School of Theology at Claremont

iii i

1 135560

The Library




The a

Public Worship BV



The Methodist Book Concern


Copyright, 1928, by EDWARD G. SCHUTZ

All rights reserved, including that of translation into foreign languages, including the Scandinavian

Printed in the United States of America



CHAPTER PAGE 2 PTRODUCTION owls ose cece oes 7 Il. Tae Curistian IDEA oF WorsHrP.... 23

III. Tue Serrinac FoR WoRSHIP.......... 43


V.. Music. 1m THE SANCTUARY............ 116

VI. Tue TEcHNIQUE oF PusLic WorsHiP. 153


VII. Av toe BaptisMAL Font............. 199 ¥ VIII. Tue Hoty CoMMUNION.............. 207 IX. Ar THE MARRIAGE ALTAR............ 243 ¥

X. Tae FUNERAL SERVICE............0.- 266


CuuRcH OF THE Saviour, Metuopist EPpts- COPAL, CLEVELAND, OHIO.........Frontispiece

FACING PAGE Detatt or CHANCEL, First Metuopist Epis- copaL CHurcH, Gary, INDIANA......... 43

Metnopist EpiscopaL CaurcH, WortuH, IL1t1- DIGITS ile! digs erates ask ere uae Cae eerie 71

CHANCEL OF First Mertuopist Episcopau CuurcH, GARY, INDIANA..............- 73


THE reader has a right to know all the truth, why another book is flung upon the market, and how it all came about. By the explanation offered as well as by the contents of these pages we trust that the volume is justified. Hesitation, even fear, would have forestalled the writing by either one of us alone. But, as in the “every-member canvass” team method, so here each supports the other and the neces- sary courage to make the venture is supplied.

Little or no speculation or theorizing is herein presented, nor yet any thesis to be worked out; we are merely aiming to talk frankly about our church worship, why we have it, what we mean by it, how we do it, and how it may be better done, assuming that there is room for improvement. Other men have wrought. well in the history, psychology, and theory of public worship, but within the scope of this practical handbook very little is

found in print. 7


In our method an element of danger lurks. Usually the presentation of a large amount of detail in discussing practical matters lays a writer open to criticism. This fact is frankly admitted. It is easy to understand how a reader experienced in the conduct of worship or ritual may be impatient of many details. Hither his own judgment and knowledge ap- pear to be discounted or he fails to sense the importance of such details in the technique of liturgical administration. We believe, how- © ever, that, especially in so-called little things, the beauty of a service may be sustained or marred ; its impressiveness and helpfulness ad- vanced or retarded, just as a minister’s ac- ceptability in his parish may be impaired, if not destroyed, by little annoying foibles of which he is quite unaware. If objections, on this ground, are raised against our method, we hope that the generous reader will not over- look the service which we are trying to render.

No love of formality, or of liturgical elabora- tion, or of ritualism per se moves us. The simplest order of worship is as acceptable as the most ornate, provided both express reli- gious experience. Not one feature of a liturgy should be added or retained that is not real to the normal Christian. Not high churchmen




are we, or low churchmen, but earnest men of the church deeply interested in helping to make public worship as sincere and as spir- itually stimulating as possible. When Dr. Harry Emerson Fosdick said: “By tradition and temperament I am a thoroughgoing Prot- estant, but I wish that in our services we knew better how to quicken the imagination of our people and make the divine Presence mysti- cally real,” he beautifully expressed the pur- pose which we dare hope to accomplish.


What led to the writing of this book? Sev- eral influences, naturally. Foremost of these is the general, growing interest among min- isters and laymen in public worship as a func- tion that needs special emphasis in these days. This interest appears to be tantamount to a demand upon the church. Since many min- isters are doing their best to meet this demand, we feel constrained to offer our contribution in these chapters.

In much current literature the interest to which we refer is clearly indicated. Within the last five years a number of books on public worship have appeared. Besides, numerous


articles in magazines, in religious and secular periodicals, and single paragraphs here and there attest the same activity of thought upon the subject. A few good examples may not be inappropriate at this juncture.

Dr. Lloyd C. Douglass in the Northwestern Christian Advocate exclaims: “How exceed- ingly—how incredibly dull are our alleged services of worship! . . . If the highest duty laid upon us is the development of a deeper sense of love for and trust in our Father, a clearer consciousness of our wor- ship, and a more adequate appreciation of the spiritual band which unites the human soul to its eternal source, then we must plan for reli- gious services capable of stirring the worshiper to reverence, praise, gratitude, and consecra- tion. As the matter stands, our churches are better equipped as to leadership, experience, and physical property, to do almost anything and everything else than the chief thing which may be presumed to justify their existence.”

In a letter from a Methodist layman this striking statement is made: “I think our serv- ice, as conducted, is lacking most in the dignity that is fitting to worship. With a ritual that appears to best advantage when performed with devotion, we have allowed those whose


experience has not fitted them to appreciate its dignity to belittle it and to reduce many church hours to the order of a club meeting. The real service should make us see the Invis- ible, make us feel the impulse of spiritual life.”

Many more quotations are at hand, but these suffice to indicate the trend of thought. But as illustrative of how the interest in worship is expressed in action we submit a quotation from the “Information Service’ of the Federal Council of the Churches of Christ in America, an issue of the last weeks of the year 1926. It reads as follows:

“A study of the attendance of college stu- dents at church has been made recently at Whitman College, Walla Walla, Washington, a small coeducational college, non-sectarian but ‘broadly Christian.’ A questionnaire was given to the entire student body and 408 re- plies were received, representing 85 per cent of the students. They were asked to check the reasons listed on the questionnaire, and to double-check the most important. Seventy- three per cent of the students are church mem- bers and 47 per cent report regular attendance at church, while 32 per cent attend irregularly, 15 per cent seldom attend, and 6 per cent never. Forty-three per cent of the men re-


ported regular attendance and 52 per cent of the women.

“The six leading reasons for church attend- ance were music, worship, parents, conscience, habit, and sermons. Worship was the leading reason given by the men and music by the women. Otherwise the order of importance was the same for both men and women—the order given above.”

These facts seem astonishing. We are led to wonder if the ranking of reasons for church attendance given by those students is any indi- cation of a general situation. It might be valuable for us to know.

The final evidence which we offer of a re- newed interest in public worship is the large amount of experimentation going on among ministers with the order of worship. It is particularly interesting to see what is being done in a church which prescribes a uniform order, such as the Methodist Episcopal. While the statistics here given are meager, prove nothing, they are indicative of a trend that we know to be widespread. The writer possesses thirty-six church calendars, most of them gathered in recent months without deliberate selection, and with no thought of using them in any statement such as the following. Six-


teen of them came from a group of sixty-four churches in the Chicago Southern District of Rock River Conference, seventeen came from churches elsewhere in that Conference, includ- ing a few from different parts of the country. All thirty-three show departure in some par- ticulars from the regular form of worship as prescribed by the General Conference. Only three of the thirty-six follow it without change. Great variety is observed also in other church denominations. In all this experimentation there is much evidence of groping for some- thing satisfactory, as well as of the need of a guiding principle in building an order of wor- ship.


Such interest, revived and growing, calls for interpretation. What is the meaning of it? What tendency does it suggest? Somebody is certain to charge that it reveals a movement toward cold formalism in the church disclosing a decadent spiritual life. This we are unable to see. So long as the service is kept free, open, subject to modification and variation, and so long as worship by any form whatso- ever is real, there is no more danger in the use of a richer liturgy than in the simplest


forms. How dead and meaningless our private prayers become if we have already lost the sense of reality in communion! So it is with any form of public worship. Is the order of service commonly used in our churches proof against a cold formalism? Is its constant use a guarantee of spiritual vitality? No man in his right mind would affirm that it is. The most liturgical service is the Lord’s Supper. Sometimes it is so conducted as to be a veri- table mountaintop of religious experience where one sees Jesus only, and feels ready to descend to the base of the mountain to do serv- ice for mankind. Then, again, the same ritual is conducted so irreverently as to destroy for the time being its meaning for the worshiper. In the latter case it is a thoughtless, heartless form and nothing more. What makes the dif- ference? The attitude and character of the minister of course, aided and abetted, per- haps, by the spiritual status of the congrega- tion.

A story is told of an English lady who en- gaged a Scotch maid. Soon after beginning service she attended her lady’s church. For the first time in her life the girl observed with great interest the elaborate ritual of the Anglican Church. Upon returning home she


was asked what she thought of it. “Oh, ’twas verra’ bonnie,’ she replied, “but? (lowering her voice to a tragic whisper) “oh, my Lady, ’twas an awfw’ way of spendin’ the Sabbath.” Well, this writer has witnessed some Meth- odist, Congregational, and other services which were likewise an awful way of spending the Sabbath, not so much because of the character of the service as the way it was conducted. John Wesley was in ‘thorough sympathy with a liturgy. Of the Morning and Evening Prayer of the Church of England he wrote: “I believe there is no liturgy in the world, either in ancient or modern language, which breathes more of a solid, scriptural, rational piety than the Common Prayer of the Church of England. And though the main of it was compiled more than two hundred years ago, yet is the lan- guage of it not only pure but strong and elegant in the highest degree.” With slight alterations John Wesley recommended its use by his societies in America, and the organiza- tion conference of 1784 adopted the form. We have, then, the phenomenon of an elabo- rate formal order of worship employed, on the one hand, by the English Church, spiritually dead in Wesley’s day, and therefore powerless in the kingdom of God; employed, on the other


hand, by a church in America, which for spir- itual vitality and life-transforming power, was one of the marvels of history. The difference must be found not in the use of this or that order of worship, but in the strange warming of the hearts of men, which John Wesley made famous by his own experience.

This service was employed as long as Wes- ley’s control of the American church lasted. Then preachers began to make their own order of worship favoring greater simplicity. That which was appropriate and desirable in metro- politan England, with its settled communities, its culture and tradition, did not fit into the simple, pioneer society of the American colo- nies. The preacher lived astride his horse. He had no settled church to care for. He was ap- pointed to a circuit larger than a State. He preached wherever he could get a hearing—in tavern, private cottage, schoolhouse, on street corner, or in a clearing in the woods. What opportunity had Wesley’s Sunday Service in. such circumstances? Not at all strange, there- fore, was it that the General Conference of 1792 granted the official liberty to preachers which they had gradually assumed in the ordering of their services. While Wesley’s Sunday Service was never formally repealed,


the General Conference of 1892 directed that, for the “establishment of uniformity in public worship, the morning service shall consist of singing, prayer, the reading of a chapter out of the Old Testament, and another out of the New, and preaching.” No direction was given touching the particular passages to be read, nor the form of the prayer, so that there was nothing to hinder a Methodist church legally adopting the full Wesley Service. Public opin- ion, however, after a few years, rendered it obsolete, although there were traces of it up to the year 1792, when all allusions to it dis- appeared.

During the next hundred years the country experienced a rapid growth. Communities be- came settled, developing their culture and their traditions. Metropolitanism was dis- placing pioneer conditions. As society thus grew more complex and stable, the Methodist Church naturally came to feel the need for a uniform and more stately order of worship. She was no longer a pioneer church and could not therefore be content with pioneer ways. Churches always tend to greater formality in worship with the growth of culture and metro- politanism in society. Accordingly, the Gen- eral Conference of 1896, in answer to the de-


mand of the church, composed and prescribed the order of worship which has been in general use ever since. In general use, yes. But the last few years have witnessed not a little break- ing up of conformity in that many ministers have modified, and some have radically altered, the prescribed form.

In view of such facts we raise the following questions: Had John Wesley “fallen from grace’ when he recommended his elaborate liturgical Sunday Service to the young Ameri- can church? Had pioneer Methodism in the United States suddenly gone cold and dead in the midst of great religious triumphs because it accepted and used that liturgy?

Answer may be made by statistics on which we are accustomed to lay so much stress. The facts are these: When Wesley’s Sunday Service was adopted in 1784, the membership of the church numbered 15,000. The very next year showed a growth of 3,000, according to the his- torians, “the number of habitual hearers or adherents, aside from the members, was greater in proportion to its actual membership than at any subsequent period of its history.” “The congregations were the largest in the country.” “The Methodist Community was about 200,000 at this time.” In 1790 the mem-


bership had advanced to 57,631, or an average growth of 7,100 per year for the first six fol- lowing the adoption of the Wesley Service. By these facts we are not attempting to show that the use of an elaborate liturgy has a favor- able bearing upon the development of a church, but, rather, to meet the oft-repeated argument that it is necessarily an evidence of spiritual decay.

During the latter part of the period conclud- ing with the General Conference of 1792, when Wesley’s Sunday Service had fallen into dis- use, the church did not grow as fast as before. In 1792 the membership figure was 65,980, which marked a growing rate of 4,174 per year for the two years previous to that date; this, compared with the former rate of 7,100 per year. Does this prove that the decline is chargeable to the simpler form of worship? Not at all.

Again the Methodist Episcopal Church had a few less than 3,000,000 members in the year 1896, when the present, more elaborate order of worship was adopted. The statistics of 1926, thirty years later, reveal a membership of 4,500,000, an average of 15,000 per year— by far the largest rate of growth in that church’s history.


From this we might argue that membership growth is fostered by a more stately form of worship. We do not indulge in foolishness of this sort. Nor do we understand, in view of the facts of history, why anyone should take the untenable position that the present inter- est in and demand for a more stately Sunday service and a more formal setting for the same is evidence of a declining spiritual life. We find no such evidence. On the contrary, we see a new appraisal of the value of worship as an end in itself. We see signs of a higher con- ception of a program of worship, instead of the more common view of a program merely prep- aratory to the hearing of a sermon. A physi- cian said to a pastor, “I’d like to go over and hear you preach once in a while if you would only cut out the chores.” Whether or not he was ready to hear a sermon without the usual approach to it he certainly sensed the unreality and the misplaced motive of the so-called order of worship, as found in many churches. A ministerial and lay revolt against the label “preliminaries” upon all that precedes the ser- mon is long overdue. That it is now disclosing itself is a matter for thanksgiving to God. A joy it is to observe how diligently and sincerely many ministers—a constantly growing num-

INTRODUCTION 21 (ae eal net i ES NI EN ee al SS

ber—are applying themselves to the task of making the Sunday service a period of real worship and a source of deeper religious satis- faction. They are coming to attach equal im- portance to their tasks as leaders of worship and as preachers of sermons. May all of us follow in their train!

In the hope that the movement toward better standards in worship, and in the use of the ritual for the Lord’s Supper, Baptism, Mar- riage, and the Burial of the Dead, bears the earmarks of genuineness and permanency this book is submitted for such help as it may afford.

The younger ministers may find this work of greater value than those of riper years. Yet it is true of the latter group as of the former that opportunity for careful observation of many church services other than their own is not the privilege of men in the settled pas- torate; and conveyed knowledge of what other ministers do, and how they do it, cannot take the place of first-hand knowledge gained by the actual experience of worshiping with them. Besides, not a few ministers, previous to begin- ning their life-work preparation, spent their days in communities urban or rural where the best standards of worship were not available


as an example to follow. During preparation they may not have been much more fortunate, since the schools of the prophets have not been offering adequate training in the art of wor- ship. We are glad to know, however, that lately some of them have begun to lay greater emphasis upon the subject and to develop a serious course of study in that very important part of a minister’s task. These considera- tions lead us to hope that even some men of considerable experience may find in these pages a hint or two that may prove advantageous to their work.

The authors have given considerable study to the subjects herein discussed, but the book has grown out of their observations on dis- trict rounds of preaching, and especially out of lecture courses which each has given to stu- dents of Garrett Biblical Institute at Evans- ton, [linois.

Although this offering is made by Meth- odists with their own church chiefly in mind, most of the material, it is believed, will not be without value to ministers of any nonliturgi- cal communion.


INTRODUCTION In these pages we do not aim to discuss so profound a subject as the nature of religion. Our task is far more simple. We here con- cern ourselves with public worship; its Chris- tian character. First, then, let a word be said as to religion itself, out of which all worship


Religion bases itself squarely upon the very nature of man. It is not something super- imposed, not something outside man, nor does it arise merely out of superstition. It is as truly a part of man’s nature as is the mind or body. Religion may be perverted: it may be strangely mixed with error; but it abides and is increasingly a blessing. Nothing can de- stroy man’s profound religious intuitions, no matter into whatsoever errors he may fall; for he will return again and again to re-examine and to re-find himself in God. As one has said, “Man is incurably religious.” More fully



to sound the depths of man’s religious nature has been one of the glad rediscoveries of the last century.

A larger sympathy for and a real apprecia- tion of other religions than one’s own, a grow- ing belief that if we went down deep enough we should find that they all were manifesta- tions of the Divine Spirit who lighteth every man coming into the world, are indications of our day. Paul’s fine expression, “Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are very religious,” voices his conviction of the depths of the religious nature of man. Of course this does not guarantee correct beliefs. False ideas do persist in all the religions of the world. Even the followers of Jesus Christ have their share of them. But in the deep of deeps of the human soul there is a common religious nature which finds expression, no matter how imperfectly, in the various faiths. As T. W. Higginson, in his Sympathy of Reli- gions, says of mankind that, however differ- ent their faiths, “All seek after God, if haply they might find him.” So deep is this religious nature in man! We may well rejoice that everywhere men are found searching for him. Moreover, as religion is characteristic of hu- man nature, so is worship characteristic of


religion. It is a universal expression of re- ligion, and is its earliest and loftiest expres- sion. Every spot selected by man as a place of prayer, whether it be a tree, a pile of rude stones, or a beautiful temple, bears witness that our humanity cherishes a deep hunger for the Infinite, that the human heart is rev- erent, and that it has its divine longings. Even when, as in the time of Isaiah, the peo- ple were accustomed to think of religion too exclusively in terms of worship, with the re- sult that conduct was not sufficiently empha- sized, causing the prophets to cry out against mere ceremonialism, and bid the people, “Wash you, make you clean,” it is seen how persis- tently society held at least to the forms of worship even when it was indifferent or dis- obedient to other phases of religion. Viewing worship, then, as a most natural expression of man’s religious nature, let us consider what it really is, what it can and what it cannot do. When one worships he should carry in his heart a deep sense of the significance of the act. Worship has been well defined in the sen- tence, “When the spirit of man rises to meet the spirit of the living God, that is worship.”*

14 Methodist Church and Its Work, by Worth M. Tippy and Paul D. Kern.


What, then, is implied in the act of worship? We cannot fail to see in it one of the most sacred and lofty experiences of which the human soul is capable. And as it is sacred and lofty, so is it one of the most difficult ex- periences to which we may aspire. Worship being so high an act and so difficult of actual realization, seeks naturally legitimate helps by the use of which it may attain its goal. Of these the most significant is public worship. The Christian Church has usually distin- guished between private and public worship, and has earnestly encouraged both as essen- tial. A public service of worship would be hollow indeed if the people who joined in it did not sustain a vital personal relation to God. It is with public worship, however, that we are especially concerned at this time. However vital private worship may be, public worship—that is, the open, public presenta- tion of hearts which consciously come for prayer—is one of the greatest helps to per- sonal religion. Worship often rises to its highest and purest when people engage in it together. It is frequently at its best as a social act, since it may be an experience more readily obtained in company with others and in a favorable setting.


The Christian Church through the long cen- turies has kept prominently and faithfully before the people the value and, therefore, the duty of public prayer. This service on the part of the church has never been fully ap- preciated by society. For the sanctifying in- fluence of a building erected for adoration, praise, prayer, and all the varied elements of worship is one of the priceless blessings which the church has brought to the world. Take it all in all, public worship is a if not the high point of religion wherever we may view it. Who shall say how much the tabernacle, and later, the Temple meant to religion and life in the day of Judaism? And in no less vital way has the Christian sanctuary influenced civilization. For it is out of the services of worship, with its evocation of man’s diviner nature, that we have come to a better realiza- tion of education, art, and beauty. Despite all that may be said to the contrary, it is true in the main that they live best who best pray.

Nor is public worship to be considered merely as an end in itself, as having no bear- ing upon conduct. The prophets have ever held that whenever worship did not issue in conduct it was hollow and impotent. Neither religion nor worship, which is an aspect of it,


can be respected, or be said in any real way to flourish when it ceases to bear upon the daily life of society. There is a sense in which the final test of religion is made upon the ba- sis of the conduct which it inspires. But how shall we inspire conduct? how give to the heart a leaping impulse? how give to the will a suffi- cient strength? The answer is that worship is one of the most inspiring influences, purify- ing the heart, setting new and high standards, which result in nobler conduct. It is foolish, then, and even wicked, to set one phase of religion against another. All are legitimate; all are needful. With the neglect of any one phase, religion itself is rendered more or less incomplete and futile.

It has been previously stated that we are witnessing to-day a wide-spread revival of in- terest in public worship. This and other tides in religion as well as in life generally are highly suggestive. They must be regarded as much more than fads. They are evidences of new understandings and new interpretations of life. We must interpret the renewed inter- est in public worship as a reassertion on the part of society of its deep religious aspiration without which man cannot long be satisfied. Our civilization has been seeking to supply


almost every other need even in religion save that of worship. Doubtless, Protestantism more than Roman Catholicism has failed at this point. There has been a great lack in this respect, both in our churches and in our per- sonal living. We do not say that worship has died out, but that it has not kept its place in our religious development. This is due in part to our age which has so little time for meditation, and therefore is not ready for nor does it seek worship. It may be due also to the emphasis which we have been making upon thinking and doing. For Christian “thought” and “activities” rather than wor- ship have had the right of way with us in re- cent years. Of this the supreme place of the pulpit in a service of worship among Protes- tants is an indication. We have consciously or unconsciously made worship a preaching service. Justifiable as this movement has been in the main, its long day of almost ex- clusive emphasis is about over. Unquestion- ably, Protestantism and even the world are somewhat weary of a form of religion too ex- clusively given to arguments for and against creeds and biblical questions. For a hundred years and more we have been tossed about in an atmosphere of intellectual change and excite-


ment. The people are weary: peace through worship seems to be the need of the hour. The “New Reformation” is now well on its way. The atmosphere is clearing. We turn from debate to worship which is more and more the present mood. Is it not a token for good, a token of spiritual hunger, a sign that there is coming a new communion and a new aspira- tion in worship? It is something far deeper than architecture or orders of service or 2s- thetic environment. May we not conjecture that criticism has for the time done its great work? Not that that work is complete by any means. But the period during which there has been a new appraisal of certain beliefs, which are no longer tenable, is past. The hour for constructive work is here. We rest our faith to-day as never before on Christian mys- ticism and experience. With a unanimity which is striking, Protestantism is turning to a re-emphasis and re-interpretation of wor- ship.


The rise of the Christian Church re-empha- sized the value of worship, but gave to it a character of its own. This was both inevita-


ble and providential. It was with worship as with every other incomplete feature of reli- gion with which Jesus dealt—he came not to cause its overthrow, but to bring it to fulfill- ment. It is doubtful whether we discern clearly the priestly as well as we do the pro- phetic office of our Lord’s ministry. Yet no one would deny him his priestly office. As we have indicated, with the birth of Protestant- ism the emphasis was directed largely toward the prophetic side of religion. This was natu- ral. The opposition of Martin Luther to the Roman Catholic Church was due much more to the way in which that church exercised the priestly rather than the prophetic office. Worship is more immediately associated with the priest. It was natural, if not wholly fortunate, that early Protestant- ism should slight the priestly and exalt the prophetic element. But whatever was the justification of this movement, the safety of the Christian Church to-day is in the denial of neither, but, rather, in the proper emphasis of both. Here we may well learn from the past, from Judaism, for example, which in its best days honored both the prophetic and priestly office.

The ministry of our Lord was of necessity


one which brought special emphasis to the prophetic work; nor ‘was there given the op- portunity in his lifetime for the development of public worship. Nevertheless, Christ’s min- istry was also one of worship. Of him it is recorded that it was his custom to attend the synagogue. The Temple too was his Father’s house. To the last he worshiped there, taught there, and indicated the spirit in which men should worship. It is fairly clear that so long as the Temple stood the disciples frequented it. Of course it was inevitable, and fitting, that with the nobler conceptions of religion which our Lord set forth both in word and life, the Christian Church should develop its own modes of worship, its temper and spirit, as it made its gradual but distinctive evolu- tion from Judaism into a more definite Chris- tian religion. Although, therefore, the more distinctive and complete characteristics of Christian worship did not clearly emerge dur- ing Christ’s earthly life, the seeds of its future growth were surely planted.

That which began with our Lord was con- tinued in the apostolic and sub-apostolie ages. It is an interesting study to trace the develop- ment of Christian worship step by step through the centuries. Slowly the evolution


was made from synagogue to church until, in order of worship, in organization, in architec- ture, and in freedom, Christian worship had become an accomplished fact and power. When one asks, “Around what as a center did the church develop its particular characteris- tics?” the answer is, “Chiefly around Christ— his personality and spirit.”

Thinking of the development of worship in the church, two institutions at least helped powerfully to shape it. One was the Jewish Synagogue, which was the church in embryo: the other was the Lord’s Supper. It was from the Jewish synagogue that many leading fea- tures were taken over into the new organiza- tion. There was the reading of Scripture for example. There was the address or informal talk by someone appointed for the day. Also there was foreshadowed that use of the mind in worship which was already developing in Israel under the leadership of the prophets, and which has become a chief characteristic of the church.

The Lord’s Supper, undoubtedly, was a most powerful factor in the development of Chris- tian worship. Professor T. M. Lindsay speaks of it as being “the very apex and crown of all Christian public worship, where Christ gives


himself to his people and where his people give themselves to him, in body, soul, and spirit.”

It was in the use of the Lord’s Supper that the minds of the worshipers were imbued with the spirit of our Lord such as was scarcely possible by any other means of grace. So rich are its associations, so solemn the memorial, that the Supper has won and deserves to re- tain the central place in a service of Christian worship. To the Catholic group of Christians whether Roman or otherwise, the Lord’s Sup- per is the central, the supreme, almost the sole means of worship. But there are thousands of Christians belonging to the Protestant groups for whom the Supper, however sacred and uplifting, is not so central. Nevertheless, for Christians of every communion the rite possesses a peculiar sacredness, and ministers in a peculiar way to our spiritual well-being.

May we not say, speaking broadly of wor- ship, that what is fundamental in it is an atti- tude of soul. It is the act of lifting the heart before the Lord in petition or praise: it is the longing for reconciliation and a good con-

*From The Church and Ministry in the Early Centuries, page 36. Reprinted by permission of the publishers in America, The George H. Doran Company.


science. We may think of the motive in wor- ship as forgiveness, or peace, or whatever other such name, but the bottom fact is that the worshiper is seeking for himself oneness with his Lord. What is desired is such an experience of consecration and union with God as will send one forth to do his will.

Let us now endeavor to state what are some of the characteristics which have been empha- sized wherever Christian worship has been ex- alted. The first and most important of all is that the worshiper be in the spirit. The para- mount importance of this is seen in the em- phasis which was given to it by our Lord. When in conversation with the Samaritan woman he did not argue with her as to whether Jerusalem or Mount Gerizim was the proper place in which to worship, but in his fine and large way he asserted that the spirit in wor- ship was the essential requirement, as if he were to say, “As to the place, it is indifferent ; as to the spirit and the truth, they are every- thing.”

Closely united with this is the fact that one must ever feel and say the truth to God. To the very roots of one’s being, one must deal honestly with God. Worship is no idling hour. It is no paying to God an empty com-


pliment. It is, on the other hand, an honest cry to him, having, at the same time, a listen- ing ear that awaits his voice. An act so high as this can have about it no carelessness, no insincerity, no hiding of one’s secrets. It is, rather, an effort to lay the soul open before him.

It is also a characteristic of Christian wor- ship that it be of the mind. By this it is not meant that worship of the Christian order must be carried out on a high plane of intel- lectualism, and, therefore, that all who engage in it must be intellectual people. The worship of God is for all. But later Judaism, and especially Christ, have given a new emphasis to the mind in worship. Jesus, in speaking of the commandments, pointed out that we should love God with all our mind as well as with all our strength and soul. For we have come again to the place where our worship needs the emphasis of mind. In what was then a remarkable essay on “The New Theol- ogy,” published by Dr. Theodore T. Munger in his volume, The Freedom of the Faith, a book which came out about forty years ago, the author shows that the new theology of his day claimed a “somewhat larger and broader use of reason” than that formerly accorded to


it. Doctor Munger said in substance that the- ology had too often challenged the reason, but that Christianity from the beginning has been consonant with reasonableness; that man is a knower, and that you cannot detract the hu- man mind from reason permanently without injuring religion itself. Following Doctor Munger, then, we may say that the absence of mind in worship is deadening. This Isaiah knew when he summoned those who without thought offered their sacrifices to Jehovah, and offered the challenge, “Come, let us rea- son together.” To use the mind in worship is of the very essence of prayer, for Christian worship exacts the intelligence of the wor- shiper. To serve God with minds unenlight- ened and inactive is a devotion that means little more than dumb show and noise. Public worship requires, further, if it be effective, that the worshiper fail not to regard the hour as one that demands an active, not a passive attitude of mind. Rufus Choate was once arguing a case against a minister who insisted upon disturbing his congregation by preaching against slavery. The argument of the famous lawyer was: “We go to our pews as we go to our beds, to seek repose.” So is it that many regard going to church. But this


is entirely wrong. Going to church is going to worship God, and requires constant alert- ness, instant responsiveness, and renewed con- scientiousness. Worship that at all expresses the mind of Christ is a creative, not a passive act. The true worshiper then must enter ac- tively and reverently