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Letters

THANKS FOR "WORSHIP WARS" AND "Q & A"

Thank you for putting the "worship wars" clearly into perspective, into the setting of our culture (in your editorial in RW 37). However, the second sentence in the next to last paragraph of your editorial might be taken to mean that the Reformed tradition does not include a definite liturgical form.

When one studies the liturgies of Calvin at Strasbourg and Geneva, and the Reformed and Presbyterian liturgies to this day, one sees that the historic catholic liturgy of the Western church has been continued, reformed according to the Word of God. For example, the opening sentence, Psalm 124:8, was in use in the Roman missal in the sixteenth century, and still is.

If we maintain the historic ecumenical frame of the eucharistic liturgy in the main morning service, there is ample room for cultural diversity, and our worship will be more consistent with that of the whole historic church worldwide. We may have cultural diversity, but we cannot afford to have liturgical eclecticism, expressive of subjective contriving and theological confusion.

On another matter, your Q & A in RW is a welcome addition. Throughout my ministry in the PCUSA (I'm now retired), I have been an avid student of the history and practice of Christian and Reformed worship. I appreciated your treatment on the raising of hands in blessing (RW 37, p.42). I heartily agree that the "Amen" ordinarily belongs to the people when they are affirming what their leader has said.

Richard W. Hudelson
Holland, Michigan

Thank you for a fine editorial in RW 37. I was so pleased to hear you say some of these things. Our approach to God is such an important factor in liturgy and music and you set down four fine principles. I feel that this type of literature can pull us back to a more reasonable approach to combining the traditional heritage of the Reformed faith with the need for reaching the subcultures that exist today. Your final reference to honoring the historic church (and faith) by keeping the foundations, I feel, is the real essence of our calling as church musicians today.

Merle Mustert
Grand Rapids, MI