An “Information Dialogue” was held at General Synod in 2004, as an opportunity for Faith, Worship and Ministry committee members to share with those present a review of their work and to seek counsel in determining priorities for the work of the Triennium ahead.
It was noted that the Liturgical Consultations, held Provincially in the 1998-2001 Triennium, provided a good opportunity to hear from a diverse representation of the church, to hear from them about the possible direction of liturgical development. The consultations reported that generally Canadian Anglicans were not ready to codify liturgy, to write another book, but upheld that there was much local experiment in different places, and offered that FWM might play a key role and responsibility in relation to local developments, and to be touch with what is happening and gather resources and make them available and disseminate widely until there was a time to come upon an emerging liturgical tradition that we might print again. Efforts to collect resources from dioceses over the 2001-2004 triennium, however, did not result in the assembly of a significant library of resources.
2001-2004 also marked a period of significant conversations with the Anglican Book Centre about the licensing of liturgies, copyright issues, and the growth of the web for the sharing of electronic texts.
French translation of the BAS proceeded well in 2001-2004.
There was ongoing work developing Worship in the vision of New Agape and regular publication of resources for the National Aboriginal Day of Prayer.
- Musical resources for small parishes – guitar chord version requested by some.
- A desire to clarify the issues around the licensing of the BAS and copyright was expressed.
- A suggestion was made that the liturgical implications for baptismal ecclesiology – the catechumentate – needs to be explored nationally.
- Blessing of a Civil Marriage (text brought to GS 2004 for authorization) Fred Hiltz explained the rationale of the service. The intention of the service is to bless those who have already been married. More clarity about rubrical language around signing of the register and other points were suggested.
- A question was raised about small rural congregations in which there are serviced for administration of communion of reserved sacrament. Is there a rite? It was pointed out that indeed there is a rite: Public Distribution of the Reserved Sacrament by Deacons and Laypeople (1988)
What we heard in the group:
What’s happening in your area, and where would you like to see our national level work on liturgy going?
- Youth, family services – current rites are not accessible to youth and families. What’s happening in youth ministry?
- Using some Iona materials, with someone who is very good at adapting this material. We’re finding it difficult to get something between cerebral hymns and the jingles.
- Challenges of having multiple different kinds of services for different people. There are huge challenges to the development of Anglican identity when so many different kinds of groups are all cobbling together liturgies from a variety of sources. What would be helpful is to be able to access a resource base of liturgical materials that I can pick and choose from that I know will develop a sense of Anglican identity – because the problem with the way I’m doing it now, the danger is that the identity we’re developing is our parish identity, not Anglican identity.
- Teenagers don’t seem to care about liturgical texts. The issues aren’t so much about texts, but about presidership, quality of formation of presiders, and music.
- High proportion of the elderly – healing ministries, prayer with the sick, prayer with the dying. Have been using Enriching Our Worship II for this.
- Request for a compilation of resources for training and theological education for lay people – database for those looking for lay theological education. Who is pulling together of what the dioceses are doing around training of lay readers, etc.?
- Need for a Daily Office book, as a single publication.
- BAS translation of the Psalms is dreadful. Need to explore other Psalmody.
- Electronic texts, projected liturgies – need to explore implications.
- Use of drama, art, opportunity for artistic expression within the liturgy – need to be encouraged.