The UUA has posthumously published a worship manual by Frank, and it may be connected to the extremely generous bequest he made to our movement after his death. So, I turn to the manual and I am completely predisposed to like it. And there is a lot of good stuff there.
But mostly, it is a picture into the mindset of a whole group of ministers who took a sceptical position, and who served as a loyal traditionalist opposition to the emergence of Unitarian Universalism in the post-merger period. Their personal theologies ranged from the broadly theistic to overtly Christian; they were serious about worship and to the extent that Unitarian Universalism has a "high church" tradition, they kept it alive. They were serious about liturgy and they fought for the authority of the minister over the liturgy of the church. They were, and still are, willing to be seen as cantankerous, old curmudgeons clinging to dictatorial power, grouchily shooting down every new innovation in worship, from chalice lighting, to liturgical dance, to easily sung and remembered hymns. I once heard Frank Schulman scathingly deride hymns in which only one word was changed on each verse (usually love, peace, joy and then back to love). He said that they were really just "camp songs." His speech seemed well-rehearsed.
Almost every newer minister that I know who takes worship seriously has been influenced by one or more of these "old boys."
But as I read his book, which is filled with good insights and much practical wisdom, I realize that what I need right now is not there.
I find myself preaching to people that they need to come to church. They don't just need a religious community, but what they need is the regular experience of worship. They need to spend an honest hour in the presence of the ultimate questions and values in their lives. The ultimate question for me, right now, is how does our worship connect with the real spiritual struggle that is going on in the lives of the people who might come to church? How would you explain to an unchurched person why they need to take an hour out of their life to come to church? What are they going to get out of the experience? How will it change their lives, even a little? Not what are the advantages to joining our club? But, how could it help you if you were to come, even if only once, to the service at the First Parish of East Overshoe, this Sunday?
My off-the-cuff opinion is that while mainstream Unitarian Universalism has pursued a non-theological worship style that results in a Sunday morning Celebration of Community that is self-congratulatory and shallow, the traditionalist elements have retreated into a kind of liturgical formalism that aspires to be well-ordered mainline Protestantism out of 1955.
If you can help me figure out how that works, then I will have a basis to say whether it is a good idea to have 2 hymns or 3, or whether the choir should robe or not, or where to stand to make the benediction.