Is the singing of harmonies allowed in EP?

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markkoller

Puritan Board Freshman
Calvin believed and stated that congregational singing should be in unison in order to guard against being distracted from the words (Psalms). He allowed polyphonic editions of the Genevan Psalter to be printed for singing in parts, however, singing in parts was only allowed in the home and never in formal worship. The most familiar editions of the Genevan Psalter were intended for singing in unison.

Regarding singing in parts in worship, there is nothing inherently wrong with the practice. Calvin's view on singing in unison is wise council for us to hear because we always need to be reminded of things that might distract us from the Words of God as we sing. We must remember that this is only Calvin's opinion on the matter and that singing in unison is not a necessary component to the singing of Psalms in worship. Singing in parts can be done decently and in order and is allowable in worship.
 
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Glenn Ferrell

Puritan Board Junior
The RPCNA is real big on four part harmony.

My wife, who lived in Scotland for several years, tells me some Psalm singing Christians there may think elaborate harmonizing is prideful and out of place in public worship.

Harmony or no harmony seems to be a circumstance of worship.
 

P.F.

Puritan Board Freshman
Every EP church today, of which I'm aware, permits harmonies. There was apparently a time when this was controversial. It is easy to understand how it could get distracting from the words (particularly if Parisian operatic techniques were employed). Those who sing songs regardless of divine warrant may be surprised to discover other points of controversy among the EPs, such as whether it is proper to add an "Amen" chorus to the end of psalms that lack one, or whether it is proper to repeat a portion of the line a second time.
 
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