The Singing at Coram Deo
The music at Coram Deo Reformation Church is sung from the new Trinity Psalter Hymnal with simple accompaniment so that the voices of the congregation would make a joyful noise to the Lord, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in their hearts to God.
Trinity Psalter Hymnal
When God calls his people to worship him, one of the things he desires to hear is the congregation singing. Psalm 100 begins: “Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth! Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into his presence with singing!” At Coram Deo we take this seriously. We don’t hire others to sing for us, nor do we use only a portion of the congregation. When God’s people gather for worship, the entire congregation sings.
As a member congregation of the United Reformed Churches in North America (URCNA), we adhere to the church order which states: “The 150 Psalms shall have the principal place in the singing of the churches. Hymns which faithfully and fully reflect the teaching of the Scripture as expressed in the Three Forms of Unity may be sung, provided they are approved by the Consistory.” (Article 39)
Recently the URC joined forces with the OPC (Orthodox Presbyterian Church) to produce a new songbook entitled the Trinity Psalter Hymnal. Our pastor, Derrick Vander Meulen is the general editor of this volume, and the music we sing in worship typically comes from this songbook. As the title suggests, the first portion of the book includes all 150 Psalms, which is followed by over 400 hymns that were approved by both the URC and the OPC.
We sing the 150 Psalms because this is the songbook inspired by God himself. Since all Scripture is God-breathed and profitable for us (II Timothy 3:16), and since a large portion of that Word, namely the Psalms, was inspired to be sung, we gladly include the Psalms when we worship in song. By God’s design, the Psalms cover the full range of human experience and emotion. Some psalms express the depths of human sorrow and depression; some focus on our sin and God’s gracious forgiveness; others lift up the honor and glory of God in joyful and uplifting praise. We sing the Psalms because this is good and right to do.
We also sing biblically faithful hymns. Since we recognize and profess that Christ’s church is universal and we rejoice in the communion of the saints, we think it is important to sing faithful hymns that our great-grandparents might have sung in worship. We enjoy joining with the saints of old and singing those older hymns that have stood the test of time. But we also recognize the blessing of more recently produced songs that are not only true to Scripture but are also able to be sung by the congregation. So, for example, in our worship service you might hear us sing “Abide with Me” written in the mid 1800’s and also “How Deep the Father’s Love for Us” written in the 1990’s.