Volume 40 1970

The Historical Element in Liturgy

The Lecture given at the Annual Meeting of the Society, 1969, by Professor A Raymond George, MA, BD, Richmond College, University of London

Raymond George seeks to establish those elements within the context of Eucharistic worship that relate specifically to the particular historical events recorded in Scripture and, as a consequence; what relationship the act of worship has to those events so recorded. George provides an extended treatment of the Apostolic Tradition of Hippolytus and related texts as well as a brief treatment of the Book of Common Order (1940). The significance of the epiclesis is explained in terms of the role of the Holy Spirit as the One who makes the anamnesis possible and thus links our present acts of worship to the presence of the Christ who lived out the historical events recorded in Scripture.

People Praying

The Rev T H Scott, Chaplain, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh

T H Scott seeks to provide a simple, but comprehensive, approach to prayer that would allow for the participation of the people of God in a service of prayer.

The Language of Worship

The Rev R Stuart Louden, TD, DD, Edinburgh: Greyfriars

R Stuart Louden examines the language through which worship has traditionally been expressed within the Church of Scotland and concludes that it has become archaic and, as a consequence, unsuited to the contemporary situation of the Church. He finds that the language of the Book of Common Order (1564) has bequeathed to us a legacy that was only partially corrected thereafter and points to the absence, between 1645 and 1857, of any printed forms of worship within the Church of Scotland. The publication, in 1857, of Prayers for Public Worship by the Rev. Dr. Robert Lee of Greyfriars, Edinburgh marks the beginning of a period of renaissance in the language used in public worship which was furthered by the publication of the Euchologion or Book of Common Order (1867), albeit that it reflects the language of the Victorian age. In similar fashion he notes that the Book of Common Order (1940) reflects, once more, the language of its times. Thus, the case for the ongoing renewal of the language of worship is made, always with the proviso that the language used must serve as a pointer to the transcendent character of the Christian faith. The nature of that faith ought to compel us to produce an ecumenically comprehensive language of worship.

The Place of Jesus Christ in Worship

The Rev J B Torrance, MA, BD, Lecturer in Divinity and Dogmatics, New College, University of Edinburgh

J B Torrance offers a comprehensive theology of worship which focuses up on the High Priestly ministry of Jesus Christ who calls the people of God to be a royal priesthood, whereby we identify with Christ and participate in the ministry of intercession and offer spiritual sacrifices. Within this approach; Jesus is identified as ‘the One True Worshipper’ whose worship is mediatory, thereby enabling us to worship by grace in and through his worship. In seeking to answer the question: ‘What then is Christian Worship?’ Torrance contends that: ‘In her worship, the Church recapitulates the History of Salvation…Worship is the Epiphany of the Church…The Church in her worship foreshadows the Judgement and the Renewal of the world.’ Thus, the language of worship has a ‘three-fold reference’. 1) A reference which ‘factual’ and ‘denotative’, with respect to the Trinity. 2) A reference which is ‘formal, coherent, connotative [and] syntactical’, with respect to the choice of language in worship. A reference which is ‘subjective [and] existential’, with respect to the expression of the ‘heart’ and ‘mind’ in the worship of the Church. Torrance’s theology is particularly dependent upon the Biblical theology expressed in the Epistle to the Hebrews.

Problems about Christmas

The Rev J M M Francis, MA, BD, STM, Assistant Minister, Glenrothes, St Columba’s

J M M Francis contends that, in an increasingly secular age, the integrity of our celebration of Christmas is challenged insofar as the relationship between many traditional carols and the Gospel narratives in Matthew and Luke is problematic. Equally, the problematic character of the doctrine of the Virgin Birth presents an acute theological difficulty, which further raises the question of the relationship between faith and history. Francis contends that the Incarnation discloses a mystery, beyond human definition, which leads to an encounter with Christ such that we are led to the manger ourselves to kneel in the company of shepherds and wise men.


Illustrations in this volume

(All between pages 40 and 41)

Brechin Cathedral: The West Front and Round Tower
Brechin Cathedral: The Nave and Chancel
Brechin Cathedral: The Chancel
Brechin Cathedral: The Auldbar Stone