June 1997

RW 44
THEME: Choosing Music for Worship
Reformed Worship issue cover

Articles in this issue:


    Preparing for Worship


    "The King Shall Come MORNING SONG
    "Guide Me, O Thou RHONDDA

    Silent Prayer


    God's Greeting

    Call to Worship

    Hymn: "For All the Saints" PsH 505, PH 526, RL 397, TH 358

    stanzas 1, 2, 4, 5, 7: all
    stanza 3: men and boys stanza 6: women and girls
    stanza 6: women and girls

  • In September of 1996, Hessel Park Christian Reformed Church in Champaign, Illinois, had the pleasure of installing a new minister. As we prepared for the service of installation, the worship committee wanted to try something a little different. We used one of the shorter forms from our church hymnal (Psalter Hymnal, pp. 992-4), but we added a new twist to the section of the form called "Instruction."

  • My mother seldom let us off with easy answers. After the Bible reading that followed family meals, she would often wonder about the meaning of an obscure text by peppering our family with "why" questions:

    Why does God act like a general in an army that is responsible for slaying thousands of Israel's enemies?

    Why would God ask for the human sacrifice of Abraham's son, after the manner of pagan religions?

    Why does Jesus curse a fruit tree for having no fruit in a season in which it was not meant to bear fruit?

  • In every issue for the past eleven years, Reformed Worship has included a set of "Songs for the Season," formerly called "Hymn of the Month." The criteria for selecting those songs include choosing something accessible to children, something old and something new, something based on a psalm, and something fitting for the particular season of the Christian year.

  • John D. Witvliet has been appointed assistant professor of worship and music at Calvin College and adjunct professor of worship at Calvin Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Two future articles will explore the way in which lament can function in the ebb and flow of weekly worship, apart from times of crisis.

  • For hundreds of years, printed music has been prepared mostly by engraving metal: scratching or punching the notes and ledger lines and all the musical elements into the metal plate (and it was done backwards so that when the paper picked up the ink from the depressions, it would appear correctly). This was a very skilled trade.

    Along came music typewriters with noteheads and stems and dynamics markings rather than the alphabet. Typing required less skill than metal engraving, but the pages looked clunky.

  • As a teenager, Barry Liesch was fascinated by jazz, learned to improvise at the piano by imitating others, started transcribing music from recordings, and became a skilled piano accompanist, even going on tent crusades in his native British Columbia. His church gave him a music scholarship to a Bible college, something family circumstances would not have permitted. He continued his studies, earning a doctorate in music theory, and for the past twenty years has taught at Biola University in Loma Linda, California.