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The Use of Supplemental Liturgical Materials
Enriching Our Worship contains texts intended to be explorations for the development of liturgical materials reflective of the diversity of the Church and looking forward to the dissemination throughout the Church of a richer fabric of liturgical expression. Especially for congregations new to this material, a three-step process will provide an ordered entry into the exploration. The steps are preparation, use and evaluation.
All liturgy is based upon a set of agreed-upon assumptions. Whenever those assumptions are altered, there is the possibility of congregational reaction ranging from confusion to anger. The introduction of new liturgical texts demands careful preparation and pastoral sensitivity. Use of these prayers in any community must be accompanied by time for exploring issues raised by their use and time for reflection before, during and after their use in worship. One way to begin the introduction of the new texts is to use them with small groups who can study the texts before they are used and begin to obtain some familiarity with them before they are used as a principal serviced on Sunday. Another strategy is to carefully announce the use of new texts at a regularly scheduled congregational liturgy, simultaneously announcing opportunities to reflect on the experience in an atmosphere of non-threatening dialogue.
Designing liturgies using supplemental liturgical materials will require careful and thorough planning. Decisions will have to be made as to what texts are to be used. There needs to be a conscious decision to use the texts long enough for worshipers to gain some familiarity with the prayers. Texts need to be used for a sufficient period of time to determine which prayers engage, nourish, and sustain a particular community in its relationship to God. Only after using the texts for a significant period of time can the community discern their applicability to its prayer life.
2. The Use of Supplemental Liturgical Materials
Supplemental liturgical materials may only be used with the permission of the diocesan bishop or, in the absence of the bishop, of the appropriate ecclesiastical authority. This authorization has a twofold purpose. First, it recognizes and affirms the bishop as the expression of unity in the life of the Church. Secondly, it provides a point of dialogue for the ongoing experience and development of the rites. Liturgical development needs to be done within the purview of the whole Church where there is a framework for theological reflection and dialogue.
These materials are intended to be resources for the life of the Church. The texts may be used in two very different ways. First, any of the texts may be used in conjunction with the Rite Two liturgies of the 1979 BCP. For instance, the canticles may be used in the context of a Rite Two Morning or Evening Prayer or as an alternative to the Song of Praise in the Eucharist. Or, one of the supplemental eucharistic prayers may be used with a Rite Two Eucharist. A second option is to develop an entire liturgy using the supplemental texts. The entire eucharistic liturgy can be designed with only the collect of the day from the BCP being added. Either of these options can be authorized for a principal Sunday morning service.
Decisions must be made on what materials need to be in the hands of the congregation. For a minimal application of the new texts, a simple insertion of the text in a bulletin will suffice. For the circumstance in which an entire liturgy is built from new materials a complete service booklet will need to be developed. Copyright is extended to congregations for the reproduction of the texts included in Enriching Our Worship.
Those who preside over the prayer of the community have a particular responsibility to study and reflect upon the prayers. One needs to read and to meditate upon these texts prior to voicing them as the prayer of the whole community.
An Order for Celebrating the Holy Eucharist, found on page 400 of the BCP, may also be used in conjunction with the "Forms for the Eucharistic Prayer" in the supplemental materials. This option provides a means whereby groups who wish to begin to write their own prayers may use them in worship, except at the principal service on Sunday. New texts might include collects, forms for the prayers of the people, postcommunion prayers, canticles, etc. The "Forms for the Eucharistic Prayer" provide a framework of the traditional elements of a eucharistic prayer which can be used as a basis for new expressions of thanksgiving and praise.
Congregations who may not have the gifts to compose extensive texts might explore a few options which are flexible under the rubrics of the BCP. The option to evolve prayers of the people within a congregation has been in place since the advent of the 1979 BCP. A list of general intercessory categories can be found on page 383 of the BCP, but the form and language of the intercession may be written in and for a local congregation. Gathering members of the congregation to write intercessory prayer and develop skills in the writing of texts is a creative way to engage the life of the whole community. When crafting forms for intercessory prayer, it is recommended that a common congregational response be used on a consistent basis, so that the text can easily change from Sunday to Sunday. Further suggestions on the prayers of the people are found in Enriching Our Worship. The collect at the conclusion of the prayers of the people is not a prescribed collect. Those congregations who are in the process of developing prayers may use this opportunity to explore new options.
Music is a major consideration in designing any liturgy. Hymn texts offer diverse ways to speak of God. There is a body of hymnody in The Hymnal 1982 which expands our language for God and is consistent with the supplemental texts in regard to references to human beings; For instance, Hymn 371 praises the Holy Trinity in non-gender-related language. Often metrical settings of psalms and canticles reflect modern linguistic changes and are appropriate when designing liturgies using the supplemental texts. Wonder, Love and Praise, a supplement to The Hymnal 1982, recently published by Church Publishing, Inc., adds considerably to the diversity of musical material available for liturgical use. Music is also available for Eucharistic Prayers 1, 2 and 3 in this volume.
Even though women are included as ordained ministers and as lectors, intercessors, and acolytes, they still are all too often invisible in our worshiping communities. The choice of lectionary readings in the Episcopal Eucharistic Lectionary has often deleted or diminished the place of women in salvation history. The Revised Common Lectionary is authorized for trial use. This lectionary seeks to expand the scripture appointed for the Sunday Eucharist to include passages which reflect the faithful witness of women. Congregations using the supplemental materials might explore the use of this lectionary.
The context in which the supplemental liturgical materials are used will shape the experience of these prayers. Non-verbal language—the language of gesture, movement, sign—will always override the text of the prayer. Therefore, care needs to be taken on the setting of these prayers. Liturgical ministry should reflect the fullness of the worshiping community.
All liturgical texts are rich in what they say about God but also what they say about ourselves in relationship with God. This is at the heart of any theological reflection upon the experience of liturgical prayer. Who does the text say God is, who does it say we are, and—most importantly—what does this mean for us? These questions form the basis upon which the community can explore how these prayers speak in the hearts, minds, and spirit of the community of faith.
You are encouraged to communicate your experience of these materials to the Office for Liturgy and Music at the Episcopal Church Center, 815 Second Avenue, New York, NY 10017. The office is especially interested to receive materials written locally, for a particular congregation's worship. It is only as materials are collected and evaluated that the whole Church will begin to have prayers which expand the breadth and depth of the Church's prayer life.
A View to the Future
The task for the Church is not merely to translate but to find the voice of prayer in the heart, spirit and mind of the people praying. The process of enriching our prayer is by nature an extended process requiring use, evaluation and theological reflection. As the process unfolds, new questions are raised and new avenues of expression are disclosed. General Convention Resolution C021S directs the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music to prepare a plan for liturgical revision and enrichment of the common worship of this Church. The resolution also directs the commission to consider the Church's ... multicultural, multiethnic, multilingual and multigenerational ... constituency, in the process of ... providing rites and structures that ensure the unity of Common Prayer.
This is not a task the commission can complete without the help of local worshiping communities. Whatever we imagine the future of the Book of Common Prayer to be, the task in the months and years to come is to compose, use, evaluate and distribute a wide variety of emerging resources. You are invited to share in that process.
Morning and Evening Prayer
Arise, O Jerusalem, stand upon the height and look toward the east, and see your children gathered from west and east at the word of the Holy One. Baruch 5.5
Shower, O heavens, from above, and let the skies rain down righteousness; let the earth open, that salvation may spring up, and let it cause righteousness to sprout up also. Isaiah 45:8, NRSV
The Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth. John 1.14
Jesus said: "If any of you would come after me, deny yourself and take up your cross and follow me." Mark 8:34
Christ Jesus, being found in human form, humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross.
If anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new! 2 Corinthians 5:17, NRSV
Occasions of Thanksgiving
We give you thanks, O God, we give you thanks, calling upon your Name and declaring all your wonderful deeds. Psalm 75:1
All Saints and Major Saints' Days
You are no longer strangers and sojourners, but citizens together with the saints and members of the household of God.
At Any Time
God is Spirit, and those who worship must worship in spirit and in truth. John 4:24
The Deacon or Celebrant says
Let us confess our sins to God.
Silence may be kept.
Minister and People
God of all mercy, we confess that we have sinned against you, opposing your will in our lives. We have denied your goodness in each other, in ourselves, and in the world you have created. We repent of the evil that enslaves us, the evil we have done, and the evil done on our behalf. Forgive, restore, and strengthen us through our Savior Jesus Christ, that we may abide in your love and serve only your will. Amen.
Almighty God have mercy on you, forgive you all your sins through the grace of Jesus Christ, strengthen you in all goodness, and by the power of the Holy Spirit keep you in eternal life. Amen.
Officiant O God, let our mouth proclaim your praise.
People And your glory all the day long.
Officiant O God, be not far from us.
People Come quickly to help us, O God.
Praise to the holy and undivided Trinity, one God: as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.
Except in Lent add Alleluia.
Antiphons on Venite or Jubilate
Our God and Savior now draws near: O come let us worship.
From the Epiphany through the Baptism of Christ, and on the Feasts of the Transfiguration and Holy Cross
Christ has shown forth his glory: O come let us worship.
Our God is full of compassion and mercy: O come let us worship.
Today, if you would hear God's voice: harden not your hearts.
From Easter Day until the Ascension
Alleluia. Christ is risen. O come let us worship. Alleluia.
On Trinity Sunday
The holy and undivided Trinity, one God: O come let us worship.
On other Sundays
Christ has triumphed over death: O come let us worship.
On other Sundays and Weekdays
God is the Rock of our salvation: O come let us worship.
The Holy One is in our midst: O come let us worship.
On All Saints and other Major Saints' Days
The bracketed Alleluias in this Antiphon are used only in Easter Season.
[Alleluia.] Our God is glorious in all the saints: O come let us worship. [Alleluia.]
Venite Psalm 95:1-7
Come, let us sing to the Lord; let us shout for joy to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before God's presence with thanksgiving and raise to the Lord a shout with psalms. For you are a great God; you are great above all gods. In your hand are the caverns of the earth, and the heights of the hills are yours also. The sea is yours, for you made it, and your hands have molded the dry land. Come, let us bow down and bend the knee, and kneel before the Lord our Maker. For you are our God, and we are the people of your pasture and the sheep of your hand. Oh, that today we would hearken to your voice!
The following verses are added when Psalm 95 is used as the Invitatory:
Let us listen today to God's voice:
Harden not your hearts, as your forebears did in the wilderness, at Meribah, and on that day at Massah, when they tempted me. They put me to the test, though they had seen my works. Forty years long I detested that generation and said, "This people are wayward in their hearts; they do not know my ways." So I swore in my wrath, "They shall not enter into my rest."
In place of an Invitatory Psalm, one of the following Morning Psalms may be sung or said.
Suggested Antiphons for use with these Psalms will be found on page 24.
Psalm 63:1-8 Deus, Deus meus
O God, you are my God; eagerly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my flesh faints for you, as in a barren and dry land where there is no water. Therefore I have gazed upon you in your holy place, that I might behold your power and your glory. For your loving-kindness is better than life itself; my lips shall give you praise. So will I bless you as long as I live and lift up my hands in your Name. My soul is content, as with marrow and fatness, and my mouth praises you with joyful lips, When I remember you upon my bed, and meditate on you in the night watches. For you have been my helper, and under the shadow of your wings I will rejoice. My soul clings to you; your right hand holds me fast.
Psalm 67:1-5 Deus misereatur
O God, be merciful to us and bless us, show us the light of your countenance and come to us. Let your ways be known upon earth, your saving health among all nations. Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you. Let the nations be glad and sing for joy, for you judge the peoples with equity and guide all the nations upon earth. Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you.
Light of the World Phos hilaron
Light of the world, in grace and beauty, Mirror of God's eternal face, Transparent flame of love's free duty, You bring salvation to our race. Now, as we see the lights of evening, We raise our voice in hymns of praise; Worthy are you of endless blessing, Sun of our night, lamp of our days.
In place of or in addition to, Phos hilar on or some other hymn, one of the following Evening Psalms may be sung or said.
Suggested Antiphons for use with these Psalms will be found below.
Psalm 134 Ecce nunc
Behold now, bless the Lord, all you servants of the Lord, you that stand by night in the house of the Lord. Lift up your hands in the holy place and bless the Lord; the Lord who made heaven and earth bless you out of Zion.
Excerpted from Enriching Our Worship 1 by The Church Pension Fund. Copyright © 1998 The Church Pension Fund. Excerpted by permission of Church Publishing Incorporated.
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The Use of Supplemental Liturgical Materials.................... 13
Supplemental Liturgical Materials.................... 18
Music for the Eucharistic Prayers.................... 80