View the March 22 worship service opening the Bicentennial Year.
Download the audio of the service. Using your mouse, “right-click” and ”save as” in order to download and save to your iPod or Mp3 player.
About the Service
The worship celebrations on March 22 on the campus of Princeton Theological Seminary marked the first official institution-wide commemoration of the our Bicentennial year. Two identical communion services, one at 11:30 a.m. and one at 3:00 p.m., enabled the entire community of students, faculty, staff, administrators, and trustees to gather together in historic Miller Chapel (1834), the oldest house of worship in continuous use in Princeton. The worship leaders, led by Dr. Robert Bohl, President of the Board of Trustees, and Seminary President Iain R. Torrance, and including representatives of all the Seminary’s constituencies, gathered before each service for preparatory prayer in the Oratory of Alexander Hall (1815). This room served as both the Seminary’s first classroom and its original chapel. As the bell tolled 200 times from the cupola of Alexander Hall, the worship leaders processed with the Seminary choir from Alexander Hall to Miller Chapel.
The ecumenical character of the Seminary is reflected in the diverse languages shared in the services by students representing Christian churches throughout the world. They include: American Sign Language, Arabic, English, French, German, Kinyarawanda, Korean, Latvian, Lingala, Mandarin, Spanish, Swahili, Taiwanese, and Tamil. The Bicentennial Hymn, an anonymous poem known to be sung in Beijing in 1952-53 and later by Christians during the Cultural Revolution, was published in English in 1955 and originally set by David Hugh Jones to the tune of “Miller Chapel.” It was sung for the first time with a newly translated text by Mary Louise Bringle and Ch Yi Chen, in a specially commissioned arrangement by American composer John Ferguson.
Something of what the Apostles’ Creed calls “the communion of saints” was represented in the historic communion chalices used for the services. They include a pre-Reformation chalice used by Thomas F. Torrance at the Battle of Monte Cassino during World War II as he ministered to allied soldiers, two sterling silver chalices from 1896 commemorating the 50th anniversary of the appointment of Professor William Henry Green to the faculty, and two twentieth-century chalices--one crafted by Dr. Thomas Klem of the First Presbyterian Church of Trenton, the other by Boardman Silversmiths of Meridan Connecticut, and a gift of Dr. Joel Mattison (PTS Class of 1954).
As you view this video recording, we hope you will join us with joy as the Seminary family gathers from across generations, languages, and peoples, and that you will lift up your hearts in thanksgiving and praise for the continuing faithfulness of God who calls and leads us into our third century of service.
James F. Kay
Joe R. Engle Professor of Homiletics and Liturgics and Dean of Academic Affairs
the audio of Robert Bohl’s sermon. Using your mouse, “right-click” and
”save as” in order to download and save to your iPod or Mp3 player.
View more photos of the Bicentennial celebration.
Captions for Photos Above:
(left to right, starting with the top row)
1. The Seminary’s Selah Gospel Ensemble sings "Give Me a Clean Heart" during the Bicentennial Opening Worship Service.
2. M.Div. junior Noah Buchholz, who is Deaf, teaches the congregation how to sign the refrain of Psalm 78.
3. Robert W. Bohl, chair of the Seminary’s Board of Trustees, delivers the sermon “Lest We Forget.”
4. President Iain Torrance celebrates Communion during the Bicentennial Opening Worship Service.
5. Robert W. Bohl, chair of the Seminary’s Board of Trustees (left) and President Iain Torrance
6. Seminary community worships together in Miller Chapel to begin the Bicentennial Celebration.
7. The Seminary choir processes from Alexander Hall, the Seminary's oldest building (1815), to Miller Chapel for the start of the worship service.
8. PTS students (from left) Suchon Lee, Sarang Kang, and Ramón Orostizaga, sing in both Spanish and Korean “Spirit of the Living God” during the worship service.