Though I’m not an exclusive psalmist, I do agree with this: “Congregations do well to sing the metrical versions or other musical settings of the Psalms frequently in public worship” (OPC Directory for Worship II.B.2). In the church I serve, we sing Psalms often and we also follow the practice of other Reformed/Presbyterian churches by singing through the Psalter in our evening service (which takes about two years or so). Psalm singing is a blessing for the church that was reemphasized by the Protestant reformers.
But it isn’t always simple to find Psalm versifications that are easy to sing and understand. Especially in churches where members didn’t grow up singing the Psalms, it can be difficult to incorporate Psalm singing in worship. Therefore, I want to note an excellent resource for Psalm singing: The Book of Psalms for Worship by Crown & Covenant Publications.
I’ve been using this book for a few years now, and I cannot recommend it enough. There are many familiar tunes in the book and the wording of the Psalms is both faithful to Scripture and modern enough to sing and understand. The font and musical scores are easy to read – the book is edited very well. There are helpful indices in the back of the book: an index of tunes alphabetically and metrically, an index of composers/sources/arrangers, an index of first lines, index of biblical topics, and an index of Psalm usage in the NT.
On top of this, C&C has made other resources available. There is an app for this Psalter (for both IOS and Android), there are downloadable mp3 files, and there are different book formats (i.e. a mini-psalter, spiral edition, large print edition, etc.). Furthermore, there are helpful charts that compare familiar tunes and Psalters. I recently purchased the digital edition of the Psalter, which gives me the entire Psalter in PDF form (our church plant also uses the digital edition). This makes it very easy (and legal!) for me to print the Psalms for singing in our public worship or in Bible studies.
If you’re looking for a solid and singable Psalter, get this one: The Book of Psalms for Worship. The prices are right, the copyrighting aspects are not frustrating, and the resources surrounding this Psalter are outstanding. In fact, I’m not sure what else a church would need when it comes to a great resource for implementing Psalm singing in worship.
rev shane lems
covenant presbyterian church (OPC)