A number of people wonder how to use the printed psalms with short refrains in Glory to God. (See "The Steadfast Love of the Lord" #59 and "The Lord Is My Light" #842 for two examples.)
- Some may choose to sing only the refrain (which may or may not be a direct quote from the psalm).
- Others may choose to read only the verses -- responsively (as printed) or in unison.
- Worshippers may intersperse the refrain through the verses (as printed). If doing so, the leader may choose to chant the psalm using a prescribed psalm tone found in either the red Daily Prayer book or Book of Common Worship. A brief tutorial is available on the Office of Theology & Worship's webpage.
Singing the psalms has always been a signature of the Reformed tradition. Presbyterians continue to include them in worship as morning songs, scripture readings, and prayers of the people. The 1955 Presbyterian Hymnbook printed 35 psalms (and other scripture passages) at the end of the book to be read in unison or responsively. Those readings were regularly used and treasured by many congregations. Glory to God upheld its predecessor's legacy by incorporating this much-loved section into the midst of the new resource. In addition to these short refrains and printed verses, there are almost 150 more settings of specific psalms in Glory to God (and other references to each of the 150 psalms). The psalms are set to old chorales, Genevan psalm tunes, contemporary global praise songs, and other musical styles. The hope is that this format increases the usage of the psalms, as well as allows a variety of readings/singings from the same resource.
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