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March 1988

ORFF Instruments in Worship

If the only "Orff you know is what Sandy, Little Orphan Annie's dog, says, you're not unusual. Orff and Orff instruments are still unfamiliar—even to many musicians.


Keep Within Reach

I have received the initial copies of your magazine. So far, so good. If you can keep the quality up of both contents and presentation, this is going to be a very worthwhile contribution to Reformed worship.

The music examples/contributions are interesting and challenging, but let us not forget that the vast majority of our congregations do not have the instrumental resources to even attempt some of the settings.

Ballad of the Common Cup

Grace CRC, some years ago,
served wine at its Lord's Suppers.
They passed a cup from hand to hand,
for they were "common cuppers."

The young resented cups from hands
still stained from greasing tractors;
some said their appetite for wine
was spoiled by such factors.



April 11-14,1988, Minneapolis, MN; April 25-28,1988, Atlanta, GA
Creator Masterclass Conferences. Contact Creator Magazine, P.O. Box 100, Dublin, OH 43017.

April 16, 1988, Kalamazoo, MI; April 23, 1988, Edmonton, AB; May 7, 1988, Muskegon, MI; May 14,1988, Minneapolis, MN; June 24—25, 1988, Lynden, WA; July 12—15, Calvin College, Grand Rapids, MI.
Conferences on liturgy and music, with introduction of the new Psalter Hymnal. Contact: Music and Liturgy Office, 2850 Kalamazoo SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49560.

Pentecost: the Birthday of the Church?

Lines from Handbook of the Christian Year (Abingdon, 1986) repeat a widespread notion about the meaning of Pentecost: "For Christians, Pentecost commemorated the birthday of the church…" (p. 21).

The Communion Circle

When I was a child, I watched my parents walk to the front of our church in the Netherlands and take communion with other adults around long tables. I thought that's the way it was always done. Since then, I've discovered that Christians have many ways of celebrating the Lord's Supper.

Book: Hymn Notes for Church Bulletins

Austin C. Lovelace. Chicago: G.I.A. Publications, Inc., 1987,120 pages, $9.00.

This little book does exactly what its title says: it offers background material on hymns in short paragraphs that can be used in church bulletins or educational materials; anyone who purchases the book may use this information without permission or charge. The stated purpose of this resource is to help worshipers to sing not only with the Spirit but also with understanding, as Paul exhorts us to do (I Cor. 14:15).

Book: The Funeral: a Service of Witness to the Resurrection

Philadelphia: The Westminster Press, 1986,104 pp. $7.95.

The only way, really, to review a book of this kind is to use it. However, for a retired seminary professor, that is next to impossible. In the past two years I have conducted only three funeral services. Therefore, in assessing this book I must rely on the next best method: reading each of these services out loud.

Before examining the contents of this book, however, I should like to mention some of the problems I had in the area of funerals when I was in the parish ministry.

Service Planning for the Season After Pentecost

Unlike the readings recommended for Advent through Pentecost (which are often related thematically around the main motif presented in the Gospel lesson), the lessons for this post-Pentecost season are seldom tied to the other readings for the day. Often during this season lessons follow a different Bible book in each category (e.g., 2 Corinthians, 2 Samuel, Mark) but share no discernible common theme.

Choral Music for Ascension and Pentecost

The list on this page focuses specifically on hymn concertatos for this part of the church year. A hymn concertato is a festive arrangement of a hymn, usually featuring congregational as well as choral and instrumental involvement. Brass fanfares and accompaniments appear frequently in concertatos.

Acts 2: 1-21: a Dramatic Reading for Pentecost

The dramatic reading on these pages was prepared by Ervina Boeve, professor of Speech at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, for the Conference on Liturgy and Music at Calvin Seminary, August 1985. Professor Boeve has also included some directors notes for those interested in rehearsing the reading and using it as part of worship on Pentecost Sunday.

A Festival Service for Pentecost

The Opening

Preludes: "Come, God, Creator, Holy Ghost"
J. S. Bach

"Breathe on Me, Breath of God"
Edwin T. Childs

Choral Call to Worship:
"Breathe on Me, Breath of God"

Sentences of Dependence and Greeting:

Hymn of the Month

Good Christians, All Rejoice and Sing

This joyful hymn, which celebrates Christ's triumphant resurrection, first appeared in Melchoir Vulpius's hymnal Ein schoen geistlich Gesangbuch in 1609. The original text, "Gelobt sei Gott im hoechsten Thron" ("Praise Be to God Enthroned on High") is much older and ascribed to Michael Weisse, Bohemian Brethren minister and editor of the Brethren hymnal of 1531.

Worship at Pullman CRC: an Interview with Rick Williams

Every Sunday more than two hundred people, about 80 percent of them Black, gather on the south side of Chicago to praise God in a building that once served as a funeral home. They are members of Pullman Christian Reformed Church.

Encouragement from the Saints

An item in the liturgy called "Encouragement from the Saints" may seem out of place in a Protestant worship service. Saints, after all, have never fared well in the Reformed tradition. We don't pray to them; we don't celebrate their feast days; we don't recognize them.

Choir Camp

I first read about summer choir camp in the Guild Letters, a magazine published by the Choristers Guild. It sounded like such a good idea—-just the thing to involve our children actively in the church music program. I talked to our pastors, outlining some possibilities, and they were enthusiastic. Together we started planning.

Let the Children Come to Me: an Interview with Norman Thomasma

Some churches have Kinder Kirk. Others offer a children's message. Some have a children's worship center. Others largely ignore children in public worship. All of them are responding in some way to the question. How should children be involved in worship?