GS 2010 art 161

GS 2010 Article 161 – Letters against the Finalization and Implementation of Revised Psalms

1.          Material

Letters from Willoughby Heights (8.3.J.24), Barrhead (8.3.A.17), and Lynden (8.3.J.44).

2.          Observations

  • 2.1        The churches at Willoughby Heights, Barrhead and Lynden recommended that Synod 2010 not make a final decision to adopt the revised Psalms. They gave the following reasons for their recommendations:
    • 2.1.1     Many have committed the Psalms as we have them in the 1983 Book of Praise to memory. Therefore we should only make changes if they are truly improvements, and necessary. Some of the proposed changes provide no improvement to the text of the Psalms. Some of the proposed changes are not necessary.
    • 2.1.2     The churches have not had enough time to test the revisions, and provide input to the SCBP.
    • 2.1.3     The SCBP should also consider revising some of the “difficult tunes” in the Psalter.

3.          Considerations

  • 3.1        These churches indicate that additional time is needed to get as much input from the churches as possible.
  • 3.2        Revisions were not solely initiated by the consideration or desire for a common song book.
  • 3.3        Synod considers that the publication of an authorized provisional version of the Psalms is a practical way to test them. Without publishing this version we are concerned that some congregations would not use the time to test the Psalms in the congregation and the same complaint about lack of testing would arise in Synod 2013.
  • 3.4        The request for revised melodies will be passed on to the SCBP for their consideration.
  • 3.5        The concern expressed about memorized Psalms would preclude virtually any changes from being made.
  • 3.6        Article 55 CO shows that what is sung in the worship services is a matter of the churches in common.

4.          Recommendation

That Synod decide to approve the revised Psalms for inclusion in the provisional Book of Praise to be used in the worship services of the churches as per Article 55 CO.

A proposed amendment to insert “for usage” instead of “to be used” in the Recommendation was defeated.

The entire proposal was then put to a vote and