December 1987

RW 6
Reformed Worship issue cover

Articles in this issue:

  • 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

  • Today is the first day of a very special season," I told a first grade class at Seymour Christian School. "For the next few weeks we will be joining many other Christians around the world in celebrating the season called…?"

    "SPRING!" several students shouted, obviously happy at the thought.

    "No, not spring," I smiled. "Everybody is happy it's springtime, of course, but we Christians have a special season to celebrate just now. I'll give you a hint—it ends with Easter."

  • The hymn anthems listed on this page are appropriate for use during Lent and Easter. All of the tunes and texts appear in one or more of the three new Reformed hymnals: Rejoice in the Lord, the Psalter Hymnal, and the Trinity Hymnal.

    Choirs will discover that the hymn anthem is an effective way of familiarizing both themselves and the congregation with some of the hymns in these new hymnals. A stanza from a choral arrangement can serve well as an alternate stanza for choir in congregational singing.

  • If you've ever taken a careful look at the churches in your area, you've probably noticed that some of the newer buildings don't conform to our old stereotypes of what a church should look like. And if you've recently participated in a church building or remodeling project, you probably have a good grasp of the reasons behind these new trends in church architecture. Church building isn't as predictable as it used to be.

  • Symbols of Lent

    In many of our churches Advent is celebrated with numerous signs and symbols. Special banners, Advent wreaths, and Chrismon trees enrich our worship and give deeper meaning to our celebration. But, aside from palm branches on Palm Sunday and perhaps a few candles on Good Friday, few churches make similar use of symbols during Lent.

  • In Good Order

    Once upon a time in a land not so far away, a church named Rivervale met to conduct worship every Sunday in a very nice sanctuary. Always their service followed a pleasant style, tastefully created by a liturgically sensitive Committee on Music and Worship. Rivervale members were of one mind in claiming that at their church everything was done in the best possible order. When the event I am about to relate took place, both Rivervale pastors were absent.

  • On Sunday, August 17, 1642, Dominie Johannes Megapolensis Jr. preached his first sermon to about one hundred people in a grain warehouse in Rensselaerwyck, a Dutch settlement across the Hudson River from the present site of Albany, New York. That historic worship service gave birth to the First Reformed Church in Albany, the second oldest congregation in the Reformed Church in America.

  • Hymn of the Month

    Songs of Thankfulness and Praise

    Christopher Wordsworth, the author of this text, may not be as well known today as his famous uncle, William. But during his lifetime (1807-85) Christopher distinguished himself as a scholar, professor, pastor, and eventually a bishop in the church of England.

    Bishop Wordsworth included this hymn in his Holy Year: or Hymns for Sundays, Holidays, and Other Occasions Throughout the Year, with the following heading:

  • If you're like most choir directors, you occasionally have problems filling your choir's repertoire for Easter. Perhaps you've noticed the sameness and even shallowness of some Easter hymns and anthems and have longed Jsii; for music similar to Christmas carols—music which is simple and appealing and which can readily involve large numbers of people.

  • Keeping Vigil

    Easter Sunrise services have been in vogue for many years, but an Easter Vigil is largely unknown among Reformed and Presbyterian churches. A "vigil" suggests waiting—an alert, expectant watching when one is normally asleep (Matt. 24:36-25:13). During a vigil one is full of anticipation and hope.