December 2002

RW 66
Reformed Worship issue cover

Articles in this issue:

  • Winter can sap the life out of anyone. The forlorn landscape causes hearts to contract, shrinking inward until it’s safe to come out again. Broken branches, shriveled foliage, and rasping dry winds—all discourage any hope of life, either in plants or in our own dispirited hearts.

  • Our congregation meets for a communion service every year on Maundy Thursday. Sometimes we meet in our fellowship hall and share a simple meal of soup, salad, bread, and water. The food is on each table before the service begins; one person at each table serves the soup to the others. Sometimes we also include footwashing as part of the service. This particular service included both.

    The Opening


  • Hughes Oliphant Old. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2002. Revised and expanded edition. 195 pp. $19.95.

    Old published an earlier version of this very readable and practical book on Reformed theology of worship in the 1980s. If you missed it then, get it now.

  • [Two people dressed in black stand silently beside a table with a folded white sheet in the center. To the right of the table stands a bench. To the left of the table, and slightly behind it, stands a wooden cross. Two readers, also dressed in black, stand on one side of the stage area; a third reader stands on the opposite side of the stage area. Performance time: 30 minutes.]

    Reader 1: Praise the Lord, O my soul. O Lord my God, you are very great; you are clothed with splendor and majesty. (Ps. 104:1)

  • Visualize Peace

    Banner block. I know you’ve been there. Your worship planning committee hands you yet another impossible assignment: “We’re having a series on the psalms of lament and would like something that reflects the somberness of the topic yet is bright and lively—after all, we don’t want to depress people” or “We’re having a special service on the quality and character of God.

  • Moravian churches have been celebrating this service for more than 250 years and singing the same hymns for at least the last hundred years (see p. 2). This entire service, including music, is found in the Moravian Book of Worship, edited by Nola Knouse, director of the Moravian Music Foundation in Winston-Salem, North Carolina (

  • Letters

    More on Cats

    I continue to be challenged, informed, and inspired by your excellent publication.