GS 1992 art 64

GS 1992 ARTICLE 64Book of Praise

Committee II presents: Agenda item VIII C, D2

I. MATERIAL

  • A. Report of the Standing Committee for the Publication of the Book of Praise.
  • B. Letter from the church at Burlington East, ON re report of the committee.
  • C. Letter from the church at Guelph, ON re same.
  • D. Letter from the church at Port Kells, BC re same.
  • E. Letter from the Organ Committee of the Free Reformed Church at Armadale, WA re Hymn 1A.
  • F. Letter from the church at Winnipeg, MB re same.
  • G. Letter from the church at Carman, MB re same.
  • H. Letter from br. J. Verhelst, Smithers, BC re same.
  • I. Letter from br. C Hoogerdijk, Taber, AB re same.
  • J. Letter from church at Burlington West, ON re introduction to Church Order.
  • K. Letter from br. L. Van Zandwyk, Burlington, ON re Canons of Dort II 3,4.
  • L. Letter from the church at Brampton, ON re Acts Cloverdale 1983, Art. 174 Prefaces to the Canons of Dort/Heidelberg Catechism.

II. OBSERVATIONS

For the mandate of the Committee see Acts of Synod 1989, Article 145 D2. In its Report to Synod the Standing Committee of the Book of Praise:

acknowledges the work done by the late br. J.G. Van Huisstede;

mentions various matters relating to the Book of Praise, namely: printing and distribution, renewal of contract, corporate status, publicity, harmonizations;

proposes Scripture references to the Belgic Confession;

proposes that in the Preface to the final edition of the Book of Praise as a whole it be pointed out that the added Scripture references do not form an integral part of the Confessions;

submits a linguistic revision of the Nicene Creed; presents revised Prefaces to the Creeds;

reports on its findings regarding the Alternate Melody for Hymn 1A; proposes a policy for the future revision of the Book of Praise; makes recommendations for the Standing Committee.

The church at Guelph, ON addresses Synod regarding the Scripture references to the Belgic Confession.

The churches at Burlington East, ON and Port Kells, BC submit comments regarding the linguistic revision of the Nicene Creed.

The church at Burlington East, ON addresses Synod with regard to the Preface of the Nicene Creed. The Organ Committee of the Free Reformed Church at Armadale, Western Australia, the churches at Winnipeg and Carman, MB, and the brs. J. Verhelst and C. Hoogerdijk, address Synod regarding an Alternate Melody for Hymn 1A.

The church at Burlington West, ON proposes that Synod include a Preface to the Church Order.

Br. L. Van Zandwyk asks a question regarding the Canons of Dort.

The church at Brampton, ON brings to the attention of General Synod the mandate of the Standing Committee regarding the Preface to the Canons of Dort and the Heidelberg Catechism as given by Synod Cloverdale, Acts 1983, Art. 174.

III. CONSIDERATIONS

Synod expresses gratitude for the many years that the late br. J.G. Van Huisstede

used his musical talents for the benefit of the churches and in his service on the Standing Committee for the Publication of the Book of Praise.

In light of the corrections and changes submitted by the church at Guelph, ON regarding the Scripture references to the Belgic Confession, the Committee should as yet scrutinize these references and prepare them to be included in the Book of Praise.

While the Preface to the Book of Praise should be updated, no special mention need be made regarding the Scripture references to the Confessions.

The churches at Burlington East, ON and Port Kells, BC have questions about the revised text of the Nicene Creed and its new Preface, and request that various changes be made. It is regrettable that the Standing Committee did not explain to the churches its revisions to the Nicene Creed. It is also regrettable that an insufficient number of copies of the Committee’s Report were sent to the churches.

With the updated and improved Prefaces to the Ecumenical Creeds, this part of the Committee’s mandate may be considered completed.

The Standing Committee has not finalized its mandate regarding the alternate melody for Hymn 1A, desired according to the considerations of previous Synods (Synod 1980 Art. 122 CI4a; Synod 1986 Art 189, C1; Synod 1989 Art. 145 B10). Seeing that an evaluation of the responses from the churches regarding the “alternate melody” still must take place, the Standing Committee should also include in its evaluation the (late) submissions of the brs. Hoogerdijk and Verhelst. Synod also received a new melody for Hymn 1A (Schoof version); however, it has not been evaluated by the Committee, nor by the churches, neither has it been requested. The church at Winnipeg states that the present text of Hymn 1A is not consistent with the newly adopted text of the Apostle’s Creed and proposes an adaptation to Hy.1A (“Teitsma adaptation”). It needs to be investigated whether such an adaptation infringes on the copyrights of the melody of Hymn 1A.

There is merit in the proposal of the church at Burlington West, ON to add an introduction to the Church Order. Such an addition would be consistent with the practice followed with regard to the Creeds and Confessions and would enhance the understanding of the Church Order.

Synod considers that the following policy for the future revision of the Book of Praise should be established:

Changes or corrections which pertain to the Book of Praise must be submitted to the Committee for evaluation and recommendation to the next General Synod and reported to the churches six months prior to the next General Synod. Adopted changes are to be collected until such a time when they can be included in the next printing of the Book of Praise.

The question of br. L. Van Zandwijk belongs to the mandate of the Committee (Acts 1989, Art.145, 2, g).

The Standing Committee should be reminded that Synod 1983 adopted a Preface to the Canons of Dort which should be included in the next edition of the Book of Praise. The Committee should also report on its findings with regard to a Preface for the Heidelberg Catechism.

IV. RECOMMENDATIONS

Synod decide:

  • to acknowledge the work done by the Standing Committee for the Publication of the Book of Praise.
  • to send a letter to sr. J.G. Van Huisstede expressing the appreciation of Synod for
  • the work which her late husband did for the churches.
  • to adopt the updated Prefaces to the Ecumenical Creeds. to give the Committee the following mandate:
  • to update the general Preface to the Book of Praise; to prepare an introduction to the Church Order;
  • to insert the Preface of the Canons of Dort;
  • to fulfil the instruction of Cloverdale 1983 regarding the preface to the Heidelberg Catechism;
  • to see to it that the Book of Praise remains available to the churches at a reasonable price;
  • to make the necessary arrangements with printers and others for the production and distribution of the Book of Praise;
  • to maintain its corporate status in order to be able to protect the interests of the Canadian Reformed Churches in all matters concerning the Book of Praise;
  • to re-submit its revision of the Nicene Creed to the churches, including an explanation of the proposed changes;
  • to charge the Committee to scrutinize the Scripture references to the Belgic Confession and prepare them to be included in the next edition of the Book of Praise;
  • to implement all Synod decisions regarding the contents of the Book of Praise;
  • to foster an increased awareness of the existence of the Book of Praise for use in the English-speaking world;
  • to serve as the address to which any correspondence regarding the Book of Praise should be directed;
  • to evaluate submissions for changes and corrections for the Book of Praise and submit its recommendations to the churches and the next General Synod, and further deal with it according to the policy as outlined in consideration H;
  • to serve the next Synod with a detailed evaluation of the “alternate melody,” the “Teitsma adaptation,” and the “Schoof version” taking into consideration the evaluations submitted by the brs. Hoogerdijk and Verhelst, investigate copyrights, and carry out this part of the mandate in consultation with musical experts;
  • to evaluate the question of br. L. Van Zandwyk and make a recommendation to the next General Synod;
  • to serve the following General Synod with a report to be sent to the churches at least six months before the beginning of this Synod.
  • to re-appoint the Standing Committee for the Publication of the Book of Praise.

ADOPTED