This contains comments on ministerial dress at inductions and ordinations; the use of the phrase ‘Church of Scotland’ on correspondence; suggestions for the restoration of the Creeds in worship; the revision of the Church Hymnary to omit the unsingable or unsuitable and include new material; encouragement to follow the General Assembly’s practice of singing the Gloria at the conclusion of the metrical Psalm; the announcement of hymns or Psalms; the ‘Anti-Romanising Church Service Society’; the Society’s one day conference at St Oswald’s, Edinburgh; the increase in the Society’s subscription; a request for its prompt payment.
Symington Parish Church: Holy Table, Lectern and Prayer Desk - Facing page 22
Symington Parish Church: Elders’ Stalls - Facing page 23
The past twenty-five years have seen a tremendous increase of interest in the entire question of worship. The liturgical revival has begun to show us the basis of a common form of Christian worship. Four areas of common agreement have emerged: liturgy concerns only what the congregation says and does in its act of worship; authentic Christian worship must be corporate; there is a close relationship between liturgy and dogma – ‘worship is dogma come to life’; all Christian worship is basically sacramental.
|Reflections on the Liturgical Revival||7.93 MB|
The article expresses surprise that little if any place is given to the Creed today, either in religious instruction or public worship. The early Reformers recommended that the Apostles’ Creed should be used in public worship (Gude and Godlie Ballads 1567). It was regularly used for the instruction of catechumens and for those seeking ‘the ministrations of the Church’ in the late 16th and 17th centuries. A plea is made for a new recognition of the value of the ancient Creeds and their more regular use in Sunday services. Their value is theological; they represent the very heart and essence of the Christian Gospel. They are instructional; particularly for young believers. They also have great liturgical value; reciting them we declare our unity with fellow Christians and our witness to the world. A new creed may be desirable one day, but not yet. A brief examination is made of the opposition to the Creeds, and the article closes with the view that ‘Christians do not believe in the Creeds, but with the Creeds to help them, they believe in God’.
|The Ancient Creeds in the Modern Church||4.22 MB|
The author gives a history of the derivation of the name of the parish, the history of the building and its significant architectural features. Brief mention is also made of ministers of the parish.
|Bowden Kirk||4.15 MB|
The author looks at the history of the use of the cassock, scarf and bands in Scotland. The cassock was for many centuries the outdoor dress of all men and the Reformers continued to wear the garment. James VI ordered the wearing of ‘cassikins’ or short cassocks, to which there appears to have been no objection. It seems, from post-Revolution portraits, that Church of Scotland ministers ceased to wear cassocks after that event. The practice was revived after the middle of the 19th century. The scarf is reported as being worn ‘by quite a number of ministers’, its use having been revived ‘about half a century ago’. Theories regarding its origin vary and are described. James Melville writes of seeing John Knox wearing a type of forerunner. They fell into disuse after the Revolution and until ‘our own times’. Bands are medieval in origin, though whether civil or ecclesiastical is in dispute. They are the only article which distinguishes the minister from the probationer. They were worn by some of the clergy in pre-Reformation times and in Reformed circles in England as early as 1566. They appear in Scotland from the end of the 16th century and their use appears unaffected by the Revolution.
|Scottish Ecclesiastical Dress||6.5 MB|
The author describes the musical education of Divinity students as a mere ‘hasty reference’, yet modern worship must include a careful consideration of the part to be played by the organ. It has three functions: to create or intensify a favourable ‘atmosphere’ for worship; to lead the singing of the congregation; and to accompany the choir. Organ voluntaries are deemed ‘not essential’ and certain music is unsuitable for performance as a voluntary. Congregational singing is desirable and the organ ‘encourages timid worshippers to sing’. Consoles may be a considerable distance from the casework. With the console properly placed the organist may tell if the congregation is singing satisfactorily or not.
|The Place of the Church Organ||5.28 MB|
The Rev William McMillan, MA, Ph D, DD, by the Rev J F Leishman, MA, Linton
|In Memoriam||598.83 KB|
Four Centuries of Scottish Psalmody by Miller Patrick DD.
The Presbyterian Service Book for use in the Presbyterian Churches of England and Wales (Presbyterian Church of England).
English Art, 1307 – 1461 by Joan Evans.
The Lutheran Liturgy by Luther T. Reed.
Bowden Kirk - Facing page 24
Bowden Kirk, Interior, looking eastward - Facing page 25
The Presidential Address begins with a useful resume of the history of service books in the Scottish Church. It traces provision from the Book of Common Prayer, through Knox, the Westminster Directory, to Eugologion, noting en route the work of the UF Church, to the 1940 Common Order. Baird was clear that the Church was at no time laying down what must be said in worship but was rather showing what sort of services the Church approves. He refers to the breadth of its acceptance across the English speaking world, but is not uncritical of some of its content. Inevitably, one feels, some of his reservations are personal though he does plead that prayer language should be accessible to the worshipper. Nevertheless, he finds, as many of us do, that it is generally easier to criticise wording in liturgy than it is to find suitable alternatives. He addresses lectionaries and their use, and with particular reference to the one here compiled.
The number and the form of services for Holy Communion are considered with some pertinent insights.
He concludes by expressing relative satisfaction with the volume in spite of the shortcomings to which he alludes.Perhaps his most telling comment comes in the last paragraph in which he reminds his hearers/readers that in the early Church it appears that everyone in the congregation ‘assisted’ in the services. Our real aim, he says, and that of the Society, should be not to make the services more aesthetically pleasing, but rather to make them services which will hold the imagination of all who take part.
|Second Thoughts on the Book of Common Order||4.12 MB|
This is a concise, compact account of the changes which have taken place in the liturgy of the Dutch Reformed Church, starting with its history then tracing the developments which took place under the aegis of the Liturgical Movement which came into being towards the end of the 19th century.
|The Liturgical Movement in the Reformed Church of the Netherlands||4.09 MB|
A description of this McGregor Chalmers church (and its antecedents) which was completed in Saltcoats in 1908. The article includes a brief history of the parish. There is a further account of the stained glass windows installed after the end of the second world war, the work of William Wilson RSA, RSW Edin.
|The Parish Church of St Cuthbert, Saltcoats||3.38 MB|
The reader is reminded that there was almost no instruction as to the dress of post-Reformation clergy. The wearing of a black gown seems to have been carried on from medieval times and both Knox and Calvin were thus attired. James IV issued a proclamation in 1610 ordering all ministers to wear a gown when officiating and this seems not to have been found controversial.
Inevitably the turmoil which ensued during the course of the two periods of Episcopacy in the 17th century extended well into the area of ecclesiastical dress, though when the Kirk entered into a much more influence amongst their people if they wore “something of an ecclesiastical habit.” In 1696 the Synod of Dumfries passed an act recommending the brethren to adopt the earlier custom of black gowns and bands adding that they should “study gravity in their apparel and deportment in every manner of way.” McMillan notes that practice throughout the country varied enormously though he quotes Patrick Walker, a Covenanter commenting that there were many “toom” pulpits in Scotland i.e. the gown did not necessarily ‘make’ the minister.
The article contains a very rich vein of illustrations and quotations gathered by the author as the arguments for and against robes and special clothing flourished in this so very disputatious period of Scottish church history. The interested reader may peruse these at leisure while the serious student will be able to follow up a wealth of information.
|Scottish Ecclesiastical Dress||3.87 MB|
The use of the word 'plea' in the article is an accurate foretaste of what is to come. Thomson lists a number of scriptural warrants in support of his case while acknowledging that there is debate over their interpretation, and restating the Reformed position over the need for repentance for the forgiveness of sins. He cites also, the relevant passages from the Westminster Confession of Faith (Ch. xxx) in making his case.
He notes the section in the Book of Common Prayer devoted to the visitation of the sick while reminding the reader that it is not only the sick who are in need of assurance of pardon. The arguments for and against specific wording are well rehearsed in the sphere of both private devotions and corporate worship. He defines three forms of absolution in relation to worship, namely the prophetic form, the priestly form and finally the liturgical, for which he indicates a clear preference and which he sees as sitting well in the Reformed tradition.
The penultimate paragraph directs the reader to the blessing at the climax of every service, in which God’s peace (and wholeness and forgiveness) are conveyed. The last paragraph is worth quoting verbatim. “This plea for a re-consideration of the Absolution is offered, therefore, against a background of Scriptural warrant, and Confessional authority, of Reformed practice both traditional and contemporary. Human need and divine grace met at the Cross. The redemption there won may well be sealed to the people of God when we fulfil our ministry of reconciliation through the ‘liturgical absolution’.”
|A Plea for the Absolution in the Reformed Churches||3.93 MB|