David T. Koyzis is a professor of political science at Redeemer College, Ancaster, Ontario.
Articles by this author:
In most Reformed and Presbyterian churches, the typical Sunday morning worship service is a preaching service in which the sermon is regarded as the centerpiece. The Lord's Supper, or communion, is celebrated infrequently—perhaps four to six times a year—and is viewed by the congregation as something of a special occasion. Such occasional celebration is so much a part of the life of Calvinistic churches that it is probably not widely known that Calvin himself favored weekly celebration of communion.
In RW 10 Koyzis gave a brief historical overview of psalm-singing and offered suggestions for using the psalms in worship. In this second article, he compares ways of singing the psalms.
Psalm-singing Christians basically fall into two categories: those who chant the psalms directly from the Bible and those who sing metrical paraphrases of the psalms, in which the biblical text is reworked in poetic meter and (often) rhyme.
Although Psalm-singing has long been one of the identifying characteristics of the Reformed tradition, the singing of psalms in worship is by no means a Reformed innovation. We share the riches of the biblical psalter with the whole Christian church, as well as with the Jewish synagogue.