Canticles are chants or hymns based on Holy Scripture. One of my favorites is Canticle 9, Isaiah 12:2-6. It’s sometimes called The First Song of Isaiah. Verse 2 becomes the hymn’s refrain or chorus. The Gloria Patri is occasionally added to the end as a benediction. It was put to music by Jack Noble White, the words changed slightly for the music.
Isaiah 12:2-6 is powerful and beautiful praise without music. With music it becomes captivating — one of those things you can’t get out of your mind once you’ve chanted or sung it. It draws you into God’s presence and keeps you there.
So, read it aloud, or go to YouTube, sing along, and offer praise to God:
“Surely, it is God who saves me; I will trust in him and not be afraid.
For the Lord is my stronghold and my sure defense, and he will be my Savior.
Therefore you shall draw water with rejoicing from the springs of salvation.
And on that day you shall say, Give thanks to the Lord and call upon his name;
Make his deeds known among the peoples; see that they remember that his name is exalted.
Sing the praises of the Lord, for he has done great things, and this is known in all the world.
Cry aloud, inhabitants of Zion, ring out your joy, for the great one in the midst of you is the Holy One of Israel.”
[Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be. World without end. Amen. Amen.]
I still think that Psalm 100 may be the best scripture to begin the day. The First Song of Isaiah just may be the best one to keep in your mind all day long.