Tuesday 31 July 2018

Why do we sing metrical Psalms in public worship?

Well here are several reasons as to why all churches should desire to sing metrical Psalms..

Ephesians 5:19-20 "Addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ".

1. It is biblically commanded in Scripture
2. It is required by those who are committed to the Westminster Confession of Faith
3. It strengthens the church in their understanding of true Christian experience
4. Singing psalms provides a much needed gravitas for the church in public worship
5. The Psalms teach Christ, reveal Christ and honour Christ. Why? The Psalms speak of Christ and he sang the Psalms in his earthly ministry.

One of the best discoveries in my Christian pilgrimage has been the singing of metrical Psalms. They come with different metres for the Psalms and you can then choose a tune in that same metre. One that fits the right mood. It takes time and practice but you can search on your computer Psalm tunes for a particular Psalm.

Three Psalm books (Psalters) that I use are:

Sing Psalms (Published by the Free Church of Scotland)
The Psalms for Singing (published by the Reformed Presbyterian Church in Ireland)
The Book of Psalms for Worship (crown and Covenant Publications, USA)

I am reading an excellent book currently, called "Anthems of a Dying Lamb" (Psalms 113-118) by Philip S. Ross. It is very helpful on many levels and I commend it to be read. In Sheffield Presbyterian Church, we sing two metrical Psalms in each service and by doing so adds gravitas and reverence to our approach to the Triune God in worship. This is what the Christian minister Martin Luther wrote of the Book of Psalms in the Bible:

"It could well be called a “little Bible” since it contains, set out in the briefest and most beautiful form, all that is to be found in the whole Bible".

"The sum of all is that if you wish to see the Christian church depicted in living colours, and given a living form, in a painting in miniature, then place the book of Psalms in front of you; you will have a beautiful, bright, polished mirror which will show you what Christianity is".

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