David Mill

This is an age when a greater message of customer satisfaction has entered people's assessment of worship. The writer finds in The Wind in the Willows a statement of religious experience which helps understand our own desires. He refers to W D Maxwell's Concerning Worship and to John Killinger's Leave it to the Spirit in support of his thesis that even those who advocate the cultivation of the innovative do not start from the 'customer' likes and dislikes but the desire for a genuine encounter between God and his people. He also refers to the third and fourth editions of the Church Hymnary and the 1979 Book of Common Order.

Reference: Volume 44 2008/9, p2

William R T Anderson

Canon Anderson reports on his practice of leading his students into the depth of their subjects through drawing their attention to specific works of poetry, not least when the subject is the preparation of the sermon. In the course of this he quotes generously from the poets and shows something of his own appreciation and alliance of poets from earlier centuries to the present day.

Reference: Volume 44 2008/9, p14

Lance Stone

The writer explores a narrative shape for preaching with its drive towards resolution. He proposes another approach, that of picking a fight with the text, where again the drive is towards resolution. Several examples are given. A related strategy is to pick a fight with common misunderstandings of a passage and again examples are given. In all these cases, a tension is created with demands resolution. Thus a sermon has a 'plot with unpredicable moves which may 'hold the listener's attention and help disclose the surprising, renewing world of God's Kingdom'.

Reference: Volume 44 2008/9, p30

Douglas Galbraith

Prepared in association with a conference to mark 150 years of the Baird Lectures, this paper outlines the three sets of lectures that took as their subject worship and/or music. First is W D Maxwell's A History of Worship in the Church of Scotland (1952) which put to rest many erroneous assumptions about Reformed practice. An account of G Wauchope Stewart's Music in Church Worship is prefaced by an account of the discussion conducted at the time (the period leading up to 1926), based on papers given to early Scottish Church Society conferences and other publications of the time including the first Archbishops' Commission of 1922. The lectures, which called for certain reforms, prefaced the publication of the Revised Church Hymnary (1927) and the Scottish Psalter of 1929. They also had value in respect of the contemporary scene. Ian Mackenzie's Music Magic Lost is placed in the context of the modern ferment in church music, to which the author had contributed, and offer a radical and idiosyncratic critique of church music practice today. That said, the distance between the two sets does not feel great some of the practical solutions are similar.

Reference: Volume 44 2008/9, p36
PDF icon Tunes of Glory6.88 MB

Geoffrey Stevenson

An account, by the main speaker, of the study day of 2008 which took place at Luss and explored the issue of worship in the context of global electronic media, as pioneered at Luss.

Reference: Volume 44 2008/9, p52
PDF icon Luss: The Autumn Study Day1.07 MB

Various contributors

Henry Sefton reviews: Shaping Up: Re-Forming Reformed Worship; Scottish Piety: A Miscellany from Five Centures; and Protestant Piety in Early-Modern Scotland: Letters, Lives and Covenants

Crissie White reviews The Regional Furniture Society Journal Vol. XII, 2007: Furniture in Churches

Reference: Volume 44 2008/9, p55
PDF icon Book Reviews1.25 MB

No author specified

2008 AGM, Presidential address from David Mill, 'Giving the customers what they want'. Intimation is given of the 2009 AGM and Study Day.

Reference: Volume 44 2008/9, p59
PDF icon Secretarial Notes246.13 KB

The Editor

Reference: Volume 44 2008/9, p60
PDF icon Jottings373.37 KB

The Editor

Citing an incident involving nineteenth century minister of South Leith, John Logan, when the Kirk Session and Precentor resisted his untimely introduction of the Paraphrases, the editor reflects on innovation, a theme present in more than one paper in the issue.

Reference: Volume 43 2007/8, p1

Marion Dodd

The President, from her background as a professional singer and as one well versed in music, explores the issues relating to communicating in words, against a biblical and theological backcloth. The subject is treated in a Trinitarian format. The address had been accompanied by a multi-media presentation involving visual representation of the Hebrew, Greek and English versions of John 1:1 coupled with a musical setting composed and performed by the President.

Reference: Volume 43 2007/8, p3

John R Hume

The former Chief Inspector of Buildings, Historic Scotland, former Convener of the Church of Scotland's Committee on Art and Architecture, and current Chair of the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland, reviews each technological innovation regarding buildings and worship over the centuries, including building techniques, light and sound, audio-visual systems, disabled access, the organ, the use of other instruments, together with some of the practices made possible, and asks for discernment in the use of each new advance.

Reference: Volume 43 2007/8, p15
PDF icon New Technologies, New Ways3.91 MB

Graham A Duncan

Following a statement of the theology of worship, the author explores the priestly tradition and the synagogue tradition, one favouring vestments the other less so. He surveys practice since the Scottish Reformation and notes the lack of uniformity. He looks in more detail at specific items of dress: cassock, girdle, preaching gown, shirt/collar/bands, academic hood, preaching scarf, stole, cap. The symbolism of clerical dress is explored and the paper concludes with a discussion of the issues raised in modern times and whether there is an ultimate requirement around which agreement might be reached.

Reference: Volume 43 2007/8, p25
PDF icon Ministerial Dress (South Africa)9.09 MB

Various contributors

The Church Hymnary, Fourth Edition, reviewed by Neil Gardner

Religion: Vol. 12 of Scottish Life and Societyreviewed by Gilleasbuig Macmillan

Reference: Volume 43 2007/8, p49
PDF icon Book Reviews2.17 MB

No author specified

AGM 2007. The combining of the Study Day 2007 with the Symposium arranged by the Working Group on Worship and Doctrine of the Mission and Discipleship Council on 'Holy Communion and the Renewal of the Church'. The proposed website. The 100th birthday of the Very Revd. Roy Sanderson, and the subsequent death of Dr Sanderson. The death of the Very Revd. Professor Thomas F Torrance. The 50th anniversary of the ordination of Dr Henry Sefton. The induction of the Society's Treasurer, the Revd. Jennifer Macrae, to Haddington St Mary's. Best wishes on retirement to the Society's Vice President and former Secretary, the Revd Rachel Dobie.

Reference: Volume 43 2007/8, p55
PDF icon Secretarial Notes2.17 MB

J C Stewart

Notes the launch of the new magazine on church music, Different Voices, edited by the Society's President. Reference to the journal Ecclesiology Today and a note of items of Scottish interest. Notes an article in a parish magazine intimating a variety of ways simultaneously for receiving Communion, refers to the symposium on Holy Communion (see Secretarial Notes above) and suggests that these developments and discussions would benefit from a recovered awareness of roots.

Reference: Volume 43 2007-8 p57
PDF icon Jottings585.9 KB