Archive for the ‘Chalice Praise (2003)’ Tag

Thankful Praise: A Resource for Christian Worship (1987)   2 comments

Disciples of Christ 1941-2003

Above:  Official Worship Resources of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), 1941-2003

Image Source = Kenneth Randolph Taylor

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Some time ago I wrote about other worship resources of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) at this weblog.  At those times I lacked a copy of Thankful Praise (1987).  Now, however, I have obtained and studied a copy, fortunately.

The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) has, since its founding, observed the Lord’s Supper weekly and emphasized it as the central act of Christian worship.  As “The Renewal of Worship” section of Thankful Praise tells the reader, the relationship between the sermon and the sacrament, as in which one culminates the worship, has varied from congregation to congregation over time.  The dominant tendency since the 1950s “has been to return to the earlier pattern with communion coming as a response to and fulfillment of the proclamation of God’s Word.”  Nevertheless,

worship in many Disciples congregations today is less vigorous than it ought to be.  Our celebrations of the Lord’s Supper often seem to have lost their connection to the historic faith that gives them depth and seem out of touch with contemporary resources of spiritual energy.  Thus, in Disciples congregations, too, the life of thankful praise is in great need of renewal.

–Page 16

Thus Thankful Praise exists not to dictate how worship ought to occur but to offer suggestions to congregational leaders.  Five authors–Ronald J. Allen, Michael K. Kinnamon, Linda McKiernan-Allen, Katherine G. Newman Kinnamon, and Keith Watkins–wrote the 192-page book, which Watkins edited.  Many of the suggestions are wonderful.

Thankful Praise exists in the context of other official volumes; none of the subsequent books duplicates any part of it.  G. Edwin Osborn edited Christian Worship:  A Service Book (1953), the first complete volume of its sort for the denomination.  This book, containing 598 pages, was a companion to Christian Worship:  A Hymnal (1941), a joint project with the Northern (later American) Baptist Convention (later Churches in the U.S.A.).  That hymnal’s successor, the Hymnbook for Christian Worship (1970), also a joint project with the American Baptists, contained a minimum of worship resources.  Thankful Praise (1987) broke new ground, offering fresh resources and banishing archaic language.  The worship resources section of Chalice Hymnal (1995) and the entirety of Chalice Worship (1997) duplicate no part of the 1987 book.  And there are no worship resources in Chalice Praise (2003), a collection of 190 of the allegedly “best and often the freshest of songs that characterize contemporary Christian music” (page vi), an oxymoron if I have ever heard one.

Thankful Praise sets forth “An Order for the Sunday Service” in five parts, with extensive commentary.  The first part is “The Community Comes Together to Serve God in Worship.”  The elements are, verbatim:

  1. Gathering of the Community,
  2. Opening Music,
  3. Greeting,
  4. Hymn, and
  5. Opening Prayer(s).

The second part is “The Community Proclaims the Word of God.  The elements are, verbatim:

  1. First Reading from the Bible,
  2. Psalm or Other Response,
  3. Second or Other Response,
  4. Reading from the Gospel, and
  5. Sermon.

Part Three is “The Community Responds to the Word of God.”  The elements are, verbatim:

  1. Call to Discipleship,
  2. Hymn,
  3. Affirmation of Faith, and
  4. Prayers of the People.

The fourth part is “The Community Comes Together Around the Lord’s Table.”  The elements are, verbatim:

  1. Invitation to the Lord’s Table,
  2. Offering,
  3. Prayers at the Table,
  4. Words of Institution and Breaking of Bread,
  5. Lord’s Prayer,
  6. Peace,
  7. Communion, and
  8. Prayer After Communion.

The final part of the order of service is “The Community Goes Forth to Serve God in Mission.”  The elements are, verbatim:

  1. Hymn,
  2. Closing Words, and
  3. Closing Music.

Seasonal resources fill pages 59-153.  There one may find examples of many of the aforementioned elements of worship, as well as a form for the Lighting of Advent Candles and a rite for meditating on the Cross.

One Prayer of Confession for the Christmas season caught my attention and won my favor more so than most other offerings in Thankful Praise.  If you like the prayer also, O reader, you might want to purchase a copy of the book.

God, we confess that ours is still a world

in which Herod seems to rule:

the powerful are revered,

the visions of the wise are ignored,

the poor are afflicted,

and the innocent are killed.

You show us that salvation comes

in the vulnerability of a child,

yet we hunger for the “security” of weapons and walls.

You teach us that freedom comes in loving service,

yet we trample on others in our efforts to be “free.”

Forgive us, God, when we look to the palace

instead of the stable,

when we heed politicians more than prophets.

Renew us with the spirit of Bethlehem,

That we may be better prepared for your coming.

Amen.

–Page 68

The volume ends with twenty-two Psalms keyed to the church year, a guide to the Common Lectionary, and one page of acknowledgments.

Thankful Praise, intended for the use of those who plan and lead congregational worship, can also function nicely as a supplement to one’s regular devotional resources.  This is especially true for those of us outside of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

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BIBLIOGRAPHY OF HARDCOPY SOURCES

Chalice Hymnal.  St. Louis, MO:  Chalice Press, 1995.

Chalice Praise.  Edited by David P. Polk.  St. Louis, MO:  Chalice Press, 2003.

Chalice Worship.  Compiled and Edited by Colbert S. Cartwright and O. I. Cricket Harrison.  St. Louis, MO:  Chalice Press, 1997.

Christian Worship:  A Hymnal.  Philadelphia, PA:  Judson Press, 1941.

Christian Worship:  A Service Book.  Edited by G. Edwin Osborn.  St. Louis, MO:  Christian Board of Publication, 1953.

Hymnbook for Christian Worship.  St. Louis, MO:  Bethany Press, 1970.

Thankful Praise:  A Resource for Christian Worship.  Edited by Keith Watkins.  St. Louis, MO:  CBP Press, 1987.

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KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JULY 7, 2014 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF EUSTACE CONDER, ENGLISH CONGREGATIONALIST MINISTER AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF SAINT HEDDA OF WESSEX, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF SAINTS RALPH MILNER AND ROGER DICKENSON, ROMAN CATHOLIC MARTYRS

THE FEAST SAINT THOMAS MORE, ROMAN CATHOLIC MORE

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Joint Baptist-Disciples of Christ Hymnals   5 comments

Christian Worship

Above:  My Copies of Christian Worship:  A Hymnal (1941) and Hymnbook of Christian Worship (1970)

Image Source = Kenneth Randolph Taylor

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My knowledge of denominational hymnals beyond my own turf has expanded greatly over the years.  One day on which it expanded came during the Summer of 1992, during my time as a student at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College, Tifton, Georgia.  My mother was nearing the end of her time as a student at Valdosta State University, Valdosta, Georgia.  I visited her one week that Summer, when she lived at the Presbyterian Student Center just off campus.  We spent part of days that week volunteering at an ecumenical Vacation Bible School hosted by First Christian Church.  The two Lutheran congregations (one Missouri Synod, the other Evangelical Lutheran Church in America), the three Episcopal churches, and the Disciples of Christ congregation cooperated on this effort.  There I found in an open room–yet not in any pew–a copy of Hymnbook for Christian Worship (1970).  (I recall that the hymnal in the pews was the Gaither Hymns for the Family of God, 1976).  I was intrigued with the hymnbook not in the pews.  Eventually I found my own copy in a thrift store.

From the 1930s to the early 1950s the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the Northern Baptist Convention (from 1950 to 1972 the American Baptist Convention) pondered merging.  They had much in common, given the Disciples’ position between the Baptist and Presbyterian positions and the Disciples’ practice of baptizing by immersion.  The Christian Century, in its July 22, 1936, issue, editorialized regarding a possible organic union.  The editorial, which discussed baptismal theology, concluded:

What really keeps Baptists and Disciples apart and, in the main, keeps all Protestant denominations apart, is not actual present differences but hangover attitudes developed in the day when there were differences.  Though difficult to define, these are very real obstacles to union.  There are also institutional obstacles of a more substantial nature.  Organizations and agencies have been built up at a great cost of effort and money.  These vested interests are the objects of a kind of family or tribal pride on the part of each denomination.  This pride is fostered by the large and influential secretariat  which has charge of the sacred vessels of the Lord.  Unless there is a conscience on Christian unity, some vivid sense of the sin of being Baptists or Disciples, or anything else than Christians, there is no hope of overcoming the inertia of the status quo.

Union between Baptists and Disciples is both desirable and possible.  No one wishes to rush it, and it will doubtless be years before the natural processes that make for unification can work out their full effect.  Perhaps the most that can be done now is to realize that these processes are natural and that the end is both desirable and possible.

But if the ultimate merging of Baptists and Disciples were to be considered as creating an immersionist bloc, as giving renewed emphasis to a single ordinance, and as producing a deeper cleavage between immersionist and non-immersionist bodies, its injuries would far outweigh its benefits.  To make this one practice which the two denominational bodies have in common the bond of unity between them would be to make it afresh a divisive issue in the Christian world.  The attainment of a larger fellowship does not lie in that direction.  When Baptists and Disciples unite, they should do so upon the realization that they are both free peoples giving liberty within their ranks for a wide variety of individual opinion and local congregational practice.  Most of their congregations practice immersion, but not all of them insist upon it.  The fact that the practice is general among them and that it has been prominent in their history gives them a feeling of kinship, but it is not the true ground for union between them, as it is not the ground of their present denominational unity.

To unite immersionists against the world would be a calamity to the Christian cause.  To unite Baptists and Disciples on the ground of their common faith, purpose and liberty would be a step toward still wider union on the same basis.  For the essential things that Baptists and Disciples have in common are not their exclusive possession.

The two groups did not merge, obviously, but they did produce two joint hymnals.  The first was Christian Worship:  A Hymnal (1941).

Christian Worship A Hymnal

Image Source = Kenneth Randolph Taylor

It was, like many hymnals of its generation, classy–emphasizing the quality of hymn texts and a degree of formality of worship.  As the Preface said in part:

It [the hymnal] will be adaptable to the more dignified and formal worship of the stately church and to the simple service of the less pretentious.

My experience with the book has been positive, for I have located some wonderful hymns here, having not found them in any other hymnal in my collection.  This has proven quite helpful to the pursuit of one of my hobbies.

Hymnbook for Christian Worship

Image Source = Kenneth Randolph Taylor

Less successful, my Internet research has indicated, was the 1970 follow-up, Hymnbook for Christian Worship (1970), which was more formal than many of its contemporaries in mainline Protestantism.  Whereas the 1941 hymnal had limited worship resources (just responsive readings, some invocations, a few Scriptural selections for baptism and the Lord’s Supper, and a page of benedictions), the 1970 volume offered Scriptural readings for Adoration and Praise, a collection of litanies, pages of Affirmations of Faith, Prayers of Worship, some Psalms, and Biblical excerpts arranged topically:  Offering, The Lord’s Supper, Baptism, and Benedictions.  Archaic language remained, for God was often “Thee.”  Hymnbook for Christian Worship was a volume which reflected a previous age in a time of rapid change.  Sometimes its stylistic conservatism was justified, especially given certain excesses of innovative worship in the 1960s and 1970s.  Yet it, like its Presbyterian contemporary, The Worshipbook, showed its age rapidly–yet in a different way.  The former was nouveau; the latter was ancien.

Subsequent denominational developments in worship have revealed that Hymnbook for Christian Worship was a dead end.  The American Baptists have not authorized a hymnal since 1970.  Their congregations use a range of hymnbooks.  The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) published Chalice Hymnal (1995) and Chalice Worship (1997).  The former, unfortunately, has been out of print for a few years.  Yesterday morning, while not even looking for it, I found a copy of Chalice Praise (2003) at a thrift store.  Editor David P. Polk, in A Word to Worshipers, wrote:

You hold in your hands not just another supplement to a recent hymnal.  This set of musical resources for the church’s worship is a different type of collection.  It specifically offers a gathering together of the best and often the freshest of songs that characterize contemporary Christian music.

–page vi

That last sentence is oxymoronic.

Christian Worship:  A Hymnal (1941) and Hymnbook for Christian Worship (1970) are volumes I am glad to have in my hymnal collection, for I consult them while conducting research into hymnody.  I am, with regard to hymnody, much like the archaeologist of a certain joke; the older his wife became, the more interesting he found her.  Chalice Praise (2003), however, reminds me of what Thomas Day, in the subtitle to his book, Why Catholics Can’t Sing (1990), called

the triumph of bad taste

Why is bad taste so ubiquitous?

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JANUARY 29, 2014 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINTS LYDIA, DORCAS, AND PHOEBE, COWORKERS OF THE APOSTLE PAUL

THE FEAST OF ANDREI RUBLEV, RUSSIAN ORTHODOX ICONOGRAPHER

THE FEAST OF SAINTS GENESIUS I OF CLERMONT AND PRAEJECTUS OF CLERMONT, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOPS; AND SAINT AMARIN, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOT

THE FEAST OF SAINT GILDAS THE WISE, HISTORIAN AND ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST