January 19, 2010
Updated November 6, 2018
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Psalm singing is most certainly making a comeback. By Psalm singing, I mean something more than songs which feature a single verse from the Psalms or which use Psalm-like language. I mean musical settings which follow the shape of the Psalm—a musical setting which is either identical to the Psalm text (chant) or is a kind of singable summary of the Psalm, usually in metrical form like a hymn.
I know of at least 15 contemporary song writers who have produced Psalm albums, and at least 25 living hymn writers who publish metrical Psalms. New Psalm settings have been published in black gospel, Latino, Asian, Arabic, and jazz collections.
How many (more or less complete) Psalm settings does your congregation know and love to sing? Which ones are your ‘heart songs’?
P.S. If you need encouragement about the spiritual vitality of the Psalms, check out this piece by CRC pastor Kevin Adams, which appeared on the Faith and Leadership at Duke Divinity School.
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