PINS Article

Assembly Encourages Psalm Singing

Louisville, Kentucky (June 17, 1999)-The 27th Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) General Assembly today voted to encourage the singing of Psalms at each Assembly. Responding to an overture from Central Georgia Presbytery, the court encouraged the General Assembly Arrangements Committee and all those involved in planning the Assembly worship services to: "Distribute the Trinity Psalter for use of the Assembly each year"; "Sing Psalms as well as hymns at each Assembly"; and "Identify Psalms as such when they are used."

In 1992, Central Georgia had overtured the Assembly, asking for a committee to study the use of Psalms and to encourage their use. Out of that study committee's report came the recommendation to publish a words-only psalter. In 1994, the Trinity Psalter appeared, as a joint effort between the PCA and the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America, a sister denomination which still maintains the practice of exclusive psalmody.

At the 1994 Assembly, 1000 copies of the psalter were anonymously given for the use of the Assembly. The Christian Education and Publications bookstore sold out of the 1000 copies of the psalter it had brought, and took another 800 backorders. A total of 10,000 copies was initially printed. The Trinity Psalter is now in its second printing.

The Assembly utilized the psalter in 1994 and 1995, but for the last three Assemblies (1996-1998), the psalters lay unused in their boxes. At this year's Assembly, a concerted effort was made to sing numerous psalms, including from the psalter.