Douglas Galbraith

Information was given about these titles:

Liturgy on the Edge: Pastoral and attractional worship, ed. Samuel Wells (Canterbury Press)

Liturgical Worship: A basic introduction,  Mark Earey (Church House Publishing)

The Language of Liturgy: A ritual poetics, David Jasper (SCM Press)

Visual Arts in the Worshipping Churc, Lisa J DeBoer (Eerdmans)

Grasping the Heel of Heaven: Liturgy, leadership and ministry in today's Church, ed. Aiden Platten (Canterbury Press)

A Diary of Private Prayer: John Baillie, updated and revised, Susanna Wright (Scribner)

Words that Listen: A literary companion to the Lectionary, eds J Barney Hawkins and Ian S Markham (Canterbury Press)

Reference: Volume 53 2018, p58-60
PDF icon Record 53 58-6049.19 KB

Stephen Mark Holmes

This was a lecture given to the Church Service Society at its Annual Meeting in May 2017. It takes a fresh look at how worship was understood in Renaissance Scotland, and in the process disturbs some of the assumptions about the nature of the Scottish Protestant Reformation, including its timetable and uneven development in different parts of the country. One aspect is how far change in Catholic worship had progressed and was continuing to progress even beyond the traditional date of the Reformation. An emphasis is the matter of how liturgy was interpreted and taught to the people before and after the Reformation.

Reference: Volume 52 2017, p2-12
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Paul Ellingworth

The author critically examines changes that have been made to these hymns, not in earlier times which  Charles Wesley was so exercised about, but in modern hymn books in use. He then categories the kinds of change that have been made: punctuation, changes in English usage, the matter of inclusive language, changing attitudes (for example, as to what constitutes racism).

Reference: Volume 52 2017, p13-21
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Gordon D. Jamieson

There is discussion of the different expectations ministers face today, not least the lack of experience of the church and of Christian formulations. One noticeable change is that now a funeral is seen as a celebration of a life (illustrated by the large number of humanist-led funerals) and that ‘tributes’ to the deceased are required, which is difficult to fit properly into a traditional liturgy, and ways of approaching that are discussed.

Reference: Volume 52 2017, p22-24
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Scott M. Rennie

This recent resource for leaders of worship is lectionary-based (using variously the Revised Common Lectionary and the Narrative Lectionary, and potentially others). It is prepared by some Church of Scotland and other clergy, and representatives of the Wild Goose Resource Group. Its purpose is to explore the readings in a variety of ways and suiting all age groups. It has been broadly taken up.

Reference: Volume 52 2017, p25-27
PDF icon Record 52 25-2748.71 KB

James Stewart

This is a selection and some observations, with an introduction. His nickname came from his position as Professor of Hebrew in (the Free Church) New College. These sayings come from walks and conversations between him and one who was then a student but who became Professor of Moral Philosophy at St Andrews and who published his notes and reminisces. They are remarkable as coming from a Free Church divine and cover a wide range of topic, including the need to be ‘more liturgical’, a desire for more hymns, the Te Deum, the Scottish Paraphrases (‘born in Hellas, and never visited Judea’).

Reference: Volume 52 2017, p
PDF icon Record 52 28-3254.3 KB

Neil Gardner

This address was given at the funeral service for this former president of both the Church Service Society and the Scottish Church Society, a student of liturgy but with other wide interests, from military chaplaincy to church architecture.

Reference: Volume 52 2017, p33-34
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James C. Stewart

An address given at the Annual Meeeting of the Church Service Society about one who was a former President and a well-known and much-loved professor of practical theology and Christian ethics at New College, and writer of many books. His ministry in South India is also remembered.

Reference: Volume 52 2017, p
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Douglas Galbraith

Titles described are:

Hymns for all seasons: the complete works of James Quinn SJ, ed Paul Inwood (OCP 2017)

The meaning of Christian liturgy: recent developments in the Church of Sweden, Oloph Bexell (Eerdmans)

Growing through the church: a practical and theological vision for all-age worship, Russell Herbert (Mayhew)

Songs for suffering: praying the psalms in time of trouble, Simon P. Stocks (Hendrickson)

Daily prayer for all seasons: a contemporary Benedictine prayer companion, (Canterbury)

Wrestling with the Word: preaching tricky texts, eds Kate Bruce and Jamie Harrison ( SPCK)

English cathedral music and liturgy in the twentieth century, Martin Thomas (Ashgate)

Embodied liturgy: lessons in Christian ritual, Frank C. Senn (Fortress)

Contemporary worship music and everyday musical lives, Mark Porter (Routledge)

Encountering Vineyard worship, John Leach (Grove Books)

Evaluating worship: how do we know it is any good, Mark Earey (Grove Books)


Reference: Volume 52 2017, p37-41
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Doug Gay

This is the address given to the Annual Meeting of the Church Service Society in May 2019 by the Revd Dr Doug Gay, Principal of Trinity College, University of Glasgow.

Gay is addressing one of the four great challenges he had identified in a Chalmers Lecture as facing the current Kirk: liturgical renewal. After a resumé of worship since the Reformation, he finds three broad streams that have characterised worship since 1940: Church Service Society, Evangelical, middle-of-the-road. He identifies a number of challenges to the way we worship developing from the 1960s, and adds three modes of technological development. The remainder of his paper roundly challenges several aspects of the practice and the practioners of worship today: a deficit in understanding, an inability to praise convincingly, the absence of genuine feeling, the poverty of preaching, the lack of physical/spoken participation, the inhibitory nature of pews, the lack of appetite for Communion, a need to place baptism more at the centre, the need for better songs especially in the area of praise and worship song, the need to rediscover silence, the need for more genuine intercessory prayer, and the development of worship that is strong enough to change/convert those to whom church going is unfamiliar. He calls finally for better education and training, both for ministerial leadership and congregations.

Reference: Volume 54 2019, p1

Marjory MacLean

The Revd Dr Marjory MacLean, one of four speakers at the Study Day in 2019 to respond to a recent report to the General Assembly exploring the possibility of a new form of ministry of Word and Sacrament to support fresh expressions of being the church or where the scarcity of ordained ministers in scattered parishes reduced opportunities for Communion, spoke from the perspective of ministry in a parish with four worship centres and against a background of the law and the constitution of the Church of Scotland. The paper identified deeper questions including the nature of some forms of contemporary worship as well as the existence currently of the ministry of Reader (and others) authorised to preach the Word but not celebrate the Sacrament. Eschewing the use of ‘church’ without the definite article, and saying why, the paper sees ‘the church’ as geographically-definable and implying a continuity of relationship between a minister and the people, a ‘unique form of intimacy’, a mystical chain that connects the communicant to the divine through their local minister in the substance of their pastoral relationship; it also has to do with structures in that the task of providing the Sacrament – like the task of blessing the people – is that of the pastoral minister not of someone brought in to conduct the service that day. The paper also addresses the matter of wider pastoral care in fresh expressions and pioneer contexts (the ‘wider parish’ of those directly targeted by a special ministry) and situations where there is a sufficiency of accredited help in leading worship but no ordained minister. The paper concludes by tabling a series of questions which might guide future discussion.

Reference: Volume 54 2019, p18

Ian Paton

The Rt Revd Ian Paton, Bishop of St Andrews, Dunkeld and Dunblane, one of four speakers at the Study Day of 2019 to respond to a recent report to the General Assembly exploring the possibility of a new form of ministry of Word and Sacrament to support fresh expressions of being the church or where the scarcity of ordained ministers in scattered parishes reduced opportunities for Communion,  approached the matter from the perspective of the Canons of the Scottish Episcopal Church, where the local church is the diocese and all Eucharists are presided over by the bishop or, in his absence, by presbyters. The Eucharist forms the church but it also is a sign of the Kingdom and justice for the poor and the oppressed. It is the norm for worship and has come to be celebrated every Sunday. However, his Church too suffers from a lack of presbyters. The paper discusses three possible solutions being posited in different parts of the Anglican Communion: 1. extended Communion where the consecrated elements are taken to a place to be distributed by an authorised lay person – which is reception of Communion rather than the celebration of the Eucharist; 2. lay presidency, arising from a belief in the ‘priesthood of all believers’; 3. more ordinands, including Local Collaborative Ministries; 4. seeing the Eucharist as an action of the whole church, with the people of God as celebrants, with a priest but also others with roles in the leadership. The paper discusses these and concludes with some observations about modes of mutual acceptance between the Church of Scotland and the Scottish Episcopal Church.

Reference: Volume 54 2019, p27

David D Scott

The Revd David D Scott, lately minister at Traprain, one of four speakers at the Study Day of 2019 to respond to a recent report to the General Assembly exploring the possibility of a new form of ministry of Word and Sacrament to support fresh expressions of being the church or where the scarcity of ordained ministers in scattered parishes reduced opportunities for Communion, took as his starting point a poem by William Soutar (d.1943) where the poet defines community as constituted by giving and receiving of gifts by its members. (Later the poet John Donne is quoted.) The paper approaches the issue by examining the earliest Reformed ‘ordination’ liturgies and The Form of Presbyterial Church Government, particularly the involvement of the whole membership and the rituals by which this was expressed, a system which depended on election affirmed by the ‘taking of the hand’. This emphasises the corporate nature of ministry dependent on the gifts of the Spirit rather than a ministry drawn out of the community to undertake particular tasks. The minister is part of a community in which are ‘things which cannot be touched’, a steward of God’s mysteries (St Paul), of holiness. The present discussion was towards a task-based ministry which could destroy something which is largely unrecognised, something that has nothing to do with the one who holds the office.

Reference: Volume 54 2019, p38

John McPake

The Revd Dr John McPake gave the fourth paper at the Study Day of 2019 which took place as contributory to the discussion which followed a report to the General Assembly of 2019 exploring the possibility of a new form of ministry of Word and Sacrament to support fresh expressions of being the church or where the scarcity of ordained ministers in scattered parishes reduced opportunities for Communion. The paper he gave was derived from this report, of which he was the principal author, and, being already in the public domain, was not printed in the Record with the other three. However, it may be found in the Report Book of that Assembly, at page 17 and a summary is given here. The report arose from discussion between the Panel on Review and Reform, the Theological Forum, the Committee on Ecumenical Relations. and the Legal Questions Committee. The report addresses the needs of new worshipping communities, arguing that Baptism and Holy Communion are no less necessary for their growth but that current patterns of the formation of ministers are not always appropriate for leading those communities. The report defined the place and importance of the Sacraments in the New Testament, the Early Church, at the Reformation, as well as in the present day, when they possessed a missional, pastoral and spiritual value; through them the grace of God is signified and the Word of God revealed. The report then restates the place of the ordained ministry, emphasising that it takes place within the ministry of the people of God and is not a possession of those ordained. This church is called into being by the Word in order that it might share in the new creation made possible by the Spirit. The relationship of Word and Sacrament is explored as is the nature of ordination, i.e. consisting of lawful election, fasting, prayer, and the imposition of hands by the ‘elderschippe’. The five marks of mission as outlined in the Church of England’s Mission-Shaped Church (2004) are summarised, commenting that it may be unreasonable to expect leaders of new worshipping communities to commit to the intensive training required of parish ministers. A possible new form of ministry of Word and Sacrament, shaped by the context of the emerging church, should be explored, faithful to the historic theology of the church in relation to the inseparability of Word and Sacrament.

Reference: Volume 54 2019

Douglas Galbraith

The Church Service Society Study Day for 2018 was held in Dunblane Cathedral in November, of which this is a report. The intention was to consider worship from the perspective of drama. Special guest was the Icelandic theatre director Kolbrún Björt Sigfúsdóttir, currently working in Scotland, who adopted a theatre workshop approach to answer the question: What are the theatre director’s hopes and intentions when preparing a play for performance. Discussion after lunch, which was taken in the restaurant of the former Scottish Churches House, was led by a panel consisting of Gilleasbuig Macmillan, Elspeth McKay and David Todd.

Reference: Volume 54 2019, p48