Have you noticed? Starting in the season of Epiphany our church has been using a new form for the prayers of the people. The form we are using is from the book titled Enriching Our Worship. Here is a little bit of history…
In 1978 our National Episcopal Church decided to have a revision of the prayer book which had not been revised for about 200 years. The decision to offer a second contemporary language service was praised by many in our church. However, the process to revise the prayer book was a difficult one, but it was fruitful in providing liturgies for our church communities. But there were wonderful forms of prayers that were unfortunately not included in the revised prayer book of 1979. These liturgies offered insightful language and word images describing our relationship to God. The Standing Liturgical Commission of the Episcopal Church empowered by General Convention decided to make available these liturgical texts to our Episcopal worshipping communities.
These texts are designed: “….to provide additional resources to assist worshipping communities wishing to expand the language, images and metaphors used in worship.” It is and continues to be the hope that the use of these texts will deepen and strengthen our encounter with Christ and make it possible..”
The Standing Liturgical Commission of the Episcopal Church
At St. Andrew’s our worship committee has decided to continue with the Prayer of the people supplement I until the end of the Easter season. Many have commented that they have been moved by the use of the prayer and are glad that we are using it.
In the season of Easter, the worship committee has decided that we will be using the first Supplemental Eucharistic Rite from Enriching Our Worship. This rite reinforces the theme that all people are created in the image of God and that this is the source of Christian inclusiveness. This is important. Our church is a welcoming church, and our prayers should reflect this especially in the Easter season. We will use the same Eucharistic rite at all three services. This is something that we do together as a united St. Andrew’s congregation. As you prepare for the Easter season, please pray that God will be revealed to you through the season. Please also remember to share your experiences at worship with either the members of the worship committee or myself.