Although I find it hard to believe, today brings us to the eight-month mark for URC Psalmody. Since I posted a “Resource Roundup” four months ago at the beginning of May, I thought this would be a fitting time to create another article containing the highlights of the past several weeks.
Our meditations in the Thoughts category have taken us through Psalms 52-57 and 111-122. These posts don’t usually contain a lot of links, but I did refer you to a Christian high school choir video for Psalm 56, a better version of Psalm 113 from Hymnary.org, solid Genevan settings of Psalms 121 and 122, and a Dutch rendition of Psalter Hymnal number 262. For his part, my co-author Jim spent an entire week focusing on the riches of Psalm 119. It may be difficult to access each installment in his series, but here is his first article, and this link should lead you to the others.
Of course, URC Psalmody’s summer has been overwhelmingly dominated by the 2012 Synod of the United Reformed Churches in North America. I won’t sift through the dozens of related links in this arena, but I will direct you to our archival Synod 2012 page, which contains links to each of my synod-related articles. It’s also worth noting that the audio recordings of synodical music are available via YouTube or CD—visit the Synod Music page for more information.
Excluding synod-related topics, the Words category on the blog (devoted to general news, views, and discussions) has covered a broad area. Way back in May, I commented on a chapter from Dr. Paul Jones’s book Singing and Making Music. I also referred you to a blog post by Matthew Tuininga on traditionalism and Reformed worship, entitled “Patience with the Next Generation: Passing On a Tradition without Bitterness.”
With the beginning of the summer came an exciting new development on URC Psalmody: my partnership with James Oord (read our first collaborative effort here). While I attended our church’s Teens All Serving Christ mission trip, Jim shared his thoughts about the value of mini Psalter Hymnals. We revamped part of the website to offer introductions to some major songbooks of the Reformed tradition, to which Jim soon contributed his article on the Book of Psalms for Worship. Soon afterwards I posted on Suzanne Haïk-Vantoura’s work on revealing the original music behind the Hebrew Psalms. And most recently, I recommended Lorenz’s The Organ Portfolio and a CD of reverential saxophone music, while James meditated on the words of English pastor William Gurnall regarding imprecatory psalms.
In our Actions category, reacting to current events in the Reformed world, I presented my thoughts on the new songbook being composed by the CRC and RCA, and ruminated on West Sayville Reformed Bible Church’s TASC project. For his part, Jim published an excellent (and, judging by our statistics, extremely popular) article on the psalm-singing traditions of the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America. The biggest development by far over this summer has been the opening of the Psalter Hymnal Resource Library—a growing collection of all kinds of resources related to the blue Psalter Hymnal. Along with the opening of this library, I shared some links to Psalter Hymnal audio recordings. Two weeks ago we mourned the loss of Dale Grotenhuis and considered his impact on the music of the church; and just yesterday Jim recommended several psalm-related devotional resources.
Were I to recoup all of the remaining items this blog has encompassed over the past four months, this article would become a monstrosity. Nevertheless, I would like to encourage you to dig around on our website a bit. Especially if you’ve only recently started reading URC Psalmody, you may discover that there are dozens of useful articles that need not be buried amidst a pile of old news. We’ll do our best to keep our references as up-to-date and helpful as possible as we move forward.
For the future? More news, views, and discussion coming right up here on URC Psalmody!