Biblical Psalms in Christian Worship A Brief Introduction and Guide to Resources

ISBN-10: 0802807674

ISBN-13: 9780802807670

Edition: 2007

Authors: John D. Witvliet

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The biblical Psalms are, without doubt, a valuable source for Christian worship, but the vast text can prove daunting without direction. John D. Witvliet offers a solution with this brief but comprehensive survey of key theological themes, practical guidelines, and published resources related to the use of the Psalms. Arranged in symphonic form with a "prelude" and "interludes," "The Biblical Psalms in Christian Worship" opens with a foundation of words about the Psalms from our wise church fathers, followed by a broad meditation on the basics of worship. Witvliet follows with an extensive tutorial on choosing a Psalm, engaging a congregation, deciding whether to speak or sing the text, and many other practical solutions for integrating Psalms into congregational worship for any generation. By including both classroom exercises and a brief musical Psalm sampler as helpful appendices, Witvliet provides all the resources necessary to spark a renewed engagement with the Psalms in community and public worship. This will be an important text for pastors and worship leaders desiring to lead their congregations to renewal.
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Book details

List price: $21.00
Copyright year: 2007
Publisher: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
Publication date: 1/22/2007
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 189
Size: 6.75" wide x 9.00" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 0.924

John D. Witvliet (PhD, University of Notre Dame) is director of the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship and professor of congregational studies, music, and worship at Calvin College and Calvin Theological Seminary.

Prelude: Patristic Testimonies
The Psalms and the Basic Grammar of Christian Worship
Personal Address and Dialogic Structure
Identifying God's Character through Metaphor and Historical Recitation
The Ebb, Flow, and Fittingness of Praise and Petition, Gratitude and Lament
Individual and Communal Speech
Specificity and Generality in Prayer
Emotional Engagement and Range
Image and Poetry in Christian Speech
Interlude: Reformation-Era Testimonies from Luther and Calvin
Praying the Psalms in Christian Worship
Choosing a Psalm
Liturgical Criteria
Homiletical Criteria
Pastoral Criteria
Choosing a Translation
Translations and Paraphrases of the Psalms
The Liturgical Placement of a Psalm
Framing the Congregation's Mode of Engagement
Psalm Types
Contemplation or Prayer
Christological Framings of Psalm Texts
The Psalms in New Testament Context
Studying the Psalm
Poetic Lines
Realizing the Psalms: Options for Singing or Speaking
Solo Reading
Choral Reading
Responsive or Antiphonal Readings
Psalm Tones and Pointed Text
Anglican Chant
Gelineau Psalmody
Responsorial Psalmody (or Psalmody with Congregational Refrains or Antiphons)
Metrical Psalmody
Psalm-Based Solo and Choral Anthems, Organ and Instrumental Music
The Psalms in Contemporary and Emerging Worship, Psalm-Based Scripture Songs, and the Psalms in Popular Music Idioms
Basis for Improvised Prayer
Visual Imagery, Children's Books, Calligraphy
Composite Collections of Psalmody
Children and Youth in Intergenerational Worship
Selecting from among These Methods
Finding Sources
Pastoral Postscript
Postlude Modern Testimonies
A Brief Set of Exercises for Classroom Use
Some Creative Thinking about Worship Renewal
General Bibliography
Index of Names
Index of Subjects
Index of Psalms
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