Volume 36 Winter 2000
Preaching is not the only way in which Scripture is interpreted in the course of worship. Both Cranmer and Knox sought a high place for the Bible but, the former distillation, the latter amplified quotation. The Alternative Service Book has been said to be not so much biblical as Biblicist, too many snippets torn from their contexts. The metaphors of salt and pepper (one dissolved, the other dispersing) are applied to Common Order (1994). Much of the peppering of Scripture does not make sense used out of context, other uses are pertinent. The author gives a detailed critical assessment of the first morning service and the first order for Holy Communion, the latter noting the absence of any 'fencing' component, the use of the warrant, and the merits or demerits of the three eucharistic prayers offered. The paper ends with the question as to what kind of 'rule' the Word of God is intended to be.
Opening with an extended passage from Gregory Dix which celebrates the range of times and circumstances where Communion is celebrated, he explores the tension between continuity and difference in worship. The writer approaches the question How far may worship be 'local'? within the context of the history (e.g. place in New Town, Disruption, ordination of women, friendship with German-speaking congregation), geography (e.g. centred in working community of central Edinburgh), architecture (classical design of building, removal of pews in central area), and theology/personality (racial justice, inclusive language).
To Glorify God: Essays on Modern Reformed Liturgy, ed Bryan D Spinks and Iain R Torrance, reviewed by Douglas M Murray
The Christian Year: Calendar, Lectionary and Collects, Church House Publishing, 1997