GS 1989 art 145

GS 1989 ARTICLE 145

Committee III presents:

Agenda Items VIII, B, 4, a, b, c


  • 1. Report of the Standing Committee for the publication of the Book of Praise (Report 3: Publication and Distribution; Corporate Status and Financial Matters; Hymn 1A; Further Recommendations.)
  • 2. Letter from the Church at Coaldale, AB, re Hymn 1A
  • 3. Letter from the Church at Cloverdale, BC, re same.
  • 4. Letter from sr. D. Jansen, re alternative Hymn 1A.


  • 1. Premier Printing Ltd. asked to be allowed to reprint the Book of Praise together with the RSV Bible in a one volume edition. Permission was granted provided that the availability of the regular edition of the Book of Praise would not be adversely affected.
  • 2. The Standing Committee for the Publication of the Book of Praise reports to Synod on the activities of the “Publication and Distribution” and “Corporate Status and Financial Matters” (see Appendix of Acts).
  • 3. Synod 1986 decided “to instruct the Standing Committee for the BOOK OF PRAISE to insert the word ‘Christian’ in the hymn version of the Apostles’ Creed, if this is possible” (Synod 1986, Art. 101. D.2.a). The Standing Committee observes that the word “Christian” cannot be inserted without an alteration of the melody as composed by J. Schouten.
  • 4. General Synod 1986 decided “to pass on this melody (composed by D. Zwart jr.) to the Standing Committee for the Book of Praise so that they may consider if it can be adapted to the “new text” or whether a new melody can be found for this “new text”. Synod 1986 had considered that the “new text should be used” (Acts Art. 189).
  • 5. The Standing Committee suggests that changing the existing melody of Hymn 1A would only confuse many congregations during their worship services. It notes that Synod 1983 made a number of other changes in the Apostles’ Creed which also do not fit the melody. The Standing Committee proposes that Hymn 1A be left as it is, so that it remains within the freedom of the churches to use this text and melody.
  • 6. The Free Reformed Churches of Australia informed the Standing Committee that they favour the text of Hymn 1A as it is found in the present edition of the Book of Praise.
  • 7. The Committee recommends that “the size of the Committee be reduced to three or four members, while keeping in mind that continuity would be desirable.”
  • 8. The music sub-committee for the Standing Committee examined the proposed melody of D. Zwart and found it unsuitable and stated that they have been unable to find a melody for the “new text.”
  • 9. The Church at Coaldale regrets that the Committee not only failed to address its mandate, but also that it failed to give grounds for its judgment that the proposed melody is unsuitable. The Church at Coaldale further states that the present melody of Hymn 1A is not suitable for it contains Gregorian elements. It notes that the composer of the new proposed alternate for Hymn 1A, D. Zwart has adapted a melody to the ‘new text’.
  • 10. Synod 1986 (Art. 189 Consideration 1) reaffirmed the Consideration of Synod 1980 that “an alternate melody for Hymn 1 is desirable, since there still are complaints about the existing one as being too Gregorian”.
  • 11. The Church at Cloverdale wonders whether sufficient attempts have been made (by the Standing Committee) to fulfill the mandate with respect to Hymn 1A, and states that they have no great difficulty with the proposal of the committee to leave Hymn 1A in its present form. However, the Church at Cloverdale wonders whether the new melody for the ‘new text’ could not have been published and tried in the churches?
  • 12. Br. D. Jansen makes available “Br. D. Zwart’s alternate melody for Hymn 1A adapted to the “new text” so that this melody can be made available to the churches forthwith, and be taken up in the next edition of the Book of Praise.


  • 1. The Standing Committee gives no reason why it considers the melody for Hymn 1A submitted by br. D. Zwart unsuitable.
  • 2. Synod 1986 had already decided to have the same text of the Apostles’ Creed for singing and speaking (Acts, Article 189, Consideration 2).
  • 3. There is still time to consider the alternate melody for Hymn 1a before the Book of Praise is finalized in D.V. 1992.


Synod decide:

  • 1. to thank the Standing Committee for the Publication of the Book of Praise for its report and for the work done, and to reduce the number of members of the Standing Committee to four, while keeping in mind that continuity would be desirable.
  • 2. that the Standing Committee be given the mandate:
    • a. to see to it that the Book of Praise remains available to the churches at a reasonable price,
    • b. to make the necessary arrangements with printers and others for the production and distribution of the Book of Praise,
    • c. to maintain its corporate status in order to be able to protect the interests of the Canadian Reformed Churches in all matters concerning the Book of Praise,
    • d. to implement all Synod decisions regarding the contents of the Book of Praise
    • e. to foster an increased awareness of the existence of the Book of Praise among others,
    • f. to stimulate the publication of a book of harmonizations of the melodies in the Book of Praise for use in the English-speaking world,
    • g. to serve as the address to which any correspondence regarding the Book of Praise can be directed;
    • h. to complete the Committee mandate of Synod 1986 concerning the Nicene Creed, (i.e., to see to its linguistic revision) see Article 60.
    • i. To insert the final version of the Creeds, Confessions and Church Order, as adopted by this Synod and to add the proposed Scripture references to the Belgic Confession, the Canons of Dort and the Liturgical Forms.
    • j. to make the new melody with the ‘new text’ by br. D. Zwart available to the churches and evaluate any response from the churches. (see Synod 1986, Acts, Article 189, Consideration 2)
    • k. to serve the following General Synod with a report to be sent to the churches at least six months before the beginning of this Synod.