21 Feb 2023

The Tennents' Seedbed Psalter

During my visit to Trinity School for Ministry last week, the Very Rev. Dr. Henry L. "Laurie" Thompson III, was kind enough to present me with a bound copy of the Seedbed Psalter, a metrical psalter compiled by Julie and Timothy Tennent. Thompson is retired Dean President of Trinity and associate professor of liturgical studies. Nearly two years ago I reviewed the Seedbed Psalter. It is an online open-source metrical psalter containing multiple helps to enable congregations to sing the Psalms to familiar hymn tunes. Julie Tennent is a keyboard musician and composer who did the bulk of the work on it. Her husband Timothy is president of Asbury Theological Seminary, Wilmore, Kentucky, the largest Wesleyan seminary in North America.

Incidentally, neighbouring Asbury University has been in the news due to a revival amongst the students in the form of a 24-hour worship service that has been going on for nearly two weeks and is set to end in a few days.

20 Feb 2023

Metrical psalmody in Pennsylvania

Last week I was privileged to speak at two educational institutions in the Pittsburgh area, Trinity School for Ministry in Ambridge and Geneva College in Beaver Falls. Trinity is an independent Anglican seminary that serves the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), along with overseas Anglican provinces. On wednesday, 15 February, I spoke twice at Trinity. During the morning I spoke on "Ideology and Idolatry," the topic of my first book. In the evening, I turned to my work with the Psalms, speaking on "Geneva in England: Singing the Psalms in Metre." My talk covered some of the same material on which I spoke last May at Calvin University, but this time I focussed more on the Sternhold & Hopkins Psalter of 1562 and the Tate & Brady "New Version" Psalter of 1696. These, of course, were used in public worship in the Church of England until the end of the 18th century. Most contemporary Anglicans are unaware that their forebears ever sang metrical psalmody.

7 Feb 2023

Le Psautier de Genève 1729

In recent months I have made the acquaintance of Philippe Lacombe, a Frenchman who maintains a blog devoted to the Genevan Psalter, along with an associated Twitter account. He recently published a hard-bound edition of the 1729 French version of the Genevan Psalter, a copy of which I have just obtained. It contains a preface by Lacombe, an index of the Psalms, an index of Psalms using the same tunes, and the 150 Psalms themselves. This is from the preface, which I have translated into English:

Put to rhyme by the poet Clément Marot and the reformer Theodore Beza between 1539 and 1562, the 150 Psalms of the Bible were made available to the Reformed churches for liturgical singing in protestant worship. The definitive version of the psalter was published in 1587.