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Sir James Alexander Milne Marjoribanks KCMG MA

The Revd Professor John Kelman Sutherland Reid CBE TD MA BD DD

The Very Revd William Boyd Robson MacMillan MA BD LLD DD

Reference: Volume 38 Autumn 2002, p2
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PDF icon Obituaries452.15 KB

Duncan B Forrester

Barth's critique of sacramentality could help a recover and renewal of worship. Kierkegaard had seen the sacraments as disjoined from discipleship and ethics. Barth saw baptism and Communion as belonging in the sphere of ethics, and not as rituals, yet Communion was the 'action of actions' and should be celebrated weekly; it is the model of all true and faithful action, both exemplary and challenging. The church has separated holy from profane and the holy table from the table of everyday. The connection with the Passover Meal is noted and so also are the other meals of the gospels where all were welcome. The church is criticised for putting limits on participation. Communion is exemplary in its challenge to share, to serve, to affirm each other's worth; and it challenges the lovelessnesses and injustices of the world. It sets disciples free to allow grace to flow through them to the world. 'Holiness is a matter of delight rather than of effort'. The paper ends with a quotations from the hymn, 'O thou who at thy eucharist did pray'.

Reference: Volume 38 Autumn 2002, p4
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PDF icon The End of Sacraments?4.98 MB

Peter H Donald

There is conflict today in what we sing, in how we read the Bibel, in our understanding of sacraments, in how we pray. Yet in these very divisions crossovers are seen, and there is realisation that we find what we need in the experience of other traditions. A faith and order project on baptism is outlined as an example of ways of proceding; we are not doing our own thing and it is wrong to think so. Diversity is in fact rooted in a high degree of unity.

Reference: Volume 38 Autumn 2002, p16
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PDF icon Worship - Does it Unite or Divide?3.07 MB

James C Stewart

This is a review of Common Worship: Services and Prayers for the Church of England (Church House Publishing).

Reference: Volume 38 Autumn 2002, p24
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PDF icon Common Worship: A Challenge?2.36 MB

Charles and Alison Robertson

Presbyterian PraiseG D S Deans, Pentland Press 1999, reviewed by Charles and Alison Robertson

Reference: Volume 38 Autumn 2002, p30
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PDF icon Book Review1.98 MB

The Editor

Reference: Volume 37 Spring 2001, p1

Robert F Brown

The shape of the building expresses a belief about the nature of the church: cathedral, hall church, the Corrymeela Chapel shaped like an ear, the glass wall at Carberry looking at the cross outside the church. Queen's Cross was a Free Church preaching station. At its centenary the pulpit was removed and a stage created, with movable furnishings. Now the pews are removed, to enable flexible shaping of seating and to enable the building to be used by the community. Starting point was that pews had no theological or ecclesiastical significance. Allowed more comfort but also showed congregation not stuck in the past, and could match the numbers so that the church would look full.

Reference: Volume 37 Spring 2001, p1
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PDF icon Queens Cross Church, Aberdeen2.12 MB

A Stewart Todd

The place of flowers and foliage is to enhance not obscure; especially at weddings the ecclesiastical and liturgical geography must be discernible. Regarding the lectern, why should the reading of the Word be two or three feet lower than the preaching of it. The prayer desk allows for the minister to be identified spacially for opening prayers; thus Approach, Word and Response each have their focal point). There is much to recommend the placing of the font at the west door, or it may have its own dedicated space. The table is not one where elders sit but should be left as a table (for all to gather round); no longer need for a larger 'presidential chair' (once the place for preaching). The difficulty of showing the relationship of pulpit and table is discussed.

Reference: Volume 37 Spring 2001, p6
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PDF icon Church Furnishings2.92 MB

Douglas Galbraith

Open air and indoor music is discussed, with church music among the latter. The building itself is an instrument; the size and shape of the space and the materials from which it is made and filled are all relevant. How sound works. Carpets can inhibit singing. The location of the music-makers matters, not just for sound but how the relationship with each other is best to be expressed. The congregation are one such musical group; they need to feel safe to sing. A skilled choir adds to and completes the offering of the congregation; it does not perform to them (and should therefore not be announced and thanked as if an 'act'. A choir also interacts with and enables the congregation's own music. Movement and vestment may add to the experience of worship. The placing of the choir is discussed. The placing and the manner of playing of instruments is discussed, including the siting of an organ – including electronic/digital organs and their speakers. Use as a concert hall may lead to modifications of the building but there are dangers to be avoided. It is to remembered that music is not only to do with the space in which it is made but the inner space in which it is heard.

Reference: Volume 37 Spring 2001, p14
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PDF icon A Space for Music3.29 MB

Various authors

New Art for Church Buildings, Church House Publishing, reviewed by Douglas Galbraith

An Outline of Christian Worship, Gordon Wakefield, T & T Clark 1998, reviewed by Colin G McAlister

Reference: Volume 37 Spring 2001, p21
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PDF icon Book Reviews2.17 MB

The Editor

Reference: Volume 36 Winter 2000, p1

James C Stewart

Preaching is not the only way in which Scripture is interpreted in the course of worship. Both Cranmer and Knox sought a high place for the Bible but, the former distillation, the latter amplified quotation. The Alternative Service Book has been said to be not so much biblical as Biblicist, too many snippets torn from their contexts. The metaphors of salt and pepper (one dissolved, the other dispersing) are applied to Common Order (1994). Much of the peppering of Scripture does not make sense used out of context, other uses are pertinent. The author gives a detailed critical assessment of the first morning service and the first order for Holy Communion, the latter noting the absence of any 'fencing' component, the use of the warrant, and the merits or demerits of the three eucharistic prayers offered. The paper ends with the question as to what kind of 'rule' the Word of God is intended to be.

Reference: Volume 36 Winter 2000, p1

Andres R C McLellan

Opening with an extended passage from Gregory Dix which celebrates the range of times and circumstances where Communion is celebrated, he explores the tension between continuity and difference in worship. The writer approaches the question How far may worship be 'local'? within the context of the history (e.g. place in New Town, Disruption, ordination of women, friendship with German-speaking congregation), geography (e.g. centred in working community of central Edinburgh), architecture (classical design of building, removal of pews in central area), and theology/personality (racial justice, inclusive language).

Reference: Volume 36 Winter 2000, p12
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PDF icon Is there a George Street in Heaven?2.88 MB

Various authors

To Glorify God: Essays on Modern Reformed Liturgyed Bryan D Spinks and Iain R Torrance, reviewed by Douglas M Murray

The Christian Year: Calendar, Lectionary and CollectsChurch House Publishing, 1997

The Lectionary: Scripture Readings for Sunday Worship throughout the Yearreprinted fromCommon Order 1994, St Andrew Press 1997; both books reviewed by Jolyon Mitchell
Reference: Volume 36 Winter 2000, p19
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PDF icon Book Reviews1.6 MB

James C Stewart

Reference: Volume 35 Spring 1999, p1

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