Wednesday, January 25, 2017

A parish to emulate?

I presume we all have a view on whether we should emulate what others do (as opposed to, say, doing our own (God-inspired, creative, local, homegrown) thing, or doing what the tradition says or ...). We likely also have views on whether anything we find in the church is able to be emulated in our own patch - everything does have a local context!

Nevertheless, from time to time, we will come across things which are worth wide and collective reflection on whether we might consider some emulation, and one such instance I want to put to you is found in this lovely post on Liturgy. (I do not know the parish mentioned but I know the vicar a little and am not surprised at all to find that he is leading well, as the post describes).


Andrei said...

Hi Peter - the link in this post is wrong - the l has been dropped from the front of the URL

The linked post itself describes a tool for children to basically memorise the central part of the Liturgy

I'm all for that - the understanding will come with time and develop in depth

I think though you may be less liturgically inclined than myself (is that why the Title ends with a question mark?)

But with a common liturgy a child inculcated in it in that church will be familiar with it when attending another church.

In my case as a child I absorbed the Liturgy in two different languages later a third and now wouldn't even notice what the language is in use at all without consciously thinking about it

No need for overhead projectors or service books both of which I find distractions - but that is the way I was raised I guess

But this is why a common liturgy passed down the generations is a virtue in my mind.

I looked up the part of the service mentioned in Boscoe's post as it appears in the 1928 Book of Common Prayer.

It has much in common with what I am familiar with but is simpler and omits things - I suppose for theological reasons

Certainly recognizable though

St Matthews, Masterton said...

Thanks for the kind words Peter. Hope you are well. Pete.

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Andrei
Link fixed!
I am keen on common liturgy :)
Question mark as much as anything is about the choice we make to emulate or not and, in this particular case, even when we emulate re commonality of liturgy, whether we emulate the specifics of the cards.

Andrei said...

It seems like the start of a very good idea to me Peter

Map out the Liturgy for the little ones with the cards and have them participate in this manner

And when they get a bit bigger, as part of their formation, explain the meaning and significance of each of these steps as mapped by the cards - i.e. what is happening, what this means and why

The priest shouldn't be leading it though I'd suggest and focus on his tasks (he should be ad orientem :) but that's for another time)

Boscoe used the term "epiclesis" in his post but the Epiclesis seemed to me to be one of "my omissions" in the 1928 Book of Common Prayer communion service.

Liturgical Worship can be transcendent - a glimpse of Heaven on Earth but so many don't get to see that

Anonymous said...

It would be worthwhile for the children to practise putting the cards in the slot in the right order without prompts from the priest. Why?

(1) Because, other factors being equal, while repeated *recall* does strengthen memory, repeated *exposure* to the memorandum (aka rote memorization) does not.

(2) Doing so would make *the shape of the liturgy* a text that they can think about.

Bowman Walton

Brian Kelly said...

"(2) Doing so would make *the shape of the liturgy* a text that they can think about."

Ha ha. But the passage of time hasn't been kind to Dix's "big fat book'. Like 'offertory processions', some theories are very much built on thin air.
Not that I don't believe in common prayer. Far from it. Every Christian should memorise for use in prayer the following (at least):
- the Lord's Prayer
- the Beatitudes
- the Fruit of the Spirit
- Psalm 23
- the Apostles' Creed
- Aaron's Blessing
- a prayer of confession and thanksgiving.
Talking with a group of Christian young folk today, I was disappointed how few had actually read through even one gospel. My Lenten goal will be to encourage them to do just that this year.

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Andrei
I assume that the Plimmerton parish are using a eucharistic prayer from our 1989 New Zealand Prayer Book, which assuredly has an Epiclesis (unlike 1662 or 1928 prayer books), though - depending on which service being used, the words of the Epiclesis may or may not be satisfying to Catholics or Orthodox reading them!

Andrei said...

Hi Peter

I did understand when I wrote that comment that Plimmerton would not be using 1928 Book of Common Prayer or the 1662 but the 1928 version was all I had at hand to orient myself with Boscoe's post

"The Epiclesis may or may not be satisfying to Catholics or Orthodox reading them!"

The opinions of "Catholics or Orthodox reading them" do not matter much - it is whether or not your worship is pleasing to God and I suspect that his judgment on that might be related to how that worship brings the people especially the young to come to know him and to know and do his will.

The reasons why "Catholics or Orthodox" and Anglicans should discuss these matters with goodwill among themselves is of course to find ways of bridging the divide - I don't believe the Church will be ever be fully united in this world but I am assuredly convinced it will be in the next.

14 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.

15 As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.

16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.

Peter Carrell said...

All good, Andrei!

Father Ron said...

Hello Andrei. I agree with your thesis that the Eucharistic experience should evoke something of the Mysterious - part of which is the spectacle of the epiclesis. I will never forget being in the sanctuary of a small Greek Orthodox church on the Island of Hydra, when the priest, literally, signalled the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Elements by the wafting of the veil over the chalice and paten. There was nothing left to the imagination there. One was able to see and experience the epiclesis. I'm all for liturgical signs and symbols.

Andrei said...

The gesture you recall Fr Ron actually occurs during the Creed rather then the Epiclesis Fr Ron but the point is made

Here is the Epiclesis in Kenya

and here it is in Romania

This is the high point of the Liturgy - it transcends language and culture

Andrei said...

I am taken with this idea of the cards - the Liturgy is not something you attend but something you participate in and something that you take instruction from and this brings the little ones in and instructs them

I have this old book from when I was young - it is a bi-lingual liturgy annotated to explain what is happening here is a sample page

Maybe you have something like this already or maybe it might be productive to create it as the next step from the cards