I’ve been reading John Witvliet’s The Biblical Psalms in Christian Worship: A Brief Introduction and Guide to Resources. Witvliet suggests that there is value to singing through all the Psalms on a regular basis. He also remarks that has a historical basis: “In Calvin’s Geneva, despite the rejection of the Roman lectionary for Scripture readings and sermon texts, the Psalms were sung in public worship according to a regular regimen that was printed in the back of published Psalters (indeed, it was a lectionary for singing)” (51). I had a look at a couple of old Genevan Psalters (1565 and 1674), but I didn’t find any such “lectionary.” However, with some help from one of my colleagues (thanks, George!), I found the original source which Witvliet references, Pierre Pidoux’s Le Psautier Huguenot du XVIe siecle. Pidoux reproduces a chart that is apparently found at the back of a 1562 Genevan Psalter. You can find it here.
There are a few interesting features on this chart. The entire Psalter is sung through in a half-year. However, this involves a Wednesday service (Jour des Prieres), as well as the use of pre-service songs before the morning and evening Sunday services. It also sometimes involves determining the song before and after the sermon, thus taking this song selection out of the hands of the minister. Also, the singing of whole Psalms is the norm, although where the Psalm is long, it will be split up over two or more services.
I think something like this could be used in twenty-first century Reformed worship services as well. I’m going to tinker with it and see what I can come up with. I agree with Witvliet that there is value in singing all the Psalms on a regular basis.