Perceptions regarding synod decisions and the nature of psalms in the RCSA. Since its inception in 1859, the Reformed Church in South Africa has been singing only psalms, scriptural hymns and Biblical songs. Currently, there are two official versifications of the psalms in use within the Reformed Church, namely the so-called Totius versification of 1936 and the 2001 rhymed version of psalm texts, mainly by T.T. Cloete. A study of members’ perceptions of synod decisions and the nature of the psalms in the Reformed Church shows that the psalms are not fully utilised. Synods decide what type of songs, including hymns, are approved for use. Members believe that many psalms are no longer suitable for the 21st-century churchgoer, that synod decisions appear out of touch with members’ musical needs and that synods oppose musical innovation.
The purpose of this article is to give an overview of ministers, organists/music leaders and parishioners’ perceptions regarding the nature and use of psalms during worship in the Reformed Church of South Africa as well as synod decisions pertaining to the psalms.
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