For the last 40 years many people in the Church have referred to the 1979 Book of Common Prayer as “the new prayer book!”
In my lifetime, I have witnessed individuals leave the Church over changes in the Book of Common Prayer, while others express great disdain for the patriarchal, non-inclusive language of said new prayer book. As such, some faith communities still use Rite I for those who appreciate more traditional language and others worshippers have chosen to use more inclusive authorized liturgies.
Growing up in an Anglo-Catholic faith community and then having a long history in the camp/youth world, I have learned to navigate the depth and breadth of the liturgical offerings in the Episcopal Church. I was also very fortunate during my early formation to be instructed by some of the Church’s greatest liturgical minds at that time. Trust me, this comprehensive experience and formation has benefited me greatly serving as a Bishop.
At our last General Convention, we spent significant time once again discussing the future of the liturgical life of our Church. Working through numerous resolutions and recommendations from a dedicated cadre of folks who worked faithfully for three years, the Church, in her wisdom, once again decided we needed more time for consideration and exploration of their recommendations. Two months after General Convention I was in a meeting with the Presiding Bishop when he said, “It would be great if you would serve on the Task Force on Liturgical and Prayer Book Revision.”
So alas, I have spent the subsequent months working with a number of faithful folks, and a few really big liturgical nerds, going through a variety of proposals on our liturgical life. This week I will be doing a deep dive with this group of people at Emory University in Atlanta. It is good and important work. Liturgy is a big deal to the vast majority of Episcopalians, which is why there is no shortage of opinions. Your prayers, however you offer them, would be greatly appreciated.