Stained glass image of a large white flower surrounded by green leaves
Photo: Colin Winterbottom

The meditation of the heart

Many Sundays, in churches across the country, we hear the preacher say these words before the sermon, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to you, O Lord.”

This prayer speaks to the preacher’s desire for their message to be guided by God’s approval, and for their heart to be in the right place, so the words they speak to those in the pews, and now online, might flow into the hearts of all listeners, as an edifying balm or a word of conviction. These words, of course, come from our reading today, Psalm 19.

The word for “meditation” in Hebrew is higayon, (הִגָּיוֹן), an unusual word only noted four times in the Hebrew Bible. It connotes the sound of a harp, or a kind of low melodious murmur, an undercurrent of continuous prayer, like the hum of a gently rolling stream. The “meditation of the heart” is understood here to ripple beneath the surface of our words as an internal incantation, an ever-flowing remembrance to listen for and to call on God.

This interior prayer, affixed to the words the psalmist (and the preacher) speaks, connects to the beautiful meditation at the top of the Psalm on the “voice” of creation. The whole world, held in God’s hands, also flows and reverberates with the “Glory of God,” which “pours forth” from the day and is declared by the night. The agency of nature, a creation that has “no speech,” and yet “pours forth speech,” communicates paradoxically through its own ecological linguistics. The wonder of God’s world also speaks and meditates, preaching to us.

The meditation of the heart the psalmist espouses is not just for clergy, but for all of us. Indeed, it is for all living things.

Summerlee Staten
Executive Director for Faith Formation & Education

Children’s Time

Sundays at 10am

Join us for Children’s Time on Zoom. We’ll start with a brief opening assembly together and then, each week, children can choose from two different breakout groups.

Godly Play (Preschool and older)
Story: The Faces of Easter 3
Response Time: Drawing and collage materials

Whole People of God (2nd Grade and older)
Lesson Theme: Just Anger — Should injustice make us angry? 
Activities: Write a qinquain poem prayer. Bring paper and writing implement.

Register to join on Zoom, if you haven’t already.


Psalm for the Wilderness
Sundays at 10am

The Season of Lent leads us through changing, and sometimes challenging, spiritual landscapes. Through the close examination of several beautiful and beloved examples, this Bible study will consider how the superlative Hebrew poetry of the Psalms might accompany us and enrich our journeys. For the first four Sundays of Lent, join Mother Beth Blunt and Summerlee Staten, Executive Director of Faith Formation & Education, in exploring the nature, history, and import of this pivotal collection. During the last week, parishioner and poet Chester Johnson will discuss his work on the drafting committee for the retranslation of the Psalms contained in the current Book of Common Prayer.

Learn more and register to join.

Spiritual Resources

  • The Bible Project offers a brief video introducing us to the Psalms.
  • A guided meditation on the cleansing of the temple and bringing hard truths to God. 
  • Haydn’s Creation brings to mind the first line in Psalm 19.
  • This reflection by Pat Bennett on Jesus clearing the temple in the Gospel of John considers the complex dynamics in the text and notes that “to gain the kind of insight which allows us to see what may not be immediately clear or understandable, requires time and attention.”
  • Anger is one of the stages of grief. Grief in children is often expressed first with anger. Trinity’s children and families are practicing lament with the Psalms this Lent. God is present in all of our big feelings. If you would like a digital copy of the materials, please email Kathryn Carroll.   
  • Family Worship: Home Edition