13 Jul 2020

Cantus Christi: 2020

Last month I received in the mail a copy of Cantus Christi 2020, the latest edition of a psalter and hymnal produced by Christ Church in Moscow, Idaho. The reason I was sent this is because I provided the music for their metrical text of Psalm 137. Whether it is appropriate to review a collection to which one has contributed I will leave the reader to decide. But given that I was in no way connected with the planning and editorial process, I believe I am permitted to post my impressions of the volume as a whole.

In that spirit I will indicate that this is a remarkable achievement drawing on the liturgical riches of the larger Christian tradition as well as on the gifts of the living contributors. That it was produced, not by a denomination, but by a single congregation is all the more impressive, although this makes for certain deficiencies, two of which I shall mention below. I myself worshipped at Christ Church during my visit to New Saint Andrew's College in late 2018, so I was able to make a brief acquaintance with the confessional and liturgical ethos of the congregation, which is part of the Communion of Reformed Evangelical Churches, a quite new denomination that is unusual for not having broken off from another larger Reformed denomination in the past.