Daily Archives: June 6, 2011

Praise Notes: The Book of Praise #1


I have decided to do a series of posts that go through The Book of Praise of the Presbyterian Church of Canada hymn by hymn. 

Hymn #1

How blest are they, who, fearing God

Psalm 1
Tallis’ Ordinal
Paraphrase, Psalter 1912 words and music public domain.
 
How blest are they, who, fearing God,
from sin restrain their feet,
who will not with the wicked stand,
and shun the scorner’s seat.
 
How blest are they who make God’s law
their treasure and delight
and meditate upon that word
with gladness day and night.
 
Their lives are nourished like a tree
set by the river’s side;
its leaf is green; its fruit is sure;
so all their works abide.
 
The wicked, like the driven chaff,
are blown across the land;
they shall not gather with the just,
nor in the judgement stand.
 
The Lord will guard the righteous well;
their way to God is known,
the way of sinners, far from God,
shall surely be o’er-thrown.

The Psalms have been sung in worship from the earliest of days in the Christian church.  In the early Roman Catholic tradition the Psalms were sung in Latin in the form of plain chant.  After the reformation, the Psalms remained central to worship but we converted to the metrical format with which we are familiar today.  These arrangements, like those published in the 1912 Psalter,  made it easier for the common people to join in the singing.  Now we have a section at the beginning of the Book of Praise which contains many of the metrical Psalms.