Posted by: jevcat | April 18, 2011

“How Dear To Me Is Your Dwelling Place”

This is a time of year when many of us are given to saying “I’ll be living at church this week!” (there are times this actually seems like a good idea to me, other times not so much).

Where I’ll be almost living this week is my current parish, the wonderful Church of St. Luke in the Fields in New York City (and back in the early part of the 19th century when it was built, it was in the fields — and on the waterfront — neither of which it is any longer).  But the church I grew up in, the also historic and wonderful Church of the Intercession, a few miles north of St. Luke’s, has recently posted a video tour, both on their Website and on YouTube, and it really does show off this wonderful building.

Given how little time any of us is likely to have this week, I’d just like to share with you Psalm 84, as it appears in the Book of Common Prayer, and Intercession’s video, even while remembering that ultimately, God’s dwelling place is not a building, but in each of us.  In the midst of this week’s hurly-burly, hopefully we can stop and remember this, at least sometimes.


Quam dilecta [707]

  1. How dear to me is your dwelling, O LORD of hosts! *
    My soul has a desire and longing for the courts of the LORD;
    my heart and my flesh rejoice in the living God.
  2. The sparrow has found her a house
    and the swallow a nest where she may lay her young; *
    by the side of your altars, O LORD of hosts,
    my King and my God.
  3. Happy are they who dwell in your house! *
    they will always be praising you.
  4. Happy are the people whose strength is in you! *
    whose hearts are set on the pilgrims’ way.
  5. Those who go through the desolate valley will find
    it a place of springs, *
    for the early rains have covered it with pools of water.
  6. They will climb from height to height, *
    and the God of gods will reveal himself in Zion.
  7. LORD God of hosts, hear my prayer; *
    hearken, O God of Jacob.
  8. Behold our defender, O God; *
    and look upon the face of your Anointed.
  9. For one day in your courts is better than
    a thousand in my own room, *
    and to stand at the threshold of the house of my God
    than to dwell in the tents of the wicked.
  10. For the LORD God is both sun and shield; *
    he will give grace and glory;
  11. No good thing will the LORD withhold *
    from those who walk with integrity.
  12. O LORD of hosts, *
    happy are they who put their trust in you.


  1. Janet–
    Blessings to you as you prepare your heart to mark Jesus’ crucifixion and celebrate His glorious resurrection…I love what you shared.
    This week, indeed feels Holy.

    • Thanks, Jane. Same to you.

  2. And–
    what a GORGEOUS church! We don’t make them like THAT in the PacNW! (or at least, not too many…)

    • It’s funny: as a kid I called it “that big gothic pile on 155th Street” and preferred the look of the Lutheran church where I went to school. Certainly, St. Matthew’s was warmer in appearance, but now I see it as different, not better — actually, I wish I COULD see it. St. Matthew’s went under about five years ago (we would have gone to the last service but only found out about two weeks after — it’s where I met both Roger and my best friend) and was bulldozed to build a public school — the congregation (not the building) was the oldest chartered (1752) Lutheran church in America. A remnant holds services in space in another Lutheran church and is trying to raise money for a new building. Meanwhile, Intercession still exists, although its future is uncertain. They’re doing better than they were a few years ago, though, which gives me hope.

  3. That’s a beautiful church! Strange to see chairs instead of pews. Makes it harder to hide the fact that you’re playing on your cell phone rather than listening to the sermon, I suppose. The clergy are onto us after all! 😉

    • LOL, Mark, that wasn’t in their minds back in the early years of the 20th century. It IS a beautiful church, with wonderful symbolism — although as a child I couldn’t see that. It’s struggling, though, and I hope they can save it — they’ve certainly made progress the last few years.

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