Psalm 42 Lesson 2

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After making the Sign of the Cross, the priest recites a verse from Psalm 42, and the altar boy replies. Then the whole Psalm is said. The priest says one verse; the altar boy says the next. We cannot hear what they are saying. But if we listen, we can hear their voices. Long ago, the Psalm was said by the priest before he came to the altar. It was part of his preparation for Holy Mass. Today, it is also part of his preparation. Now the Psalm is said by the priest as he stands at the foot of the altar.

The first verse the priest says is:
I will go to the altar of God.

That is just what the priest is doing. He is about to go up to the altar to offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

The altar boy replies:
To God, the joy of my youth.

Even the sound of these verses makes us feel happy. Let us repeat them to ourselves:
I will go to the altar of God,
To God, the joy of my youth.

These two lines are said in every Mass. The priest is happy. We are happy. It is our privilege to offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass to God. The whole Psalm, from which these lines are taken, is not said during the last two weeks of Lent or in Masses for the dead.

Psalm 42 first asks God to protect us from the enemy. Our greatest enemy is always the person or place or thing that causes us to sin. The Altar boy’s reply to the first verse of the Psalm is something to remember always, especially these words:

For Thou, God art my strength.

God is our strength. If we ask Him, He will help us.

There are beautiful thoughts in Psalm 42. Sometimes you will want to think about one of them, and sometimes about another. These thoughts were out into the words of the Psalm by King David. The Psalms are in the Bible.

Psalms 42 has six verses. After the Psalm has been recited, the priest begins “Glory be to the Father.” When this prayer is finished, the priest and altar boy recite the following verses. They repeat the thought of joy in going to the altar, and the thought of trust in God.

Priest: I will go to the altar of God.
Response: To God the joy of my youth
Priest: Our help is in the name of the Lord.
Response: Who made heaven and earth.

Taken from The Kingdom of God series The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass by Ellamay Horan. I am not the Author merely the distributor. God Bless BJS!!

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