In this issue we focus on the book of Psalms in the Old Testament. The Psalter is a rich collection of prayers which engage the whole person. There is a psalm for the gamut of human emotions and feelings, from great joy to deep grief, from a troubled and searching heart to a tranquil heart. Most significantly they are the prayers that Jesus would have recited in his Jewish community.
Antoinette Collins explores the beauty and richness of the Psalms in this issue’s feature article. She reminds us that the psalms are both uniquely Jewish yet universal. Erin Wedge suggests ways schools can use the psalms and breaks open Psalm 148. Tony Densley looks at the different world contexts of the psalmists and our students today, while Peter Arndt explores the understanding of a “good leader” in Psalm 72.
Michele Purcell offers catechists a simple yet profound way of using the psalms in prayer with children. Jennifer Callanan presents a strategy for students to write their own psalms and Paige Bullen looks at how art can help us reflect on the psalms more deeply.
Beth Nolen offers two different activities. One encourages a prayerful reflection of a psalm using mandalas while the other gives students a process for researching information about the Psalms. Anne Victor shares ideas of how students can illustrate the psalms before praying with them. Peter Olley suggests three strategies to help students engage creatively with the psalms using music.
We welcome Sharon Freeman onto our writing team. Sharon will review religious education resources. Jan Epstein reviews the 1985 movie King David.
Praying with students is an important part of religious education and catechesis, and enriches the life of the Catholic school. The Psalms are a rich source of prayers which can be used in many ways to creatively engage students in prayer.