March 1987

RW 3
Reformed Worship issue cover

Articles in this issue:

  • Rate in the order of appropriateness for public worship:

    a. accordion
    b. guitar
    c. organ
    d. piano
    e. zither

    If Reformed Worship readers were asked this question, my hunch is that the majority would put the organ in first place, the piano in second. (All have been in use.) We'd answer that way because of what we've experienced: in our churches the organ has long been the instrument most used in worship.

  • Letters

    Remember Us

    Just yesterday I received issue 2 of Reformed Worship and again it was a treat, especially since that same night we had our worship committee meeting. Thanks for giving us some material to really think about as we planned. I especially appreciated the article on planning preaching for Lent.

  • The preacher apologized. There would be no sermon this morning. It had been a busy week, and he hadn't finished his manuscript until late Saturday night. He'd typed it into his computer, and that's where it was now. By the time he discovered his printer wouldn't work, the repair people were all asleep.

    As the preacher stepped down from the pulpit, the people stared, then started muttering…

  • Hymn of the Month

    Easter: This Joyful Eastertide

    While most of us know many Christmas carols, we may be less familiar with carols for other times of the year. One of the finest Easter carols is "This Joyful Eastertide." The tune, which originated in a seventeenth-century Dutch love song, came into church use in Joachim Oudaen's David's Psalmen (1685) as the melody for "Hoe Grootde Vreuchten Zijn" ("How Great the Fruits Are")—hence, the tune title VRUCHTEN.

  • In an attempt to answer that question we asked representatives of various denominations to sketch the history and current practices of psalm singing in their churches. The denominational material presented below is summarized or quoted from Robert Copeland (PCNA), Harry Boonstra (CRC), Norman Kansfield (RCA), Hugh McKeller (PCC), Arlo Duba (PCUSA), and John Frame (OPC and PCA).

  • The "hymn festival" is rapidly growing in popularity. With the explosion of new songs for worship, the rediscovery of old gems, as well as the joy of singing familiar favorites, the hymn festival provides an opportunity for congregations, choirs, and instruments to join in varied ways of singing hymns together. A hymn festival can celebrate the hymns of a season or of a given tradition, author, composer, or theme. Any good reason will do!

  • Why does the minister wear a robe? What is justification? Why can't I eat the bread? What is a benediction? You know how many tiles there are in the church ceiling?

    Those who sit in church with children will not find these questions unusual. Children often find our worship practices beyond their size: the pews they sit in and the words and concepts they hear are too big.

  • The Common Lectionary (see REFORMED WORSHIP 1) provides pastors with a guide for preaching on the Christ-centered events and teachings of the liturgical church year. Below are the Scripture passages that year A of the lectionary suggests for the Sundays from Easter to Pentecost. Also listed are hymns and service music that focus on the themes of the resurrection and the presence of Christ in our lives. Hymn page numbers are given for four hymnals:

    The Hymnbook (HB)

  • The organ music suggested on this page is based on hymn tunes in both the forthcoming new edition of the Psalter Hymnal (PH) and the recently released Rejoice in the Lord (RL). All the tune names are listed in alphabetical order, followed by hymn title, composer, publisher, and a letter that will tell you whether the piece is easy, medium, or difficult (E, M, D). We worked by tune names rather than hymn titles, since different texts are sometimes sung to the same tune.

  • Our Worship Begins(1)

    Words of Welcome

    *Processional: Psalm 24(2)

    Pastor: People of God, receive the greeting from our God, the King of glory: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, through the working of the Holy Spirit.
    People: Amen!
    The people greet each other.

    *Hymn: Rejoice, the Lord Is King

    We Hear the Word of the Lord

    Prayer for Illumination

    Scripture Reading: Acts 1:1—11

    Word for the Children