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This page last updated 7 April 2014  

Letters to AO

EVERY WEEK WE PUBLISH a selection of letters we receive in response to something you've read at Anglicans Online. Stop by and have a look at what other AO readers are thinking.

Alas, we cannot publish every letter we receive. And we won't publish letters that are anonymous, hateful, illiterate, or otherwise in our judgment do not benefit the readers of Anglicans Online. We usually do not publish letters written in response to other letters. We edit letters to conform with standard AO house style for punctuation, but we do not change, for example, American spelling to conform to Canadian orthography. On occasion we'll gently edit letters that are too verbose in their original form. Email addresses are included when the authors give permission to do so.

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Letters from the week of 31 March to 6 April 2014

Like all letters to the editor everywhere, these letters express the opinions of the writers and not Anglicans Online. We publish letters that we think will be of interest to our readers, whether we agree with them or not. If you'd like to write a letter of your own, click here.

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Lifting Eyes to the Hills

My feeling for Psalm 121 is terror - for that is where the enemy hides and sweeps down up us. The mountains are full of danger - one can get permanently lost or fall in an abyss and never be found.

Ann Fontaine
St Catherine of Alexandria
Cannon Beach, Oregon, USA
31 March 2014

Some four decades ago, as a young teacher, I had the privilege of attending an inservice training course on choral music which was led by Malcolm Williamson. As part of that day, we learned that setting of Psalm 121, along with several of his cassations intended for performance by schoolchildren. It was a most influential experience which I carried with me for the rest of my teaching career.

Graham Smith
Anglican Parish of Mount Vincent and Weston
Kurri Kurri, New South Wales, AUSTRALIA
31 March 2014

These are the first two verses of Psalm 121:

1 I lift up my eyes to the hills.
From whence does my help come?
2 My help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth.

Although as I learned the "truth" about Psalm 121, I was told it would never make any difference, because everyone wanted to create the connection that the help we seek comes from someone or something in the hills or mountains.

Nonetheless, the truth as I learned it is quite simple:

1. The first verse means: I look up at the hills, (but) from whence comes my help?

2. The second verse means: My helps comes not from the hills, but from the Lord.

The word "but" is simply to be understood by the question as it is being asked -- Does my help come from the hills? That's where I've been looking.

The answer is, No, it doesn't come from the hills, it comes from the Lord.

This will make utterly no difference to the zillions who have enshined this thought in their memories. But maybe it should.

And maybe A.O. could lead the crusade!

Peter Winterble
St Philip of Neri
31 March 2014

(Editor: you might be right.)

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Earlier letters

We launched our 'Letters to AO' section on 11 May 2003. All published letters are in our archives.


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