THE CATHEDRAL CHURCH OF SAINT JOHN THE DIVINE
SCHOOL OF WORSHIP
THE WOMEN OF THE DIOCESE OF NEW YORK
Sponsored by the Women’s Auxiliary
Four Monday mornings in November, 1952
Transcribed by Wayne Kempton
Archivist and Historiographer of the Diocese of New York, 2014
10:30 to 1:00 PARTICIPATION - INSTRUCTION - APPLICATION
10:30 Service in Saint James' Chapel, Cathedral
11:00 Coffee in Cathedral House
11:15 Lecture in Cathedral House
12:00 Seminars (small groups for discussion)
The Dean and Chapter
Departments of Devotional Life, Education, and Missions and Personnel
Woman's Auxiliary of the Diocese of New York
NOVEMBER 3, 1952
The Theology and Psychology of Worship
10:30 Morning Prayer:
Our Praise to God for Who He is
11:15 The Very Rev. James A. Pike, J.S.D.
Dean of the Cathedral
12:00 Seminar: Human Life Finds Fulfillment in Response to God
NOVEMBER 10, 1952
The History of Prayer Book Worship
10:30 Holy Communion:
Our Offering of Life
11:15 The Rev. Powel M. Dawley, Ph.D.
Professor of Ecclesiastical History, General Theological Seminary
12:00 Seminar: Tested Patterns vs. Personal Taste
This series of services, lectures and discussions is timed to coincide with the publication of THE WORSHIP OF THE CHURCH, which is the fourth volume of The Church's Teaching Series. Copies of this and other suggested readings will be on sale by the Devotional Book Committee during the Coffee Hour.
NOVEMBER 17, 1952
The Intention of Morning and Evening Prayer
10:30 Morning Prayer:
Our Thanksgiving and Intercession for All Sorts and Conditions of Men
11:15 The Rev. Canon Edward N. West, D.D., Litt.D.
Canon Sacrist of the Cathedral
12:00 Seminar: Prayer Book Resources in Personal Life
NOVEMBER 24, 1952
The Centrality of the Eucharist
10:30 Holy Communion
God's Gift of Himself
11:15 The Rev. Cyril Richardson, Th.D.
Washburn Professor of Church History, Union Theological Seminary
12:00 Seminar: Transforming the Individual; Building up the Fellowship
To make the "learning experience" as practical as possible for all concerned, and in order that each Seminar may present a varied cross-section, women will be assigned to Seminars according to geographical (District) representation, training, interest and experience. It is hoped that all will cooperate in remaining faithful to one assigned group.
THE FOUR SESSIONS
NOVEMBER 3rd: The School opened with the quiet, simple service of Morning Prayer, prefaced by Canon West's brief explanation, and vastly impressive in the unity of its rhythmic responses. As the large chapel was quite filled, it was decided to have the Dean's address immediately following the service and in the same place, to avoid delay and confusion of moving such a throng.
NOVEMBER 10: This meeting began with the simple service of Holy Communion. After a break for coffee, we had the second lecture by Dr. Dawley.
NOVEMBER 17: At the third session of the School, a festal Morning Prayer was celebrated, followed by a lecture by Canon West.
NOVEMBER 24: The last meeting of the School started with a sung Eucharist in the Great Choir of the Cathedral. This was followed by an address by Dr. Richardson in the Synod Hall, which was a magnificent climax to the series of instructions.
THE THEOLOGY AND PSYCHOLOGY OF WORSHIP
Salient points in Dean Pike's Lecture
Why does our corporate worship mean too little to us? Because of our deficiency of belief. For the Christian, God is the most important Reality of all realities. All the remaining doctrines of the Christian faith rest on this. Furthermore, the God in whom Christians believe is a living God, alive with an intensity of existence far above any we can conceive. Since God is the source of our being He is not less than us; He is all we are, plus. Therefore He is at least personal, articulate, outgoing. He wills to be in relationship with His creation, makes Himself known to His creatures and everlastingly works within them. We can know Him, not just as an idea, nor as an "it" (a thing to be used), but as a Person to be responded to in love. (When we treat a person as an "it", rather than as a "thou", this is the basic sin, because by it we set ourselves as the ultimate reality.) The "I--Thou" relation should exist between individuals and between each individual and God. This is the meaning of Christian love. St. Augustine tells us "we are restless until we find our rest in Thee." It is out of the awareness of someone outside ourselves, which awakens even in the most primitive people the feelings of awe and reverence, that worship springs. Worship is our response to a thirst for God.
Our worship is inadequate when we do not believe deeply enough in the Holy Ghost. In our worship, we who are not by our own rights holy, are yet by God's grace engaged in a holy relationship with the source of holiness and with each other. In our life with God in the Church, through sacrament, prayer and fellowship with our brethren in faith and service, we have our most direct acquaintance with the Holy Spirit. He holds us together in a fellowship which has marked the lives of all who believe in Christ. This fellowship has not been primarily a committee formed by men united on principles, but rather a movement, a corporate enterprise, into which men have felt themselves called. It is God's fellowship. The work of the Holy Ghost is to "sanctify all the people of God." Sanctification is inevitably a social experience conforming the whole order of human society to the will of God. Where does the work of God the Holy Ghost begin? In our own lives when we respond to Jesus Christ in His Body, the Church, live by its sacraments, pray its prayers, read its Holy Scriptures, sacrifice ourselves to its Lord and love the brethren sincerely.
The word Salvation, (derived from "salus"), means health. From the psychological point of view worship can serve as mass-production psycho-therapy. Worship for the typical American Protestant tends to be concerned only with what enters his mind through his ears. The pulpit is all important to him; he meets in an "auditorium"--a place to hear things. But we meet, in a nave (a ship) in which our total selves are being taken somewhere. Ceremony, chants, processions and symbols can serve as well-worn channels to bring grace and healing into the unconscious levels to enter one's inner being. His unconscious mind is sometimes reached by worship more than his conscious mind and can markedly affect its decisions. In our conscious minds we should decide what influences we want to have reach us. First we should ask, "Is this true?" "Do I want to be with God?" "Do I want to work my salvation out in the Church?" We must establish in our conscious levels that we trust God and our Church, and then go ahead and let the best methods of communication take over: we have a type of worship which involves the whole of our being. In the liturgy we are related to God and each other in the offering together of our souls and bodies to Him who is the ultimate Reality, our Creator, Redeemer and Sanctifier.
THE HISTORY OF PRAYER BOOK WORSHIP
Notes on Dr. Dawley's Lecture
Dr. Dawley reminded us that worship is that corporate activity proper to man's highest form of human community, his membership with his Lord and Saviour and all other men in the Body of Christ. Such corporate activity is inescapably embodied in patterns that give form, shape and expression to Christian worship, patterns that we call by the name "liturgical." In them ritual and ceremonial actions alike give effective expression to the worship experience of the Christian community.
These patterns or shape of Christian worship come out of the earliest life of the Christian Church--on one hand in services of prayer, praise, adoration, penitence, and on the other hand in services of sacramental action. These are not set against each other in Christian experience, but are complementary one to the other. Only in the total Christian spiritual experience does the completely enriching and empowering Presence of the Holy Spirit come. Yet the central and distinctive acts of the Christian fellowship are sacramental. The Breaking of the Bread, for example, is not the whole of Christian worship, but it is the very heart and center from which all else derives its strength and meaning. We may imagine a church where Morning or Evening Prayer is not said or the Penitential Office not heard, but we cannot imagine a Christian Church where the Holy Communion is never celebrated. It has been so from the beginning and through all the ages.
During the centuries of the Middle Ages the services of prayer and praise--i.e., the "Daily Offices"--became increasingly the property of the clergy and the members of the great monastic houses. The Mass remained almost the sole worship experience of the people of the ordinary parishes. Moreover, increasingly the Mass became thought of as an action performed by the clergy for the people, and in which the ordinary worshipper had only a passive role. This contributed to that gulf between clergy and laity that helped to deprive the latter of their sense of responsibility in the life of the Church.
At the time of the Reformation in England, Archbishop Cranmer was chiefly responsible for the liturgical reforms. The ancient services were retained, but simplified. The barrier of the Latin language was removed, elements of superstitious belief were excised, the central Biblical character of Christian services was restored, and all the services--prayer and praise as well as sacrament--were made the corporate activity of the whole Church, clergy and laity alike. Yet in the Anglican tradition the ancient patterns of the shape of the liturgy were preserved. Anglican services are still the services of the ages of the Church's life, linking us with the generations that have gone before, and bringing their experience of God to us.
Order and design in Christian worship is essential. A liturgical form of corporate worship saves us from dependence upon the minister, spares us from the temptation of preoccupation with ourselves and our feelings, and preserves perspective and proportion in our prayer life. But above all, it links us with the spiritual experience of the whole Body of Christ. As He has been with the Church of the ages, so He is with us.
THE INTENTION OF MORNING AND EVENING PRAYER
Notes on Canon West's Lecture
Canon West said, in part, that words are our means of communication of our thoughts and emotions. When words are inadequate we move in poetry. When poetry fails we burst into song. The Offices are primarily the exalting and praising of God in "hymns" (the psalms.)
They are a reduction of the monastic offices of Matins, Prime, Terce, Sext, None, Vespers, Lauds and Compline, which aimed at the endless praise of God, and consisted chiefly in singing the psalms, although the Lord's Prayer, the collect and some short scriptural reading came to be included. Thus the whole 150 psalms were said in a week's time.
The ordering of the Hour services became complicated by special classes of saints' days and festivals, and a Spanish Cardinal, Quinones, made a revision of them to get back to the original simple pattern; this Cranmer used in his arrangement of our Morning and Evening Prayer.
Canon West then spoke of the history of each part of Morning Prayer. Among other things, he pointed out the corporate quality of the Te Deum,--that ancient hymn of praise dating from about 420 A.D.--in its use of army terms, "the company of apostles," "the army of martyrs." Some translations have changed some meanings. The original Latin has "when Thou tookest upon Thee manhood," and "make them to be rewarded with thy saints." The last part of the Te Deum is sung in the Eastern Church, and is heard as part of Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Symphony.
The Benedictus is the Gospel response; originally the Jubilate Deo was put into use only on the two days when the Benedictus was part of the Lesson.
The Creed finishes the first part of our service of praise and is the reason for our praise. The Apostles' Creed is characteristic of the Western Church, growing out of the baptismal creed used as early as 470; its present form is found by 758. The Apostolic ages developed, through Hippolytus and Irenaeus, two types of creed, the one concrete, exact, mentioning the Virgin Mary and Pontius Pilate; the other concerned, like the Gospel of St. John, with deep universal truths. The Church took both, one interpreting the other--and uses them both.
Through the Venite, Te Deum, Psalms, Lessons and Creed we have been exalting God. Now we are ready for Prayer; in the Anglican communion we come into the atmosphere of prayer by praise. In the Holy Communion we pray for the whole state of Christ's Church; in the Offices we pray for all mankind and in the Lord's Prayer we pray for the needs of others in every phrase. "Our Father" reminds us of our relation to each other, as well as to God. "On earth as it is in heaven" applies to the clauses "hallowed be Thy name," "thy kingdom come," "thy will be done" and so defines our work. Thus it is a great intercession making us wonder how God's Kingdom is coming along in South Africa, Korea, Poland, here, now. Are we, His hands and feet and mouth, not individually but all together, bringing this Kingdom, His Will on earth? The minister stands, for this prayer, since he is praying for the whole Church. The two collects follow, for the peace of the Church and for strength from God to live well. The ancient Office ended here, or a litany followed if all needs seemed not to be met, since prayer must work itself out in terms of living. Therefore, kneeling, the minister now continues and prays for several specific needs--first, for civic rulers. In the English book the words, "the king's health and wealth," meaning welfare, are used, instead of our rather clumsy "health and prosperity." The alternative prayer was composed by Mr. Zabriskie in 1916. Bishop Cosin's prayer for the clergy and people follows. Originally this had the happy phrase asking God as "one who alone canst create great marvels," to send down upon our bishops and clergy and their congregations the healthful spirit of his Grace!
The prayer for all conditions of men was originally much longer, a substitute for a long litany, which explains the word "finally," still left in not far from its beginning. Its exact scriptural phrases remind one it was written by a high churchman, while the beautiful General Thanksgiving, which follows it, was the work of Bishop Reynolds of Norwich, a puritan. This reminds us again of the inclusiveness of our Offices and of the Anglican insistence on thanksgiving for things of the body, mind and spirit. St. Chrysostom's prayer is part of the Eastern litany. Its second phrase has got mixed up; "thou wilt be in the midst of them," not "thou wilt grant them their requests," is scripturally correct. Its ending is Fourth Gospel: to know the truth is to have eternal life.
When we say the Offices we are meeting with the whole company of heaven, the Church militant and triumphant, in our Lord. In Him we become perfect man. All together, with His strength, we can bear the cross of the whole world's sins and troubles. This is the meaning of intercession.
THE MEANING OF THE EUCHARIST
An outline of Dr. Richardson's Lecture
How would you illustrate the essential meaning of the Eucharist? Dr. Richardson described four pictures in the Third Century catacomb of St. Callixtus.
The first picture is of a man in a cloak with his hand held out toward a tripod, on which is a loaf of bread, and a fish. On the other side of the tripod stands a woman with arms extended in the form of a Cross, looking at us. The man represents a bishop, the tripod the altar, and he is consecrating the Eucharist. The woman represents the Church. She stands, rather than kneels, in prayer, as the early Church knelt only for confession. The fish is the symbol of Jesus Christ, Saviour of the world. Further, the fish to the early Church is the heavenly food. The fish also is the sign of Jonah, the symbol of resurrection. Finally, the picture suggests the heavenly banquet to be given at the end of time, and Leviathan the heavenly food of the Kingdom of God.
The second picture is of Abraham sacrificing Isaac, which the early Christian understood as fulfilled by our Lord's suffering. This sacrifice is newly presented at each Holy Communion.
The third picture is of the raising of Lazarus, which signified the presence of new life in Christ.
The fourth picture is of seven people sitting around a table on which again is a loaf of bread and a fish. It signified the Holy Communion, and the Heavenly banquet.
The concept of sacrifice comprehends the four themes pictured. Sacrifice means making holy, an action making whole. How does this occur? By four steps, four moments illustrated by the four frescoes:
3. New life
4. Holy Communion
Let us return to the first picture, the offering. The table of course is the altar. The Bishop is consecrating the bread and wine. The loaf and the fish symbolize the eucharistic elements which become the body of Christ. In order to become holy we offer ourselves, give ourselves away, to discover the service of perfect freedom, overcoming our egocentric lives.
The first step in Holy Communion is the offering of ourselves which means confession of what we really are, not what we think we are. This is the intention of confession, knowing what estranges us from God.
This step involves giving our work and goods to God; bread and wine, made out of the gifts of God, are the symbols of our work.
In the offering of ourselves we are united mystically with the Incarnation, whereby God offered Himself to us in His Son.
The second step, symbolized in the picture of Abraham and Isaac, is death. We not only give ourselves, but we die. To give ourselves away is no easy thing. To summon the courage to do it is hard. We are no longer the same, if God becomes the center of our lives.
This idea of sacrifice is fundamental to religion. Christ is the Lamb of God. In ancient sacrifice there is a mystical identity between the animal and the offerer. Death and new life in the soul accompanies the outward, sacrificial action. For the Christian, this is accomplished in Christ who dies and rises again. We could not give ourselves had Christ not first given himself. The consecration whereby we represent Christ's dying is not merely something to think or recall; it is a vital action at the altar. How do we conquer our sins? Only by dying, only by becoming one with Christ, giving up our self-centeredness, as we enter into the action of the liturgy.
The third step is seen in the picture of the raising of Lazarus. Out of death, new life is given. The climax of the Christian life is Easter; Christ is risen from the dead, and we at the altar receive the body of the risen Christ. Sunday is our weekly Easter. As God is now the center of our lives, new possibilities arise in living from and to God. We learn how it is possible to love, and so the note of joy enters. The primitive Eucharist was full of joy, as is seen in the Emmaus story.
The fourth step is Holy Communion. The pictures in the catacombs were funerary art. We consider now the seven men at the banquet. Actual banquets in honor of the dead person were held in a room above the catacomb. These also signified the heavenly banquet at the end of time. The bread which came down from heaven, manna, was a symbol of the heavenly banquet. The New Testament idea was that in Christ and the Church God's kingdom is realized--not completely--but the Holy Spirit is the "earnest" of the heavenly kingdom. The liturgy unites earth and heaven. It is not only the action of the earthly Church, but something which also happens in heaven; the brilliant interiors of eastern churches with their mosaics symbolize this.
In the supper, heaven is present. That is why we sing the "Sanctus" with the angels. Heaven is made present. That explains the note of joy. Eucharist is holy thanksgiving--"they ate it in wild joy," an early account says.
In this action of the Church we see the whole secret of Christian life and are united with the saints and the angels.