Hymn Singing

Should the singing of hymns be introduced in the Protestant Reformed churches?” This question was submitted to our Yong People’s Society, subject to our discussion. We did not attempt to solve this question, but merely stated our individual opinions.

Why should we (our churched) avoid the singing of hymns? First and most popular, is the argument of Arminianism. One could easily make a fairly good-sized list of hymns which are definitely Arminian. How true! However, this list would prove inconclusive, for these hymns we would avoid singing.

Would the entrance of hymns mean the exit of psalms? Would hymns dominate our singing? Probably this would happen, but for a short time. Anything “new” focuses special attention. However, do you think that the psalms which we have loved so long would pass from our hearts? Definitely not! Hymns would only expand our field of church singing.

Why should our churches introduce the singing of hymns? As previously state, hymns would expand our field of singing. Moreover, hymns would more fully realize our sole purpose of existence, living to the glorification of God. We could select a number of hymns which, in their entirety would depict the life of Christ from His conception to His return as Judge. Thus, when singing these hymns, we would glorify the entire life of our Savior. Also, when we worship at our special services commemorating the birth, death, and resurrection of our Lord why not sing the hymns which relate the story of these special events? Who should decide which hymns are not contradictory to the Protestant Reformed Truth? The Synod, with much prayer and study, could adopt the hymns to be sung in our churches. God gave us these hymns. We must begin to use them.

Originally Published in:

Vol. 19 No. 9 January 1960