Volume 18 1948

Gregory Dix: The Shape of the Liturgy

The Rev Wm D Maxwell, BD, Ph D, Hillhead Parish Church, Glasgow

This article is a response by the Rev Dr W D Maxwell to the book by Dom Gregory Dix, a Benedictine Anglican Monk who had a considerable influence on revisions to Anglican liturgy in the mid 20th century. That Maxwell’s own, probably unsurpassed, “Outline of Christian Worship had been published just ten years earlier gives added interest.

Maxwell is warm in his praise and appreciation of the work, but he is often highly critical and one feels might have written “could have done better” at the foot of the opus. Some of his comments refer to the lack of footnotes and incomplete indexing, but graver still for a work of such importance, he also cites arguments set down carelessly and with the lack of supporting evidence. Inevitably perhaps, some of Maxwell’s misgivings arise from conflicting positions held by Scottish Presbyterian and Anglican liturgists, but he also questions Dix’s interpretation of the writings of some of the Reformers, notably Calvin. In spite of all his reservations, Maxwell is still generous towards Dix’s scholarship in what amounts to a lengthy review. One has to remember it is written across a considerable Scottish/English divide, and the article would be of considerable use to the serious student. Maxwell in no way ‘damns with faint praise’, but he does urge the reader not to allow his gratitude to dull his critical faculties.

The Anthem: Its Function and History

Herrick Bunney, Esq, B Mus, FRCO, ARCM, Master of the Music at St Giles Cathedral

This is a very neat, concise account of the anthem and its place in Reformed worship, written by Herrick Bunney while he was organist at St Giles. While it is scholarly, and clearly exhibits his encyclopaedic knowledge of the form and its history, it is also indicative of a deeply spiritual nature as when he contrasts hymns, which allow the congregation to give expression to their thoughts and feelings in worship, with those parts of a service sung by a choir which enable the worshipper to sink into the spiritual atmosphere which the music provides and to be uplifted by it. This is a short, helpful, informative, article which reads as if written from a faith perspective.

St Bride’s Parish Church, Sanquhar

The Rev Wm S Buchan, BD, Minister of the Parish

This is an account (including three photographs) of the foundation and subsequent development of St Bride’s Church in Sanquhar by the then minister of the charge. There had been an ecclesiastical building on the site for many centuries. Plans for a new building had been prepared by Macgregor Chalmers but the project was shelved at the outbreak of the 1914/18 war. After many delays, the renovation work was begun in 1930 with new plans prepared by Jeffrey Waddell but incorporating some of Chalmers’ original ideas, the project being made possible by a number of grants, gifts, and legacies. The article contains quite detailed descriptions of the work undertaken including the windows, interior furnishings, and historical artefacts.

Gleanings from an Old Register

The Rev Wm McMillan, Ph D, DD, St Leonard’s Parish Church, Dunfermline

This article will reward careful reading. The Register in question is that of the Cameronian Societies from 1706 to 1751 and was kept by the Rev John McMillan, one time minister of Balmaghie in the Stewartry of Kirkcudbright. McMillan has not only recorded the details of the baptisms administered by him, but has also included some notes of relating to the children and their families. The author of the article has also drawn on his own knowledge of similar documents in order to compare and contrast entries, rendering the whole of interest not only to the serious student engaged in research, but also to those with an interest in the customs of the first half of the 18th century.

The Hour of Holy Communion

The Rev John Kilpatrick, BD, Ph D, FSA (Scot), Garelochhead Parish Church

It might be helpful to be able to read this article in conjunction with the original article by Maxwell [The Annual No. 17, 1947] to which this is a response. The tenor of the article might come as a gentle surprise to those of us who live in areas where there is no longer a communion season, and who have come to value the many opportunities today to share in the sacrament of Holy Communion at conferences, Kirk Session meetings and informal church gatherings.Kilpatrick traces the sacrament back to its earliest roots in the Passover, and as a meal which celebrates not only the Resurrection but also the whole passion of Christ. Though mindful that the experience of the evening meal in the house at Emmaus may well be understood as the first celebration of Holy Communion, he still feels it important to make a strong case against any move to evening communion services which are anything other than provision for those who find it impossible to attend in the morning. He does cite the custom of a ‘first table’ in the early hours of the morning (even 3am or 4am) for servants who would be unable to attend later by reason of their domestic duties!


Various Contributors

The Church and Art: 10th report of the Central Council for the care of Churches. Pub Church House. Reviewed by the Rev Dr William D Maxwell.

The Age of Adam (James Lees Milne) Greater English Church Screens (Aymer Vallance) and Stuart and Georgian Churches (Marcus Whiffen) all published by Batsford. Reviewed by the Rev W McMillan

The Book of Psalms in Latin and English and the Canticles Used in the Divine Office, translated by Monsignor Ronald Knox and published by Burne, Oats and Washbourne Ltd. Reviewed by the Rev W McMillan

Memorial Services by the Rev A T Welford, pub. SPCK Reviewed by David A Hodges



Illustrations in this volume

(All between pages 16 and 17)

St Bride’s Parish Church, Sanquhar
St Bride’s Parish Church, Sanquhar: The Chancel
St Bride’s Parish Church, Sanquhar: Chancel and Transept