Posts Tagged 'Genevan Psalter'

Featured Recording: Dutch Psalm 42

Featured RecordingYou can’t wander far in articles and discussions about Reformed church music without stumbling across references to the Genevan Psalter.  Indeed, we’ve even devoted a page to this songbook here on URC Psalmody.  In that article I explained, “The Genevan Psalter was groundbreaking in numerous ways.  Within the Reformation, it was one of the first, if not the first, complete book of psalms in the common language of the congregation.  It was revolutionary in that it used contemporary tunes, remaining reverent yet accessible to the singers.  And its unique style of harmonization has become standard practice through more than four centuries of hymn-writing.”

The Genevan Psalter is also important because it formed the basis for the Dutch psalm-singing tradition we in the United Reformed Churches in North America have inherited.  In his introduction to the Genevan Psalter, David Koyzis says:

The Genevan Psalter would come to exert a considerable influence on the liturgical life of Reformed churches elsewhere as well.  A Reformed minister in the Low Countries, Petrus Dathenus (Pieter Datheen, 1531-1588), in addition to translating the Heidelberg Catechism, versified the psalms in the Dutch language only four years after their publication in French.  Thereafter his rhymed psalms became the dominant liturgical psalter until a new, Enlightenment-influenced version was introduced in 1773 by the States General of the United Netherlands.… To this day some 30 Reformed congregations in the province of Zeeland hold fast to Dathenus’ version.

It was this same Dutch Psalter, in a very similar form, that came across the ocean with the first Dutch settlers in Michigan and formed the musical repertoire of the Christian Reformed Church until the early 1900s.  (This ties in with yesterday’s post about the history of the CRC.)  And a number of the Genevan tunes are included in our own blue Psalter Hymnal.

In appreciation of this rich musical heritage, I present to you today’s Featured Recording.  It’s a stirring rendition of Psalm 42, known to us by way of Psalter Hymnal number 74 (“As the Hart, About to Falter”), but sung here in Dutch.  This is probably one of the most beloved Genevan tunes, even today, and you’ll understand why once you listen to it!


(Click here for last week’s Featured Recording)


Psalm 130: The Music

Because of its vast riches, I decided to devote yesterday’s entire post to meditating on the text of Psalm 130.  Today we’ll return to our URC Psalmody tradition of critiquing the Psalter Hymnal’s offerings for this particular psalm.  This, too, is a significant undertaking, because our songbook contains not one but four versifications of Psalm 130.

Sunrise in Bushkill

Sunrise in Bushkill

272, “Out of the Depths of Sadness”

Text: “Out of the Depths of Sadness” is the first Genevan/Dutch psalm in the Psalter Hymnal since Psalm 122.  And among its fellows, this Genevan setting is a real gem.  Dewey Westra’s text, as usual, is slightly “amplified,” containing extra-biblical but not un-biblical phrases like “Thou who canst fill with gladness” and “O Fount of consolation.”  Yet the versification in stanzas 3 and 4 couldn’t be much better.

I wait for God to hide me;
My soul, with longing stirred,
Shall hope, whate’er betide me,
In His unfailing word.
My soul waits for Jehovah
With more intense desire
Than watchers for the morning
To dawn of day aspire.

Tune: As a Genevan tune, CONTRITION is beautiful and fairly well-recognized.  This harmonization, though different from Goudimel’s original, is extremely well-written, and the even rhythm (also not original) suits the text well enough.  Should you desire the original rhythm, consider using the version in gray Psalter Hymnal #130 or the Canadian Reformed Book of Praise.

Stylistic comments: As with many Genevans, musicians must always guard against extremes in tempo when playing CONTRITION.  Once again, the normal rule of thumb for these chorales is to make each line about the duration of a normal human breath.  I would suggest clear rests at the end of each line to send clear signals to the congregation.  On organ, perhaps you’ll want to repeat the last line on stz. 4 and end on a D major chord; that would be a perfectly appropriate conclusion to this psalm.

The rendition embedded below is an excellent example of number 272.

273, “From out the Depths I Cry, O Lord, to Thee”

(Sung by Cornerstone URC in Hudsonville, MI)

Text: In West Sayville, “From out the Depths” is doubtless the most familiar version of Psalm 130.  It’s beautiful, unique, and easy to learn.  Yet the text of number 273 has some significant flaws as well.  The phrase “I love Thee, Lord, for Thou dost heed my plea,/Forgiving all” can hardly be considered a versification of Psalm 130:2; and the first stanza includes no reference to the vital phrase “that you may be feared.”  On the other hand, the poetic beauty present in the second and third stanzas can’t be overlooked.

Hope in the Lord, ye waiting saints, and He
Will well provide;
For mercy and redemption full and free
With Him abide.
From sin and evil, mighty though they seem,
His arm almighty will His saints redeem.

Tune: I’ve always enjoyed SANDON simply because it’s an “outside the box” kind of tune.  At the end of each unusually long 10-syllable line is an attention-grabbing 4-note cadence, which tends to line up nicely with the thrust of each stanza (“Lord, hear my call”; “Forgiving all”).  Because of its simple rhythm and repeated melodic pattern, SANDON is also particularly easy to learn, making it a great choice for small or unfamiliar congregations.  Dropping the key to F for the sake of singability is certainly a viable option (see gray Psalter Hymnal #256).

274, “From the Depths Do I Invoke Thee”

Text: Number 274 should win an award if only for its clarity and accuracy.  Even the poignant repetition of Psalm 130:6 is captured in the fourth stanza of this versification.  I haven’t a single complaint to make against this text.

Tune: EVENING PRAYER is simple and suitable.  The only potentially challenging spot is the sixth leap in the third line.  Other than that, this tune should present no problems to the average congregation and accompanist.

275, “From the Depths My Prayer Ascendeth”

Text: The best word to describe “From the Depths My Prayer Ascendeth” just might be “quirky.”  The text is basically a skeleton of Psalm 130, but it veers into strange territory as it changes v. 4 into “But the contrite in Thy mercy/Humbly trust.”  With three solid versifications behind it, I’m not even sure why the editors of the Psalter Hymnal felt the need to include this song.

Tune: The quirkiest part of number 275 is certainly its tune, BULLINGER, which possesses the absurd meter of  The first few times you attempt it, you’ll feel sure you missed something.   As you play it, be sure to hold the tied notes for their full and precise length.  Hopefully, this will minimize the congregation’s potential for confusion.

Overall recommendation: My favorites are 272 for dignified beauty, 273 for simplicity, and 274 for accuracy.  And only 275 if you’d like a little excitement!

Hope in the Lord, O nation!
For with Him there is grace
And plenteous salvation
For all who seek His face.
He shall redeem His people,
His chosen Israel,
From all their sin and evil,
And all their gloom dispel.


Sing a New Song, Chapter 2: A Delightful Ordinance

Last Thursday we began a discussion on Sing a New Song, a relatively new book edited by Joel Beeke and Anthony Selvaggio on “Recovering Psalm-Singing for the Twenty-First Century.”  Our hybrid review format/written dialogue seemed to work well enough that we plan to continue on in the same vein!  So, without further ado, here’s our commentary on Chapter 2, by Dr. Joel Beeke: “Psalm Singing in Calvin and the Puritans.”

JDO: Dr. Beeke’s chapter made me really happy and genuinely excited to sing the psalms.  I haven’t read the rest of the book yet, but I could honestly say that I think this chapter alone is probably worth the price of the whole thing.  Beeke’s thesis is basically summed up in the sentence, “Calvin and the Puritans felt convicted to sing psalms in public worship and loved doing so” (p. 17).  By the end of the chapter, I felt the same way.

I loved the discussion of Calvin’s rationale for congregational psalm singing.  A lot of it may sound familiar to a psalm-singing church, but much of it was, if not new, certainly challenging and refreshing. Did anything in particular stand out to you?

MRK: I suppose one thing that we need to continually remind ourselves is that Calvin and the Puritans were pretty much working from scratch.  The practice of psalm-singing in the medieval church had dwindled down to a negligible amount—if it still existed at all.  So, in the Reformers’ day, the concept of psalm-singing by the congregation was just as radical as any other facet of the Reformation.

Dr. Beeke goes on to list a number of implications of the psalms—all of them excellent.  Although we can’t quote them all (you really ought to read this book for yourself anyway!), we might summarize the list in the words of Calvin’s famous quote—that the psalms are “an anatomy of all parts of the soul” (p. 19).  Our whole personal experience as Christians can be expressed in the inspired words of the psalms.

The chapter then describes the origin and history of the famous Genevan Psalter of 1562.  One aspect of this songbook that seems especially unique is that it contains 110 different melodies written specifically for the psalms.

JDO: That’s a great feature for a psalter to have.  As you learn the tune, you also learn the psalm, and as you remember the distinct tune, you remember the distinct psalm.  It’s really a brilliant pedagogical device.

MRK: Another inference we can make about these unique tunes is that Calvin and his colleagues realized the profound importance of tunes that were suitable for worship and appropriate for whichever psalms accompanied them.

JDO: Calvin argued that the piety of psalm-singing is best promoted when “the text takes priority over the tune” (p. 22).  Of the music, he says that it should be “‘weighty, dignified, majestic, and modest’—fitting attitudes for sinful creatures in the presence of God,” according to Beeke.

MRK: I especially appreciated Calvin’s emphasis on teaching the psalms to the youth, in light of my recent meditations (“Let Youth Praise Him!” and “All-Season Psalms”).  Not only then would the children learn the psalms, but they could also teach them to their parents at home!

JDO: It’s also great that Calvin had the psalm selections for each Lord’s Day posted on the church doors in advance, so that families could practice the psalms throughout the week in preparation for corporate worship.  I’ve known a few families who similarly check their church’s bulletins when they’re posted online during the week.  It’s always a blessing to hear their wee children singing loudly along with the congregation on Sunday morning.

MRK: Can you imagine sending a family member to check the numbers posted at your church every Sunday?  We have access to much of this information on the internet, as you mentioned, and yet we still don’t take advantage of the opportunity to practice the Psalms ahead of time!

Reflecting on the first half of Chapter 2, we note that Calvin’s philosophy of psalm-singing was truly ground-breaking.  He reintroduced congregational song, created his own Psalter in the common tongue with new tunes, and promulgated the practice of corporate and individual psalm-singing.  But he also influenced another major branch of the Reformers: the English Puritans.  That’s where Beeke turns his attention in the second half of this chapter.

JDO: During the anti-Protestant rule of the English queen, “Bloody Mary,” many of the Puritans turned to psalm-singing for worship and comfort.  But when Mary’s persecution ended, their love of the psalms did not.  In fact, the English Protestants who had fled to Geneva brought back the Genevan Psalter with them!  Through the influence of the Puritans, and later through the rule of the Protestant Lord Protector, Oliver Cromwell, the practice of psalm-singing became well-established in the English church.

MRK: For a variety of reasons, the common impression of Puritans is a bunch of grumpy old sticks-in-the-mud refusing to conform to anything.  Beeke clearly sets that misconception aside here.  Their resistance to the common uninspired church music of the day did not arise out of a “distaste of music,” as Dr. Beeke explains, “but their deep conviction that the Scripture must be obeyed at all costs.”  That’s the background to the 1647 treatise Singing of Psalmes: A Gospel-Ordinance by the New England Puritan John Cotton (1584-1682).  For the remainder of this chapter, Beeke offers a commentary on Cotton’s four main areas of study.

Cotton’s first section deals with “The Duty of Singing Psalms.”  I was greatly surprised to learn about what he calls the “Antipsalmists.”  No singing at all in the Christian church?  That’s a view I’ve never heard advocated until now.

JDO: Neither have I; in fact, I was rather frightened to hear it.  But I guess that’s what comes from an overdeveloped dispensationalism—in other words, that the “songs of the Old Testament” are no longer applicable to the “New Testament church.”  I suppose we do have to deal with many “practical antipsalmists,” those who don’t oppose singing the psalms, but simply don’t practice it.

MRK: Thankfully, we both agree with Cotton Mather’s refutation of that doctrine.  But I love that he goes further, to point out that the songs of the church must be intelligible to the hearers.   And, even more than that, it must all add up to God’s glory.  In one fell swoop Mather demolishes any argument against using the psalms and instead rears up a tower of psalm-singing praise to God.

JDO: I think we often miss an aspect of psalm-singing that Cotton brings out and that Paul speaks of in Ephesians 5:19—when we sing the psalms, we are not only praising God but also “addressing one another” for our mutual edification.  Singing psalms in church is not merely an individual affair; we sing it to our fellow congregants, they sing it to us, and as a whole we encourage one another.  The threefold purpose of psalm-singing—bringing glory to God, edifying the singer, and teaching and addressing one’s fellow singers—isn’t often in our minds, but it’s extremely important as an aspect of our ministry to and from other believers.

MRK: Cotton’s view of uninspired hymns in the second section strikes me as quite interesting.  While we might not agree with some of Cotton’s specific stipulations, I admire his underlying belief: We can sing a variety of songs to edify and encourage fellow believers, but we must only worship God as he has directed in the Bible.

JDO: Right.  And how could the congregation have the audacity to “address one another” in official function with anything other than the inspired Word of God?

MRK: I had never even stopped to consider some of the questions Cotton brings up in the third part of his book.  “Should an individual be allowed to sing for the congregation, or should the entire congregation sing?  Should men and women sing, or men only?  Should unbelievers be allowed to sing with believers?  Should people who are not church members be allowed to sing?” (p. 34).

JDO: Yeah—that rather shocked me, too.

MRK: Fortunately, I was reassured by all of his answers.  Especially intriguing was Cotton’s argument that believers and unbelievers alike are called to sing to God.  It made me stop, think, and finally agree.  Of course, his proviso at the end of this section is also important—even though the psalms are intended for the whole world, the Church of Christ has a special duty to sing them.

JDO:  And the church should delight in that duty!

MRK: Personally, my favorite part was Cotton’s fourth section, in which he discusses the manner of singing and whether psalms can be sung to man-made tunes.  I have found in my own spiritual walk that Cotton’s comments about metrical psalters ring true: they make “the verses more easie for memory, and more fit for melody” (p. 36).  Cotton upholds the importance of the music as well as the words, and the correct balance between the two.  In short, according to Beeke, “God gives us freedom to compose reverent tunes for the Psalms, so long as the rhythm and tunes are pleasing to God and edifying to His people.  We should never use this liberty to satisfy our selfish desires.”

JDO:  Yes.  The answer to the thoughtless question “If you’re so picky about singing psalms, why not sing them in Hebrew?” is that we are to sing with understanding.  We are obligated to translate the psalms into the common tongue, put them into memorable versifications, and set them to suitable, singable tunes.

MRK: Now, Jim, I know you already utilize Cotton’s suggested practice of reading a psalm in worship before singing it.  Have you noticed the same benefits that he describes?

JDO: Absolutely.  On the one hand, I always appreciate short and sweet song introductions.  But I do find that at least saying a few words concerning the biblical psalm to be sung, or highlighting a few verses thereof, does much to increase my understanding and appreciating while singing.  It would be super to have a mini-sermon on each psalm to be sung before reading it and singing it, but I also appreciate the need for a streamlined service.  A few well-placed sentences regarding the upcoming psalm go a long way in encouraging mind-full singing.

Dr. Beeke closes his chapter with an insightful and practical list of three benefits of psalm-singing.  Although this practice is commanded and encouraged in Scripture, we find that as with all of God’s precepts the command to sing psalms is for our good and delight.

  1. Psalm-singing is a profound source of comfort for the soul.  Robert Sanderson (1587-1662), Bishop of Lincoln, called the psalms “the treasury of Christian comfort” (p. 39).
  2. Psalm-singing cultivates piety.  The psalms teach us vocabulary for godly prayer, a posture for grateful living, and a vehicle for God-focused worship.
  3. Finally, and most importantly, psalm singing is a powerful means by which we can glorify God from the heart.

We owe a lot to the work of John Calvin and the English Puritans in recovering the divinely-appointed place of psalm-singing in worship.  Indeed, singing the psalms is a God-given ordinance, but a delightful one.  Sanderson expresses it this way:

[Psalm-singing is] fitted for all persons and all necessities; able to raise the soul from dejection by the frequent mention of God’s mercies to repentant sinners; to stir up holy desire; to increase joy; to moderate sorrow; to nourish hope, and teach us patience, by waiting God’s leisure; to beget a trust in the mercy, power, and providence of our Creator; and to cause a resignation of ourselves to his will: and then, and not till then, to believe ourselves happy.

We look forward with you to next week’s discussion of Chapter 3: “The History of Psalm-Singing in the Christian Church.”  Until then,


Psalm 122

My heart was glad to hear the welcome sound,
The call to seek Jehovah’s house of prayer;
Our feet are standing here on holy ground,
Within thy gates, thou city grand and fair.

Ever since Psalm 122 was sung as the opening selection at Synod Nyack 2012, it’s held a special place in my church-musician heart.  Its praises of the holy city and its Builder are wrapped in a beautiful package of corporate praise and personal emotion.  It declares the glory of God’s house and the psalmist’s lifelong devotion to its service.  And the fact that Psalm 122 is a Song of Ascents, meaning that it was sung by Israelites on their yearly journey to Jerusalem, gives it all the more significance.

So, without further ado, let’s plunge into the riches of Psalm 122 as adapted for the Psalter Hymnal.

262, “My Soul Was Glad”

“My Soul Was Glad” is the Psalter Hymnal’s contribution to Psalm 122 from the Dutch/Genevan Psalter.  Its text, set by Dewey Westra in 1931, is a little beneath the songbook’s typical standards for accurate versifications (for instance, there is no correlation to v. 8 in this setting, although many other passages in the psalm are unnecessarily elaborated).  Nonetheless, it’s certainly a workable versification and a great selection for an adventurous congregation.

(Above: Psalm 122 from the Dutch Psalter)

Although JERUSALEM’S PEACE isn’t the easiest of Genevan tunes, it’s extremely rewarding when played properly.  The version in the Psalter Hymnal is quite similar to the original arrangement, although its rhythm was tweaked in a few places and its harmonization updated in 1954 by Henry Bruinsma.  Nevertheless, for modern congregational singing, I think this version will prove to be the least problematic.

A few stylistic comments, however, may be helpful for the thoughtful accompanist.  First, take note of the melodic pattern in the second and third, fifth and sixth, and eighth and ninth measures.  Each pair is melodically identical, but should never be played identically—this kind of musical error is often what gives the Genevan psalms a reputation for monotony.  Bruinsma’s shifting harmonies will prove to be quite helpful in adding variety here.  In addition, consider slight dynamic changes or different focal points in each line.

Second, to assist the singers in determining the end of each line, I would highly recommend treating each whole note as a dotted-half note with a quarter rest (as is indicated in the 1984 Book of Praise).  This will provide a powerful hint to the congregation regarding where to breathe; just make sure you breathe along with them!

Third, there is the matter of tempo.  Although speed can usually be a major problem in renderings of Genevan tunes, I believe an unexpectedly wide range of tempi could be appropriate here—but only if each musical line has a clear direction and a strong half-note beat.

With regard to organ registrations, I wouldn’t shy away from using some reeds, maybe even festival trumpets in a few spots.  After all, this is an absolutely exuberant psalm!  Some well-placed 16’ stops in the manuals (or a soft 32’ in the pedal) can help to emphasize the references to Jerusalem’s “securely knit” foundations.  A constant crescendo is undoubtedly justifiable in the final stanza, and the very last phrase should be unequivocally thunderous.  A solid organ accompaniment, combined with a competent congregation, is all that’s needed to make this Genevan tune shine.

263, “With Joy and Gladness in My Soul”

(Sung by Cornerstone URC in Hudsonville, MI)

“With Joy and Gladness in My Soul,” from the 1912 Psalter, is in some ways an entirely different interpretation of Psalm 122.  In contrast to the brilliance of number 262, this setting is soft and meditative—yet no less appropriate to this psalm’s theme.

Number 263 falls more or less within the realm of literal psalm settings, although it takes some very justifiable liberties in elaborating on worship and interpreting “the thrones of the house of David” as “Messiah’s kingly throne” in stzs. 2 and 3.

Chant-like tunes like this one can pose trouble for accompanists in keeping their tempo consistent.  It’s easy to hold the opening note a bit too long, rush through the six following quarter notes, and then cheat the whole note at the end of the line.  Instead, HARVEY’S CHANT should have a reasonable tempo (a little quicker than one half note per second) and a subdued but ever-present beat.

264, “My Heart Was Glad to Hear the Welcome Sound”

Although it is perhaps the most literal of the three settings of Psalm 122 in the Psalter Hymnal, “My Heart Was Glad to Hear the Welcome Sound” possesses some exquisite poetry.  Where it departs from the exact wording of the Scripture, it is still clear and accurate in meaning; and the rest of the text, as far as human compositions can go, is flawless.

(Above: Number 264 sung at Synod 2012)

Among the Psalter Hymnal’s renditions of this psalm, number 264 also has unquestionably the most familiar tune.  MORECAMBE, commonly associated with “Spirit of God, Dwell Thou within My Heart” (number 394), can convey both quiet meditation and heartfelt passion.  Be sure to emphasize the interaction of the inner voices (especially the two-note slurs in the tenor part) and the crescendo built into the constantly rising melody line.  In the version sung at Synod 2012, the very last phrase—“To thee my love shall never be denied”—was rendered so passionately as to leave no doubt of the worshippers’ sincerity.  Their hearts, like David’s, were truly glad to seek Jehovah’s house of prayer.

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem!
‘May they be secure who love you!
Peace be within your walls
and security within your towers!’
For my brothers and companions’ sake
I will say, ‘Peace be within you!’
For the sake of the house of the LORD our God,
I will seek your good.

–Psalm 122:6-9 (ESV)


The Psalms, Alive and Well

A few weeks ago I posted regarding the lasting significance of the Genevan Psalter.  Since then, I discovered a great example of how these psalm settings are still being used today.

If you subscribe to Christian Renewal magazine, you may have recently read about a group called “The Psalm Project.”  Led by Dutch composer Eelco Vos, these musicians recently toured the Great Lakes area, performing psalms set to modern music.  Though their style is definitely contemporary, the melodies of the music are based on the original Genevan Psalter tunes corresponding to each psalm!  Apparently, The Psalm Project’s work has been enthusiastically received in certain Reformed circles, like the Christian Reformed Church and the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship.

Whether or not The Psalm Project’s arrangements should be incorporated into congregational worship could be a matter of great controversy in the Reformed arena.  But I don’t think this goal is what Eelco Vos and his musicians had in mind.  Rather, it seems to me that the mission of The Psalm Project is to expand the reach of the psalms from worship into every area of life.  By setting the psalms to contemporary texts and tunes, they can reach believers and unbelievers alike, in settings outside church gatherings, with the message of God’s Word.

This same approach has been proposed by others in the Reformed community, such as Calvin Seerveld.  Seerveld (incidentally, a former organist here at West Sayville) has long been an influential figure in Christian Reformed circles, and has authored many contemporary adaptations of psalm texts for the 1987 CRC Psalter Hymnal.  I’m not convinced that all of his psalm adaptations are Scripturally accurate, but this argument (as quoted in a Calvin Institute of Christian Worship article) is a significant one:

[Seerveld] believes that bringing the psalms back into public life would remedy the current “weakness of biblical consciousness.  There is so little, if any, common song (much less Psalms!) among followers of Christ.  ‘Amazing Grace,’ the doxology, and ‘Silent Night’ are probably about the most Christians could muster to sing impromptu without printed notes (not counting the Bible choruses).

“We need to start way back and have leaders fall in love with the psalms, get current language, recite certain psalms, exercise certain tunes, and then-after a generation?—they may begin to live in our voices,” Seerveld says.

He hopes that the Voicing God’s Psalms book and CD will inspire ordinary and younger believers to start reading the psalms for devotions, using them in Bible studies and outreach programs, and sharing the CD at hospitals, nursing homes, and on military bases.

“If believers ask their pastors to give attention to the psalms, and then if pastors and music leaders show they do take God’s psalms to heart, not just as token items in a Sunday liturgy, then maybe the CD and careful translations will endear the psalms to God’s people and the curious disbelievers,” Seerveld says.

Again, as URC members holding to a more traditional Reformed perspective, we may be inclined to shy away from the modern sound and idiomatic language of the settings of Eelco Vos and Cal Seerveld.  I’m not making an argument for bringing this style of song into congregational worship.  But could it be that this perspective—the mission of applying the psalms to every area of life—is one we should seriously consider?  How might the psalms have a greater impact on us and our unbelieving neighbors if we don’t limit them to Sunday services, but instead bring them anywhere God leads us?  And in this way can we make a permanent place for God’s Word in our hearts?  It’s not an easy question, but it may be worth some careful thought.

To God be the glory!



  • For more information about The Psalm Project, visit their website.  On the home page, excerpts from several of their arrangements are available for listening.
  • The Calvin Seerveld article I referenced, entitled “Voicing God’s Psalms,” is available from the Calvin Institute for Christian Worship here.  As it relates to our current discussion in the “Meet the Psalm-Hymn” series, I especially recommend reading the sidebar on “Translation, Paraphrase, Versification: What’s the difference?” near the bottom of the article.
  • To get an idea of Calvin Seerveld’s versification style, take a look at his psalm settings in the gray 1987 CRC Psalter Hymnal, including numbers 22, 91, 105, 131, and 150, or number 22 in the URC Hymn Proposal (which the Songbook Committee has since decided to remove).

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