SCLM Report to General Convention Published

The commission’s report to the 2015 General Convention is now published online, on the General Convention website. Still to come are the appendices, which include a proposed revision and expansion of Liturgical Resources 1, the resources for blessing same-sex relationships that the 2012 General Convention approved; a proposed new resource for commemorations, replacing Holy Women, Holy Men; and  liturgical materials for honoring God in creation.

About Ruth Meyers
Hodges-Haynes Professor of Liturgics, Church Divinity School of the Pacific; Chair, Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music

One Response to SCLM Report to General Convention Published

  1. Quite a bit of work! I wanted to offer some comments on the Creation cycle proposal as well as the BOS revision:

    =Creation Cycle=
    This could be a really great new tradition, so I’m interested in seeing what develops. At this point my only suggestion would be to ask about the phraseology. I’m not sure about honoring God “in” creation, since that could be misleading by over equating God with his creation. I was thinking “through” could work, but wanted to propose calling it “Honor of God the Creator” or something so as to keep the primary focus on God, but keep the emphasis of this honor on the act of creation. I’d love to see the Rogation Days make a comeback and I think there is a possibility to use this as a teaching resource against both gnosticism and an abuse of our stewardship of nature. Are these liturgies out in a trial form so they could be looked at?

    =BOS=
    I’m interested in seeing what becomes of the revision to the BOS proposed and had a few observations:

    First, I appreciate the general expansion of resources. Several of these items I know many of us use some version of, and it will be nice and convenient to have everything in a single book. Admittedly, my first thought was “Really? blessings for driver’s license and other little things?” But then I realized that at least with College I’ve been using a blessing I adapted a few years ago frequently, and this is certainly in line with the western tradition of having blessings for all sots of things. My only request would be to not make them long or need scripture readings attached to each one. Even for the animal blessing, it does not likely need an entire liturgy surrounding it.

    Second, I have a few of suggestions.
    1- I would like to see a small expansion of the “concerning exorcism”. As is, it is not really a “liturgical resource” but almost a canon and seems to be out of place (or perhaps GC should integrate this statement into the C&C) It seems there is a place to provide resources for minor deliverance, perhaps even reproducing ones already in the BCP (such as the “visit this place…”). There are plenty of resources out there for prayers of deliverance from evil without needing to have a full exorcism rite in the book.

    2- Also, I may be one of the few, but I was always intrigued by the All Hallows Eve service! Granted I never used it and so I understand it being removed, but there were a couple of the collects I thought were very good and would like to see those still included someplace. Perhaps in an expanded “exorcism” section?

    3- In terms of languages, instead of having one book with some liturgies in Spanish and French, is there a particular reason to not have a single all English book and separate full translations into other languages? It feels a little “othering” to have a special sections for our brothers and sisters who happen to not have English as their primary language. Separate books that happen to be in other languages just seems more appropriate, convenient, and would cut down on the length.

    4- The Rite of repentance for racism seems too narrow. Why not a more versatile Rite for repentance against sins of Justice? Just a thought.

    Finally, I do have one overriding concern of which I admit no solution. In brief: are we losing our Common Prayer tradition? On one hand I’m just as guilty of using various other rites and resources for which the BCP provides none. In many cases, of course, we need some things that the BCP does not have; like the blessing of animals for instance or Catechumins, ect. I like the variety of the BOS and find it very helpful.

    but…

    We are getting to a point that seems neither fish nor fowl and the bad of both. We have neither the convenience of everything in one place based on function, nor do we have everything in on common book. This creates a liturgical disarray of things being scattered over several books for the same function.

    For instance I need the Altar Book BCP, the Collects from the LF&F/HWHM/GCW, and the BOS seasonal blessings to take full advantage of everything for Eucharist services throughout the week. For personal Daily Office I need both the BCP and the LF&F/HWHM/GCW when they could be combined into a breviary. And the BOS is almost an “Episcopal Rituale” except anointing with oil is in the BCP as well as the thanksgiving for a birth which would go better with most of the BOS material. And the BOS material for seasonal blessings, seasonal material, and Christian initiation works better combined with an Altar Book that has BCP material for the Eucharist,

    We have now developed a “missal”, “breviary”, and “rituale” but divided across three books categorized more by historical circumstance then function. Also, with all these addition liturgies when does the BCP just become one of many other resources? And when it does become that, why would it be afforded so many additional constitutional protections? Considering the central place of a Book of Common Prayer in our tradition, it seems this needs to be discussed a lot more before we continue down this road.

    Maybe we are headed to a future where the BCP diluted or we start producing books based on function, but it should not be done lightly and without thought for why Cranmer did as he did in my opinion. And, honestly, I have not thought through this issue more then that and so mostly just hoping to spark discussion. Maybe these discussions have even already happened at GC and I was just not aware?

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