The Nineteenth century Liturgical Revival evolution and devolution of worship in the Kirk

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Ladies and gentlemen, can I welcome you all to this very special lecture this afternoon as part of the Spark Festival which is a
festival which is being carried out mainly in Greyfriars Kirk to celebrate two things: one is that we’ve had a lovely organ for the last 25 years and so we wanted to celebrate that, but also that it’s a hundred and fifty years
since Robert Lee introduced a lot of innovations into worship in Greyfriars, including the first organ in the Church of Scotland And so we’ve been celebrating this the whole year. Martin Ritchie has been our artistic associate in the church for that year, and we’ve had a wonderful series of lectures and recitals and concerts and just tea parties and all kinds of things. And it’s still carrying on. And so this lecture is part of that series. Since I’m starting I have to do the housekeeping things. I have to tell you that the loos
are right along the very end of the corridor and then down the stairs and
that’ll take you to the loos. And we’re not expecting fire alarms to go off this afternoon. My name is Alison Elliot, and I’m the
Acting Director of the Centre for Theology in Public Issues , which is also sponsoring this afternoon’s lecture. But there are several organizations involved in this and one of the other ones, which I think probably an awful lot of you are members of is the Church Service Society. So I’m going to ask Neil if he would tell us a little about it. I’m pleased to have my own welcome as President of the Church Service Society this particular year. If I’ve learned anything, it’s that the word
for a hundred and fiftieth is sesquicentennial. I’ve tried to introduce it into conversation as much as I can, but the opportunities, I have to say, don’t arise very often. But today I can at least say welcome to our sesquicentennial lecture. It’s a great pleasure to welcome you here. One of my favourite illustrations, partly, currently as President of the Society and also as Minister of the Cannongate, one of my favourite illustrations of how dire things had got liturgically in Scotland in the early 19th Century is the story of apparently
how prior to the visit, the famous visit by King George IV to Edinburgh in 1822, the moderator of the General Assembly had to be instructed in how to lead the Lord’s Prayer at a service, which the King was due to attend. That’s
an indication of how difficult perhaps had become. They obviously hadn’t got any better. A few years later in 1865 when our
society was formed by several young ministers of the Church of Scotland who were anxious at the state of affairs in the day and determined to do something
about improving the liturgical standard that was then commonplace in
Scotland. And it is said that after a walk on the Eagleshon Road chewing over the state of the nation and then in a room over Hoods the tailors, legend has it, in Glasgow, the plot was hatched to form the Church Service Society. I’d love to continue the theme, or the metaphor, of a thread stretching from the tailor shop in Glasgow all through the the hundred and fifty years, but I have a fear that might unravel terribly badly. So I’m not going to pursue that, except I’m
just going to say how pleased we are as a society to welcome one of our own former
presidents here today, Bryan, to give this lecture. And we’re very pleased to be sharing in the reason for us gathering today, so without further ado I would like to hand over, if I may, to Professor Brown to give a more academic–you’re
wired–I think I’m wired here, yes. Well you will eventually get to hear our speaker. You’ve all been been welcomed. Let me just say it’s an honour for me to chair this afternoon’s public lecture, which is the Church Service Society sesquicentennial lecture marking the hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the Church Service Society. It’s also, as we’ve heard, a key event in our Greyfriars Festival of worship and the arts. I am Stewart Brown. I’m professor of
Ecclesiastical History here at the University of Edinburgh. Our lecturer is the Reverend Professor Bryan Spinks who is the Bishop F. Percy Goddard Professor of Liturgical Studies and Pastoral Theology at Yale Institute of Sacred Music and Yale Divinity School. Professor Spinks is a scholar teacher of immense distinction, and we are indeed privileged. He was educated at the University of Durham, the University of London, Yale University and the University of Cambridge. And he earned his doctorate at Durham. After service as a parish priest in the Church of England, he moved to an academic career and a teaching ministry. And he has taught at the University of Cambridge and Yale Divinity School, and has held numerous
visiting appointments. And he has also given invited lectures and lecture series throughout the world. He is in my view the world’s leading scholar of liturgy and sacred music, and especially the history of liturgy He is the author or editor of 22 books, including Sacraments, Ceremonies and the Stuart Divines: Sacramental Theology and Liturgy in England and Scotland 1603-1662. That appeared in 2001. Early and Medieval Rituals and Theologies of Baptism: From the New Testament to the Council of Trent, which appeared in 2006. Liturgy in the Age of Reason, Worship and sacraments in England and Scotland 1662-1800, which appeared in 2009. And most recently, Do This in Remembrance of Me: The Eucharist from the Early Church to the Present Day, 2013. He is also the author of scores of learned articles and contributed book chapters. He has moreover served on numerous ecclesiastical committees, commissions
and consultations involving liturgy and sacred music And he was the first non-Presbyterian to be elected to the presidency of the Scottish Church Service Society. He is currently a visiting fellow in the
School of Divinity at the University of Edinburgh, alongside his important positions at Yale. His research project involves an examination of worship in the Church of Scotland from the disruption to the present day. And this project includes a re-examination of the 19th Century revival of printed liturgical forms of worship in the Scottish Presbyterian churches. And this, I believe, will be part of the subject of his lecture this afternoon Professor Spinks, could I now invite you to speak to us on the subject of the 19th Century liturgical revival, evolution and devolution of worship in the kirk. Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen, friends and colleagues. Thank you very much indeed Professor Brown for your welcome. It was indeed 21 years ago that the Church Service Society honoured me by electing me Vice President of the Society and 20 years ago that I then became president for the year. And I think that not only was I the first non-Presbyterian so elected. I think I’m still the only non-Presbyterian to hold this office. And certainly the first presbyter from your precocious sister church south of the border. And now you have honoured me again by inviting me to address you on this occasion of the hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the founding of the society. I do need to record my thanks to particularly Douglas Galbraith, Martin Ritchie, Calum MacLeod and your gardener for their hospitality and help in preparing for this particular lecture. The disruption of the Church of
Scotland, wrote Professor Stewart J Brown, was the most important event in the history of 19th Century Scotland. Given the shockwaves that the disruption caused not only within the national church, but also in Scottish civic life, it would be difficult to dissent from this judgement. However, though not as dramatically
divisive as the event of 1843, perhaps of equal importance for Presbyterian Church life in the 19th Century, was what A. C. Cheyne has described as the liturgical revolution. As the report of the Committee on the Proper Conduct of Public Worship and the Sacraments 1890 put it, if worshippers of the past
generation were to enter some of our churches, they would find little to remind them of the traditional forms with which they and their fathers were familiar. The founders of the Church Service Society and the subsequent work of the society played a significant role in this change
or revolution. The larger tale has been told often enough by Cheyne himself, by James Bullock, John Lamb and Douglas Murray, as well as in articles in the Church Service Society annuals and notable doctoral theses. We will be asked whether anything new can be added on the occasion of the sesquicentennial celebration. What is offered in this paper is not so much new material as a different lens in terms of how this revolution or revival might be told and evaluated. In 1865 when the Church Service Society
was founded, the word evolution was a topical word and would become quite controversial in some church circles. Charles Darwin was not the first to have
considered the subject, but it was he who made it popular in his On the Origin of Species, 1859. Although the understanding of the evolution of the universe and life on Earth has changed considerably since Darwin’s day, It is still the most favoured scientific explanation for life. In 2015 the word devolution is still in the minds of many this side of the border and has a decidedly political
connotation. I’ve chosen to explore the changes in worship in the 19th Century Presbyterian Scottish churches through the terms of devolution and evolution, though without some strict and precise definition of these words. Devolution can mean transfer or delegation of power to a lower level. But it can mean descent or degeneration to a lower level as well as in some contexts being almost synonymous with evolution. Evolution is a process of change from a lower to a more complex state, or a gradual social, political and economic advance, and especially the development of a biological group, or phylogeny. It is perhaps no accident that as Fritz West has shown, the development of the so-called comparative liturgy method of Anton Baumstark took its inspiration from the comparative anatomy of Georges Cuvier and other 19th Century paleontologists and biologists. And it was Baumstark who seems to have coined the term term organic development of liturgy, which current conservative Roman Catholic liturgists have re-appropriated, and, in my view, misused. It would seem to me that the terms devolution and evolution are useful for looking at what Cheyne called a liturgical revolution, and are also apropos, a church that allows considerable freedom to how its ministers formulate public worship. Though I acknowledge that some will view my use and understanding of these words as naive, verging on the inaccurate . In the life and letters of John Cairns, Alexander MacEwen described the Sabbath morning service at Berwick around 1850: “As the town clock struck 11, the beadle bustled up the steep pulpit stair with Bible and Psalm book tucked under his arm adjusted these with care on velvet cushions and then stood waiting at the foot of the stair. There was a hush — as seemly preparation for worship as any voluntary — amidst which the creaking of the minister’s boots was heard, and all eyes were fixed on his solemn and stately approach, as he slowly mounted the stair and at once hid his face in his black-gloved hand. When he rose to give out the opening psalm, he showed a majestic presence. The psalm ended, there came the long prayer so-called to distinguish it from the short prayer which followed the sermon. It contained no argument, moving steadily and quietly along familiar lines of adoration, thanksgiving, confession, humiliation, supplication. Scriptural it was, not through quotation but by embodiment of Scripture truth. Then came the reading of Scripture and another psalm as prelude to the sermon, which would last perhaps 50 minutes.” McEwen omits to mention the Psalm that followed the short prayer as a conclusion to the service. Similar patterns to this order of worship, which in the 19th century was regarded as traditional in Presbyterian Scotland, were attested to and supplemented by other contemporary or near contemporary 19th Century writers, such as Anna Mary MacLeod’s ‘Memories of the Manse’, where it is added to the importance of
the presenter, and that the congregation sat to sing and stood for prayer. The record of the Free Church of Scotland provides an interesting account of an annual Highlands communion, Snizort, Skye in 1863, which, again, was regarded as preserving
the older, traditional Scottish communion service. Thursday the 16th of July was the day specially set apart for prayer and humiliation before God. Four ministers arrived at the manse to discharge the duties of the day. Long before the usual hour of worship, the people had assembled to ask a blessing on the word and ordinances The public services of this day were held in the church and were conducted in Gaelic and English. The Reverend Roderick MacLeod, who spoke in Gaelic, commenced in the usual way by giving out the first seven
verses of the 51st Psalm, offering up prayer and reading the short comment on the 14th chapter of Jeremiah. The English services were then conducted by the Reverend Mr Gulter in the usual form of praise, prayer and in the preaching of the word. Immediately following the English, the Reverend Mr Cipon ascended the pulpit and conducted a similar form of service in Gaelic. Thus ended the public services which lasted altogether about four hours and a half. While the congregation at Snizort was engaged in these public devotions, two other congregations in opposite districts of the parish also assembled for the same purpose. The special service of Friday forms a distinguishing feature of Highland communion and is therefore entirely conducted in Gaelic. This service is called a fellowship meeting and is convened with a view of assisting intending communicants in the great duties of self-examination
and preparation for the Lord’s table. The minister Mr Roderick MacLeod presided and opened the meeting with praise, prayer and a short exposition. He then called in turn upon six or eight elders, men of approved Christian character, to speak on the question. On Saturday, Sabbath and Monday, the numbers increased to such an extent that as the church could not contain them, the Gaelic congregation had to be separated from the English, the former worshipping in the fields, the latter in the church. These preliminary services were mainly intended to prepare the hearts of the people for the day of high communion. The tent in which the minister stood was pitched at the foot of a sloping hill, gradually rising and an undulating form, till it terminated in a heathery knoll. On a smooth sword in front of the tent, the table covered with clean white linen was prepared. The whole face of the little hill was closed with people. Reverend Roderick MacLeod preached to this large and interesting congregation from the appropriate words in Psalm 40:6-8. At the conclusion of the service, the English congregation left the church and joined the Gaelic congregation in the fields Just as they approached the
invitation to come forward to the first Gaelic communion table was being issued, The second table was issued in English. And after this three other tables were administered in Gaelic. The whole services which lasted about seven hours and a half were brought to a close by an earnest and impressive address by the Reverend Dr MacKay. On Monday the attendance both in Gaelic and English was quite as large as on the preceding Sabbath. Dr Norman MacLeod gave a very similar
description of a Church of Scotland communion celebration of the mid century in the Highlands. What was the origin of these services which were typical at the beginning and for much of the 19th Century? What was their evolutionary pedigree or line of descent? In the Worship Rites and Ceremonies of the
Church of Scotland, 1863, G.W. Sprott did his best to ground both in the Westminster Directory. The Sabbath service of the word was certainly in continuity with much of that recommended by the Directory. But as George Burnett and Lee Eric Schmidt have shown, the communion seasons, or holy fairs, originated prior to the directory and devolved from the revival associated with Robert Bruce and
that of Shotts, 1630 and later as developed by the Covenanters. The compilers of the communion service in the Directory, other than perhaps Samuel Rutherford and George Gillespie, had in mind on the one hand the communion is contained in the Book
of Common Order and on the other, by Thomas Goodwin and Philip Nye, the form celebrated monthly by the independence, best outlined by John Cotton. The Communion Season services that became the norm in Scotland were very different from both of these, and at least in terms of the New Testament, recall more the feeding of the 5,000 than the supper with the 12 Passover in the upper room. The early traditional 19th Century Sabbath services of the word and the Communion Seasons might thus be characterized as a result of both devolution from the 17th Century forms with some extinctions and modifications on the way For example the Lord’s Prayer and Creed had largely fallen into disuse. One of the complaints made by some
19th Century critics was the poor quality of the traditional worship and poor extempore prayer, as well as the emission from Sabbath
worship of Bible readings, Lord’s Prayer and Creed. Dr Robert Lee in his magisterial prose explained of the large number of ministers who prayed extempore that they plunge, I quote, “into the great wilderness of thought and
language, like Abraham who went forth not knowing whether he went but who was safe under the promised guidance from above which these men show by their dreary wanderings that they do not enjoy”. The need for ministerial guidance brought forth the first fruits of the 19th Century liturgical revival: the appearance of printed guides of good
practice for the traditional forms, if you like, what their authors regarded
as the fittest of this species. The first of these was the Scotch Minister’s
Assistant, 1802, but which was reissued in 1822 under the title the Presbyterian Minister’s Assistant, the author being Harry Robertson of Kiltearn. It contained orders of service and prayers for marriage, baptism, for fencing the table, table addresses and post communion exhortations, prayers at communion and blessing the elements, as well as prayers before and after the sermon and prayers for particular pastoral occasions. Other important exemplars included Andrew Carstairs, minister of Annstruther West, the Scottish communion service with the public services for the fast day Saturday and Monday before and after communion. Edinburgh,1829. William Liston of Redgorton, The service of the house of God according to the practice of the Church of Scotland, Glasgow, 1843. Alexander Brunton of New Greyfriars, Edinburgh, Forms for public worship in the Church of Scotland, Edinburgh, 1848. and James Anderson, The minister’s directory, Edinburgh, 1856. Thanks to the rediscovery by James C Stewart, to these may now be added William Logic, Sermons and services at the church, Edinburgh, 1857. Logic was minister of St Magnus Kirwall,
Orkney and died in 1856, and his Sermons and services with a memorial, were published by his son . What is interesting is that some of these, including Logic’s, did not provide for the regular Sabbath worship, but only the less frequently celebrated liturgical occasion, such as baptism, marriage, and the communion days. The thought may have been that it was in the less oft repeated occasions that ministers needed most guidance. Second is that although there
is far from complete uniformity, these do mostly follow a generic pattern giving some idea of the diversity within an accepted traditional form. In this, they are all excellent examples of liturgical devolution. Comparing the provisions for communion with those published at the end of the 18th century by John Logan, Kenneth Hughes commented that more noticeable than their differences is the common ground they shared with respect to the details of service. Carstairs, for example, provided material for the fast day morning and evening, a Saturday service, the main Sabbath forenoon service with communion, post-communion Sabbath, evening service and Monday service. The Sabbath forenoon service provided Psalm 95:1-6, a long prayer, a sample sermon, the Lord’s Prayer, paraphrase and address, including 5 table services, addresses to the communicants, and each ending with a paraphrase, a concluding address, prayer, Psalm 72:17-19 and a blessing. William Logic provided for morning prayer, actions sermon, fencing of the tables consecration prayer and four table addresses, a concluding exhortation prayer, an evening sermon and an address to new communicants. Comparing the services in these collections, one can see some common DNA as well as significant variations, a good example of organic development. But these forms, however traditional, would come to be regarded by some as the turtle dinosaurs. In an article in Blackwood’s Edinburgh magazine in 1889, K.H. Boyd wrote an apologia for the newly
published Scottish hymnal. Boyd explains the hymnal committee would have kept the old way of worship had it been possible. But, he explained, that a new generation had arisen that had never known the pathos of an air-sheer tint preaching. And therefore the old order had to go. In truth, wrote Boyd, the old order had gone before we thought of making our hymnal. That same evolutionary shift that had happened in worship was also sounded in the title of the United Presbyterian author Andrew Duncan, in his, The Scottish sanctuary as it was, and as it is, or recent changes in the public worship of the Presbyterian churches, Edinburgh, 1882. Indeed, the very year of the publication
of Logic’s services, 1857, something new was happening in Old Greyfriars, Edinburgh. The initial signs of liturgical change are usually associated with Robert Lee, who, in the newly renovated Greyfriars, invited his congregation to stand, to sing and to kneel for prayer; and who began reading prayers from a printed book of which he was the author. Later, coloured windows were installed and a harmonium was used to accompany the singing. Ordered by Presbytery to discontinue
these innovations in worship, Lee appealed to the General Assembly who ultimately only censured him for reading prayers from a printed book, though urged him to conform to the
common usage of the Church in regard to the manner of conducting public worship. Lee complied for a while, but trouble resumed after he read prayers at a wedding service. But his stroke, horse fall and ultimate demise prevented any definitive conclusion. The fact that a fourth edition of his prayer book, Prayers for public worship under the title Order of public worship, which was reprinted in 1873, points I think tomorrow to a demand and
interest wider than Greyfriars, Edinburgh. Lee was accused of innovation, of making
changes in worship. He exposed of the weakness of the accusation in 1864 publication, The reform of the Church of Scotland. “We cannot make yesterday today,” he wrote, “however we may cherish its memory or value its lessons”; and added “Change is the order of the universe, the normal condition of all things mundane and human. Man may modify; he cannot prevent or arrest it. He may use it to his own benefit but he can no more abrogate this than any other of the laws of nature. The chariot of divine providence still moves on its glorious course, but it crshes those who stand in it way.” And perhaps with full awareness of the growing Darwinian debate, he wrote, “If the world continually go forward and
the Church stand still or go backward, what can happen but an eternal
separation between science and religion? They who study God’s works and they who preach His Word regarding each other not as allies and friends but rivals and enemies. And the multitude gradually imbibing the notion that he who inspired the Bible is not the same God who governns all things and made the world.” His point was that as the world changes or evolves so also does church life and with it, worship. Lee appealed to the Westminster
Directory, particularly its silence on certain matters, to justify his practice. His opponents appealed to the Directory, too, but to its context rather than its text. And both sides felt able to dispense with it when it did not suit their argument. It was during the lead controversy that G.W. Sprott, then in salon, published his 1863 essay on the worship of the Church of Scotland. He, too, discussed the Directory but did not regard this is as the sole ancestor of Scottish worship. He suggested a wider gene pool, if you will, of the Book of Common Order, other reformed rites, the Catholic Apostolic Church’s rite, or Irvingite, as he termed it, and the Greeky liturgies. In order to make sure there were informed changes, Sprott recommended that the clergy of the Church of Scotland should acquaint themselves with the reformed and early liturgies, and, I quote, “prepare prayers of a simpler and purer type than those long addresses to the deity which are not unfrequent Prayers purged of their well-known scraps of bad taste and nonsensical misquotations of Scripture, which second-rate men rhyme over.” In addition, so Sprott suggested, “There should be a self-constituted Society of liturgical scholars in the church who
would after due time and full consideration of the whole subject, drop a book of prayers for public worship and of forms for the administration of the sacraments and other special services a guide to the clergy.” Sprott’s suggestion inspired Dr Cameron Lees and George Campbell of Eastward, who contacted R. H. Story, and in the words of Campbell, “We three conspirators then met in Glasgow and agreed to sound the views of various like-minded ministers and to
invite them to attend a meeting for the purpose.” This was held in Glasgow in 1865, as your minutes show, at which the project was launched. The first page of the minutes, 1865-1899 book, reads, “Mr Wilson was called to the chair and opened the meeting with prayer. Mr Campbell was appointed clerk to the meeting. The chairman having a state of the object of the meeting to be the formation of the Society for the study of the ancient and reform liturgies and the preparation of prayers and other services adapted for the worship of the Church of
Scotland.” This was the founding of the Church Service Society, and its aim and purpose would be restated in article 5, that the object of the Society shall be the study of the liturgies, ancient and modern, of the Christian Church, with a view to the preparation and publication of forms of prayer for public worship and services for the administration of the sacraments–the celebration of marriage, the barrel of the date, etc. Campbell acknowledged that Robert Lee
had also been a crucial inspiration. And Lee did become a member of the Society, but seems to have been annoyed by the fact that the society did not simply promote his liturgy. The reasons for that were ably expressed by A.K.H. Boyd after Lee’s death. I quote, “He had little ear for the melody of liturgical prayer”. The genuine liturgical flow was quite lacking in most of Dr Lee’s prayers, which were to a considerable degree original. They were likewise very naturally flavoured with Dr Lee’s theology, which was more advanced than was in those days common. Article 5 of the Constitution allowed the society to widen the liturgical gene pool by publishing liturgies of the past and present; and with the various editions of the Euchologion, to provide a new species of liturgy. The preface of the first edition of 1867 explained that it was not the intention of a private group of clergymen to introduce a liturgy into the church. And that since the kirk is a national branch of the Church Catholic, each clergyman has the liberty to use whatever in the recorded devotions of that church he finds most
suitable to his congregation’s needs. The work for the various services was distributed among Sprott, J.H. Tate, Story, Cunningham, Dodes, W. Tate, Principal Campbell, Dr McCullough, Dr Watson, Dr Boyd, Cameron Lees and George Campbell. The first edition did provide information about this wider gene pool. Thus the first baptismal right is inspired by the Book of Common Order. Outlines of the Eucharist from Justin Martyr, apostolic constitutions, J.M. Neil’s Eastern Orthodox Rite, the Roman mass, some continental reformed rites, the Church of England rite, as well as the Irvingites and Mercersburg were all given. Electionary was offered, and in the last pages of the book, material for the Sabbath service from which selections could be made. This background information disappeared in the second edition of 1869 and the material for constructing Sunday morning and evening services, together with actual forms for these, was placed at the beginning. A well-known complaint against the sixth edition of 1890 was that, in the words of Robertson, it shows the full extent of the Anglicizing spirit which was at work in the society. The usual order of Scottish morning and evening worship was altered to the format found in morning and evening prayer of the Church of England. The many editions testify both to the refining element at work in society and also to the popularity of the Euchologion. Over 10,000 copies are sold, and it is estimated by the turn of the century a third of the clergy were members of the Society. Robertson is correct when he
says some at least within the Society saw themselves to be preparing the way
for something in the nature of a new Book of Common Order, but providing the church with material which could be used experimentally. To some extent, this is what happened. The
Order of the Holy Communion from Euchologian was used at the General Assembly from 1890-1926, and prayers for divine service owes a debt to the same book. The forms of the Euchologion became the basis for devolution in the parishes, testified by the report of the Committee on proper conduct of public worship and sacraments to the
General Assembly in 1890, and also it was the progenitor of the recommendations for the proper conduct of public worship and the celebration of the sacraments, 1894. The Church Service Society wanted to promote more frequent celebration of the communion, and so regardless of the reality of Church of Scotland worship,
this may be regarded as the centrepiece. Probably the greatest inspiration for the communion right was the liturgy of the Catholic Apostolic Church and that of the American German Reformed Church, its provincial liturgy itself being heavily inspired by the Catholic Apostolic liturgy. In the second edition of the Euchologion, 1869, for example, the Eucharistic liturgy was entitled the
sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, and provided an optional exhortation after the prayer that followed the sermon of the morning service and a confession. After hymn, came the grace, and in the words of institution, an address inspired by the Westminster Directory, including the words setting apart these elements by the word and prayer to be sacramentally the body and blood of Christ. The Creed followed and prayer of approach
and the prayer of the veil from the Catholic Apostolic rite. The Eucharistic prayer, but without introductory ses and quarter followed, large sections of which were from the Catholic Apostolic liturgy. The words of institution had already been recited and they were repeated at the distribution and so did not feature in the Eucharistic Prayer. The epiclesis has affinities with the provisional liturgy which was well known to the compilers of the Euchologion. Words of administration were provided and provision for successive tables, though this would become less common as receiving in the pews became the norm In the sixth edition, 1890, the Prayer of Humble Access of the Church of England was included, together with the Agnes Dei. A Eucharistic Prayer was now introduced with ‘lift up your hearts’ with congregational response. The final words of the epiclesis were changed to: “with all his benefits to our spiritual nourishment and growth in grace”, suggesting that sacraments did give grace. In the final edition, this paragraph would be further expanded. Devolution was how the Euchologion was adapted and used in the parishes, either oral adaptation or inspiration, as well as reading some of the prayers as set. Another example of devolution is represented by one of the founder members of the Church Services Society, Dr Cameron Lees. During his ministry at St Giles’ Cathedral, Edinburgh, he popularized innovations, and in 1884, published a book of common order for Sunday and weekday services which went through a number of additions. It drew on the Euchologian, but also other sources and no doubt represented much of his own compositions. It was used for over 40 years in St Giles’ and apparently in other churches, too. The Church Service Society tried to keep
together both its broad church and high church members. However, a number of the High Church party, while remaining members, formed their own society, the Scottish Church Society, in 1892. Membership also overlapped with the Aberdeen and Glasgow ecclesiological societies. The Scottish Church Society, associated particularly with William Milligan, Thomas Leishman, John MacLeod and James Cooper, was concerned to promote the catholicity of the Church of Scotland, as part of the one holy Catholic and Apostolic church, which, though concerned with ecclesiology, had liturgical implications. Milligan was a professor of Divinity at Aberdeen and his theological writings became the inspiration foundation of the movement. The Euchologion strengthened the hand of those who sought to promote a more Catholic teaching on the Eucharist in the Kirk, the latter to ecclesiological societies founded in 1886 and 1893, respectively, and which amalgamated in 1903 as the Scottish Ecclesiological Society sought to bring what was regarded as best practice in architecture and furnishings to the Church of Scotland, and had their inspiration in the English Eccesiological Society. James Cooper was a leading light in this too. Robertson has remarked, “Cooper’s love of colour, his interest in form, his conservative spirit, his interest in the medieval church stamped their mark upon the society”. In some ways the interests of the Church Service Society, the Scottish Church Society and the Scottish Ecclesiological Society are given concrete expession in the work of John MacLeod and James Cooper. MacLeod became minister of Duns in 1862. Complaint was made against his innovations which included the observance of Christmas, Easter, Ascension and Whitsun, the un-Presbyterian symbols IHS on a cover on the communion table, across on the font cover, a printed communion service and unauthorized hymns. MacLeod left Duns for Govan before the matter was finally adjudicated, but as Douglas Murray noted, he had little difficulty in establishing the same observances at Govan and successfully defended them when they were challenged before the
Presbytery of Glasgow. Between abandoning the old church in Govan, and the building of the new one, it introduced instrumental music, the substitution of evening for afternoon service, the regular chanting of the psalter, the use of canticles and more frequent celebration of communion. MacLeod declared, “In these days of changes and improvements in worship, it is well to remember that all improvements are more or less spurious and deffective unless the service of the holy table is set in order and receive its proper place. When the new church opened, the dedication service and the service the first few Sundays were printed and placed in the hands of the people. The new church was the work of architect Rowan Anderson, who had studied with Gilbert Scott in
England. Kirkpatrick remarked, “The dimension, style and treatment of the structure, its conformity to the Scottish type of early English Gothic, its spacious nave, the lofty picture of its roof, its large clerestory windows, its narrow
side aisles, its single transept, its noble chancel its separate baptistry, its daily service chapel, its devotionally calculated proportions, its general serverity and its impressive of aspect all have some definite correspondence too, and what rules strictly by the special
requirements of the church to be erected. That church was to be the mother church of an important parish”. For the new building, MacLeod managed to enlist the services of Charles E. Kemp and 12 of the stained glass windows were his work. The building and its furnishings represented an incarnation of the liturgical ideals of
the Church Service Society and the Scottish Church Society. James Cooper was minister at Broughty Ferry and at Aberdeen, and in many ways represented all the worst fears of those who regarded the work of the Church Service Society as a restoration of potpourri or a sell-out to Anglicanism. Cooper read the tractarians and liked them and seemed to have had little sympathy with the Reformation. I quote, “The Reformation age has always
rather repelled than attractive me”. He was convinced that a liturgical revival was essential and wrote, “Whatever else may be the duty of a Scottish minister he must aim at reviving the spirit of worship. This I must say without boasting I’ve labored through my whole ministry to do”. At Broughty Ferry he busied himself
buying linen and sacramental plate from English suppliers, and the plate was of medieval design. He was instrumental in adding a chancel to the church and presented the congregation with a brass lectern. He introduced observances of the Christian year. He composed a baptismal service for the church, press for holy communion and had the choir learn the Te Dium and the Dies Irae. He embodied what would come to be called Scotto-Catholicism. At Aberdeen he used printed services. In April 1882 a petition signed by a minority of the Kirk session was forwarded to the Presbytery of Aberdeen complaining of high church innovations. He was eventually censured, mainly
regarding his manner of prepounding his doctrine and of introducing his practices rather than his doctrine and practices per se. His assistant T.N. Adamson a member of the Church Service Society, would later feature in the Barnhill
case, which set some limits to high church practices. The liturgical revival was not limited to
the National Church. The United Presbyterian Devotional Service Association was founded in 1882 to assist in elevating the standards of public devotions. The object of the Association included fostering interest in the history and literature of public worship, and three of its initial papers were published in 1882 under the title Devotional services of the church. The August 1884 the United Presbyterian magazine reported that at the first annual meeting in May, a paper entitled
The requirements for the conduct of public devotions had been given by Professor Calderwood. The association was later compiled Presbyterian forms of worship, 1891, with further additions in 1892 and 1894. In the Free Church of Scotland, the Public Worship Association was formed in 1891, and under the convenership of D.D. Bannerman produced a new directory of public worship in 1898. It is interesting that back in 1864 the same year as the Church of Scotland was reporting on the
innovations in Greyfriars, the Free Church of Scotland published report of a committee appointed to consider generally the legislation of the church on the subject of innovations in worship. In this context, it was the voice of James Begg who constantly spoke out against all innovations seemingly believing that Presbyterian worship had been frozen for all time in the 17th Century. Praise in psalm is a crucial part of worship and developments and changes in what was sung and how, were already taking place before and apart from the Church Service Society and the associations of the other two major Presbyterian bodies. A crucial change was the adoption of hymns in addition to metrical psalms. Prior to Union the relief church had published a collection of 231 sacred songs and hymns in 1798 And after the formation of the United Presbyterian Church a hymn book was published in 1851. The Church of Scotland published what most have judged as a rather poor collection of hymns in 1861, and as noted earlier, A.K.H. Boyd was responsible for an improved book which was finally adopted in 1870. It was expanded from 200 hymns to 442 in 1888. It was expanded even further with cooperation of the United Presbyterians and Free Church of Scotland to become the church hymnary, 1898. Though taken for granted now, hymns were regarded as another innovation in Presbyterian worship. The struggle in the Free Church is typified by the overature made the Free Church Presbytery of Hamilton by Mr Buckan in 1853, which argued for the use of hymns. It was answered in an anonymous pamphlet thought to be by John Jeffrey entitled Remarks on the innovations in the public worship of God proposed by the Free Presbytery of Hamilto, 1854. This author argued that the psalms and unauthorized paraphrases were quite sufficient. As for hymn books, which may be
valued by some as pretty toys in peaceful and prating times, they will be found nothing but an encumbrance and a weariness in the day of battle and of suffering. The author also suggested that to allow hymns would lead to chanting, intoning and the
introduction of instrumental music. Looking back across the 19th Century, Sir Archibald Geikie regarded the use of
instrumental music as the most remarkable change that had occurred in Scottish services. He wrote, Had anyone in the earlier half of last century been audacious enough to predict that in a couple of generations the ‘kist o’ whistles,’ which had long been banished as a sign and symbol of black popery, would be reintroduced and welcomed before the end of the century, he would’ve been laughed to scorn or branded as himself a a limb of the prelatic Satan. Not even James Begg’s 271 diatribe against the use of organs could stop the instruments advance, which was given a boost by the visit of Moody and Sankey in 1873. In the survey of church services in Dundee reported the Piper, a Dundee newspaper between 1888 and 1890, nearly all had an organ. To suggest that all Scottish churches embrace new forms of worship would be
wrong. Indeed, in some places it would seem that the liturgical revolution never happened, but most were affected in some way or other by these new species. It should be noted that these changes were not simply changes in Presbyterianism. A similar change happened in the
Church of England, and if a major catalyst was tractarianism, it was by no means the only one. The clerk lining out Sternhold and Hopkins’ metrical psalms, perhaps accompanied by a parish band, would be swept away by the introduction
of hymns and organs. Quests for high church ceremonial had its evangelical counterpart, which wanted more freedom from the Book of Common Prayer set and independently compose prayers, which happened in 1872 with what was called the Act for the third service, allowing compilation from other sources for a freer service in worship. In English congregationalism, liturgies began to be produced, hymns flourished, organs were introduced and churches were built in the Gothic style. So what was going on? In theories of evolution, there is almost as
much disagreement in the scientific community about minute details as there is on liturgy amongst liturgical scholars. But generally evolution is regarded as being an internal response in present forms of life to adapt to external events. Thus Sean Carroll in ‘Endless forms most beautiful’ in 2005 pioneered evolutionary developmental biology theory. And noting that all life has much DNA in common, argued that the Hox genes are like a
tool box, and which at times of drastic change, act as switches that can be triggered to make changes, allowing a species to change and evolve
and adapt. Though he and the more recent book by Peter Ward and Joe Kirschvink, ‘A New History of Life’, state that homo neanderthal did not
contribute to the homo sapiens gene pool. Studies in the journals Science in 2014 and Nature 2014 and 2015 gave detailed evidence for the fact that non-Africans are the product of interbreeding of homo neanderthals with homo sapiens giving Europeans between two and four percent neanderthal genomes. I want to suggest that what we witness in the 19th Century liturgical revivals in Scotland, and on the other side of the border and in other places, too, represents an ecclesiastical Hox gene, or toolkit, switching on to adapt and evolve to
changing conditions. The new species such as the Euchologion also interbred with the older forms so that hybrids devolved or evolved in the parishes The older forms did not just dye out; many
ministers adopted them as hybrid forms by incorporating some of the new with the traditional. For example, Dr John Service of Hyndland Church Glasgow’s Prayers for public worship, 1885 and David Watson of St Oswald’s, Glasgow’s Common prayer and praise, 1902. But what of the external changes that triggered this? In evolutionary theory, though there is evidence of asteroid impact, the mass extinctions and major evolutionary changes seem to have been dictated mainly by climate change, high levels of hydrogen sulfide, either
too much or too little oxygen and change in sea levels. All of these seem to be associated with oscillatory shifts in Earth’s rotation axis or polar wander. The analogous equivalent for the church, as always, is a major shift in culture. H.D. Sheink characterized the essence of 19th Century Europe thus: “Utopian dreams for the future, side-by-side with nostalgia for the past; a marked nihilistic mood accompanied by a fervent yearning for a faith; serious attempts to bring about a Christian revival followed in an admittedly marginal case by the abandonment of faith on the part of the former apologist; the tug of war between the old religion and new ideologies– these are some of the unresolved contradictions that lie at the core of the movement. No shorter formula can be devised to define the essence of Romanticism”. Those who lived in the period that we now call Romanticism knew it was a period of drastic and swift change The Royal Commission, which reported in 1906 on the liturgical turmoil in the Church of England, said, “The lure of public worship in the Church of England is too narrow for the religious life of the present generation”. It noted that modern thought and feeling
are characterized by a care for ceremonial and a sense of dignity and worship, which were not similarly felt when the law on worship took its shape. Wasn’t Dr Robert Lee of Greyfriars
saying that very same thing some 40 years before when he wrote in 1864 that the national church no longer satisfies the religious tastes and other demands
of the population. We live at a time of swift change in culture too, with different needs from the 19th or even the 20th Century, in which the churches once again apparently no longer satisfy the religious taste and other demands of
the population. The Barner Group’s recent report regarding 14-33 year olds in the USA observed that church was not important to them, but on those occasions when they worship, they prefer worship spaces that are quiet and decorated in a classic style. They do not generally look for a church facility that caters to the whims of pop culture; they want a community that calls them to deeper meaning, a place where worship and the community creates an environment that engages and inspires. Finding the forms of worship that will do that is of course the great challenge. Quiet moments and contemplative reflection and a mixture of the mystery of transcendence, together with eminent reality seems to be the quest. In this the Church Service Society,
as indeed all those who are concerned with worship, need to be the liturgical Hox genes or liturgical genetic switches to help adapt and evolve these new forms. It is of course already happening. Cause it happens, it evolves. But it may actually mean some liturgical genetic engineering to ensure that mutations result in worship that both glorifies God and feeds the contemporary human soul. In nature not all mutations are good and in church, too, some liturgical mutations under the guise of creative modernization result in Frankenstein’s liturgical monster. Our ultimate task and goal is for all worshipers, ministers and people to be in the presence of the Triune God and enjoy the divine forever. That is what the founders of the Church Service Society did, and for their day, and they would expect their success 150 years later to do no different. May God give us grace and the prophetic wisdom to do. Well I think the warmth of the applause indicates how well that was actually received. We do have some time for questions or comments. You ended with a call for prophetic wisdom. Well I like the scientific trope of scientific evolution and devolution and so on, and I like Cheyne coming in with the word revolution over against the idea of revival, well revival of what? The only thing that seems in your account of things that caused this notion of revolution is the Catholic Apostolic Church, which you did mention much about, but it seemed to me to be more of this prophetic bent, if you like, something new coming in to the material, rather than the rearranging of the past like the Anglo-catholic tradition and so on. Would that be fair that there is something that came in that was new that were open to this call for prophetic wisdom? Okay, well I did not refer in great detail to the Catholic Apostolic Church because although its liturgy was inspirational for members of the Church Service Society and indeed the Messesberg Movement in America, it was indirect, and nobody tried to copy it and I don’t want
to be unkind but prophetic wisdom–of course the church expected the Second Coming; therefore it didn’t make provision for any more twelve apostles. And as they died out, so did the Church. Survivors were sent to the Church of England. When I was first ordained, a family in the parish had come from the Catholic Apostolic Church. So it depends what we mean by prophetic wisdom, its liturgy it did, but of course it sent out spies to spy out the land and perhaps in a much more experiencal way than members of the Church Service Society who collectived liturgies. How far they actually went and attended worship elsewhere I don’t know. I’m not sure that answers your question, but what I said was we need grace ‘and’. I wouldn’t separate them. Grace and prophetic wisdom. Certainly I’m not sure revolution, not revival–we can never go back. Things from the past may be useful in terms of recycling, but we can never go back. One thing that has always intrigued me is how much did the Peary act as an inhibitor to the development of new ideas. As far as I understand it, it depended on the presbytery. As far as I know, Peary himself was annoyed because it backfired on him. He hoped that it would put an end to what Robert Lee and others were up to, and it didn’t because it depended on the presbytery, and if the presbytery didn’t care, then it was fine. Very interested indeed in your comparison of evolution with the changes in worship. I certainly never thought that I would hear Cuvier and Hox genes in this room. It does strike me, though, that the people who actually were leading the changes in worship would not themselves have been sympathetic to the idea of scientific evolution. I’m not quite sure of the position of Scotch leaders, but if you think of Sam Wilberforce and Huxley, in the famous debate in Oxford, Sam Wilberforce was a very high churchman and keen on liturgical development, and he was deeply opposed to the the ideas of evolution. Yes, I didn’t want to suggest that they necessarily embraced modern theories, although then modern theories of evolution, what they did, whether they recognized or not, was evolutionary. That was the point I was trying to make. They saw that culture change–the church needed to change. Over 10,000 copies of the Euchologion. People needed a change. It’s an irony, isn’t it, that the evolutionary advantage should have come from men who were by and large conservative. Yes, absolutely. There is an irony there. There is so much in that lecture that I found fascinating. I’ll take the prerogative of the chair to put a question. I think one of the things that was very important was to remind us that the similar changes are happening in the Church of England and in English churches. Sometimes there’s a sense in some of the literature that Scotland was emulating changes that had occurred in England long before, but they’re going on about the same time. I think my question would be, the traditional forms of Scottish worship, which had prevailed, as you said, early 17th and 18th Century, they were very much based on the word. The preaching of the word, of the Bible. And the authority of the Bible was central. It was preaching, it was the singing of the psalms, it was the prayer, To what extent do you think the higher criticism, biblical criticism, in some ways, not so much undermining the authority of the Bible but forcing people to think of the Bible in other ways could have contributed to these liturgical changes, perhaps not only in Scotland, but in England as well. Good question, I wish I could give an erudite answer. I mean, I think it affected the sermon, certainly. Whether it affected how people thought about worship, in a climate where people were at least trying to retrieve things, and recycle them, I’m not sure. They were probably– since these people were quite conservative, they probably were resistant to some of the higher criticism that was coming through until, you know, I mean Boyd’s remark about Lee’s prayers being a theology that was rather advanced for its day. I’m sure Boyd by that time had–was trying to say, these days we wouldn’t bother about the theology so much. It was being more acceptable, which also evolves. Theological receptance of new theological ideas. And a move from an atonement based theology to a more incarnational, I think has something to do with it as well. Are there other questions? If I can ask again and develop the idea of what happened with the Irvingites and so on, that they themselves were a reflection of the environment of the time that you refer to, the Romantic Movement. The very architecture of the Church of the Gothic– Gothic inspiration which is harking back to a medieval period, which was medievalising of Romanticism for example. That was such a large movement going on culturally You have referred to it. How much was that, I suppose, bringing into it an ethos–using the old material, recycling the old material in a new way. Yes, Gothic revival and Sir Walter Scott. Medieval was in, in the 19th Century. Imagined, it’s an imagined medieval world, which means that it’s a retrieval and adaptation. Gothic revival is not Gothic. The Irvingites, from my knowledge of them and the theology, thought they were refounding a church that was going to live in the last times. At least I suppose my comment–or at least they were true to their belief in that there were no successors to their apostles, whereas, of course, founded in a similar time very different liturgy, if you like, was the Mormon Church, which also had 12 apostles, but they renew their apostles. It was founded at a similar time, again
with the expectation they were living in the last days. So that’s something deep in the culture, too, that I have not examined enough to be able to articulate what it was. But the 1830s was the time, and large bodies, considerable bodies of church people were expecting the end. Perhaps Gothic revival was signaling the end for them, I don’t know. You said, and I’m sure rightly, that the changes were a response to the fact worship being offered was not meeting people’s needs.Was there any attempt to consult people, or was it still something of a top-down movement? i.e. ministers trying to work out what would suite people better. And is there likely to be a difference now, do you think, in the job you suggested the Church Service Society should be doing in tapping into where people are now? Because most of it seems to me to have been fairly erudite stuff and pretty top-down in the 19th Century. Yes, I think to be fair, that revision of worship has been top-down until very recently. So I’m not sure– The sort of surveys that the Barner group do I think are useful but I think if you actually go out and start asking people what you would like in worship, Well, you might get more than you bargained for. Because you might ask people what they would like in a health service but in the end you have people trained to who have to run a health service. and in the end in the church there is a
called ministry that’s professionally trained and one of its tasks is to lead worship. And many of those that voice opinions on worship might be like those that voice opinions on the health service. It sounds nice or it’s totally unrealistic, or actually they show they haven’t the faintest idea of what they’re talking about. So that’s the danger. We have this problem at the Yale Divinity school where American students compared with UK students tend to be very self opinionated and come in telling exactly what they would do in worship which is, I want to present this agenda to tell you who I am That’s not worship, that’s horrible. Well I think it simply falls to me to thank our speaker for a tremendous lecture. This material is fascinating. What my teacher, Professor Alec Cheyne has described as a liturgical revolution and as Professor Spinks was pointing out, it involves the Romantic Movement and it involves changes in our understanding of the Bible, it involves changes in our understanding of culture, the influence of the Catholic Apostolic Church I think is fascinating. There’s so much here that is so vital to the present day Church of Scotland as well these changes in worship. There will be a reception in the Rainy Hall just after we finish so please do stay. But could you join me once again in thanking our speaker for a tremendous lecture.


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