December 1986

RW 2
Reformed Worship issue cover

Articles in this issue:

  • During the last several decades the Christian community has witnessed a vast explosion of hymnody. Some of these new songs are produced by gifted authors, people like Timothy Dudley-Smith or Margaret Clarkson, who write hymns that build on the heritage of Christian hymnody. But a larger part of this "hymn explosion" is Scripture songs—actual scriptural texts or paraphrases of Scripture set to music, often in a popular style.

  • Hymn of the Month

    A Hymn-of-the-Month program is an effective means of introducing a congregation to new hymns and of using familiar hymns in inventive and fresh ways. Such a program can be invaluable in preparing a congregation for a new hymnal.

  • Philadelphia: The Westminster Press, 1984. 192 pages, $6.40.

    In 1980 the United Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. resolved to develop a "new book of services for corporate worship, including a Psalter, hymns, and other worship aids." It also requested that over the "next several years a variety of worship resources be made available… for trial use throughout the church before any publication is finalized."

  • Planning for Worship

    Most worshipers probably are unaware of how much work goes into preparing a good worship service. Effective liturgy flows so smoothly that worshipers have no reason or inclination to wonder about its design or its designers. Worship itself is all that matters.

  • I pastor a congregation of people who clap their hands a lot. We clap while singing. We clap when fellow worshipers speak a word of testimony and mutual encouragement. Once in a while the congregation even claps when I make a strong point in my sermon.

    We have no prescribed pattern for clapping, no rules for when it is or is not appropriate. But I can think of at least one time when it would be impossible and wrong for us not to clap…

  • 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.

  • Letters

    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.

    Henry Admiraal
    Seymour CRC, Grand Rapids, MI