Psalter manuscript

Introduction & Apology


  • Sheet Music:
  • Audio:

Welcome to Psalter21’s Musical Catechism!  A number of considerations gave life & impetus to this project.

Firstly, the sad loss of orthodox Christian doctrine in our contemporary Churches. My own personal allegiance is to the Westminster Confession & the Shorter & Larger associated Catechisms that accompanied that great undertaking.  Sadly, few modern evangelicals are governed in their thinking by those great documents.  Some follow at a significant distance a skewed & compromised form of faith which is typically ad hoc, unsystematic, antinomian, excessively subjective & non-covenantal.  Our children & grandchildren desperately need to be grounded in that form of doctrine that the Christian Church worked out during the zenith of its power & influence – i.e. by the Reformers & Puritans of the 16th & 17th centuries. Today’s diluted, truncated, versions of Christianity are as shallow as they are fragile.  Moreover, they are as disparate as recipes in a cookery book.  The Ten Commandments as a summary of God’s Law have been tragically neglected or else abandoned; the covenantal unity of the Old & New Testament is barely understood while lip service at best is paid to calvinistic (reformed) soteriology.  Familiarity with the Catechism will serve, by God’s grace & Spirit, to heal that decay!

Secondly, the need for Christian Ryhme & Songs suitable for our little ones as they learn to read, speak & articulate their thoughts.  Camp-fire songs, Folk song & Nursery Rhymes have been widely used in the past to promote & maintain much that is subliminally accepted within worldly culture.  Often the sentiments are godless or else bizarre.  In the spirit of Van Til, I have sought to ‘bring them as treasures into the New Jerusalem’ and reconstruct them so as to create something more wholesome, uplifting & honourable to Almighty God.  Hopefully the original artistry will be recognisable.  I pay tribute to the legacy of creative genius within a fallen humanity in recent history which, by virtue of its creation in the image of God, has shown itself capable of real harmonic beauty!

The catechism I adopted for this particular project can be found here.  It was headed, ‘A Catechism for Young Children’.  The list of tunes I used for can be found here.  They are mostly well known traditional Nursery Rhymes which I thought would make for easy learning & memorisation. My own Grandchildren have rehearsed some of these with me.  In due course I intend to up-load some serviceable mp3 musical accompaniments so that those of you wanting to make use of the Catechism within your own Church/Family can do so freely.

I welcome feedback & suggestions for improvement.  I make no pretence of expertise in any field.  I am a graduate musician & scientist.  I submit the totality of Psalter21 to the believing remnant of Christ’s invisible Church as a token of my gratitude to God for saving me & for leading as a relatively lonely pilgrim through present this vale of tears.

If you are a skilled musician & care to record your performance of any of them I will certainly consider including your recording on the web-site. Be in touch!

Steve Layfield – June 2016

Share this with others: