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Psalm Singing and Target



My second semester at Reformed Theological Seminary, I took a class under Dr. Robert Cara entitled Pauline Epistles. His legacy preceded him as I had heard a good number of his famous Cara-isms prior to the course. His classes are run like a presbytery meeting with paper nameplates and Roberts Rules of Order. Yet, the routine of his classes that surprised me the most was the weekly Psalm singing. The red Trinity Psalter book was listed as a required textbook (which I had not yet purchased by the first class). Dr. Cara proceeded to exegete a Psalm from the psalter and then we all stood and sang. It was infectious.


Now, I was aware of the conversation on Psalm singing. That is, some reformed traditions do only Psalm singing, some do a blend of Psalms, hymns, and contemporary worship tunes, and others do no Psalm singing at all in worship. I was aware of the conversation and yet I had never actually engaged in Psalm singing before. Certainly many of the songs and hymns I was familiar with had lines taken directly from a text in the Psalms but they were not as hyper focused on the text as these were.


I began searching for psalms that were metered to tunes of hymns that I knew. Psalm 91 was to the tune of Jesus What A Friend for Sinners and I began singing that. And, like any song that you sing over and over would, it got stuck in my head. I didn't quite realize the gravity of this until I was walking in Target by myself doing some shopping. I began humming the tune and singing the lyrics in my head. It took a few lines before I realized that I was doing that in public and I quickly looked around to see if anyone was around me... no one was. But it was in that moment that I realized the beauty of singing the Psalms. As I sang them more and more, they would get stuck in my head more and more. And as they got stuck in my head more and more, God's word was planted in me deeper and deeper.


Since then, Psalm singing has become a part of my routine and I have benefitted greatly from this practice. I'm not here to say that therefore there should be only Psalm-singing on Sundays. Yet, perhaps you yourself would benefit from picking up a psalter and singing through some of them. I certainly have.

 

Here are a couple that I recommend. You can click on the images to purchase them:





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