Volume 20 1950

Reflections on the Liturgical Revival

The Rev Howard Hageman, BA, BD, Minister of the North Reformed Church, Newark, New Jersey, USA (Dutch Reformed Church)

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.

The Ancient Creeds in the Modern Church

The Rev Nevile Davidson, DD, Minister of Glasgow Cathedral

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’.

Bowden Kirk

The Rev D Lyndesay Smith, MA, Minister of the Parish

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.

Scottish Ecclesiastical Dress

The late Rev William McMillan, Ph D, DD

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.

The Place of the Church Organ

The Rev Charles I G Stobie, MA, Minister of Whalsay, Shetland

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.


Various Contributors

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.