Special Issue on Psalm Singing

Singing the Psalms

There are in brief three things that our Lord has commanded us to
observe in our spiritual assemblies, namely, the Preaching of his Word, the
public and solemn prayers, and the administration of his sacraments. As to
the public prayers, these are of two kinds: some are offered by means of
words alone, the others with song.... We know by experience that song has
great force and vigor to move and inflame the hearts of men to invoke and
praise God with a more vehement and ardent zeal. It must always be looked
to that the song be not light and frivolous, but have weight and majesty
as Saint Augustine says, and there is likewise a great difference between
the music one makes to entertain men at the table and in their homes, and
the psalms which are sung in the Church in the presence of God and his
angels.... Wherefore, although we look far and wide and search on every
hand, we shall not find better songs nor songs better suited to that end than
the Psalms of David which the Holy Spirit made and uttered through him.
And for this reason, when we sing them we may be certain that God puts the
words in our mouths as if he himself sang in us to exalt his glory.
—John Calvin

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