Daily Archives: October 8, 2015

Prayer Book Revision Discussion

For those Episcopalians who don’t pay close attention to General Convention and its doings, I’ll repeat again two key items that were passed there and that the church will be wrestling with in the coming years.

  • 2015-A169: “Requires the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music (SCLM) to prepare a plan for the comprehensive revision of the current Book of Common Prayer and present that plan to the 79th General Convention.”
  • 2015-D060: “Establish a Process for the Revision of the Hymnal 1982”

Both prayer book and hymnal revision are in the cards and, given the reception of A Great Cloud of Witnesses (“made available” rather than being authorized), I think it’s safe to say that further Calendar revision will also be part of the package.

Prayer book revision was not one of the resolutions that the SCLM sent to Convention. That resolution (as you can see from its high number) was drafted there in committee. The past chair of the SCLM, Dr. Ruth Meyers, dean at CDSP and professor of liturgy before that, is very much in favor of prayer book revision and, I believe, was one of those who spoke in favor of it in committee at General Convention. I think it is fair to say that hers has been one of the stronger voices in favor of revision sooner rather than later. Therefore, it is very significant that she is hosting a forum today at CDSP entitled “Imagining a New Prayer Book: A Forum with the Rev. Dr. Ruth Meyers.” For those who can’t make it to California today, the event will be streamed on the web.

I don’t know what Ruth will talk about today, but my expectation is that she, as one of the key players who will be influencing the formation of the new prayer book, will lay out a vision for what items need to be changed and what items she believes must be addressed. I imagine that she will be offering an agenda for what we on the newly reformed SCLM will be considering this triennium as we seek to put together the plan to present to General Convention.

I have worked with Dr. Meyers on the SCLM for the past three years; I have a great deal of respect for her. There are many areas in which we agree, but there are also a significant number of areas in the fields of liturgy and theology where we disagree.

As a result, this forum is very much worth paying attention to.

I won’t be able to tune in; I’ll be driving the girls to ballet and back during the appointed time. If it is archived, I certainly hope to provide some commentary on it at a later point.