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The Historical Development of the PCA Book of Church Order

Chapter 50 : The Public Reading of the Holy Scripture

Paragraph 1 :

50-1. The public reading of the Holy Scriptures is performed by the minister as God’s servant. Through it God speaks most directly to the congregation, even more directly than through the sermon. The reading of the Scriptures by the minister is to be distinguished from the responsive reading of certain portions of Scripture by the minister and the congregation. In the former God addresses His people; in the latter God’s people give expression in the words of Scripture to their contrition, adoration, gratitude and other holy sentiments. The psalms of Scripture are especially appropriate for responsive reading.

[DIGEST: The current text dates to 1975 [M3GA, 3-15, Item 2, p. 57. The text of this paragraph has no precedent in the PCUS Book of Church Order, but is found in the OPC's BoCO.

ANTEDCEDENT TEXTS:
PCA 1975, M3GA, 3-15, Item 2, p. 57.
The public reading of the Holy Scriptures is performed by the minister as God’s servant. Through it God speaks most directly to the congregation, even more directly than through the sermon. The reading of the Scriptures by the minister is to be distinguished from the responsive reading of certain portions of Scripture by the minister and the congregation. In the former God addresses His people; in the latter God’s people give expression in the words of Scripture to their contrition, adoration, gratitude and other holy sentiments. The psalms of Scripture are especially appropriate for responsive reading.

No comparable text in the following editions:
PCA 1973, The Directory for the Worship of God, Chapter III
Continuing Presbyterian Church 1973, Proposed text
PCUS 1933, DfW, III
PCUS 1925, DfW, III
PCUS 1894, DfW, III
PCUSA 1789, DfW, III
PCUSA 1786, DfW, 2d draught

OTHER COMPARISONS:
UPCNA 1926, Part IV-Worship, VI-343
The reading of the Scriptures is an integral part of public worship, and should have a place in every service. The importance of this ordinance demands studious and prayerful preparation on the part of the minister. With due reverence and thoughtfulness he should so read the Word that the message of the Spirit may be clearly expressed.

OPC 2005, Directory for Worship, III-2
The public reading of the Holy Scriptures is performed by the minister as God's servant. Through it God speaks most directly to the congregation, even more directly than through the interpretation of Holy Writ in the sermon. For this reason the minister does well to refrain from interspersing the reading of God's Word with human comments, and the congregation should attend to the reading with deepest reverence. The reading of the Scriptures by the minister is to be distinguished from the responsive reading of certain portions of Scripture by the minister and the congregation. In the former God addresses his people; in the latter God's people give expression in the words of Scripture to their contrition, adoration, gratitude and other holy sentiments. The psalms of Scripture are especially appropriate for responsive reading.



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Chapter Index [links to Par. 1 of each chapter]:
FoG..
1
2
3.
4
5.
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
I. King & Head of Church
.§1.
§4
§5
RoD
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
40
41
42
43
44
45
46
II. Preliminary Principles
§1
§2
§3
§4
§5
§6
§7
§8
DfW
47
48
49
50
51
52
53
54
55
56
57
58
59
60
61
62
63
[FoG = Form of Government ; RoD = Rules of Discipline ; DfW = Directory for Worship]