An old order of service at the old church

A little Google-noodling lead me to this order of service from Universalist National Memorial Church in 1939. Yes, the service is on one leaf — very different than the norm (in most any church) today. Indeed,

  • an outline pasted in the hymnal
  • hymns and readings on the hynmboards, and
  • announcements from the lectern would produce a similar outcome.

The difference is what the congregants then expected to receive, which is (I suspect) why today’s order of service idiom is essentially the same, bun only more elaborated. Add color, pictures, the full content of hymns today, say, … but is the printed bulletin any more useful or helpful to newcomers, who surely rely on it more than the old hands.

By Scott Wells

Scott Wells, 46, is a Universalist Christian minister doing Universalist theology and church administration hacks in Washington, D.C.

1 comment

  1. The current-day order of service in our congregation has the information on the readings, hymns, music, sermon title and speaker, etc — pretty much what the older 1939 example had.

    But it also has more … it includes contact info for the lay and professional church leadership, website URL, and QR code for church web site (allowing iPhone, Android, etc smartphone users to view our web site simply by scanning the 2D barcode).

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