For centuries, the Psalms have been the songbook of the church. From metrical settings of Psalms (think, “Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow” or “The Lord’s My Shepherd, I’ll Not Want) to use in liturgical settings (the Venite for one), or chanted or sung by the congregation as part of the liturgy of the church, Psalms have various uses in the life of the church. What I’ll be sharing are 5 resources for you to use in your worship services, either with a choir, soloist/worship/song leader, or for the congregation to sing together.
- The People’s Psalter by Hal H. Hopson (link: https://www.morningstarmusic.com/the-people-s-psalter.html)
I love this resource. It’s creatively done, and Hal Hopson is a giant in the church music/choral music world. What I love about it is its flexibility, They are reproducible, which is a huge budget stretcher. The idea with them is there is a sung refrain that is repeated after a few verses. There are some original melodies written by Hopson, and others that use familiar melodies with the Psalm texts added in. It’s fantastic!
- Psalms for All Seasons by Martin Tel and John Witvliet (link: http://www.psalmsforallseasons.org/)
Do you want a complete, exhaustive and vast resource full of ideas and detail? Bookmark this website! There are multiple resources per Psalm, some set to known tunes, some to unknown tunes, like The People’s Psalter. The website gives you lots of information, and you can purchase the book, which I highly recommend! There’s a link on the website.
- The Concordia Psalter Series by Richard Leach and Amanda Husberg (https://www.cph.org/p-20699-the-concordia-psalter-series-c-set-1.aspx)
If you’re in a little more liturgical context, with talented instrumentalists and a choir, this can be a helpful resource. I’m Lutheran, so I have to throw a bone to my church body. It is a reproducible resource, which is helpful, because there are 3 volumes available for the 3 year lectionary.
- 4. Singing the Psalms (https://www.ocp.org/en-us/products/9926/singing-the-psalms-vol-1?p=9926)
Oregon Catholic Press, or OCP has some really creative and unique resources for worship, not only for the Catholic church, but for all denominations. This is a 5 volume resource that has options for piano/keyboard, choir, instruments, guitar and is quite flexible in its usage. Once again, it’s a reproducible resource, which makes it very invaluable!
- 5. Psalms for Worship by Cardiphonia Worship (https://psalms.bandcamp.com/)
This is a resource if you’re in the more contemporary realm. As a musician, I not only play the organ and direct musical groups in a traditional setting, but I also play keyboard and work with our worship band on the contemporary setting. I recommend all of the resources on Cardiphonia.org, but most specifically the Psalms. You can pay $5 (or more) and you can download the mp3s of the songs, along with getting a digital songbook (yep, reproducible!) with lead sheets and chord charts.
This week we have a guest post from Craig Harmann. Craig is husband to Heather, father to Ella and Emily, church musician, pastor’s kid and loves worshiping God and assisting others in their worship of God. He is the Minister of Music and Celebration at St. Timothy Lutheran Church in Houston, Texas and you can find his website at www.churchmusicmakers.wordpress.com.
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