Celebrating a Book: "To Glorify God"

Yale University's Institute of Sacred Music (ISM) will celebrate the publication of an important new book, "To Glorify God," on Thursday, March 25, at Sterling Divinity Quadrangle, 409 Prospect St.

Yale University’s Institute of Sacred Music (ISM) will celebrate the publication of an important new book, “To Glorify God,” on Thursday, March 25, at Sterling Divinity Quadrangle, 409 Prospect St.

“To Glorify God” is a collection of essays comparing doctrine and theology in the American and the Scottish Presbyterian prayer books: “Book of Common Worship,” used by the Presbyterian Church of the United States of America (PCUSA) and “Common Order,” used by the Church of Scotland. New editions of both prayer books were published in the 1990s. “To Glorify God,” recently published by T.N.T. Clark (Edinburgh), was co-edited by the Rev. Bryan Spinks, chair and professor of liturgical studies at ISM and the Yale Divinity School, and Iain Torrance, senior lecturer in divinity and religious studies at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland. The ISM at Yale is a center for the interdisciplinary study of liturgy and the liturgical arts. It is part of Yale Divinity School.

“One thing that comes out in the book is how an Established Church, a state church like the Presbyterian Church in Scotland, has to be more open in its language,” says Spinks. “For example, in the baptismal, marriage and funeral rites, there is more ambiguity written into the Scottish liturgy, because the boundaries between who is a member of the church and who is not are blurred. It is pretty much assumed that anyone who has not affiliated with another religion belongs to the state church. In the United States, affiliation is by deliberate choice, and so the American book uses more confident and specific language in, for example, describing the departed in the funeral service.”

During the celebration, “To Glorify God” will be discussed by the Rev. Barrie Shepherd, minister of First Presbyterian Church in New York City. Shepherd chaired the General Assembly committee when the new “Book of Common Worship” of the PCUSA was produced in 1993.

The program is free and open to the public. The schedule follows:

4 p.m.
Lecture by the Rev. Shepherd in the Great Hall of ISM

5:30 p.m.
Worship in Marquand Chapel

6 p.m.
Reception in the Great Hall of the ISM, honoring professors Spinks and Torrance

Both the Great Hall and Marquand Chapel on the Yale Divinity School campus are handicap accessible. For further information, contact Laurie Holst at (203) 432-5180.

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Media Contact

Gila Reinstein: gila.reinstein@yale.edu, 203-432-1325