Official Standards

Liturgical Forms (11)

Most of these forms were composed during the sixteenth-century Reformation. The forms for the administration of infant baptism, the Lord's Supper, and the solemnization of marriage first appeared in a 1566 edition of the Dutch Psalter edited by Petrus Dathenus (1531-1588), a leading minister in the Reformed churches in the Netherlands. In composing these forms Dathenus borrowed heavily from existing liturgies based on Calvin's Geneva liturgy. The Reformed churches adopted these forms at the Convent of Wesel in 1568. The forms for the administration of church discipline, the ordination of ministers, and the ordination of elders and deacons were added by the Synod of the Hague in 1586. The form for the baptism of adults was accepted by the Synod of Dordrecht in 1618-19. 

An English translation of these forms, originally prepared in the Netherlands for use in the English and Scottish refugee churches, was later revised and adopted by the Reformed Church in America. This translation, with minor revision and correction, was adopted by the Synod of the Christian Reformed Church in North America in 1912 and first appeared in the 1927 edition of the Psalter, which edition has been adopted by the Protestant Reformed Churches.

The three questions for public confession of faith were adopted by the Synod of the Christian Reformed Church in North America in 1890 and subsequently by the Protestant Reformed Churches. The forms for the ordination of professors of theology and the ordination of missionaries were composed early in the twentieth century and their translated versions were assumed by the Protestant Reformed Churches with the acceptance of the Psalter.

The Church Order of the Protestant Reformed Churches makes the use of these liturgical forms obligatory (see Articles 4, 22, 24, 58, 62, 76, 78).

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