Yesterday, as West Sayville URC sang Psalter Hymnal number 190 from Psalm 98, “Sing a New Song to Jehovah,” I was reminded that I haven’t spent my customary amount of effort sharing Advent-related psalms on URC Psalmody. Thankfully, Joel Pearce of the Zeltenreich URC in Lancaster, PA (and Classis East’s member of the URC Songbook Committee), stepped in with this nice post about Psalm 98 and advent music in general–which I’ll conveniently reblog.
I have written in the past about why Psalms are appropriate for Advent and Christmas worship (quoting at length from C.S. Lewis’ Reflections on the Psalms ). Psalms have a long history of being sung during Advent. Before most Advent/Christmas hymns were even penned, churches were singing Psalms to celebrate Christ’s incarnation. Traditional Advent Psalms include (but are certainly not limited to) Psalms 89, 96, 98, and 113. To go back further, the “Advent” hymns in the Gospels are rich in Psalm imagery; Mary’s song in Luke 1, for example, is rich in psalm themes, especially Psalms 89 and 92.
Psalms are chock full of themes that have historically been associated with Christ’s incarnation. These include justice for the poor and oppressed, comfort for the downtrodden, judgment for the wicked, the fulfillment of God’s covenant promises, and a cosmic rejoicing in God’s mercy and reign. Singing Psalms with these themes helps to balance the sentimentality of some Christmas songs, as well…
View original post 772 more words