30 Nov 2022

A Trilha de Cantuária: culto e reforma

My recent post on The Canterbury Trail: worship and reformation has been translated into Portuguese and posted at Lecionário: A Trilha de Cantuária: culto e reforma. An excerpt follows the Portuguese translation immediately below.

Meu post recente sobre The Canterbury Trail: worship and reformation foi traduzido para o português e postado no Lecionário: A Trilha de Cantuária: culto e reforma. Um trecho:

Webber não me levou ao anglicanismo per se, muito menos a uma comunhão anglicana, uma invenção de meados do século XIX. Mas ler seus livros me ajudou a entender que até alguns dos reformadores do século 16 erraram, especialmente no que diz respeito às liturgias históricas da Igreja. Em qualquer esforço para reformar a igreja, os pretensos reformadores devem diferenciar entre o que pertence legitimamente à tradição da qual são herdeiros e o que são acréscimos antibíblicos. Isso requer conhecimento de como era a igreja antiga e como ela adorava o Deus trino. Infelizmente, os reformadores não tiveram acesso às fontes mais antigas que conhecemos hoje.

Leia o artigo inteiro aqui.

24 Nov 2022

Psalms of Grace: another congregational psalter project

The Rev. John F. MacArthur is the long-time pastor of Grace Community Church, Sun Valley, California, USA and has a radio and television ministry called Grace to You. After decades of ministry, he and his congregation now have an interest in incorporating sung psalmody into their liturgy. Here is MacArthur talking about their newly produced metrical psalter: Pastor John MacArthur Talks About Psalms of Grace. I hope to obtain a copy of this collection at some point.

17 Nov 2022

Good news and appeal for help

A sample of our work (click to enlarge)
As promised, I am privileged to share some good news concerning my Genevan Psalter project of which some of you may already be aware. I was recently informed by the Priscilla and Stanford Reid Trust that I have been awarded a second grant of CDN$2,200 enabling me to hire Michael Owens to format my texts for the Psalms to the Genevan melodies as arranged by Jacques Pierre Bekkers and Jacob Kort in preparation for publication. This comes the year after an earlier award of the same amount from the Reid Trust. I am grateful for this concrete expression of confidence in my ongoing work. However, we are still short approximately CDN$3,500 of the total cost of this work.

Thus we need your help. If you would be interested in making a financial contribution to completing this project, please make your donation via Global Scholars Canada. GSC's page for giving can be found here. Once you are in the page, scroll down to the heading marked DONATION DETAILS, and then choose one of the options under FUND. Americans may donate through our sister organization in the US. Please let me know if you have contributed, and I will be pleased to acknowledge you in the published psalter, unless you prefer otherwise.

Thank you so much!

15 Nov 2022

Praise God in his sanctuary: recovering the Psalms

Although evangelical protestants stopped singing the Psalms some two centuries ago, there is so much good news to share with respect to efforts to reverse this sad trend. Here is a recap, along with the promise of fresh news which I will share later this week:

  1. I have been heartened to see evangelical Christians in Romania acquiring an enthusiasm for singing the Psalms in their liturgies. The Dorz/Moldoveanu Psalter represents a considerable amount of work to make the Psalms accessible to ordinary Christians as they worship the triune God in their sanctuaries. That this is occurring within one of the heartlands of Orthodoxy is remarkable.
  2. As reported in Christianity Today, and as I pointed out below, Jesse and Leah Roberts, who call themselves Poor Bishop Hooper, recently completed their composition and performance of music to which we might sing the Psalms.
  3. This year Michael Owens published his encyclopædic Treasury of Psalms and Hymns, Revised, containing all 150 Psalms and so much more.
  4. Also this year, a Spanish-language edition of the Genevan Psalter was revised and republished, putting sung psalmody in the hands of the huge numbers of speakers of this language around the world.
  5. Then there is Psalms for the Church, the project of a single independent congregation, Grace Immanuel Bible Church in Jupiter, Florida. Imagine if all the independent evangelical congregations in North America were to use this treasury!
  6. And, of course, we have the wonderful through-composed Psalms of David Erb at New Saint Andrew's College.
  7. I will soon have good news to share about my own Genevan Psalter project, which represents a decades-long effort to put this historic psalter into the hands of English-speaking Christians around the world.

I pray for the day when every church congregation in every tradition sings the biblical Psalms simply as a matter of course. When that day arrives, it will no longer be a matter of whether to sing the Psalms but rather of how to sing them. And there will be a lot to choose from. May the Lord hasten the arrival of this day.

St. Bonaventure's adaptation of the Psalms

St. Bonaventure
I recently discovered something called the Psalter of the Blessed Virgin Mary, ascribed to the 13th-century Italian bishop and theologian St. Bonaventure. It consists of a reworking of the biblical Psalms to emphasize Mary. For example, Psalm 1:

Blessed is the man that cherishes thy name, Virgin Mary, thy grace will strengthen his soul. As a garden watered by springs of living water, thou wilt multiply in that soul the sweetest fruits of justice.

The archived version I linked to above was translated and edited by the Rev. John Cumming, DD, and published by the British Reformation Society in 1852. If such material seems an odd fit for the publisher, we need only read Cumming's preface for his motive in bringing it into print in the English language:

14 Nov 2022

Poor Bishop Hooper's Everypsalm project

Christianity Today carries an article about the completion of one couple's pandemic-era project to sing through all the psalms and post them on their YouTube channel: 150 Weeks of Composing Psalms Reaches Its Finale. An excerpt:

For the past three years, Jesse and Leah Roberts—who perform as the duo Poor Bishop Hooper—have sung every word of every psalm and are hoping to help revive widespread interest in the singing of Scripture. . . .

For the past three years, the Psalms have been musical and spiritual sustenance for the Robertses. Since January 2020, they have written an original song every week, releasing the new recordings Wednesdays on YouTube and music streaming sites.

They finish their collection of musical settings for the psalms with Psalm 150, which releases on November 9. The modern-day psalter is meant as a resource for Christians and churches.

The Robertses' Everypsalm project can be found here. Their YouTube channel is here: Poor Bishop Hooper.

Here is the project finale: Psalm 150:

8 Nov 2022

Psalm 23 (Moldoveanu) in English

After hearing a Romanian congregation singing the Traian Dorz/Nicolae Moldoveanu version of Psalm 23, I decided to come up with an English version to fit Moldoveanu's music. Here it is: