December 2001

RW 62
Reformed Worship issue cover

Articles in this issue:

  • The other day I was grocery shopping. The cashier and I exchanged the standard “How are you doing today?” But this time she took my question seriously.

    “Not so good.”

    “Why is that?” I asked, going (somewhat unwillingly) into pastoral care mode.

    “I had a hard weekend. Two funerals—an aunt and a friend.”

  • It's Sunday morning. You're dead tired. It's been a hectic week, even without the pressure of having to finish the Lent banner in time. After waiting long enough to make sure that none of the flower committee members would show up to "help," it was late at night when you finally got your banner to hang just right.

  • Bulletin Note
    Tenebrae, from the Latin word for “shadows,” has been observed in the church of Jesus Christ since the fourth century, on Maundy Thursday or Good Friday. During the service, different readers will recall the events that led Jesus to the cross, and we will extinguish seven candles, one by one, dramatizing the suffering and death of Jesus. The diminishing light symbolizes the fading devotion of the disciples and the sin of the world. At the end of the service the worship center will be dark.

  • Cast
    • Simon the scribe: a reporter for Jerusalem Broadcast News; serious, professional, holds a mike, carries a notepad and pen.
    • Tobias: an informal acquaintance of Simon.
    • Camera person to train video camera on Simon throughout (optional).

    [Simon enters from right with energy, ready to tell the story unfolding in front of him. He and the camera person take their positions; Simon faces the congregation, which is the crowd. He lifts mike and begins his report.]

  • Eastertide offers the church a wonderful opportunity to explore what Laurence Stookey calls the “explosive force of the resurrection of the Lord,” a feat that is “too vast to be contained within a celebration of one day.” Eastertide can also give churches the chance to experience weekly communion for a short period of seven celebrative weeks. And it can reclaim for the contemporary church the historical season known as The Great Fifty Days—the days from Easter to Pentecost. (For reasons of space, we have not included the service for Pentecost Sunday.)


    Members of the Worship Commission of the Christian Reformed Church who contributed to this discussion:
    Victoria Cok, student, Calvin Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, Michigan.
    Lisa De Boer, professor of art, Westmont College, Santa Barbara, California.
    Wayne A. Brouwer, pastor, Harderwyk Christian Reformed pastor, South Bend (Indiana) Christian Reformed Church.
    David J. Diephouse, academic dean and provost, Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Michigan.

  • One of the key themes of recent liturgical renewal is the insight that baptism is the root and foundation of the Christian life. In our baptism, we are united to Christ in his death and resurrection (Rom. 6). The Christian life is an ongoing experience of the dying of our old selves and rising of the new.