Volume 09 1936-37

The Central Place of Christ in Christian Worship

The Rev W A Knowles, BD, Dalton,

William A  Knowles traces the beginnings of his theme to the early Christians’ sense of Christ in their midst and in the eucharist.  He identifies the four great families of liturgies, all distinguished by the same belief in the presence of Christ.  In some of these, worship is addressed directly to Christ.  Knowles would see the prayers of the Church ideally “presented to God the Father in the Name of the Eternal Son”.  The Roman tradition diverges from our own at certain points, but not in the supreme honour given to Christ.  In mediaeval times, the “mystery” of the Mass obscured rather than revealed Christ – a situation the Reformers set out to remedy.  The “work” of Christ was rediscovered, only to be obscured again in the worship of 18th century Scotland.  The rise of hymnody in the 19th century, the study of liturgies, the Church Service Society and a greater frequency of Holy Communion have done much to reinstate Christ at the heart of the Scottish Church’s life and worship.

St Magnus Cathedral, Kirkwall

Henry F Kerr, ARIBA, FIAS, FSA Scot, Edinburgh

Henry F. Kerr draws attention to Orkney’s Norse heritage in the circular church at Orphir and the two-chambered barrel-vaulted church at Egilsay.  The Cathedral of St Olaf at Kirkwall was erected at the behest of Earl Rognvald to commemorate his saintly kinsman, Earl Magnus, who was murdered at Egilsay.  The church is described in considerable detail, comparisons being made with other Scottish churches in respect of dimensions.  The size of St Magnus Cathedral is arresting.   Durham and Dunfermline have been regarded as prototypes. It was, of course, an outpost of the Kingdom of Norway.  The history of its building - and of the Earl Rognvald who saw to its construction – is interestingly recounted, and its distinctive features are described.  The author concludes with an expression of regret at intended “improvements” at the Reformation and
 in more recent times, principally involving the removal of much interior woodwork of note.

Euchologion: The Book of Common Order

The Rev William McMillan, Ph D, DD, FSA Scot, Dunfermline

William McMillan contributes background information about the publication in 1867 (two years after the founding of the Church Service Society) of what constituted the most important liturgical milestone in the Kirk in modern times.  The editorial committee was composed of the powerful triumvirate of G W Sprott,  John Tulloch and R H Story.   Euchologion gave to the Church orders of service for all major occasions and provided a level of liturgical scholarship and a language of public prayer which surpassed all earlier attempts by individuals.   Opponents regarded it as Anglican in tone (it would have been strange if there had been no sign of that), but other influences were at work, particularly the Liturgy of the Catholic Apostolic Church and the Mercersburg movement of Nevin and Schaff in the USA.   McMillan carefully assesses the contribution of the book in its various editions,  particularly that of 1905 with Sprott’s valuable introduction and annotations.

A Scoto-Russian Church Conference

The Rev Professor L Zander, Institut de Théologie Orthodoxe, Paris

L Zander (a Russian Orthodox representative) gives an account of four one-day conferences which took place in Scotland in November, 1936, between representatives of the Russian Orthodox Church and the Church of Scotland.  Names of familiar Scottish churchmen abound – Lang, Warr, Cromarty Smith, White Anderson and others.  The Russian Theological Academy in Paris sent Nicholas Zernov (later at Oxford) who spoke about the nature of Orthodox worship; Georges Florovsky, who gave an address on the Catholicity of the Church;  Irene Doroshevsky, who spoke about Russian youth in exile;  and Professor Zander, on the life and work of the
Church in exile.  The conference produced a deepening of understanding on both sides.

Corpus Mysticum: The Eucharist and Catholicity

The Rev Professor Georges V Florovsky, Institut de Théologie Orthodoxe, Paris

Georges V. Florovsky defines the Church as the Body of Christ and, within it, the fullness of Christ through his Incarnation, imparting (in Augustine’s phrase) totus Christus.  The Eucharist nourished this understanding of the Church.  Thus it is a sacrament of Catholicity, as held by Cyprian.  In public prayer, the plural “we” is used, betokening the unity of the Church and that we are members of the one Body, in heaven and on earth.  The writer dwells on Orthodox eucharistic practice.  The actions express the oneness of the Church and are a true revelation of Christ and the final resurrection of all believers.  While there is a fundamental contradiction between the Church and the World, still the Christian pilgrim journeys on in a hope founded on Christ.

The Aberdeen Cathedral Liturgy

The Rev John Wilson Baird, MA, Aberdeen

John Wilson Baird’s short article draws attention to the prayers of Henry Scougal (1650-1678), Professor of Divinity at King’s College, Aberdeen, compiled for use in Aberdeen Cathedral.  They were reprinted by James Cooper in his  - now scarce - edition of Scougal’s Life of God in the Soul of Man.  They are reproduced in the Annual of the Church Service Society as a means of enabling students of Scottish liturgy to have easier access to them.  A short resumé of Scougal’s brief life follows, with comments on the nature of the worship of the time within the Church of Scotland.  A helpful footnote refers to G D Henderson’s Religious Life in 17th Century Scotland as providing background information on the period.  Thereafter, the prayers are fully set out under the heading “The Morning and Evening Service of the Cathedral Church of Aberdeen.”

The Public Worship of Presbyterian and other Reformed Churches in the United States

The Rev Andrew L Drummond, BD, Ph D, STM, Alva

Andrew L Drummond adopts a historical approach in surveying developments in Reformed worship in the US.  After a brief examination of the practice of the New England Puritans, he reviews the worship of 18th century Presbyterians, in New York and Pennsylvania (particularly the revision of the Directory of Public Worship).  He notes the liturgical emphasis of the American German Reformed Church of John Williamson Nevin and Philip Schaff, and the sacramental writings which emerged from the Mercersburg movement.  C W Baird’s Eutaxia (1855) and C W Shields’s Book of Common Prayer (1864) and its appended essay are seen as landmarks.  He touches on the period following the Civil War, the psychology of William James, the ‘Social Gospel’ of Rauschenbusch,  before concluding with a detailed and comprehensive assessment of the modern period and its hymnody.


Several reviewers listed

An Outline of Christian Worship by William D Maxwell, OUP;  reviewed by J Harry Miller

A Book of Prayers for Schools,  SCM Press, reviewed by Millar Patrick 

The Daily Service:  Prayers and Hymns for Schools, ed G W Briggs (prayers), Percy Dearmer, R 
Vaughan Williams, Martin Shaw, G W Briggs (hymns), OUP;  reviewed by Millar Patrick

Christian Worship:  Studies in its History and Meaning,  ed. Nathaniel Micklem, OUP,
reviewed by Millar Patrick

The Reformation, the Mass, and the Priesthood by Ernest C Messenger, London, Longmans, Green & 
Co. reviewed by William McMillan

Scottish Church Architecture by J S Coltart;  SPCK, reviewed by William McMillan

The Mediaeval Styles of the English Parish Church by F E Howard, London, B T Batsford Ltd; 
reviewed by William McMillan

Worship by Evelyn Underhill, London, Nisbet & Co, reviewed by Thomas Marjoribanks

A History of Christian Worship by Oscar Hardman;  Hodder & Stoughton: reviewed by W Napier Bell

Prayers for Common Worship by James Ferguson; Allenson & Co. Ltd, reviewed by John Wilson Baird

Notes and Comments

No Author Specified

A forthcoming lecture by J S Whale at the Society’s AGM
The 800th anniversary of St Magnus Cathedral, Kirkwall
The tercentenary of the Tron Kirk, Edinburgh
“Laud’s Liturgy” of 1637
A paper on The Choirmaster and his Choir
The distinction between stole and scarf
The proclamation of Banns of Marriage
Varying use of hands and arms when pronouncing the Benediction.


Illustrations in this volume

St Magnus Cathedral - from the North-West  -  Frontispiece
St Magnus Cathedral - The Triple Portal  -  facing page 17
St Magnus Cathedral - The Nave  -  facing page 20
St Magnus Cathedral - The Crossing  -  facing page 21
Christ’s Kirk at the Tron, Edinburgh  -  facing page 94