Spiritual Helps for Psalm Singing

Also see Puritan Era Treatises on Psalm Singing, many of which contain lengthy sections on spiritual help for psalm singing.  If you need practical help in starting to sing psalms, see Familiar Tunes for Singing Psalms.



Order of Contents

Early Church  1
1600’s  3
1700’s  2



Early Church

Athanasius – ‘A Treatise Concerning the Use & Virtue of the Psalms’  (d. 373; London, 1580)




Bayly, Lewis – Rules to be Observed in Singing of Psalms, 1636, 6 paragraphs, being pp. 207-209 of his Practice of Piety, 1719 edition, London

The puritan Bayly (†1631) gives 5 brief rules on how to profitably sing the psalms, along with recommendations on which psalms to sing under 12 different circumstances and conditions.

Roberts, Francis – Directions for the Right Singing of Scripture Psalms  PDF  1675, 12 pages, being pp. 128-131 of his larger The Key of the Bible: Unlocking the Richest Treasury of the Holy Scriptures.  This is an updated and easier to read edition than the original.

Roberts (1609–1675) was an influential puritan who wrote a very large introduction to the Bible, from which this work is taken.  Roberts gives 8 very helpful directions on how to sing the psalms with the most spiritual profit.  Print out these directions as a pamphlet to help fellow saints be encouraged in the Lord.

Wells, John – How We may make Melody in our Hearts to God in Singing of Psalms  late-1600’s, 32 pages, this is a sermon from Puritan Sermons, 1659-89, re-typeset, re-formatted and re-edited, with an Introduction and explanatory footnotes.

If the Lord loves a cheerful giver (2 Cor. 9:7), how much more does He love a cheerful worshipper?  Indeed, He tells us to sing psalms to Him with joy (Ps. 95:2)!  Let us, with the psalmist, stir ourselves up to this pleasure; this sermon will help us. It is a treasure. You will not find anything like it in modern Christian literature.




Mather, Cotton – The Accomplished Singer. Instructions how the Piety of Singing with a True Devotion, may be Obtained & Expressed; the Glorious God after an Uncommon Manner Glorified in it, & his People Edified: Intended for the Assistance of all that would Sing Psalms with Grace in their Hearts; but more Particularly to Accompany the Laudable Endeavours of those who are Learning to Sing by Rule, and seeking to preserve a regular singing in the assemblies of the faithful  (Boston, 1721)  24 pp.

Whitefield, George – ‘A Prayer before Singing of Psalms’  in ‘Prayers on Various Occasions’  in Nine Sermons Upon The Following Subjects: To which are annexed, Several Prayers on various Occasions  (Oxford, 1742), p. 259




Related Pages

Psalm Singing

Psalters Online

Familiar Tunes for Singing Psalms

The History of Psalm Singing

The Westminster Assembly and Psalm Singing

The Puritans and Psalm Singing

The Puritans on ‘Psalms, Hymns & Spiritual Songs’, Eph. 5:19 & Col. 3:16

Historic Quotes of Praise on the Psalms

Do We Sing Christ’s Name in the Psalter?

The Imprecatory Psalms