Volume 02, Number 01 May 1972


The Editor

An explanation of the change of title for the journal. Prior notice given of a new publication from the Committee on Public Worship and Aids to Devotion regarding three revised Communion services. A critique is given of the 'near Communion' service which closed the 1971 congress of Societas Liturgica. Other notes were on a book of psalms and hymns translated from the Hungarian, a book of prayers from a minister in Girvan and an invitation to comment on the revised Baptism service.

Law and Order in the Church

D W D Shaw

The discipline of canon law is discussed as a context for the exploration of the role of Law in the contemporary church. The New Testament evidence is outlined, and the development of law in the second and third centuries and its ultimate codification from the sixth century on. Canon Law was wide in scope but also had built into it a flexibility. The Reformers critique is outlined: in its overlapping into civil law, its solidifying of the authority of the Pope, the confusion of the Nicaean insight of two disctinct functions: declaring the faith of the church and legislating for what is expedient. How the Scottish reformation both appropriated and rejected aspects of what they had inherited. The article concludes with General Principles. It is always necessary that doctrine and practice are kept separate, not always easy to achieve. This helps to see church law as a servant of expediency (in a good sense), taking account of changing circumstances: an example is of altering the reliance on parish ministry to embrace other forms of ministry. The positive contribution of law should be developed: not just to prevent, but to form and reform structures.

The Church and Priory of St. Mary, Monymusk

Inglis M Black

Note: this article replaces that listed in the Contents on James Hogg's Confessions of a Justified Sinner
Evidence suggests a Columban origin for the faith in Monymusk. The Monymusk Stone is cited, as is the Reliquary of St Columba. The church itself is associated with the Culdees, followed by Augustinians, whose chapel the present church was. After much internal difficulty, the priory had virtually ceased to function by the time of the Reformation. Kirk Session records are full and cover a variety of areas. Some account is given of the Monymusk Revival (albeit lacking in accuracy). Changes to the building are listed, including the making of an external door into the pulpit to avoid the minister being bothered by the dogs the shepherds brought with them (it is suggested). The restoration of 1932 is described, uncovering some older features. The four common cups from 1691 are the only ones used at quarterly communions. Innovative forms of worship are described.

“Crisis of Worship: Crisis of Faith”

John W Fraser

This reflection follows a report from the Uppsala WCC General Assembly (1968) and is written against the debate current at the time regarding the sacred and the secular, their nature and their relationship with each other. It was a context in which both the church and its worship faced many questions. The author calls in question the claims of those who espouse a secularist position, and notes the continuing lack of progress towards those qualities, such as justice and compassion, that the Christian faith enshrines. He goes on to make six observations. 1. People still wish to see God and do not grasp the significance of the eye of faith. 2. We assume the passing of the old world view also brings about the death of God, but God always remained free of the world. 3, 4, 5: prayer,miracles, and the resurrection are discussed. 6. The paper ends with a discussion about how we relate to Christ, God, the Holy Spirit today.

Church Service Society Notes

A report of the autumn conference at Caputh, the theme being church architecture in Scandinavia. There is a reminder of the advantages of membership of the Society, offering an outline of its aims as follows:

The Society was founded over a hundred years ago to further renewal in worship in the Church of Scotland, and today, by promoting the study of the principles of worship, the Society helps ministers in their central task of the leading of worship, and encourages lay men and women to a more informed participation in the services of the church.