Volume 25 1955

Biblical Criticism and Church Worship

The Very Reverend Principal George S Duncan, OBE, DD, D Theol, LL D, St Mary’s College, St Andrews

The Presidential Address to the Society. The paper, by a New Testament Scholar, surveys those parts of the NT which might have been sung and other parts which could have formed part of the instruction of catechumens. He calls for a more intimate alliance between theological scholarship and liturgical theory and practice.

Peace and Safety

The Rev Ronald Selby Wright, MA, Minister at the Canongate (The Kirk of Holyroodhouse) and Edinburgh Castle

The author offers a critical appraisal of the Book of Common Order (1940), seeing it as a good compromise but also a book about which we ought to be proud. Nevertheless he finds that too many do not follow the good practices that the Book suggests. He offers a detailed account of some things that have been done in Canongate Kirk to further the principles and suggested practice as contained in the Book and in the work of the Church Service Society, instancing: the entry of the Bible, the processional hymn, the opening prayers, the readings, creed, general thanksgiving, proclamation of banns/intimations, preaching, offering, the great prayer, blessing and recessional hymn. Important is the choir (with its choirboys) and the refurbishment of the interior.

Local Church Music Festivals

The Rev Thomas H Keir, MA, Minister of St Cuthbert’s Parish Church, Melrose

The local choir unions now being defunct the author suggests replacing them with the occasional organisation of a local service or festival of church music. An improvement can be seen today but at the same time is a catastrophic deterioration in the technical apparatus for the church's praise. We now face a crisis and need to discover new music leadership. The article now explores the setting up of such festivals and offers guiding principles.

The Sacramental Basis of the Church’s Life

The Rev Alastair K Robertson, MA, BD, Minister of the Parish of Langton and Polwarth

The article argues for the restoration of the Sacraments to their central place but also that the whole of life is sacramental. Recent movements of evangelism need to be balanced by spiritual nourishment from the church which new Christians join. Baptism is discussed fully and warning given that it is not 'conversion' but the beginning of a process. Today we have finely restored chancels and well designed tables but still an absence of sacramental life. We need to talk less about fellowship of believers and make the fellowship a reality.

Recent Liturgical Literature

The Rev John A Lamb, BD, Ph D, Librarian at New College, University of Edinburgh

The review includes The New Oxford History of Music, Companion to Congregational Praise, English and Scottish Psalm and Hymn Tunes (said to be standard book of reference), and The Liturgy of the Church of South India by T S Garrett.


No Author Specified

A History of Worship in the Church of Scotland, W D Maxwell (OUP, 1955), by John A Lamb, The Making of the Scottish Prayer Book, Gordon Donaldson (Edinburgh University Press, 1954), by John A Lamb, The Holy Communion, Clare College, Cambridge, (reviewed by) W D Maxwell, Martin Bucer's Liturgical Ideas, G J Van de Poll (Assen, Holland, 1954), by Wm L Coulthard, The Order of Divine Service and Sundry Other Services, Canongate Kirk, Ronald Selby Wright, Ordinal and Service Book, second edition, 1954 (OUP), (reviewed by) David A Hodges.


No Author Specified

Annual Meeting of the Society. Report.

One Day Conference - Glasgow
This took place in Glasgow Cathedral in January 1955 where the theme was the Christian Calendar.


Illustrations in this volume

(All between pages 30 and 31)

Colinton Mains Church: The Interior
Colinton Mains Church: The Holy Table and Lectern
Colinton Mains Church: Pulpit and Font
Colinton Mains Church: Exterior from South
Colinton Mains Church: Exterior from West