As I browse Facebook, YouTube, blogs, and various other corners of the world-wide web, I occasionally stumble upon particularly interesting and relevant bits of news and information. Probably I could create an entire blog post focusing on each of these items, but such a task would be far greater than I could handle. A better approach, I think, is to pause here at the end of the month and simply summarize some of January’s “top stories” related to psalmody and the church. Clicking the links will direct you to webpages which contain more information about each topic. May you be edified and encouraged by these news highlights!
- Oceanside URC offers daily devotionals based on the Psalms for 2013 (12/31/12) – Rev. Danny Hyde of Oceanside URC in California shared the devotionals created for his church. These include a passage for daily reading (usually from the Psalms), a song of the month from the blue Psalter Hymnal, and a set of prompts for prayer specific to the needs of the URCNA. (http://www.oceansideurc.org/weekly-devotions/)
- MIDI files for the complete blue Psalter Hymnal now available online (1/4/13) – Michael Spotts, a deacon at Oceanside URC in California, has posted a complete-with-extras set of MIDI (computerized) audio files from the blue Psalter Hymnal on Archive.org. (http://archive.org/details/MidiBluePsalter)
- University music professor acknowledges the profound influence of Calvinism on Western music (1/7/13) – Matthew Linder, music professor at National University and University of Phoenix, composed an article for his blog “Retuned” which quotes Abraham Kuyper on the impact of Calvinism on Western music, especially via the Genevan Psalter. (http://www.theretuned.com/musica-theologica-kuyper-on-calvinism-shaping-western-music/)
- Psalter Hymnal Committee to oversee devotions for Synod 2014 (1/9/13) – The Planning Committee of Synod 2014 sent their first communication to the churches with various details concerning the logistics of synod. Among other items, they say the Psalter Hymnal Committee will look after the devotions during the week of synod, and utilize that time to introduce the proposed Psalter Hymnal to the delegates. (https://www.urcna.org/sysfiles/site_uploads/custom_public/custom6173.pdf)
- 1912 Psalter released as Android app (1/28/13) – In an important step into new territory, the 1912 Psalter (still used today by the Protestant Reformed Churches in America) has been made available as an Android (smartphone) app. Currently, only the texts of the psalm settings are available, but hopefully this app will soon expand to include some form of music as well. (http://cjts3rs.wordpress.com/2013/01/29/an-android-psalter-app-a-great-psalmody-site/)