David J. Diephouse teaches history at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Articles by this author:
- Based on Texts from J. S. Bach's Cantana "Gott fahret auf mit Jauchzen" (BWV 43)
Our God goes up with shouts of joy!
Our Lord ascends to the sound of trumpets!
All: Sing praises to our God, sing praises!
Sing praises, sing praises to our King!
The Almighty rides in triumph.
The Almighty leads captivity captive.
Who shouts for joy?
Hughes Oliphant Old. Grand Rapids, Ml: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1992. 324 pages. $44.95.
No one knows more about the sources and traditions of Reformed worship than Hughes Old. An ordained Presbyterian minister, he has published several major studies of liturgy, including Tlie Patristic Roots of Reformed Worship (1975) and Worship That Is Reformed According to Scripture (1984).
Although an infrequent occurrence in most Reformed churches, the laying on (imposition) of hands is among the most venerable of all religious ceremonies—and one that is beginning to attract renewed interest in some Christian circles. What does the imposition of hands signify? Why has it played such a minor role in the Reformed tradition? Can this ancient practice contribute anything to Reformed worship today? Is it biblical?
A Biblical Tradition
Bringing the people to the upper room
The school gym where I worship is normally bright and bustling before a service. On this Thursday night, however, it is dim and quiet, dozens of small candles providing the only light. In place of the usual rows of chairs there are rows of tables, snaking back and forth to form a single continuous line. At the head table a prominent array of thirteen candles symbolizes Christ and his disciples, whose last supper together this Maundy Thursday service will commemorate.