Featured Recording: RP Psalm 100

Last summer, my co-author Jim Oord wrote an article introducing our readers to a denomination with which the United Reformed Churches in North America enjoy Phase 2 ecumenical relations: the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America.  (In layman’s terms, this simply means that our doctrines, practices, and worship styles are very compatible.)  The RPCNA is a notable denomination for many reasons, not least their practice of exclusive psalmody.  Reformed Presbyterians sing only the Psalms in public worship (from an excellent modern psalter, The Book of Psalms for Worship), and they do so without any instrumental accompaniment.

Needless to say, Jim’s post generated plenty of comments and not a little controversy.  However, the point we wanted to convey most of all was not that one denomination is better than the other, but that the RPCNA has an incredible commitment to learning, singing, and loving the psalms which we might do well to emulate.  Hymns or no hymns, the Reformed Presbyterians’ ability to sing the psalms in full four-part harmony, often from memory, is downright incredible.

Today’s Featured Recording on URC Psalmody is an example of such excellent psalmody.  During the 180th synod of the RPCNA, the delegates gathered on the stage of the Indiana Wesleyan University auditorium and belted out Psalm 100, “All People That on Earth Do Dwell” (a similar version can be found in the blue Psalter Hymnal, number 195).  Just listen to the heartfelt singing and glorious harmonies:

Indeed, whether or not we agree with our Reformed Presbyterian brethren on the exclusive use of the psalms in worship, this recording ought to inspire us to recommit to a manner of worship that prioritizes the Psalter as the songbook given by God directly to his people.  It’s the most important worship music decision we’ll ever make.

For more Reformed Presbyterian psalm-singing resources, check the links on our page on The Book of Psalms for Worship.

–MRK

(Click here for last week’s Featured Recording)

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4 Responses to “Featured Recording: RP Psalm 100”


  1. 1 Pamela Compton January 25, 2013 at 1:39 am

    I LOVE this! I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve watched/listened to it tonight! Inspired singing, in more ways than one.

    Michael – try to find their key on your piano. 🙂

    That lucky lady on the right side!! What other female on the planet has had the joy of singing in a choir of 100 men? 🙂

    Off to listen again…. Thanks for these great recordings.

    • 2 Michael Kearney January 26, 2013 at 1:49 am

      Hee hee. 😀 One of the less significant advantages of a cappella singing is that you don’t have to feel constricted into any definite key. (That’s not entirely true; I believe many song leaders use pitch pipes.)

      There were a handful of ladies in attendance at our own synod last June, and I can only imagine that their experience must have been very similar! The singing there was fantastic too, as you remember. After many of the songs there would be a cacophony of sniffles and a bit of a pause before the chairman found his voice again. It was truly moving.

      Enjoy! I am having lots of fun with this new “Featured Recording” series. It seems to be a very constructive way to explore the nooks and crannies of Reformed music that YouTube has to offer.

      –MRK

  2. 3 Paul January 25, 2013 at 2:58 pm

    FYI: This ‘choir’ is the elders of the 180th Synod. This was not planned. It followed our annual photo. Then someone said, “I wonder how the acoustics are in here? Lets sing a Psalm.” No Psalters needed. Just another day in the RPCNA.
    {I”m the guy the arrow is pointing to}

    • 4 Michael Kearney January 26, 2013 at 1:52 am

      I long for the United Reformed Churches to have that same thorough knowledge of the psalms and the psalter. And I’ve received a great amount of encouragement over the past several months that we may be getting there–slowly, but in God’s time and by his grace.

      Thanks for commenting!

      –Michael


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