Thursday, 27 March 2014

Who Stole the Doxologies – Part Three

Having looked at some of the historical evidence we can conclude that the worship of the Reformed church in Scotland from the time of Knox included the use of the Conclusion or Doxology at the end of most Psalms.

Two issues are worth pursuing.  Firstly, why is it that the wing of the Scottish church that has most actively pursued the re-introduction of the liturgical practice of the early Reformation has most widely departed from the doctrine of the Scottish Reformation.  They want the worship of the Church at the Reformation; they most definitely do not want the doctrine of the Scottish Reformation.  I have no answer to this question. These “high” Presbyterians express outrage at Knox’s theology and firmly reject the teaching of the Scots Confession and the Westminster Confession of Faith.

It is perhaps for this reason that evangelical Presbyterians in Scotland, resisting the liberalism of modernism, also reject some of their liturgical practices that are genuinely Reformed and based on Scriptural principles.  That is not necessarily the case in Presbyterian circles in the USA where you can be both “high” Presbyterian and thoroughly Reformed in doctrine.

The second issue is, “How can we change things?”

Perhaps the best way is to re-introduce the practice gradually.  Maybe we can use a Conclusion / Doxology with the opening Psalm of praise in worship.  This would establish a Trinitarian emphasis at the very beginning of worship.

One problem which some might see is that the new and excellent Sing Psalms contains a wide variety of metres, unlike the limited range in the original Scottish Metrical Psalter. To accommodate this we need a wide range of doxologies in various metres.  I here append a list borrowed from the Anglican Diocese of Bristol who are experimenting with metrical Psalmody – indeed who have produced an online metrical Psalter borrowed mainly from Presbyterian sources.  (How is that for convergence !) :

All Glory to the Father, Son,
And Spirit, One and Three:
As was, and is, and shall be so
Through all eternity.

C.M.  Milton’s Version
To Father, Son and Holy Ghost,
Immortal glory be;
As was, is now, and shall be still
To all eternity.

To Father, Son and Holy Ghost,
The God whom earth and heav'n adore,
Be glory as it was of old, is now,
And so shall be for evermore.

Praise God from whom all blessings flow,
Praise him all creatures here below.
Praise him above, you heavenly host,
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost.

To God, the Father, Son
 And Spirit, glory be
As was, and is and shall be so,
To all eternity.

To God, our Father, and to God the Son
And God the Spirit let all glory be.
We worship ever three and ever one
As was, and is till all eternity.

All glory to the Father and the Son,
And to the Spirit, ever three in one:
As was and is, and ever more shall be
World without end for all eternity

By angels in heav’n of ev’ry degree,
And saints upon earth, all praise be addressed:
To God in three persons, one God ever blest
As it has been, now is and always shall be.

And glory to the Father raise,
To Son and Holy Spirit,
Alpha and Omega we praise,
 May we His life inherit

888 888
To Father, Son and Holy Ghost,
 The God whom heav’n’s triumphant host
And suffering saints on earth adore;
Be glory as in ages past,
As now it is, and so shall last,
When time itself shall be no more.

Great glories to the Father pay
Which to the Son are due,
And Holy Spirit too.
As was from first creation’s day,
Is and so shall for ever be,
Without end through eternity.

To God, the Father, Son
And Spirit three in one
All glory give now and again:
As was from utmost yore
Be now and evermore
World without end, Amen, Amen.

Glory to Father and to Son
And Holy Spirit three in one.
As was when ages first begun
Continues as time yet may run
Such as today might be
Until eternity.

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To God, the Father, Son
And Spirit, ever blest,
Eternal three in one
All worship be addressed.
As heretofore
It was, is now,
And shall be so
For ever-more.

All glory to the Father
All glory to the Son,
All glory to the Spirit,
For ever three and one.
As once it was and is now
And shall for ever more,
To endless ages stands firm,
The God whom we adore.

7,7,7,7 7,7
Bless the Father and the Son
And the Spirit, three in One.
Bless him now and as of yore
And shall be for ever more.
Bless the Lord and sing his praise.
Exalt him, ever, always. 
Glory to God the Father, God the Son,
And unto God the Spirit, Three in One.
From age to age let saints his name adore,
His power and love proclaim from shore to shore,
And spread his fame, till time shall be no more.

The language in some cases needs updating.  Perhaps there is a poet out there?

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