Iain Torrance

The outlines the writer’s reasons for saying at the outset that he is not persuaded that partaking in an act of communion mediated by the internet is intrinsically different from partaking in one while out of sight in a corner of a cathedral and following the liturgy through a loudspeaker. A 17th century debate is revisited which related to the legitimacy of baptism administered privately. The argument turns on the elasticity of delivery.


Reference: Volume 55 2020, p1-4
PDF icon Record 55 1-447.01 KB

Donald MacEwan

This is a statement, with elaboration from the Theological Forum of the General Assembly, which tends towards seeing online Communion as valid. It explores the area of physical versus virtual gathering, time and distance lag, the streaming of a live event as opposed to a recording, and includes suggestions to help towards fuller involvement.

Reference: Volume 55 2020, p5-10
PDF icon Record 55 5-1052.45 KB

Reference: Volume 55 2020, p11-12
PDF icon Record 55 11-1239.5 KB

Alan D Falconer

This describes several initiatives in St Machar’s Cathedral Aberdeen when the author was minister, especially in evening services, in which various dimensions of the arts were found to enhance worship. Detail is given, to help those who might continue the exploration in other contexts, and there is analysis using one of Dag Hammarskjöld’s Markings (‘Thou takest the pen / flute / brush …’) of the relationships between the arts and worship that make this possible.

Reference: Volume 55 2020, p13-27
PDF icon Record 55 13-2784.18 KB

Edward Luscombe, edited Douglas Galbraith

This narrative of the way liturgy developed in the Scottish Episcopal Church is culled from Bishop Luscombe’s several books on local history and personalities in the SEC over the centuries.

Reference: Volume 55 2020, p28-41
PDF icon Record 55 28-4175.83 KB

Russell Barr

Reference: Volume 55 2020, p42-46
PDF icon Record 55 42-4649.02 KB

To commemorate the life of prominent choir director and member of the Society’s Council, Ian McCrorie, this article based on an interview with Douglas Galbraith is reproduced from Different Voices.

Reference: Volume 55 2020, p47-50
PDF icon Record 55 47-5047 KB

Charles Robertson

This is a review article of a new book by Professor Bryan Spinks of Yale, a former president of the Society, by Charles Robertson

Reference: Volume 55 2020, p51-56
PDF icon Record 55 51-5654.37 KB

Douglas Galbraith

This is a review article of a new book by Lezley Stewart by Douglas Galbraith

Reference: Volume 55 2020, p57-58
PDF icon Record 55 57-5840.46 KB

Scott McCarthy

This exploration of Langholm’s Hugh MacDiarmid’s damning verdict on the church formed the presidential address given in May 2018 by the parish minister at Langholm, Eskdalemuir, Ewes and Westerkirk. The quotation in the title is from ‘A drunk man looks at the thistle’ where the poet accuses the church of keeping Christ to themselves. The paper begins with an analysis of the parish and its people and explores models of ministry, the dangers placed on unity in a parish of several locations, and goes on to question what 'belonging’ to the church means. He asks: 'To what extent does our decline as local congregations reflect our failure to satisfy people's yearnings, and are these yearnings felt by those who self-describe as Christians but do not attend church?'

Reference: Volume 53 2018, p2-11
PDF icon Record 53 2-1167.04 KB

Compiled by Douglas Galbraith

Subtitled Technology in the service of the praise of God, this is a detailed report of the postponed 2017 Study Day (to March 2018), a consultation of 44 participants, held in the recently refurbished Greyfriars Parish Church in Lanark to consider the current digital landscape and the church's response, particularly in relation to worship. The main input was from Dr Graham Maule who brought the theories of six cultural critics to bear on new and old ‘tool-based’ practices in worship, and this was taken up by a symposium and in general discussion.

Reference: Volume 53 2018, p12-34
PDF icon Record 53 12-34319.15 KB

Consultation in Lanark March 8 2018

This is the full order of worship used at the opening of the study day on technology in worship. It consisted of a re-imagining of the ancient office of Terce and contains scriptural reference to the use of tools, a new litany and collect, with the incorporation of new versions of psalms by Lezley Stewart.

Reference: Volume 53 2018, p35-41
PDF icon Record 53 35-4153.65 KB

Douglas Galbraith

A contribution to a seminar at the Reformation Studies Institute of the University of St Andrews in 2015, the 500th anniversary of the Reformation in Europe. Based on a new edition of the earliest version of the Gude and Godlie Ballatis (1565), edited by Professor Emeritus Alasdair A. MacDonald of Groningen, the seminar explored the nature and purpose of the Ballatis and, given that the original publication did not print the music, brought text and music together for a handful of the items so that they could be sung by the audience.

Reference: Volume 53 2018, p42-51
PDF icon Record 53 42-51202.83 KB

David Beckett

The Editor interviews the Revd David M Beckett, whose 8 sermons on worship had recently been added to the Church Service Society’s website. These had been preached in 1988 in Greyfriars Kirk of which Beckett was minister.

Reference: Volume 53 2018, p52-54
PDF icon Record 53 52-5445.57 KB

Martin Ritchie

A tribute to the late Treasurer of the Society, the Revd Jennifer Macrae of Haddington St Mary’s, who died in March 2018, given at the Annual Meeting of 2018. The author had spent time with her as a probationer minister.

Reference: Volume 53 2018, p55-57
PDF icon Record 53 55-5745.35 KB