“7. The New Covenant is like a marriage bond between God and His people. Their meeting each week properly brings joy and delight. So the saints sing Psalms to God.
8. The heartfelt singing of praise is an element of public worship. The Psalms of the Bible, because of positive biblical warrant, their inherent excellence, and their divine inspiration, are to be sung in the public worship of God, to the exclusion of all songs or hymns of human composition. They are to be sung without the accompaniment of instruments, since these are not authorized for New Testament worship. For the sake of unity, the Psalm versions used in the praise of God should ordinarily be those approved by the Synod of the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America. Psalms, or portions of Psalms, should be chosen for the appropriateness of their content within a particular service of worship. If only a portion of a Psalm is sung, careful attention must be given to the larger context. Congregations should not fall into the habit of using only certain favorite Psalms, and sessions should consider a plan of singing systematically through the Book of Psalms.
9. The people of God are to sing thoughtfully, reverently, and enthusiastically, with grace in the heart. Careful attention should be paid to the music and to the leading of the precentor, that the praise might resound with a beauty reflective of the glory of God and His holiness. Those chosen to be precentors should have the marks of Christian maturity and the gifts to perform this function. They should lead the singing in a simple, orderly, and dignified manner. They should not interject interpretations or comments on the content of the Psalms sung. One of the fruits of the Reformation was the restoration of the biblical practice of congregational singing. A choir may be formed to help lead the praise, but singing must not be left to the choir. Congregational singing ought always to be the norm.
10. The Psalms have a depth of meaning and beauty that will repay the most careful study. It is vitally important that the congregation understand what is sung. Therefore, it is helpful for the elders to make brief comments on the Psalms sung. It is particularly helpful if one of the Psalms is selected for a more substantial, succinct explanation by an elder before it is sung. Attention should be given to how the Psalm reveals the work of Christ and the blessings of the New Covenant.
The RPCNA Directory for the Worship of God, F-4