I find myself taking a random walk through the digital archives of the Episcopal Church; I’ll note here a few items I find interesting…
Resolution Number: 1979-A058
Legislative Action Taken: Concurred As Amended
Resolved, the House of Deputies concurring, That the Standing Liturgical Commission be requested, and is hereby authorized to continue this work, namely:
3. To make its expert knowledge of the contents of the Book of Common Prayer available to all inquirers;
8. To encourage and, when requested, to assist by advice and editorial comment the publication of scholarly studies bearing on materials contained in the Book of Common Prayer;
Hmmm. I note that this resolution was made in the 1970’s, the days when people used typewriters and stood in buildings connected to cords when they used the telephone but times have changed…
This stuff needs to be available on a web site or ftp archive—or both.
Resolution Number: 1991-A061
Title: Promote Worship, Music and Spirituality in Congregational Life
Action Taken: Concurred As Submitted
Resolved, the House of Bishops concurring, That the 70th General Convention call upon dioceses and congregations to give serious attention during this Decade of Evangelism to the enrichment of the ministry of Word and Sacrament in the congregational life of the Church; in order to glorify God by developing healthy, alive, attracting Christian communities, the following actions are recommended:
- the clear, bold, prayerful presentation of the Gospel message, with a high priority given to the preparation of sermons and excellence in liturgy;
- the development of individual and corporate spirituality utilizing the richness of approaches and resources available throughout the Church;
- the recognition of music as a vital part of our worship life, with special attention to the needs of small congregations and ethnic communities for enhancing music ministry;
- the development of small groups in every congregation designed to facilitate evangelism, incorporation into the faith community, and formation and support in the Christian life and mission.
I’d love to see this emphasis on a clear Gospel message through excellent preaching and liturgy actually enacted. I also haven’t seen much in the way of the development of individual and corporate spirituality that’s rooted in the riches of our Anglican spiritual heritage. As for small groups in every congregation have a group on formation and support… I suppose it could be argued that this is your parish Adult/Children’s Education/Formation committee—so what resources to make the above happen is the Standing Committee promoting to develop our spirituality?
Resolution Number: 1997-A076
Title: Request Diocesan Liturgical Commissions to Urge Use of Alternative Liturgies
Legislative Action Taken: Concurred as Substituted
Resolved, That diocesan liturgical commissions urge all congregations, with the permission of their Ordinary, to make use of materials approved by the 72nd General Convention as contained in Enriching Our Worship ; and be it further
Resolved, That diocesan liturgical commissions also urge all congregations to make use of the provision to develop local materials in the context of An Order for Celebrating the Holy Eucharist (“Rite III”), and to share their experiences with both their diocesan liturgical commissions and the Standing Liturgical Commission.
Can I just express my joy that this one’s never really been enforced…? On the other hand, I have heard of the Rite III option as a back-door to the Missal… If we intend to be a Prayer Book People, then let’s focus on being formed by the Prayer Book—not shakin’ things up.