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
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
PDF icon Book Reviews1.6 MB

James C Stewart

Reference: Volume 35 Spring 1999, p1

Jolyon Mitchell

It is frequently argued that television has reduced congregations' capacity to listen; this can be too simplistic but it is true that our audio-visual ly saturated environment cultivates particular habits of listening. That is, it has not undermined but changed how people listen. It has influenced expectations about length, expects a more colloquial and spontaneous style, and has transformed the style in which we expect to be addressed (the rhetoric not of battle but reconciliation). People do not come with their minds a clean slate but have a whole range of images already engaging their attention. Also, the preacher is not the only educated voice in town. The paper argues that this changed context offers new opportunities for preachers. It first develops the analogy of the multi-camera approach, then explores that idea that the sermon is a conversation between congregation and biblical text (from the more conversational style of discourse of the media). Then is discussed the response to an image-saturated culture (paraphrase of Barth – need Bible in one hand, newspaper in the other, and the television on in the background)  when the preacher needs to try to experience imaginatively the world of the biblical text. This may lead to more pictorial and multi-sensorial language.

Reference: Volume 35 Spring 1999, p2
PDF icon Preaching in an Audio-Visual Culture5.62 MB

Origin of seal unknown but first appeared in Euchologion. The motto is from a issued by the  Archbishop of Canterbury in favour of a Scottish minister.

Reference: Volume 35, Spring 1999, p15

John Karkalas

This is a description of the (Greek Orthodox) Procession of the Holy Epitaph with some historical facts and commentary.

Reference: Volume 35 Spring 1999, p16
PDF icon Good Friday in Alexandria1.92 MB

Stephen Hayes

Many changes have been seen recently: move away from black vestments, crosses and candles on Table, use of lectionary and observance of church year. Other developments include the use of silence, greater variety in music, and a new subordinate standard in the document Living Faith.  The Book of Common Worship 1991 incorporates the double epiclesis in sacramental services, ‘confirmation’ has been replaced with ‘affirmation of baptism’. It is loose leaf, and too large in the view of to the writer, and contains too much from other sources. The new Book of Praise omits its predecessor’s spoken and responsive psalms section. The writer questions some of the additions and wonders if they justified a new book. Living Faith joins the Westminster Confession and a post war statement on church and nation.

Reference: Volume 35 Spring 1999, p20
PDF icon The Presbyterian Church in Canada2.18 MB

Henry R Sefton

The proposal of a ‘choral square’ was not found convincing (Zwingli!). The focus in the C of S was not the Table; many are bi-cameral rather than uni-cameral. Why did Prof Reymond not consider Barth’s idea of a single focal point?

Reference: Volume 35 Spring 1999, p24

Professor Bernard Reymond, University of Lausanne

The author examines examples of Reformed church architecture in Switzerland and elsewhere, and finds that they conform in general to a 'choral square', proposing that the reformed worshipping congregation is firstly a choral congregation and only secondly a hearing congregation. This model not only enables communion but allows communication, eye contact, better singing. The reasons for the later length-wise organisation are examined. The characteristics of recent Reformed buildings are then appraised.

Reference: Volume 34 Pentecost 1998, p1

The Very Revd Professor J A Whyte

In responding to the lecture by Professor Bernard Reymond, Professor Whyte responds to the question, Is a genuine reformed architecture possible today? But do we have a reformed understanding of the church and its worship? Major influences are American fundamentalism and revivalism, and an undiscriminating and uncritical ecumenism. Whyte laments the closure of churches, the lack of imagination in preserving significant buildings. He notes that the Church Service Society began to revitalise worship through the recovery of a genuine Reformed tradition, but later an Anglicising archaism came in. After 1945, architects were not briefed in terms of worship, education, preaching and theology. St Columba's Glenrothes broke the mould.

Reference: Volume 34 Pentecost 1998, p44
PDF icon Volume 34 Pentecost 1998, p44 2.03 MB

No author specified

No summary currently available

Reference: Volume 34 Pentecost 1998, p52
PDF icon Book Review: Common Ground2.28 MB

Dr Ian Bradley

The writer employs the three headings of prayer, psalms and poetry to give an account of worship and spirituality of Columba's community.

Reference: Volume 32 Pentecost 1997, p1
PDF icon Columba - His Liturgical Approach1.66 MB

William M M Campbell

The chaplain at the Royal Cornhill and Woodlands Hospital discusses aspects of liturgy in this context, focusing on the introduction, prayer, praise, address, movements and participation. The order for a Harvest Thanksgiving Service follows.

Reference: Volume 32 Pentecost 1997, p7

No author specified

The chaplain at the Royal Cornhill and Woodlands Hospital discusses aspects of liturgy in this context, focusing on the introduction, prayer, praise, address, movements and participation. The order for a Harvest Thanksgiving Service follows.

Reference: Volume 32 Pentecost 1997, p14
PDF icon Woodlands Harvest Thanksgiving Service852.19 KB