Volume 13 Spring 1986

CH3 as a Manual of Devotion

Rev James M Annand

Finds that the book is within the tradition of Calvin, being characterised by dignity and quality. It has been criticised but it is an advantage that it does not go to extremes. That hymns require 'two arts' has its difficulties, and mutual enhancement of word and melody is not always achieved. Hymn book editors can err on the side of the including the best and thus ruling out the unmusical, but a good choirmaster can teach new tunes. The author recalls learning a new hymn at Westminster for a service of the kirking of horses: 'Teach us all to love our horses,/ Keep us from all evil courses, /Help us to do right.' The musical editors have sought too high a standard of excellence; many old tunes should have been left. Changes can disturb and disrupt devotions. The hymns texts are of high standard. While primarily a liturgical book, CH3 may serve as a manual of devotion. (The author understands this role of the book as operating within worship, rather than privately.) He outlines the different ages of hymns, and the many church traditions from which they come. It is important to ally the use of hymns in this way to the lectionary. A hymnary unites people of many persuasions. The hymn book also has an educational function, not least for children, especially given the lack of anything similar to the Shorter Catechism. Hymns allow us to articulate what we would not be able to, left to ourselves. Classic hymns speak to needs that will never change.

The Psychology of Worship

No author specified

'A voice from the pew'. An appeal for one service a week with the 99 lost sheep in mind. Traditional services assume too much, about state of preparation and knowledge. Discussed is the entering of the church, the welcome card in the pew; for organ music, hymn tunes are better than voluntaries. Without a choir to lead, it is difficult to sing to the organ. In announcing, draw attention to the meaning and the words. Bring people to the front, to sing better. Preaching is discussed (have real people in mind), and the first prayer; preface and conclude each reading with an explanation, use modern translation more but not exclusively. Suggests a preaching structure: say what going to say, expand it, sum up. Sermon must not be negative, since often it is the negative that stays in people's minds; also make it short. In confession, no self-accusatory lists. Responses not suitable for once-comers, but collects said together are. The article continues with discussion of the prayers of intercession and the offering, a further part of the sermon, and blessing.


Various contributors

From the Lord and The Best Reformed Churches, Bryan D Spinks, Bibliotheca ‘Ephemerides Liturgicae’ Edizioni Liturgiche, Rome, 1984, reviewed by D F Wright

Independence and Nationhood, Scotland 1306 - 1469Alexander Grant, Edward Arnold, London, reviewed by Rev William G Young

Intercessions at the Parish Communion for use at the Alternative ServicesWilliam C Collins, Mowbray, reviewed by Rev William G Neill