The Nicene Creed; the new publications Prayers for Sunday Services and New Ways to Worship; the death of Miss Wallace Williamson.
Volume 11, Number 01 May 1981
The Lee Lecture of 1980. 'Untouchables' in India, Afro-Americans in the USA and other examples show how Christian worship can be liberating for those who do not have freedom. Yet worship is so often not seen as freeing, and is rejected for other substitutes which themselves enslave. It is essential to free worship from distortions and limitations which make is less than Christian worship.Too often, for example, it is confined to a particular culture, to a particular (middle) class, imprisoned in wordiness, in passivity of the people. Worship separated from the great issues of liberty and justice has become an idolatry.
The extraordinary variety in attitudes and practices in worship since the Reformation. Worship has accommodated itself to culture. Although there has been a release of language, congregations still have their unspoken limits for worship reform. The need to change the images we use. We also limit and idolise the church's art and music; openness to a growing diversity and richness is necessary. There is still a tension between performance and participation. These continue into the issue of professionalism versus lay participation; we have valued quality in leadership but may have created an elite. The writer notes certain trends: the liturgical (the Worshipbook), ecumenical, yet tends to be upper-middle class; participatory – the minister as enabler – but it can be unrealistic in its expectations; the missionary trend. The debate continues between, in particular, the first two of these trends.
This article outlines developments in England from 1836 onwards and where they related and where they were independent of similar developments in Scotland. Most of the article relates to the publication of books of psalms, paraphrases and hymns, with a detailed account of the decisions of the Synod. The article is to be continued.
This offers analysis of the 1971 document, Public Baptism of Infants: Private Baptism of Infants: Baptism of Adults.Theological changes are noted: the move from an Augustinian approach (cleansing of sins) to a Cyprianic (entrance into the church); that baptism is a process. The role of the parents becomes more central and the idea of the vicarious faith of the godparents is removed. The congregation needs to be more aware of its role; parents need to be prepared; extra-parochial baptism is no longer possible. It should take place in the face of the congregation, but, unlike a similar C of E development, it does not suggest that the eucharist is the most ideal setting.
Prayers for Sunday Services (Saint Andrew Press, 1980), by John Huxtable; Theological Foundations for Ministry: Selected Readings for a Theology of the Church in Ministry, ed. Ray S Anderson (T & T Clark, Eerdmans 1979), by Duncan Forrester.