September 1994

RW 33
Advent/Christmas
Reformed Worship issue cover

Articles in this issue:

  • Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 1593; 940 pp., $39.95.

    Carlton R. Young, primary author of this Companion also served as editor of The United Methodist Hymnal (1989) and previously as editor of The Methodist Hymnal (1966) and coedited its handbook, Companion to the Hymnal (1970) with Fred Gealy and Austin Lovelace.

  • Louisville, KY: Westminster/ John Knox Press, 1993. 432 pp., $30.00.

    A new psalter for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). For many, psalm singing and the Scottish heritage are already synonymous. To be sure, the Presbyterian Hymnal (1991) contains many metrical psalms in a style similar to those found in the Psalter Hymnal. But what of the psalm texts in their original prose, in unmetered flow?

  • David Peterson. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1992. 317 pp., $20.00.

    The Reformed tradition has always maintained that its worship is regulated sola scriptura, by Scripture alone. Worship is thus never understood to be an act of creative self-expression, but rather an act of obedience to God. We worship God not in ways we dream up, but. in ways that God teaches us in the Word.

  • David L. Bone and Mary J. Scifres. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1994. 140 pages. $14.95.

    If you are looking for help in planning and organizing your worship services for the next year, this handy lectionary-based calendar may help you a great deal. Two pages are devoted to each Sunday from September 1994 through August 1995. For each Sunday the resource includes:

  • What instrument leads your congregational singing?

    In past decades, the answer to that question was quite predictable. Nearly every church had an organ, and that instrument was central to the music of each service. Today for a variety of reasons (including the cost of organs and the lack of trained organists) other instruments are taking on that leadership role. Many congregations, including my own, are led by the piano each week.

  • The traditional service of nine lessons and carols traces the story of our salvation from the disobedience of Adam and Eve to the birth of Christ. In this service, following each carol, a symbol is brought forward. (You'll find the symbols in boldfaced type in the leader's readings.) Each of these symbols recall the lesson just read and also point to our redemption in Christ.

  • Would you be surprised to find an ad in your local newspaper announcing an Epiphany service in your church?

    Most of us would. Traditionally churches in the Reformed tradition have not observed Epiphany. Many of us are probably not even sure what Epiphany is all about or where the idea of celebrating it began. Although a growing appreciation of the church year has given Christians a better understanding of Advent and Lent, Epiphany still seems a bit "foreign" to some of us.