Thinking allowed

Centenary of the WW1 Armistice

Over the last few years the Church of England has published various liturgical resources for commemorating the centenary of significant moments in the First World War.

It has now added to that collection a set of resources for the centenary of the Armistice on 11 November, and entitled ‘Steps towards Reconciliation’: a monologue interspersed with words and music.

How are we to mark the end of a War in which so many lives were lost and damaged? We will certainly remember, but we must also commit ourselves afresh to working together for peace. Reconciliation requires an honest ‘truth telling’, and the text that follows seeks to respect the fact that we may only be able to take steps towards that goal.

This is an imaginative and thoughtful resource that can be used in a number of settings on and around 11 November 2018. It has been compiled by members of the Liturgical Commission.

The text is available as a pdf file here.

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Towards a Safer Church: Liturgical Resources

On Friday, the Liturgical Commission of the Church of England published “safeguarding resources, for use in churches across the country, including Bible readings, prayers and suggested hymns, chosen in consultation with survivors” under the title Towards a Safer Church: Liturgical Resources.

There is a press release here, and the liturgical resources are available in PDF format here

The Chair of the Liturgical Commission, Robert Atwell, Bishop of Exeter, in an introduction to the resources has written:

The Church needs to be at the vanguard of fostering a change of culture across society. Safeguarding is at the forefront of public consciousness and the Church needs to embody best practice in safeguarding in our network of parishes, schools and chaplaincies as part of our commitment to excellence in pastoral care.

Many of these resources are already being used widely across our churches, but we thought it would be helpful to gather them into one place for ease of access. Collectively they are neither the first word nor the last word on this subject, but they are offered in the hope that by God’s grace the Church may become a safer place where everyone is valued.

Libby Lane, Bishop of Stockport, has also written about the resources here

The resources have been compiled by the Liturgical Commission and staff, in consultation with survivors, who have themselves suggested some of the resources, with the aim providing prayers and other resources for various occasions. This includes use with survivors and others directly affected, as well as events such as the commissioning of safeguarding officers in parishes and dioceses. Most of the material had been previously published (including commended and authorized liturgical texts), but it has been brought together in one place so that it is easier to find and to use.

(This item has also been posted on the main Thinking Anglicans page.)

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2017-18 Almanac for Common Worship and BCP


Once again my annual Almanac, or calendar and lectionary, is published.

Each year since 2002 I have produced a downloadable calendar for the forthcoming liturgical year, according to the rules of the Church of England’s Common Worship Calendar and Lectionary, and the Book of Common Prayer.

The 2017-18 Almanac is now available for Outlook, Apple desktop and iOS Calendar, Google Calendar, Android devices and other formats, with your choice of Sunday, weekday, eucharistic, office, collects, Exciting Holiness lections, for Common Worship and BCP.

Download is free, donations are invited.

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Prayers for Manchester

The Liturgical Commission has received a number of enquiries today in the wake of yesterday’s events in Manchester, asking for resources for vigil services. In addition to the prayers tweeted by the Church of England Communications team, by a number of dioceses and by other individuals, the links below to the Church of England website give a number of appropriate prayers for the world/society here https://www.churchofengland.org/prayer-worship/topical-prayers/prayers-for-the-world.aspx.

and for individuals here https://www.churchofengland.org/prayer-worship/topical-prayers/prayers-for-personal-situations.aspx.

For those needing a complete order of service, pp. 443-448 of New Patterns for Worship has an outline headed “Facing Pain: a Service of Lament” — also downloadable from here https://churchofengland.org/prayer-worship/worship/texts/newpatterns/sampleservicescontents/npw18.aspx

Some of the ‘Cross’ and ‘Lament’ (possibly also ‘Living in the world’ and ‘Relationships and healing’) resources from New Patterns for Worship might also be appropriate for inclusion in that service, or as stand-alone elements in your regular service.

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Michael Perham

The Diocese of Gloucester has this morning announced that Michael Perham, Bishop of Gloucester between 2004 and 2014, died on the evening of Monday 17 April.

Michael Perham played a very significant role in the liturgical life of the Church of England, and was a member of the Liturgical Commission between 1986 and 2001. He was a contributor to the books that became Lent, Holy Week, Easter, The Promise of his Glory and Enriching the Christian Year, and then to Common Worship.

In the announcement, Bishop Michael’s successor as Bishop of Gloucester, Bishop Rachel Treweek writes:

It is with great sadness that I am writing to inform you that Bishop Michael died peacefully at home on Monday evening, April 17, following a special Easter weekend with all the family.

I last saw Bishop Michael on Tuesday 11 April during Holy Week. Not only was it good to share together in the Eucharist on that occasion but also to preside at the Chrism Eucharist on Maundy Thursday knowing that the Dean would then be taking Bishop Michael bread and wine from our service in Gloucester Cathedral with the love and prayers of the Diocese.

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The Roman rite

This week’s edition of the Roman Catholic paper The Tablet contains a couple of interesting articles on the possibility of further revision to the English version of the Roman rite.

  • A shorter piece responds that there is little likelihood of full-scale revision of the English translation

O’Collins begins:

The new Mass translation introduced in 2010 has few admirers

and ends:

Pope Francis has just appointed a commission to revisit L.A. [Liturgiam Authenticam] This could be an opportunity for a return to the pastoral good sense of Comme le prévoit, opening the way to finally introducing the 1998 missal. It needs a few additions, such as the memorials of recently canonised saints, but it would be a blessing for the English-speaking churches, and it is ready and waiting in the wings.

Meanwhile Endean concludes:

Talk of a major revision or replacement of the 2010 missal is surely unrealistic and premature. But the frustrations that that missal is causing remain real, and a provision for other approaches would do much to relieve them. Moreover, we would be helping a new generation to conduct a healthier and less contentious revision process next time round.

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Remembrance resources

Church House has released this picture and video to mark Remembrancetide.

The video can be viewed here on YouTube

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2016-17 Common Worship almanac


Once again my annual Almanac, or calendar and lectionary, is published.

Each year since 2002 I have produced a downloadable calendar for the forthcoming liturgical year, according to the rules of the Church of England’s Common Worship Calendar and Lectionary, and the Book of Common Prayer.

The 2016-17 Almanac is now available for Outlook, Apple desktop and iOS Calendar, Google Calendar, Android devices and other formats, with your choice of Sunday, weekday, eucharistic, office, collects, Exciting Holiness lections, for Common Worship and BCP.

Download is free, donations are invited.

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Further resources for the Queen’s 90th birthday

Church House has published online a set of Liturgical Resources for the Celebration of HM The Queen’s Ninetieth Birthday containing: Notes of Guidance; an outline service; collects and graces; and suggested readings.

The resources are available as a PDF here.

The notes say:

It is hoped that many churches and communities will be able to celebrate the ninetieth birthday of Her Majesty the Queen. This leaflet contains, by kind permission of the Dean and Chapter, the Outline of the Service of Celebration and Thanksgiving which will be held at St Paul’s Cathedral on Friday 10 June 2016. Churches are invited to use elements of this outline in their own preparations, especially the bidding prayer, intercessions, and act of thanksgiving in the appendices. In addition to the resources below, St Paul’s has commissioned the Master of the Queen’s Music, Judith Weir, to compose a choral anthem, I love all beauteous things, which can be used in the context of a celebration service and is now available.

Also included here are the Collects which The Queen has been pleased to approve for use in services celebrating her birthday, and Graces for use at church and community gatherings. Finally, the Liturgical Commission suggests a number of appropriate readings suited to a celebratory service.

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New Liturgical Commission

The Liturgical Commission of the Church of England has a five year term, and the term of the present Commission ends on 31 March 2016. The membership of the new Commission has now been published on the Church of England website here.

Chair
The Bishop of Exeter

Vice-Chair
The Bishop of Sodor and Man

Members
Ms Shayne Ardron
The Revd Canon Dr Andrew Atherstone
The Revd Philip Barnes
The Revd Mark Earey
Ms Kashmir Garton
The Revd Canon Dr Christopher Irvine
The Revd Canon Dr Simon Jones
Mr Simon Kershaw
The Revd George Lane
Mrs Lucy Moore
Dr Bridget Nichols
The Revd Canon Dr Jo Spreadbury
The Revd Canon Dr Samuel Wells

The Commission is a permanent Commission of the General Synod of the Church of England. It has a four-fold purpose:

  • to prepare forms of service at the request of the House of Bishops
  • to advise on the experimental use of forms of service and the development of liturgy
  • to exchange information and advice on liturgical matters with other Churches both in the Anglican Communion and elsewhere
  • to promote the development and understanding of liturgy and its use in the Church.

I understand that the main focus for the next five years will be to encourage better standards in the preparation and conduct of worship. I hope to be able to provide regular updates on the work of the new Commission.

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