December 1991

RW 22
Lent/Easter
Reformed Worship issue cover

Articles in this issue:

  • This service focuses on the gospel narrative of Thomas' journey from doubt to faith; it is intended for an evening service on the Sunday after Easter. The service incorporates a dramatic reading prepared by Bert Polman, associate professor of music at Redeemer College. It was first held at the Ministers and Spouses Conference held at Redeemer College on March 28,1989.

    Our Worship Begins

    Hymn: "Christ the Lord Is Risen Today" (1)
    [PH 113, PsH 388, RL 325, TH 277]

  • Hymn of the Month

    MARCH

    How I Love You, Lord...(Psalm 18)

    Psalm 18 may at first seem a strange choice for a congregational song, especially during Lent. Praise, militant language, despair, destruction, salvation, and apparent boasting present a confusing mix. Congregations will appreciate an explanation of the psalm or, better still, reading it responsively before attempting to sing it.

  • THE BREAD WAS BROKEN, NOT THE BODY

    Ministers in the Reformed tradition have always been shy about stressing rituals and symbols. We don't kneel as the Anglicans do, and we seldom raise our arms as Pentecostals do. We don't know what gestures we should use in the "presentation" of the offering, and we are unsure if we ought to lift the chalice or goblet in the Lord's Supper. But we do have a fixed tradition in the "breaking of the bread." And here we give the wrong message.

  • The worship team of our church met recently to discuss the Lord's Supper—not its theology or spiritual significance, but the mode of our participation. Should we sit in pews, the way we have done for the past sixty years? Should we consider gathering around tables, as our church's founders did in 1915? Should we come to the front and take the bread, dip it in the cup, and eat while walking back to the pew, as we have tried a few times (dubbed "dip and run")? Should we stand in a circle as we take the bread and wine?

  • Juxtaposition

    It's quiet in there now. There's a crack in the curtain, and when I looked inside, I saw all of those kids sitting there on the edge of their chairs, just like I thought they would. That's not to say I wasn't worried. I prayed a lot...

    But I'm getting ahead of myself.

  • Prelude

    Call to Worship

    Welcome

    Opening Prayer

    Prayer concludes with singing:

    "Lord, Listen to Your Children
    Praying"
    [PsH 625]

    A Psalm of Praise: Psalm 146

    Hymn: "What Shall I Render to the Lord"
    [PsH 178, TH 637]

    A Message for Children

    ADORATION

    A Psalm of Adoration:

  • Letters

    Praise & Worship Not the Answer

    I agree that many people are rightfully dissatisfied with "traditional" church music, but I do not believe that Praise & Worship, as described in the June issue of Reformed Worship, presents the best alternative.

    Rather than adjusting our standards downward to the least common denominator of musical ability and taste in a rush to emotionalism, I believe we need to elevate our standards of musical selection, preparation, and performance.