Introducing the Psalms into Family Worship

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Puritan Board Freshman
Our family worship at one time included choruses and hymns that we would play on the guitar and have the family sing along with. We struggled with various levels of music talent among family members that didn't align with each other and took the focus from worship of God to the music issues. I have been exploring the possible introduction of the Psalter into our worship time to make our evening more focused on the worship of God.

We did not grow up in churches that used the Psalter and so we are in a learning mode as to how to pick which tune goes with each Psalm and how to best introduce this practice into family worship. Does anyone have any ideas that they can share about how they use Psaltery in their family worship? Do you use a CD for the music? Do you sing a Capella? Which Psalter do you find most conducive to worship with your family?

So many questions.....Thank you for any thoughts that you may have that could give some guidance to introducing this into my family.



Puritanboard Librarian
Steve -- It is encouraging to hear that you want to include the Psalms in family worship. May the Lord bless you and yours as you sing His Word to His praise!

In the selection of a Psalter there are various considerations to factor in, such as, for example, whether you can sight read and want to have the musical notations included on the pages or not. The Trinity Psalter comes with or without musical notation. It is geared for those who are moving from a hymn-singing background to Psalmody. The Book of Psalms for Singing also has many Psalms set to tunes that are familiar to hymn-singers. The 1650 Scottish Metrical Psalter primarily employs common meter, which means that you can sing just about any Psalm to the tune "Amazing Grace," for example. And its fidelity to the Hebrew text is commended by the likes of John Owen and Thomas Manton, among many others. The split-leaf Psalter allows you to employ a variety of tunes for a particular Psalm.

We sing the Psalms a cappella in our family worship. But it is helpful to listen to midi files or DVD's/CD's or the like to get acquainted with the tunes, or to attend Psalm sings (we are going to one in our area later today) or to practice as a family or in the church.

Below I have listed some links to threads, Crown & Covenant Publications (a great place to find Psalters or Psalm-singing aids) and other resources that may be helpful to you.

If anyone would like a psalm CD from the PRC, please feel free to pm me -- I will gladly send you one at no cost.


Instructional Psalm Singing Aids

Rules to be Observed in Singing of Psalms

So this is what the Reformation sounded like...Wow

Directory for Family Worship

Returning to the Family Altar: A Commentary and Study Guide on the Directory for Family Worship by Doug Comin

Psalmody, as a Part of Family Worship by J.W. Alexander

Family Reformation

The Psalms of David in Metre with Notes by John Brown of Haddington

Psalm Midi Files
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Puritan Board Sophomore
This site has many psalters online and the corresponding tune to sing them in.
We use the 1650 Scotish Psalter AKA The Psalms of David in Metre.

The best thing for my family is to play the tune from the site before we sing. I also like to sing one Psalm throughout the week so the little ones who can't read can memorize it.


PuritanBoard Honor Roll

I will be happy to email you a monthly calendar we call Sing through the Psalms in a year, if you like. It's based on the 1650 Scottish Metrical Psalter and suggests appropriate tunes.


Puritan Board Freshman
Thank you for such a wealth of resources. I truly appreciate it. I have been searching for information like this. While I have found some, I have certainly not found all of this. Andrew, that is quite a wealth of resources. Thanks!

Joe, that is a great idea about playing the tune first. My boys are older but musical abilities vary so I think a little practice is in order.

Jay, that is a very generous offer. I would certainly appreciate the resource.

Blessings to you all.


panta dokimazete

Panting Donkey Machete
Originally Posted by VirginiaHuguenot - If anyone would like a psalm CD from the PRC, please feel free to pm me -- I will gladly send you one at no cost.

Got mine! Listening now! Thanks, Andrew.
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