Welcome to URC Psalmody! We’re glad you’ve stopped by. Whether you’re a pastor, a church musician, a URC member, or just a curious visitor, we hope you’ll find the resources on this website useful and enjoyable.

What’s URC Psalmody about? We created this site to encourage Christians everywhere to sing the psalms more. These God-given songs of praise reveal Jesus Christ and bring comfort, joy, and spiritual growth to individual believers and the church as a whole.

Got more questions? We’ve attempted to provide a few more answers below. But feel free to leave a comment or contact us if you don’t see what you’re looking for. We hope you’ll enjoy browsing URC Psalmody!

All praise to Christ,

Michael Kearney

What is Psalmody?

Just as “hymnody” means the singing of hymns, “psalmody” means the singing of psalms, which are a collection of 150 songs found in the Old Testament of the Bible. As opposed to hymns and other songs, which were written only by humans, the psalms are a part of Scripture and are thus “breathed out by God” (2 Tim. 3:16). That’s why the psalms are the bedrock and cornerstone of Christian worship. The Psalter (another name for the Book of Psalms) was given to the church by God himself. So why not sing it?

Psalm-singing has been a key element of Christian worship for centuries, particularly in the Reformed (Protestant) tradition of Christianity. Sadly, the psalms are not sung nearly as often as they once were, nor (we think) as often as they ought to be. We hope this blog, in a small way, can remind the church of the spiritual riches contained in the Book of Psalms!

What is the URC?

The authors of this blog speak out of and into the tradition of the United Reformed Churches in North America, a group of churches in the continental Reformed tradition. The URCNA is a young federation of churches that currently comprises about 110 congregations, both new and old, in the United States and Canada.

As a group of churches in the Dutch Reformed tradition, the URCNA has a long heritage of psalm-singing. The stately music and simple poetry of the Genevan Psalter, commissioned by Reformed minister John Calvin in the 1500’s, came to America with the first Dutch Reformed immigrants in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. As their congregations began to transition to the English language, the Dutch Reformed made sure to translate their Psalters as well, cooperating with other denominations to produce books like the United Presbyterian Psalter of 1912. The tradition continues today with the publication of the Trinity Psalter Hymnal, used by the United Reformed Churches and the Orthodox Presbyterian Church.

Who runs this site?

The content on this site is not created or maintained by the United Reformed Churches in North America. I (Michael Kearney) started URC Psalmody at the end of 2011 with the hope of opening up a discussion point for Reformed church music, specifically within the United Reformed Churches in North America. Other contributors have joined me from time to time as well. URC Psalmody began as my personal endeavor to learn more about the music of God’s people, and since then it has become a regular point of contact among Reformed church musicians.

What is the purpose of this blog?

URC Psalmody’s purpose is to discuss the union of text and music in the singing of God’s Word. Our goal is to build a discussion base on Reformed church music, and also to build connections with like-minded church musicians, with the end intent that God may be more purely glorified as we worship him in song.

Soli Deo gloria!

Last updated June 4, 2021

3 responses to “About”

  1. Dear Michael and James –
    I’ve been a liturgical musician with the Catholic Church for about 35 years. Everything I’ve read on your sight suggests a strong vein of Catholicism, which has used Psalmody in worship, in lineage with our Jewish ancestors of faith, since Christianity’s inception. We all have Jewish roots… like our Savior.
    Thanks for starting the blog and please consider taking a look at the Catholic Catechism to see where you belong. You can find free access at the http://www.usccb.org, the American Bishops website.

    God bless your fine work! Hope you join us soon!

  2. I’m delighted to find this blog! I’m a minister music at an independent baptist church in CT, and over the past several years I’ve become convinced of the necessity and benefit of singing the Psalms. I’m not a person who naturally makes waves and chooses ” hills to die on, ” so I’ve been greatly blessed to work with an elder board that has been willing to experiment, even though the church has no history of Psalm singing. One of the elders grew up in an church where he found the practice to be intolerably dull, but even he has been open to trying as well. This Sunday we began a series on the Psalms of Ascent. We’ve written a number of the tunes ourselves, and the church seems to be beginning to catch the vision.

    1. Welcome, John! Thanks for your comments. People like you are the reason this blog is here.

      Michael Kearney
      Covenant Fellowship Reformed Presbyterian Church
      Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

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