey

"The Liturgy of the Hours has been called a 'school of prayer.' From it we gather content, context, and method. Taking St. Augustine’s insights as a starting point, Fr. Matera has provided us with a method by which to unite the ancient content of the psalter to the context of our twenty-first-century Christian lives. This book offers us many beautiful and prayerful insights about individual psalms, but its lasting gift to us is the demonstration of a method that will go on creating in the hearts of its users a true contemporary prayer arising from ancient texts. This book will help many to learn from the Liturgy of the Hours how to encounter prayerfully the 'Beauty ever ancient, ever new' to whom Augustine even now sings praise."
Dominic E. Serra, The Catholic University of America

"Praying the Psalms in the Voice of Christ takes us on a marvelous journey through the psalms in the Liturgy of the Hours. Frank Matera is a masterful guide who skillfully leads us through a deeper Christian understanding of the Psalter. Every page reflects Matera’s wisdom as a teacher of the Scriptures and a person of deep faith. This book is an invitation to all those who pray the Liturgy of the Hours to encounter Christ anew through the psalms."
Angela Kim Harkins, PhD, Associate Professor, Boston College School of Theology and Ministry

"Matera's love of the Scriptures, of the Catholic prayer tradition, and of those who pray the liturgy of the hours is evident in the accessible way he brings together biblical themes and Christ-centered attention to each psalm group."
Catholic Books Review

"This book might be best for someone who is used to praying the Liturgy of the Hours and may enjoy thinking about the psalms in a different way."
The Bible Today

"A fine and insightful liturgical commentary on the Psalms as they appear in the Liturgy of the Hours. It will be a welcome assistance to all Christian believers who follow the time-honored biblical tradition of devoting various moments of each day to prayer."
The Catholic Biblical Quarterly

"We are indebted to Frank Matera for bringing us back to this rich spiritual lode in our tradition, which only a biblical scholar of his credentials could make convincing. He shows considerable courage in entering the crossover zone between textual criticism and spirituality. This book supports further development in recovering the ancient spirituality."