98. Sing, Sing a New Song to the LORD God

Text Information
First Line: Sing, sing a new song to the LORD God
Title: Sing, Sing a New Song to the LORD God
Versifier: Dewey Westra (1931)
Scripture: Psalm 98
Topic: Deliverance; Epiphany & Ministry of Christ; Judge, God/Christ as3 more...
Source: Psalter Hymnal, 1987, rev.
Language: English
Copyright: Text and harmonization © 1987, CRC Publications
Tune Information
Name: GENEVAN 98/118
Harmonizer: Dale Grotenhuis (1985)
Meter: 98 98 D
Key: G Major
Source: Genevan Psalter, 1551
Copyright: Text and harmonization © 1987, CRC Publications


Text Information:

A universal call for praise of the LORD's mighty acts of redemption and for the coming of God's righteous rule over all the world.

Scripture References:
st. 1 = vv. 1-3
st. 2 = vv. 4-7
st. 3 = vv. 8-9

In the liturgy of a high festival that annually celebrated the LORD's cosmic rule (perhaps the Feast of Tabernacles), the Levites used Psalm 98 to call first the congregation at the temple (st. 1); then all the people of the earth (st. 2); and finally all creation (st. 2-3) to joyful praise of the LORD. This praise celebrates God's acts of redemption (st. 1) and God's future coming "in righteousness" (v. 9; st. 3).

Dewey D. Westra (b. Holland, MI, 1899; d. Wyoming, MI, 1979) versified this psalm in 1931 for the 1934 Psalter Hymnal; some revisions were made for the 1987 Psalter Hymnal. Other settings of Psalm 98 are at 174,175, and 337.

Westra was a dedicated educator, writer, and musician who faithfully served the Christian Reformed Church. He attended Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Michigan, and Wayne State University in Detroit. In the 1920s and 30s he was a Christian school Principal in Byron Center and Detroit, Michigan. During the 1940s he was involved in various ventures, including becoming a diesel instructor for the Ford Motor Company. After 1947 he became a principal again, serving at Christian schools in Sioux Center, Iowa; Randolph, Wisconsin; and Walker, Michigan.

Westra wrote poetry in English, Dutch, and Frisian, and translated poetry into English from Dutch and Frisian. He arranged many songs and composed songs for children's choirs. He also versified all one hundred and fifty psalms and the Lord's Prayer, as well as the songs of Mary, Zechariah, and Simeon, in meters that fit the corresponding Genevan psalm tunes. His manuscripts are housed in the library of Calvin College. Seventeen of his psalm versifications and his paraphrases of the Lucan canticles were included in the 1934 and in the 1959 editions of the Psalter Hymnal Much of the credit for keeping the Genevan psalms alive in the Christian Reformed Church goes to Westra.

Liturgical Use:
Advent, Christmas, Easter, and other jubilant times of the church year.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

Tune Information:

For information on GENEVAN 98/118, see 118. The harmonization here was prepared by Dale Grotenhuis (PHH 4) in 1985. See 118 and 314 for other harmonizations of this tune; 314 is placed in the key of F.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook


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