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Volume 41 Winter 2005/6
In an updated version of a 1988 lecture to the Society for Liturgical Study Stewart Todd draws attention to the minimal place accorded to creation themes in the Eucharistic services authorised in the Church of Scotland, paralleled in the Church of England, and, noting the larger place accorded to them in much early liturgy, suggests that we owe it to contemporary ‘prophet ecologists’ to fill out doxologically their understanding of nature in the purposes of God.
Reflecting critically, in the light of widespread alienation from the church, on a recent Songs of Praisebroadcast following a natural disaster, Johnston R McKay, in his 2005 Lee Lecture, asks how public ‘public’ worship should be. He refers to much modern theological talk of the vulnerable God as unduly prescriptive and failing to connect with many contemporaries, and suggests that music provides space and atmosphere to develop their own spiritual convictions.
After brief references to the liturgical influence of Vatican II and the Faith and Order movement, Donald Gray, successively its Secretary and Chairman, traces the suggestion for the formation of the Joint Liturgical Group in 1963 to a paper by Dr John Lamb published in The Annual of the Church Service Society in 1960. The part played by Dr Ronald Jasper in securing the appropriate invitation from the Archbishop of Canterbury and later in enlisting the participation of the Roman Catholic Church is fully dealt with. Ambivalent Vatican policy features largely when the place of JLG in international liturgical co-operation on texts and lectionary is dealt with.
In a lecture (to the School of Ministry in Dunedin) Graham Redding surveys the varying nature of the Sunday services offered in Presbyterian churches in New Zealand, suggests some of the influences which have helped to undermine its distinctiveness, and calls for a revisiting of the liturgical theology of Calvin and Knox, noting the emphatic approval of the former for “a certain form from which ministers be not allowed to vary”.
Douglas Galbraith mentions some of the recent work of the Group.
Denzil Brown provides a review (first published in New Zealand) of Prayer and the Priesthood of Christ in the Reformed Tradition by Graham Redding. He suggests that, although it is not an easy read, it makes a significant contribution to the understanding of our tradition.
There is mention of the retirement of the Treasurer, Andrew Stewart and of the proposal to create a CSS website.