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Chanting the Psalms: A Practical Guide with Instructional CD

Overview

Chanting the psalms, or psalmody, is an ancient practice of vital importance in the Christian spiritual tradition. Today many think of it as a discipline that belongs only in monasteries—but psalmody is a spiritual treasure that is available to anyone who prays. You don’t need to be musical or a monk to do it, and it can be enjoyed in church liturgical worship, in groups, or even individually as part of a personal rule of prayer. Cynthia Bourgeault brings the practice into the twenty-first century, providing a ...

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Overview

Chanting the psalms, or psalmody, is an ancient practice of vital importance in the Christian spiritual tradition. Today many think of it as a discipline that belongs only in monasteries—but psalmody is a spiritual treasure that is available to anyone who prays. You don’t need to be musical or a monk to do it, and it can be enjoyed in church liturgical worship, in groups, or even individually as part of a personal rule of prayer. Cynthia Bourgeault brings the practice into the twenty-first century, providing a history of Christian psalmody as well as an appreciation of its place in contemplative practice today. And she teaches you how to do it as you chant along with her on the accompanying CD in which she demonstrates the basic techniques and easy melodies that anyone can learn. “Even if you can’t read music,” Cynthia says, “or if somewhere along the way you’ve absorbed the message that your voice is no good or you can’t sing on pitch, I’ll still hope to show you that chanting the psalms is accessible to nearly everyone.”

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Bourgeault will be a helpful guide to those who seek to find a viable daily Christian practice, while those who already have a daily discipline may find that her suggestions for chanting deepens and enlarges their experience."—Publishers Weekly, starred review

"The best book I've seen on the theory and practice of Christian contemplative psalmody."—Thomas Keating, author of Open Mind, Open Heart and Finding Grace at the Center

"Few books ever manage to both inform and enthrall in equal measure the way this one does. The whole world of Christian spirituality owes Cynthia Bourgeault an enormous debt of gratitude for having given us a classic."—Phyllis Tickle, compiler of the Divine Hours series

"Cynthia Bourgeault, a skillful teacher, offers you all of the do-it-yourself instructions you need to thoroughly enjoy the sacred tradition of change and so step from time into the eternal Now."—Br. David Steindl-Rast, OSB, cofounder of gratefulness.org

Publishers Weekly
The pointed and shaking finger of our adamant inner schoolteachers often accompanies calls to engage and stick with ancient (read: tried and proven) spiritual practices. Not so with Bourgeault's impassioned invitation to chant the Psalms. With a blend of Christian and Eastern mysticism running throughout, as well as recognition that learning to chant may be difficult, she gently guides readers through the "whys" and then through the "hows." Bourgeault, an Episcopal priest with a doctorate in medieval studies/musicology, clearly knows her material, but presents it simply; see the chapter on "Suzuki Psalmnody." The companion CD, illustrating the various techniques, encourages even the most vocally challenged reader to try the chants. Bourgeault's focus is not only on chanting, but on chanting the Psalms specifically, asserting that chanting them helps to integrate the shadow and heal the personal unconscious, as well as awaken the intuitive imagination. The book's final section explores other contemporary and popular forms of chant and song, including Taiz and Iona. Bourgeault will be a helpful guide to those who seek to find a viable daily Christian practice, while those who already have a daily discipline may find that her suggestions for chanting deepens and enlarges their experience. (Dec. 12) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781590302576
  • Publisher: Shambhala Publications, Inc.
  • Publication date: 11/14/2006
  • Edition description: Includes CD
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 427,514
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.78 (d)

Meet the Author

Cynthia Bourgeault, PhD, is an Episcopal priest, teacher, and retreat and conference leader. She is the author of several books, including Chanting the Psalms and Centering Prayer and Inner Awakening.

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