revising our liturgy

The Episcopal Church concluded its 79th General Convention last week and completed some marvelous work.

General Convention 2018One issue of interest to me was the revision of the 1979 Book of Common Prayer. The House of Deputies proposed a specific plan to revise the prayer book, with a new edition to be released in 2030. (Yikes! I don’t want to calculate my age in that year.)

The house of Bishops rewrote the proposal to form a Task Force on Liturgical and Prayer Book Revision (TFLPBR), and states:

quoteResolved, That bishops engage worshiping communities in experimentation and the creation of alternative texts to offer to the wider church, and that each diocese be urged to create a liturgical commission to collect, reflect, teach and share these resources with the TFLPBR; and be it further

Resolved, That the TFLPBR in consultation with the Standing Commission on Structure, Governance, Constitution and Canons is directed to propose to the 80th General Convention revisions to the Constitution and Canons to enable The Episcopal Church to be adaptive in its engagement of future generations of Episcopalians, multiplying, connecting, and disseminating new liturgies for mission, attending to prayer book revision in other provinces of the Anglican Communion…

The resolution states that “That this Convention [will] memorialize the 1979 Book of Common Prayer as a Prayer Book of the church preserving the psalter, liturgies, The Lambeth Quadrilateral, Historic Documents, and Trinitarian Formularies ensuring its continued use…”

Note that the resolution says “a Prayer Book of the church” and not “the Prayer Book of the church.”

The House of Deputies concurred with this resolution by a voice vote. It was a marvelous spirit of cooperation.

Good stuff, all of that.

In a related decision, the convention made all marriage sacraments available to all couples, both same-sex and opposite-sex. I will allow Susan Russell to explain.

Much more was accomplished as well. It was a productive convention.



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