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Hymn, Psalm, or Spiritual Song


The people sing praise to God with a song that tells of God’s greatness, majesty, love, and goodness. Praise is the primary theme in Christian worship: our joyful response to the amazing gift of God in Jesus Christ.

Notes adapted from Supplemental Liturgical Resource 1 (WJKP, 1984).

Excerpt from Worshiping God Together: A Guide for Children and Their Parents:

The people of God have always sung songs to praise God — from the psalms of the ancient temple to the hymns of the Christian church. Singing is a way we can glorify God together, with hearts and voices united, making a joyful sound to the Lord.

Directory for Worship

Song is a response which engages the whole self in prayer. Song unites the faithful in common prayer wherever they gather for worship whether in church, home, or other special place. The covenant people have always used the gift of song to offer prayer. Psalms were created to be sung by the faithful as their response to God. Though they may be read responsively or in unison, their full power comes to expression when they are sung. In addition to psalms the Church in the New Testament sang hymns and spiritual songs. Through the ages and from varied cultures, the church has developed additional musical forms for congregational prayer. Congregations are encouraged to use these diverse musical forms for prayer as well as those which arise out of the musical life of their own cultures.

Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Book of Order, W-2.1003

Call to Worship: Liturgy, Music, Preaching, and the Arts provides musical selections (hymns, psalm settings, global song, and contemporary song, as well as other suggestions for choral and instrumental music) for each Sunday and festival in the Christian year. To learn more or subscribe, visit Call to Worship.

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