When I was appointed to the Standing Commission on Liturgy & Music (SCLM) and became chair of the Digital Publication committee, I discovered in the course of my research that we had never actually acted upon General Convention resolution 2009-A102. This is the resolution that re-authorized provisional use of the “Enriching Our Worship” series under the authorization of a diocesan bishop or equal ecclesiastical authority. The second Resolve resolves “That these liturgical texts be freely available in electronic format on the internet.”
I can now report that we have accomplished this with the partnership of Church Publishing.
There is no news as of yet on the accompanying “Enriching Our Music” service music that goes with it.
Now, as some readers know, I am not EOW’s biggest fan. Indeed, I’ve only read through some of these liturgies, and have only experienced a few of the Eucharistic rites one or two times many years ago. On the whole, I was not overwhelmed.
There are some assumptions that EOW reflects what “the next prayer book” will look like. They are just that—assumptions. Per a discussion at the last meeting of the SCLM, these rites have no official status. There are certainly those who want to see them as the next step, and as heading in a prayer book revision direction, but that is not the mind of the SCLM now, and I am not eager to see any work of prayer book revision anytime in the near future.
What this move does do is signal a move towards a more digitally-friendly publication process. It’s a first step in a better direction. These liturgies are still under copyright and they remain in a PDF format. We still have a ways to go in order to get the kind of commitment to digital mission and evangelism necessary in the coming years. But we are getting there…