Psalms 1 and 2 are often called the gateway to the book of Psalms, for they introduce key themes that run throughout the book. Psalm 1 describes the righteous one and, by extension, the righteous ones, their relationship with the LORD, and his blessing upon them. To sing this psalm we used lyrics from The Book of Psalms for Worship (©2009 Crown and Covenant) and paired them with a melody familiar to our congregation, “Approach, My Soul, the Mercy Seat” (©2011 Joel Stamoolis). This recording features Alyssa Foss on vocals, Sean Tracy on guitar, Thomas Doak on cajón, and Joel Stamoolis on cello.
Psalm 80 laments persecution from the Gentiles. The worshipers look to the LORD who has shepherded them like a flock and has planted them like a vine. The psalm contains a repeated prayer, "Restore us, O God; let your face shine, that we may be saved!" (Psalm 80:3, 7, 19). To sing this psalm we wrote an original setting. This recording features Joel Stamoolis on vocals and guitar, Anne-Renee Gumley on vocals and piano, Dale Tumey on tenor saxophone, Dennis DeWinter on bass guitar, and Igor Galloway on drums.
Psalm 79 laments the destruction of Jerusalem and the defilement of the temple. The worshipers cry out to the LORD, asking Him to forgive them, deliver them, and bring glory to His name. To sing this psalm we set lyrics by Christopher Idle (©Christopher Idle/Jubilate Hymns) to an original melody, adding also an original refrain based on Psalm 79:9. This recording features Joel Stamoolis on vocals and guitar, Anne-Renee Gumley on vocals and piano, Dale Tumey on tenor saxophone, Dennis DeWinter on bass guitar, and Igor Galloway on drums.
Psalm 78 is a wisdom psalm, telling the story of Israel repeatedly turning away from God and God answering to their sin with greater grace. The psalm ends with God giving his wandering people David, a king who is also a shepherd, pointing us ultimately to Jesus, the perfect shepherd King. To sing this psalm we wrote an original setting. This recording features Joel Stamoolis and Dave Rector on vocals and guitar.