STLT#280, Haleluhu

Today’s hymn brings together several things I really love: a joyful Hebrew folk melody in a minor key, a simple song that can be repeated as a chant, and a setting of Psalm 150 that reminds us to be joyful.

There’s not a lot to say about this one, as it’s fairly straightforward. And even my experience of it is straightforward – I love the setting, by UU music director and Hymnal Commission member Mark Slegers. The psalm, too, is straightforward. Get out your instruments and rejoice.

Haleluhu, haleluhu, betsiltselei shama.
Haleluhu, haleluhu, betsiltselei terua.
Kol han’shama tehaleil yah,
Haleluyah, haleluyah!
Kol han’shama tehaleil yah,
Haleluyah, haleluyah!

This is pretty much verses 5 and 6 – the last two verses of the psalm, which go like this:

5 Praise him with clanging cymbals;
praise him with loud clashing cymbals!
6 Let everything that breathes praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord!

And really, who doesn’t love that the editor of the Psalms decided to put this one at the very end? I mean, for all the lamenting and praying and searching contained in the collection, in the end, don’t forget joy.


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