GS 1983 art 123

GS 1983 ARTICLE 123Book of Praise (Psalm and Hymn Section)

The discussion on the report of Committee I on the. Book of Praise (Psalm and Hymn Section) is continued.

The Committee takes over some proposals re Hymn 17:

  • 1.   stanza 1: change ” The angel.” to : “An angel…”
  • 2.   stanza 2: change the wording of the last line. “all mankind” ‘(since the message of the angel is addressed to “all the people” = Israel)
  • 3.   stanza 4: change “the heavenly Babe” into e.g. “the newborn Babe”

The Standing Committee of the Book of Praise will be instructed to incorporate these changes (see Recommendations )

The Recommendations 1-14 are AD OPTED.

A.  MATERIAL –   Agenda VIII. B. 1. 2, 3. 4, 5.

  • 1.  Report from the Standing Committee for the Book of Praise
  • 2.  Letter from brother M.M. DeGroot of Burlington, Ontario
  • 3.  Letter from the Church at London
  • 4.  Letter from brother J. DeRaadt of Calgary, Alberta
  • 5.  Letter from brother L. VanZandw ijk of Burlington, Ontario


  • 1.  The Standing Committee reports that they could not immediately proceed with publication of the Book of Praise after having received their mandate from Synod Smithville 1980.
  • 2.  This was caused by the need for time to familiarize themselves with all aspects of their instructions.
  • 3.  The Committee was able to accept a carefully formulated publishing contract tailor-made to the requirement of the Churches.
  • 4.  The Committee continued with some final minor changes and corrections of the rhymings of Psalms and Hymns.
  • 5.  They included a rhymed version of the Apostles’ Creed, as instructed by the Synod Smithville 1980.
  • 6.  They request Synod’s permission to retain the new rhyming of the Te Deum (Hymn 2 in the 1979 Hymn Section), instead of replacing ii with Hymn 46 in the old edition; a large majority of the Churches indicated their agreement with the Com­mittee’s view in this respect.
  • 7.  The Committee attached a copy of the contract mentioned under 3.
  • 8.  The Committee investigated various possibilities, but came to the conclusion that none was “able to offer the advantages we will enjoy with Premier Printing.”
  • 9.  Psalms and Hymn sections have been typeset and proofread and are ready to be printed as soon as Synod provides the Committee with its decisions regard­ing the contents of the Book of Praise.
  • 10. The new edition can appear early in 1984, the Lord willing.
  • 11.  The present Committee became a corporation known as the Standing Commit­ tee for the Publication of the Book of Praise of the Canadian Reformed Church­es, and is registered as #516 455 Ontario Ltd.
  • 12.  Upon the request of the Committee, brother M.M. DeGroot and Rev. G. Van­ Dooren continued to do the work formerly done by the so-called Publication Com­mittee, until supplies were depleted, by which the transitional period mentioned in the Acts of Synod Smithville 1980 came to a natural conclusion.
  • 13.  The Music Subcommittee, with the advice of Mr. M.M. DeGroot as well as that of experts in The Netherlands and others, prepared the music for printing.
  • 14.  No financial statement is included, since the Committee was not involved in fi­nancial transact ions.
  • 15.  The Committee was not able to represent the Churches at the Conference for Psalmody.
  • 16.  An Appendix has been added to the report, showing the various changes in rhym­ing made by the Committee.
  • 17.  The Committee recommends that the tune of Hymn 37 be retained, as it con­ siders this tune appropriate for the text of the Hymn as a whole.
  • 18.  The Committee recommends that the tune of Hymn 39 be rep laced with that of Gezang 9 (Avondzang) as already is being done in the Free Reformed Church­es of Australia.
  • 19.  It recommends that the tune of Hymn 46 be replaced with that of ” Daar is uit’s werelds duistre wolken,” as the present tune is already used for three Psalms and one other Hymn.
  • 20.  The Committee has used the Liedboek voor de kerken as an example for “lay­ out and music notation.”
  • 21.  The Name ” Jesus” is not found literally in the Rhymed Version of the Apostles’ Creed, Stanza 1, line 5.
  • 22.  Brother M.M. DeGroot expresses his concern with regard to the Book of Praise remaining the possession and under full control of the Churches.
  • 23.  He states that the Committee for the Publication of the Book of Praise still exists and holds all the copyrights, so that permission to have the Hymn Sect ion re­ printed should have been obtained from this Committee.
  • 24.  He also states that Synod Coaldale 1977 appointed the Committee for the Book of Praise as coordinating committee for the complete Church Book. He com­ plains that publications which resulted from decisions of the Synod Smithville 1980 were not entrusted to the Publication Committee as the arm of the Com­mittee for the Book of Praise, which Publication Committee is “still in existence with its copyrights.”
  • 25.  He respectfully suggests “that Synod should instruct the Committee to appoint an Administrator.”
  • 26.  The Church at London, Ontario, requests Synod “to delete or alter the expres­sion ‘Praise the Holy Spirit’ in Hymn 36:1, 2, 3. and Hymn 37:1. ” since this ex­pression “is entirely foreign to the Scriptures.”
  • 27.  The same Church requests ” to reintroduce Hymn 8 in the Book of Praise. since it found “the grounds given in… the Acts of Synod Smithville…to be untrue.”
  • 28.  Brother J. DeRaadt of Calgary, Alberta. presents to Synod two Hymns for pos­sible inclusion in the Hymn Section.
  • 29.  Brother L. VanZandwijk of Burlington, Ontario, proposes to delete Hymns 12, 44, 45, on the grounds that they come from the dark middle ages and are essen­tially a Romish leaven (12). the congregation takes the position of hosts instead of that of guests at the Lord’s Supper (44). and the Shepherd is presented here in a way which differs from Holy Scripture. e.g. John 10 and Hebrews 13:20. (45).
  • 30.  He further urges Synod to insert the word “Christian” before “church” in Hymn 1.
  • 31.  He also objects to the text of Hymn 60. as being archaic.
  • 32.  However, brother VanZandwijk does not request any specific action on his sub­ mission in each and every respect.
  • 33. He complains that the Committee for the Book of Praise seems to have sup­ pressed submissions from the Churches and that there was an “unwillingness of the ‘old ‘ Church Book Committee to report on these proposals.”


  • 1. The Standing Committee for the Book of Praise appear to have familiarized them­ selves with all aspects of their instructions and is therefore to be able to pro­ceed without delay.
  • 2.  The agreement between the Standing Committee and Premier Printing provides adequate safeguards for the rights to and control by the Churches over the Book of Praise and its contents.
  • 3.  The Committee concluded its work of scrutinizing by suggesting some minor changes and corrections of the adopted rhymings.
  • 4.  The Committee fulfilled the mandate to include a rhymed version of the Apostles’ Creed, in which the Name “Jesus” is not found in Stanza 1, line 5, while it is advisable in a rhyming of the Apostles’ Creed to retain all the elements.
  • 5.  The evaluation of ” old Hymn 46,” as submitted by the Committee, supported by a large majority of the Churches, makes it advisable to retain the new rhym­ing of the Te Deum (Hymn 2 in the 1979 Hymn Section).
  • 6 There appears to be no reason why the recommendation of the Committee to retain the tune of Hymn 37; to replace the tune of Hymn 39 with that of the Avond­zang; to replace the tune of Hymn 46 with that of “Daar is uit’s werelds duistre wolken…” should not be accepted.
  • 7.  In the Athanasian Creed we confess that the glory of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit is equal (Art. 6), and thus it appears not to be contrary to the Scriptures to “praise the Holy Spirit,” even though this expression is not found literally in them.
  • 8.   The reasons given by the Church at London why Hymn 8 should be retained in the Book of Praise carry sufficient weight to rescind the decision of Synod Smithville 1980, Acts Art. 122. Ill. D, 5, re this Hymn.
  • 9.   The songs presented by brother J. DeRaadt do not fill a vacuum in nor add anything to our Book of Praise which is not already found in it
  • 10   The fact that Hymn 12 comes “from the dark middle ages “is no criterion why it should be rejected; and it has not been proved that the thoughts expressed in it are un-Scriptural
  • 11.  Exhorting one another to do what the Lord has commanded us to do is not “an usurpation and misappropriation of the privileges of the Host. by us. as mis­guided guests·· and is therefore no reason why Hymn 44 should be deleted.
  • 12.  Christ takes also care of the lambs (John 21·15; Mark 13:16: Matt. 18:5. 6, 10); the prayer ” Teach Thy lambs Thy voice to hear” is in accordance with John 10:3: asking the Shepherd that the lambs’ steps may not stray from the straight and narrow way is based on Psalm 23:3, 4. and Matt. 7:12. 13. Thus the con­ tents of Hymn 45 appear to be Scriptural
  • 13.  The very use “thee” and “thou” with the corresponding verb-endings does not yet make a song archaic.
  • 14.  The fact that not every submission to the Book of Praise was mentioned in its report to Synod, is no proof that the Committee did not consider every submis­sion; thus brother VanZandwi1k’s statement regarding suppressing submissions and unwillingness on the part of the Committee is an unsubstantiated insinuation.
  • 15.  Brother DeGroot incorrectly states that the Committee for the Publication of the Book of Praise holds all the copyrights. The copyrights were and are held on behalf of the Churches by the (Standing) Committee for the Book of Praise. The Standing Committee, appointed by the Synod Smithville 1980. did not appoint a publication committee and was fully entitled to have the Hymn Section reprinted, since the Hymn Section was adopted by Synod Smithville 1980.  was (and is) the property of the Churches. (See also the agreement mentioned under 2 above.)
  • 16.  The appointment of the Committee for the Book of Praise as coordinating com­mittee applied only for the time until the following General Synod.
  • 17.  In the light of the foregoing it would be incorrect if General Synod urged the Committee for the Book of Praise to appoint an administrator.


  • 1.  To thank the Standing Committee for the Book of Praise for the work done in preparing the Psalm and Hymn Section for publication.
  • 2.  To approve the agreement that the Committee concluded with Premier Printing.
  • 3.  To adopt the rhymed version of the Apostles’ Creed; with the recommendation that the Committee include the Name “Jesus” in St. 1. line 5.
  • 4.  To rescind the decision of Synod Smithville 1980 re ··old Hymn 46… and to re­tain in its place the new rhyming of the Te Deum (Hymn 2 in the 1979 Hymn Section).
  • 5.  To retain the tune of Hymn 37; to replace the tune of Hymn 39 with that of the Avondzang: and lo replace the tune of Hymn 46 with that of “Daar is uit swerelds duistre wolken.”
  • 6.  Not to follow the suggestion of the Church at London regarding the words ” Praise the Holy Spirit.”
  • 7.  To adopt the proposal of the Church at London to retai n Hymn 8 in the 1979 Hymn Section.
  • 8.  Not to include in the Book of Praise the songs presented by brother J. DeRaadt.
  • 9.  Not to accede to the request of brother L. VanZandwijk regarding Hymns 12. 44, and 45.
  • 10.  To express appreciation tor brother M.M. DeGroot’s concern regarding the publication of the Book of Praise.
  • 11.  Not to follow brother M.M. DeGroot’s suggestions re this publication.
  • 12.  To continue the Standing Committee tor the Book of Praise.
  • 13.  To charge the Standing Committee linguistically to scrutinize and correct the text of the entire Book of Praise. wherever necessary, in order to achieve uniform­ity with respect to language and punctuation.
  • 14.  To instruct the Committee to change Hymn 17 as indicated in the Acts (Article 123).