September 1996

RW 41
Advent/Christmas
Reformed Worship issue cover

Articles in this issue:

  • Characters
    Christina: a guest and friend of the other girls
    Rachel: Christina's best friend
    Amy: Rachel's younger sister

    Props
    Christmas music
    Table with chairs
    Box of Christmas decorations

    Setting
    A homey living room

    [Lights up music on Amy is happily investigating the contents of the Christmas decoration box. Music is blaring and she is singing along Enter Rachel and Christina]

  • Who would have believed that the untimely and unexpected death of a popular member of a church youth group would provide the genesis for an idea that has come to bless so many people who are suffering with grief? And who would have suggested that people should "come to church with their unresolved griefs" on the Sunday afternoon before Christmas—one of the most joyful days on the Christian calendar?

  • Organ Arrangements and Congregational Acts of Worship for the Church Year Based on African American Spirituals. By William Farley Smith. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1996. Spiral, 112 pp. $17.95

  • Q. I hardly ever find services in Reformed churches any more that use the votum to begin worship. Why have so many churches dropped this Reformed part of the liturgy?

    A. A brief question with many ripples. Let me try to sort out a few threads here:

    • We want to start a drama group in our church, and I'm in charge. Where can I find help?
    • Our pastor will be preaching on forgiveness. Where can I find a sketch that will be appropriate for the service?
    • We want to do an outreach evening for our community. What drama could we perform that would be fun and yet meaningful?

  • An Advent Sourcebook, edited by Thomas J. O. O'Gorman, with art by Tom Goddard. Chicago: Liturgy Training Publications, 1988.170 pp.
    A Christmas Sourcebook, edited by Mary Ann Simcoe. Chicago: Liturgy Training Publications, 1984. 157 pp.
    To Crown the Year: Decorating the Church Year Through the Seasons, by Peter Mazar, withart by Evelyn Grala. Chicago: Liturgy Training Publicaions, 1995.297 pp. $19.00.

  • Notes

    NEW ADDRESS FOR NEEDLEWORK CHRISMONS

  • I was reading the paper the other day and ran across the line, "That was a real epiphany for me!" No, it wasn't in a church publication; it was the daily paper. And the context made it clear that the author meant something like, "It was a real eye-opener!" But it got me thinking: What is an epiphany anyway? How did a word with such a focused doctrinal Christian meaning come to be used this way in everyday speech?

  • Letters

    ARE WE "DUMBING DOWN"?

    I read Reformed Worship from cover to cover, make use of its material frequently, and truly appreciate the quality and breadth of topics. I sincerely hope we can use your "Isaiah" service soon [RW 39]. It is excellent. But I was sorry to see that the "Hymn of the Month" has been replaced by "Songs for the Season," which downplays the use of the hymnal.