515

Sing to the LORD, Sing His Praise

Scripture References

Thematically related:

Further Reflections on Scripture References

The Levites were to sing Psalm 96 in the liturgy of a high festival such as the Feast of Tabernacles (Ps. 96 appears also in 1 Chron. 16:23-33). Standing among the Israelite congregation at the temple, the Levitical choir (or one of its leaders) would call all the nations to join Israel in worshiping the LORD (st. 1, 4). The psalm also calls for proclaiming the wondrous works of the LORD (st. 2), and it contrasts the glory of the God of Israel with the so-called gods of the nations (st. 3). The LORD God created heaven and earth and rules over all nations in righteousness (st. 5). In such calls and proclamations Israel began, in principle, the evangelization of the world (st. 2, 5-6). The cosmic scope of this psalm is very appropriate to the Christian task in the whole world. The versification (altered) is from the 1912 Psalter.
 
Bert Polman, Psalter Hymnal Handbook

Confessions and Statements of Faith References

Further Reflections on Confessions and Statements of Faith References

We celebrate with joy that Christ has come to rescue us from sin and evil through the work of his son, Jesus Christ. Our World Belongs to God, paragraph 35 identifies the church as “the fellowship of those who confess Jesus as Lord…the bride of Christ…”
 
Belgic Confession, Article 21 professes how Jesus Christ is a high priest forever and provided for the cleansing of our sins; Article 10 proclaims him as the “true eternal God, the Almighty, whom we invoke, worship and serve.” Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 1, Question and Answer 2 calls us to “live and die in the joy of this comfort” and “to thank God for such deliverance.”
 
In a world with many threats and enemies, we find hope and security in his fatherly care. Both Belgic Confession and Heidelberg Catechism put significant focus on the Providence of God and the care God provides for us. Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 9, Question and Answer 26 professes that he “will provide whatever I need for body and soul” and that we are “completely in his hand.” In Belgic Confession, Article 13 professes that he “watches over us with fatherly care.”
515

Sing to the LORD, Sing His Praise

Call to Worship

People of God, worship the living God today!
Remember that out of nothing God created the heavens and earth.
Remember that God raised Jesus
from the powerlessness of death
to the power of his right hand.
Remember that not even the gates of hell
can stand against God’s purposes.
Behold your God, who reigns now and forever!
[Reformed Worship 27:39]

Great and marvelous are your deeds,
Lord God Almighty.
Just and true are your ways,
King of the nations.
Who will not fear you, Lord,
and bring glory to your name?
For you alone are holy.
All nations will come and worship before you.
—Revelation 15:3-4, NIV
[Reformed Worship 16:46]

Additional Prayers

Great and wondrous God, your love and your mercy are new every morning.
Do not let your people be content with the repetition of threadbare praise.
Inspire us to join with all of your creation in fresh songs of hope and blessing
offered to you each new day, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
515

Sing to the LORD, Sing His Praise

Tune Information

Name
WESLEY
Key
G Major or modal
Meter
11.10.11.9
515

Sing to the LORD, Sing His Praise

Hymn Story/Background

The Levites were to sing Psalm 96 in the liturgy of a high festival such as the Feast of Tabernacles (Psalm 96 appears also in 1 Chronronicles 16:23-33). Standing among the Israelite congregation at the temple, the Levitical choir (or one of its leaders) would call all the nations to join Israel in worshiping the LORD (st. 1, 4). The psalm also calls for proclaiming the wondrous works of the LORD (st. 2), and it contrasts the glory of the God of Israel with the so-called gods of the nations (st. 3). The LORD God created heaven and earth and rules over all nations in righteousness (st. 5). In such calls and proclamations Israel began, in principle, the evangelization of the world (st. 2, 5-6). The cosmic scope of this psalm is very appropriate to the Christian task in the whole world. The versification (altered) is from the 1912 Psalter.
 
Lowell Mason composed WESLEY for Thomas Hastings's  "Hail to the Brightness of Zion's Glad Morning," and the two were published together in Spiritual Songs for Social Worship (1833). The tune name honors the founders of Methodism, John and Charles Wesley. WESLEY consists of four lines—the first and third beginning identically, and the fourth providing a suitable climax to the melody. Sing this jubilant tune with lots of energy.
— Bert Polman

Author Information

The 1912 Psalter was the first ecumenical psalter published in the United States and the most widely used metrical psalter of the twentieth century in North America.  The United Presbyterian Church invited all other Reformed and Presbyterian denominations to join them in the effort to provide a new versifications of the psalms; six Presbyterian denominations, as well as the Christian Reformed Church and the Reformed Church in America joined in the effort in revising the 1887 Psalter (whose texts actually dated back to the 1871 Book of Psalms; the 1887 edition had added music to the texts.).  The 1912 Psalter included all the psalms in 413 settings, eight doxologies, and the three Lukan canticles (Song of Mary, Song of Zechariah, and Song of Simeon).
— Bert Polman and Jack Reiffer

Composer Information

As a child Lowell Mason (b. Medfield, MA, 1792; d. Orange, NJ, 1872) learned to play every musical instrument available to him. He bought music books and attended a singing school when he was thirteen, and soon began teaching singing schools and directing a church choir. In 1812 he moved to Savannah, Georgia, where he helped to establish the firm Stebbins and Mason, which sold musical instruments in addition to dry goods. Mason also adapted, composed, and harmonized tunes for The Boston Handel and Haydn Society Collection of Church Music (1821). This collection was widely used and resulted in public demand for Mason to lead the music at singing schools, concerts, and Sunday school conventions. He moved to Boston in 1827 to become the music director in three churches; later he became the choir director of the Bowdoin Street Church. In 1833 Mason helped to found the Boston Academy of Music, which was instrumental in introducing music education to the Boston public schools in 1838. An advocate of Pestalozzi's educational principles (an inductive teaching method), Mason frequently lectured in England and the United States. A major force in musical education in the United States and in the promotion of European models of church music (as opposed to the southern folk-hymn tradition), Mason also encouraged the change from exclusive psalm singing to the singing of hymns in the churches. In association with Thomas Hastings, George Webb, and others, Mason compiled some eighty hymnals and collections, includ­ing The Juvenile Psalmist (1829), Spiritual Songs for Social Worship (1832), and, most importantly, Carmina Sacra (1841, revised 1852). Mason composed over eleven hun­dred original hymn tunes and arranged another five hundred, mainly from European sources. He derived most of his tune names from the Old Testament.
— Bert Polman
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