Rongen, G. van (2005) Art. 64

Article 64 — Psalms and hymns

In the church services only the psalms and hymns approved by synod shall be sung.

We can be thankful for the fact that since the days of the great Reformation the churches are again ‘Psalm-singing churches’. The Book of Psalms has been given back to the congregation, these songs of the Covenant and the Kingdom of God.

Although our churches do not take a negative stand regarding the singing of hymns (even the Bible contains a number of songs outside the Book of Psalms), they would be wise to ensure that ‘hymn-singing’ does not replace ‘Psalm-singing’ – as has happened in many large church groups. Some years ago this writer received a letter from a Sri-Lankan minister, who wrote: “Heresies are usually sung in church before being preached from the pulpit”. He certainly had a point!

It may be emphasized that our churches, at Synod Kelmscott 1983, restricted the singing of hymns from the new edition of “Book of Praise” to an ‘acceptable list’ (Acts Articles 31 and 32, Appendix 5; see also the Acts of Synod Launceston 1985, Article 59a).