Different Psalters

Although I provided the link for the Scottish Psalter of 1650, some of you might be interested in the actual book. Crown and Covenant provides some great deal of resources for Psalm singing. But if you are not familiar with Psalm singing, an introduction to it becomes somewhat overwhelming. That is why I suggest that people stick with the Scottish Psalter of 1650 before moving forward. Remember: no copyright issues! You can copy and paste from the internet and sing it this Sunday night.

If you want to own a hard copy, Crown and Covenant has a nice small one for a good price here. It is called “The Psalms of David in Metre,” and it is from the Trinitarian Bible Society. This is the first one I learned to use. They sell it for $8.

If you prefer something more up to date, take a look at the Trinity Psalter. Terry Johnson, pastor of Independent Presbyterian Church in Savannah, GA, worked very hard at developing this Psalter. This is also a metrical, words-only psalter with a familiar tune suggested for each selection. It has a durable paperback cover (called lexotone), and it is small (only 3/8″ thin). One of the added benefits of this Psalter is Johnson’s article “Why the Psalms?” The “Guide to Using This Book” is also a helpful explanation of Psalm singing. Here are a few Psalms that are sung to familiar tunes:

  • Psalm 16 (“Not What My Hands Have Done”)
  • Psalm 35 (“When I Survey the Wondrous Cross”)
  • Psalm 45 (“Crown Him with Many Crowns”)
  • Psalm 54 (“O the Deep, Deep Love of Jesus”)
  • Psalm 104 (“O Worship the King”)
  • Psalm 128 (“Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing”)

For the more adventurous, The Book of Psalms for Singing is very comprehensive and gives several options for some individual Psalms. Although I really like this Psalter, and consider it one of the best, it can be very confusing at the beginning. I remember first looking at it several years ago and thinking, “How does someone decide which tune to sing with this Psalm?”

There are other Psalters too, but I strongly suggest that when you introduce these Psalms to a church, do it one Psalm at a time and not via a book. For example, sing Psalm 100 to the tune of the Doxology, teach on Psalm 100, then sing it again.

One thought on “Different Psalters”

  1. Thanks for this list james. Adding to a growing list of psalters to consult for our psalms of ascents grant. We will be producing a bunch of materials from Psalms 120-134 as a great beginnings guide to the psalter as a whole.

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