The Language of Worship

The Rev R Stuart Louden, TD, DD, Edinburgh: Greyfriars

R Stuart Louden examines the language through which worship has traditionally been expressed within the Church of Scotland and concludes that it has become archaic and, as a consequence, unsuited to the contemporary situation of the Church. He finds that the language of the Book of Common Order (1564) has bequeathed to us a legacy that was only partially corrected thereafter and points to the absence, between 1645 and 1857, of any printed forms of worship within the Church of Scotland. The publication, in 1857, of Prayers for Public Worship by the Rev. Dr. Robert Lee of Greyfriars, Edinburgh marks the beginning of a period of renaissance in the language used in public worship which was furthered by the publication of the Euchologion or Book of Common Order (1867), albeit that it reflects the language of the Victorian age. In similar fashion he notes that the Book of Common Order (1940) reflects, once more, the language of its times. Thus, the case for the ongoing renewal of the language of worship is made, always with the proviso that the language used must serve as a pointer to the transcendent character of the Christian faith. The nature of that faith ought to compel us to produce an ecumenically comprehensive language of worship.

Volume 40 1970, p22
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