THE LITURGY of the Reformed Church in America Together with THE PSALTER, selected and arranged for responsive reading; Gerrit T. Vander Lugt, Editor; The Board of Education, 1968; 518 pp.
Churches today are undergoing extensive liturgical changes. This is in part due to the emphasis on ecumenicity. But, I am afraid, it is also in part due to a general weakness in the Church. WhenChurches forsake their calling; when people become indifferent to things spiritual and when the true worship of God flounders, then Churches turn to more extensive liturgy in a vain attempt to interest people once more in the Church. It is to be feared that, at least in some respects, this book is influenced by these evils.
The book is composed of various Forms of Worship and liturgical forms for ceremonial use. The new and the old forms for the administration of baptism and the Lord’s Supper are included. The new are hardly an improvement. Also included are forms, in addition to the ones commonly used in the Reformed Churches, a form for the examination of young people who confess their faith before the Consistory, a form for receiving members from other churches, a form for organization of new churches, a form for the laying of a cornerstone, and many more.
Included also are Scriptural readings for visiting the sick, for funerals, etc. There is a complete Psalter; i.e., Psalms arranged for responsive readings. There is a whole prayer book including prayers for almost every conceivable occasion. Some of these prayers are very beautiful; some of them curious and flat.
The book is recommended for use by anyone who is interested in liturgical questions and can be of some use for ministers who wish to examine the latest in liturgical forms and gain ideas for Scriptural readings on sick visitation, funerals, etc. To evaluate all the different forms and the orders of worship suggested would require considerable space. If you are interested in these matters, purchase the book for yourself.