O come, let us sing to the Lord;
let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!
Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving;
let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!
For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods.
In his hand are the depths of the earth;
the heights of the mountains are his also.
The sea is his, for he made it,
and the dry land, which his hands have formed.
O come, let us worship and bow down,
let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker!
For he is our God, and we are the people of his pasture
and the sheep of his hand.
(New Revised Standard Version)
As a small girl I have a clear memory of the choir in St Nicholas Church, Pevensey (where I was baptised aged 7 years old), the ladies all wearing their hats, singing the service of Matins. I sat entranced, for there was my Aunt and Godmother in the choir. A few years later I was singing in another church choir, the same service of Matins, and the same psalm, often known by its more familiar name 'The Venite'.
'Venite' is Latin for 'Come!', and the Venite is the traditional call to worship sung every single Sunday across the world in Anglican churches for centuries. It goes back to the time of St Benedict (6th century) and was included in medieval prayer books as well as Protestant liturgy after the Reformation. It was also probably used in the Temple by the Israelites, calling the people to come before the Lord with songs of praise and celebration.
This psalm calls us to worship, whether we are at home or together in church - to come into His presence joyfully, and to kneel before Him (spiritually if not physically!) as our King. We can just as easily do this on our own!
as our forebears worshipped You,
by singing the Venite at each service,
so today we say this psalm
in praise and thanksgiving
that You are our God,
that You call us to worship You,
and kneel before You.