The CRC’s Order Of Worship In 1928

1928 CRCNA Liturgy
—Acta der Synode 1928 van Christelijke Gereformeerde Kerk, 11–29 Juni, 1928, Holland, Michigan. Artikel 62.

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  • R. Scott Clark
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    R.Scott Clark is the President of the Heidelberg Reformation Association, the author and editor of, and contributor to several books and the author of many articles. He has taught church history and historical theology since 1997 at Westminster Seminary California. He has also taught at Wheaton College, Reformed Theological Seminary, and Concordia University. He has hosted the Heidelblog since 2007.

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9 comments

  1. Very similar to what I remember from my time in the CRC in the 80s.

    What’s it like now?

  2. What, no praise team?

    What do you think about the resistance to calling what follows confession “absolution”? I think our pastor once tried calling it “assurance of pardon,” but that was quickly changed to “promise of the gospel.” Is this less of an issue in the continental reformed churches?

    • That resistance goes back to the Reformation. Calvin’s congregation resisted it. See:

      “Calvin’s Principle of Worship,” in ed. David Hall, Tributes to John Calvin: A Celebration of his Quincentenary (Phillipsburg: P&R Publishing, 2010), 247–69.

      There was a discussion of this very issue in the 1928 minutes. I can understand why people might object to “absolution” because of the possible confusion with the sacerdotal view but on that ground shouldn’t we stop speaking of sacraments? After all, we mean one thing by it and Rome means another. We’ve retained “descended into hell” by explaining what we mean by it. So it’s not entirely consistent to retain the two and reject the one. It’s hard to imagine how people could object to “assurance of pardon.” That’s just the gospel.

    • Dr. Clark,

      Do you know of a resource that has Scriptural responsive readings? I have wanted to get rid of congregational responses, but as you note, there is much resistance to it and if I had something to present it would be easier to do.

      • Benjamin,

        The resistance I mentioned was to absolution in the service.

        I think the old Trinity Hymnal had responsive readings from the psalms.

        Why not just read a Psalm responsively from the pew Bibles?

    • Thanks for the reference. It looks like this an issue we’ve long faced. I doubt the resistance is to assurance of pardon in the abstract but rather the fact that the declaration is coming from a man. “I don’t need a priest between me and God.” I think this attitude confuses a ministerial act with a priestly one.

      The newer Trinity Hymnal also has responsive readings from the Psalms. I believe they are from the NIV, but it is convenient if you already have them.

  3. I’ve read Recovering the Reformed Confession but I didn’t realise that the CRCNA sang Psalms only well into the twentieth century – thanks for this Scott.

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