In This Issue: Worship, May 2015

The May issue of Worship should at this point be in everyone’s hands. Below you can find abstracts from this issue of Worship as well as the list of books that were reviewed. For more information on Worship, or to subscribe to the journal, please visit their website.


Nicholas Wolterstorff, Reformed Worship: What Has It Been and Should It Continue So?

The aim of this essay is to identify the characteristic features of worship in the Reformed tradition. Seven features are identified: in the Reformed tradition, the people sing, the people share in the enactment of the liturgy, the worshipping body is an official assembly of the faithful, ordinary life and liturgical celebration infuse each other, God is regarded as a liturgical agent, the epiclesis is an essential component of the liturgy, and weekly celebration of the Eucharist is rare. The essay closes by using the support of Calvin and Barth to argue that the Eucharist should be celebrated weekly.


James G Sabak, OFM, “The Goal of Liturgical Language: An Analysis of the English Vernacular Debates of the 1940s and 1950s”

The matter of vernacular language has stirred liturgical reform since permission was granted for its wider use after Vatican II. The transition to the vernacular has in turn fueled a contemporary debate on its merits and disadvantages. In the English-speaking world the debate has been most dynamic. This paper traces the question of liturgical language in the period immediately preceding Vatican II to ascertain the vision and goals for both the preservation of Latin and the implementation of the vernacular in the liturgy evident in the thoughts and ideas of English-speaking lay and clerical leaders. By analyzing the liturgical theology, the nature of liturgy, and the meaning of Church unity during this period, the paper offers a balanced assessment of the sentiments and reasons for and against use of the vernacular in the liturgy. The conclusions drawn offer further insight on the role of participation in the liturgy and the meaning of worship in Christian life.


Hwarang Moon, A Liturgical Comparison of the Conservative and Liberation (Minjung) Churches in South Korea and Their Impact on Korean Society

The Korean Church has experienced tremendous awakening and growth. However, the church has lost some public confidence, due in part to Christians involved in social scandals. Why has the Church failed to make sincere Christians, and why hasn’t worship effected social reform?

Conservative churches emphasize personal sanctification and purity of the Gospel, but have not spoken prophetically about structural evil. In contrast, liberation churches focus on helping marginalized people and exposing societal evil. However, their radical character and emphasis on human rather than textual aspects of worship means that some Christians don’t support them.

The starting point for connecting worship and social participation is balanced liturgical worship harmonizing the concepts of God’s immanence and transcendence. An intentional liturgy—one that includes, for example, intercessory prayer and Eucharist—reminds participants that loving God is connected to loving one’s neighbor; worship should proceed to social reform. Sanctification cannot automatically be connected to social transformation without balanced worship practice. Chauvet’s Vatican II model, which attempts to harmonize ethics, word and sacrament, can also help establish Christian identity.


Anthony Ruff, O.S.B., English Office Hymns after Liturgiam Authenticam

This article notes that Sacrosanctum Concilium and post-conciliar documents including Liturgiam authenticam encourage original vernacular Office hymn texts, rather than exclusive use of translations from Latin texts. The author briefly reviews some recent drafts of ICEL translations of Latin hymns and finds them to be accurate translations but varying in their poetic quality. He argues that bishops’ conferences would do well to consider other historic vernacular translation already in use, as well as original English texts, alongside or in place of some of ICEL’s proposed texts. Reasons for this proposal are poetic, musical, ecumenical, and pastoral, especially in view of the call for adaptation of the liturgy to particular cultures in nos. 37-40 of the liturgy constitution. The author’s proposal stands in tension with current tendencies toward centralism and uniformity in the Roman liturgy.


Book Reviews:

  • Rehearsing God’s Just Kingdom: The Eucharistic Vision of Mark Searle. By Stephen S. Wilbricht. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press (A Pueblo Book), 2013. Pages, 240. Paper, $29.95. ISBN: 978-0-8146-6272-4.
  • A Council That Will Never End: Lumen Gentium and the Church Today. By Paul Lakeland. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2013. Pages, xxxiii + 158. Paper, $19.95. ISBN: 978-0-8146-8066-7.
  • Do This in Remembrance of Me: The Eucharist from the Early Church to the Present Day. By Bryan D. Spinks. London: SCM Press, 2013. Pages, 514 + xv. $72.00. ISBN 978-0-334-04376-8.
  • Scanning the Signs of the Times: French Dominicans in the Twentieth Century. By Thomas F. O’Meara and Paul Philibert. Adelaide: ATF Press, 2013. Pages, 152. Paper, $27.00. ISBN: 978-1-922239-16-7.
  • Hope: Promise, Possibility, and Fulfillment. Edited by Richard Lennan and Nancy Pineda-Madrid. Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press, 2013. Pages, 261. Paperback, $24.95. ISBN: 978-0-8091-4777-9.
  • Sacred Liturgy: The Source and Summit of the Life and Mission of the Church. The Proceedings of the International Conference on the Sacred Liturgy, Sacra Liturgia 2013. Edited by Alcuin Reid. San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2014. Pages, 446. Paper, $18.95. ISBN: 978-1-58617-786-7.
  • Diakonia Studies: Critical Issues in Ministry. By John N. Collins. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014. Pages, 277. Cloth, $74.00. ISBN: 978-0-19-936757-3.
  • Seeking the Church: An Introduction to Ecclesiology. By Stephen Pickard. London: SCM Press, 2012. Pages, viii + 255. Paper, $45.00.
ISBN: 978-0-334-04410-9.
  • A Maryknoll Liturgical Year: Reflections on the Readings for Year A. Edited by Judy Coode and Kathy McNeely. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2013. Pages, 208. Paper, $20.00. ISBN: 978-1-62698-032-7. Includes an index of scriptural references.
  • Quakering Theology: Essays on Worship, Tradition and Christian Faith. By David L. Johns. Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2013. Pages, 165. Hardcover, $99.95. ISBN paper: 978-1-4094-5616-2; e-book: 978-1-4724-0818-1; e-pub: 978-1-4724-0836-5.
  • Worship for the Whole People of God: Vital Worship for the 21st Century. By Ruth C. Duck. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2013. Pages, 334. Paper, $35.00. ISBN: 978-0-664-23427-0.
  • Serving the Body of Christ: The Magisterium on Eucharist and Ordained Priest- hood. By Kevin W. Irwin. New York: Paulist Press, 2013. Pages, viii + 148. Paper, $18.95. ISBN: 978-0-8091-4850-9.




  1. Re: Anthony Ruff, O.S.B., English Office Hymns after Liturgiam Authenticam:

    I wonder if he takes up Fr. Samuel Weber’s “Hymnal for the Hours,” which makes available for the first time a very full set of English plainchant hymns for the Liturgy of the Hours:

    Reviewed here:

  2. Fr. Weber’s work is awesome! I’ve been using it since it was published. What a rich treasury we have in the hymns of the office for the Roman Rite. It would be a pity to neglect putting them into their proper place in the Liturgy of the Hours. If Fr. Weber has already done the work of using poetic translations and setting them to Gregorian chant melody, why do we have to reinvent the wheel? And to meet the need of those who want more contemporary hymns, add them in an appendix at the back of the book. The people don’t need to be short changed of our beautiful modern Roman Rite. If they want to add something, that’s fine, but let’s stop the mentally of always wanting to remove and replace anything that is particularly Roman. Perhaps the answer is to keep the Traditional Hymns in their place and putting another contemporary hymn right after as an option.

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