URC Psalter Hymnal Update

The URCNA Hymn Proposal

The URCNA Hymn Proposal

I just received the first news concerning the URC Psalter Hymnal project since Synod 2012.  Rev. Derrick Vander Meulen’s report on the merger between the URC and OPC projects appears in the September/October 2012 issue of The Outlook (p. 31).

Most of the content of the report simply reflects the progress and decisions made at Synod 2012, which we’ve previously discussed here on URC Psalmody.  But Rev. Vander Meulen provides the following update towards the end of his article:

The two committees have already begun evaluating each other’s work and plan to meet face-to-face in early November, 2012, with psalms on the agenda.  Once there is consensus on the psalms, they will work on the hymn collection.  URCNA churches can expect that this final hymn collection submitted to synod will be quite different from the Hymn Proposal previously distributed.

The goal is to have a completed psalm and hymn collection to be approved at the 2016 synod and general assembly.  If that goal is reached and approval given, the next step will be production and publishing.

Although it surely wouldn’t be fair to label the previously released URC Hymn Proposal as a failure, it has certainly sparked a significant amount of controversy throughout the federation.  As a result of the joint project between the URC and the OPC, however, I am confident that the revised hymn section will reflect the best of the hymn-singing traditions of both denominations.  Hopefully the committees’ work on the psalms will have a similar result.

So pray for the URC Psalter Hymnal Committee, as they continue a monumental project that is expected to span at least twenty years.  Pray for the OPC’s committee and the combined work of the two churches as they meet in a few weeks.  And pray that the forthcoming URC/OPC Psalter Hymnal will prove to be a rich collection of psalm settings and hymns for the worship of our Lord.

To God be the glory,

–MRK

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