For centuries the Scottish church has made use of the inspired book of Psalms. To facilitate congregational singing the psalms have been set in metrical form. Today we continue to use the psalms alone in our public worship. Their simple directness enables us to worship God as He stipulates, in spirit and in truth. To retain the essential spirituality and simplicity of worship we sing the psalms unaccompanied.
Tunes of considerable variety and of varied origin, have been used in the singing of the psalms, some from the works of classical composers. This collection includes one from Sibelius — Finlandia. The collection also includes a few from the modern version of the metrical psalms – Sing Psalms.
The Church in Scotland has, for centuries, sung the psalms in Gaelic, the only language of the Highlanders at that time. They were all fluent in the spoken language but, as few were able to read, it was necessary to have a precentor to lead the praise.
After the singing by the whole congregation of the first two lines, the precentor sings each line, which is then taken up by the congregation. This form continues to the end of the psalm. When literacy became commonplace this old style of singing persisted, and is often used today in Gaelic psalm singing. It is a very beautiful art form.
This collection contains four Gaelic psalms — psalm 16 to the tine Moravia, psalm 69 to the tune Stornoway, psalm 103 to the tune Coleshill, and psalm 104 to the tune Kilmarnock.