September 1987

RW 5
Advent/Christmas
Reformed Worship issue cover

Articles in this issue:

  • Book: Epiphany

    (Proclamation 3. Aids for Interpreting the Lessons of the Church Year, Series A). Marianne H. Micks. Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1986,64 pp. $3.75.

  • In several ways, both during and after services, worshipers in Christ Community Church of Nanaimo, British Columbia, are encouraged to pray. Before we are led in prayer by the minister, individuals bring prayer requests, and we pray about them together. But because many individual needs are private and not suitable for sharing in public worship, Christ Community Church has opened a prayer room. In fact, the prayer room has become such a vital part of our ministry that we think of it as our "engine room."

  • An Epiphany Liturgy

    Below we have printed the outline of an Epiphany service including the prayers, songs, and litanies that were repeated in the bulletin each week during the Epiphany season. The liturgy, prepared by Leonard Vander Zee, pastor of Eastern Avenue Christian Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, has been used by that congregation for the past two years. The song was composed by a member of the Church of the Servant (CRC), Grand Rapids, Michigan, for use in their Epiphany liturgy.

  • Hymn of the Month

    October
    Savior, Like a Shepherd Lead Us

    Although it was written for Dorothy Thrupp's 1836 collection Hymns for the Young and is included in the children's section of many hymnals, "Savior, Like a Shepherd Lead Us" appeals to believers of all ages.

  • I was startled. The preacher announced that for the first three Sundays of Advent he would preach on the second coming. I felt a rustling of discomfort around me. Don't we have enough to think about in Advent without worrying about the second coming?

    After all, Advent is the time to soberly and joyfully prepare once again to receive God's gift of Christmas. Advent is the time to remember the ancient promises to Abraham, David, and the prophets. Advent is the time to ready our hearts to celebrate once again the joy of God's incarnation.

  • Notes

    RPCNA Psalm Singing

    "Fifteen Psalms a year for ten years"—that's the mandate the 1986 Synod of the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America (RPCNA) handed to its newly appointed Psalm Translation Committee. The synod also appointed a committee to produce a new supplement to the denomination's latest Psalter (The Book of Psalms for Singing), published in 1973. Both decisions reflect the RPCNA's continued support of their tradition of exclusive psalm singing in public worship (See RW 3, p. 32).

  • Epiphany season begins twelve days after Christmas, on January 6, and continues until the Sunday before Ash Wednesday. In 1988 the season covers six Sundays.The Sunday lessons during this season center upon events and readings from the ministry of Jesus, all of them concentrating on the seasonal theme: God, in Jesus Christ, personally appeared (Greek: epiphaneia) on earth, revealing himself to us directly rather than through any chosen messenger.

  • Letters

    Convert to Cover

    I have just received RW 4. I read it from cover to cover and must congratulate you on an excellent issue.

    Thank you also for your article on new hymns and hymnals. I am afraid that the solution to better hymn singing is so obvious that we will continue to search for more complex solutions—at least that is the way the city is run here in Chicago.

    We have a new hymnal committee, all of whom would benefit from reading this issue.

  • A Dragon Intrusion

    The sermon about the dragon seemed an intrusion into our Advent and Christmas spirit.

    When entering church I was stili thinking about the VCR we had bought after long deliberation. And our children were coming home for Christmas; it had been six months since we had seen them last.

    The sanctaury, with its poin-settias and Advent wreath, looked beautiful and peaceful. And the choir anthem was marvelous. The spirit was one of peace, festivity, and joy.

  • Last winter a news anchorwoman from one of the large television stations in the New York area traded in her expensive business suit for a bundle of rags. Convinced that in order to really understand the plight of the homeless you have to become one of them, she spent a week as a bag lady on the streets of New York City.