The moment is charged with excitement and anticipation—the beginning of the most important hour of the week. The council has had their time of prayer for this worship service. The prelude is well underway. The worshipers are in their seats, and the pastor is seated on the platform. Everything is planned and prepared and ready for worship.
Articles in this issue:
Leigh Eric Schmidt. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1989. xiii, 277 pages; notes; index. $32.50.
Reviewed by Keith Watkins, professor of worship at Christian Theological Seminary, Indianapolis, Indiana.
For anyone interested in hymnody, the last half-dozen years have been an exciting time to be alive. Every few months, on the average, a major North American denomination has produced an important hymnal. As most RW readers are aware, the Reformed Church in American gave us Rejoice in the Lord (1985) and the Christian Reformed Church its Psalter Hymnal (1987). Both are very fine books. But many other hymnals have also emerged. The Episcopal Church, for example, has a new hymnal—as do the American Baptists.
First Christian Reformed Church of Denver, Colorado, uses the Hymn of the Month information from Reformed Worship in a creative way. Every month the church newsletter, the Parish Pulse, includes the background information from RW on the song for that month, and a member of the church creates a Hymn of the Month poster to display in the church.
It's not easy to accept a new hymnal. We become attached to old favorites—to their rhythms, phrases, and tunes—and find it difficult to accept the new and unknown in our worship.
It happened in a Christian Reformed Church one Sunday night during the intermission of a Calvin Seminary Choir program. As director of the choir, I had asked two of the seminarians to say a few words about their background and plans for ministry. First came Bruce Gritter—a young Canadian student, full of enthusiam. Then Gabriella Farkas spoke.
Protect Me, God, I Trust in You
Is it possible to get people of the Reformed faith to set aside a day for prayer and fasting?
Our elders struggled with that question last fall. Prayer they were comfortable with—after all, it's always been part of our tradition. But fasting? That sounded a little "foreign."