Journals

James Stewart

A brief review of the periodical publications of the Church Service Society, out of which “The Record” was born, and a summary of the contents of the present volume, which marks the events of the Society’s 150th anniversary.

Reference: Volume 50 2015, p1
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Bryan D. Spinks

This article is based on Professor Spinks’ Sesquicentennial Lecture to the Society delivered on 17th October 2015 in New College, Edinburgh. In it, he offers a new perspective on the dramatic changes brought about in patterns of worship in Scottish Presbyterian Church life in the nineteenth-century. ‘Devolution’ and ‘evolution’ are the key terms here. After describing the pattern of traditional worship, Spinks notes some early attempts to ‘devolve’ good practice to ministers and argues these attempts are good examples of the organic development of liturgical ideas. The rather more revolutionary innovations of Robert Lee and others are charted, leading indirectly to the founding of the Church Service Society in 1865. The wide liturgical ‘gene pool’ promoted by the Society is noted, the Euchologion offering a new species of liturgy which was adapted, in a process of devolution, in many parishes throughout the Church of Scotland. The founding of the high church party’s Scottish Church Society in 1892 and the influence of the ‘Scoto-Catholicism’ of James Cooper are described, as is the influence of liturgical renewal on other Scottish Presbyterian churches. The changes in practice in praise in song, while not universally accepted, are detailed. Using modern evolutionary theory, Spinks suggests that these liturgical revivals might be compared to Hox genes which switch on to adapt and evolve to conditions that are changing. As in nature, these new liturgical forms co-existed and were inter-bred with the older forms, creating hybrid forms. The immense cultural and social changes brought about by the Victorian age were the trigger for this evolutionary shift. Spinks closes by suggesting that the CSS has a role to play in the liturgical evolution currently underway, triggered by the profound changes witnessed in our own time also.

Reference: Volume 50 2015, p2
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Full details are given of the proceedings which marked the 150th anniversary of the Society.

Reference: Volume 50 2015, p23
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John Chalmers

Full details are given of the proceedings which marked the 150th anniversary of the Society.

Reference: Volume 50 2015, p31
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Neil Gardner

Full details are given of the proceedings which marked the 150th anniversary of the Society.

Reference: Volume 50 2015, p34
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Gilleasbuig Macmillan

Full details are given of the proceedings which marked the 150th anniversary of the Society.

Reference: Volume 50 2015, p38
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James Stewart

James C. Stewart offers reflections on the recent history of the Society and the changes in liturgical practice it has witnessed and contributed to, through the lens of its various publications.

Reference: Volume 50 2015, p43
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Douglas Galbraith

A summary of recent publications from around the world on the theme of worship.

Reference: Volume 50 2015, p51
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Douglas Galbraith

A tribute to Susan Wilson, production manager of The Record.

Reference: Volume 50 2015, p54

Douglas Galbraith

A reflection on the events which made up the anniversary year and beyond. 

Reference: Volume 50 2015, p56
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Johnston R. McKay

The author attacks the generally-held view that the Presbyterian churches remained passive in the face of evils and injustices in the living and working conditions of the people of our cities in the mid-nineteenth century, arguing that the agendas of church courts were limited to questions of how the church administered itself. He shows how prominent ministers and congregations, such as Norman Macleod in the Barony of Glasgow, took initiatives in establishing schools, classes for adults, savings banks, leisure, seeing these as rightly not the responsibility of the institution but of the combined efforts of individuals in the congregation (whole salvation not soul salvation). Similarly in Edinburgh James Begg of Liberton campaigned for social improvement, while in Paisley Patrick Brewster reminded his fellow Christians of the intimate connection between the sacred and the secular. The author explores these and other concerns in the church at the time of the foundation of the Church Service Society (1865) such as the Westminster Confession, sabbatarianism, biblical interpretation, and the idea that the Kingdom and the Church may not be identical, naming such figures as Principal Tulloch of St Andrews and Robert Flint, minister and moral philosopher.

Reference: Volume 51 2016, p2

Lezley J Stewart

This paper was given to the Annual Meeting of the Society in 2016 and reported work that was later to be formed into a Doctor of Ministry dissertation. The actions taken by Dr Lee in Greyfriars round the time of the forming of the Society, and which had led to controversy, were outlined, such as the introduction of a printed prayer book, a more liturgical style of worship, the Lord’s Prayer, stained glass, and an organ. In particular, the paper looks at his use of the psalms as a way of deepening the prayer of the congregation, seeing them as a ‘grand magazine of devotion’. The author, an associate minister in Greyfriars, described a project to recover for the contemporary congregation the place given by Lee to the psalms as ‘soul songs’ which were rich in imagery, and in which there was already a dialogue set up between God and the worshipper. There follows a description of the project to devise a new prayer book in which the psalms, as read and sung but particularly in the context of the spoken and silent prayer of the congregation, formed the core material.

Reference: Volume 51 2016, p11

This is a description by the Revd Dr Donald MacEwan, Chaplain to the University of St Andrews, of a Chapel service during the 2015 Choral Summer School devised by him, drawing upon a service in the Thomaskirche in Leipzig when Cantata No. 78 by J S Bach was part of the service. The liturgy included parts of this cantata and other Lutheran music, such as a sung Creed and a chorale. Holy Communion was celebrated and a sermon in the style of the original was preached by the Chaplain, from which excerpts are given.

Reference: Volume 51 2016, p25

Martin Ritchie

This paper was given by doctoral student Martin Ritchie at the Society’s Study Day in 2015, the year of the Sesquicentenary of the Society, which featured the work of young scholars. It derived from ongoing doctoral studies at the University of Edinburgh, and asks why the Kalendar continued to be included in the Psalme Buik and Forme of Prayers following the Reformation and what relevance it had for the spiritual landscape and worship practice of the day. It appears publishers and printers responded to the desire of purchasers in forming each new edition, in spite of stipulations in the First Book of Discipline, and the practice was the result of public demand.  Many editions also included an Almanack which included lists of local fairs and markets as well as key church festival dates. In addition to the latter, the Kalendar added some fifty festivals and feast days over the different editions. The paper finds that the commercial dimension of the Kalendar is not the only motive but that matters of identity and piety were also important and it seems that popular piety and local cultural customs over-rode the more austere policies of the Reformers. It would seem that Scots attended worship with a spiritual landscape that still had a memory of the Kalendar of the pre-Reformation church. ‘What Scots “brought” to worship was surely as significant as what they heard while they were there’.

 

Reference: Volume 51 2016, p38

James Stewart

This article derives from reading Pews, benches and chairs, ed. Trevor Cooper and Sarah Brown (Ecclesiological Society 2011) and Sitting in chapel, ed. Chris Skidmore (The Chapels Society). The author remarks that Common Order contains material for the dedication of a wide range of church furniture but nothing for pews, despite their liturgical importance. The contents of the volumes, which are written against the background of the current trend towards removing pews from churches, are described in turn.

Reference: Volume 51 2016, p45

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