4 Jul 2010

Psalm-singing at Christ Church, Moscow, Idaho

I know little of the community of Christians worshipping at Christ Church in Moscow, Idaho, except that they are part of a larger body called the Confederation of Reformed Evangelical Churches, which are not well known outside of their own circles. They are liturgically distinctive in that they seem to have developed their own way of singing the biblical psalms, as evidenced below. The result is not quite chant, but it's not quite metrical either, and no attempt has been made to set these psalms to verse. Nevertheless, they are definitely rhythmic with a drum keeping the beat. Whether the congregation sings these at weekly worship or only at special psalm sing gatherings I cannot say. It sounds to me as though these would take some training to sing properly. Here the congregation sings Psalm 149, as composed by Dr. David Erb:

Here Erb manages to extend the shortest of the psalms, Psalm 117, by rendering it as a canon:

And now Psalm 19:

The congregation also sings the Apostles' Creed:

Are these psalms sung elsewhere, perhaps in other CREC congregations? Further information on this subject would be welcome.


A brief exploration of the CREC reveals that it has a publishing arm, Canon Press, which produces the denomination's liturgical publications. The above psalms are from Worship in Harmony, while the one below is a portion of Psalm 119 from its primary congregational worship book, Cantus Christi. The singing is inspiring.