December 1998

RW 50
Lent/Easter
Reformed Worship issue cover

Articles in this issue:

  • With this “Songs for the Season,” we again introduce songs on the working list for the new hymnal supplement being prepared jointly by CRC Publications, the Commission for Worship of the Reformed Church in America, and the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship. This supplement is intended to introduce twentieth-century hymnody, praise music, and world music that will enhance Reformed worship.

  • These two Easter services were submitted by Charlotte Larsen, director of music at the Ann Arbor Christian Reformed Church, Ann Arbor, Michigan. Like many growing congregations, Ann Arbor CRC holds two morning services that are distinct in style and flavor but grow out of the same Scriptures and include the same sermon. The different character of the two services is designed to address the diverse university community.

  • Worship leaders rarely give much thought to something as simple as announcing the next hymn. Maybe they should, especially in congregations where new worship leaders are involved.

    Winkel’s helpful suggestions, adapted from an earlier article published in Modern Liturgy are one small example of the care with which Roman Catholic leadership is attempting to encourage congregational singing.

    —ERB

  • The setting is a Protestant church in Havana, Cuba. The sanctuary is packed on this hot, humid June Sunday afternoon. Following the reading of la palabra de Dios (the Word of God), the pastor delivers the sermon. He speaks of esperanza (hope) and la paz de Cristo (the peace of Christ) during this “special time”—a euphemism used by Fidel Castro to refer to Cuba’s crumbling economy and the resulting suffering of the people.

  • In this series prepared for the 1997 Lenten season at La Grave Avenue CRC in Grand Rapids, Michigan, John Steigenga (the copastor who preached two of the sermons in the series) and I decided to trace Jesus’ journey to the cross using the famous idea of the Via Dolorosa. Traditionally, those words have referred to the last hours of Jesus’ life, particularly to the fourteen stations of the cross traced out on the streets of Jerusalem and enshrined in Catholic churches.

  • When Carl Westenberg drove up to the church on Friday afternoon, he deliberately backed his truck up onto the sidewalk that led to what was once the west entrance. He told his wife he’d backed it in because he wanted everybody to see the bumper sticker his grandkids had picked up for him for his birthday—“I’d rather be fishin’,” it said, but he wouldn’t have dared to say it aloud because the work was being done for such a good cause.