Psalms- The Kovilj Monastery Choir
The Book of the Psalms - the Psalter is one of the most beautiful, most profound, and best-known books in the Old Testament. Every single truth of the Christian faith is prefigured and preached in the pages of the Psalter. God's laws, the whole act of the creation of the visible and the invisible worlds, the tumultuous history of the people of Israel, the Providence of salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, the life of the Church and its temptations, a diversity of subjects on God and Man and their mutual relationship - all of these are to be found in the Book of the Psalms. Moreover, what makes the Psalms so unique is that whenever you chant or read them, you are looking as if through a mirror into your own soul!
The Psalter is guardian to Christ, a teacher of virtue and true faith, a model of life and formation of the soul. It recounts, it edifies, and it prophesies, but it also shows us how to confess, repent, and to pray, and how to glorify and thank God. Therefore, the Book of the Psalms is more profitable than any other book in the Old Testament, as St Basil the Great says. It is for that reason that the Psalms, clothed in the sweet and harmonious notes of Church music (remembering the words of St Basil once again), have been not only the backbone but also the heart of Orthodox worship for centuries. It is the spiritual and theological richness of the Psalms that has made their chanting indispensable to the Holy Offices of the Church. However, the development of worship and hymnography, the prevalence of the monastic typicon in parish worship, and the incapability of the congregation of the Church to grasp the theological and spiritual meanings of the Psalms, which are often rather complex, have brought about their being marginalized and abbreviated, so that some verses began to be simply read instead of being chanted.
The search for ways and means of rendering the chanting of the Psalms back to its original liturgical place is not just a love of things from days gone by, nor a romantic attachment for long outdated forms. This undertaking by the Kovilj Monastery Choir is an endeavor on our part to restore the Tradition of the Holy Fathers and the sacred and imperishable paradigms of the climax of Orthodox liturgical practice. It is this practice that the Church itself has created and lived through, that has nourished the Church for more than fifteen centuries. Therefore, it is with joy and hope that we present our Christian audience with this humble endeavor, trying to clothe in traditional musical forms not only solitary verses but the entire Psalms, thus restoring the Psalter as the basis of liturgical practice in the everyday life of the Church.
The Brethren of Kovilj Monastery