Psalms, Hymns and Spiritual Songs

Monday, May 03, 2010 (Edited 2/12/2011)

In two different passages of Scripture, the Apostle Paul admonishes believers to sing three distinct types of songs: psalms, hymns and spirituals songs.
    "Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord." (Ephesians 5:19)

    "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord." (Colossians 3:16)
Let's take a closer look at each of these three diffent types of songs:

Psalm: a song taken from the book of Psalms in the Bible, or based directly on the words of Scripture

    O God, Our Help in Ages Past - Psalm 90
    Glorious Things of Thee Are Spoken - Psalm 87
    He Owns the Cattle on a Thousand Hills - Psalm 50
    I Will Sing of the Mercies of the Lord - Psalm 89
Hymn: a song of praise typically addressed to God, meant to be sung by a congregation; often has no chorus/refrain; extols the virtues of God

    Great Is Thy Faithfulness
    And Can It Be That I Should Gain
    Come, Thou Almighty King
    O for a Thousand Tongues to Sing
Spiritual Song: a more personal, emotional expression concerning a Christian's walk with God

    Just a Closer Walk with Thee
    Burdens Are Lifted at Calvary
    Victory in Jesus
    No One Ever Cared for Me Like Jesus
The singing in your church ought to have a good variety of the diffent types of songs. All are important in a well-rounded church music program.

Well Said
The definitions of those terms are very well stated. Thanks for creating such a needed source of great information on conservative Christian music in a day when it is so needed!
8/6/2010, by David Langham

Curtis Hollembeak

Curtis holds a bachelor's degree in Bible with a music minor, as well as a master's degree in Sacred Music, having studied under Dr. Frank Garlock, president of Majesty Music, and Ray and Ann Gibbs, well-known Christian singers. He has served as music director and jr. high/high school supervisor at Grace Baptist Church of Mankato, Minnesota; school music director at the Franklin Road Christian School in Murfreesboro, Tennessee; media engineer for the Sword of the Lord in Murfreesboro, Tennessee; and, full-time music director at Second Baptist Church and Twin City Christian Academy in Festus, Missouri. He is currently self-employed and serves in the music ministry of the Berean Baptist Church in Rockford, IL. Curtis is co-founder and President of the Asaph Music Co. He regularly sings bass with the Bible Truth Chorale on recordings produced by Bible Truth Music at Faith Music Missions.