A Congregation of the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA)

The Use of Hymns and Psalms

Praise the Lord! Sing to the Lord a new song,
his praise in the assembly of the godly! — Psalm 149:1

At Hope, we seek to glorify God through corporate, ensemble, and individual psalms of praise and hymns. Scripture teaches us repeatedly that the Lord is pleased with biblically-based musical praise of His characteristics, power, faithfulness (or loving kindness), and mighty deeds. Our psalmody comes directly from the 150 psalms inspired by God and used by His people for the worship services in His temple in Jerusalem.

We believe the Bible teaches us to use hymns and songs to praise our God in addition to the Lord’s inspired hymns:

Be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with all your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ. — Ephesians 5:18b-21

Our use of hymns in the Lord’s Day services seeks to engage God’s people in singing the Lord’s praises using the body of music created throughout the 2,000 years that Christ has been building His Church upon the earth. Within the same worship service, we may sing a hymn such as Shepherd of Tender Youth, written about AD 200 by Clement of Alexandria, along with a 20th century hymn like Our God Reigns, by Leonard E. Smith, Jr.

While we desire to sing the range of hymn compositions created throughout the life of Christ’s Church during our regular worship services, the primary criteria that determine our hymn selections are their correspondence to the overall worship theme and the degree to which they faithfully teach biblical truth. We appreciate those hymns which most glorify God and remain faithful to His Word.

We use the Trinity Hymnal which features hymn writers such as James Boice, Michael Card, Edmund Clowney, Martin Luther, Joachim Neander, John Newton, Isaac Watts, and singable versions of the Psalms as found in the Geneva, Scots, Strasbourg, and Reformed traditions.