March 1987

RW 3
Ascension/Pentecost
Reformed Worship issue cover

Articles in this issue:

  • 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)

    *Greetings:
    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

  • When interviewing James Ward, one is interrupted by children (his and neighbors') running through the room and by a ringing telephone. Thus our conversation about intercultural worship was punctuated with muffled giggles and with talk about concert bookings, mikes, synthesizers, and recording facilities.

  • Some preachers are tempted to do as little "doctrinal" preaching as possible. After all, people expect preachers to be relevant, to relate the gospel to the here and now. How does a preacher do that with an old document filled with intellectual statements about faith that seemingly have very little to do with life?

  • Most (Christian) Reformed congregations cannot get many of their members to attend an Ascension Day service on the Thursday evening ten days before Pentecost Sunday. For that reason—and because they are not quite ready to give up—many congregations have begun worshiping with other congregations on Ascension Day. In some areas the churches have even organized Ascension Day rallies.

  • Where's the Font?

    Where is the baptismal font in your church? None of us would have any difficulty locating our favorite pews, or the pulpit for that matter. Indeed, most of us know where the communion table is. But where is the font in your church?

  • Richard Stoll Armstrong. Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1986, 216 pp., $9.95.

    Books about worship rarely mention evangelism; books about evangelism only occasionally touch on worship. In this book Armstrong focuses on the intimate connection between the two. Formerly an Episcopalian, Armstrong is now a Presbyterian and a professor at Princeton Theological Seminary.

  • The visitor was uncomfortable. In his home church, things were fairly predictable. The sanctuary always looked the same—off-white walls, plain baptismal font and communion table, and unadorned pulpit. The only change that took place in that sanctuary had to do with the flowers. Each week the janitor made sure a new pot of flowers was placed in the front near the pulpit. And each Sunday worshipers knew just what to expect: the order of worship had remained the same for the past five years and would probably not be altered during the next five.

  • Singing Psalms of Joy and Praise.

    Fred R. Anderson. Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1986, 77 pp. $5.95.

    A Psalm Sampler.

    Prepared by the Office of Worship for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1986,44 pp. $4.95.

    These two paperbacks join the growing number of publications from the many different traditions that are once again discovering the riches of singing the psalms. Neither one is a complete psalter, but each builds on and expands the long Reformed tradition of psalm singing.

  • Every Sunday morning of Wilbur Faber's youth, his parents took him and his sisters to church three-quarters of an hour—to the minute—before the janitor rang the bell at five minutes of.