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Chanting the Psalms: A Practical Guide with Instructional CD with CD (Audio)by Cynthia Bourgeault
Synopses & Reviews
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 dont 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 cant read music,” Cynthia says, “or if somewhere along the way youve absorbed the message that your voice is no good or you cant sing on pitch, Ill still hope to show you that chanting the psalms is accessible to nearly everyone.”
"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." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
In this book-with-CD, Cynthia Bourgeault shows how chanting the Psalms--those 150 exquisite hymns of praise to God from the Bible--can become a meaningful form of meditation and prayer for laypeople, leading to contemplation, insight, and joy. The mindfulness produced by chanting can be tapped into by anyone regardless of musical skill or theological sophistication, and it can be done in community as well as privately. In Chanting the Psalms, Bourgeault provides a history of Christian psalm chanting (also called psalmody) and demonstrates how it relates to other chanting traditions. She also shows how chanting can fit into an existing practice of contemplation and prayer, deepening and enriching it. But she also teaches you how to do it: you can literally sing along with Cynthia on the accompanying CD as she and her friends demonstrate the basic techniques and easy melodies that anyone can learn to make psalmody a personal meditative practice.
In this book-with-CD, Bourgeault shows how chanting the Psalms can become a meaningful form of meditation and prayer for laypeople, leading to contemplation, insight, and joy.In this book-with-CD, Bourgeault shows how chanting the Psalms can become a meaningful form of meditation and prayer for laypeople, leading to contemplation, insight, and joy.
In this book-and-CD package, Cynthia Bourgeault shows how chanting the Psalms--those 150 exquisite hymns of praise to God from the Bible--can become a meaningful form of meditation and prayer for laypeople, leading to contemplation, insight, and joy.
About 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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