Grace Episcopal Church is very quiet when I enter at 9:20. In fact, even though the service is to start at 9:30, I am the only person in the sanctuary. A few minutes later several more people show, but it turns out the big service will be in the evening. (After the soup supper. Ah! even Episcopalians must be urged with food. But during Lent?)
Articles in this issue:
When I discover that some Catholic or Lutheran friends are fasting during Lent, I feel a stab of guilt. My conscience nudges me with the insistent question, "Why don't I, a Reformed Christian, also fast?" Further thought doesn't make the question disappear; it persists. Why don't I, as an act of repentance or humility, deny myself some ordinary good in order to better remember my Lord's suffering and death? And why doesn't my church urge me to fast as a fitting way to prepare myself for the splendid Easter festival?
We are fond of quoting Psalm 150. All those instruments —trumpet, harp and lyre, flute and strings, even tambourine and cymbals—paint a sound-picture of orchestral dimensions in Old Testament worship.
In a time when Christians are looking for new ways of making worship more concrete and meaningful, much attention has been given to the customs of the past. One of the traditions some Christians have begun practicing is the Seder meal, an important ceremony in the Jewish Passover celebration. On these pages, Steve Schlissel, pastor of Messiah's Congregation (CRC) in Brooklyn, New York, gives his perspectives on Christians using the Seder meal. Rev. Schlissel is a Jewish Christian.
Edited by G. W. Davies. Philadelphia: The Westminster Press, 1986, 544 pp. $29.95.
Because this dictionary of liturgy and worship is published by Westminster Press, one might expect it to have a Presbyterian orientation (which would hardly account for its 544 double-columned pages). However, for a more accurate perception of the tenor of the book, one would do better to associate Westminster with the abbey and the Anglican church, for it is out of that basic context that a large number of the articles are written.
The Reformed Church in America has produced worship bulletins for every Sunday and special occasions in 1988. The bulletins, which follow the Church Year and the Common Lectionary, feature full-color illustrations drawn from the liturgical themes and Scripture passages.
Bulletins can be ordered quarterly in multiples of 100. For information and orders contact:
RCA Distribution Center Phones: (800) 828-8013 (US)
3000 Ivanrest SW (800) 331-2546 (MI)
Grandville, MI 49418 (616) 538-3470 (CAN)
Jill Knuth. San Jose, Calif.: Resource Publications, Inc., 1986, 198 pages, $9.95.
Banners Without Words will, I'm afraid, be used as a "swipe file." Because banners are difficult to design and construct, many people will be tempted to save time and energy by using one of Knuth's ready-made designs.
Thank you for the copy of Issue 3 of RW you sent me recently, with its use of my hymn "For Your Gift of God the Spirit" as the Hymn of the Month.
I should like to correct the data on the writing of that hymn.
The season of Lent, which begins in 1988 on February 17, is a period of forty days extending from Ash Wednesday through the Saturday before Easter. Sundays are not considered part of Lent as such, although the Lenten themes often do carry over into Sunday worship.
The following liturgy was submitted by Rev. Herman Praamsma, pastor of the Fellowship CRC ofRexdale, Ontario. The liturgy was adapted by Dr. Bert Polman from a form prepared by the Liturgical Committee of the Christian Reformed Church for use during an Easter Service; this liturgy can be used for all Sundays in Eastertide. The season of the church year called Eastertide lasts fifty days and includes Ascension, the day when we rejoice in the reign of Christ at God's right hand.
*If you are able, please stand