Volume 39 1969

Liturgy at the Cross-Roads

Presidential Address given at the Annual Meeting of the Society, 1968, by the Reverend Thomas H Keir, MA, DD, Minister of Melrose, St Cuthbert’s

It is an obvious fact that liturgy is at the Cross-roads. How should is adapt? 'Reformed worship’ is considered but a striving to recover Christian worship should be the aim. The temptation to please must be resisted. If common language is used in common worship people may be deprived of exalted worship. The church’s first task is to face God in adoration, before it can serve humanity. Worship in the Reformed Church concentrates on words but actions should be encouraged e.g. standing for the Words of Institution at Communion. It could also involve silence, kneeling, and processions amongst other things.

Ellon Parish Church

Edited from information supplied by the Rev Stanley J Raffan, MA, BD, Minister of the Parish

A short ecclesiastical history of the area is given. The church building was rededicated in September 1968 after the main interior was renovated. Descriptions are given.

The Doctrine and Practice of Worship in the Reformed Church

Synopsis of a Paper by the Rev A K Robertson, MA, BD, Ph D, Fort William, read at the Aberdeen Conference of the Society, October 1968

Ecumenical consideration of the practice of others should be given before any major changes to public worship are made. After the reformation Scotland did not know worship as was desired by Calvin. Puritan influences and the post-Calvinist theology of the Westminster Confession led to ‘wordy’ worship with extemporary prayer. A second reformation of worship came about in the second half of the nineteenth century. The author states people today need reminded of the Christocentricity of worship and points people to the important book by J.J. von Allmen entitled ‘Worship, its Theology and Practice’. Three of von Allmen’s points are highlighted. 1) In worship the church recapitulates the history of salvation and sets forth the perfect life of worship which is seen in Jesus Christ. 2) Worship is the Epiphany of the Church. 3) The Church in her worship foreshadows the Judgement and the renewal of the World. The importance of weekly Eucharist, as was the tradition in the church for the first five centuries, is emphasised. Confession of sin has too large a place in Reformed Church services. More lay participation in worship should be introduced.

Old Luce Church

Edited from information supplied by the Rev William G Tran, MA, Minister of the Parish

A short ecclesiastical history of the area is given. The church building was renovated. Descriptions are given.

Robert Lee (1804-1868)

The Rev R Stuart Louden, TD, DD, Edinburgh, Greyfriars - being the Lee Lecture for 1968

This was a centenary tribute to Robert Lee( 1804-1868) former minister of Old Greyfriars. In his day he was accused of ‘innovations’. The lecture outlines his views and the changes he brought about and how these views have continued to influence changes in understanding and practice relating to music and instrumental accompaniment, thoughtfully chosen words for prayers, posture and church interiors.

Vox Humana

Miss E M Balfour Brown, Dip Dram Art, LRAM, LCST, Int Phon Cert (Speech), Lecturer in Elocution at New College, Edinburgh, and Trinity College, Glasgow

Until recently, outside of cities, the only public speaking heard by most people was from the pulpit. Modern means of communication meant people soon adjusted to other voices such as newsreaders. This created a challenge but a pulpit voice still lingered. Architects can use acoustics to help design new buildings appropriately. Public address systems can help the speaker to be heard but ideally are undetectable to the listener. Tips are given on how to increase audibility when speaking aloud. It is important to be prepared, be aware of the needs of the congregation, and be selfless during the act of worship itself. Perhaps Vocation and Personality are the key to it all.

The Lectionary Problem

Presidential Address to the Leighton Club, Edinburgh, March 1969, by the Rev John A Lamb, Ph D, DD, Edinburgh, Hon President

How should the bible be read in public worship? The author outlines the practice of the Jewish Synagogue and early Christian services. St Augustine usefully mentions what the lections were in particular instances. A system of continuous readings was also in common use which became the regular monastic custom. The Book of Common Prayer and its derivatives have Tables of Lessons for Morning and Evening Prayer. The author lists developments of Lectionaries. Soon after the Reformation in Scotland the Sunday service was in two parts. The Reader’s service part involved substantial bible reading. When the Reader’s Service came to an end bible reading diminished. Through time things improved. The author moves to points that have arisen in recent times. The lessons in the Roman Missal have been reduced. The Joint Liturgical Group lectionary allows for an OT, Epistle and Gospel lesson as do some other new lectionaries. In The Church of Scotland few ministers use lectionaries. Lectionaries are to be encouraged since they allow congregations to end up hearing a larger proportion of the bible than may be the case if a minister is choosing the readings.

Regional Conferences

No Author Specified

Autumn Conference held at St Machar’s Cathedral, Aberdeen. A paper by Dr A K Robertson on the Doctrine and Practice of Worship on the Reformed Church was read. The 1969 conference will be held at Skelmorlie and Wemyss Bay South Parish Church on 20 October.


Illustrations in this volume

(All between pages 30 and 31)

Ellon Parish Church: Interior before Renovation
Ellon Parish Church: Interior after Renovation
Old Luce Parish Church: Exterior
Old Luce Parish Church: Renovated Interior