The Doctrine and Practice of Worship in the Reformed Church

Synopsis of a Paper by the Rev A K Robertson, MA, BD, Ph D, Fort William, read at the Aberdeen Conference of the Society, October 1968

Ecumenical consideration of the practice of others should be given before any major changes to public worship are made. After the reformation Scotland did not know worship as was desired by Calvin. Puritan influences and the post-Calvinist theology of the Westminster Confession led to ‘wordy’ worship with extemporary prayer. A second reformation of worship came about in the second half of the nineteenth century. The author states people today need reminded of the Christocentricity of worship and points people to the important book by J.J. von Allmen entitled ‘Worship, its Theology and Practice’. Three of von Allmen’s points are highlighted. 1) In worship the church recapitulates the history of salvation and sets forth the perfect life of worship which is seen in Jesus Christ. 2) Worship is the Epiphany of the Church. 3) The Church in her worship foreshadows the Judgement and the renewal of the World. The importance of weekly Eucharist, as was the tradition in the church for the first five centuries, is emphasised. Confession of sin has too large a place in Reformed Church services. More lay participation in worship should be introduced.

Volume 39 1969, p18