C.S. Lewis once said that taken together, the sum total of any person’s prayer life would amount to that person’s autobiography. If any of us could listen to all of the prayers of a given person, we would learn a tremendous amount about that person. We would come to know what brings her joy, what brings her sorrow. We would understand where her anxieties in life are located and just what it is that brings her the most shame and guilt. Our prayer lives represent our autobiography, our story, our character, our inmost being. That is why the Book of Psalms has been the prayer book of God’s people for millennia. Across the sweep of these ancient Hebrew poems we can see reflected most every season of human life: joy and sorrow, thanksgiving and repentance, praise and lament. No matter where a person may be at any given moment of life, there is a psalm to give voice to that moment. The people of God recite and sing the psalms not only because of their lyric beauty and poetry but because they ring true. They reflect real life. What’s more, they remind us that there is no part of life that cannot be brought to speech before our loving, understanding, and compassionate God.

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Jazz Vespers: Playing in Tongues

Gillian Grannum

A Jazz Vesper service led by Gillian Grannum

Psalm 1 - Jesus Knows the Way of the Righteous

Mary Hulst, Calvin University
Paul Ryan, Calvin University

A worship service based on Psalm 1 - Jesus Knows the Way of the Righteous, with Pastor Mary Hulst preaching. This service is modeled after the Sunday evening student-led worship service at Calvin College called LOFT (Living Our Faith Together). LOFT services follow the movements of praise, confession and assurance, intercession, listening to God’s Word, and responding with acts of dedication and faith. The pattern is consistent from week to week but is often experienced as a time of free-flowing worship that makes use of visual art, dramatic readings, dance, prayer, and music from a variety of sources and in multiple styles. One significant aspect of worship at LOFT is a creative and often tangible response to the reading and preaching of Scripture.

Psalm 103 - Abounding in Steadfast Love

Thomas Long, Friends of the Groom
Martha Moore-Keish
Stanley Mast, LaGrave Avenue Christian Reformed Church
Alice Parker
Carlos Colón, Baylor University
Larry Visser, First United Methodist Church
Julia Start Fletcher, Millbrook Christian Reformed Church

A Service of Word and Table based on Psalm 103 with Thomas Long preaching.

Psalm 113 - Exalted Over All the Nations

Anne Zaki, Calvin Institute of Christian Worship
John L. Bell, Iona Community in Scotland
Julia Start Fletcher, Millbrook Christian Reformed Church
Psalm Project

A worship service based on Psalm 113 - Exalted over all the nations, with Anne Zaki preaching.

Psalm 13 - How Long?

Frank Thomas, Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church
Bennett Samuel
Friends of the Groom
Tom Long, Friends of the Groom
Laura de Jong, Second Christian Reformed Church
Sandra McCracken

A worship service based on Psalm 13 - How Long? with Frank Thomas preaching.

Psalm 8 - Who Are You? Who Are We?

Mark Labberton
Aminah Bradford
Isaac Wardell, Bifrost Arts

A worship service based on Psalm 8 - Who are you? Who are we? with Mark Labberton preaching.

Psalms for All Seasons: A Festival of Singing

Martin Tel, Princeton Theological Seminary

An evening celebrating the release of this major collection that holds promise to bring the psalms into the heart of worship. Together we will explore the full spectrum of singing the psalms crossing boundaries of time and tradition. This festival is free and open to the public.

Taize Vespers: A Journey of Praise and Prayer

Philip Chan
Yvette Lau, Anabas Ministry

Taizé vesper service led by Philip Chan and Yvette Lau

The Lord is My Shepherd: A Celebration of Psalm 23

John Bell

Vesper service based on Psalm 23 led by John Bell

The Psalm Project in Concert

Psalm Project

A free concert at the Calvin Chapel, this prelude to the 2012 Calvin Symposium on Worship featured The Psalm Project, a group of musicians from the Netherlands who have taken Genevan Psalm tunes from the 1500s and updated them with arrangements for piano, guitar, and strings.

Vesper: A Celebration of the Light of Christ

Friends of the Groom

A Vesper service led by the theater company Friends of the Groom