Archive for the ‘Colbert S. Cartwright’ Tag

Chalice Hymnal (1995)–Worship Resources   6 comments

christian-church-disciples-of-christ-logo

Above:  Logo of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

Last Summer, I reviewed Chalice Worship (1997) (https://blogatheologica.wordpress.com/2012/06/29/chalice-worship-1997/).  Now I turn my attention to the non-musical content at the back of Chalice Hymnal (1995).

The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) does belong to the free church tradition, but it is still liturgical.  In fact, it has a venerable history of emphasizing Holy Communion.  As Father Peter Ingeman, now-retired Rector of Christ Episcopal Church, Valdosta, Georgia, said at a Lay Ministries Conference in the Diocese of Georgia in Spring 2001, a liturgical church is one with a predictable pattern of worship.  Some liturgies are simpler or more complex than others, but they are, by definition, predictable.

The non-musical liturgical resources in Chalice Hymnal (1995) do not appear in Chalice Worship (1997), so I review them here for the first time.  The Worship Resources section of the hymnal contains the following:

  1. An Order for the Lord’s Supper with Those Confined;
  2. Basic Resources for Sunday Worship; and
  3. Daily Worship (A Three-Year Cycle of Daily Devotion).

I will deal with them in that order.

An Order for the Lord’s Supper with Those Confined draws the visited person(s) into the congregational gathering linguistically with the repeated use of the words “we” and “us.”  In the first paragraph–five sentences–alone, “we” appears three times, “us” twice, and “ourselves” once.  This is excellent, for those confined at home, in a hospital or nursing home, or elsewhere might feel isolated, understandably.  Yet they are part of the whole, the community of faith.

Basic Resources for Sunday Worship, six pages long, is an outline for worship.  It contains prayers, litanies, a communion ritual, and pastoral sentences.  The language is modern and graceful, focusing on the Christian community.  Plural pronouns abound; one notices “us,” “we,” and “our,” quite often.  And “you,” when it appears, is plural.  This is appropriate, for Jesus-and-meism is a heresy.

Daily Worship:  A Three-Year Cycle of Daily Devotion is the handiwork of the Reverend Colbert S. Cartwright (http://neatnik2009.wordpress.com/2012/06/29/feast-of-colbert-s-cartwright-august-5/), truly a great man. (I even canonized him last June!)  The three-page-long Introduction emphasizes the importance of praising God with a daily hymn, praying one psalm per week, and reading and meditating upon a passage of Scripture each day.  The Introduction is a nicely-written primer on prayer from which one may benefit, even if one does not use use the ensuing eighteen-page lectionary.  I have not used that lectionary yet, although I have kept the option open.  I do recognize a well-thought-out plan when I see one.

I am a practicing Episcopalian, therefore a person of The Book of Common Prayer (1979).  But I do not restrict myself to that volume for purposes of prayer and worship; the Prayer Book is simply my primary resource in those fields.  I like to sample the liturgical resources of other denominations and to utilize the best of them.  The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) offers much that appeals to my honed liturgical tastes.  One irony might be that I use them more than do many active members of that body.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JANUARY 3, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE TENTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS

THE FEAST OF EDWARD CASWALL, ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF EDWARD PERRONET, BRITISH METHODIST PREACHER

THE FEAST OF SAINT GENEVIEVE, PROPHET

THE FEAST OF GLADYS AYLWARD, ANGLICAN MISSIONARY TO CHINA

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Chalice Worship (1997)   7 comments

Above:  Logo of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

Chalice Worship is one of my favorite volumes, one which functions for me as one of a set of prayer books.  It takes its place along side The Book of Common Prayer (1979), A New Zealand Prayer Book (1989), and a volume of novenas.  I, with my Episcopal Church-honed liturgical tastes, enjoy the fresh, reverent, and poetic language of Chalice Worship.  The resources in this book differ from those I have found elsewhere, so the volume is unique, adding welcome spice to a variety of well-written liturgical life.

Chalice Worship, a resource of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), is a companion to Chalice Hymnal, the denomination’s 1995 successor to Hymnbook for Christian Worship (1970), a joint project with the American Baptist Churches U.S.A., then called the American Baptist Convention.  CW (1997) is, in a way, a successor to that book, which contains worship resources (although mainly in older-style English) in the back.  CW (1997) is primarily the successor to Christian Worship:  A Service Book (1953),

The first and last complete book of worship resources…..It set a benchmark for any would come after him [editor G. Edwin Osborn] in similar labors.

Chalice Worship, page xii

CW (1997) complements Thankful Praise (1987), edited by Keith Watkins, and Chalice Hymnal (1995), not replicating material from them.

The scope of Chalice Worship is comprehensive.  There are the usual services, such as Holy Communion, baptism, confirmation, marriage, healing, and funerals, for example.  But one can also find a service to celebrate a wedding anniversary and another to bless a friendship.  And the funeral service comes with options for various occasions, such as a suicide, a sudden tragedy, and a stillbirth.  There are also daily morning and evening prayer services, which are beautiful.

There is also a section of three ecumenical services:  the Lord’s Supper, Martin Luther King, Jr., Day, and Thanksgiving.  These appeal to me because of my bad experiences with community worship services; they tend to be flavorless bastard stepchildren of liturgy, appealing to few or none while attempting to encompass all or as many as possible.  But these ecumenical rites have two parents who are glad to claim them as their own.

These parents are Colbert “Bert” S. Cartwright (http://neatnik2009.wordpress.com/2012/06/29/feast-of-colbert-s-cartwright-august-5/) and O. I. Cricket Harrison.  They served on the committee which produced Chalice Hymnal (1995).  Cartwright, who died in 1996, was a Disciples of Christ minister and a witness for civil rights in the U.S. South when that was unpopular with many other white people.  Harrison composed hymn tunes and descants, translated a hymn from Spanish, and wrote a hymn one can find in that hymnal.  And she, with the help of Ann Cartwright, Colbert’s widow, and David P. Polk, editor of Chalice Press (as she wrote,

the unnamed third editor of this work

Chalice Worship, page xiii)

brought the volume to completion.  I thank God for all that they did toward that goal.

Back to my summary….

Chalice Worship also  provides services for the Christian Year and special Sundays.  So, for example, Advent, Christmas, Lenten, Holy Week, Easter Vigil, Easter Sunday, Pentecost, and Trinity Sunday resources are present.  The Feast of Christ the King (as I know and celebrate it each year) has become “The Festival of Christ the Cosmic Ruler.”  That is fine, for “king” is just a metaphor; I will not become upset about it.  And one can find rites for special Sundays ranging from Father’s Day to Mother’s Day to All Saints’ Day to Labor Day to AIDS Sunday.  There are also resources for the Week of Compassion (the third to fourth Sundays in February), when the Disciples of Christ collect funds to alleviate global suffering.  Compassion is a good thing.

One can also find resources for occasional events, such as installing church offices, honoring graduates, saying farewell to a retiring minister, opening a meeting or conference, blessing a home, or blessing a mother and a child after a difficult birth.  If a congregation has divided, it might avail itself of a prayer for that occasion.  Given recent headlines in ecclesiastical and collegiate settings, the Prayer for One Who Has Been Molested seems timely.

My favorite part of the book however, is its comprehensive selection of short prayers and litanies for various occasions.  I have found them quite helpful.  Once, a few years ago, when I needed the prayer “For the Brokenhearted” (page 364), I posted it online, giving credit to the source, of course.  Shortly later I received a comment from a complete stranger.  That person wrote,

Thank you.

My advice, O reader of this post, is to use this book at least for individual prayer, and corporate worship if possible.  Share it with others.  Such a wonderful resource, Colbert S. Cartwright’s final work, deserves no less.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JUNE 29, 2012 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINTS PETER AND PAUL, APOSTLES AND MARTYRS

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