WELS Hymnal Project

Thinking about Psalms

Psalms. They are the hymns of the Bible. We should be able to make good use of them in worship in 2013. But sometimes we struggle. Do we read them? Responsively? Do we sing them? To what tune?

The members of the Christian Worship (CW) hymnal committee wondered if it would be OK to use only select verses of a given psalm. They wondered if it would be OK to add refrains that were not necessarily texts from a given psalm. They wondered whether the psalms fit well between the first two readings on a given Sunday. The decisions they made about these issues have been widely accepted. The psalms in CW have been widely used.

A generation later, we might be able to do even more. All of the psalms in CW are the same style. What else can we do? What about congregations that struggle to sing the verses? Can we make more resources in many more styles available to all of our congregations?

An initial goal of the Psalmody Committee is to provide many more options for congregations who want to use the psalms in worship. With advances in technology, we will be able to make available much more than what we can fit in a single book.

Among many other things, we will be talking about what translation(s) to use, what the refrain for each psalm will be, and what musical styles are available. We will do the same for the appointed verses of the day.

Talk to us about how you want to use the psalms!

About Paul Prange

Rev. Paul Prange is the Psalmody Committee Chairman for the WELS Hymnal Project. He currently serves as the WELS Administrator for Ministerial Education. Prange has served congregations in Austin, TX, Roscommon, MI, and on the Apache reservations in Arizona. Prange and his wife, Leanne, raised three children in Saginaw, MI, where Prange served for fifteen years as president of Michigan Lutheran Seminary.


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