Good question out in good ol' New Zealand

Peter Carrell and Bosco Peters, two fine writers in the New Zealand Anglican world, who I am proud to say occasionally visit Preludium,  have posted excerpts of an article by Carrell titled, Common Worship for Our Church (Updated.)

The article is a good and short read. The topic is one of considerable interest to folk outside NZ, and in particular  should be to folk here in The Episcopal Church. The New Zealand Prayer Book, rich in resources and delightful in new readings of old words, is a complex volume. The Book of Common Prayer, (Episcopal Church) is a thousand and one pages long, with several supplementary books for commemoration of saints, special services, etc. And all of that gets mixed with the variety of musical possibilities, alternate readings, alternate theater, and on and on. Then we add on the differences of culture, class, age, etc... So it becomes more and more uncommon to find the commonality in liturgical worship in the church. The question is what holds us together in prayer life?

Read the article, or the excerpt in Bosco Peter's or Peter Carrell's pages. Comment there or here.


  1. Mark, I am glad that you posted a link to this article. As a matter of fact it was something that I was thinking about earlier this week! What timing! I found the read raises a few question especially for us Anglicans (of the US, brand)...

    I know that many parishes are allowing for the "free reign" of worship committees. One parish may have a healthy number of 20 somethings ergo the worship committee makes the leap to provide for a Eucharist that would speak to the 20 something's heart.

    I have found that most of these worship committees are made up of people who are NOT 20 somethings, and rather than just offering the BCP Eucharist Rite I or Rite II WELL they create a whole bunch of innovations. Young people do not demand a break from tradition! They don't!

    While talking to a good friend of mine who is a Traditional Latin Mass Roman Catholic I asked in jest "how's that working out for you? I mean, most of the individuals who would be interested in that would have to be dying off in rapid succession right?" I was rebuffed quickly...

    "Well, one would think that...however, we have grown by 25 families in two years and all 25 of those families are young families...the parents are 25-30!" Of course I couldn't believe this! After one visit to the afternoon Latin Mass I was aghast! The 20-30 somethings outnumbered the 50, 60, 70, 80 somethings! After a bit of research this is something that the RCC is seeing in great number! Many young people are being called back to a traditional expression of worship.

    I researched this more and I can't tell you how many times I have seen that the main reason that the younger people are returning to traditional worship is because it is stable. It is unchanging, and innovation isn't allowed. Their tired of the disgusting happy clappy stuff that was dreamed up by a priest or worship committee that came through the "Jesus Movement" of the 1970's.

    Now, I don't believe that we should just revert back to the old, stiff, overly starched form of worship. What I am saying is that returning to praying the Eucharist/Mass and doing the service WELL and beautifully will be a step in the right direction. Feel free to play around with traditional vs contemporary/charismatic music, but leave the chief elements of the Eucharist intact.

    I think sometimes, we over think this sort of stuff. 20 somethings are not so anti-tradition that they want a complete and total change of those things that make us distinctively Episcopalian/Anglican.

    Just my two cents...for what it's worth!

    Thanks for sharing!


  2. Thanks, Mark, for commending my and Peter's posts. I would be interested if the discussion Peter, I and others are having in NZ is similar or different elsewhere - and why. In NZ, like your description of TEC's BCP we also have a plethora of options and alternatives alongside the NZ Prayer Book. Just look up what I recently wrote about Ashes to Fire.




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Cautions: Calling people fools, idiots, etc, will be reason to bounce your comment. Keeping in mind that in the struggles it is difficult enough to try to respect opponents, we should at least try.