For many centuries, among Western Christians, Psalm 66 (Hebrew 67) was recited at the break of dawn each morning, invariably as the first psalm of Matins. Thus, just as the sunlight began to break through the darkness on the eastern horizon and to extend, bit by bit, its ever-ranging rays still further to lands in the distant west, holy Church employed this psalm to summon all these myriad peoples to proclaim the praises of God: “O God, have compassion on us and bless us, and let Your face shine upon us, to make known Your way upon the earth, and Your salvation to all the nations.” Twice during this psalm will come the double refrain: “May the peoples bless You, O Lord, may all the peoples bless . . .
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