31 Oct 2023

Reformation celebration: two psalm paraphrases

Although the tradition of metrical psalmody is more associated with the Reformed than with the Lutheran tradition, Martin Luther himself penned a very few psalm paraphrases. The most familiar to us is undoubtedly A Mighty Fortress Is Our God, a free paraphrase of Psalm 46. Here it is in its original rhythmic form:

The second of Luther's psalm paraphrases is From Depths of Woe I Cry to Thee, paraphrasing Psalm 130:

30 Oct 2023

Psałterz Poznański: Psalms 22 and 68

I've been listening quite a bit to the new CD of music from the Psałterz Poznański. Here are two psalms posted on the Cithara Sanctorum YouTube channel, Psalms 22 and 68:


24 Oct 2023

Psałterz Poznański: book and CD

Last month I wrote of meeting and spending time with Andrzej Polaszek, a Reformed pastor from Poznań, Poland, during his visit to North America. Last week I received in the mail from Polaszek a booklet containing music and fresh Polish-language texts for one-hundred Genevan Psalms, published in 2017, and a just-published CD containing recordings of 12 Genevan Psalms in Polish. The performing musicians include Andrzej and his wife Agata and three more members of the Polaszek family, along with several others. The instrumentalists play a selection of unusual instruments, some of which have mediaeval and renaissance origins. Among those listed are the romantic lute, Irish bouzouki, Renaissance mandora, hurdy-gurdy, zither, psaltery, alto and tenor rebec, and several different kinds of flutes and flute-related instruments.

18 Oct 2023

How to read the Psalms for all they're worth

Here is a very fine article at Anglican Compass on How to read the Psalms for all they're worth, by W. David O. Taylor, a theologian at Fuller Seminary and author of Open and Unafraid: The Psalms as a Guide to Life. He offers his advice in seven points. An excerpt:

2. Read the Psalms consistently, rather than occasionally and sporadically.
This was Eugene Peterson’s advice to me as a seminary student at Regent College in 1995: to read a psalm a day as a life’s habit. It’s also advice that Christians throughout the centuries have taken to heart. Consider then how you might read a psalm a day yourself. Begin with Psalm 1 and march your way to the end, to Psalm 150, and then start over.

Don’t become too anxious if you miss a day or two, however, or if you get bogged down with the longer psalms. The point isn’t to read the psalms perfectly. There’s no scorecard, thank God. The point is simply to read the psalms over and over again, so that they’ll have a chance to saturate our hearts and minds with the good words of God.
Of course, once you've started to read a psalm a day, you might then move on to take up the 30-day schedule in the Book of Common Prayer's Psalter.

16 Oct 2023

Psalm 24, St. George's, Edinburgh

The Free Church of Scotland faithfully continues its longstanding practice of singing the biblical Psalter. Here is the Scottish Psalter's version of Psalm 24, sung to ST. GEORGE'S, EDINBURGH. Our former congregation often sang this as an entrance hymn during the celebration of the Lord's Supper.

13 Oct 2023

Psalm 121 from the 1650

Another congregational psalm from the Free Church of Scotland: Psalm 121 to the familiar tune FRENCH:

10 Oct 2023

Sweelinck Ensemble: Psalm 42

Few composers can match Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck's arrangements of the Genevan Psalms in beauty and creativity. Here is Het Sweelinck Ensemble performing Psalm 42 at the Grote Kerk in Leerdam, Netherlands:

3 Oct 2023

Psalm 103: Falkirk Free Kirk

Here once more is the congregation of the Falkirk Free Church in Scotland singing the first part of Psalm 103 to the tune of Before the Throne of God Above: