Volume 52 2017

Sacred Signs

Stephen Mark Holmes

This was a lecture given to the Church Service Society at its Annual Meeting in May 2017. It takes a fresh look at how worship was understood in Renaissance Scotland, and in the process disturbs some of the assumptions about the nature of the Scottish Protestant Reformation, including its timetable and uneven development in different parts of the country. One aspect is how far change in Catholic worship had progressed and was continuing to progress even beyond the traditional date of the Reformation. An emphasis is the matter of how liturgy was interpreted and taught to the people before and after the Reformation.

‘Really they are not able’: ‘Mending’ Charles Wesley’s hymns

Paul Ellingworth

The author critically examines changes that have been made to these hymns, not in earlier times which  Charles Wesley was so exercised about, but in modern hymn books in use. He then categories the kinds of change that have been made: punctuation, changes in English usage, the matter of inclusive language, changing attitudes (for example, as to what constitutes racism).

Conducting funerals

Gordon D. Jamieson

There is discussion of the different expectations ministers face today, not least the lack of experience of the church and of Christian formulations. One noticeable change is that now a funeral is seen as a celebration of a life (illustrated by the large number of humanist-led funerals) and that ‘tributes’ to the deceased are required, which is difficult to fit properly into a traditional liturgy, and ways of approaching that are discussed.

Spilling the Beans

Scott M. Rennie

This recent resource for leaders of worship is lectionary-based (using variously the Revised Common Lectionary and the Narrative Lectionary, and potentially others). It is prepared by some Church of Scotland and other clergy, and representatives of the Wild Goose Resource Group. Its purpose is to explore the readings in a variety of ways and suiting all age groups. It has been broadly taken up.

‘Rabbi’ Duncan on Liturgy and Other Matters

James Stewart

This is a selection and some observations, with an introduction. His nickname came from his position as Professor of Hebrew in (the Free Church) New College. These sayings come from walks and conversations between him and one who was then a student but who became Professor of Moral Philosophy at St Andrews and who published his notes and reminisces. They are remarkable as coming from a Free Church divine and cover a wide range of topic, including the need to be ‘more liturgical’, a desire for more hymns, the Te Deum, the Scottish Paraphrases (‘born in Hellas, and never visited Judea’).

Recent Books on Worship

Douglas Galbraith

Titles described are:

Hymns for all seasons: the complete works of James Quinn SJ, ed Paul Inwood (OCP 2017)

The meaning of Christian liturgy: recent developments in the Church of Sweden, Oloph Bexell (Eerdmans)

Growing through the church: a practical and theological vision for all-age worship, Russell Herbert (Mayhew)

Songs for suffering: praying the psalms in time of trouble, Simon P. Stocks (Hendrickson)

Daily prayer for all seasons: a contemporary Benedictine prayer companion, (Canterbury)

Wrestling with the Word: preaching tricky texts, eds Kate Bruce and Jamie Harrison ( SPCK)

English cathedral music and liturgy in the twentieth century, Martin Thomas (Ashgate)

Embodied liturgy: lessons in Christian ritual, Frank C. Senn (Fortress)

Contemporary worship music and everyday musical lives, Mark Porter (Routledge)

Encountering Vineyard worship, John Leach (Grove Books)

Evaluating worship: how do we know it is any good, Mark Earey (Grove Books)