December 2003

RW 70
Reformed Worship issue cover

Articles in this issue:

  • D. A. Carson, ed. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2002. 256 pp. $16.99. ISBN 0310216257.

    There have been several collections of essays published in the last few years. Though these collections don’t provide narrative cohesiveness, they are able delve deeper into narrowly defined subject areas.

  • Editor’s note: In popular usage, the word hymn can refer to the text only (typical in England), to text and tune only, or to the whole combination of text and music. In this article, the desire to return to old hymns is to return to the older texts, sometimes also the tunes, but definitely not the sounds of traditional hymns. Old hymn texts are finding new life in contemporary musical settings.

  • Isn’t it self-evident that we worship God with who we are? Not really. In the medieval period priests and singers performed before silent spectators. And at the Reformation Ulrich Zwingli “conducted a monologue in the presence of a completely silent congregation” (Howard Hageman, Pulpit and Table, p. 120). There’s not much difference between those two practices. The people could watch or listen, but who they were was omitted.

  • Q Thanks for your comments in RW 69 about ordination. I have one more question: What about the assurance of pardon? In our church, only a minister offers the benediction and greeting or leads the sacraments, but our lay leaders do the assurance of pardon. Is that permissible or advisable?


  • The title for this service is the same as the title of the funeral service in the Presbyterian Book of Common Worship (Westminster/ John Knox, 1993). On Easter Sunday, we bear witness to the dying and rising of Christ as well as to our own dying and rising with him (Rom. 6:4).

  • Kind and Merciful God

    Click to listen [ full version ]

    Too many churches today omit confession of sin from the worship service. This year, especially during Lent, if your congregation has gone “light” on this part of worship, consider ways to approach God with prayers for forgiveness so that you may celebrate the forgiving and atoning love of God.

  • The events framed by Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem and the resurrection are some of the most dramatic and theologically important of the entire scriptural narrative. These days featured not only the drama of the triumphal entry, trial, last supper, and crucifixion, but also poignant prayers and prophetic teaching from our Lord. Indeed, John’s gospel devotes eight of its twenty-one chapters to this week alone!