a Rite I EasterPosted: March 28, 2016
I don’t like getting out of bed early on a Sunday, but I did so yesterday. I knew that my normal 10:30 a.m. Rite II Eucharist at Good Shepherd Episcopal would be absolutely packed on Easter, and I knew that parking would be something of a headache. I also knew that I would be hard pressed to get back home in time for Easter brunch reservations with Terry and my dad at the lodge here.
So I got up early and attended the 8:00 a.m. Rite I service. At Good Shepherd the Rite I service has no organ, no choir, and no music. Easter is no exception. I had never attended a Rite I service before. We used a small portion of the Rite I liturgy on Ash Wednesday this year, but aside from that I have only experienced Rite II.
Rite I would not be my choice for worship on a weekly basis, but I am glad that I had the experience. Some of the Elizabethan language is quite soaring. This part of the Eucharistic prayer stood out for me:
[Remembering] his mighty resurrection and glorious ascension;
rendering unto thee most hearty thanks for the innumerable
benefits procured unto us by the same.
And although we are unworthy, through our manifold sins,
to offer unto thee any sacrifice, yet we beseech thee to accept
this our bounden duty and service, not weighing our merits,
but pardoning our offences, through Jesus Christ our Lord
It’s not a Malcolm Boyd style of prayer to be sure, but it is powerful in its context.
Next week I plan to be back at my usual Rite II 10:30 service with the choir, the magnificent pipe organ powered by our superb organist Jean, and the more contemporary language, but yesterday’s journey was one well worth having taken.