Prayers we have in common: a statement on ecumenical shared liturgical texts

  • The Reims Statement, August 2011
    This statement celebrates the achievements of ecumenical work on common texts. It also calls for these texts to be upheld and used.

Background to the Reims Statement
In August 2011, a group of liturgical scholars from various parts of the English-speaking world—the United Kingdom, Canada, the United States, Ireland, Scotland, New Zealand, Australia, and South Africa—met for a colloquium sponsored by the English Language Liturgical Consultation (ELLC). They gathered to celebrate and to reflect upon the experience of more than 40 years of ecumenical cooperation in liturgical development involving Anglican, Roman Catholic, and a wide variety of Protestant churches around the world.

Planning for the colloquium began in the early 2000s, after the publication of a papal encyclical Liturgiam Authenticam, which removed official Roman Catholic representatives from participation in any ecumenical liturgical work such as that of ELLC. With the withdrawal of the Roman Catholic Church from this ecumenical liturgical cooperation, those who are “left” have felt the pain of their Roman Catholic colleagues who wish to participate, and they have also felt the vacuum left by their absence.

The Reims Statement is first of all a celebration of the achievements of ELLC. In parishes and congregations around the world, for example, so many of us use the Revised Common Lectionary, and so many of us pray the contemporary words of the Lord’s Prayer and other liturgical prayers using the same language.

The statement is also a call for continued work, the upholding of our common ecumenical texts within our churches, and the development of future ecumenical lectionaries and other resources.

For further information on the statement, email the Rev. Dr. Eileen Scully, interim director of Faith, Worship, and Ministry, and member of the ELLC and of the Consultation on Common Texts.

Both the ELLC and CCT are looking into ways to develop their websites to provide better resources to the churches. To offer feedback to either group, email Ms. Scully.