Wednesday, January 26, 2011

HISTORY OF CHRISTIAN LITURGY (7) Reformed Liturgy in Taiwan (Background)

7. The Road of Reformed Liturgy to Taiwan

Reform movements have always been present in the Christian church. What climaxed in the sixteenth century Reformation began several centuries earlier, with John Wycliffe (1330-1384) who questioned the Eucharistic sacrifice of the Mass, as well as Jan Hus (1373-1415), who returned the cup to the laity and who was the first in the second millennium of the Western church to serve communion to children “right upon their baptism,”[1] and others. In every case, the proposed reforms involved the worship of the Church.
   Both Martin Luther (1483-1546) and John Calvin (1509-1564) sought not a new church, not new denominations (such a term had not yet been invented in the Christian church), but a reform of the one Church of Jesus Christ in the earth. The work of both reformers had bold and significant bearing on worship. Indeed, it can be said that the theology of both had their primary theological expression in the worship that they developed. In addition to their emphasis on the worship of the assembly, these reformers pressed for the extension of that worship into daily life, in a mission of establishing a more godly new society through the lives of those who worshipped. The “giving glory to God” took place preeminently in the service of worship, but “giving glory to God” continued in the daily life of service in the home and community, for the common good, and in works of mercy, especially for the poor.

Augustine said as he loves man is .[2] In terms of worship there are some similarities like: man is as he worships. Personality is shaped by the liturgy, by the very nature of worship itself. For in worship the whole of human existence is focused as in few other acts. Scientists found out how frequently repeated acts, like worship on the Lord's Day influence peoples behavior in the public life more than anything else. John Calvin, who was an excellent observer of human behavior as well as a perceptive theologian, reflected worship in its pragmatic and theological significance. Changing the order of worship in most congregations is a critical concern. Worship both expresses the theological and the ethical convictions of the people and shapes their convictions. Leith writes: „Faith is expressed in worship before it is expressed in creed, and it is learned in worship before it is learned in schools. Worship is the heart of the Christian community's common life.“[3]
After the first publication of the German bible in 1462 in Strassbourgh, the Reformation in German-speaking Switzerland, South West Germany along the upper banks of the Rhine and in the French speaking Savoyen and cantons of the Swiss confederation grew in importance it drew special attention to the need of reforms for worship. When Martin Luther in 1519 in Wittenberg, in now East German Saxony also openly supported this movement it quickly gained strength and influence. This reform was an attempt to recover not only the biblical basis but also the "custom of the ancient church." Behind it were also several Christian humanists who were concerned with the revision of worship for a generation, as was demonstrated in a study.[4]

1. John Calvin and Karl Barth on Worship

There is no definitive Reformed theology of worship. John Calvin gave serious attention to the theme; and while his thought did not exhaust even the thought of the Reformed community of his own day, it is nonetheless a classic and influential statement of the Reformed position and stance. As pastor of churches in Strasbourg and Geneva, Calvin had to work out a public liturgy; and as an acknowledged pastor and leader he had to instruct the widely scattered Reformed community. The following summary of the main emphasis of this teaching on worship is taken chiefly from his preface to the liturgy and from the Institutes of the Christian Religion.

Biblical and theological integrity of worship. First of all, Calvin insisted upon the Biblical and theological integrity of worship. As has been noted, Calvin was radical in his Biblical criticism of the church's life. He insisted that all practice must be supported by biblical teaching. "  [5] Calvin was a man of common sense; yet he applied the biblical principle relentlessly to all issues that did have theological significance. For example, his application of the second commandment, “Thou shalt not make any graven image, he eliminated the visual arts from the worship and meditative life of the church.  His insistence on theological integrity is related to his insistence upon biblical integrity, for the latter is the chief criterion of the former. Feeling and emotion, aesthetics and beauty were all subordinate to theological soundness. The primary fact in worship is the approach of God, not simply as a mystery but as the God and Father of the Lord Jesus Christ who has revealed himself.  Every true worship is shaped not by human desires but by God's disclosure of himself.
Theological intelligibility. A second principle of worship is theological intelligibility. Worship must not only be correct; it must also be understood. Calvin did not deny the emotional element in worship. Worship, like Faith, is a total personal act.

A good affection toward God is not a thing dead and brutish but a lively movement, proceeding From the Holy Spirit when the heart is rightly touched and the understanding enlightened.[6]

Yet it is a characteristic of Calvinist worship that Calvin strongly emphasized the understanding. „The tongue without the mind must be highly displeasing to God," he wrote with reference to prayer.[7]
Worship must be in the language of the people. The first step toward intelligibility was the Protestant insistence that worship must be in the language of the people. Yet this was only the beginning. In music care must be taken lest the melody obscure the meaning.[8] In preaching, language must be used to communicate thought, not to impress the hearer with the speaker's learning.[9]

Sacramental actions must always be in the context of teaching and preaching, so that the act or the symbol will be clearly understood.[10] The intelligibility of worship demanded a highly disciplined congregation. For this reason Calvin insisted upon a teaching church. Catechetical instruction preceded the first communion. The Bible was taught in public lectures. Church members were educated in the liberal arts so that they could understand not only the word of Go of God but also the works of God in his world.[11]

Theology of the liturgy is edification. A third theme in Calvin's theology of the liturgy is edification. As has been indicated, this was fundamental to his theology. He claimed that the form of liturgy that he presented co the church was „entirely directed toward edification. [12]''Nothing which does not lend to edification ought to be received into the Church."[13] The pragmatic rest of worship is increase in love, trust, and loyalty to God and in love for neighbor.

Simplicity. A fourth theme is simplicity. The liturgy must „omit from baptism all theatrical pomp, which dazzles the eyes of the simple and deadens their minds."[14] In the celebration of the Lord's Supper, Calvin objected to to the "spectacular" and to the „lifeless and theatrical trifles, which serve no other purpose than to deceive the sense of the people stupified.“[15] For ceremonies Calvin wrote, „it is necessary to keep fewness in number, ease in observance, dignity in representation, which also includes clarity.[16] Ostenation and chasing after human paltry human glory[17] must not determine church architecture. Calvin's worship is not so much austere as it is economical. AIl unnecessary motions, actions, or words are eliminated. Moreover, the words, actions, and paraphernalia of worship must be appropriate to the reality they communicate or express. The importance of intelligibility, simplicity, and edification the ablest musician among the reformers, had eliminated music the ablest musician among the reformers, had eliminated music from the Worship of the church.[18] Calvin carefully restricted the use of music not because he was indifferent to it but because he was aware of its power to move and to shape human existence.

For this reason the songs of worship is a great difference, not frivolous but weighty and majestic. There is a great difference between the music one makes to entertain people at cable and en their homes and the psalms which are sung in the church in the a hymn, he was content to limit church music to the Psalms, for a hymn, he was content to limit church music to the Psalms, for hey were the inspired word of God.[19] The words of worship must be both honest and designed to edify. The music must contribute to the power and intelligibility of the Words. Calvin wanted simple melodies. He opposed organs and polyphonic music because the music he felt this music obscures the message.

„...Spiritual songs can only be sung from the heart. Now the heart seeks after understanding, and in that, according to Saint Augustine, lies the difference between the songs of men and that of birds. For a finch, a nightingale, a parrot may sing well, but they do so without understanding. Now the proper knowing what he says, since the intelligence must follow the heart and the emotions, which can only be when we have the song impressed in our minds in order to never cease singing.[20]

Worship is always a conscious and responsible act and its purpose is the edification of the Christian community. Karl Barth gives serious attention to worship in his Church Dogmatics. No other contemporary theologian of similar status gives it equal attention.

"Assembling for divine worship is self_ evidently the centre and presup-position of the whole Christian exchanges its working clothes for its festal attire.[21]"

Barth is "exchanges its working clothes for its festal attire."[22] Barth is concerned with the heart and inner reality of worship, the believing, hoping, obeying encounter with the word of God. While Barth is very much aware that preaching is a human work, he emphasizes its unique character. In and through it God acts according co his sovereign will. Therefore, "preaching does not reflect, reason, dispute, or academically instruct. It proclaims, summons, invites, and commands."[23]  The human response to this word of God in preaching calls for some public affirmation, which Barth contends is first of all the confession of faith. This confession is not only that of the individual, but also that of the community.

2. Reformed Liturgies – their roots and beginnings

There is no one Reformed liturgy. Just as there was no significant effort to impose any one creed so there was no effort to impose any one liturgy. This variety is rooted in historical circumstances and also in the understanding of the liturgy. Calvin gave high priority to the practice of the early church in the shaping of the liturgy, but he did not follow slavishly any one pattern in either  the New Testament or the ancient church. Many different practices, words, and formulas have a place in Presbyterian churches is rooted in seven variants of the Reformed tradition: [24]

(I) Liturgy and Calvin's order
(2) Liturgies of which Farel's service
(3) The Dutch Reformed Liturgy
(4) The Mercerburg Swiss immigrant and German Tradition
(5) The Westminster Directory
(6) The American experience.
(7) The Taiwan Church Reform Chinese World Liturgy

The articles for the ordering of the Genevan church in 1537 indicated the need for the development of the worship of the church. Worship was already receiving attention from Calvin as in the Institutes of 1536. But it was in Strasbourg where, as pastor of the French Church (1538-1541), Calvin developed his first liturgy. He drew heavily on the work of Diobald Schwarz,[25] who had revised the mass in Strasbourg. Schwarz's revision in Ger- man had been celebrated in Strasbourg in 1524 and continued to be revised conservatively but creatively at least seven times by 1539 under the leadership of very able theologians led by Martin Bucer.[26] Calvin appropriated this work in 1539, publishing in 1540 (lost) and in 1542 the Form of Prayers al the French Church. In 1542 Old considers a good culmination of the Reformed liturgical revisions which preceded it and at the same time the archetype of Reformed worship which followed it."[27]  In 1545 Calvin published another revision in Strasbourg which is distinguished from the Genevan liturgy by the inclusion of the assurance of pardon, the commandments, the separation Of the prayer of intercession and the communion prayer, and a strong statement fencing the cable. These distinctions, Old suggests, are due more to the resistance in Geneva to the Puritanism of Calvin than to the iconoclasm of the Reformation there.

3. William Farel’s Liturgy  1524

When John Calvin first arrived at Geneva, worship was conducted according to a liturgy that William Farel had worked out along Zwinglian lines in 1524. The liturgy is essentially a preaching service, and the Lord's Supper was celebrated only occasionally.

While Farel did not object to the singing of psalms in the vernacular, his liturgy does not provide for music. Zwingli had substituted antiphonal biblical and creedal responses as a means of congregation participation. The practice could not sustain itself. The resulting liturgy was a service of the hearing of the word of God, as the title indicates.
Preaching services had become popular in the generation before the Reformation particularly under the influence of.Jo- bann Ulrich Surgant[28] of Basel whose book on practical theology, Manuak Curatorum (1503) emphasized

The manner Observed in Preaching When the People Are Assembled to
Hear the Word of God[29]
Bidding Prayer
Lord's Prayer
Proclamation of the Word
The Law of God
The Confession of Sins
The Apostles' Creed

The Lord's Prayer
The Creed
 Words of Institution
Words of Institution
Sursum Corda[30]
Post Communion (Prayer of Thanksgiving)

preaching. These preaching services, sometimes called prone, had no fixed order. They fitted into different situations and included concern for the knowledge of the Apostles' Creed, the Ten Commandments and the Lord's Prayer. Farel's service is similar to Zwingli's service in Zurich and the service Oecolampadius established in Basel. It is customary for contemporary critics to note the plainness and drabness of the service. It was plain, but it was also exciting.

Today it is difficult to imagine the thrill of hearing the word of God in the spoken language, and of holding the bread and wine of communion in one's own hands.

It is also a significant fact this "preaching service" has been more influential in the subsequent history of the Reformed community than Calvin's service, though Calvin's theology was far more influential than Zwingli's. It has captured the minds ad hearts of worshipers in every age, sometimes in remarkable ways.

The distinction between the two types of service represented in Calvin's and Farel's liturgies are interpreted differently. Some (Old) see the various liturgical patterns as part of one movement that reached its fruition in the Geneva liturgy of 1542. Others (Hageman) underscore the fact that Calvin maintained the order for the Lord's Supper when the supper was not celebrated.

In all the Reformed services was a profound insistence on hearing, believing, and obeying the word of God. The persistence of the two emphases today indicates again that there is no one pattern of Reformed worship.

4. Calvin’s Liturgy as of 1545[31]

This 1545 revision contains some actions that were not al- lowed in Geneva such as the absolution, and for this reason it may be considered the most complete statement of Calvin's intention For the liturgy.


·      Scripture Sentence: Our help is in the name of the Lord.
·      Confession of Sins
·      Scripture Sentence
·      Absolution
·      Decalogue (First Table)
·      Prayer
·      Decalogue (Second Table)
·      (Psalm in Genevan Form)
·      Prayer for Illumination
·      Scripture Reading and Sermon Great Prayer (Intercession) and Paraphrase of Lord's Prayer
·      Apostles' Creed
·      Preparation of Bread and Wine Prayer for Worthy Reception,
·      ( Prayer for Worthy Reception, Concluding with Lord's Prayer
·      Institution of the Lord's Supper
·      Exhortation and the Fencing of the Table
·      Words of Delivery
·      Psalm
·      Prayer of Thanksgiving
·      Nunc Dimittis
·      Benediction (Aaronic)

Not canonical. The first striking fact concerning Calvin's liturgy is that it is not canonical. Calvin accommodated himself to liturgical practices in Geneva and Strasbourg. While he had strong preferences, the variations he tolerated in this liturgy indicate he did not try to impose any one authoritative pattern for the Worship of God. While he wished the Lord's Supper to be celebrated each Sunday, he agreed to less frequent Communion in Strasbourg and Geneva. He omitted absolution from the Genevan service, though he recorded in 1561 his desired that the absolution should remain in the service.

Map: 1 The Geneva liturgy-reform network of Swiss Confederation churches in 1536

Calvin was also careful to point out that „absolution is conditional upon the sinner's trust that God is merciful to him, provided he sincerely seek expiation in Christ's sacrifice and be satisfied with the grace offered him."[32] Forms of worship, Calvin wrote Somerset in England, ought to be accommodated to the conditions and the tastes oF the people.[33] Calvin's position is admirably summarized in a letter to the church at Wezel about the use of candles in worship.

We do not hold fight candles in the celebration of the Eucharist nor figured bread to be such indifferent things, that we would willingly consent to their introduction, or approve of them, though we object not to accommodate ourselves to the use of them, where they have been already established, when we have no authority to oppose them. If we were called upon to receive such ceremonies, . should hold ourselves bound according to the position in which God hath placed us, to admit of no compromise in resisting their introduction, and in maintaining constantly the purity which the church confided to us already possesses. But should our lot be cast in some place where a different form prevails, there is not one of us who from spite against a candle or a chasuble would consent to separate himself from the body of the church, and so deprive himself of the use of the sacrament. We must be on We must be on our guard not co scandalize those who are already subject to such infirmities, which we should certainly do by rejecting them from too frivolous motives.  And then it would be for us a matter of deep regret, if the French church which might be erected there should be broken up, because we would not accommodate ourselves to some ceremonies that do not affect the substance of the faith. For as we have said, it is perfectly lawful for the children of God to submit to many things of which they do not approve. Now the main point of consideration is, how far such liberty should extend. Upon this head let us lay it down as a settled point, that we ought to make mutual concessions in all ceremonies, that do nor involve any prejudice to the confession of our faith, and for this end that the unity of the church be not destroyed by our excessive rigor or moroseness. [34]

Emphasis on hearing . A second characteristic of this liturgy is the emphasis on hearing and receiving in faith the word of God in word and sacrament. The centrality of the sermon cannot be disputed.[35] It has been argued that the sermon was the only form in which the Scripture was read in the liturgy. The evidence is not clear that in Calvin's liturgy the Scripture was first read and then explicated in a sermon. Hence it has been contended that the sermon, a Commentary on Scripture, was the word of God in the worship service. Calvin referred to the minister as the mouth of God,[36] and the Second Helvetic Confession refers to the sermon as the word of God.[37] Calvin knew that the words of the minister in preaching are never identical with the word of God, but this knowledge was in the ordering of the church generally. Calvin's felt the minister should not nullify his estimate of the Importance of preaching in his liturgy. The Reformation was a great preaching revival, probably the greatest in the history of the Christian church."[38] The Strasbourg liturgy of 1545 included the Ten Commandments. The reformers had recognized three uses of the law:

(I) to convict of sin and to lead to repentance
(2) to maintain public order
(3) to guide and encourage the Christian in righteousness.

Luther had emphasized the first usage, and in the Lutheran liturgies the law precedes the confession of sin. Calvin claimed that the third use was the principal usage, and his liturgy the Ten Commandments come after confessions and assurance of forgiveness.[39] The liturgical order here declares that the forgiven worshipers still had to deal with the law and that with God's help they can keep it at least in part. The inclusion of law contributes to the character of Calvin's liturgy-as the hearing and obeying of the word of God.[40] In Farel's liturgy the confession comes after the sermon and the law on the grounds one must first hear the word of God to know what to confess, another illustration of variation in worship in the same theological framework.

Singing of psalms. A third characteristic of the Calvinist worship is the singing of psalms. Calvin did away with the medieval choir and emphasized congregational singing. Today it is difficult to recapture the thrill of worship in the language of the people and the new experience of congregational singing. As has been indicated, Calvin preferred the Psalms. While he himself translated a few Psalms for the 1539 Psalter, he made use of the greater poetical talents of Clement Marot and Theodore Beza.[41] Calvin's first psalter in 1539 had contained nineteen psalms. By 1562 Theodore Beza had completed the Psalter. The Psalms, put in French rhyme by Marot and Beza and set to music by Louis Bourgeois' and Claude Goudimel, became one of  the greatest books of the Reformation. It went through many editions and was translated into German, Dutch, Italian, Spanish, Bohemian, Polish, Latin, Hebrew, and English. It was also used by Roman
Catholics, Lutherans, and others.  Psalm-singing became a vital part of Reformed piety. French Protestants sang psalms with such vigor as they were led to jail or to the stake that psalm-singing was outlawed and those who persisted had their tongues slit. Psalm 68 was the Huguenot Marseillaise:

Let God arise, let his enemies be scattered;
Let those who hate him flee before him,
As smoke is driven away, so drive them away;
As wax melts before the fire,
Let the wicked perish before God!

Some Huguenots sang Psalm 118 as they went to battle.

This is the day which the Lord has made
Let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Save us, we beseech thee, O Lord,
O, Lord, we beseech thee, give us success!

In Europe and in the Americas to use Christian hymns  as a battle song is regarded critical. This critical stance may be a sign of a protected life in a free society but also a sign of greater sensitivity to brutality. The Calvinist historian Emile Doumergue, revealed the role of the Psalms in the concrete life of the Huguenots.

Psalm-singing contributed to the shaping of Reformed character and piety, and its influence can hardly be overestimated. The Psalms were the prayers of the people in Calvin's liturgy. [42] Much has been made of the fact that Calvin's liturgy developed out of the service of the Mass as it was revised by the reformers at Strasbourgh and that it is aborted when the Lord's Supper is not observed.

Calvin wanted a service that included preaching and the Lord's Supper as Well as the sacrament of Baptism. He also wanted to observe this service each Sunday. This was his hope as is witnessed in his insistence in the Institutes that the Lord's Supper should be administered - at least once a week."[43] It became the unvarying rule (Acts 2:42) that no meeting of the church should take place without the Word, prayers, partaking of the supper and almsgiving. [44]

For Reformed theology the sacraments always take place in the context of preaching and teaching, and their ultimate validity depends upon the work of the Holy Spirit. Calvin emphasized that the bread and the wine became under the power of the Holy Spirit the occasion for the real presence of Jesus Christ and for the communion of the believer with the Risen Lord. The views of Zwingli in his radical break with the medieval mass and in his emphasis upon the sacrament as a pledge by which believers present themselves to the church as disciples and soldiers of Christ have often been contrasted with those of Calvin. Yet according to Leith “Zwingli's understanding of the Lord's Supper was no "mere com-memoration.

Real commemoration involved the contemplation in faith of the work of Christ and trust in that work.”[45] The spiritual presence of Christ was not disputed by Zwingli. There is a difference of emphasis between the more rational Zwingli and the more mystical Calvin, but the difference can be exaggerated otherwise Bullinger, Zwingli's successor in Zurich, had never agreed on a common Reformed position in the Zurich Consensus (Consensus Tigurinus), 1549.

Calvin's teaching on baptism is similar to his doctrine of the Lord's Supper. He wanted baptism to take place in the presence of the assembly of believers and thus in the context of teaching and prayer. The service of baptism was to be simple and free of all pomp that might dazzle the eye or deaden the mind. Worship for Calvin was a centered act of the person; that is, it involved every personal capacity of mind, of emotion, of will.

Even though he held together the word in preaching and sacraments, his liturgy remained a highly verbal service involving all of a person's intellectual powers. Calvin gave up many aids co worship that had assisted less highly disciplined and committed worshipers. Calvinist worship required a disciplined congregation that could support the dialogue of faith with minimal external props.

5. 6. The Mercersburg Liturgy 1714

The foundation of a German Reformed church in this country was laid by colonists from the Palatinate and other parts of western Germany and also from Switzerland. The first minister came to America in 1710 and the first congregation was founded at Germania Ford in Virginia in 1714, though the primary locus soon was Pennsylvania. The Mercersburg Seminary was founded in 1825 and John Williamson Nevin (1808-1886), a Presbyterian of Irish descent, joined the faculty in 1840, coming from Princeton Seminary. Philip Schaff (1819-1893) left his Swiss-German roots and joined the faculty in 1844.
In 1848, the General Synod of the German Reformed Church expressed its desire to revise its liturgy. The resulting liturgy had a difficult and conflicted gestation period. Controversy raised its head from the very beginning, and ultimately, the liturgy, commonly called the Order of Worship and referred to as the 1866 Mercersburg Liturgy, was adopted by the General Synod of 1866 by 7 votes, 64 to 57, being opposed primarily by the Midwest classes.57
Maxwell’s thorough research of the documents determined that, in the process of formation, at least twenty-seven antecedent liturgies were consulted, and of some of those, there were multiple editions and revisions. He adds that this incredible list of sources used by the compilers of this liturgy is “not exhaustive” (though certainly exhausting!). Schaff, the historian, is undoubtedly the one who provided access to the number of early and medieval as well as Reformation liturgies that are listed. Maxwell then identifies both the material original for this publication, and the three dominant sources used: the Palatinate liturgy, the Catholic Apostolic Liturgy and the Book of Common Prayer.58

Characteristics of this liturgy were:
It was based on a theology of the Incarnation of Jesus Christ, and a strong Calvinistic ecclesiology,

l   It had a strong emphasis on the unity of the Christian church,
l   It had a strong emphasis on the sacraments, the demand for balance between Word and Sacrament in Lord’s Day worship, and an insistence on weekly Eucharist,59
l   It stressed the integral relationship between Baptism and the Supper. The invitation to communion included the words, “Renew inwardly your baptismal engagements and vows. Renounce all sin both in your lives and in your hearts,”[46]
l   It included a strong Calvin-like theological statement of “the meaning of the Holy Communion” as part of the invitation,
l   it emphasized strong commitment to diakonia, to service to others in the Christian’s daily walk,
l   it involved extensive participation by the congregation, through responses, Amens, and singing, it had a strong emphasis on the Holy Spirit.
There are many epicletic references. Interestingly, the intercessions are included in the epiclesis section of the Eucharistic prayer, which itself includes two formal prayers of epiclesis, “The chief festivals of Christmas, Epiphany, Good Friday, Easter, Ascension, Pentecost, Trinity, were restored as in the sixteenth-century . . .”[47]
The Eucharistic prayer is in a Trinitarian form, with congregational responses after each of the three parts.

Many anamnetic elements are in the first section, and the words of institution stand virtually alone in the second section, being “declared” after the “Holy, holy, holy,” and they are followed again by the words, “Let us pray.” Mercersburg said that they held to the “spiritual real presence” while the “broad church group” held to the “real spiritual presence” of Christ in worship and in the Eucharist. Mercersburg also emphasized an objective ecclesiology, and an objective efficacy of the sacraments.

6. The Dutch Reformed Church Liturgy 1792

As we have seen above, the Dutch Church was very much indebted to the Palatinate Liturgy and the Heidelberg Catechism.62 While the Reformed in various places in Holland continued the use of this liturgy and derivatives of it, the erosion of liturgical interest among the Dutch more closely resembles that of the English speaking churches than of the other continental bodies, though the recovery of liturgical interest in Holland was more rapid there than in the English and American churches. The predecessor to the Reformed Church in America (RCA) in 1792 published a liturgy translated into English from the Dutch.
The General Synod of the RCA in 1853 appointed a committee to study the worship of the church and submit proposals. As Hageman indicates, this was probably not due to a great interest in liturgy, but an attempt to keep up with the action of the German Reformed Church begun in 1848. This committee developed and circulated a provisional liturgy in 1857 that contained “an order for Public Worship, the first in our history.”66 This draft was not accepted by the Synod, but “a book had been let loose in the church. Copies of it were not recalled but were circulated and used.” And this book did set the stage for the Liturgy of 1873.
Hageman had great admiration for the Rev. Dr. M. S. Hutton, pastor of the Washington Square Church in New York, elected in 1870 to guide the RCA in the development of the Liturgy received and approved in 1873, but the chief strengths of both the 1857 and 1873 books was in their borrowings from the liturgies already mentioned, including the Euchologion[48] of the Church of Scottland.
Some members of the Reformed Church in America (RCA) and the Christian Reformed Church in America (CRC) showed significant interest in the Mercersburg phenomenon. The German Reformed and the Dutch Reformed had occasional joint meetings of their General Synods, and there was much sharing of interest and ideas. However, a majority of the Dutch Reformed tended to side with the western “free church” opponents of the Mercersburg theology and liturgy.
The 1968 “Report of the Liturgical Committee” of the CRC concurs on considering the nineteenth century as essentially void. The writers of that report simply state that from the late sixteenth century to the early twentieth century the Dutch Reformed churches had no official liturgy, but that a consensus seemed to have developed. “It was not until 1933, that a Dutch synod actually defined the order of worship for the whole church. This is the order that had already come to be common practice – in the Christian Reformed Churches of the U.S.A. as well as in Holland.”[49]

7. The Westminster Directory

A third decisive in Influence in the shaping of Reformed worship, in particular Presbyterian worship in America was the Puritan Revolution and the Westminster Assembly. The Assembly produced a church polity, a confession, catechisms, a psalter, and a directory for worship.

While the Assembly was united in its understanding of Reformed theology, it was divided on the matter of worship between the Scottish Presbyterians, the English Presbyterian, and the Independents. The Directory is a compromise. It is also replete with ambiguous directives that could be interpreted in different ways.[50]

The Directory, however, bears the marks of the Puritan movement, and it shaped worship in that direction. The preface to the Directory specifies several concerns of the Assembly in regard to worship.

First, the use of a service book, in particular the Book of Common Prayer in England, had undercut the significance of preaching as far inferior to the reading of common prayer."[51] The Assembly intended to emphasize the centrality of preaching.

Secondly, the use of service books had been a means to make and increase an idle and unedifying ministry, which contented itself with set forms: made to their own hands by others, without putting themselves to exercise the gift of prayer, with which our Lord Jesus Christ pleaseth to furnish all His servants whom he calls to that office. [52]
Moreover, the service book had been used to impose an order of worship on people who in conscience objected to it. The Assembly replaced the service book that contained the prayers and forms of worship with a directory that served as a guide.

The Scots, who had been influenced by the same anti- service book sentiment of the English Puritans, did not even submit their Book of Common Order for the Assembly's consideration. Yet the Directory suggests an order of worship that is not very different from that of Geneva and of the Scottish Book of Common Order.

 Public Worship of God[53]

l   Prayer
l   Reading of the Word [ordinarily one chapter of each Testament] [An exposition of the reading Could follow the complete reading but with care not co detract from the sermon.]
l   Singing of a Psalm until after the sermonJ
l   General prayer [Option open to postpone some parts of prayer until after the sermon]
l   Preaching of the Word Prayer [Use of Lord's Prayer recommended]
l   Prayer [Use of the LORD’s prayer recommended]
l   Psalm
l   Blessing

Baptism and the LORD’s Supper, when celebrated, followed the final hymn. The order of the LORD’s supper is as follows:

l   Exhortation, Warning, Invitation
l   Words of Institution
l   Prayer of Thanksgiving and Blessing of Bread and Wine
l   Reminder of Grace of God in Jesus Christ Held Forth in Sacrament
l   Thanksgiving
l   Collection for the Poor

The large place that this liturgy gave to the reading, exposition, and preaching of the word of God is notable. The Directory contains an excellent section on the art of preaching, advocating the plain style of the Puritans, who insisted on the communication of the message of Scripture. The Scots objected to the homiletical practice of the English Puritans, but no one could doubt the Puritans' seriousness about preaching or their effectiveness. The Directory summarizes their judgment of the preacher's task and plain-style method. [54]

The Assembly's Directory, while not prohibiting the use of traditional forms, did set the practice for the next three centuries of English-speaking Presbyterianism. The Creed, the Gloria Patri, and even the Lord's Prayer were increasingly dropped from worship.

8. The American multi-philosophical challenge 1789

English-speaking Presbyterians from Britain carried with them the practices of their homeland. The new land with its open frontier would shape these practices in its own way. The frontier was open." There were few church buildings, and worship was held in improvised settings. A settled and regular ministry was the exception. Settlements were widely scattered, and means of travel were slow. External aids and supports for worship were minimal. Religious practices were developed to meet the actual needs of the new land.[55]

Sacramental seasons, weekends and Mondays given over to preaching, teaching, congregational meetings, and sacraments became great occasions in rural church life. The camp meeting, the revival, and the protracted meeting all developed as ways of nurturing and particularly evangelizing the nominally Christian or non-Christian population in America. Probably more than at any other time in church history, the regular worship services of the church became the means of bringing non- Christians into the church's membership and life. Worship was directed to this end, and the notion that the Lord's Supper was a 'converting ordinance" spread. The Westminster Assembly did reject this interpretation of the Lord's Supper.[56]
The evangelistic development of American church life in general and of worship in particular is understandable in the light of the fact that probably less than ten per cent of the American people had any connection with an organized church in 1800. The fact that many American churches were established by "laity," not by the clergy or by any organized ecclesiastical mission, gave co church life a communal and non-clerical character that is also unique.
The Westminster Directory had been recommended by the Presbyterian Synod of 1729, however evidence proofed that it was at best a guide. A new Directory of Worship was prepared for the American church (1786- 1788) in advance of the first General Assembly, which met in 1789. The American document continued in the tradition of Westminster but contained enough changes to make it native. New-school and revivalist Presbyterians continued throughout the following century to exert their influence on worship in this direction. The Puritan influence, as in the South with Thornwell[57] and Girardeau[58], continued to flourish.
The worship that was nourished in the American situation lived in part out of its authenticity. It faithfully expressed the devotion of the worshipers, and it was a means of God's grace to them. It also placed very heavy demands on the minister, who, being denied a service book with prepared liturgies and prayers, had to lead worship out of the depth of his own religious experience and theological competence. Inadequacies either in personal experience or competence quickly came to the surface. As the century passed, the worship that was an authentic product of American church life began to fail.

Some Presbyterians, dissatisfied with their worship, were attracted to episcopal forms. Others began to work for a recovery of the riches of the tradition and for an enrichment of the worshiping life of the church. In 1855 Charles Baird published his still useful book that collected the classic Reformed liturgies. [59]

The struggle over Worship in nineteenth-century Presbyterianism had centered on the identification of worship with the simplicities of an earlier American situation. In the struggle the proponents of classical liturgies sometimes sought to impose on American worship patterns and forms which had been developed in Europe and which were foreign to American experience. The percentage of American people involved in the church and in worship rose from less than ten before 1800 to above fifty per cent by 1950.
This is a record rarely equaled anywhere else in church history before. Traditional Worship of Presbyterian churches had been an effective means for the proclaiming of God and for the response of the people in devotion and commitment. It needed revision by the second half of the nineteenth century, but it is not yet certain whether the revisions have come authentically from the depths of the religious life of the congregation or whether they were adequate means of expression of devotion and commitment.

The Americanization of worship was less drastic in those Reformed churches that had roots on the continent and that maintained much of their ethnic and ecclesiastical heritage in the new, English-speaking environment. Among the German Reformed Church, the Mercersburg movement gave attention not only to a recovery of liturgy but also to a theology of worship with emphasis on the sacrament.[60]
Philip Schaff brought his extensive knowledge of Reformed history to this movement. John w. Nevin, a graduate of Princeton, wrote on the sacraments, emphasizing the presence of Christ in the Lord's Supper, an emphasis which had been neglected in the more "Zwinglian" American context that understood the sacrament more as a recollection and memory of what Jesus said and did and a pledge of allegiance to him.

One unique American contribution to worship was the development of the offering as a basic part of worship. From the earliest days there had been the collection as a means of help for the poor. This offering had always persisted in Christian worship, especially as part of the communion service. The new aspect of the offering in American worship grew out Of the voluntary character of the church, which placed upon every member the responsibility for buildings, services, missions, and ministry. The American churches were financed neither by the state, nor the nobility, nor the rich, but by the people. The offering therefore became a much more significant personal act, and its integration into the worship of the church after many experimental methods of church finance failed was a significant achievement.[61] 

Authentic worship cannot be imposed on worshipers. It always grows out of the depths of experience and commitment and mined by the disclosure of the mystery toward which it moves. And there are the decisive marks of Reformed worship that are formed by its awareness of the presence of the Lord God, Creator of Heaven and Earth, who calls the people of God into being, gives to them their destiny, and elects them for the working out of the divine purposes to history. All pretense is cleared away, and the believer stands in the presence of God in simplicity, even austerity, to hear and do the will of God.

9. Prepresentative Reformed Liturgies, Directories of the sixteenth and seventeenth Century

·      The Zurich Liturgy: Liturgy of the Word, 1525 (Zwingli) Action or Use of the Lord's Supper, 1525

·      William Farel: The Manner Observed in Preaching

·      Basel Liturgy: Form and Manner of the Lord's Supper, 1525(?) (Oecolampadius)

·      The Strasbourgh Liturgy: Psalter, with Complete Church Practice, 1524- 1539 (Bucer)

·      John Calvin: The Form of Church Prayers, 1540, 1542, 1545

·      John Knox: The Form of Prayers, 1556 (Book of Common Order)

·      John d Lasco: Whole Form and Method of Church Service in the Strangers Church, 1550 and 1555 (Forma ac Ratio)

·      Liturgy of the Palatinate, 1563

·      Liturgy of the Reformed Dutch Church, 1566

·      The Middleburg Liturgy: A Book of the Form of Common Prayers, 1586

·      The Westminster Directory, 1644

·      The Savoy Liturgy, 1661

Texts may be found in: Bard Thompson, Liturgie of Western Church (New York: World Publishing Co., 1961); „The Palatinate Liturgy“  Bard Thompson, Theology and life, vol. 6, no. I (Spring 1963), 49-67.

10. Reformed Contextualized Taiwan Liturgy

When Christianity was introduced in Taiwan by the Dutch in the 17th century no church survived, but the educational system, the family and farming work concept, which all were introduced in those years where in place, when German missionary Charles Gützlaff in 1831 brought the first self-printed Chinese bible to Taiwan. The first Presbyterian missionaries from Scottland and Canada began their pioneer missionary work in 1865 and later. – Ever since the church has tried to adapt its methods of outreach to the fast changing political scene, including its liturgies. –
Since they were confronted with the country with the highest density of temples per qkm2 worldwide, and with ancestor worshiping people, adequate liturgies needed to be added to those introduced from missionary sending countries like Australia, Brasil, Canada, China, Denmark, Germany, Norway, Japan, U.S., United Kingdom, Sweden, Switzerland, South Africa, etc., just to name a few.

Since Taiwan today is a multi-cultural country with several large denominations of Reform Theology backgrounds, the process of biblically contextualizing already began among in the Tribal people mission and after the mid ninethies with more vigor (Chung Cheng Tang Hakka church Association) also among the Hakka people. The concern for the Min-nan speaking 56% (2008) of Taiwans population was mainly taken up by three Presbyterian church associations and the Holiness church and a few smaller missions.
Most incoming mission after WWII were 7 kinds of Lutheran denominations, at least two larger Baptist denominations and several small ones, the Mennonites, the CMA, TEAM, SEND, Covenant, Methodist, Wesleyan, Assemblies of God took care of the Mandarin speaking immigrants. With their established Taiwan Missionary Fellowship they formed research groups to explore ways to bring and plant the seed of the gospel in the still unreached areas and cultures of Taiwan. Their results were published in several books, the “TMF Quarterly”, in Christian Media and taught at the seminaries. The Taiwan Presbyterian church has the longest tradition for a simple and helpful book of liturgy for the pastor’s needs.  Among the mission TEAM very early developed a small Chinese booklet for its pastors and offered it to all pastors churches through the Sunday School association. In recent years some really good new books came on the market dealing deeper with Taiwan’s Farmer astrological calendar and the habit of ancestor worship and folk-religious events.

教曾愷井與璧橙典 (中文版, 台灣基督長老教會信仰與教制委員會)

教會禮拜與聖禮典 台語漢字版, 台灣基督長老教會信仰與教制委員會)

基督教牧師手冊 (基督教協同會)


基督徒喪禮與敬祖手冊 (財團法人基督教客家福音協會編輯小組)


·      喪葬期1
·      敬祝追思
·      對非全家歸主者的建議
·      追思三禮:布置做法與司儀口令
·      致敬禮:登記單做法與司儀口令
·      基督徒喪禮答問篇
·      喪事簡要處理過程
·      喪葬事宜工作分配表
·      樹葬及海葬相關事項
·      過世前後之喪事安排
·      訃文
·      輓聯
·      追思禮拜祈禱文
·      碑文
·      掃墓(省墓)
·      喪禮的真義
·      平時對老八的關懷
·      喪葬文件軾惻
·      喪葬過程照片弱影

過一個得勝的農曆年    (出版者: 基督教台灣信義會台北真理

原因在於: 第一,在這段時間,拜偶像的風氣特別的嚴重; 許多人面臨祭祖的問題,惡者藉著錯誤的價值系統,透過我們的軟弱及家人的壓迫,迫使我們對仇敵妥協。另外,因放假長,人往往就放鬆了,以致讓世界更有機會來引誘我們的肉體,生活懶散,吃得多、睡得多,電視看得多,所以不少的基督徒過完農曆年就近乎癱瘓; 再加上因放假在家,距離靠近就容易吵架,所以家人關係會起衝突。因此,我們特別集結了近幾年關於如何在春節假期中得勝的教導信息及見證,以及家庭、外出探訪的聚會材料,以預防上述各種挫敗的狀況發生。但願能藉此讓弟兄姊妹們假期中更能警醒,與家人團聚時能有更深入的互動,並不忘把福音帶給親朋好友們。

Through the need to observe the development of the two Taiwanese folk religions (from the Hakka and from the Min-nan speaking population ), the church of Taiwan faces about the challenge of the Middle Age church in Europe during Christianization and needs adequate equipping to face the challenge of constant ancestor worship and idolatry in its various forms in a convincing and worthy way.

Taiwan has had five now has four Reformed Church conventions:

·       Taiwan Reformed Presbyterian Church (Reformed Presbyterian Seminary)
·       Taiwan Presbyterian Church (Taiwan, Tainan, Yushan, Theological Seminary)
·       Taosheng Presbyterian Church (Taosheng Theological Seminary)
·       Republic of China Presbyterian Friendship Church (Pastors from CES)

The fifth the Chung Cheng Tang Church Association of Hakka churches originally came from Taiwan Presbyterian background but joined the Hakka Lutheran churches with an own seminary in Chudung.

The Lutheran churches in Taiwan actually all belong to the Reform Lutheran Theology branch and there is good cooperation between the seminaries with them.

In terms of mission the Dutch in 1622 founded an institute in Leiden (the Netherlands) to prepare missionaries for the Dutch Indonesian colonies. Building upon work begun by Catholics, Presbyterian missionaries established churches in Indonesia that by the late 20th century comprised at least one-third of all Asian Reformed and Presbyterian Christians. The strong Presbyterian Church in Taiwan has been identified more with the native Taiwanese than with church members coming from mainland China after 1945.

[1] “Four Articles of Prague,” as found in Jan Zizka’s writing, 1419, published in 1420, Article Two, on the sacraments.
[2] St. Augustine, David Knowles, ed., Henry Bettenson, trans., City of God, (Middlesex, England: Penguin Press, 1972), 593-594.
[3] Leith, Introduction to Reformed tradition, 174.
[4] Hughes O. Old,  The Patristic Roots of Reformed Worship (1976).
[5] George Mc Cracken, Library of Christian Classics (en suite as „LCC”), XXI: 892-93 (lll, xx, 29); XX: 39W01 (II, vii, 33-34). (Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1957).
[6] Joannes Calvini, Petrus Barth, Guilelmus Baum, and Dora Scheuner,  eds. Opera Selecta, (Munich: Chr. Kaiser, 1952), 2: 15.
[7] LCC, XXI: 896 (Ill, xx, 33).
[8] Opera Selecta, 2: 16-17; LCC, XXI: 894 (III, xx, 32).
[9] Calvin, Commentary on Corinthians, I Cot. 2:3-7, 1: 98-104.
[10] LCC, XXI: 1278-80 (IV, xiv, 3-4)
[11] LCC, XX: 53 (I, v, 2).
[12] Opera Selecta, 2:15.
[13] "Form of Administering Baptism. “
[14] LCC, XXI: 1319 (IV, xv, 19).
[15] LCC, XXI: 1421 (IV, xvii, 43).
[16] LCC, XXI: 1193 (IV, x, 14).
[17] LCC, XXI: 893 (III, xx, 30).
[18] Charles Garside,Jr., Zwingli and the Arts (New Haven: Yale University Press,
1966), pp. 26 ff.
[19] Opera Selecta, 2: 17.
[20] Ibid., 2:17.
[21] Barth, Church Dogmatics, 4,2:640.
[22] Ibid., 4,2:697.
[23] Ibid., 4,3,2:869.
[24] In Taiwan’s non Christian context several those important liturgies underwent further transformation and adjustment. This will be discussed later.
[25] Bryan D. Spinks, “The Reformed Tradition”, The Sanctus in the Eucharistic Prayer (Cambridge: Mabridge University Press, 2002).
[26] Martin Bucer (early German: Martin Butzer) (11 November 1491 – 28 February 1551) was a Protestant reformer based in Strasbourg who influenced Lutheran, Calvinist, and Anglican doctrines and practices. Bucer was originally a member of the Dominican Order, but after meeting and being influenced by Martin Luther in 1518 he arranged for his monastic vows to be annulled. He then began to work for the Reformation, with the support of Franz von Sickingen. When Bucer wrote in German, he used his original name, "Butzer". The Latin form of his name is "Bucerus" and modern scholars have opted to use the abbreviation of the Latin form, "Bucer". Selderhuis, H. J. Marriage and Divorce in the Thought of Martin Bucer,Translation from the original Huwelijk en Echtscheiding bij Martin Bucer, Uitgeverij  Kirksville (Missouri: Thomas Jefferson University Press, J. J. Groen en Zoon BV, Leiden, 1994, 1999, 2004 ), 51.
[27] Hughes H. Old, The Patristic Roots of Reformed Worship, 1976,  xiii.
[28] In 1503, Johann Ulrich Surgant of Basle wrote a handbook for preaching in which he pleaded that worship services be improved. This improvement had to start with the preaching. He directed himself especially to the young preachers, the "freshmen." He also described the preaching as it existed in his days in some parish churches at Basle and in some villages in Alsace. This preaching was done completely in the German language, in contrast with the Latin part of worship in the mass. Dorothea Roth, Die mittelalterliche Predigttheorie und das Manuale Curatorum des Johann Ulrich Surgant (Basel: Univ., Diss. Basel Helbing & Lichtenhahn, 1956).
[29] Bard Thompson, Liturgies of the Western Church, 216-224.
[30] Sursum corda= "Lift up your hearts” is the opening dialogue to the Preface of the Eucharistic Prayer or Anaphora in the liturgies of the Christian Church
[31] Bard, Thompson, Liturgies of the Western Church, 197. 
[32] LCC, XX: 649 (III, iv, 22).
[33] Letters of John Calvin, 2: 182-198 (Letter to Somerset, October 22, 1548).
[34] Ibid., 3:30-31 (Letter co the Brethren ofWezel, March 13, 1554).
[35] James Hastings Nichols, Corporate Worship in the, Reformed Tradition
(Philadelphia: Westminster, 1968), pp. 29-33.
[36] Dietrich Ritschl, A Theology of Proclamation (Richmond: John Knox Press,
1960), 88 ff.
[37] John H. Leith, „Second Helvetic Confession“, Creeds of the Churches, Chapter 1, 132.
[38] Nichols, Corporate Worship in the Reformed Tradition, p. 29.
[39] LCC, XX: 360 (II, vii, 12).
[40] Bard Thompson, Liturgies of the Western Church, p. 191.
[41] Richard R. Terry, ed., Calvin 's First Psalter (1539) (London: Ernest Benn, Ltd., 1932). Pierre Pidoux, Le Psaultier Huguenot du XVIe Siecle, Melodies et Documents vols. I and 2 (Basel: Edition Bärenreiter, 1962); Millar Patrick, Four Centuries of Scottish Psalmody (New York: Oxford University Press, 1949); Charles Garside, Jr., The Origins of Calvin's Theology of Music: 1536-1543 (Philadelphia: The American Philosophical Society Press, 1949).

[42] LCC, XXI: 1284 (IV, xii, 8).
[43] LCC, XXI: 1421 (IV, xiv, 8).
[44] LCC, XXI: 1422 (IV, xvii, 44).
[45] Leith, 187.
[46] Cited by Maxwell, op. cit., p. 444.
[47] Nichols, Corporate Worship, p. 165.
[48] Euchologion, A Book of Common Order, an 1867 publication of the Church Service Society of Scotland, hailed in its time as a landmark publication and though unofficial, was used by parishes of the Church of Scotland.
[49] CRC Report, p. 21.
[50] Thomas Leishman,The Westminster Directory (Edinburgh: W. Blackwood & Sons, Ltd., 1901), p. xiii. (A copy of the Directory without notes can be found in Thompson, Liturgy of the Western Church, 345-353).
[51] Ibid., 11.
[52] Ibid., 12.
[53] Thompson, Liturgies of The Western Church, 356-368.
[54] Ibid., pp. 368-370.
[55] Julius-Melton, Presbyterian Worship in Amerika, Changing Patterns Since 1787 (Richmond: John Knox Press, 1967) has a competent review of the history.
[56] Julius Melton, op.cit. 17
[57] James Henley Thornwell (December 9, 1812 – August 1, 1862) was an American Presbyterian preacher and religious writer. He became prominent in the Old School Presbyterian denomination in the south, preaching and writing on theological and social issues. He taught at South Carolina College, eventually served as its president, and went on to teach at Columbia Theological Seminary. He was a contemporary of Charles Hodge and represented the southern branch of the Presbyterian church in debates on ecclesiology with Hodge. Thornwell founded the Southern Presbyterian Review, edited the Southern Quarterly Review, and had a prominent role in establishing the Presbyterian Church in the Confederate States of America.
[58] John Lafayette Girardeau(14 November 1825 - 23 June 1898), Associate Professor of Church History and Biblical Theology, Greenville Theological Seminary. Girardeau’s heart bled for this lost and abandoned group of people. On Sunday afternoons he would preach to the black community of rural Colleton County; and then, following these services, he would conduct preaching visitations to the slaves on the local plantations.
[59] Charles Washington Baird, Eutaxia, or the Presbyterian Liturgies: Historical Sketches (New York: M.W. Dodd Publisher, 1855).
[60] 1. James Hastings Nichols, ed., The Mercersburg Theology (New York: Oxford (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1961). James Hastings Nichols, Romanticism in America Today New York: Oxford (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1961).
[61] , Ernest Trice Thompson, Presbyterians in the South, 3 vols., I:519 ff.; 2:420ff. H. Leith, The Story of  a People (Richmond: Pri- vately Published, 1973), 54-55. 

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