Monday, February 20, 2012

How the other half lives with liturgy ...

Last week I spent some time in interestingly erudite company thinking about Liturgy. I tend to feel, on these occasions, like the class idiot - the one who asks the questions no-one else does - but in fact this time I felt I had prepared rather more than usual by reading up on the background and rationale behind our 1982 liturgy, and I realise now that as a result of the two days of meetings I'm still thinking about what we do .

I can't begin to plunge into the detail, but things that stuck include:
The perils of over-specificity even in poetic images in liturgy.
The fact that clergy tend to have a different view on the above from laity simply because they repeat it with greater frequency.
The 1970 consecration prayer is much improved by removing some of the parenthesis and repetition of ideas and the archaic pronouns and verb forms.
I found myself objecting less vigorously than has become my wont when we used the 1970 liturgy on Sunday.
I enjoy the company of academics, while recognising how studiousness has never been my forte.
I don't want to sit any more exams, even to become officially a Lay Reader.
"And also with you" is as weak a response as it always seemed to be.
It's usually clergy who insist that a Service of The Word is an acceptable substitute for a Sunday communion service - usually when the Reserved Sacrament is involved - bearing in mind that this is a service they need never attend if they don't want to.
Once you start worrying about gender bias in liturgy you realise how useful the word "God" is. But "man" is still a no-no, whatever men say about mankind...

I'd better stop. But it's always fascinating to step out of my own worship zone and realise what other Episcopalians take - or do not take - for granted. Andrew's recent post touches on that, interestingly. It's hard work being part of a huge, sparsely-populated - let alone priested - diocese. But every time I step out of it I'm reinforced in one central idea.

 I wouldn't be anywhere else.


  1. Morag5:23 PM

    Just to show a difference of opinion - as a female who is also a scientist, I have no objection to the word "man" in place of "mankind". To us its simply another name for the species Homo sapiens.

    Hey now theres an idea; can we replace all mentions of man in the liturgy with Homo sapiens? :-)

  2. I'm still getting to know the liturgy of the SEC which is celebrated monthly up on the north coast where we stay. I like what I've experienced so far and I experience it from the congregation, not the altar, but I don't know it well enough to analyse it as you are doing.

    But i do know I'm another on whom the word 'man'jars very badly, despite Morag's interesting perspective on it.

    PS One of the two word verification words under the new system is Zechariah!

  3. Morag - does it not jar to say "who for us men..." in the Creed?
    Perpetua - I now realise you find the word verification a bind, but I'm going to stick with it, having had spam and a troll in the past!

    1. I quite understand, Christine. I just thought the word chosen was rather amusing in the context. :-)

      I'm trying to get to grips with your new Dynamic Views look. Yours is the first blog I follow to apply it, so I haven't had much experience yet.

    2. Getting to grips is about it - commenting is a tad chancy on my iPad! Dare say I'll cope ...

  4. In St Augustine's we lost the word "men" some time ago. So.. "For us and for our salvation..." does just as well. It was interesting in Kinnoull a couple of weeks ago in the new Roman Rite where "And also with you" has been replaced with "And with your spirit"