14 Jun 2012
The United Reformed Churches in North America (not to be confused with the vastly different United Reformed Church across the pond) began nearly two decades ago when a number of congregations broke with the Christian Reformed Church and formed their own denomination. Up until now these churches have been singing from the CRC's old blue Psalter Hymnal dating back to 1959 and 1976. But this book is long out of print, and continuing to sing from it is obviously not feasible over the long term. Accordingly the URC is planning a new Psalter Hymnal in co-operation with the Orthodox Presbyterian Church. Progress on this front can be tracked at URC Psalmody.
I myself grew up in the OPC, and we sang from the 1961 edition of the Trinity Hymnal, which was heavily based on the now century-old 1912 Psalter. Although it contained a large number of metrical psalms, it did not include the entirety of the biblical Psalter. By joining forces with the URC to produce a Psalter Hymnal, members of the OPC will now have access to all of the Psalms for the first time in 76 years, which is definitely a step in the right direction.