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Panel: Keep collecting culturally diverse rites, music

By Sharon Sheridan
8/1/2003
[Convention Daily ] 

The church should continue to collect and prepare culturally diverse rites and music for use in various settings to advance the goals of 20/20, the Prayer Book, Liturgy and Worship cognate committee voted Friday.

The committee also voted to recommend adopting a new set of liturgies for church plantings, to revise Lesser Feasts and Fasts 2000 and to adopt the Revised Common Lectionary – now authorized for trial use – beginning Advent 2004. It recommended allocating $130,000 for developing the liturgies and $20,000 for the revision.

Substitute resolution A092, which combines several Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music resolutions, directs the commission to develop such rites as Quinceaneras celebrations, mission-based prayers, resources for multisensory worship and Spanish music resources. The commission would develop them using models drawing on and reflecting the church’s diversity and would begin to create a network for sharing these learnings and resources.

“To me, it is just so incredibly exciting,” said the Very Rev. Ernesto Medina, vice chair of the deputies committee and provost of the Cathedral Center of St. Paul in the Diocese of Los Angeles. “We were able to put together a resolution that from the very beginning allows the voices that have never been heard to be heard. The richness that the Episcopal Church will experience in what I believe to be an incredible gift to the next convention will be yet another reason for a great celebration.

“One of the greatest joys is to be able to experience God through the experiences of another,” he concluded, “and the more that we figure out how to do that, the easier the job against racism becomes.”

At a hearing on the Revised Common Lectionary, most of those testifying supported adoption. Witnesses praised adopting a lectionary used by many other denominations and some parts of the Anglican Communion, the chance for preachers to use the many resources based on this lectionary and the optional Old Testament cycles of readings.

“That long season after Pentecost, we can take great sections of the Hebrew Scripture and get to know them in breadth and depth and get to know themes like covenant theology,” said the Rev. Carol Arney of the Diocese of Hawaii.

The committee rejected a suggestion by member Ted Yumoto of the Diocese of San Joaquin to continue authorizing the lectionary for trial use.

“If they don’t have to use it, people aren’t going to change,” said the Rev. Susan Anslow Williams of the Diocese of Western New York. “I think our congregations really need a kick in the pants.”

The church-planting liturgies, presented side-by-side in English and Spanish, include services for discerning a new church mission; commissioning a church planter, missioner or mission team; opening a new congregation; and setting apart secular space for sacred use. The materials also include a litany for the mission of the church; various collects, blessings and prayers; and hymn suggestions.