SCLM Meetings: Past and Future

One of the issues with Church committees, commissions and decision-making processes is their almost constant state of opacity. It doesn’t need to be this way and, indeed, isn’t supposed to be this way. Minutes are taken for the meetings and the minutes are posted publicly—it’s just that very few people know anything about where they are…

As the secretary of the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music, I feel it’s my job to take the best minutes possible and get them out to those who are interested in wading through them. Thus—without further ado (and only two months after the fact!)—at this link you will find a PDF file of my minutes for the November meeting for the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music.

These are out just in time for another meeting to roll around. This upcoming Wednesday will be another meeting. The agenda is publicly posted as a PDF here. The single biggest topic on our plate with essentially an hour of the two hour meeting devoted to it is Holy Women, Holy Men. You’ll note on the agenda that I will be jointly leading this portion of the discussion as the Chair and Vice chair of the Commission have seen fit to appoint me co-chair of the Calendar Committee alongside Sandye Wilson. In preparation for the meeting, Ruth Meyers circulated an article she had co-authored on HWHM, my piece and the subsequent responses from the Living Church, and the Principles from HWHM itself. I have one other piece to submit for study and reflection which I will post here after I have delivered it to the Commission.

Needless to say, this will be an important meeting for those who have strong feelings about HWHM and the Church’s Calendar. Please keep the Commission and its work in your prayers!

5 Replies to “SCLM Meetings: Past and Future”

  1. I really don’t ever understand the whole “People have to jump through hoops in creating beautiful new liturgies….” thing.

    I mean, the Prayer Book already authorizes “An Order for Celebrating Holy Eucharist” on page 400 (as well as various other “Orders” throughout the book). If somebody wants to create beautiful new liturgies, why not just do it? Anybody’s perfectly free to write new liturgies, and experiment with them at any time, except at the “principal Sunday celebration.” That gives people 167 possible timeslots during any given week to play around with these, with 1 measly timeslot reserved for 6 possible Prayer Book liturgies (and the many possibilities in EOW as well, if that’s approved).

    Nobody has to “jump through hoops” to do this; they only have to do it. Well, and get their rector’s permission, I suppose; that doesn’t seem like too much to ask, to me.

    So write your liturgies, and put them into action; experiment for us, and report back with the results. It’s the “Open Source” age, folks.

  2. Bob, I did read through your article and I agree with your point that the number of commemorations far out way the number of week-day Eucharists conducted by the average parish. However, I think your subsequent suggestions about necessary liturgical reform in light of HWHM is allowing the tail to wag the dog. Yes, the saints have been honored in the Office through the ages in a number of ways, particularly if we see the capitular office as part of the cycle of the Daily Office, but the original and historic point of the celebration of the saints was a literal “celebration” of the Eucharist in the place of the martyr’s relics. It was a literal embodiment of the Communion of the Saints. So, while I appreciate your suggestion to move the saints to the Office (and I know that this is being done in some places), making that normative is not something I’d agree with.

  3. Thanks, Derek, for reading my piece. Grist for your discussion, perhaps. I would simply point out that the Office in the Roman Rite, the Liturgy of the Hours, explicitly includes commemoration all elements for the nonoptional observances. So does the ordo of both Holy Cross and Order of St. Helena, to name two monastic houses. So there actually is both parallel and past (e.g., the Sarum Office as well) for including or permitting more elements of the sanctorale in the Office. If the Calendar is our shared social history, which I agree with, limiting its use to the Eucharist, given our worship patterns, doesn’t serve that goal well, seems to me.

  4. PS- I am not suggesting that the lectio continua we have now in the Office be replaced on lesser days. The interruptions by the weekday Major Feasts are enough. But as you say, certainly the Collect of a commemoration can be used, as it is “of the Day,” and if desired, the bio can be read out as the second or third reading, all within the current rubrics.

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