JACKSON, Tenn. – April 11, 2014 – Union University’s Department of Music and The R.C. Ryan Center for Biblical Studies will host “Psalmfest II: An Evening of Worship with the Psalms” April 22 at 7:30 p.m.
Psalmfest provides an opportunity for people to learn how the Church has long used Psalms in worship, said Ray Van Neste, professor of biblical studies and director of the Ryan Center. The event will feature a mixture of singing, chanting and reading of the Psalms, varying between the congregation and the choir.
“The Psalms were a central part of Christian worship from the first centuries of the Church, but today the Psalms typically play a very small role,” Van Neste said. “It’s my interest and desire to try to address this issue and stir up renewed interest.”
While the use of Psalms in worship began to wane in the 20th century, Van Neste said the Apostle Paul encouraged Christians in the New Testament to sing the Psalms, making this part of worship an important element of Christianity.
“My hope is that this Psalmfest gives people a good opportunity to experience the singing and reading of the Psalms in worship, because many of us have never seen this done before,” Van Neste said. “We want a chance to not just say things about the Psalms, but to say the Psalms; to not just sing about the Psalms, but to sing the Psalms; to not just listen to something about the Psalms, but to actually listen to the Psalms themselves.”
The event will be held in the Carl Grant Events Center and is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be available afterward.
By Beth Knoll