Psalm 98 has been an alternative Canticle since 1552, serving alongside the Magnificat as the first Canticle in Evening Prayer.

O sing unto the Lord a new song, * for he has done marvelous things.
With his own right hand, and with his holy arm, * he has won for himself the victory.
The Lord declared his salvation; * his righteousness he has openly shown in the sight of the nations.
He has remembered his mercy and truth toward the house of Israel,* and all the ends of the world have seen the salvation of our God.
Show yourselves joyful unto the Lord, all you lands; * sing, rejoice, and give thanks.
Praise the Lord with the harp; * sing with the harp a psalm of thanksgiving.
With trumpets also and horns, * O show yourselves joyful before the Lord, the King.
Let the sea make a noise, and all that is in it, * the round world, and those that dwell therein.
Let the rivers clap their hands, and let the hills be joyful together before the Lord, * for he has come to judge the earth.
With righteousness shall he judge the world * and the peoples with equity.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; * as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Psalm 98, along with Psalms 95 through 100, is a hymn of praise that easily finds a home in the “Call to Worship” liturgical function.  Joyful feast days, especially Christmas Day, showcase this and similar psalms in their Communion services.  In the context of the Daily Office, especially its historical role as an alternative to the Magnificat, Psalm 98 serves as a sort of template for how to praise and worship God in light of his works and revelation.  The first two verses identify singing as an appropriate response to God’s marvelous works, and verse 3 expands this to be a response to God’s declaration also.  This, with the Magnificat and other Gospel Canticles, shows us that it is right to give God thanks and praise even simply after hearing his Word proclaimed  The singing of a “new song”, in particular, suggests the appropriateness of using not just the ancient Psalms but also the Canticles of the New Testament when responding to the Lesson in the Daily Office, and, by extension, the continued creation of sacred music throughout history into our own day.

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