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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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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Thanksgiving for the Queen’s ninetieth birthday

The Liturgical Commission has prepared two collects (one in traditional language and the other in modern language) for use at services celebrating the ninetieth birthday of HM the Queen, which falls on 21 April this year. These have been approved by the Queen, and the Commission has asked that they be circulated as widely as possible. The Commission has also provided two graces for use at church and community gatherings such as street parties.

Collects:
Heavenly Father, who hast brought our gracious sovereign Queen Elizabeth to the completion of her ninetieth year, and dost gather her people in celebration of the same: grant that we, rejoicing before thee with thankful hearts, may ever be united in love and service to one another, and her kingdom flourish in prosperity and peace, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Heavenly Father,
as we celebrate the ninetieth birthday of Her Majesty the Queen,
receive our heartfelt thanks
for all that you have given her in these ninety years
and for all that she has given to her people.
Continue, we pray, your loving purposes in her,
and as you gather us together in celebration,
unite us also in love and service to one another;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Graces:
Bountiful God, giver of all good gifts,
we give thanks for the many years and long reign of our Queen;
Bless our food, our neighbourhood,
and our enjoyment of each other’s company.
Help us to learn from Queen Elizabeth’s commitment to her people,
so that our community may be strengthened
and all may flourish.
We ask this in the name of Jesus, the King of love.

Gracious God, give our Queen continued wisdom and strength
to carry out the promises she has made;
and bless (this food, and) those who are gathered here,
that, sustained by service for others,
we may faithfully serve you, all the days of our life.
[With words from The Queen’s First Christmas Broadcast, 1952]

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Thanksgiving for the longest reign

The Liturgical Commission has drafted two prayers for use to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II becoming the longest-reigning monarch in British history, on 9 September this year. These have been approved by Buckingham Palace, and the Commission has asked that they be circulated as widely as possible.

Prayers for use when HM The Queen becomes the longest reigning monarch in British history (9 September 2015)

A Collect for use after the Collect of the Day at BCP services
Almighty God, who hast set our gracious sovereign Queen Elizabeth upon the throne of this realm, and given her to surpass all others in the years of her reign: Receive our heartfelt thanks for her service to her people, confirm and encourage her in the continuance of the same, and keep her in thy heavenly wisdom; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who took the form of a servant for our sake, and reigneth now in glory with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen.

A modern-language prayer drawing on Philippians 2
Almighty God,
whose Son Jesus Christ exchanged the glory of a heavenly throne for the form of a servant,
we thank you that you have given Elizabeth our Queen a heart to serve her people,
and have kept her devoted in this service beyond all who were before her:
encourage us by her example to serve one another, and to seek the common good,
until you call us all to reign with Christ in your eternal kingdom. Amen.

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New baptismal texts; and rules on eucharistic ministers

The General Synod of the Church of England, meeting in York, yesterday gave final approval to the additional baptismal texts. The texts are authorized from 1 September 2015.

The synodical report reads:

CHRISTIAN INITIATION: ADDITIONAL TEXTS FOR HOLY BAPTISM IN ACCESSIBLE LANGUAGE (GS 1958B AND GS 1958X)

Article 7 business Final Approval

The Bishop of Sodor and Man (Chair of the Steering Committee) moved:

‘That the liturgical business entitled “Christian Initiation: Additional Texts for Holy Baptism in Accessible Language” be finally approved for a period from 1 September 2015 until further Resolution of the Synod.’

The final vote was approved after a division of houses, with the voting figures below:

House of Bishops: For – 23, Against – 1, Abstentions – 1,
House of Clergy: For – 114, Against – 6, Abstentions – 5,
House of Laity: For – 126, Against – 10, Abstentions – 6,

The Synod also approved new regulations on the authorization of people to assist in the administration of Holy Communion. The rules allow the bishop, on the application of the incumbent or priest in charge, to authorize named individuals. The bishop may also give the priest general authority to allow people to administer (with PCC agreement), and this may include children who have been formally admitted to Communion before Confirmation. Children in church schools may be authorized with the agreement of the head teacher rather than the PCC. The full rules are in the linked file. The new regulations come into force on 1 October 2015, and revoke the old 1969 rules.

ADMINISTRATION OF HOLY COMMUNION REGULATIONS (GS 1992)

Regulations under Canon B 12 Article 7 business

The Bishop of Sodor and Man (the Rt Revd Robert Paterson) moved:

‘That the Administration of Holy Communion Regulations be approved.’

which was approved.

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Topical prayers from the Liturgical Commission (2)

The Liturgical Commission has provided prayers and other material for a number of forthcoming occasions.

These are:

  • The Baptism of Princess Charlotte of Cambridge (on 5 July)
  • The 70th anniversaries of Hiroshima and Nagasaki (6 and 9 August)
  • The 70th anniversary of VJ Day (Victory in Japan) (2 September 15 August)
  • The centenary of the execution of Edith Cavell (12 October)

The text of the material for the first three is in the previous post. This post contains the material for Edith Cavell.

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Topical prayers from the Liturgical Commission (1)

The Liturgical Commission has provided prayers and other material for a number of forthcoming occasions.

These are:

  • The Baptism of Princess Charlotte of Cambridge (on 5 July)
  • The 70th anniversaries of Hiroshima and Nagasaki (6 and 9 August)
  • The 70th anniversary of VJ Day (Victory in Japan) (2 September 15 August)
  • The centenary of the execution of Edith Cavell (12 October)

The text of the material for the first three is in the full post. The material for Edith Cavell is separated into a post of its own.

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Liturgy for the reburial of a king

The remains identified as those of King Richard III were re-interred yesterday in Leicester Cathedral in a service broadcast live on Channel 4.

The order of service for the re-interment is available as a pdf file on this page, or (direct link to pdf) or here.

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Additional Texts for Holy Baptism (GS 1958A)

The Agenda for the February sessions of the General Synod was published recently. On Thursday afternoon, the Alternative Baptism Texts return to the Synod after the revision committee stage:

The following items (full details of which are contained in Special Agenda II — see page 9) will be taken:

600 Alternative Baptism Texts (GS 1958A)
— Report of the Revision Committee (GS 1958Y)

and the note on page 9 says:

ALTERNATIVE BAPTISM TEXTS (GS 1958A)
Article 7 Business
Consideration of a Report by the Revision Committee (GS 1958Y)
The Chair of the Revision Committee (the Bishop of Truro) to move:
600 ‘That the Synod do take note of this Report.’

Notes:
1. Notice of motions for re-committal under the provisions of Standing Order 77(a) must be given in writing to the Clerk to the Synod by not later than 5.30pm on Tuesday 10 February 2015 (Standing Order 10(c)). Any such motions will appear on a Notice Paper.

2. If no such motion is carried, the liturgical business will automatically stand committed to the House of Bishops under Standing Order 77(f).

The texts (GS 1958A) and the report of the Revision Committee (GS 1958Y) can be found with other papers for this group of sessions here.

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