Richard Roberts, of the newly United Church of Canada, describes retreats planned with the constituent parts of the Church [Presbyterian, Methodist and Congregationalist] and a proportion of immigrant eastern Europeans in mind. These were a reaction against the decay of reverence (“God as primus inter pares”) and, he believes, the decline in the quality of preaching. The quarry which led to the pattern for these retreats was the Abbé Poulain’s The Graces of Interior Prayer, adapted for “Protestant novices”. He further describes the necessary adjustments required to introduce such a retreat to those - majority of participants - who were unfamiliar with this practice, and he outlines the original timetable. The results, in varying circumstances, were moving.
Volume 08 1935-36
W Neil Sutherland reports on progress on a protracted work of restoration. Principally, he dwells on the rebuilding of the tower, utilising Dalmeny stone earlier transported to Edinburgh for the construction of the old Calton jail, later demolished, and recycled for a higher use back once more
D H Hislop quotes Karl Adam: “The eternal light of revelation is differently reflected in the prism of each age with different angles of refraction.” He takes seriously the insights of psychology in respect of (a) the people at worship and their interaction; (b) method of worship; and (c) the Being to whom worship is offered. He draws attention to the will to worship expressing itself in the means to worship; yet not all worshippers are (and cannot be) equally involved. Attitude, he suggests, helps to unite a disparate worshipping congregation. He goes on to examine the subconscious and its meaning for worship, and sees worship as a liberating experience. Lastly, and interestingly, he considers the psychological aspects of liturgy and forms of worship.
James Tindall Soutter gives the geographical and topographical background of Whitekirk (or Hamer) and its church, with reference to the role of David I and the visit in 1435 of Aeneas Silvius, later Pope Pius II. He then describes the restoration undertaken in modern times under the guidance of Sir Robert Lorimer. Soutter himself, before becoming parish minister, was a Scottish athlete of some note. In the title of a self-published booklet of 1926 he called Whitekirk “the Lourdes of the Middle Ages”. The site of Our Lady’s well, of healing propensities, has been
John Wilson Baird refers to Ethiopia as a “pathetic island in the sea of Paganism and Islam which surrounds it” (the Italo-Abyssinian war was then in progress). Its Christian history, as he unfolds, renders it much less “pathetic”. Its isolation accounted for many features peculiar to itself (e.g. circumcision, ritual dancing). The Ethiopic Liturgy is distinctive, not least in the priest’s prayers of preparation, quoted at length. Other prayers are examined, notably that leading to the consecration at the Eucharist, the offertory, the intercessions and the thanksgiving.
James W Runciman begins with a penetrating analysis of the passivity of the Hindu approach to worship and the ancient power of its metaphysic. Both are quite inimical to the tenets of Christianity. Judaism could be seen as a preparation for the Gospel; Hinduism only as outright opposition with no common ground. Christian missionary strategy is to demonstrate abundant life, e.g. by fostering education and health care. Hinduism has no such outward expression: it is “the great system of Pessimism”. In Rajputana, 5000 scattered Christians are swamped by 12 million Hindus. Indifference (a Hindu characteristic) affects a Christian community content to follow non-Indian denominational leads. Thus there is no indigenous liturgy. The writer points to the way ahead in which the needs of Indian Christians can be met. In this respect he values, inter alia, the use of creeds and catechisms, even above sermons. This is a revealing and thoughtful article which does not gloss over the difficulties facing the Church.
Our Heritage in Public Worship (1933 Kerr Lectures) by D H Hislop; Edinburgh, T & T Clark:
reviewed by Thomas Marjoribanks
Vital Elements in Public Worship by J Ernest Rattenbury, Epworth Press; reviewed by Millar Patrick
Divine Worship, Epworth Press; reviewed by Millar Patrick
The Cathedrals of England by Harry Batsford and Charles Fry, London: B T Batsford Ltd
The English Abbey by F H Crossley, London: B T Batsford Ltd
The Parish Churches of England by J Charles Cox, ed. Charles Bradley Ford, London: B T Batsford Ltd
Handbook to the Church Hymnary (Supplement)
The Scottish Service Book, for the Use of His Majesty’s Forces
Occasional Papers: 'A Year’s Praise' and 'Musical Services'
Dalmeny Church, from the South - Frontispiece
Dalmeny Church, Interior - Facing page 11
St Mary’s, Whitekirk, from the South - Facing page 28
St Mary’s, Whitekirk, Interior - Facing page 30
St Mary’s, Whitekirk, The Holy Table - Facing page 32
St Mary’s, Whitekirk, The Tithe Barn - Facing page 32