The Revd Dr Liam Jerrold Fraser

The Convener of the General Assembly's Theological Forum explores the relationship between mission and worship in a post-Christian context. It examines the Five Marks of Mission, the purpose of the Church, how the ascended Christ works upon and within the church to achieve this, how Christ's action in worship leads to missional fruit and what the relationship between worship and mission should be. It argues that to supplant worship with mission, or to place mission before it, will only weaken mission and harm both church and world. It concludes that worship, teaching, and sacraments precede mission theologically, temporally, and practically, and mission is contingent on them. Mission is not the root of the Church but its fruit.

Reference: The Record, Volume 57 2022, pp33-43
PDF icon The Primacy of Worship59.52 KB

The Revd Dr Richard Frazer

Dr Frazer of Greyfriars Kirk, Edinburgh, whose book on travelling the Camino, Travels with a Stick, has been influential in establishing the current discussion in the Church on this subject, reviews both biblical references about how wild places can awaken the spirit and some earlier experiences in the history of the Church of pilgrimage, and how one may find local sites that once were the focus of pilgrims. He discusses how 'the eternal seeps through the physical', both physical activity and the physicality of the landscape through which we travel, which as we become one with it begins to 'read us, interrogate us'. People may go on pilgrimage because they have lost faith in the institutions of religion. These potential springs of refreshment have become blocked. The Scottish Pilgrim Routes Forum and the revival of Scottish pilgrim routes. Some disparage this movement, but there is always a place for revisiting old practices and re-framing them in a new context.

Reference: The Record, Volume 57 2022, pp44-56
PDF icon Pilgrimage75.04 KB

The Revd Dr Robert K Mackenzie

Arguing that to sing of the incarnation is enhanced when one does so in one's first language or dialect, the author offers his own reworking of the Christmas Carol in Scots language, giving three examples.

Reference: The Record, Volume 57 2022, pp 57-61
PDF icon Yuletide Carrells83.75 KB

The Revd David D Scott

The Editor recalls a liturgy written in response to a request for exorcism. He outlines how he approached the planning of this event, the principles on which he based it, and the consultations with the family concerned. The liturgy moves through the different focal points of the house.


Reference: The Record, Volume 57 2022, pp62-67
PDF icon The Exorcism55.91 KB

Revd Dr John Bunyan

This is a digest of communications from the Revd Dr John Bunyan, a member of the Church Service Society, where he writes about his visits to Scotland and some of the books relating to liturgy and song that he has compiled.

Reference: The Record, Volume 57 2022, pp68-70
PDF icon Meet and Australian Member53.78 KB


George Matheson and Mysticism – a Biographical Study, by Scott McKenna (Christoph Wutscher) The Long and the Short of It: reflections on reality in different measures, by John L Bell (Pamela Strachan)

Reference: The Record, Volume 57 2022, pp 71-78

Items on the death of the Very Revd Ted Luscombe, the 2022 annual meeting, a new post for former Secretary Martin Ritchie, the forthcoming study day on 'Streaming the Sunday Service', and a new feature on the Society's website (of simple hymn arrangements).

Reference: The Record, Volume 57 2022, pp79-80
PDF icon Record-57-79-80.pdf38.08 KB

The Revd Dr Alison M Jack

This, the Presidential Address of 2021, discusses the way poetry can enhance people’s experience of worship and argues that it needs space and time to have its effect, as opposed simply appearing as a quotation during a sermon. Although hymns and poems are not the same, the latter can become a hymn, but only if it has certain qualities. Some examples are examined. Hymns can also become poems, read in the right context. Poetry may always open up our prayers, either on their own or as woven into a longer prayer – indeed it helps us understand the nature of prayer.

Reference: Volume 56 2021, p3
PDF icon Volume 56 2021, p383.96 KB

The Very Revd Dr Gilleasbuig Macmillan

The former minister of St Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh looks back over alterations made in his 40 years as minister, which included the relocation of the Holy Table to the crossing in the midst of the people, the introduction of processions within acts of worship, and the placing of the baptismal font at the West Door, to which the congregation moves for a baptism. He reflects on the reasons for the changes, from his experience of leading worship in the building to childhood experiences and memories still alive in his mind.

Reference: Volume 56 2021, p17
PDF icon Volume 56 2021, p1741.09 KB

The Revd Dr John Bell

The President of the Church Service Society focuses attention on an aspect of liturgy which is often ignored, the reading of the Word. There is more to this than being heard with understanding. It is the proclamation of God and an essential feature of our worship. There is wisdom in thinking carefully about those who join the reading rota. This also is a vocation.

Reference: Volume 56 2021, p20
PDF icon Volume 56 2021, p2046.34 KB

The Revd Pamela D Strachan

An account by a Council member of a sermon she preached which was shared around an extended rural parish through Zoom. Context and mode of communication together engaged a group of people to continue meeting during lockdown to expand their conversation through further reading, again meeting by Zoom. The conversation also explored how a more contemplative dimension might be enabled in the normal Sunday service.

Reference: Volume 56 2021, p23
PDF icon Volume 56 2021, p2349.51 KB

The Revd David D Scott

The Record editor shares the story of how he and the congregation responded to the needs of a Roman Catholic family who came to their rural church when there was no Catholic church at hand, and how this led to a liturgical innovation, something they felt was missing from the Church of Scotland tradition, a ‘First Communion’ rite. This not only enhanced the new step for baptised children as they were welcomed as communicants but affirmed the place of young people in the church. The resulting order of worship is included.

Reference: Volume 56 2021, p27
PDF icon Volume 56 2021, p2743.16 KB

Rev David D Scott

Reference: Volume 56 2021, p31
PDF icon Volume 56 2021, p3152.41 KB

The Revd Dr Donald MacEwan

The Chaplain to the University of St Andrews outlines the variety of the provision of worship that has evolved across the university in response to the ecumenical nature of those who gather and of the broad chaplaincy team. This has involved, also, interfaith and pagan contributions. There are also ceremonies that are created to enable people of many faiths or of none to give thanks for the life of a student or member of staff who has died.

Reference: Volume 56 2021, p37
PDF icon Volume 56 2021, p3747.19 KB

The Revd David Todd

An Episcopal priest and member of Council, who was brought up within the Church of Scotland, reflects on the recently signed ‘Saint Andrew Declaration’ between the Scottish Episcopal Church and the Church of Scotland.

Reference: Volume 56 2021, p42
PDF icon Volume 56 2021, p4247.54 KB