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Full text of "A book of worship for village churches"












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Gaylamount ■ 
Pamphlet 



DEPART.ViE.W 0" f.u.\. t f ' , O'J/ 

NEW YORK STATE COLLEGE OF AGRICULTURE 

CORNELL UNIVERSITY, ITHACA, N. Y. 



Gaylamount 
Pamphlet 



a $ook of Worship 
for tillage Churches 



By 
EDWARD K. ZIEGLER 

PRINCIPAL, RURAL CHURCH SCHOOL 
CHURCH OF THE BRETHREN 



with a 

FOREWORD 

by 

BISHOP J. WASKOM PICKETT, DJ). 

OF THE METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH 



AGRICULTURAL MISSIONS FOUNDATION, INC. 

NEW YORK, NEW YORK 

1939 



/..- -' 



AJ> 



£ 






COPYRIGHT, 1939 
AGRICULTURAL MISSIONS FOUNDATION, INC. 



: - 7 r 



PRINTED IN U. S. A. 



THE AUTHOR'S PREFACE 

FOR a number of years there has been a deep-felt need of a 
book on worship, and a book of worship orders, and sug- 
gestions for the observance of Christian festivals for India's 
rural churches. This handbook is the author's attempt to meet 
that need. It is the fruit of a few years of study, research and 
practical experience in the villages. It is written for the great 
army of devoted Christian pastors, teachers, and laymen who 
are leading the toiling villagers of India through worship to 
the feet of Christ. 

There is great need for further research, wide experimenta- 
tion, and exchange of experience in this field. Those whose 
desire it is to see the Church in this land really take root in 
the soil are doing much work in this field, and should have 
some means of exchanging experience and views. They are 
helping the Church to appropriate at once the splendid heri- 
tage of India's culture and the vast treasures of their Christian 
heritage from two thousand years. Out of these two streams of 
culture, the Indian Church will undoubtedly develop a cultus of 
worship which is truly Christian and truly Indian, a worship 
of God in Christ Jesus in which Indians may feel that they 
are drinking the Water of Life indeed, and from an In- 
dian cup! 

The chapters in Part One are the substance of courses of 
teaching given in the Rural Church School of the Church of 
the Brethren at Vyara and Bulsar over a period of four years. 
They have grown out of the discussion and practical work 
with a fine group of young village Christian leaders, who 
know their people and love their Christ. Their contribution 
to this book, through the discussions in class, and then through 
building, trying out, and revising many programs and orders 
of service, has been incalculable. 

I owe a deep debt of gratitude to Bishop J. Waskom Pickett 
of the Methodist Episcopal Church, whose books, Christian 
Mass Movements in India, and Christ's Way to India's Heart, 



and in later years whose friendship and counsel, have been a 
major inspiration in the pleasant task of preparing this book. 
I am especially grateful to him for reading the manuscript and . 
writing the Foreword. 

I am also deeply obligated to the secretaries of the National 
Christian Council, especially to the Rev. J. Z. Hodge for con- 
tinued encouragement, and to the Rev. F. Whitaker who has 
read the manuscript and made many valuable criticisms and 
suggestions. I am grateful to the National Christian Council 
also for making possible the publication of the book. 

My sincere thanks are due to a host of friends, Indian and 
missionary, who have given valuable help in various ways — 
reading portions of the manuscript, giving suggestions and 
counsel, and contributing and trying out programs and orders 
of service. Among many others, I must mention for special 
thanks the Revs. P. G. Bhagat and Somchand Ukadbhai, Mr. 
Rupsing Mangaldas, the Rev. E. L. King, the Rev. and Mrs. 
C. G. Shull, and the Rev. and Mrs. Amsey F. Bollinger. 

I owe a debt of thanks to individuals and publishing com- 
panies who have graciously permitted the use of materials 
from articles and books, some of which are copyrighted ma- 
terial: Dr. John L. Goheen, The Christian Century, The In- 
dian Witness, The Y.M.C.A. Publishing House, Biglow-Main- 
Excell Company, Dr. Wm. E. Orchard, for materials from 
Divine Service, and The Friendship Press. Many of the Scrip- 
ture portions are taken from the American Revised Version 
of the Bible. Permission to use them has been granted by the 
International Council of Religious Education, who hold the 
copyright. I have tried to give due credit for all materials 
used, but if I have inadvertently omitted doing so, I shall ap- 
preciate having attention called to it, and shall seek pardon 
and correct omissions in future editions. 

Finally, I owe an immeasurable debt of gratitude to my 
wife, whose constant encouragement and counsel has been one 
of the chief sources of inspiration to me in preparing this work. 

Bulsar, Surat District, India, ) „ T ^ _ 

_ , > Edward K. Ziegler 

December, 19)8. ) 



•aylamount 
Pamphlet 



Concerning the American Edition 

I desire also to express my deep appreciation to the Agricul- 
tural Missions Foundation and to Mr. John H. Reisner, 
its executive secretary, for inspiration and encouragement in 
many ways, for making the publication of an American edi- 
tion possible, and for providing a world-wide distribution of it. 
Easton, Maryland E. K. Z. 

June, 1939. 



Gaylamount 
Pa 



PUBLISHER'S NOTE 

IT is a great pleasure to have a share in the wider distribu- 
tion of Mr. Ziegler's remarkable book. When I first saw it 
during my trip to India last winter, I was immediately con- 
vinced of its great usefulness in other lands as well as in India. 
I therefore brought back with me one hundred copies of it to 
share with the executive officers of various home and foreign 
mission boards. The response has been so enthusiastic that we 
are reprinting five thousand copies of the earlier India edi- 
tion. The book will now find its way to many countries in 
addition to India and we hope will inspire others to enrich it 
by their own experience and adapt it to other situations and 
cultures. 

At the request of Mr. Ziegler, the Agricultural Missions 
Foundation, Inc., has copyrighted the book. This was done 
to guarantee its free use by religious organizations. Permission 
to translate and publish will be freely granted to missionaries 
and religious bodies upon written application. Our only con- 
cern is that it be of the greatest possible service in enriching 
the worship of rural churches wherever it may be of use. 

Copies in English of A BOOK OF WORSHIP FOR VIL- 
LAGE CHURCHES are available in India from the Lucknow 
Publishing House, Lucknow, U.P., and from the National 
Christian Council, Nelson Square, Nagpur, C.P. The price is 
12 annas. Copies are also available from the Agricultural Mis- 
sions Foundation, Inc., at $.25. 

I desire also to express our deep appreciation of the generous 
attitude and cooperation of Mr. Ziegler in making the Ameri- 
can edition possible. 

John H. Reisner, Executive Secretary 

Agricultural Missions Foundation, Inc. 
156 Fifth Avenue, New York, New York 

June, 1939. 



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Pamphlet 



TABLE OF CONTENTS 

PART I 

PAGE 

Author's Preface i 

Publisher's Note 5 

Foreword 9 

CHAPTER 

I. Introduction 11 

II. What Happens when we Worship ... . . 18 

What is True Worship 18 

The Results of Worship 21 

Worship and Christian Brotherhood 23 

The Pattern of Worship 24 

The Final Test 28 

Suggestions for Further Study 29 

III. Materials of Worship and their Use 30 

Music 33 

Prayer 34 

The Bible in Worship 37 

The Offering 38 

The Sacrament of Sacred Silence 39 

Pictures 40 

The Sermon 41 

Drama 42 

The Creed 42 

Suggestions for Further Study 42 

IV. How to plan a Worship Program 44 

The Pattern of Worship and the Parts of the Service 48 

Suggestions for Further Study 49 

V. The Church Year 50 

Which Festivals Shall we Observe 53 

1. The Historic Christian Festivals 53 

2. Christian Rural Life Festivals 54 

3. Reclaimed Hindu Festivals 55 

A Suggested Outline for a Church Year for Vil- 
lage Churches 58 

Suggestions for Further Study 60 

7 



Table of Contents (continued) 

PAGE 

VI. Creating the Atmosphere of Worship 61 

The Place of Worship 61 

The Minister's Part in Creating Reverence ... 66 

Some Miscellaneous Suggestions 68 

Suggestions for Further Study 69 

PART II 
Orders of Worship and Programs for Christian Festivals 

Orders of Worship 

A Service of Worship in the Words of the 

Bible 73 

A Service of Worship for Sunday Morning 

(Methodist) 76 

A Service of Worship ...'.. 1 78 

A Simple Liturgy for Village Churches .... 80 

A Service of Worship for Sunday Morning . . 83 

A Service of Sacred Silence 84 

A Service of Worship in Song 85 

A Brief Order for Daily Morning Prayers ... 86 

A Brief Order for Daily Evening Prayers ... 87 

Programs for Christian Festivals, etc. 

A Worship Program for Christmas 88 

Passion Week, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday 92 

Pentecost — Whitsuntide 98 

Planting Festival 100 

Festival of the First Fruits 102 

Harvest Thanksgiving Service 104 

A Christian Observance of Divali 106 

A Memorial Service 109 

A Candle-Lighting Service for New Christians . .111 

Dedication of a Threshing Floor 113 

Form of Service for Blessing Well 115 

Service for Beginning a Village House 117 

A Service for the Dedication of a Village Home 118 
Service for the Dedication of Small Children . . .120 

Service for Burial of the Dead 122 

Offertory Sentences 125 

A Table of Movable Festivals for 1939-1960 . . .128 

Bibliography 129 



FOREWORD 

By Bishop J. Waskom Pickett, of the 
Methodist Episcopal Church 

THE need for this book has been realized by many people. 
Since the publication of Christian Mass Movements in 
India, I have been asked by scores, and probably by hundreds 
of men and women who are working for Christ in Indian 
villages for the sort of help that this book will give. I have 
told many of them of the preparations being made by the Rev. 
Edward K. Ziegler to produce this book and I now rejoice 
that he has been able to complete his manuscript and have it 
published. 

Relatively few Indian villagers are literate and the move- 
ments that have produced the Church of the Indian villages, 
with rare exceptions, have taken place in castes and tribes 
which have a rate of literacy even lower than the average. 
The problem of how knowledge of the truth as it is in Christ 
can be imparted to new Christians has baffled many ministers, 
evangelists and teachers. Much of what is said in sermons and 
lessons makes little or no impression on the minds of typical 
illiterate villagers. The types of worship service which have 
evolved in Western churches since literacy has become com- 
mon do not meet the need of illiterate villagers in India. 
Services that are centered in the pulpit and in which con- 
gregational participation is provided only, or chiefly through 
reading, do not, and cannot, engage illiterates in the worship 
of God, and no one seems to be helped much by coming to 
Church to see the preacher worship God. 

For illiterate Indian Christians a rich liturgy is almost a 
necessity. They do not have access to the Word of God. Un- 
less their parents were Christians during their childhood their 
minds are stored with Hindu or Muslim lore, much of which 
hinders the development of a Christian mind and personality. 
What is said to them does not meet their spiritual needs un- 



less they receive it and make it their own, and their minds 
have not been trained to receive and absorb. The liturgical 
service with its repeated use in worship of materials that ex- 
press the eternal verities of the Christian faith has special val- 
ues for them. These derive not alone from the acquaintance 
the liturgy gives with the truth but from its deposit in the sub- 
conscious mind of materials out of which personality is re- 
constructed and made more like unto the mind of Christ. 

Bombay, India 
November, 19)8. 



10 



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CHAPTER I 
INTRODUCTION 

A FEW years ago the Indian Church, through the National 
-**■ Christian Council, set out to discover what was happen- 
ing in the many areas of India where Mass Movements to- 
ward Christ have taken place. It sought to find out where and 
why the Church was growing, and if it was not growing, 
why not. The Survey commission under the leadership of Dr. 
J. Waskom Pickett, after several years of thorough scientific 
research, presented a report which has become one of the most 
illuminating and thought-provoking documents in the history 
of the Christian Church in India. 

One of the most significant findings of this Survey was that 
concerning the relationship between worship and the growth 
and vitality of the Church. In those areas where the Church 
was growing, it was invariably found that real and satisfy- 
ing worship has a major part in the programme of the Church. 
There it was found that the Churches were making progress 
in spiritual living, and had a warm evangelistic fervour. On 
the other hand, Churches in which the worship of God in 
Christ has been neglected, were almost all weak, stagnant, and 
ineffective. In the report of the Survey entitled Christian Mass 
Movements in India, Bishop Pickett says: "Beneficial social 
changes appear to have taken place most generally where 
Christian worship has been most firmly established, as in 
Nagercoil, Vidyanagar, Ranchi, and Guntur, and least gen- 
erally where Christian worship has been least successfully in- 
augurated, as in Barhan, Etah, Ghaziabad, and Vikarabad. 
Where these converts have learned to worship God as revealed 
in Christ and have established habits of worship, they have 
acquired concepts of God and of themselves in relation to him 
that have powerfully affected their social standards, their con- 
duct, and in the course of time their status in the villages. 
Worship of the God of Christ by these victims of the Hindu 
caste system is apparently destructive of the estimate of them- 

ii 



selves that Hinduism had given to Malas and Madigas, 
Chamars and Chuhras. Belief in the love of God for them, 
enlivened and empowered by their worship, helps to create or 
to strengthen a sense of their value." 1 

Let us contrast this picture with that of the villages where 
regular, satisfying and vital worship of God in Christ Jesus 
is not carried on. There the Church is stagnant. There is in it 
little growth in Christian graces of character, no desire to 
evangelize or share the blessings of Christ with neighbours, 
relatives, and friends, and no social passion. However good 
may be the programme of religious teaching in such village 
Churches, the level of attainment in Christian character and 
service is found to be distressingly low. 

In far too many villages the picture of worship we see is 
uncomfortably like this : The minister or evangelist comes un- 
announced and unexpected to the village. He calls the vil- 
lagers together. Someone brings out a cot upon which he sits. 
Another is sent to call the headman. Small unkempt, un- 
clothed children stare from dark doorways. A bell is rung. 
The villagers who are not busy in their fields straggle in. 
Some of them are dirty and uncombed. No special prepara- 
tion has been made for the service. There is no place set apart 
for the worship of God. Then the minister puts on his spec- 
tacles. He selects a hymn. He leads it and the children and 
perhaps a few others join in it. He reads a lesson from the 
Bible and preaches a sermon. He may take up a collection: it 
can scarcely be called an offering. He prays earnestly, perhaps 
at great length and in unfamiliar language for his flock. Then 
he returns to his home village. 

What really has happened? A group of villagers, not a con- 
gregation, has gathered, and watched and heard the minister 
worship God. They have had no part in the service except the 
feeble singing of a hymn which they did not fully understand, 
and of which the tune sounded foreign to their ears. Some 
of them gave a pice in the collection. Is this what it means 



1 Pickett, J. W., Christian Mass Movements in India, New York, The 
Abingdon Press, p. 128. By permission of the Author. 

12 



to worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness? It is neither 
the beauty of holiness nor the holiness of beauty! Of course 
this picture is overdrawn. But honestly now, have you not 
often seen occasions like it? 

What kind of worship, then, will satisfy the heart and 
change the life of our village brethren? Merely watching a 
preacher worship will neither satisfy him nor bring him into 
the life-transforming holy presence of the Heavenly Father. 
Worship for him must be absolutely real. He must have a 
vital part in it. It must be his own. The minister's part is to 
lead the congregation into the life-giving presence of God. It 
is to help the humble worshipper to express the deepest yearn- 
ings of his heart toward God. 

How can our worship be made more radiant and winsome ? 
It must first of all be simple. It must be couched in language 
which the simplest mind can quite understand. While it must 
deal with the deepest longings of the humble Christian's heart 
and express his highest hopes and aspirations, yet it must all 
be in the language of every common day. Furthermore it must 
be a witness to true Christian brotherhood, the brotherhood of 
the Lord's Supper and the family of God. There must be no 
barrier of caste, no distinction between rich and poor, educated 
and unlettered. All are and ought to be one family approach- 
ing in love and simple trust their heavenly Father. 

Again, worship must appeal to the Indian heart. Western 
hymn tunes and forms of worship, western style benches, long 
sermons and wordy prayers do not really attract the soul of 
Indians. Satisfying worship, too, must be sincere, warm and 
deeply spiritual. Only such forms of worship as meet these 
standards have power to attract and change our village people. 
Florence Moyer Bollinger in a searching paper on Building 
the Church Through Worship, says: "Finding God in the 
silences we are uplifted in spirit; but the creaking of the cart- 
wheels on the road outside recalls us to the fact that the 
Church of Christ in India has begun its day of toil. It is not a 
church which has much time for silent meditation, but largely 
a Church which toils. In the forests, in the fields, on the dusty 

13 



roads, in the school-rooms and in the humble homes, the 
Church of Christ in India is toiling. Two ideals, then, we will 
put down in red letters for this toiling Church : First, that our 
forms of Church worship must be adapted to the people and 
their needs. Second, that the people must share in the wor- 
ship." x 

The barrenness of our village worship services is not nearly 
always the fault of the village preacher. He is usually quite 
untrained in the art of leading worship. With the best will 
in the world, he does not know how to lead his people into 
the presence of God. He has usually had neither training nor 
guidance in planning worship programmes, and he has few 
materials with which to work. It is true that many excellent 
books of prayers have been written. In each vernacular such 
books may be found. Books about prayer and the devotional 
life are on the shelves of his library. A few good books on the 
theory of worship are available in the vernaculars. But gen- 
erally speaking, there is a great dearth of vernacular litera- 
ture in the field of worship and worship programmes. There 
are practically no books available to the average village 
preacher, teacher or layman from which he may learn to con- 
duct public worship. 

There are excellent hymnals in which the Church's rich 
treasure of song from every race and tongue has accumulated 
through the ages. Indians like Narayan Vaman Tilak have 
given the Church a priceless heritage of noble Christian song. 
In many areas of India the treasures of the Gospel of Christ 
are offered to the thirsty millions in vessels of song from 
which they love to drink. The familiar bhajan, \irtan, abhang 
and \ala\shepam (various forms of religious lyrics and songs) 
have become the vessels for the water of life, and villagers as 
well as high-caste peoples listen all night long with absorbed 
interest to the great stories of Christ sung in these familiar 
and well-loved forms. 

There is to-day a remarkable awakening to the need for ad- 
vance in the field of Christian worship. The National as well 



1 Indian Witness. 



l 4 



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as the provincial Christian Councils, and many devoted serv- 
ants of the Church are giving much time and thought to the 
preparation and publishing of appropriate forms of worship 
for all kinds and conditions of Churches. Some notable work 
has already been done. This little book is an attempt to pro- 
vide a simple handbook of worship which will help the vil- 
lage preacher, teacher or layman to understand this great func- 
tion of the Church and to conduct worship with dignity and 
grace. It seeks to point the way to some of the materials which 
may be used in the worship of God. It is the author's hope 
that it may help in some small way to point the millions of 
India's Christian villagers to the Christ who said, "They that 

worship Him, should worship in spirit and in truth The 

Father seeketh such." 

SUGGESTIONS FOR USING THIS BOOK 

A. — For all who lead the Worship of Village Churches. — 

Pastors, Teachers, Evangelists, Laymen. 

i. Study the chapters in Part One carefully until the 
glory and greatness of your privilege as a leader of 
worship, a true priest to your people, dawns upon you. 

2. In consultation with the local leaders of your Church, 
select an order of worship from Part Two for your 
regular services. Teach your people the responses and 
the order until all can join in freely and with true un- 
derstanding of the meaning of every part. Use it at 
least six months regularly, or make it your permanent 
order of service. 

3. Within the framework of this order of service, choose 
your hymns, the Bible readings, and prepare carefully 
your prayers in harmony with the theme of the mes- 
sage which you will give. 

4. Use the suggested programmes for special occasions 
and festivals through the year. Prepare early. Teach 
your people their part in the order. Begin early enough 
so that all can take part with enthusiasm and under- 
standing when the time comes. For the great festivals, 
a month's time is needed for thorough preparation. 

15 



B. — For Seminaries, Training Schools, and Institutes. 

i. Use the first part as a basis for the study of the Princi- 
ples of Public Worship. 

2. Follow up carefully and to the limit of your time the 
suggestions for further reading and study given at the 
end of each chapter. 

3. Some advanced students should conduct research into 
the available worship materials in the vernacular of 
your area. Others should search out from the devo- 
tional writings of Hindu and Mohammedan saints 
the materials — songs, prayers, etc., which can be used 
in Christian worship. 

4. Try out the suggested orders of service, and the pro- 
grammes for the observance of Christian festivals in 
village Christian groups. Make such adaptations as 
may be required for the Christians of your area. 

5. Plan a full church year in accord with the seasons and 
seasonal work of your province. 

C. — For Literature Committees or Translators. 

1. A careful compilation of all available literature on 
worship in your vernacular should be made and added 
to the bibliography, or substituted for it. 

2. Wherever special hymns or musical settings for Bib- 
lical materials are suggested in this book, such mate- 
rials available in the vernacular hymnals and worship 
literature should be freely substituted or added. 

3. Portions of Part Two, especially the programmes for 
the Christian festivals should be widely distributed, 
especially through the vernacular Church press. Such 
programmes might be issued as reprints also, so that 
they may be used in all village Churches, by all the 
worshippers. I would suggest this as a means of get- 
ting the programmes into real use throughout the vil- 
lages. 

16 



Gaylamount 
Pamphlet 



D. — For Church Councils. 

Each Church Council within a language area might select 
one or two orders of worship and with it a few other pro- 
grammes or items of special worship material, and print 
them as a small booklet of worship on durable paper, to 
be distributed free or at low cost to all Christians who can 
read, so that they may be used in the regular services, and 
kept in the hymnal or songbook used. I would suggest the 
following materials for such a booklet: 

An order for Sunday services. 

Programme for morning and evening daily prayer. 

A service of sacred silence. 

A suggested programme for family prayer. 

A few brief suggestive prayers for use in family 

worship. 
The Lords Prayer. 
The Creed. 

This material might be printed in large type, clearly 
spaced and marked so that the semi-literate Christian 
can easily follow it. 



17 



CHAPTER II 
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE WORSHIP 

As the bride looks back to the mother's house, 

And goes, but with lagging feet; 
So my soul looks up to thee and longs, 

That thou and I may meet. 

As a child cries out and is sore distressed, 

When its mother it cannot see; 
As a fish that is taken from out the wave, 

So 'tis, says Tuka, with me. 

— Tukpram} 

~Ya7"HAT really happens when we worship God? What 
» * does it mean to worship? What is this wonderful ex- 
perience which has power to transform the life and change 
the destiny of the humblest villager as well as the most cul- 
tured? Why does this experience so change individual Chris- 
tians and the divine society called the church that they be- 
come strong, pure, life-changing agencies in the village com- 
munity and in the state ? There must be here some great dy- 
namic that makes all things new. 

What is True Worship? 

Deep in every human heart is a hunger and thirst for God. 
It is there from earliest childhood, and it imperiously demands 
satisfaction. No life can be complete nor integrated unless this 
hunger and thirst for God are satisfied. It is beautifully ex- 
pressed in the poignant prayer of Saint Augustine, "O God, 
our hearts are homesick until they rest in thee, for thou hast 
made them for thyself." It is the hunger which appears in the 
beautiful prayer of Tukaram, quoted at the beginning of this 
chapter. This hunger of the soul may not be gainsaid. The 
confusion and complexity of our modern life, both in town 

1 From Psalms of the Maratha Saints, by Nicol MacNicol. Association 
Press, Calcutta, 1919. p. 56. By permission of Publisher. 



Gaylamount 

imphlet 



and country, demand that each man must have within him- 
self deep wells of power and poise and spiritual peace in order 
that he may adequately deal with life's problems. We can see 
about us everywhere the evidences of this need. On every hand 
we see worry, fear, dread, suffering both merited and un- 
merited, insecurity, tensions between various groups and 
classes, the pitiful tragedy of those who have lost the anchor 
of faith. How desperately we all need a life-changing, calm- 
ing, strengthening touch with God! 

Now true worship is that transforming experience with God. 
At its highest and best, it is the soul's approach to God in 
wonder, adoration, love, and communion. The very heart and 
essence of the experience is prayer. There is a beautiful saying 
of Jesus which suggests the underlying idea of worship. This 
saying is not found in the Gospels, but was only discovered 
in the sands of the Nile in 1903. It is very probably authentic, 
and it certainly breathes the very spirit of the Master. It is 
this: "Let not him that seeketh cease from his quest until he 
find. Finding, he shall wonder. Wondering, he shall find the 
Kingdom. And finding the Kingdom, he shall rest." It is this 
sense of wonder — wonder at the love, the tenderness, the 
power, the grandeur and holiness of God, that brings us to 
His feet in worship. It is the very foundation of worship in 
our hearts. 

Worship, then, is the response of the human soul to the 
brooding tenderness, the matchless love, the pure holiness, and 
the awesome majesty of God. It issues in wonder, love, and 
praise. To worship means to open the doors of our hearts and 
to commune with God. It is the response to Christ's invitation, 
"Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any man hear my 
voice and open the door, I will come in to him, and sup with 
him, and he with me." Worship is an experience in which we 
consciously join our hearts with the Eternal, and the currents 
of the spirit flow between the human soul and the divine. It 
cannot be one-sided. We believe that the Father seeketh such 
worshippers as will worship him in spirit and in truth; that 
when we call upon Him, he will answer us; and that when 

19 



we wait in patience for God only, he will hear our cry and 
come unto us. 

In a sense, the experience of worship is the celebration of 
the soul's experience with God. Someone has called it the 
drama of the soul's adventure with God. In it we live through 
our contacts with him, and renew the well-springs of eternal 
life within us. Each true experience of worship, then, recapit- 
ulates the divine-human relationship. Furthermore, it is some- 
times called an offering to God. The idea underlying this con- 
cept is that man's chief end is to glorify God, and that God 
desires this offering of praise and homage from his creatures. 
This conception of worship has elements of truth, but it does 
not exhaust the truth. Our tribute of worship is a very real 
and worthy offering to Him. But we believe that God recipro- 
cates and draws nigh unto them who approach him with hum- 
ble and contrite hearts. 

In the experience with God in worship, we celebrate fel- 
lowship with Him, and enjoy for a time the infinite grace of 
His presence. But this is not the whole story. At the same time, 
worship is the highest possible form of our association with 
our fellow-men. In private devotion, the sense of fellowship 
with kindred souls is strong, and there comes a heightened 
consciousness of the social implications of our belief in and 
fellowship with God. We often find when we look at God 
that he is looking at our brothers. But when we worship with 
others, this aspect of worship becomes more pronounced. The 
quality and depth of human friendship or association depends 
upon the integrity and kind of the foundations for that asso- 
ciation. Friendship among thieves is a precarious thing, be- 
cause generally it is based upon a dishonest and untrustworthy 
foundation. The associations growing out of our contacts with 
men in earning honestly our daily bread are far more likely 
to be lasting and secure. But the associations growing out of 
our pursuit of the very highest things in the highlands of the 
spirit, are the strongest and noblest associations of all. To join 
with our fellow-Christians in the worship of God in Christ 
is to strengthen immeasurably the ties of Christian brother- 

20 



hood and friendship. The experience of joint worship of God 
is one of the finest possible ways of developing that joyous 
sense of oneness that was so characteristic of the church in its 
early days in Jerusalem. The age-long experience of the church 
has confirmed this fact, and it can and will be one of the 
strongest means of building in India the Kingdom of God. 

The Results of Worship 

The worship of God in Christ has certain important and 
far-reaching consequences. The changed and enriched lives of 
individual Christians, their deeper love for each other, their 
spirit of brotherhood, their eagerness to witness for Christ, and 
above all the radiance of their personal Christian character are 
the major products of the emphasis on real worship. 

If our contact with God in worship is real, it will bring 
about vast changes in our inner lives and in our relations with 
our fellowmen. There comes to the true worshipper through 
this communion with God new power to win victory over 
every kind of sin and temptation. There arises within him a 
new purity and holiness of heart, which is the direct result of 
contact with a God in Christ who is spotlessly pure and holy 
beyond our highest dreams of him. The experience will lib- 
erate us from our sins and fears; it will release within us spir- 
itual energies and prepare within us a highway for God. It 
will reveal to us higher values than we have known. It will 
give to us clarified mental and spiritual vision. It will rest the 
nerves. It will give us ethical insight, and a challenge to self- 
sacrificing and devoted social action. It will create fellowship 
and identify us with the saints and heroes of the church of to- 
day, and will make us partakers of the heritage of noble lives 
lived in the nineteen centuries of Christian history. These are 
some of the deeper results of true Christian worship in the 
lives of the worshipper. 

Bishop Pickett points out in Christian Mass Movements in 
India some of the specific beneficial social changes that have 
been brought about by the practise of regular, satisfying wor- 
ship of God by the village church. Some of the more impor- 
tant of these social changes may be noted here. 

21 



i. A Notable Increase in Self-respect. — The old debasing in- 
feriority complex departs. Manhood is restored, and new and 
unsuspected powers are discovered in the lives of those who 
for thousands of years have had to be the victims of the old 
caste system and its disabilities. No longer do these worship- 
ping Christians feel that they are mere beasts. They are con- 
scious of becoming the children of God, and as his children 
they rise to walk in newness of life. 

2. Greater Occupational Variation. — Those Christians who 
by the old caste system were bound for life to certain degrad- 
ing traditional occupations have through this newness of life 
and new self-respect found that there are new and better fields 
of work opening up to them. Their sons are entering and 
conquering new types of occupations and the professions. 

3. Unselfishness. — With the development of real worship 
comes a marked increase in the eagerness of the village Chris- 
tians to share the blessings of the new life with their neigh- 
bours, relatives and friends. This unselfish sharing spirit leads 
them to share with those who had oppressed them as well as 
with those unfortunates upon whom they themselves had 
looked with contempt. The implications of this for evangelistic 
witnessing are clear. 

4. New Respect from other Communities. — The Hindu and 
Mohammedan neighbours of worshipping Christians have far 
more respect for them than they have for those who do not 
worship. The dignity of Christian worship wins real respect 
for the worshippers. 

5. Cleanliness and Appreciation of Beauty. — Where regular 
and satisfying worship takes place, there is a transformation 
in the outward appearance of the place of worship, the wor- 
shipper himself, and his home and surroundings. Cleanliness 
and love of beauty come with it. Village Christians soon dis- 
cover that they cannot worship God in the beauty of holiness 
and a dirty shirt, nor with uncombed hair. Nor can they con- 
tentedly go back from worship to a house and grounds that 
are filthy and unkempt. So the result of worship is cleanliness 
and beauty, flower gardens, and clean clothes. 

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6. Women ta\e a Prominent part in Church life. — Vital 
Christian worship has given the village churches a new sense 
of the dignity of womankind, and has brought them to the 
front in many aspects of church life and work. 

7. Love for Education. — The man who attends regular 
Christian worship in which every worshipper can and should 
take active part, cannot contentedly remain illiterate. Nor can 
he tolerate illiteracy in his family or in his church or village. 
Worshipping Christians love to learn, and they send their 
children to school. 

8. Better Marriage Customs. — It has been found that the 
evils of child marriage and conformity to old tribal customs or 
heathen rites are far less among the churches that have regu- 
lar vital worship. 

9. Less Participation in Heathen Festivals. — Wherever em- 
phasis has been placed upon the observance of joyous Chris- 
tian festivals and satisfying and life-giving worship, there has 
been little tendency to participate in the degrading aspects of 
the heathen festivals which are so large a part of the social life 
of the village. 

It will be seen that these beneficial social changes are not 
the mere theorizing of someone with devout hopes, nor the 
idle dream of wishful thinking but are the changes actually 
observed where a strong program of worship is now being 
carried on. These social changes may be called some of the 
by-products of Christian worship. It has been found that to 
produce these by-products, it is not enough to have a strong 
program of religious teaching, nor to have high standards for 
admission to the church or to the communion. These changes 
come about more largely through the instrumentality of Chris- 
tian worship than through teaching or pastoral care, or any 
other factor. 

Worship and Christian Brotherhood 

It is illuminating to compare the various types of worship in 
India. Let us go to Benares or Hardwar and watch our Hindu 
brethren worship. There may be vast crowds of worshippers, 

23 



yet all worship is primarily individualistic. The multitude is a 
crowd; it is not a congregation. Each man worships for him- 
self alone. There is no lack of devotion. But there is no likeli- 
hood of the development in this kind of worship of any social 
passion and love for others, or of any deep sense of solidarity 
and brotherhood. It is individual worship, even when per- 
formed in the midst of a vast milling crowd. 

On the other hand, Islam does have joint worship. To see 
twenty-five thousand Moslems kneel and prostrate themselves 
toward Mecca in the Jumma Masjid in Delhi is a sight one 
can never forget. And we Christians can learn much of rever- 
ence from them. But where are the women ? Are they not also 
children of God ? Why must they be excluded from the high- 
est and noblest religious exercise of the community of the 
Faithful ? Here is suggested then one of the noblest values of 
Christian worship. There is in it perfect fellowship. For 
"There can be neither Jew nor Greek, there can be neither 
bond nor free, there can be no male and female; for ye are 
all one in Christ Jesus." (Gal. 3:28.) We may learn from our 
Hindu brethren the beauty of personal devotion to God, and 
from our Mohammedan friends reverence of the name and 
holiness of God. But we have much to give. In the perfect fel- 
lowship of Christian worship, all distinctions of sex, age, 
wealth, culture, education, position, race, caste, and colour are 
laid aside, yea wiped out; and we approach the throne of God 
together as his dear children. In this fellowship we have a 
priceless treasure to give to India. 

The Pattern of Worship 

There are, of course, a great many types of Christian wor- 
ship, varying according to temperament, doctrinal back- 
ground, cultural heritage, custom, and heredity. Many are the 
approaches to the gates of the Holy City. But in all these 
varied types of worship, the consciousness of God's presence 
is central. Elaborate ritual in the chancel of a stately cathedral, 
the solemn hush of a service of silent prayer in a plain meeting- 
house, the joyous song and quiet simple prayer of a village 

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congregation worshipping in a thatched hut or under the 
shade of a spreading tamarind tree, are diversities of ministra- 
tions indeed, but they may be in the same Spirit, and full of 
the consciousness of the same Lord. Everything that makes 
this consciousness more real has a place in worship. Anything 
that obscures this consciousness is out of place, and is a 
hindrance. 

When we try to analyze the experience of worship, it be- 
comes evident that it follows certain definite paths. These ele- 
ments or steps in worship have been analyzed and outlined in 
various ways. A study of some of the worship experiences of 
Bible characters is highly interesting. One of the most pene- 
trating students of the art of worship, Dean Willard Sperry, 
in his book, Reality in Worship, suggests that there are three 
main parts to every service of true worship. They are the chief 
essentials in every program of worship. These are the parts he 
suggests: First, a direct call to worship, and the celebration 
of some one of the attributes of God. Second, there will fol- 
low naturally a statement and recognition of precisely those 
aspects of our nature which are suggested by contrast with 
that attribute of God. And third, there will be the central de- 
votional act of rededication. 

The call of the prophet Isaiah, as recorded in Isaiah 6, is one 
of the simplest and yet most perfect examples and patterns of 
true worship to be found in the Bible or in any other litera- 
ture. At the beginning of the experience, Isaiah, the young 
prophet-prince of Jerusalem, is grieving over the death of his 
counsellor and older friend, King Uzziah. He was in the Tem- 
ple, in a receptive and meditative mood. It is in this mood that 
the transforming experience of God's presence can be felt. 
Then while Isaiah was waiting, there came to him the match- 
less vision of the majesty and holiness of God. This is the first 
step in every true experience of worship. To the waiting heart, 
God grants a vision. 

The result of this vision was that Isaiah fell on his face be- 
fore the splendid vision of the glory of God. He recognized 
in the flash of divine light his own unworthiness and unclean- 

25 



ness. Is it not always so? The vision of God's holiness re- 
veals our impurity, his strength our weakness, his love our 
hardness of heart, his beauty our unloveliness, his grace 
our pettiness. So the second step of the experience of worship 
is this humbling realization of our unworthiness and need. 
And in penitence we confess our sin and weakness. 

Let us see then what happens to the penitent prophet. An 
angel comes, and taking the tongs lifts a live coal from the 
altar and touches its purifying fire to his lips, and he is flooded 
with the consciousness that his iniquity is purged and his sin 
taken away. This cleansing and the certain knowledge that 
we have been cleansed is the third step in the worship experi- 
ence. And the inevitable result of this overpowering experi- 
ence of the gracious pardoning touch of God is a flood of 
praise and gratitude pouring forth from our hearts. We must 
sing with the psalmist, "O give thanks unto the Lord, for he 
is good; For his mercy endureth forever!" 

The next step in worship is instruction, or commission. We 
have seen the vision of God. Humbled by the splendour of 
God, we fall at his feet in penitence. Then we feel his pardon- 
ing and cleansing touch, and we break forth in praise and 
exultation. It is now that we are ready to hear the voice of 
God calling and commissioning us for his service. We recall 
the needs of others, and hear God's will for them and for us 
in relation to them. He shows us his plan for them. It was at 
this stage that Isaiah heard the words, "Whom shall I send, 
and who will go for us?" Again we respond to this call of 
God, and with the prophet, we say, "Here am I; send me!" 
This is the step of dedication of our lives to the work and 
the Kingdom of God. It is the sixth step in worship. 

The seventh and last step is the benediction of peace. It is 
the peace that can come only to a surrendered and directed 
life and heart. It came in floods to the soul of Isaiah when he 
dedicated himself to his ministry as an ambassador of God. It 
is God's final gift to us in the service of worship, and with it 
we go forth from his presence, renewed, strengthened, with a 
high purpose to do God's will. 



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This then is a pattern of perfect and complete worship. Let 
us look again at the seven steps in the experience: 

Vision of God. 

Humility. 

Pardon and Strengthening. 

Praise and recollection. 

Commission — revealing of the will of God. 

Dedication. 

Peace. 

Into this pattern may be fitted the various elements of song, 
Scripture readings, prayers, responses, creeds, teaching, and 
offerings which make up the order of worship. They all have 
their place in this pattern. They are the vehicles through which 
we express and through which God expresses to us the various 
steps of the true worship experience. 

It will be noted that there is in this pattern of worship a 
principle of alternation. First God gives us a vision of him- 
self. We respond in humble penitence. He in turn grants us 
pardon and new life. We respond with songs of praise. God 
speaks again, revealing his will that we carry these blessings of 
pardon and grace to others. We respond, dedicating our lives 
and our all to the tasks and program he sets for us. And finally 
comes his benediction of peace. The first step may be taken 
through a call to worship or a hymn. The second is normally 
prayer. The third may be expressed in prayer, hymns of praise 
or reading from the psalms. The fourth is expressed in hymns 
of praise and the Gloria. In the fifth comes intercessory prayer, 
Bible readings, and the sermon. The offering may represent 
the sixth, with prayer, and the benediction or closing prayer 
of a service may make the last step real to the worshippers. 

There is a further principle of movement or progression in 
the pattern of worship. A true experience of worship will 
take us from where we are, tired, confused, doubting, wor- 
ried, and will carry us step by step into the radiant presence 
of God, from which we shall emerge refreshed, straightened, 
integrated, and full of power. The lines of Archbishop 

2 7 



Trench's beautiful sonnet on Prayer express what the ex 
perience of worship can do for us: 

"Lord, what a change within us one short hour 

Spent in thy presence will avail to make! 

What heavy burdens from our bosoms take; 

What parched grounds refresh, as with a shower! 

We kneel, and all around us seem to lower; 

We rise, and all the distance and the near 

Stands forth in sunny outline, brave and clear! 

We kneel, how weak! we rise, how full of power! . . ." 

We move forward into the Holy of Holies of God's pres- 
ence, we receive His power and peace, and we can go forth 
conquering and to conquer. 

It should be the aim of those who lead in worship to ensure 
that this glorious experience comes to every worshipper, 
whether man, woman, or child, in the service which he con- 
ducts. And it may thus become the common experience of 
all. It is true that we approach the experience of worship in 
differing moods. At times we may feel like entering at once 
into the spirit of praise. But the path of the human spirit in 
its communion with God is generally as we have shown it 
here. In any given congregation the dominant mood is likely 
to demand following this pattern. 

Worship is indeed too deep and ineffable an experience to 
be coldly analyzed. It is far beyond our power to describe 
adequately. Nevertheless, as we consider the paths of our own 
spirits and of worshippers and mystics through the ages, wc 
find help and guidance in preparing for our high tasks as 
leaders of worship. It is our high privilege so to order the 
conditions and atmosphere of the worship experience that 
the people of our churches, entirely forgetting us, may through 
the programs we have planned and our unobtrusive guidance, 
come into the presence of God, and have their own souls 
illumined by "The Light that never was on sea or land." 

The Final Test 

What is the final test of an experience of worship? It is 
in the last analysis this: Has it had any effect in making the 

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worshippers more like Jesus Christ? For we believe that he 
who is like Christ is like God. His faith and good cheer, his 
confidence in the power of love, his tender compassion for 
all the suffering and oppressed, his willingness to accept the 
cross of sacrifice for the redemption of the world, his utter 
goodness, should and will show in the lives of those who 
worship him in spirit and in truth. Such transformations 
take time, but the change should become increasingly evident 
with each recurrence of the experience of worship. To pro- 
vide the occasion and the setting for such a transformation 
in the lives of the toiling village Christians is the high task 
and privilege of the leader of worship in the village church. 
And we may thank God and rejoice, for there is no higher 
task in all of God's world than this. 

Suggestions for Further Study of Chapter II 

i. Study the worship experiences of these Bible characters, 
and analyze them carefully: 

Jacob. Genesis 28:10-22; 32:22-32. 
Moses. Exodus 3 and 4. 
David. Psalms 27, 51. 
Jeremiah. Jeremiah 1. 
The Samaritan Woman. John 4. 
Peter. Luke 5:1-11; Acts 10. 
Paul. Acts 9, 16. 

2. Discuss with an understanding Hindu or Mohamme- 
dan friend what the experience of worship means in his life. 

3. Make an investigation of the social and spirtual changes 
brought about by the practise of worship in the churches with 
which you are acquainted. 

4. Using Studying Worship By the Project Method (E. L. 
King, Lucknow Publishing House), study the various forms 
of worship carried on by all kinds of people in your area. 



29 



CHAPTER III 
MATERIALS OF WORSHIP AND THEIR USE 

Of all I have, oh Saviour sweet, — 

All gifts, all skill, all thoughts of mine, — 
A living garland I entwine, 

And offer at thy lotus feet. 

— Narayan Vaman Tila\} 

IN various ages and lands the materials used in worship 
have varied greatly. But there has always been this uni- 
versal need of some vehicle for the communion of the soul 
with God. In earliest times, the dance and the drama, the 
offering upon an altar of the fruits of the field or of an 
animal, have dramatized the approach of the soul to God. 
Singing and musical instruments were probably first used in 
some form of worship. Today in some churches elaborate and 
colourful liturgies lead the worshippers into the highlands of 
the spirit with God. 

The elements most commonly used in worship and which 
are available to the village church in India are the Scriptures, 
music, prayers, the sermon, offerings, art and the drama. 
All of them are useful and some of them are indispensable 
in giving expression to some part of the pattern of worship 
we have described, and in bringing the word of God before us. 
To focus the attention of the worshippers, interpret the ob- 
jective of worship, provide ways of expressing the feelings 
of worship, and to clearly present the voice of God, we need 
to utilize the rich treasures of worship materials which have 
come down to us. 

The church in India has indeed a rich treasury of worship 
materials upon which she may draw. Not only does she have 
access in some measure to the rich and vast treasure of hymns, 
prayers, and religious art of the countries which for many 
centuries have been Christian, and which are the common 



1 From Poems of Narayan Vaman Tila\, J. C. Winslow, Ed. Association 
Press, Calcutta. By permission. 

30 



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heritage of East and West, but she also has access to and may 
legitimately claim for her own the inexhaustible riches of the 
culture of India. This land has a very rich treasure of de- 
votional literature and some of religious art which may be 
used by the Christian church. It is the high privilege of the 
church in India to unite these two great streams of devotional 
materials and bring about a new and beautiful and rich cultus 
of Christian worship, superior to any we have yet known in 
India. The Indian church has a great contribution to make 
the Church universal in the field of worship, and she has be- 
gun to make it. It is of the utmost importance that Indian 
Christian scholars and leaders shall give much of their time 
and thought to developing Christian worship that is Christian 
and Indian. The water of life must be offered to India in an 
Indian cup. And surely it is pleasing to God that in the forms 
and ways that are natural and at home in India the church 
should offer to Him her cup of adoration and praise. 

There are certain general principles which we need to fol- 
low in the selection of materials for worship, for the village 
church in India. In the first place, nothing shoddy or unworthy 
may have a place in the worship of God. With such a wealth 
of worthy materials, it is almost an affront to God to worship 
Him with less than the best we can find. Only hymns of real 
beauty, dignity, and with a real message, only prayers that 
have been thought out carefully and are made in the best 
language of which we are capable, only pictures which have 
a real message can be used in worship. It was a true instinct 
of the Hebrews which made them offer only the finest un- 
blemished animals for sacrifice to Jehovah! 

In the second place, as we have indicated above, we should 
use as much really Indian material as we can in making up 
our worship programmes. Indian lyrics and tunes, prayers 
from Indian sources, Indian pictures at times, a house of 
worship that is not a crude copy of western architectural forms, 
Indian musical instruments, the use of flowers, lyrical preach- 
ing, Christian forms of the ancient village folk-dances as a 
means of worship — these are a few of the ways in which we 

3i 



can use the rich heritage of Indian culture; and in the lovely 
words of Tilak, 

"A living garland I entwine, 
And offer at thy lotus feet." 

The question then arises as to where we shall find these 
rich treasures of materials for use in worship. The Bible is of 
course the supreme treasury of worship materials. The 
psalms, the challenging and inspiring messages of the proph- 
ets, the Gospels, the noble letters of the New Testament, 
are all of supreme value in worship. We shall consider at 
greater length its place in worship. Then there are the hymnals. 
In most of the vernacular hymnals there are excellent trans- 
lations of some of the finest treasures of hymnody that have 
come down to us through the ages from every land. In it we 
find the hymns expressing the finest aspirations and prayers 
and praises of the saints of the church in England, Germany, 
ancient Greece, America, France, Scotland, Ireland, Italy, 
India, China, and many other lands. Then too we have books 
of prayers which have come down to us through many cen- 
turies of developing Christian worship. Such books as the 
Boo\ of Common Prayer or A Chain of Prayer Through the 
Ages contain valuable worship materials which may help us 
all to express our prayers to God. 

When we seek Indian materials for use in worship, there 
is no lack of rich sources. In English, there are some notable 
collections of poetry, in which there are worthy and beautiful 
prayers and hymns which the church can use to the great 
enrichment of its worship. Among these might be mentioned 
the Gitanjali of Rabindranath Tagore, Psalms of Maratha 
Saints, by Nicol Macnicol, Poems of Narayan Vaman Tila\, 
by J. C. Winslow, and the beautiful collection entitled Temple 
Bells, collected by Dr. Appasamy. In the various vernaculars, 
there is a vast amount of material awaiting our use. In every 
language area, some Christian scholar might well set out to 
find and make available some of the treasures of devotion 
which can be used. Some of the poems and abhangs of Tuk- 



Gaylamount 
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aram and Tagore approach in beauty and devotional value 
the psalms of David. 

Let us now consider each of the major types of worship 
material in turn and set forth a few suggestions as to their 
use. 

Music 

The Indian church is a singing church, as indeed every 
church which has captured any nation's heart has been. Every 
great forward movement in the Christian church has been 
borne along on the wings of song. Someone has said that 
in the Protestant reformation, Martin Luther did as much 
through his chorales as he did in his translation of the Bible. 
The Wesleyan revival probably owes nearly as much of its 
great success and widespread and permanent influence to the 
hymns of Charles Wesley as to the preaching of his more fa- 
mous brother John. The modern movements which are stirring 
the church to its depths are singing their way along. There 
is a reason why music has so' prominent a place. It is one of 
the very finest and most expressive of the handmaidens of 
religion. It seems to be the natural language of prayer, adora- 
tion and praise. 

There are two principal kinds of music which we may use — 
instrumental and vocal. The very first instruments ever made, 
reed pipes, were probably used to express the feelings of wor- 
ship in the heart of a lonely shepherd. The harp, the organ, 
and many other instruments always carry with them the 
association of stately music of adoration and praise. In India, 
we can and should make wider use of Indian instruments 
in our worship. The harmonium too often destroys the beauty 
of Indian tunes, but if well played, it can probably be used. 
In the villages, the drums and cymbals and castanets are most 
useful for accompanying the lilting, rhythmical lyrics which 
villagers love so well to sing. A singing band such as is now 
found in so many village churches, which uses these native 
instruments and perhaps a small harmonium, is not only a 
great asset in worship, but can do wonderful work in witness- 
ing through a lyrical presentation of the Gospel. We should 

33 



make every effort to develop such a singing band in every 
village Church. 

In vocal music, there are also many forms which are dis- 
tinctly Indian which we may use. Instead of translating many 
more of the Western hymns in exact western meters, it is 
far more desirable that the rich messages which are found in 
these hymns should be thoroughly understood by real Indian 
poets who will put the substance of them into Indian lyric 
form. The bhajans and \irtans of Western India, the \athas, 
the lovely abhangs of Marathi poesy, the \ala\shepam of 
South India are all forms which are now being used, and 
which should be still further developed. Another important 
possibility is that of setting responses, short Bible passages, 
short prayers and sentences to Indian tunes, that they may 
be memorized by village Christians and used in worship. 
One of the great South Indian Churches has had its whole 
beautiful ritual set to Indian tunes and the worship of that 
Church is most inspiring and attractive to the real Indian heart. 

A word should be said about the selection of hymns to be 
sung in any service. Careful use should be made of the index 
in the hymnal. Always the most appropriate hymn, one that 
expresses the message, and whose tune also fits in with the 
mood of the service should be chosen. In every Church there 
should be a singing band or choir, and a good leader, who 
will lead the congregation in song. In village Churches, every- 
body should learn the hymns, and take part in their singing. 
And whenever possible, lyrical preaching, and the witness 
of Christian song should form a major part of the evangelistic 
programme of the Church. 

Prayer 

Some Churches in India always follow prescribed forms 
of prayer which are generally the translations of the historic 
prayers of the Church. At the opposite extreme are those 
Churches which always use only free spontaneous prayer. 
Neither of these extremes can have the best possible spirit in the 
service of worship. The prayers which are read tend to be- 
come formal, and even monotonous in spite of their beauty. 

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re 



In free prayer, there is rarely any adequate preparation, and 
the prayers too often become a display of the peculiar orator- 
ical powers of the one leading in prayer. We should frequent- 
ly use the prayers which others have prepared, for they may 
express some of the deepest needs of our hearts and open 
new vistas of communion which we or our people have not yet 

: experienced. On the other hand, whenever we use free prayer, 
it is most important that much time and thought be spent in 
preparation for it. Even though we do not write our prayers, 
we must think through the petitions we shall make, the 
thanksgiving, and the intercession most carefully, in order 
that the prayers may not be only what we think, but may 

: indeed be the heartfelt yearnings of the whole congregation 
vvhom we lead into the presence of God. 

The language of prayer must be simple and yet exalted. 
Abstract theological terms, sonorous Old Testament names 
for God, and shopworn phrases have no place < in real prayer. 
Our prayers should be brief and to the point. They should 
deal with the real needs of the people whom we are leading. 

There are various kinds of prayer in a service of worship. 
In the orders of worship in Part Two will be found prayers of 
invocation, of adoration, of confession, of sin, of petition, and 
of intercession. All of these forms are important and should 
be used, and carefully prepared. There are some other forms 
of prayer which may be used also. The bidding prayer has 
been found to be much appreciated by village Churches. The 
congregation prays silently while the leader suggests at brief 
intervals things for which all should pray. Litanies, in which 
the people respond with a brief sentence after each petition of 
the leader's prayer, are also very helpful. We do not make 
adequate use of silent prayer, in which each worshipper is 
permitted to commune with God in the silence of his own 
heart. There should be in every service some time set apart 
for silent prayer. Hymns of prayer, sung with bowed heads, or 
kneeling, are a most beautiful form of prayer. 

A word should be said about the benediction, which is a 
form of prayer. This is a solemn invoking of the Holy Spirit 

35 



to go with every worshipper to his home and daily tasks as 
he leaves the house of God. There are several beautiful Biblical 
benedictions which may be used, among which the following 
are very commonly used: 

Now our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and God, even our 
Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us ever lasting 
consolation and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts, 
and establish you in every good work and word. Amen. 

II Thess. 2:16-17. 

Now the God of peace, who brought again from the dead 
the great shepherd of the sheep with the blood of an eternal 
covenant, even our Lord Jesus, make you perfect in every 
good thing to do his will, working in us that which is well- 
pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be the 
glory forever and ever. Amen. 

Hebrews 13:20-21. 

The Lord watch between me and thee when we are absent 
one from another. Amen. 

Genesis 31:49. 

The Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times, in 
all ways. The Lord be with you all. Amen. 

II Thess. 3:16. 

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God, 
and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen. 

II Cor. 13:14. 

Grace to you and peace from God the Father, and our 
Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins, that he 
might deliver us out of the present evil world, according to 
the will of our God and Father; to whom be glory forever 
and ever. Amen. 

Gal. 1.3-5. 

The Lord bless thee and keep thee; the Lord make his face 
to shine upon thee and be gracious unto thee; the Lord lift 
up his countenance upon thee and give thee peace. Amen. 

Numbers 6:24-26. 

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Now unto him that is able to guard you from stumbling, 

and to set you before the presence of his glory without blemish 

in exceeding joy, to the only God our Savior, be glory, majesty, 

dominion and power, before all time, and now, and for- 

evermore. Amen. 

Jude 24-25. 

After the benedictions are pronounced, the people should 
always say Amen, and should remain for a short time in silent 
prayer before going out. 

The Bible in Worship 

The Bible is the supreme book of worship, and must have 
central place in our worship services. For reverent contempla- 
tion, inspiring stories of how the saints of other ages have 
approached and found God, as a sourcebook for meditation, 
for praise and prayer, and as a revelation of the will of God 
for to-day and every day of our lives, the Bible stands alone. 
We should learn to use it profitably and wisely in the service 
of worship. 

In the first place, we must recognize that there are some 
parts of the Bible, especially in the Old Testament, which 
because of. their remoteness from our present world, or their 
sub-Christian ethical standards, are not suitable for use in 
worship. But there is so much that is good that we need not 
be alarmed about the unsuitable portions. 

It is most necessary that we learn to read the Bible well. 
Before going to the place of worship, the leader should read 
the passages he intends to read publicly, with great reverence 
and care, so that he will be able to read with real expression. 
Bible portions should be selected which strengthen the mes- 
sage which is to be given, or the entire service may center 
around some inspiring passage. 

There are various ways of using the Bible in worship. From 
it we may select calls to worship to be used at the beginning of 
the service. These should be verses or sentences which set forth 
strikingly the attribute of God which we desire to stress. The 
Psalms and to some extent the prophets are source-books for 
this kind of material. Then there are various ways of having 

37 



the Scripture lesson read. Some types of lesson, especially 
narrative, should be read with expression by the leader or 
some other educated person who has prepared beforehand 
to do so. Lyrical passages may be read responsively, the leader 
and the congregation alternating, or the two halves of the 
congregation alternating. Some passages may be read in uni- 
son, if they are familiar to the worshippers. 

Memoriter work is especially valuable in the villages. Every 
village Christian, child or adult, even if illiterate, can store 
his mind over a period of time with some of the great passages 
like the Beatitudes, Psalms 23, 24, 67, 90, 100, 121; John 3:16; 
Deut. 6:1-9; Gal. 5:22-24; and others. When they are memo- 
rized they should be thoroughly taught, and then frequendy 
used in public worship. 

Occasionally the service may center around an expository 
reading of a passage. This is a useful way to teach Bible 
lessons and make the Bible live. 

The Offering 

Too often the offering is merely a collection, and is not a 
real part of the worship service. As we have seen in studying 
the pattern of worship, dedication of our lives and our selves 
is one of the most important steps in the true experience of 
worship. The offering should represent the dedication of life 
and time and talents as well as wealth. With what reverence 
we should give and receive it! It should have a real place in 
every service, and be planned for as carefully as any other part 
of the service. The people should be taught and encouraged 
to consider the offering a vital part of worship, and to realize 
that they should never come empty-handed to the house of 
God. 

In village Churches where money is always scarce or its 
possession at best seasonal, giving in kind should be encour- 
aged. The vessel of blessing, the Lord's acre, the Lord's hen 
or goat or cow, all these suggest ways in which the villager 
may dedicate something he has to God, and have something, 
whether an egg, a chicken, some fruit, some grain, some hand- 
woven cloth or hand-spun yarn to give at every service. We 

38 



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shall not enter deeply into this subject here; but it is impor- 
tant that every village Christian look upon giving to the Lord 
as a joyous privilege of his worship experience. 

The offering may be received by elders or stewards who will 
pass a neat brass tray or hand-woven basket kept for this pur- 
pose while a hymn of dedication is being reverently sung. An- 
other impressive way of receiving the offering is for the leader 
to speak slowly and impressively certain verses from the Bible 
on giving, while the congregation reverently file to the front 
of the place of worship and lay their gifts on the altar. Such 
verses may be found in Psalm 24:1; 51:15-17; 65; Proverbs 
3:9-10; Isaiah 58:13-14; 9:6-7; 11:9; Micah 6:6-8; Matt. 6:19-21; 
77-11; 6:30-33; 7:24-27; Romans 12:1-2; I Cor. 16:2,13-14; 
II Cor. 8:9-12; Gal. 5:22,23; I Tim. 1:14; James 1:17. When 
the offerings have been placed on the altar, the congregation 
should sing the Doxology, and the leader may offer a brief 
prayer of dedication. 

The Sacrament of Sacred Silence 

"Be still and know that I am God!" How rarely in our 
services do we heed that call! We frequently use as a call to 
worship the noble words of Habakkuk, "The Lord is in his 
holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before him," and 
then we do not permit a moment's silence until after the bene- 
diction is pronounced! Silent adoration and meditation is not 
only a wonderful channel of the spirit in worship, but it ap- 
peals to the Indian heart. Why do we not use it more? There 
should be a quiet time, for meditation and adoration and 
hearing the voice of God, in every service. It can be carried 
out in any one of the orders of service printed in Part Two of 
this book. But in addition to that, there should be occasional 
services in which the sacrament of sacred silence is the main 

1 part of the service, its climax. Such an order of worship will 
be found also. The elements of silent worship are meditation, 
silent prayer, self-examination before God, holy revery and 

'■ unspoken adoration. 

One communion, the Friends or Quakers, always make the 
sacrament of silence the most prominent part of their worship. 

39 



It will be illuminating to read what a Friend says of it as 
worship : 

"It is in silence that the congregation gathers and sits in 
expectation of an experience to satisfy the soul. If the silence 
is accompanied by weariness of mind or by distracted thoughts 
upon secular matters, the silence is spiritually dead; but if the 
silence is that of thirsty souls supported by concentrated and 
intelligent thought upon spiritual matters, then the silence is 
a living silence, from which will flow exhortation or suppli- 
cation to the help or comfort of the hearers. . . . There is a 
spiritual unity produced in silent worship which is a familiar 
experience to any Friend and which constitutes one of his 
dearest possessions." ' 

Our village Christians will need to be trained in the use of 
silence. And whenever it is used, suggestions for meditation 
and prayer should be made so that the silence will not be that 
of an empty mind, but that of rich and uplifting consciousness 
of the presence of God, who speaks in a still small voice. "My 
soul, wait thou in silence for God only." 

Pictures 

We all know how village people love pictures. It is a true 
instinct within them which causes them to love graphic rep- 
resentation of the truths they seek to learn. In the worship of 
God, too, pictures have an important place. Certainly one of 
the best ways to make a place of worship attractive and wor- 
shipful is to have within it a few good worshipful pictures. 
There is a prejudice in some sections of India against the use 
of pictures, lest our non-Christian friends should think we 
worship the pictures and are idolaters. This objection is of 
doubtful validity, and of scarcely enough weight to justify our 
depriving the village Churches of the inspiration which good 
religious pictures bring. 

In worship they have a real place, in attracting the thoughts 
toward God, or making real and graphic some lessons we try 

1 W. W. Comport, "The Friends' Theory of Worship," The Christian Cen- 
tury, March 19, 1930. By permission. 

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to teach. The world is full of great pictures which can be used 
in worship. In fact, the very greatest art in western countries 
is religious art. The highest genius of the painters and sculp- 
tors of Europe was spent on pictures and statues of Christ and 
the Madonna and the Apostles and martyrs and saints of the 
Church. Let us use this rich heritage. And to-day, there is a 
growing treasure of Indian Christian pictures which are very 
attractive and beautiful. These pictures may be used in wor- 
ship to build those moods which are the home atmosphere of 
the spirit. 

Beautiful pictures, suitable for use in Churches and in wor- 
ship programs are now available and cheap. One of the finest 
of worship pictures is the new picture, Christ the Dawn, 
painted by the Indian artist Mr. A. D. Thomas. It may be had 
from the Bombay Book, and Tract Society, Bombay. Many 
other good pictures may be secured there. The pictures by 
Harold Copping, Miss Wood, and William Hole, all of which 
may be secured there, are of particularly great value for In- 
dian Churches. Other pictures may be secured very cheaply 
for village homes and Churches from the Lucknow Publish- 
ing Company, Lucknow. Larger and more expensive pictures 
may be secured from the Y.M.C.A. Publishing House, Cal- 
cutta. And finally I should like to call attention to the Port- 
folio of Indian Art which has some beautiful Indian pictures 
with suggestions for their use in worship, which is available 
from the Oxworth Book Service, Jubbulpore. 

The Sermon 

In many Protestant Churches, the sermon is given such a 
prominent place in worship, that everything else is considered 
merely preliminary, and of little worth. We have come far 
enough in this study to see that God has many other ways of 
revealing himself to the worshipper than through the sermon ; 
yet it has a very important place. The recovery of real wor- 
ship will do much to give the sermon a fair chance! If through 
all the period of worship that precedes the sermon, the wor- 
shipper actively participates and worships, he will be ready 
and eager to hear God speak through the sermon. 

4i 



This is not a treatise on homiletics so we will make only a 
few brief suggestions about the sermon. It must first of all be 
considered a part of the worship program, and not the whole. 
It must fit into its place in the pattern of worship as one of 
the means by which God speaks to us. Its purpose is to medi- 
ate the word of God to men, and to prepare their hearts to 
receive it. It should be brief, earnest, carefully prepared and 
always on such a subject which will meet the real needs of 
the people. It is not an opportunity for the display of wit and 
humour nor entertainment. It is a high and holy thing, and 
should be prepared with reverence and prayer. 

Drama 

Drama may only occasionally be used in worship, and then 
with the greatest care. It is a wonderful agency for teaching, 
but in worship, we must not be play-actors: we must be our- 
selves before God. Occasionally a Bible story or incident may 
be put on in the form of drama or pantomime or pageant. But 
there is no place whatever in the service for what Indian youth 
loves to call "farce." There is a great field for development 
and use of drama in religious education, for the villages, but 
its place in worship must always be negligible. 

The Creed 

Many Churches use the Apostles Creed or Nicene Creed 
regularly in worship. As a means of strengthening and affirm- 
ing faith it has a real place. Some Churches may like to use 
one or other of the brief Creeds in the language of Scripture 
which are found in some of the orders of worship in Part 
Two. If a Church uses the creed, it should be thoroughly 
taught and understood, and carefully memorized so that it 
can be spoken in unison with dignity and feeling. 



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Suggestions for Further Study of Chapter III 

i. Make a study of the vernacular literature at your com- 
mand, seeking out all hymns, prayers, etc., which may be 
used in Christian worship. 

2. What proportion of the hymns in your vernacular hym- 
nal are Indian, i.e., not mere translations of Western 
hymns? What proportion are sung to Indian tunes? 

3. Collect Indian pictures from current magazines or else- 
where, which may be used in worship. 

4. Study the use of flowers in worship in other religions, and 
in the Churches which you know. How can they best be 
used in our worship? 

5. Write out the prayers you will use in conducting a service 
of worship. Study the language and ideas you use, for 
simplicity, feeling, beauty, appropriateness and adaptation 
to the people whom you are leading in worship. 

6. Collect from Psalms and other books a number of sen- 
tences which may be used as Calls to Worship. 

7. Set the Beatitudes, or other metrical prose from the New 
Testament, to Indian music. 

8. Search out from your hymnal the hymns which can be 
used as prayers. 

9. Plan ways in which the service of giving in your Church 
may be made more attractive and worshipful. 



43 






CHAPTER IV 

HOW TO PLAN A WORSHIP PROGRAM 

TF worship is to bear its proper fruit in the lives of our vil- 
-*- lage Christians we must put much time and thought into 
the planning of the worship experience. A good order of wor- 
ship is a work of art. Slipshod or hasty preparation will never 
achieve the results we seek. Certain fundamental principles 
must be followed in our preparation. In the liturgical churches, 
the order is prescribed and there is little latitude for the choice 
and discretion of the leader of worship; yet in the selection of 
his theme, the hymns and call to worship, and to some extent 
in the preparation of his prayers and the selection of Scripture 
passages, he has some leeway, and there is need for the most 
careful preparation. 

The use of such guides to worship as Part Two of this book, 
the Book of Common Prayer, and other source-books has a 
two-fold value. We may use directly from them such orders 
of service and programs as may be adapted to our congrega- 
tions. Furthermore a careful study of the orders and programs 
there to be found will reveal the principles of creative worship 
upon which they are based. In addition to such aids, every 
leader of worship should keep a file of worship materials, into 
which he will put all clippings of prayers, poems, programs, 
stories, pictures and suggestions for worship which he may 
find in his reading. Often the vernacular church papers carry 
much useful material which could in this way be preserved. 

The first principle to be followed in planning the service of 
worship is unity. A theme should be selected for the service 
that will meet some specific need of the congregation, or that 
will be in harmony with the appropriate season of the church 
year. Every part of the service will then have reference to this 
central theme. The call to worship, the hymns, prayers, Scrip- 
ture lessons and the spoken message will each in its way tend 
to deepen the impression of the theme, and the whole service 
will have real unity, and will not be a hodge-podge of unre- 
lated acts. 

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The second principle is that of continuity. Rather than skip- 
ping merrily about from one unrelated subject to another 
there should be a regular sequence of related subjects about 
which the worship programs are constructed. This makes pos- 
sible sustained interest and a continuous program of teaching. 
The adoption of the church year plan followed by some 
churches, or the one suggested in Chapter V will insure such 
continuity. The plan of supplying all leaders of worship with 
a regular, carefully thought out year's program of worship 
themes and subjects for teaching which is followed in the 
Church of India, Burma and Ceylon, especially in the Diocese 
of Dornakal, is an excellent example of this. The year's course 
of worship suggestion prepared by Dr. C. D. Rockey of the 
M. E. church is another well-planned course which will in- 
sure this necessary continuity. 

The third principle to be followed is that of Variation. Ab- 
solute sameness of arrangement tends to become monotonous. 
There should be sufficient sameness so that the service will 
seem familiar to the worshippers and they will be able to fol- 
low and participate properly; but there needs to be a certain 
amount of freshness and variety in arrangement so that it 
never becomes stale and old to them. After using an order of 
service several months, minor changes can be made, or a dif- 
ferent order adopted. Furthermore, in the choice made for 
each service of hymns, responses, lessons, and in their arrange- 
ment, there is sufficient latitude so that unless the leader is 
careless or lazy, there need be no lack of variety and freshness 
in the services. 

The fourth principle is sharing. All the worshippers must be 
given adequate opportunity to participate actively in the serv- 
ice. In the responses, litanies, hymns, prayers, and, in fact, in 
practically every part of the orders suggested in this book the 
worshipper is constantly and actively and intelligently par- 
ticipating in the service. The humblest worshipper is permitted 
to take an active part. He need not sit passively watching the 
preacher worship. The importance of this principle can scarcely 
be overestimated. 

Another principle to be observed is that of proper balance. 

45 



There must be a proper proportion between the various parts 
of the service. This precludes any attempt on the part of the 
preacher to monopolize the major portion of the time for his 
sermon. It insures that there will be in each service ample time 
allowed for prayer, praise, confession, meditation, and hear- 
ing the voice of God through other channels. Neither will it 
deny the preacher a reasonable amount of time for the pro- 
claiming of his message. It insures that God will be given ade- 
quate time really to speak to the hearts of his people. 

In Chapter II we have observed already two further princi- 
ples to be followed in planning the service of worship, alterna- 
tion and movement. The alternation referred to there was the 
alternation between God and man, of vision and response. A 
further application of the principle in planning the order of 
service will provide for alternation between minister and peo- 
ple in the responses, responsive readings, Amens, chanting and 
other parts of the service. The use of the commandments and 
the beatitudes is another example of the following of this prin- 
ciple, where the minister speaks the first part of each beati- 
tude, and the congregation speaks or sings the second half; or 
in the commandments, where the minister may speak the com- 
mandment and the people respond, "Lord, give us grace to 
observe this thy holy law," or other appropriate response. 
There must also be progressive movement in the service. It 
must be so planned that it will take the worshippers from 
where they are and carry them forward to a definite climax in 
their communion with God. 

In planning for the service, the leader should keep in mind 
the various groups and kinds of people who will be present in 
the service. If there are to be children present, the service must 
be planned so it will not be over their heads. At the same time 
it must meet the needs of the adults who will be present. There 
may be some special feature planned for the children, or some 
of the hymns may be sung by the children alone. A special 
story for the little folks, or a certain portion of the sermon 
may be directed especially to them. And frequently there 
should be services of worship which are planned entirely for 
the children, in which they may freely participate. 

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B How then shall we proceed to plan the service of worship? 
i. The leader's preparation of prayer. This is the first and 
most important step in preparation. This is a high and holy 
task. Think: we are to lead our people into the very presence 
of Almighty God, and so arrange the order and the conditions 
that no one will miss the vision of His presence nor fail to 
hear His voice. The most important preparation for this task 
we can make is that we first of all become spiritually ready 
and alert, through hours of earnest communion with God. 
How can any man lead his brother into the presence of God 
if he himself through long practise know not the way ? So let 
this be the first step — many days beforehand, and every day, 
that we spend much time in communion with God. Without 
this, anything else we do will smack of empty formalism and 
hypocrisy. With it, we may see miracles of transformed lives 
as we time after time lead our people surely along familiar 
roads in the light of his presence. 

2. Now sit down with your Bible, hymnal, service book, 
and file of worship materials, for several hours of unhurried 
and thoughtful planning. 

3. Select carefully the theme for the worship service, either 
the one which naturally comes in the Church year, or one 
especially suited to the present needs of your congregation. 

4. Choose the order of service that you will follow, or make 
an outline of one. Write it out with ample space for correc- 
tions and filling in the parts to be chosen. 

5. Compare the outline you have made with the pattern of 
perfect worship. See the outline below, which shows how the 
various parts of the service may express the various steps in 
the perfect worship experience. 

6. Choose a call to worship, hymns and Scripture lessons 
that will at the same time fit into the pattern of worship and 
will be in perfect harmony with the special theme you have 
chosen. 

7. Give much thought to each prayer that will be used. Do 
not memorize the prayers, but think out every petition, and 
every cause for thanksgiving. Recall all those for whom inter- 
cessory prayer should be made. Make notes. 

47 



8. Make adequate preparation of the sermon or message. 

9. Confer with the person who leads the singing, so that he 
may know what is to be sung and prepare for it. 

10. Practice several times reading the Scripture lessons aloud. 



The Paliern of Worship and the Parts of the Service 

which May be used to Express each step 

of the Worship Experience 



Vision 



Humility 



Pardon 



Praise 



Commission 



Dedication 



Peace 



[Calls to Worship. 

I Hymns — Adoration, Celebration of some Attribute 

of God. 

/Prayers of Adoration, Responses. 
[Doxology. 

Prayer of Confession. 
1 Prayer Hymns. 

I Scripture Verses and Responses Expressing Peni- 
tence. 

{Reading of Scripture Assurances of Pardon. 
Pronouncement of Absolution by the Minister. 

'Psalms. 

I Hymns of Praise and Adoration. 

(The Creed. 

(The Gloria. 

1 Prayers of Thanksgiving and Intercession. 

'Prayer — Silent or Expressed. 

I Scripture Lessons. 

I The Sermon. 

1 Story or Picture Interpretation. 

[ Offering. 
) Silent Meditation. 
) Consecration Hymns. 
[ Prayer. 

j Benediction. 
(Scripture Responses. 
( Musical Responses. 

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Pamphlet 



Suggestions for Further Study of Chapter IV 

i. Make a careful study and analysis of the worship orders 
now in use in your Church, in the light of the principles stated 
in this chapter. 

2. Make a collection of orders of service used in the various 
Churches which you may attend, and study them in the light 
of these principles. 

3. Choosing an appropriate order of service from Part Two 
for your own Church, and using it as a basis, plan a complete 
service of worship on each of the following themes: 

God's Handiwork in Nature. 

Stewardship. 

First Day of a Week of Witness. 

Christ's Love for Children. 

Celebration of a Church Anniversary. 

Intercessory Prayer. 

Forgiveness of Sins. 

Being Good Neighbours. 

Christ the Light of the World. 

Victorious Living. 



49 



CHAPTER V 
THE CHURCH YEAR 

THE Christian Church from the dawn of its history and in 
many lands has centered its worship and teaching around 
the great Christian festivals. The first and most honoured of 
these festivals was Easter. Almost equal in the importance 
ascribed to it was Pentecost, the birthday of the Church. In 
the early days, all Christians wore pure white garments on 
Pentecost, so it came to be known as Whitsunday, a name 
still widely used for it. Later, other Christian festivals were 
one by one added to the calendar of the Church. From very 
early times Christmas has been celebrated. At first there was 
no agreement about the date, but gradually December 25 
was commonly accepted. Epiphany, which is sometimes 
celebrated as the anniversary of the coming of the wise men, 
and at other times and places as the anniversary of the ap- 
pearance of the Star of Bethlehem to the Magi, soon became a 
prominent feast. 

Christian saints and martyrs, and various other persons and 
incidents provided occasions for other festivals. Gradually 
there grew up an elaborate calendar of feasts, some of which 
have little significance for the Christian villager of India. 
There is, however in the calendar of the Church, a number 
of important occasions which have deep religious or historical 
significance around which the worship and teaching of the 
majority of Christian Churches is properly centered. This 
nucleus of great Christian memorial days or festivals is of 
inestimably great importance in the program of the Church. 
As a means of focussing the attention of the Christians, and 
giving to them a sense of continuity with the rich historical 
past of the Church and making real to them the historicity 
of the Christ, they are almost indispensable. 

In every great religion, we find a similar tendency. The 
Hebrews, who were predominantly a rural people, and whose 
religion was the very center of their life, had a few great 

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festivals whose influence in focussing their thought on 
the great events of their religious and racial history, as well 
as in promoting national and religious unity was incalculable. 
Three times a year all other work was laid aside and they re- 
joiced and worshipped together as one great family of God. 
Another important reason may be mentioned for emphasiz- 
ing the Christians festivals. Indian villagers, as well as people 
of the soil in every land, dearly love festivals. Our village 
Christian brethren live lives of constant and grinding toil. 
There is little opportunity for any wholesome recreation or 
opportunity to be joyous with their friends and brethren. 
They deeply need such occasions. This deep need in their 
lives is the secret of the continued popularity of the old heath- 
en festivals in the villages. It is perfectly natural and right 
to have festivals. The question that remains is whether we 
shall permit the village Christians to go on participating in 
old heathen customs, or whether we shall provide instead a 
Church year of joyous and pure Christian festivals in which 
all can joyously take part. 

Still another reason for the adoption of a Church year plan 
is the splendid opportunity it provides for motivating and 
organizing the teaching program of the Church. Around 
the Christian festivals can be centered appropriate seasonal 
Christian teaching. Each period between festivals can be 
filled with teaching organized around the great truth or 
Christian idea which is the central meaning of the coming 
festival. For the weeks preceding Christmas, the natural thing 
will be teaching about the need of a saviour, which will cul- 
minate in the joyous festival of His coming. The age-old 
custom of celebrating the forty days before Easter called 
Lent, in which there is much heart-searching, and emphasis 
on the deepening of the spiritual life, is a superb example 
of what can be done for our teaching program for the entire 
year. 

It would seem that one of the most important things we 
can do in thinking through the problem of worship and 
teaching in the village Church is for each communion to adopt 
a Church year plan that will suit its peculiar traditions and 



needs, and then use it as the basis for organizing the ministry 
of teaching and worship for the whole year. And the festivals 
themselves may be the great occasions for special meetings, 
joyous celebration, and bringing to a climax the program of 
teaching on the various subjects we have followed. Some 
Churches might find it desirable to make these festivals the 
communion seasons instead of having them quarterly or by 
some other arbitrary rule. 

At a conference of rural Church leaders of the Methodist 
Episcopal Church at Bareilly in 1934, the following statement 
was prepared and urged as a means of strengthening the 
village Churches. It is a section of the entire report, which 
appeared in the Indian Witness, for August 23, 1934. ♦ 

The Better Observance of Christian Festivals 

"The wide participation of our village people in non- 
Christian festivals is a weakness which demands continued 
attention. Such participation does not necessarily indicate 
any real religious conviction, but rather that the social and 
festive elements make a deep appeal, which is still further 
strengthened by custom. An additional reason for such festi- 
vals continuing their hold is that they are often occasions 
when the meager income of our people is considerably aug- 
mented in various ways. 

"In our efforts to substitute Christian festivals the following 
recommendations are made: 

"(a) The general approach should be positive, the firm es- 
tablishment of Christian festivals, rather than a negative con- 
demnation of non-Christian festivals without anything else be- 
ing provided to take their place. It is worthy of special note 
that the areas in which participation has been entirely elimi- 
nated are invariably those where large dignity and reverence 
have been secured in regular services of worship, and where 
Christian festivals have become securely established. 

"(b) In developing Christian festivals not only must contin- 
ued teaching regarding them be given, but specific help, sug- 
gestion and direction be given as to what may and ought to be 
done on such occasions. Plans should be clearly worked out and 
the group organized by the local leader to carry them out. The 

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special services of worship on the great festivals should be made 
as impressive as possible, and by the organization of processions 
and melas, and the presentation of pathos and dramas, the influ- 
ence of the festival season may be extended. 

"(c) Continued efforts should be made to secure the observ- 
ance of Sundays as a Christian "teohar" (Holiday). The non- 
Christian festivals are many and are well spread out over the 
whole year, whereas the great Christian festivals are few and 
confined to one or two months. The possibility of increasing 
the number of festivals to be specially observed should be con- 
sidered. The establishment of a harvest festival is both possible 
and desirable." 

Which Festivals Shall we Observe? 

Three types of festivals come to the mind when we consider 
the needs of the Indian village Churches. 

i. The Historic Christian Festivals. Not nearly all of those 
observed by the Churches of the West have significance 
for the village Christian. There is no value in having a fes- 
tival merely for the sake of the festival. It must have a vital 
connection with his life and experience, and must celebrate 
something that is vital to his Christian experience; it must 
be something that has some real relation to the Church 
in India. There are a few of the Christian festivals which are 
of great significance to Indian villagers, and of universal 
appeal. 

The first that comes to mind is Christmas. Of all the 
Christian festivals this has come nearest to being naturalized 
into the life and thought of the Indian Church. Epiphany, 
which by some Churches is held to be the anniversary 
of the appearance of the Star of Bethlehem to the Magi, and 
by others to be the anniversary of their visit to the infant 
Jesus, might have a great appeal to village people. It is cele- 
brated on January 6, twelve days after Christmas. It may 
symbolize the coming of the Light of the World to the 
Gentiles. Passion Wee\ and Easter are now very rapidly com- 
ing into their own as important Christian festivals. In far 
too many villages, Easter is as yet relatively unknown. It 
should surpass Christmas in the thinking of the Church. 

53 



Good Friday especially, of the days of Passion Week, should 
be celebrated with great solemnity. The forty days of Lent 
as a time of special self-denial and spiritual revival may be- 
come a time of great spiritual benefit to the Churches. It 
would be well to have a full eight days' special program, 
culminating in a great joyous celebration of Easter in all 
village Churches. A program for such observance will be 
found in Part Two. 

After Easter come two more of the historic festivals of 
Christendom, Ascension Day and Pentecost. The birthday 
of the Church especially may be a time of great rejoicing 
in the Church, and the fifty days preceding it are an ideal 
time for teaching about the Church and gift of the Holy 
Spirit to the Church to empower her for witnessing. 

2. Christian Rural Life Festivals. These form a group that 
are at the same time thoroughly Christian and yet are rooted 
deeply in the soil of farming countries the world over. In 
all the religions which have won the allegiance of tillers of 
the soil, there are festivals which are especially designed to 
celebrate the eternal mysteries of seed-time and harvest. They 
meet a deep human need. Too much stress can not be placed 
on the importance of religion in the life of the farmer. His 
is a very close partnership with God. In many primitive re- 
ligions, each act that the farmer performs in his daily toil has 
some religious significance. It is highly important that if Chris- 
tianity is to win the allegiance of farming peoples, it must in 
no way secularize his occupation. It is holy work he does; 
and the festivals of planting and harvest which we suggest 
in the observance of the church year are of the utmost im- 
portance in dramatizing the religious aspects of the farmer's 
life. 

The planting festival, perhaps combined with a service 
of thanksgiving for the first rains of the rainy season and a 
service of blessing on tools, farm animals and seeds, is be- 
coming very popular not only in India, but in Africa and 
China. Again, following not only the Hebrew example, but 
the custom of primitive people in many parts of India and 

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other lands, we are suggesting a First-Fruits Day. A short 
service, not a festival day, will be found for the dedication 
of a threshing-floor. And finally the day almost universally 
observed by Christian farmers, the Harvest Thanksgiving 
Day. In villages where homes are built of rather perishable 
materials, every year will see a number of new houses built. 
A service of dedication for these new homes is prepared also. 
It might be well to have one day especially designated in 
each village church when all new homes would be dedicated, 
or let them be dedicated in turn. The ancient ceremony of 
vastu (Hindu house dedication), finds its fruition in this 
Christian ceremony of home dedication. 

3. Reclaimed Hindu Festivals. The problem of the ob- 
servance of the non-Christian festivals will remain in our 
village churches for years to come. Are there any of them 
which are sufficiently unobjectionable in character that they 
may be reclaimed for Christ and His church? This is a 
controversial question. In general the tendency has been to 
disown and condemn all the non-Christian festivals, and to 
prevent Christians from having any connection whatever with 
their observance. But is it not possible that there may be ele- 
ments of good in some of them which should not be discard- 
ed? There is certainly ample precedent in the history of the 
Christian church for considering this question seriously. 
Christmas was at first a heathen festival, but it was taken 
over by the Church, given totally new meaning, and figura- 
tively speaking it was baptized! There may be similiarly 
some pagan background in some other of the great Christian 
festivals. 

We must recognize at the outset that there are some festivals 
observed in the villages which are so obscene and mischiev- 
ous in character that it is impossible to see any possibility of 
redeeming them. We may be grateful that Easter comes near 
the time of the notorious Holi festival, and if we celebrate 
Easter with the joy and impressiveness it deserves, there will 
be little trouble with our people wanting to celebrate Holi. 
Earnest Hindu reformers, too, are trying to stamp out the 

55 



practices which have made Holi a shame and a curse to the 
villages where it is observed. 

But the Festival of Lights at the Indian New Year, called 
D1VALI, is a festival of totally different character. Much can 
be said in favour of Christian village churches celebrating 
Divali in a Christian way. The making of beautiful designs 
in the courtyard and before the door, the general cleanup of the 
premises, the illumination, processions, and rejoicing are good 
in themselves. 

Divali is increasingly being observed as a festival when 
Christians celebrate the coming of Christ, the Light of the 
World. In some areas, it is celebrated as the Harvest Thanks- 
giving festival. Or the Harvest Thanksgiving Festival is ob- 
served as a part of the general celebration at this time, as 
outlined in the program on page 104. In the Sangli area of 
Maharashtra much constructive work has been done along the 
line of developing Christian festivals. There the Divali season 
was utilized to stress the dissemination of the Bible as the 
Light-bringer. An account of this observance, written by Dr. 
John L. Goheen, is appended, for it is a graphic account of 
what actually is being done. Divali is being baptized for 
Christ. 

One other day may be observed which has its counterpart 
both in Christian tradition and among the primitive peoples 
of India — a day in memory of those who have departed. This 
is being observed with new and rich meaning among many 
village churches, and is worthy of a place in the Christian 
Rural Church Calendar, as a day of remembrance and thanks- 
giving for the lives of friends and loved ones who have gone 
on before into the presence of the Lord. 

There are other special days which may and should be ob- 
served more widely in the village churches which are now 
quite generally observed in larger churches. The special days 
of prayer for the National Christian Council, the National 
Missionary Society, Sunday-School Day, Children's Day, 
Bible Society Day, and other days which may be of peculiar 

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significance to one communion or one locality, may be fitted 
into the Church calendar for the year. 

The Bible Festival of Light 

"The Village Christians of India have but few festive occa- 
sions in their lives. The Christmas and New Year festivals 
are of course universally observed with great joy and satis- 
faction and the Easter season is coming to have a deeper and 
more widespread significance. But there is need of much more 
enlivement, both socially and spiritually, because it is a very 
drab and monotonous existence that most of these rural Chris- 
tian folk are faced with. 

"In order, therefore, to bring added richness into the cal- 
endar an effort is being made to introduce some new festivals 
for village Christians, in the general area of Sangli, in the 
Southern Maratha country. The first of these to be started is 
the Bible festival, synchronizing with the Hindu Dipwali or 
festival of Lights. Why not introduce Christian significance 
into it for village Christians? And what richer significance 
than that of holding up the Bible as a medium of light for 
Life's pathway? 'Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet', and a 
light upon my path". 

"In October, 1937, the first attempt to bring this meaning 
into Dipwali was made. The results surpassed all expectations. 
A programme lasting ten days was prepared. Each day there 
was special Bible Study and time for meditation, both for 
individuals and groups. Family prayers were stressed. The day 
was begun with bathing and with prayer: 'Cleanliness is next 
to Godliness,' and it is important that village Christians should 
live and learn that principle. Then the sale and distribution 
of Bibles and Bible portions was carried on and the aim to have 
a Bible or New Testament in every Christian home was em- 
phasized. While there has not been complete success in achiev- 
ing that aim, no little progress has been made. Each evening 
the members of the community would gather together in the 
central places for prayer and worship, and further study. Many 
old quarrels and misunderstandings were removed, and a spirit 
of goodwill and mutual confidence was engendered. The Holy 

57 



Spirit was working in the hearts of His people. 

"Sunday, October 31st, was selected as the special Bible 
Sunday. The houses of worship were attractively decorated, 
and every one turned out happy and clean, and full of praise 
and gratitude. In the morning service the address had to do 
with the continued and constant use of the Bible, while the 
influence of the Bible as a Light in the Life of the village and 
nation was the theme for the evening service. Preceding the 
latter there was a procession of young and old through the 
Christian quarter to the Church, each one holding an unlit 
candle. Of course, this was accompanied with music and sing- 
ing. As darkness came on, the little Dipwali lights placed in 
front of many of the Christians homes, and about the House 
of Worship, were lit, and the closing feature of the service 
was the Candle Lighting, with the promise from each one to 
keep on carrying the light. 

"Now after a good many weeks, one is told that this festival 
proved to be one of great spiritual help and health wherever 
it was celebrated. And in not less than ten centres in the Sangli 
area was this done much as has been described above. The 
sale of Scripture portions and Bibles increased perceptibly, 
too. It is quite certain that hereafter many more villages will 
join in this celebration because it is felt that this Bible Festival 
of Light has been blessed of God. Truly the Light of His 
countenance seemed to be shining in these rural centres!" 
— Reported by Dr. John L. Goheen 

A Suggested Outline for a Church Year for Village 
Churches 

Christmas. Three or four days' celebration. 
To be followed by teaching on the Life of Christ, leading 
on to and culminating in Easter. 

Epiphany. One day's special program. Emphasis on Evangel- 
istic Witnessing. 

Lent. Forty days' of special meetings for prayer and devotion, 
with special efforts to deepen the spiritual life of the village 
Christians. This period should be used also for special train- 
ing for new inquirers. 

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Palm Sunday. Baptism may be administered on this day. 

Thursday of Passion Wee\. The Lord's Supper may be ob- 
served. 

Good Friday. Special service of penitence and prayer, with 
fasting. 

Easter Sunday. A full day's program of joyous celebration. 
Many churches will celebrate the Lord's supper. After Easter 
the teaching of the church will be on Evangelism and the 
Church, leading up to Pentecost. 

Ascension Day. 

Pentecost. A special day of prayer for the gift of the Holy 
Spirit and for witnessing to relatives and caste-fellows. To 
be followed by a few weeks of Christian teaching on Home 
and Family Life, leading up to the dedication of homes. 

Planting Festival 

Dedication of New Homes. To be followed by teaching on 
various aspects of Christian Living. 

First Fruits Day. 

Divali. To be followed by special teaching on Stewardship, 

leading up to the Harvest Thanksgiving festival. 
Harvest Festival. To be followed by teaching about God and 

His plan for the world, leading up to Advent and Christmas. 

Note on the Frequent Observance of the Communion 

The importance of frequent observance of the Sacrament 
of the Lord's Supper can scarcely be overemphasized. It is 
the supreme occasion of worship. It may well be observed 
in connection with the celebration of most of the festivals 
in this outlined church year. It should be observed at least 
as often as once a month in every church where it is at all 
possible. It has been found that the regular and reverent observ- 
ance of this service is one of the most potent forces for Chris- 
tian growth, even more in the villages than in urban centers. 



59 



Suggestions for Further Study of Chapter V 

i. What Christian festivals are observed in the churches 
of your area ? How are they observed ? 

2. List all the festivals observed by the non-Christians in 
your area. What is the origin of each? How is it celebrated? 
What social benefits or what harm result from its observance? 
What proportion of the people take part in it? To what ex- 
tent do Christians participate in it? 

3. Which of the festivals listed above are such that they 
might be adapted for Christian observance? 

4. Plan a year's church program of Christian festivals, with 
the teaching appropriate to the intervening periods, for the 
churches in your area. 

5. Make detailed plans for the observance of Lent in your 
churches. 



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CHAPTER VI 
CREATING THE ATMOSPHERE OF WORSHIP 

ALL our planning for the service of worship will come to 
full fruition only if the minds and hearts of our people 
are made ready and expectant for the experience of worship. 
It can be a great, transforming experience which opens the 
fountains from which the living waters from the throne of 
God will flow, or it may be just another occasion on which 
the people watch with dull interest a transaction between the 
preacher and God. Blessed is that leader of worship who trans- 
forms the humble village church, even though it be built of 
mud and thatched with palm leaves, into a temple where 
every hungry soul is fed, and every longing heart is brought 
into the very presence of the King of Kings. By using the aids 
at our command we can create an atmosphere in which souls 
instinctively look God-ward and are satisfied. 

It is true that a true worshipper will be able to worship any- 
where and in almost any circumstance. Yet in our congrega- 
tions there will always be many who do not know well the 
paths to the highlands of the spirit. There is always a large 
group who need the atmosphere of worship, and a definite 
place which has holy associations and in which the attention 
is irresistibly drawn upward. We shall consider in this chapter 
some of the essentials in creating the atmosphere of worship, 
and suggestions for the development of a spirit of reverence. 

The Place of Worship 

Too much emphasis cannot be placed on the importance of 
having a place especially set apart in every village where 
there is a Christian group, for the worship of God. However 
humble and plain it may be, it is of incalculable value in pro- 
viding a center for the religious life and aspirations of the 
village Christians, giving them a sense of the worth of their 
faith, and making possible for every Christian group to have 
its little place of worship or chapel. It is neither necessary nor 

61 



is it desirable that every group should have a church built 
of costly and permanent materials, subsidized from western 
funds. A small chapel with mud walls and a thatched roof, 
built and owned by the village Christian group itself it of 
greater value for our purpose than a large and westernized 
building provided by mission subsidy. 

In villages where there is a larger congregation, it is desir- 
able that there be a larger church, and in every place as soon 
as the economic condition of the Christian group permits, a 
building consistent in permanence, beauty, and dignity with 
our faith, should be built. At many places in India one can see 
examples of the growth of the church in this respect. Where 
fifty or a hundred years ago worshippers gathered in a mud 
hut to worship, but were encouraged to go on, within a few 
years they built more permanently and now many congrega- 
tions are housed in beautiful and permanent buildings of stone 
or brick, built by their own efforts and with their own re- 
sources. 

The question of a building site is a difficult one in many 
places. In some provinces land is no longer granted for purely 
religious purposes. It may be more desirable in such areas for 
land to be purchased outright by the Christian group and held 
by a board of trustees, so there can be no question of tenure. 
In every case this matter should be thoroughly gone into. The 
place should be adequate for the church and a small com- 
pound and garden, quiet, and near enough to the center of 
the Christian group. 

There are thousands of villages in India where it is not 
possible now to build even a small building for a chapel. In the 
dryer areas, an enclosed courtyard may be adequate. It should 
have a special platform or place where the leader may stand 
or sit to conduct worship, and should be well shaded. One 
beautiful and inexpensive place of worship was prepared by 
enclosing a small courtyard under the shade of a great tree, 
within a flowering hedge. At one end of the courtyard, a 
small open shrine was built, about six feet square and six feet 
high, with a graceful domed roof. Within this little shrine was 

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a cross, and a small table and prayer desk. The leader of wor- 
ship stood here to conduct worship, and the people all sat 
in the court around it. A Bible and a few religious pictures 
are kept in the shrine, and any worshipper may go there at any 
hour of the day and sit or kneel in the shrine, read the Bible 
and meditate and pray. This may be a possible type of worship 
place for many villages. 

In North India, a worship platform is occasionally prepared 
near the house of a leading Christian. On occasions of worship, 
a special rug is spread, a cross or a picture of Christ is placed 
at the center where the leader sits, the Bible is placed on a little 
low table upon a clean white cloth, lines are marked out in 
chalk to indicate the rows where worshippers are to sit. This 
is probably the very simplest arrangement that can be made. 

It should be possible in most villages where there is a small 
congregation, to build a church, using the common indige- 
nous materials which are used for building the better quality of 
homes in that locality, and roofed with tile. Around it should 
be a little garden filled with flowers in season. It should be 
distinctive enough in style to that all who pass by may know 
it is a place of worship. It should be open at all hours of the 
day for those who desire to go for an hour of meditation and 
prayer. But it should be so arranged that goats do not make it 
a harbour! 

The village church should be a building which expresses 
the worship feelings of the congregation, yet one in which 
they feel at home. The value of benches and other western 
furniture is extremely doubtful, and in most cases a defi- 
nite hindrance and a useless luxury. If the floor is of stone it 
may be covered by strips of home-woven rugs or carpets or 
matting. In many places instead of a high table and pulpit, the 
leader will desire also to sit on a small platform, and the com- 
munion table also may be only a few inches high. 

The question of architecture is one that is exercising the 
minds of many people. How far can we go in adapting In- 
dian architecture to serve the purposes of the church? What 
is definitely Indian architecture ? It is to be feared that many 

63 



village churches which have been built have little design 
about them. But it is possible to build even the humblest 
building in a style which will suggest worship, and the sight 
of which will lift the heart toward God. In every cultural 
area of India, some good Christian architect should make a 
careful study of the architecture of the worship places of 
other religions, and should create a style of building for the 
Christian church which will satisfy the esthetic and utilita- 
rian demands of the church. 

Everyone who sets about building a church in India should 
study with care Dr. D. J. Fleming's beautiful book, Heritage 
of Beauty. The sub-title of this book is Pictorial Studies of 
Modern Christian Architecture in Asia and Africa Illustrat- 
ing the Influence of Indigenous Cultures. Both the pictures 
and the text in this volume will help to give the prospective 
builder ideas as to how Christian life and worship are finding 
expression in and through the heritage of beauty in each land 
where the church is taking root in the soil. 

Not only in order to create an atmosphere of worship is it 
necessary to give thought to the beauty and arrangement and 
style of the building, but in order to make the church really 
indigenous, we must give the matter our closest attention, Dr. 
Fleming says, "As a consequence of regional conditions of 
climate and of historical and religious influences, each people is 
still expressing itself in certain peculiar and well-defined artistic 
ways which show themselves in taste and sentiment and thus 
constitute for that people a living language. Sometimes these 
native moods and gifts become consecrated to our Lord, thus 
naturalizing Christianity. When this comes about the Chris- 
tian churches of Asia and Africa speak to their own as they 
never could through Gothic, Greek or other Western forms, 
ritual and architecture. The message becomes embodied not 
only in words but also in music, color and stone. As at Pente- 
cost, men exclaim, "Behold now we hear, every man in our 
own language wherein we were born!'" 1 

1 Fleming D. J. Heritage of Beauty, p. II. The Friendship Press, New 
York, by permission. 

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Our sole purpose will be to provide a building which will 
give expression to our highest ideals of Christian worship and 
will at the same time obviously belong to the people among 
whose homes it stands, and for whom it is built. It should ex- 
press Christianity perfectly, yet through indigenous forms. A 
Christian Church, even in the remotest and poorest Christian 
community, can and should be appropriate, beautiful, and sug- 
gestive of the highest and best in religion and in the indig- 
enous culture. 

A few suggestions should be made of ways in which we 
can through the material environment foster the spirit of 
reverent worship. Mention has been made in a previous chap- 
ter of the use of pictures in worship. Good pictures may well 
be a permanent part of the furnishings of the house of God, 
and may have a large influence in creating the atmosphere of 
worship. Such pictures as Da Vinci's Last Supper, Thomas' 
Christ the Dawn, and Hofmann's Christ in Gethsemane or 
Hunt's The Light of the World, are of such great value in 
drawing the soul toward Christ that they or similar ones 
would be of great value in every church in the land. They 
need not be expensive, and framing is also cheap. The objec- 
tions often raised to having pictures in the church are hardly 
of sufficient weight to cause us to deprive our people of these 
effective aids to worship. 

The use of the Cross as a fixture in the place of worship is 
also a controversial question in some quarters. But as the su- 
preme symbol of the Christian faith surely there can be no 
valid objection to its use, on the communion table, on the 
dome or gable or spire of the church or other appropriate 
place. It need never become an object of worship. But its sym- 
bolic value and its efficacy in drawing the soul into the atmos- 
phere of worshipful contemplation have been sufficiently 
proved to justify its use in all Protestant Churches. 

Flowers have been used in worship from time immemorial 
in India. Just how they can best be used is a question that each 
church may solve. But as emblems of the beauty and creative 
power and love of God, they surely have a place in every 

65 



church. It is a true instinct that leads men to offer flowers in 
worship to God. It would be well for every church to have a 
small flower garden, and to have a few flowers on the altar 
in every service of worship. 

In designing and decorating the church, much use can be 
made of Christian symbolism. There is a wealth of Christian 
symbols, some of them dating from the very earliest days of 
the church. It is possible to combine some of these historic sym- 
bols, such as the star, the cross, the vine, the loaf, the sheaf, 
the dove, the candle-stick, the Lamb, the crown, and a host of 
others which have historic meanings, with some of the reli- 
gious symbols of India which have historic and deeply devo- 
tional meanings. One of the most beautiful country churches 
in India, the Presbyterian Church at Borsad in Gujarat, while 
not Indian in architectural design, has in its great carved 
wooden doors, the carved cornices, and the richly carved pul- 
pit and communion table, beautiful examples of the use of 
symbols. The pipal leaf, the lotus, and other symbols which 
are rich with meaning to Indians are combined with the his- 
toric Christian symbols. Both in the windows of this church, 
and in the windows of Stevenson Divinity College in Ahmeda- 
bad are beautiful examples of the use of the ancient Indian art 
of pierced stone carving, used in the service of the house of 
God. These are most suggestive examples of how the glories 
and treasures of the nations may be brought into the service of 
Christian worship. 

The Minister's Part in Creating Reverence 

The attitude of the leader has everything to do with the at- 
titude of his congregation in the matter of reverence. If the 
leader shows by his dignity, quietness, and reverence that he 
believes himself to be engaged in a high and holy task, and 
that he is in the presence of God, the people will surely follow 
his example. But if he acts the clown or is careless and slip- 
shod or unprepared and unkempt, he may expect the same 
from his people. His voice and manner in conducting wor- 
ship must be at the same time serious and reverent, yet ex- 

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pressing the radiant joy of the Christian faith. The whining, 
unnatural, stilted or pompous tone which some ministers use 
is most deplorable, and will lay the man open to the charge 
of hypocrisy. The posture, gestures, and movements of the 
leader should be unhurried, dignified, and graceful. 

Nothing adds more to the impression of worship as being 
a high and reverent exercise than careful and adequate prep- 
aration on the part of the leader. If he comes and hurriedly 
leafs through the hymnals to select hymns, is undecided about 
which Scripture lesson to read, there is little likelihood of his 
being able to lead his people in worship. Every hymn must be 
selected carefully beforehand, every prayer thought through 
and prepared, the message well in hand, and the program so 
planned that it will be a real act of worship, not merely a patch- 
work of items hastily thrown together. 

The leader can do much by teaching the children, and the 
adults in his congregation how to worship, and how to behave 
in worship. His example is of prime importance, but he might 
well use some teaching time occasionally to explain the mean- 
ing and practise of worship, and teach his people how to act. 
New hymns should not be used in worship, for bad singing 
detracts from the atmosphere of worship. New hymns should 
be taught in other periods, and when they have become fa- 
miliar they may be used in worship. 

It has been found by many leaders of worship that the wear- 
ing of a special robe adds much to the dignity of worship. It 
hides the leaders' individuality. Many churches have adopted 
a certain costume for their ministers. Even in the smallest and 
most informal service of worship in a village, the wearing of 
the gown adds to the spirit of worship. If the reader's church 
does not have a prescribed form of dress for its ministers, he 
might write to Ingraham Institute, M. E. Mission, Ghaziabad, 
U. P., or to Mission Industrial School, Saugor, C. P. Inex- 
pensive and appropriate vestments are made at either of these 
places, and they will probably be glad to quote prices to in- 
quirers. 

67 



Some Miscellaneous Suggestions 

i. The floor of the place of worship may be marked off in 
squares, each square of sufficient size to accommodate one wor- 
shipper. Those who come first should come to the front and 
take the first squares, and fill them all up from the front. Late- 
comers will not pass in front of anyone nor distract their at- 
tention. 

2. Facilities for washing feet and hands might be provided 
outside the door, so that all may come into the place of wor- 
ship clean. Shoes and sandals should be left outside. 

3. The habit of silent prayer with bowed head upon enter- 
ing the house of worship should be carefully cultivated. Whis- 
pering or visiting is out of place. The time for that is after the 
service, outside of the church. 

4. The people should be taught to come to church wear- 
ing clean clothes, bathed, and with hair properly combed. 

5. Effort should be made to see that every literate worship- 
per have a Bible and a song-book, and every illiterate worship- 
per become literate. 

6. No one should be allowed to enter while prayer is being 
offered or the Scripture is being read. It is not difficult to teach 
the people to wait at the door in prayer or meditation until the 
prayer or Scripture reading is finished. 

7. Posture in prayer is important. Where there are no 
benches, the most natural posture for prayer may be to sit with 
bowed heads and folded hands. Customs here may vary in 
different areas or different churches, but the practise in a con- 
gregation should be uniform. 

8. Where there is only a courtyard or platform for worship, 
it may be made more attractive by spreading a rug or matting, 
with a special rug for the leader. 

9. The person who takes care of the place of worship has a 
great responsibility. To keep the place spotlessly clean, see that 
fresh flowers are on the altar, and keep up the garden, may 

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well be a project of volunteer service for a group of young peo- 
ple in the church. In many villages, the Christian families take 
the responsibility for cleaning and beautifying the Church a 
week at a time, turn by turn. This is a most commendable plan. 



Suggestions for Further Study of Chapter VI 

i. Make a study of the worship practices of the Old Testa- 
ment which were designed to promote reverence; also a study 
of the worship practises of other faiths in India which stress 
this trait — such as removal of shoes upon entering a temple or 
mosque, etc. 

2. Make a study of worship places of the non-Christian 
faiths in your village or town. Draw plans of them. 

3. Make a study of all the churches you have seen. 

a. In what proportion of the Christian villages are there 
churches ? 

b. How were these churches built? 

c. Who financed their building? 

d. Materials used in building. 

e. Style of architecture. 

f. Symbols or other features used in beautifying the 
church. 

4. A project carried out by the students of the Rural Church 
School, Bulsar, may be suggestive of what may be done. All 
these students have been village teachers. As a class project, 
each made a careful study of his own village, then made plans 
for the building of a church there. These plans included arous- 
ing the interest of the village Christians, raising a building 
fund, choosing a plan for the church, making a careful budget, 
and finally drawing a set of plans for the proposed building. 

5. How would you answer this objection : "We cannot have 
pictures in our church, for Hindu and Mohammedan friends 
will accuse us of idol-worship"? 

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6. What indigenous arts in your part of India may be 
brought into the service of Christ in building or beautifying 
the House of God? Such as: 

Wood carving. 

Pierced stone work, or stone carving. 

Plaster designing. 

Basketry. 

Cloth, matting, or rug weaving. 

7. List the religious symbols with which you are familiar 
which can be used to portray Christian truth. 



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PART TWO 

ORDERS OF SERVICE 

PROGRAMS FOR CHRISTIAN FESTIVALS 



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A Service of Worship in the Words of the Bible 

Note: — This service has been widely used among the Hindi- 
speaking churches and found useful. It is simple, moving, and 
couched entirely in the exalted language of the Bible. It can 
easily be memorized in a few months by a village congregation. 



Leader. — Oh, come, let us sing unto the Lord; Let us make a 
joyful noise to the rock of our salvation. Let us come be- 
fore His presence with thanksgiving; Let us make a joy- 
ful noise unto Him with psalms. It is He that hath made 
us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the 
sheep of His pasture. Psalms 95:1,2. 100:3. 

Hymn of Praise. 

Leader. — Let us call to mind the commandments of God. 

People.— -Thou shalt have no other gods before me. 

Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto nor serve any idol. 

Thou shalt not take the name of God in vain. 

Thou shalt remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. 

Thou shalt honour thy father and thy mother. 

Thou shalt not kill. 

Thou shalt not commit adultery. 

Thou shalt not steal. 

Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour. 

Thou shalt not covet. Exodus 20:1-17. 

Leader. — The first and great commandment is this, Thou shalt 
love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy 
soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength, and 
thy neighbour as thyself. 

Jesus said, A new commandment I give unto you, that 
ye love one another; even as I have loved you, that ye also 
love one another. 

Mark 12:20-31. John 13:34. 

People. — O Lord, give us grace to obey these Thy holy laws, 

and to receive Thy promises. 
Hymn of Prayer. 

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Leader. — Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy 
laden, and I will give you rest. Matt. 11:28. 

Blessed are the poor in spirit: 

People. — For theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven. 

LeWer.— Blessed are they that mourn : 

People. — For they shall be comforted. 

Leader. — Blessed are the meek: 

People. — For they shall inherit the earth. 

Leader. — Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after right- 
eousness : 

People. — For they shall be filled. 

Leader. — Blessed are the merciful: 

People. — For they shall obtain mercy. 

Leader. — Blessed are the pure in heart: 

People. — For they shall see God. 

Leader. — Blessed are the peacemakers: 

People. — For they shall be called sons of God. 

Leader. — Blessed are they that have been persecuted for right- 
eousness' sake: 

People. — For theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven. 

Matt. 5:3-10. 

Leader. — Go ye therefore, and make disciples of all the na- 
tions, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of 
the Son and of the Holy Spirit : teaching them to observe 
all things whatsoever I commanded you: and lo, I am 
with you always, even unto the end of the world. 

Matt. 28:19-20. 
Men and brethren, what shall we do? 

People. — Repent ye, and be baptized every one of you in the 
name of Jesus Christ unto the remission of your sins; 

Leader. — And ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For 
to you is the promise, and to your children, and to all 
that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall 
call. Acts 2 :38-39. 

People. — All things therefore whatsoever ye would that men 
should do unto you, even so do ye also unto them: for 
this is the law and the prophets. 

Matt. 7:12. 

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Leader. — Render to no man evil for evil. Be not overcome of 
evil, but overcome evil with good. Sing with grace in your 
hearts unto God with songs and hymns and spiritual songs. 
And whatsoever ye do, in word or in deed, do all in the 
name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father 
through Him. Rom. 12:17,21. Col. 3:16-17. 

All. — This is my faith: 
God is Love. 
God is a spirit, and they that worship Him must worship 

Him in spirit and in truth. 
For God so loved the word that He gave His only be- 
gotten Son, that whosoever believeth on Him should not 
perish, but have eternal life. 
Jesus Christ is my Lord and Saviour, and neither is there 
any other name under heaven, that is given among men, 
wherein we must be saved. 
Leader. — Oh, come, let us worship and bow down; 
Let us kneel before the Lord our Maker : 

Psalms 95:6. 
People. — Our Father who art in heaven — Hallowed be Thy 
name — Thy Kingdom come — Thy will be done, as in 
heaven so on earth — Give us this day our daily bread — 
and forgive us our debts — as we also have forgiven our 
debtors — And bring us not into temptation — But deliver 
us from evil — For Thine is the kingdom — and the power 
and the glory — Forever and ever — Amen. 
Hymn. 
Benediction. — (Pronounced by the Leader.) 



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A Service of Worship for Sunday Morning 

Note: — This order of worship has been used widely in the 
Deccan, among the Methodist churches. The hymns are al- 
ways accompanied by an orchestra of Indian instruments. Fif- 
teen minutes before the hour for beginning the service, the 
choir sings bhajans. While they are singing, all come in rev- 
erently, bow their heads in silent prayer, then join in the sing- 
ing of the bhajans. 

# # # 

Hymn of Prayer. — The whole congregation sing with bowed 
heads. 

Leader. — (Kneeling, reads) To the Lord our God belong mer- 
cies and forgiveness; though we have rebelled against 
Him; neither have we obeyed the voice of the Lord our 
God, to walk in His laws, which He set before us by His 
servants and prophets. Daniel 9:9-10. 

People. — I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto 
him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy 
sight: I am no more worthy to be called thy son: 

Luke 15:18-19. 

A Unison Prayer of confession, followed by a brief Prayer by 
the Leader. 

The Lord's Prayer. — (Chanted). 

Responsive Reading. — There are three readings: 1. The Beati- 
tudes, 2. The 23rd Psalm, 3. The Ten Commandments. 
The first two are either sung or repeated responsively as 
directed by the pastor. After the pastor reads each com- 
mandment, the congregation repeat "Lord have mercy 
upon us and incline our hearts to keep this law." During 
these responsive readings the congregation remain seated 
in meditative posture. 

The Apostles' Creed. 

Scripture Reading. — (By the Leader or an educated young 
man). 

People. — (Chanting) Glory be to God on high, and on earth 
peace, goodwill toward men. 

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Offering. — (The choir sings, the stewards receive the offering, 

then prayer). 
Hymn. 
Sermon. 

Closing Hymn or Doxology. 
Benediction. 



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A Service of Worship 

Note: — This service was first published in Amacha Patra, Sep- 
tember, 1937, in Marathi. It is now being very widely used in 
Maharashtra. It has more recently been published in booklet 
form with suggested Scripture readings, Psalms, and sug- 
gested themes for services, by the American Presbyterian Mis- 
sion, Nipani, Belgaum District. 

When the people are assembled at the place of worship, 
all will reverently bow in prayer. 
Leader. — Come, let us stand and praise God. 
Doxology. — All stand, reverently fold their hands and sing. 
People. — Oh come, let us worship and bow down; 
Let us kneel before the Lord our Maker. 

Psalms 95.6. 
Know ye that the Lord He is God : 
It is He that hath made us, and not we ourselves; 
We are His people and the sheep of His pasture. 

Psalms 100:3. 
Having then a great high priest, who hath passed 
through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold 
fast our confession. For we have not a high priest that 
cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but 
one that hath been at all points tempted like as we are, 
yet without sin. Let us draw near therefore with boldness 
unto the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy, and 
may find grace to help us in time of need. 

Heb. 4:14-16. 
Leader. — Let us pray. Prayer of Adoration. 

Prayer of Invocation. 
Leader and People. — Prayer of confession of sin. (Unison). 
For these prayers all will reverently kneel, and after each 
prayer will reverently say, Amen. 
Leader. — Will here pronounce the promise of forgiveness of 

sins, or will read John 3:16, Matt. 11:28, and John 6:37. 
Leader. — Now let us praise the Lord. (All will stand). 
People. — Let us praise His glorious name. 

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Leader. — Praise the Lord, for He is good. 

People. — For His mercy endureth forever. 

Leader. — Here will read a psalm of praise, or have it read re- 
sponsively. 

Leader. — Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the 
Holy Ghost. 

People. — As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be; 
World without end. Amen. 

Hymn. 

Scripture Lesson from the Old Testament. 

Hymn. 

Scripture Lesson from the New Testament. 

Hymn of Praise. — (All will stand). 

Leader and People. — The Apostles' Creed. (All standing will 
say in unison). 

Litany. — The leader will offer brief prayers of adoration, 
thanksgiving, petition and intercession. After each peti- 
tion, the people will respond, as follows: 
After the thanksgivings, "We give Thee thanks, O God." 
After the petitions and intercessions, 'We beseech Thee 
to hear us, Good Lord." 

Leader and People. — The Lord's Prayer. 

Offering. 

Blessing on the Offering. 

Hymn. 

Sermon. 

Hymn. 

Benediction.— -The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love 
of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit, be with 
you and abide with you, now and forever. 

People. — Amen. 



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A Simple Liturgy for Village Churches 

Leader. — O come, Let us sing unto the Lord; 

Let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation. 
Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving; 
Let us make a joyful noise unto Him with psalms. 

Ps. 95:1-2. 
O Lord, open Thou our lips : 

Congregation. — And our mouths shall shew forth Thy praise. 

Ps. 51:15. 

Leader. — Praise ye the Lord. 

Congregation. — The Lord's name be praised. 

Leader. — Let us pray. (Here follows a prayer of invocation 
and confession.) Then a Hymn or Bhajan may be sung. 

Leader. — The first and great commandment is this: Thou 
shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with 
all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy 
strength. And a second like unto it is this: Thou shalt 
love thy neighbour as thyself. 

Matthew 22:37-39. 

Congregation. — Jesus said, A new commandment I give unto 
you, that ye love one another; by this shall all men know 
that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one for another. 

John 13:34-35. 
O Lord, give us grace to keep this Thy holy law. 

Leader. — Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy 
laden, and I will give you rest. 

Matthew 11:28. 
Let us recite the Beatitudes of our Lord Jesus Christ 
(Matthew 5:3-12 should here be recited, the leader recit- 
ing the first part of each verse and the congregation the 
second part. Or they may be sung.) 

Leader. — Go ye therefore, and make disciples of all nations, 
baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the 
Son and of the Holy Spirit: teaching them to observe all 
things whatsoever I have commanded you: 

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Congregation. — And Lo, I am with you always, even unto the 
end of the world. Matthew 28:19-20. 

Leader. — Repent ye and be baptized every one of you in the 
name of Jesus Christ unto the remission of your sins; and 
ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 

Congregation. — For to you is the promise, and to your chil- 
dren, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the 
Lord our God shall call unto Him. 

Acts 2:38-39. 
Here follows a Hymn or Bhajan. 

header. — All things therefore whatsoever ye would that men 
should do unto you, even so do ye also unto them: for this 
is the law and the Prophets. 

Matthew 7:12. 

And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to the 
which also ye were called in one body; and be ye thank- 
ful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; in all 
wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with 
psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace 
in your hearts unto God. And whatsoever ye do, in word 
or in deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving 
thanks to God the Father through Him. Amen. 

Colossians 3:15-17. 

At this time all may recite together the following creed 
in words of Scripture: "I believe that: 

God is a spirit and they that worship Him must worship 
Him in spirit and in truth. God hath made of one blood 
all nations of men to dwell on the face of the earth. God 
is love; and every one that loveth is born of God, and 
knoweth God. God so loved the world that He gave His 
only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on Him 
should not perish, but have everlasting life. 

Jesus Christ is the way, the truth, and the life. God hath 
made Him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus who was cru- 
cified. And in none other is there salvation: for there is 
none other name given under Heaven, among, men, 

81 



wherein we must be saved. If we walk in the light as He 
is in the light, we have fellowship with one another. 

If we confess our sins,' He is faithful and just to forgive us 
our sins. The world passeth away, and the lust thereof; 
but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever. Amen. 

Leader. — O come, let us worship and bow down; 

Let us kneel before the Lord our Maker. Let us pray. 

(Here will follow a prayer of thanksgiving, petition and 
intercession) . 

Congregation. — The congregation will pray in unison the 
Lord's Prayer. 

Then a passage of Scripture may be read by the leader 
or someone else who is able to read well. Then a short ser- 
mon. 
Then a hymn or bhajan will be sung. 

Leader. — The Lord bless you and keep you; 

The Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gra- 
cious unto you; 
The Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you 
peace. Amen. 



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A Service of Worship for Sunday Morning 

As the worshippers enter the place of worship, they should 
take their places reverently, while a group of singers with in- 
struments sing Bhajans. Each should bow in silent prayer. 
Leader. — Let us worship God : One of the following sentences, 
or more if desired, may be spoken reverently: Psalm 67:1- 
3; 92:1-2; 105:1-2; 106:1; 113:1-3; Habakkuk 2:20; John 
4:24. 
Leader. — Lift up your hearts! 
Congregation. — We lift them up unto the Lord. 
Leader. — O Lord, open thou our eyes : 
Congregation. — That we may behold wondrous things out of 

Thy law. 
Leader. — O Lord, open Thou our lips: 

Congregation. — And our mouth shall show forth Thy praise. 
Leader. — Praise ye the Lord: 
Congregation. — The Lord's Name be praised! 
Leader. — Let us pray : Here follows a prayer of invocation and 

confession. 
Hymn of Praise. 

Reading from the Bible. — Unison or Responsive. 
The Creed. — Either the Apostles' Creed or the Scriptural 

Creed may be used. 
Prayer. — A prayer of Thanksgiving and Intercession. 

The Lord's Prayer may then be said or sung by the 
people. 
The Beatitudes. — Repeated responsively, the leader reciting the 
first part, and the congregation the second part of each 
verse. 
Hymn of Prayer for Guidance and Light. 
Offering and Prayer of Dedication. 
Sermon. 

A Period of Meditation and Prayer. 
The Doxology. 
Benediction. 

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A Service of Sacred Silence 

Note: — While silent prayer and meditation may become one 
of the finest forms of corporate worship, it requires guidance 
and training. At first, the period of silent prayer should be 
not more than five minutes. After some experience and train- 
ing, a congregation can well spend at least twenty minutes in 
worshipful meditation and quiet prayer. 
Leader. — My soul, wait thou in silence for God only; 

For my expectation is from Him. 
Congregation. — He only is my rock and my salvation: 

He is my high tower; I shall not be moved. 

Ps. 62:5-6. 
Leader. — The Lord is in His Holy Temple: let all the earth 

keep silence before Him. Let us pray. (Kneeling, the con- 
gregation will pray as directed by the leader.) 
Hymn or Bhajan. — This should be a hymn of adoration, sung 

with reverence. 
Scripture Lesson. — The lesson should be read silently by all 

worshippers. 
Then may follow a short, worshipful talk by the leader, 

only sufficient to guide the thoughts of the worshippers 

as they meditate and pray. 
Sacred Silence. — In the beginning, the leader may speak 

quietly these or similar sentences: 

"He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High 
shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty." 

"Praise ye the Lord. O give thanks unto the Lord; for He 
is good; For His loving-kindness endureth forever." 

"Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my 
heart be acceptable in Thy sight, O Lord, my strength 
and my Redeemer." 

"Be still, and know that I am God." 

"Speak, Lord, for Thy servant heareth." 
Benediction. — Grace to you and peace, from God the Father 

and from the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen. 

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A Service of Worship in Song 

Note: — The hymns suggested in this service are found in the 
Gujarati Hymnal, Bhajanasangraha. In other languages, suit- 
able hymns and bhajans may be selected. While the congrega- 
tion is gathering in the place of worship, a choir may sing 
bhajans, accompanied by native instruments. 
Leader. — Praise ye the Lord; sing unto the Lord a new song; 

And His praise in the assembly of the saints. 
Congregation. — Blessed be His glorious name forever; 

And let the whole earth be filled with His glory. 
Hymn of Praise. — Number 21 — Bhajan Karo Nit Bhore Bhai. 
Prayer of Confession. — Hymn No. 262 — Hun to Papi Din Bi- 

charo. 
Praise. — Chanting of Psalm 136, verses 1 to 9, and 23 to 26. 

The leader chants the first part of each verse, and the 

congregation responds with the second part, "For His 

mercy endureth forever." Other sentences, taken from the 

New Testament, in praise of Christ, may be used in the 

same way, or with these verses from the Psalm. 
Scripture Reading in Song. — Ephesians 6:10-17, which has 

been set to a Gujarati lyric tune, may be used. Atmik 

Sangar Sajo Virla Re. 
Hymns of Prayer. — 328 — He Prabhu Darshan Api Aj. 

300 — Esu Samarth Taru. 

301 — The Lord's Prayer in Lyric form. 
Instruction.— -239 — Taranana Bhojanama Soune Notaro. (The 

Great Commission) A short sermon or address by the 

leader may follow here. 
Dedication. — 337 — Tan, Man, Dhan, Prabhu. (In Marathi 

also) . 
Benediction. — The Doxology may be sung. 
Leader. — The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with thy spirit. 

Amen. 

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A Brief Order for Daily Morning Prayers 

Leader. — Seek ye the Lord while He may be found: call ye 

upon Him while He is near. 
Congregation. — O come, let us worship and bow down: let us 

kneel before the Lord our Maker. 
Leader. — Let us pray: Here will follow a brief prayer of 

thanksgiving for the new day, and confession of sin. 
Hymn of Praise. 
Reading from the Scripture. — Responsive, or by one of the 

educated Christians. 
Meditation. — Either a brief period of silent meditation, or a 

short but carefully prepared devotional talk by the leader. 
Prayer. — This may be a bidding prayer, or sentence prayers by 

various people. 

To be followed by the Lord's prayer, said or sung. 
Benediction. — All may repeat together: 

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with us all. Amen. 



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A Brief Order for Daily Evening Prayers 

Leader. — The Lord's Name be praised. From the rising of the 
sun to the going down of the same, the Lord's Name is to 
be praised. 

Congregation.- — Let our prayers be set forth as incense before 
Him, the lifting up of our hands as the evening sacrifice. 

Leader. — Let us bless the Lord : 

Congregation. — Thanks be to God! 

Leader. — Let us pray : A prayer of Thanksgiving. 

Hymn of Praise. 

Psalm 23, recited in unison. 

A short lesson from the New Testament. 

Meditation. 

Prayer of Consecration and Intercession. 

Hymn of Dedication and Trust. 

Benediction. — May the Almighty and merciful God, the Fa- 
ther, Son, and Holy Ghost, bless us and preserve us, this 
night and forevermore. Amen. 



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A Worship Program for Christmas 

The festival of the birthday of Christ should be one of great 
joy in the village churches. For a month in advance the teach- 
ing program may be centered around the theme of the Advent. 
New hymns and bhajans should be learned, and a drama or 
pageant carefully rehearsed. The joy of giving to Christ and 
dedicating ourselves to Him should be stressed. The festival 
should be one of good fellowship and varied expressions of 
Christian joy. Four days' program is suggested here. 

December 22. On this day, the house of worship and the 
grounds around it should be swept, cleaned, and whitewashed, 
if necessary. With this should go also a thorough clean-up of 
every Christian home, in readiness for the days of joy and 
celebration. In the evening, a service of song and praise should 
be held. 

December 23. On this day, all the Christian homes and the 
church should be decorated with the cheap paper flags used 
everywhere in India, and with garlands of flowers and green 
leaves. The evening may be given over again to singing. If 
some one who can give a whole evening's performance of a 
lyrtan or Kala\shepam is available, it would be most helpful. 

December 24. Morning. A Village fair. Exhibitions of 
flowers, vegetables, fruits, poultry, hand-work, children's work 
from the school, and other products, may be arranged by the 
church. A baby show, in which all the little folk of the com- 
munity participate is very appropriate. 

Afternoon. A program of games and sports for everyone in 
the village Christian community. 

Evening. A Christmas drama or pageant, with singing of 
Christmas carols. Prizes may be awarded at this time for the 
exhibition and the baby show. 

A Program of Worship for Christmas Morning 

At dawn, the older children and young people should form 
a procession and sing Christmas carols all through the village- 



Gaylamount 
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The Service of Worship 

Groups from various parts of the village may march, sing- 
ing Christmas hymns, to the church. If there is a singing band, 
it should be present fifteen minutes before the beginning ot 
the service, playing and singing. 

A Service of Worship for Christmas Day 

Leader. — Behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which 
shall be to all the people: for there is born to you this 
day in the city of David a Saviour who is Christ the Lord. 

Luke 2:10-11. 
Hymn of Praise. 
Prayer of Adoration. 
Leader. — O Lord, open Thou our lips: 
People. — And our mouth shall speak forth thy praise. 
Leader. — Praise ye the Lord; 
People. — The Lord's name be praised. 
Leader. — Let us worship in song: (Christmas songs may be 

sung by the children). 
Reading of Lesson from the Bible. 
Prayer of Petition and Intercession. 

Scripture Response: Leader. — Let us with wise men, lowly 
shepherds, and all the heavenly host, worship the Holy 
Babe, and spread our gifts of love, adoration and service 
at His cradle. And the angel said unto Mary, Behold, thou 
shalt conceive and bring forth a son, and thou shalt call 
His name Jesus. 
People. — O come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord. 
Leader. — The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the 
power of the Most High shall overshadow thee, and the 
holy thing that is to be born of thee shall be called the Son 
of God. 
People. — O come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord. 
Leader. — And Mary brought forth her first-born son, and she 
wrapped Him in swaddling clothes, and laid Him in a 
manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. 
People. — O come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord. 

89 



Leader. — And there were shepherds in the same country abid- 
ing in the field, and keeping watch by night over their 
flocks. And an angel of the Lord stood by them, and the 
glory of the Lord shone round about them. 

People.— O come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord. 

Leader. — And a multitude of the heavenly host, were praising 
God and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on 
earth peace, goodwill towards men. 

People. — O come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord. 

The Christmas Message. — A short talk by the leader. 

Dedication Service for small children. — (See the suggested or- 
der for this service of dedication on page 120.) 

Hymn. 

Service of Dedication of gifts: Leader. — And wise men came 
from the East, and when they saw the young child with 
Mary His mother, they fell down and worshipped Him, 
and opening their treasures, they offered unto Him gifts, 
gold and frankincense and myrrh. 

People. — O come, let us adore Him; O come, let us adore Him; 
O come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord. 

Leader. — Let us with the wise men and shepherds, bring our 
gifts to the feet of Jesus. (The people will now bring for- 
ward their gifts — money, fruits, grain, vegetables, eggs, 
products of their hand-work, etc., and lay them at the 
altar.) 

Leader's Prayer of Consecration of gifts: — O Christ of Beth- 
lehem, our hearts are glad that Thou has come to the 
world. Wilt Thou this day be born anew in our hearts. 
Like the shepherds and wise men of old, we worship and 
adore Thee with our hearts and lips, and with our treas- 
ures too. We dedicate these our humble gifts, with all we 
have and are, to Thee. Use us and these our gifts to bring 
peace on earth, goodwill towards men. Amen. 

Hymn. 

Benediction. 

Note: — On Christmas evening, a common feast for all the 
Christians of the village will greatly cement the fellowship and 

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deepen the joy of the Christmas festival. It may be followed 
by a final service of joyous song and praise. 

If such pictures as Burne-Jones' picture of the Adoration of 
the Wise Men are available, the interpretation may be a mov- 
ing and beautiful part of the Christmas morning service. 



9i 



Passion Week and Easter 

The eight days beginning with Palm Sunday and culminat- 
ing in Easter ought to be for Indian Christian villagers the 
most important and joyous festival of the church year. The 
climax of the church's teaching about the life of Jesus Christ 
comes naturally in this week. New members may be taken 
into the church according to the customs of the church either 
on Palm Sunday or on Easter. Many churches will choose to 
celebrate Holy Communion on the historic anniversary of the 
First Communion, Thursday evening. Others will desire to 
combine it with the joyous festival of Easter Day. But it should 
if possible be celebrated somewhere in every congregation on 
one of these two days, so that every village Christian may have 
an opportunity to take part in it. 

Palm Sunday 

The regular order of worship followed by the church may 
be used, with these special features: 

i. The church and its compound may be decorated with 
palm branches if they are available; otherwise with other 
green leaves and branches. 

2. Before the beginning of the service, let all the children 
take a procession through the village, singing and waving 
palm branches or other green boughs. 

3. Special selections for the Order of service: 

The Call to Worship: "And the multitudes that went before 
Him and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the 
Son of David : Blessed is he that cometh in the Name of 
the Lord: Hosanna in the Highest!" 

Matthew 21 :g. 

The Scripture Lessons: Old Testament: Psalms 5, 20, 69, 
no. Zechariah 9. 
New Testament: Luke 19:28-48. 

The Benediction: "Now unto the King eternal, immortal, in- 
visible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and 
ever. Amen." I Timothy 1 :ij. 

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Monday and Tuesday of Passion Week 
On these days the usual program of daily prayers may be 
followed. The following Scripture Lessons are appropriate for 
these days: 

Monday: Mark 11:12-19. 

Tuesday: Mark 12 and 13, or selections from Matthew and 
Luke. 

Wednesday 
Wednesday of Passion Week in churches where communion 
is to be celebrated on Thursday evening will be used for the 
preparatory service. In other churches, a Katha, Kirtan, or 
K.ala\shepam of the Life of Christ will be a most appropriate 
way to observe the day. The Scripture Lesson: Mark 14:1-12. 

Thursday 
Thursday may be the day for celebration of the Communion. 
Otherwise, if the Communion is to be on Easter Sunday, this 
is the appropriate time for the preparatory service, and for 
lyrical preaching of the story of Jesus' passion. 

Good Friday 
Good Friday should be a day of fasting and prayer, in mem- 
ory of the death of Our Lord. All who can do so should 
gather at the place of worship for a service of devotion at noon. 
The following service has been used with good effect in some 
rural churches. 

Call to Worship. — The leader will read Isaiah 53:1-6. 
Silent Prayer, followed by the Lord's Prayer. 
Hymn. 

Then follows the reading of the account of Christ's passion, 
in seven parts, interspersed with hymns, brief meditation on 
each of the Seven Words from the Cross, and silent prayer. 

Part I. Luke 23:26-34. 
Meditation. — "Father, forgive them; for they know not what 

they do." Luke 23 134. 

Hymn. — Beneath the Cross of Jesus. 

Part II. Luke 23:34-43. 
Meditation. — "To-day shalt thou be with me in Paradise." 

Luke 23:43. 

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Hymn. — In the Cross of Christ I Glory. 
Part III. John 19:17-27. 
Meditation. — "Behold thy son . . . Behold thy mother." 

John 19:26-27. 
Hymn. — When I Survey the Wondrous Cross. 

Part IV. Matthew 27:39-47. 
Meditation. — -"My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken 

me?" Matt. 27:46. 

Hymn. — O Sacred Head Now Wounded. 

Part V. Isaiah 53:7-10. John 19:28-29. 
Meditation. — "I thirst." John 19:28. 

Hymn. — Hast Thou Seen the Christ, the Crucified? — Tilak. 

Part VI. John 17:1-8; 19-30. 
Meditation. — "It is finished!" John 19:30. 

Hymn. — 'Tis Finished! So the Saviour Cried. — Stennett. 

Part VII. Luke 44-49. 
Meditation.— "Father, into Thy hands I commend my spirit." 

Luke 23:46. 
Hymn. — Must Jesus Bear the Cross Alone? 
Benediction. — Grace to you and peace, from God the Father, 
and our Lord Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for our sins, 
that He might deliver us out of this present evil world, 
according to the will of our God and Father: to whom 
be the glory forever and ever. Amen. Gal. 1 :3-5. 

Note:— Most of the hymns here noted have been translated 
into the chief vernaculars. Some beautiful Indian hymns have 
also been written on themes appropriate to this occasion. 
Tilak's beautiful lyric is one of the best of these. This entire 
service can be conducted by a village leader even in the ab- 
sence of a minister. 

Saturday 

On Saturday, the village Christians should gather at their 
burial place and thoroughly clean it, repair the graves, 
straighten markers, repair fence or hedge, and decorate the 
graves. It is appropriate that the Easter season should be a 
time when even the cemetery should witness to the trium- 
phant faith in the resurrection. 

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The evening may be given over to a service of song and 
prayer. 

Easter Sunday 

In many Churches, the service will be held in the early dawn. 
Where this is done, all should come in procession to the 
Church carrying lights — torches, candles, or lanterns. If the 
service is later in the morning, a procession carrying flowers, 
branches, and singing hymns of joy and victory may parade 
through the village and to the Church. 

Leader. — Christ is risen from the dead! 

People. — He is risen indeed! 

Leader. — Praise ye the Lord! 

People. — The Lord's name be praised. 

Leader. — Stand up and bless the Lord your God. 

People.— Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! 

Leader. — Let us pray. 

Here follows a prayer of adoration and thanksgiving. 
Hymn of Praise. 

Responsive Reading. — Psalms 118. 
Leader. — Glory be to the Father, and to the Son and to the 

Holy Ghost. 
People. — As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be: 

world without end. Amen. 
Adoration of the Risen Lord. — All will stand, and after each 

portion will say, Hallelujah. 
Leader. — On the first day of the week, at early dawn, the 

women came unto the tomb, bringing the spices which 

they had prepared. And they found the stone rolled away 

from the tomb. Hallelujah. 

And the women departed quickly from the tomb with 
fear, and great joy. And behold, Jesus met them, saying, 
All hail. Hallelujah. 

But Mary was standing at the tomb, weeping. And she 
said, They have taken away my Lord, and I know not 
where they have laid Him. And she beholdeth Jesus 

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standing, and knew not that it was Jesus, supposing Him 
to be the gardener. And Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She 
turneth and saith unto Him, Master. Hallelujah. 

And behold, two of the disciples were going that very 
day to Emmaus. And as they communed and questioned 
together, Jesus Himself drew near, and went with them. 
Hallelujah. 

And when the doors were shut where the disciples were, 
Jesus came and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, 
Peace be unto you. And when He had said this, He 
showed them His hands and His side. Hallelujah. 

Simon Peter saith unto the disciples, I go a fishing. 
They say unto him, We also go with thee. And that night 
they caught nothing. But when day was now breaking, 
Jesus stood upon the shore. And that disciple whom Jesus 
loved said unto Peter, It is the Lord. Hallelujah. 

I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and I heard be- 
hind me a great voice, and I turned to see the voice that 
spake with me. And having turned I saw one like unto 
the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, 
and girt about the breasts with a golden girdle. And His 
hair was as white as snow, and His eyes were as a flame 
of fire, and His feet like burnished brass, and His voice 
as the voice of many waters. And when I saw Him, I fell 
at His feet as one dead. And He laid His right hand upon 
me, saying, Fear not; for I am the First and the Last, and 
the Living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive 
forevermore, and I have the keys of death and hell. 
Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! 

Hymn, or Special Music. 
New Testament Lesson. — I Cor. 15:1-28. 
Prayer of Petition and Intercession. 
Lord's Prayer. 
Hymn. 

Offering. — Special thanksgiving offerings may be made at 
this time. 

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Blessing on the Offering. Doxology. 

Sermon. 

Period of Silent Adoration and Prayer. 

Hymn. 

Benediction. — Now the God of peace, who brought again from 
the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, 
through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you 
perfect in every good work to do His will, working in 
you that which is well-pleasing in His sight, through 
Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. 

Heb. 13:20-21. 



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Pentecost — Whitsuntide 

Pentecost or Whitsuntide is the birthday of the Church, and 
as such should be celebrated by all Churches. The service may 
have a double emphasis — the celebration of the gift of the 
Holy Spirit to the infant Church, and encouragement to mod- 
ern Christians to witness to the saving power of Christ. In ob- 
serving this festival in the village Churches, the usual order 
of service may be followed, with the following changes or 
special features : 

The Call to Worship. — Because ye are sons, God sent forth the 
Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, Abba, Father. 

Gal. 4:6. 
The hour cometh and now is, when the true worship- 
pers shall worship the Father in Spirit and truth: for such 
doth the Father seek to be His worshippers. 

People. — God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must 
worship in spirit and truth. John 4:23-24. 

Scripture Lessons. — Selections may be made from the follow- 
ing: 

Psalms 48, 104, 145. 
Joel 2 128-32. 
John 14:16-31; 16:1-14. 
Acts 1:1-1 1 ; 2; 19:1-7. 



A Special Hymn for this Occasion — Venii Creator Spiriius 
(To be sung, if in the hymnal, or read responsively.) 

Come, Holy Ghost, our souls inspire, 

And lighten with celestial fire. 
Thou the anointing Spirit art, 

Who dost Thy sevenfold gifts impart. 

Thy blessed unction from above. 

Is comfort, life, and fire of love. 
Enable with perpetual light, 

The dullness of our blinded sight. 

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Anoint and cheer our soiled face 

With the abundance of Thy grace. 

Keep far our foes, give peace at home: 

Where Thou art guide, no ill can come. 

Teach us to know the Father, Son, 

And Thee, of both, to be but One. 

That through the ages all along, 
This may be our endless song; 

Praise to Thy eternal merit, 

Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. 

Benediction. — Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and 
peace in believing that ye may abound in hope in the 
power of the Holy Spirit. Amen. 



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Planting Festival 

The planting festival should be observed the day the first 
good "planting rains" fall. It is a service which combines 
thanksgiving for rain with prayer for God's blessing on the 
fields, the seeds, the tools, the oxen, and on those who till the 
soil. It should be observed in every farming village. It is very 
widely observed in Africa, to some extent in China, and is 
becoming increasingly popular in many parts of India. The 
service outlined below is popular in several village churches 
in Western India where it has been observed for several years. 

The Program 

The first part of the service is held in the evening. The 
farmers all bring hoes, spades, and baskets of seed to the place 
of worship. 

Leader. — Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in 
the Lord your God; for He hath given you the former 
rain moderately and He causeth to come down for you 
the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain, in the first 
month. Joel 2 123. 
Hymns of Thanksgiving, and Bhajans. 
Scripture Lessons: Deut. 11:13-17; Psalms 65; 107:35-38. Matt. 

6:26-34. 
Prayer of Thanksgiving for Rain. 

Message. — Suggested Texts: II Cor. 9:10. Psalms 65:9-11. 
Service of Blessing: 

All bring forward the baskets of seed and place them be- 
fore the altar, saying, "Seeds we bring, O Lord, to Thee." 
Minister. — May the Lord who sendeth seedtime and harvest 
bless this seed to His glory. 
Then all bring their tools and lay them before the altar, say- 
ing: "Our tools we lay, O Lord, at Thy feet." 
Minister. — May God strengthen you to use these tools for His 
Glory. 

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Prayer of Dedication, and asking the blessing of God on seeds 

and tools. 
Lord's Prayer, in unison. 
Benediction. 

Note: — The tools and baskets of seed are left in the worship 
place all night. 

At dawn the next morning, all gather again at the place of 
worship, bringing their oxen and ploughs also. 
Call to Worship.— Let everything that hath breath praise the 

Lord; Praise ye the Lord. Psalm 150:6. 

Hymn of Praise. 

Scripture Lesson. — Deut. 28:1-6; Mark 4:1-9. 
Prayer of dedication and blessing. 
Benediction: The Lord bless thee and keep thee: 

The Lord make His face to shine upon thee, and be 

gracious unto thee: 

The Lord lift up His countenance upon thee, and give 

thee peace. Amen. 
After the benediction, if it can be arranged, the congrega- 
tion may partake of a light morning meal, or tea together. 
Then all take their tools, oxen, ploughs, and baskets of seed, 
and go to their fields singing special bhajans prepared for this 
occasion. 



101 



Festival of the First Fruits 

This festival has its counterpart among many of the primi- 
tive tribes of Indian farmer folk, who always offer some of the 
first fruits of field or garden to their deities. The Hebrews 
made it one of their most joyous feasts. As a means of helping 
to make all the daily life of our farmer Christians religious 
and God-centered, it is a useful service. 

It should be observed at the beginning of harvest. On the 
appointed day all should gather in the place of worship, each 
bringing something of the first fruits of field or garden — bas- 
kets of grain, sheaves, or fruit. 

Leader. — Bless the Lord, O my soul; 

And all that is within me, bless His holy name. 

People. — Bless the Lord, O my soul, And forget not all His 
benefits : 

Leader. — The eyes of all wait upon Thee; 

And Thou givest them their meat in due season. 

People. — Thou openest Thy hand, and satisfiest the desire of 
every living thing. 

Leader. — The Lord is righteous in all His ways; 

People. — And holy in all His works. Psalms 103:1-2; 145:15-17. 

Leader. — Let us give thanks to God (Prayer of thanksgiving) 

Responsive Reading. — Psalm 67. 

Hymn.— We Plough the Fields and Scatter. 

Bible Reading. — Leviticus 23:9-14. Matthew 13:3-9; 18-23. 

Short Message. — Talk by the leader, on the dedication of first 
fruits to God. 

Offering of first Fruits to God. — Read Prov. 3:9-10. 

While a hymn of consecration is being sung, each person 
will bring forward his first-fruits offering and lay it on the 
altar or table. 

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Then the leader will read Malachi 3.7-12. 

Doxology. — All, standing, will join in singing. 

Dedicatory Prayer. 

Benediction. — The Lord bless thee and keep thee: 

The Lord make His face to shine upon thee and be 
gracious unto thee: 

The Lord lift up His countenance upon thee, and give 
the peace. Amen. 



103 



Harvest Thanksgiving Service 

The harvest festival should be observed soon after the main 
season's crops have been harvested. In some sections of India 
this may be at Divali or Dasserah time, in others as late as 
January or February. It may be a movable festival, to be ob- 
served according to the needs and appropriate time for each 
village church. It is a time for recognizing our stewardship of 
God's good gifts given us through the soil and the trees, a 
time for the dedication of our year's toil and its fruits to God. 

The program given below was given at Pendra Road, C. P., 
in 1936, and is a beautiful and appropriate service which can 
be followed in any village church. The place of worship was 
decorated beautifully with flowers and leaves, fruits and 
sheaves of grain. Over the entrance was a banner inscribed 
with the words, "Enter into His gates with Thanksgiving." 
Long before the hour appointed for the service, the people 
began to come from every side, carrying their gifts of baskets 
and bags of grain, some bringing it in carts. Children came 
carrying eggs, fruits, vegetables, and baskets of rice. Many 
brought gifts of cash which they had earned. The cash offer- 
ing amounted to about Rs. 225, and 108 bushels of grain were 
given, besides fruits and many other products. 

The Order of Service 

Call to Worship. — O Give thanks unto the Lord; for He is 
good; 
For His Mercy endureth forever. Psalms 136:1. 

Prayer of Invocation. 

Hymn of Thanksgiving. — Psalm 136 set to music. 

Responsive Reading of Thanksgiving Scriptures. — Read by 
students. 

(The following are appropriate Scriptures which may be 
read: Deut. 8; Psalms 8, 23, 63, 65, 67, 103, 104, 107, 144, 145, 
146, 147, 148, 150; Ezekiel 34 :25-3i ; Luke 12:13-21. — Editor.) 

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Special Thanksgiving Hymn. — Sung by Girls' Choir. 

Thanksgiving Prayer. 

Hymn. — We Plough the Fields and Scatter. 

Responsive Reading on Stewardship. — Read by the congrega- 
tion. 
(The following or other appropriate Scriptures may be 
read: Psalms 24, 72. Malachi 37-12. Matthew 6:19-34. D Cor. 
8:1-9; 9:6-15. — Editor.) 

Thanksgiving Hymn. — Composed by a village man, and sung 
by a group of village people, accompanied by drum and 
cymbals. 

The Thanksgiving Message. — Text — Psalm 116:12-13. 

Prayer. 

The Thanksgiving Offering. — At this time the hymn, O Lord 
of Heaven, Earth, and Sea was sung. During the singing, 
every worshipper came forward in an orderly manner and 
laid his gift in the place provided for the gifts. Cash and 
small articles were laid upon a table. 

Prayer of Dedication. 

Doxology. — Sung by entire congregation, standing. 

Benediction. 



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A Christian Observance of Divali 

Divali — Dipavali is a festival observed in nearly every part 
of India at the beginning of the New Year. While it is sur- 
rounded by various legends, and in backward areas still has 
old idolatrous connections, it is generally looked upon by 
Hindus as a festival celebrating the triumph of the light of 
truth over the darkness of ignorance. It includes in the five 
days of festivities the closing of the old year, the beginning of 
the new year, illuminations, feasting, fireworks, special bath- 
ing, cleaning and special decoration of dwellings, wearing 
new garments, and the exchange of amenities between broth- 
ers and sisters. 

Since it has relatively little objectionable association with 
idolatrous practises, and is a general festival of rejoicing among 
the people of town and country, it might well be celebrated by 
the village Christians. Not with the old connotations, of 
course, but by putting new meaning into the various days of 
observance, a really Christian observance of Divali may be 
planned. 

The following program has been used in part in some vil- 
lages, and is planned for an area where the Harvest Thanks- 
giving service can be observed at the same time. It is planned 
for the five days usually celebrated by villagers, and each day's 
observance has some connection with the old festival which 
they knew, but transformed into festal celebration of great 
Christian truths or aspects of Christian living. 

First Day— Dhana Teras (Wealth Thirteenth) 

This is the day formerly observed by the worship of wealth. 
It may be observed in village churches by giving special teach- 
ing on Christian stewardship. The church officials may visit 
all members on this day to give special teaching and encour- 
agement in Christian stewardship in preparation for the spe- 
cial thanksgiving offering, and may take pledges. The de- 
signs made of white and colored powder or flour on the ground 

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in front of the doorstep are beautiful, and may be made by 
the Christians, too. Illuminations, in which tiny clay saucer 
lamps are used, may begin on this night. The evening prayer 
service should center around the stewardship theme, and may 
be followed by singing bhajans. 

Second Day — Kali Chaudasa 

The service of prayer on this day may center around the 
theme of Christ's victory over fear of every kind, and our tri- 
umph through Him over all the forces of evil in our village 
life, evil spirits, the forces of nature, temptation. It will be a 
service of thanksgiving to God as our Refuge and Protector. 

The evening will be given over to singing and illuminations. 

Third Day— Last Day of Ihe Year 

This is the day for the Harvest Thanksgiving Festival. The 
program for such a festival is found on page 107. The eve- 
ning, if the thanksgiving service is in the daytime, may be 
given over to a community dinner of the village Christian com- 
munity, followed by singing of Bhajans, Kirtans, and Kathas. 
Then may come a special period of prayer to celebrate the 
closing moments of the old year. 

Fourth Day — Divali— New Year's Day 

On the morning of New Year's Day there may be a pro- 
cession to the place of worship. The service will center around 
the theme of Christ the Light of the World. The church and 
the homes of the Christians will be decorated both for this 
and the previous day's services. The service may follow this 
order : 

Service for Divali — New Year 

Leader. — Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of 
the Lord is risen upon thee. For behold, darkness shall 
cover the earth, and gross darkness the peoples; but the 
Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen 
upon thee. And Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings 
to the brightness of thy rising. (Isaiah 60:1-3.) Glory be 
to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost: 

107 






People. — As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be; 
world without end. Amen. 

Leader. — Praise ye the Lord. 

People. — The Lord's name be praised. 

Leader. — Let us pray. (Here follows a prayer of confession and 
invocation.) 

Hymn of Praise. 

Responsive Reading. — Isaiah 60:1-5; 18-22. 

Hymn of Prayer. 

New Testament Lesson. — To be read by leader or other edu- 
cated person. 
Matthew 5:13-16. John 1:1-14; % :12 > 3 1 '3 2 - I J orin I: 5 _ 7- 

Bidding Prayer of Intercession and Petition. 

The Creed. 

Hymn or Bhajan. 

Message, on Christ the Light of the World, or related theme. 

Service of Dedication. — In this service, all will be asked to re- 
new their pledges of faithfulness to Christ, and to dedi- 
cate their lives anew to Christ, to live exemplary lives and 
to serve each other, and witness, during the new year 
which begins to-day. 

Benediction. — The Lord make you to increase and abound in 
love one toward all another and toward men; to the end 
He may establish your hearts unblameable in holiness be- 
fore our God and Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus 
with all His saints. Amen. I Thess. 3:12-13. 

Fiflh Day— Bhai Bija 

This day is particularly appropriate for stressing Christian 
family relationships. The ancient custom of brothers and sis- 
ters exchanging visits and having family dinners may well be 
encouraged. The services of worship may center around the 
theme of the Christian Family. Another custom that may be 
established, is to use this day as a special day for winning one's 
near relatives who have not yet become Christian, to Christ. 

108 



A Memorial Service 

This service is based upon the custom of primitive tribes of 
celebrating a day in memory of their relatives who have died 
during the year, and the ancient Christian "All Saints Day." 
It may be observed in a regular Sunday service of worship. It 
will often happen that a minister cannot be present at a burial 
service, and this service is a memorial to all who have died 
during the year. It is at the same time a celebration of our 
relation with the Church Triumphant, the whole body of 
those whose heirs we are in the life of faith. 

Call to Worship. — Lord, Thou has been our dwelling place in 
all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, 
or ever Thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even 
from everlasting to everlasting, Thou art God. 

Psalm 90:1, 2. 

Prayer. 

Hymn. — For All the Saints Who From Their Labours Rest. 
(If this hymn is not in the vernacular, it should be trans- 
lated). 

Canticle of the Departed. — To be read responsively : 

The souls of the righteous are in the hand of God : and no 

torment shall touch them. 
In the eyes of the foolish they seemed to die: and their de- 
parture was accounted for their hurt. 
And their going from us was taken to be their ruin: but 

they are in peace. 
For though in the sight of men they be punished: yet is 

their hope full of immortality. 
And having borne a little chastening, they shall receive 

great good : because God made trial of them, and found 

them worthy for Himself. 
As gold in the furnace He proved them: And as a whole 

burnt-offering He accepted them. 

109 



They that trust in Him shall understand truth: and the 

faithful shall abide with Him in love. 
Because grace and mercy are to His chosen: and He will 

graciously visit His holy ones. 
For in the Lord is their reward: and the care of them is 

with the most High. 
Therefore shall they receive a glorious kingdom: and a 

crown of beauty from the Lord's own hand. 

—Wisdom III. 
Hymn. 

Scripture Lesson.- — Psalm 90. 

Selections from Hebrews 11. I Thess. 4:13-8. 

Recognition Service. — The names of all in the village church 
who have died during the past year will be read, then 
silent prayer. 

Prayer of Thanksgiving. — The minister will offer a prayer of 
thanksgiving for those who have gone before, and the in- 
fluence of them upon us. 

Sermon. 

Hymn. 

Benediction. — Now the God of peace, that brought again from 
the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the Sheep, 
through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you 
perfect in every good work to do His will, working in you 
that which is well pleasing in His sight through Jesus 
Christ : to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. 



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A Candle-Lighting Service for New Christians 

This service was used with great effectiveness in the rural 
Church at Ahwa, Dangs Forest, Bombay Presidency. It was 
prepared by Rev. and Mrs. A. F. Bollinger. It might be used 
also in the "Christian Divali" program. 

A Hymn of Praise. 

Prayer. 

Explanation of the Service. — The leader explains the meaning 
of the service, using such Scriptures as Gen. 1:1-3, anc ^ 
John 1:1-5 as tne basis of the service. As God gave us nat- 
ural light, in the sun, moon, and stars to light the day and 
night, so spiritual gleams showing the nature of God be- 
gan to shine and illuminate the darkness and evil of men's 
hearts. Through the prophets and leaders of old came 
these beams of light helping men understand and dis- 
tinguish good from evil. 

(At this point, the lights in the building are carried out 
or extinguished, the room left in darkness). 

Beams of Light. — Represented by tiny candles and readings 
from the prophets. The reader stands behind a curtain and 
reads the references impressively, while at each reading a 
little boy carrying a candle comes from a side door and 
stands at the center of the Church. He gives his candle to 
the Leader, who places the lighted candles in a row on 
the altar or table. Then the boy goes out. 
The Beams of Light from the Prophets. 

1st Candle-bearer — Amos 5:14, 15, 24. 
2nd Candle-bearer — Deut. 6:5. 
3rd Candle-bearer — Micah 6:8. 
4th Candle-bearer — Isaiah 49:6. 
5th Candle-bearer — Habakkuk 2:20. 
6th Candle-bearer — John 1 16-7. 

(The room is now lighted by these tiny candles) 

in 



God the Light. — The leader now speaks of God through His 
Son giving the True Light to the World. I John 1:5; 
Isaiah 9:6; John 1:14. (At this point a large candle repre- 
senting Jesus Christ, God's perfect Fulfilment is brought 
to the Leader, and he places it in a higher place, where its 
light outshines the smaller candles.) 

Hymn. — Raja Esu Ayah. (Christ Jesus has come). 

Leader. — Jesus said, I am the Light of the World. By His life 
and His wonderful works, He lived out the meaning of 
the names prophesied for Him: Wonderful, Counsellor, 
Almighty God, Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. 
And He said unto us all, Ye are the Light of the World. 

Hymn of Dedication and Praise. — (The group of newly bap- 
tized Christians, who have been sitting on either side of 
the Church at the front, now rise and sing this hymn) — 
Oh, Happy Day that Fixed My Choice. 

Leader. — Our Holy Scripture gives us light and guidance for 
following in the steps of our Lord and Master Jesus 
Christ. (Reads) : 
Psalms 27:1; 119:105. Prov. 4:18. Rom. 13:12. 

Candle Lighting. — The newly baptized group, who have re- 
mained standing during the reading of foregoing pas- 
sages now step forward one after another and receive 
from the leader a small unlighted candle which they light 
at the large candle representing Christ. They take their 
former places until all have lit their candles. 

Dedicatory Prayer. — By the leader. 

Hymn. — We Walk in the Light. The group with candles 
sings this hymn, and the rest of the congregation join 
the refrain. While singing the last stanzas, the group with 
candles walks out, holding the lighted candles high, and 
the congregation follow them, all singing as they go to 
their homes. 



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Dedication of a Threshing Floor 

Among the primitive tribes and farming castes in many 
sections of India a religious service is performed at the time 
when the threshing-floor is made ready. Many Christian farm- 
ers are asking for a service to correspond with it. The follow- 
ing is suggested. It may be performed by the minister, or in 
his absence by the farmer himself in the presence of his fam- 
ily. It would be well if some vernacular Christian poet would 
produce a special hymn for this service. 

Hymn. 

Scripture Reading. — Numbers 15:20. Psalm 65:9-12. II Cor. 
9-10. 

Prayer of Dedication, and for Protection and Blessing. 

O God, who sendest the rains and fruitful seasons, who 
visitest the earth and waterest it, we Thy servants give 
Thee humble and grateful thanks for this new harvest sea- 
son. For bountiful crops and a fruitful season we give Thee 
our offering of praise. Thou hast crowned this year with 
Thy goodness. We dedicate now this threshing-floor to 
Thee for the glory. May all the grain threshed here be used 
for Thy glory alone. May Thine angels guard this place, 
and these Thy servants who shall here thresh the grain 
Thou gavest. Grant that of this precious grain, none may 
be lost, but that it shall all be used to feed Thy hungry 
children. May all who eat of it know that of Thy grace and 
love Thou givest them bread in due season. May even the 
little birds who shall glean their food here be conscious of 
the Heavenly Father's care. Through Jesus Christ our 
Lord, who is the true Bread of Life come down from 
heaven. Amen. 

Threshing the First Sheaf. — The grain from this first sheaf, or 
as many as the farmer shall decide, is to be kept separate 
for the First-Fruits Day offering, as sacred to the Lord of 
the Harvest. 

"3 



Benediction. — The Lord bless thee and keep thee: 

The Lord make His face to shine upon thee and be 
gracious unto thee. The Lord lift up His countenance 
upon thee and give thee peace. Amen. 



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Form of Service for Blessing Well 

Hymn. 

Minister. — In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy 

Ghost. 
People. — Amen. 

Minister. — Let all the people be gathered together. 

Psalm 
O give thanks unto the Lord; for He is good: 
For His mercy endureth forever. 
He turneth the wilderness into a pool of water. 
And a dry land into watersprings. 
And there He maketh the hungry to dwell, 
That they may prepare a city of habitation, 
And sow fields and plant vineyards, 
And get them fruits of increase. 
He blesseth them also, so that they are multiplied 

greatly; 
And He suffereth not their cattle to decrease. 
Again, they are diminished and bowed down, 
Through oppression, trouble, and sorrow. 
He poureth contempt upon princes, 
And causeth them to wander in the waste where 

there is no way. 
Yet setteth He the needy on high from affliction, 
And maketh him families like a flock. 
The upright shall see it and be glad; 
And all iniquity shall stop her mouth. 
Who is wise will give heed to these things; 
And they will consider the loving kindnesses of the 
Lord. Psalm 107:1,35-43. 

Bible Reading. — John 4:4-15. 

Minister. — Let us pray: O Lord, have mercy upon us. 

O Christ, have mercy upon us. 
O Lord, have mercy upon us. 
The Lord's Prayer. 
Minister. — He sendeth forth springs into the valleys. 

"5 



People. — They run among the mountains. 

Minister. — He watereth the mountains from His chambers. 

People. — The earth is satisfied with the fruits of the works. 

Minister. — He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle and 
herbs for the service of man. 

People. — That he may bring forth good out of the earth. 

Minister. — Therefore shall ye draw water out of the wells of 
salvation with joy. 

People. — And in that day shall ye say 'Give thanks unto the 
Lord.' 

Minister. — For with Thee is the fountain of life. 

People. — In Thy light shall we see light. 

Minister. — Let us pray : 

O Almighty God our Father, Thou art the giver of all 
good gifts. We praise Thee for inspiring Thy servants to 
help us in getting this well. May they enjoy the fruits of 
Thy grace. We thank Thee for removing all our difficul- 
ties, and we beseech Thee to accept all our thanksgivings 
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. 

O Merciful and Almighty God, Who didst prepare the 
garden of Eden for our first parents Adam and Eve, and 
because of their fall didst compel them to till the soil: 
Have mercy on us all, meek and lowly, who depend upon 
Thy grace. Grant that we may have an abundance of 
water from this well. As thou art willing to give us the 
water of this well to quench our bodily thirst, give us also 
the water of life to satisfy our souls. Through Jesus Christ 
our Lord. Amen. 

O God, who didst change bitter water into sweet by 
means of Thy Word, we humbly beseech Thee that the 
water of this well may be a real blessing to us all. By 
drinking of it, may all bitterness be removed from our 
hearts through the sweetness of the Cross, so that we all 
may live in unity and love. We praise Thee and thank 
Thee, O God, for all Thy mercies. Thou art the only liv- 
ing God, Father, Son and Holy Ghost forever and ever. 
Amen. ' 

Benediction: — From the Bishop of Nasik. 

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Service for Beginning a Village House 

Among nearly all classes of people there is some kind of re- 
ligious ceremony when the first foundations are dug, or the 
first post planted, of a village house. Christian farmers in 
many Churches are now calling in their neighbours at such a 
time, having brief religious service, and then serving tea. The 
following is a brief program for such an occasion. 

Hymn. 

Prayer of Thanksgiving. 

Psalm 127. — To be sung, or read by the minister. 

Scripture Lesson. — Matthew 7:24-27. 

Brief talk^ by the Minister. 

Digging Ceremony. — The minister, and all others present will 
then plant the first post, or whatever the first work of 
building may be. 

Than\-Offering. 

Benediction. — Now the Lord of peace Himself give you peace 
at all times, in all ways. The Lord be with all who dwell 
in this house. Amen. 

Social Hour and tea. 



117 



A Service for the Dedication of a Village Home 

Note: — When the house is completed, the family should set 
a day for its dedication, call in their village brethren and 
friends and the pastor. Let the house be decorated with flowers 
if available, and with garlands of green leaves. In a promi- 
nent place in the house there should be a picture of Christ 
hung, and beside it on a shelf or other permanent place, a 
Bible or New Testament should be placed. This should be 
the center of family worship in the new home. At the ap- 
pointed hour, the people will gather in front of the door, 
which is to be locked until the appropriate time. After the 
service, tea or other refreshments may be served. 

Leader. — Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain 
that build it: 

Except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but 
in vain. Ps. 127:1. 

Family. — Come Lord Jesus, be Thou our guest; 
Let this our house be Thy dwelling place. 

A Prayer of Invocation. 

Leader. — (Unlocking the door) Enter into His gates with 

thanksgiving; 

And into His courts with praise. 
Hymn of Dedication. — All enter singing, the minister and the 

family take their places near the picture, and the minister 

opens the Bible. 

Scripture Lesson. — May be selected from among these lessons: 
Deut. 6:1-13. Deut. 11:18-21. Ruth 1. Proverbs 1:8-9, 
31:10-31. Matthew 18:1-5. Luke 10:38-42. John 2. Ephe- 
sians 6:1-2. 

Short tal\ by the Minister. 

Act of Dedication. Leader. — To whom do you dedicate this 
house ? 

People. — We dedicate this house unto the Lord. 

118 



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Leader. — Will you in this home trust Him and live in the light 
of His presence? 

Family. — We will trust Him and follow Him. 

Leader. — Do you give Christ and the Word of God first place 
in this home? 

Family. — We do. 

Leader. — Let us dedicate this home to God in prayer. 

Prayer of Dedication. 

The Lord's Prayer. 

Benediction. — The Lord bless thee and keep thee: 

The Lord make His face to shine upon thee and be gra- 
cious unto thee: 
The Lord lift up His countenance upon thee and give 
thee peace. Amen. 



119 



Service for the Dedication of Small Children 

This service is planned for use in churches which do not 
practice infant baptism. In churches where it has been in use 
for some years, it is greatly appreciated by parents, and pro- 
vides an unique opportunity to tie up little children with the 
church. It may be incorporated in a regular service of wor- 
ship, or used on special occasions such as Christmas and on 
Children's Day. 

Hymn.— (During the singing of the hymn, parents will bring 
their children forward to be dedicated. A large candle 
should be kept in readiness, also one small candle for each 
child. At the close of the hymn, the large candle, repre- 
senting Christ, is lighted. In some churches, instead of the 
candle-lighting feature, a large picture of Christ blessing 
the Children is exhibited). 
Scripture Lesson. — I Samuel 1:24-28. Mark 10:13-16. 
Brief Tal^. — The minister may speak on our duty as parents, 

or the friendship of Christ for little children. 
Pledges. — The minister will ask these questions of the parents: 
Q. God our Heavenly Father has entrusted this little 
child into your care. He is like soft clay in your hands, 
which you may mould into beauty or hopelessly mar. Do 
you solemnly promise before God to rear him as a child 
of God, to teach him to serve and love God and his fel- 
low men all his days, and so far as you can to protect him 
from all evil? 
A. With God's help we will so do. 
Q. Will you maintain in your home an atmosphere of 
purity and devotion and love for the sake of this little 
child? 
A. It is our purpose so to do. 

Q. Do you now solemnly dedicate this child to God, 
that He may ever guide him, keep him, protect him, and 
use him to His glory? 
A. We do dedicate him now to God. 

120 



Minister. — God has heard your promises. May He give you 
grace to keep them, to rear this child to be His child, to 
lead his footsteps in the path of righteousness. 

Naming. — If the child has not been named, at this point the 
minister will give the child the name chosen by the par- 
ents. 

Candle-Lighting. — A small candle is now lighted for each 
child by the father or mother, at the large candle, and is 
placed on the altar. 

Th an /(-Offering. 

Prayer. — Our Heavenly Father, whose face the angels of little 
children do always behold, we give Thee thanks for the 
precious life of this little child entrusted to our care. In 
Thy love and mercy accept him into Thy gracious keep- 
ing. Protect him from evil, and from all temptation too 
strong for him to bear. Guide his little feet in the paths 
of truth. Make him a blessing to his parents and his 
church. Give to his father and mother grace and wisdom 
to guide him aright. Help them to surround him with 
an atmosphere of love and tender care. Help them to be 
perfect examples of Christian living before this child. 
Make him Thy true servant, and bring him into Thy 
eternal Kingdom. Hear our prayer for him, in the name 
of Jesus Christ, who Himself was once a little child in 
Bethlehem, and who is the friend of all little ones. Amen. 
Benediction. — The Lord bless thee and keep thee: 

The Lord make His face to shine upon thee, and be gra- 
cious unto thee; 
The Lord lift up His countenance upon thee and give 
thee peace. Amen. 



121 



Service for Burial of the Dead 

Note: — If there is no minister present, this service may be read 
by the leading Christian of the village, or by any person able 
to read. Let the body be decently clothed and prepared for 
burial or cremation, as the custom of the Church may be, and 
when all is ready, the service may be read as follows: 



At the Home 

Reader. — I am the resurrection, and the life : saith the Lord : he 
that believeth on me, though he die, yet shall he live : and 
whosoever liveth and believeth in me, shall never die. 

John 11:25-26. 

We brought nothing into the world, and it is certain 
we can carry nothing out. The Lord gave, and the Lord 
hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord. 

I Tim. 6:7; Job 1:21. 

Let not your heart be troubled : believe in God, believe 
also in me. John 14:1. 

Prayer. — O God, the Lord of Life, the Conqueror over death, 
our Help in every time of trouble, who dost not willingly 
grieve or afflict the children of men; comfort us who 
mourn and give us grace in the presence of death to wor- 
ship Thee the Ever-living; that while we entrust the soul 
of the departed to Thee with faith, we may have sure 
hope of eternal life, and be enabled to put our whole trust 
in Thy wonderful goodness and mercy; through Jesus 
Christ our Lord. Amen. 

The Lord's Prayer. 

A Hymn of Comfort or hope in Eternal Life. 

Reader. — Let us hear the comforting word of God: 

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Scripture Lessons: 

For an adult For a child 

Psalm 90 Psalm 23. 

Isaiah 40:6-8 Isaiah 40:11. 

I Cor. 15:20-22; 35-44 Mark 10:13-26; 18; 10. 

51-58. 
John 14:1-3. 

Prayer. — This prayer should be a special prayer that those 
bereaved may find full comfort and perfect peace in God. 

Benediction. — The Lord bless you and keep you: 

The Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gra- 
cious unto you; 
The Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you 
peace, both now and evermore. Amen. 

At the Grave or Burning Place 

At the grave, when the body has been put into its place, 
the reader shall read: 

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 
who according to His abundant mercy hath begotten us 
again unto a living hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ 
from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and unde- 
filed, and that fadeth not away. We believe that Jesus died 
and rose again, even so we believe that them which sleep 
in Jesus will God bring with Him. 

Committal Service. — While someone tosses flowers or earth 
upon the body, these words will be read : Forasmuch as it 
hath pleased Almighty God in His wise providence to take 
out of this world the soul of our deceased brother (sister) 
we therefore commit his (her) body to the ground : earth 
to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust; in the hope of the 
resurrection unto life eternal; through Jesus Christ our 
Lord. 

Prayer. — O God, whose mercies cannot be numbered; accept 
our prayers on behalf of the soul of Thy servant departed, 
and grant him (her) an entrance into the land of light 

123 



and joy, in the fellowship of Thy saints, where there is no 
more pain, nor death, nor trouble nor tears. May he hear 
Thy voice saying to him, Come, ye blessed of my Fa- 
ther, receive the Kingdom prepared for you from the 
foundation of the world. Grant this, we beseech Thee, O 
most merciful Father, through Jesus Christ our Lord and 
Redeemer. Amen. 

For a child the following Prayer may be used instead: 

Heavenly Father, whose face the angels of little chil- 
dren do always behold, and who by Thy Son Jesus Christ 
has taught us that of such is the Kingdom of Heaven; 
we commend unto Thy faithful keeping the soul of this 
little child, whom Thou hast gathered with the lambs in 
Thy bosom; beseeching Thee that Thou wilt accept the 
innocence of this Thy little one, cleansing him from all 
stain of earthly life; that he; may dwell forever in Thy 
presence, and find a home in the heavenly Jerusalem, that 
city which is full of boys and girls playing in the streets 
thereof; and this we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord. 
Amen. 

Benediction. — Now the God of Peace, that brought again from 
the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the Sheep, 
through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you 
perfect in every good work to do His will, working in you 
that which is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus 
Christ: to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen. 



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Offertory Sentences 

All things come of Thee, and of Thine own have we given 
Thee. 
Ascribe unto the Lord the glory due unto His name; 
Bring an offering, and come before Him; 
Worship the Lord in holy array. 

I. Chronicles 16:29. 

The earth is the Lord's and the fulness thereof; the world 
and they that dwell therein. Psalm 24:1. 

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; 
A broken and a contrite heart, O God, Thou wilt not de- 
spise. Psalm 51 :i7. 

What shall I render unto the Lord for all His benefits to- 
ward me? 

I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of 
the Lord. Psalm 116:12. 

Honor the Lord with thy substance, and with the first-fruits 
of all thy increase: 

So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy vats shall 
overflow with new wine. Proverbs 3:9-10. 

Wherewith shall I come before Jehovah, and bow myself be- 
fore the high God? shall I come before Him with burnt- 
offerings, with calves a year old ? Will Jehovah be pleased with 
thousands of rams, or with ten thousand rivers of oil ? Shall I 
give my first-born for my transgression, the fruit of my body 
for the sin of my soul? He hath showed thee, O man, what is 
good; and what doth Jehovah require of thee, but to do justly, 
and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God ? 

Micah 6:6-8. 
125 



Bring ye the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may 
be food in My house, and prove Me now herewith, saith the 
Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, 
and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room 
enough to receive it. Malachi 3:10. 

Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon the earth, where 
moth and rust consume, and where thieves break through and 
steal: but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where 
neither moth nor rust doth consume, and where thieves do not 
break through nor steal: for where thy treasure is, there will 
thy heart be also. Matthew 6:19-21. 



But seek ye first His Kingdom, and His righteousness; and 
all these things shall be added unto you. 

Matthew 6:33. 

Remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself 
said, It is more blessed to give than to receive. 

Acts 20:35. 

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, 
to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to 
God, which is your spiritual service. 

Romans 12:1. 



Upon the first day of the week let each one of you lay by 
him in store, as he may prosper, that no collections be made 
when I come. I Cor. 16:2. 



For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though 
He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that ye 
through His poverty might become rich. 

II Cor. 8:9. 
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Let each man do according as he hath purposed in his heart: 
not grudgingly, nor of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful 
giver. II Cor. 9 7. 

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, com- 
ing down from the Father of lights, with whom can be no 
variation, neither shadow that is cast by turning. 

James 1:17. 



127 



A Table of the Movable Festivals for 1939-1960 



Year 

1939 
1940 
194 1 
1942 

1943 
1944 

1945 
1946 

1947 
1948 
1949 
1950 
1951 
1952 
1953 
1954 
1955 
1956 

1957 
1958 

1959 
i960 



Easter 



April 9 
March 24.. 
April 13.. 

5 
25.. 

9 

1 



March 28.. 
April 17.. 

" 9 
March 25.. 
April 13.. 

5- 

18.. 

10.. 

1.. 

" 21.. 

6. 

March 29.. 

April 17.. 



First day of 
Lent 



Feb. 22 

6 

26 

18 

March 10 

Feb. 22 

" 14 
March 6 
Feb. 19 
10 
March 2 
Feb. 22 

7 

26 

18 

March 3 

Feb. 23 

" 14 

March 6 

Feb. 19 

11 

March 2 



Ascension Day 



May 18. 



June 
May 



2 . 
22 
14. 

3 

18 
10 

30 
15 
6 
26 
18 

3 
22.. 

14 

27 
J 9 
10. 

3° 

15 

7 

26. 



Pentecost 

May 28 
12 
June 1 
May 24 
June 13 
May 28 



June 
May 

June 

May 

June 

May 

June 

May 
t> 

June 

May 
>» 

June 



9 
25 
16 

5 
28 

J 3 

1 
24 

6 
29 
20 

9 
25 
17 

5 



128 



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Bibliography 

Any of the books mentioned here can be ordered through the Lucknow 
Publishing House, Hazratganj, Lucknow, U. P., or any standard book sup- 
ply house. 

Those marked with an asterisk (*) are of most importance in making 
further studies in worship. 

A. GENERAL 

•Agricultural Missions Foundation, Inc. Agricultural Missions Notes. Quar- 
terly. Published at 156 Fifth Avenue, New York. Most numbers con- 
tain valuable articles and news notes on Rural Church Worship. Various 
issues of the Mimeograph Series are also valuable. 
Appasamy, A. J. Christ in the Indian Church. Christian Literature Society. 
Athearn, Laura A. Christian Worship for American Youth. The Century Co. 
Byington, Edwin H. The Quest for Experience in Worship. Harper & 
Brothers. 
"Christian Rural Fellowship Bulletins. Published by the Christian Rural Fel- 
lowship, 156 Fifth Avenue, New York. 
Conover, Elbert M. Building the House of God. Methodist Book Concern. 
•Dearmer, Percy. The Art of Public Worship. Morehouse Publishing Co. 

Christianity and Art. Christian Student Movement. 
•Fiske, George Walter. The Recovery of Worship. The Macmillan Company. 
•Fleming, Daniel J. Heritage of Beauty. Friendship Press. 
Gates, Sherwood. Youth at Worship. (Christian Quest Series). International 

Council of Religious Education. 
Harper, Earl E. Church Music and Worship. The Abingdon Press. 
•Harris, Thomas L. Christian Public Worship. Harper St Brothers. 
Jones, Rufus. New Studies in Mystical Religion. The Macmillan Company. 
Jefferson, Charles E. The Building of the Church. The Macmillan Company. 
King, E. L. The Charterhouse Series of Religious Education Texts. Oxworth 
Book Service. 

Allahanagar Things Through Some Worship Possibilities. Luck- 
now Publishing House. 
•Micklem, N. (Editor). Christian Worship. Oxford University Press. 
Page, Kirby. Living Creatively. Farrar & Rinehart. 
•Pickett, J. W: Christian Mass Movements in India. Lucknow Publishing 
House. 

Christ's Way to India's Heart. Lucknow Publishing House. 
Popley, H. A. The Music of India. Y.M.C.A. Publishing House. 
•Powell, Marie Cole. Guiding the Experience of Worship. Methodist Book 
Concern. 
Sclater, J. R. P. The Public Worship of God. Harper & Brothers. 
•Sperry, Willard L. Reality in Worship. The Macmillan Company. 
Streeter, Burnett Hillman. Reality. The Macmillan Company. 
Vogt, Von Ogden. 'Modern Worship, Art and Religion. Yale University 
Press. 

129 



B. 



BOOKS CONTAINING SOURCE MATERIALS 
FOR WORSHIP USE 



•Appasamy, A. J. (Editor). Temple Bells. The Y.M.C.A. Publishing House. 
Athearn, Laura A. Christian Worship for American Youth. The Century Co. 
*Bailey, Albert E. The Gospel in Art. The Pilgrim Press. 

The Use of Art in Religious Education. Abingdon Press. 
Book of Common Prayer. 

Fosdick, H. E. The Meaning of Prayer. The Association Press. 
The Meaning of Service. The Association Press. 
•Fox, Selina. A Chain of Prayer Through the Ages. 

•Hoyland, J. S. Prayers Written for use in an Indian College. W. Heffer 
& Sons. 

The Sacrament of Common Life. W. Heffer & Sons. 
•Hume, R. E. Treasure House of the World's Living Religions. Scribners. 
Interchurch Hymnal, Part Two, Aids to Worship. Biglow-Main-Excell. 
International Journal of Religious Education. Each monthly number contains 

excellent programs of worship and materials for various age groups. 
King, E. L. A Book, of Worship for Young People. Oxworth Book Service. 

A Source Book, of Worship Materials. Oxworth Book Service. 
Macnicol, Nicol. Psalms of the Maratha Saints. Y.M.C.A. Publishing House. 
•Maus, Cynthia Pearl. Christ and the Fine Arts. Harper & Brothers. 

McComb, Samuel. A Book of Modern Prayers. Longmans Green & Co. 
•Orchard, W. E. Divine Service. Oxford University Press. 

The Temple. Oxford University Press. 
•Rauschenbusch, Walter. Prayers of the Social Awakening. The Pilgrim Press. 
•Rockey, C. D. Village Worship Programs. Lucknow Publishing House. 
Saunders, Kenneth. The Heritage of Asia. Y.M.C.A. Publishing House. 
Tagore, Rabindranath. Gitanjali. The Macmillan Company. 
Willett, Herbert L., and Morrison, Charles Clayton. The Daily Altar. Willett, 

Clark & Company. 
Winslow, J. C. Narayan Vaman Tilak- Y.M.C.A. Publishing House. 
Wyckoff, Charlotte C. Manual of Worship. Christian Literature Society. 



Printed by 

Sowers Printing Company 

Lebanon, Pa. 

1939 



130 



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ISC. 




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Gaylamount 

Pamphlet 

Binder 

Gaylord Bros., Inc. 

Syracuse, N.Y. 

T. M. Reg. U.S. Pat. Off. i