For centuries congregations who stood in the Reformed/Presbyterian tradition had no choirs. Because Calvinists took the priesthood of all believers seriously, they jealously guarded congregational involvement in worship: the people were to speak (sing) for themselves. That meant no choirs, no anthems, no cantatas—-just the strong, vibrant sound of congregational singing in response to the spoken Word.
Articles in this issue:
I have read through the first issue. Great job! A beautiful blend of articles that call for reflection and also rich in worship resources. I am sure that we will be using its resources copiously in our church.
Seymour CRC, Grand Rapids, MI
When the Swiss Reformers rebelled against the liturgical traditions of the Roman Catholic Church, they did so in terms of a coherent, controlling idea, a new vision. They had what we now recognize as a distinctively “Reformed” view of what we should do in liturgy and how we should understand it.
Young children have deep within them a profound awareness of God and great potential for religious experience long before they are able to understand and articulate those theological constructs we adults are so eager to teach them. So insist internationally known religious educators Dr. Sofia Cavalletti of Rome, Italy, and Dr. Jerome W. Berryman of Houston, Texas.
“So, on a scale of one to five, what's my Sunday dinner rate, Mr. Eminent Critic?” Sandy said, leaning back in her chair.
“Three-and-a-half stars. Maybe an anemic four,” Pete said, one eyebrow cocked, while spreading what Sandy considered too much margarine on the last piece of coffee cake.
We encourage readers to submit worship materials to Reformed Worship. These materials may include special liturgies, litanies, prayers, music, photographs of banners and other liturgical art and furnishings from your church. (No sermons, please- not even your best one.) We cannot guarantee that we will publish your submissions, but we are building up files of worship materials for future reference, and will be glad to add your constributions.
In most congregations children are an important part of worship during the Advent and Christmas season: small children stand on tiptoe to light the candles in the Advent wreath; the children's choir joyfully heralds the news of the Savior's birth; the children reenact the nativity scene during an evening program. To exclude children from worship during Advent and Christmas would be unthinkable. Yet in many of these same congregations children are all but forgotten during Lent.
For many congregations the Tenebrae service, usually held on Maundy Thursday or Good Friday, is one of the most moving and meaningful worship services of the year. In a candle-lit sanctuary Christ's suffering is commemorated through Scripture and song. Candles are extinguished one by one as the congregation listens to the account of Christ's suffering and death.
In the first issue of REFORMED WORSHIP we provided excerpts from a complete organists' bibliography that CRC Publications hopes to publish soon after the release of the new Psalter Hymnal.