December 2003

RW 70
Reformed Worship issue cover

Articles in this issue:

  • 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!

  • For more than a century, people have gathered for worship each Sunday at Rose Valley, a small rural church set in the quiet beauty of the Kansas prairie. Rose Valley consists of a small white frame church built in 1901 and a parsonage that was added in 1917. Named for the wild roses that still grow in the area, the church began with settlers who were eager to teach their children the Christian faith. First came the Sunday school, then the church.

  • Notes

    What’s New at Symposium 2004

    We look forward to seeing many of you at the 2004 Symposium on Worship and the Arts on January 29-31 at Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Michigan. Come by yourself or bring several from your church for a few days of refreshment and renewal. If you have not registered, please do so very soon; remember that last year, registrations were closed a few weeks in advance. This year’s change in date will permit us to accommodate more people. Here are some new features this year: