Psalm 1, to the tune Arlington. A great example of “a capella” Psalm singing by some young ladies, calling themselves TheReformedWomen.

As a child, I grew up singing Psalms and hymns from the old Psalter Hymnal used in the Christian Reformed Church. Some churches used to only sing the Psalms in public worship.  It is still the case in several Reformed and Presbyterian churches around the globe. For instance, the churches of the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland only sings the Psalms in public worship. (We built their denominational website in 2014, and visited some of their churches in 2015.)  Another example is the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America (RPCNA).

Covenant Reformed Presbyterian Church (RPCNA) in Ohio explains Psalm singing this way:

“We sing from a metrical version of the Psalms, also called a Psalter. This may be new to you, but many of the tunes we use are familiar hymn tunes. As to being a new practice, singing Psalms has actually been the practice of the Church for a great part of its existence. Congregational singing of the Psalms was one of the great rediscoveries of the Reformation in the 16th century and was popular well into the 19th century. Today, Psalm singing continues as a vibrant worship practice in several Presbyterian and Reformed denominations and is enjoying a resurgence of interest among many churches that also sing hymns.”

We learned about this, while setting up a Ready-To-Go church website for Covenant Reformed Presbyterian Church, near Cleveland, OH — in the spring of 2016. The have additional resources about Psalm singing.

The resurgence of Psalm singing is also manifested in the new Psalter Hymnal project of the United Reformed and Orthodox Presbyterian churches. The project has been under development for several years with the goal of:

“Develop[ing] a [new] Psalter Hymnal … which includes musical settings of all 150 Psalms, in their entirety, with as much accuracy and as little archaic language and confusing syntax as possible…” etc, etc.

Tags: Psalms, Psalm 1

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