Ministries - Liturgy
International Anglican Liturgical Consultations
Notes on the International Anglican Liturgical Consultation
Prague, Czech Republic1-6 August 2005
Liturgy and Anglican Identity
Paul Bradshaw welcomed members of the Consultation, as well as John
Melloh, of Notre Dame University, and Hans-Jürgen Feulner, professor
of liturgy in Vienna, as ecumenical partners. Members of the Consultation
introduced themselves. David Holeton introduced the volunteer assistants
to the Consultation.
- Background and context
David Holeton provided members of the Consultation with information on
movements in the history of the Bohemian church, including the communion
of infants, the restoration of the chalice to the laity, and the use of
the vernacular. He described the creation of Czechoslovakia and its division
after the collapse of the communist regime.
- IALC history
Paul Bradshaw reviewed the history of the IALC, with the assistance of
other members of the Consultation.
- Nominating Committee
Paul Bradshaw proposed that Ron Dowling, David Stancliffe, and Louis Weil
constitute a nominating committee to present names for consideration for
- Provincial reports
The following provinces indicated that they wished to make provincial reports:
Australia, Canada, Ireland, Scotland, England, Southern Africa, Japan.
A member requested that provinces be pressed to bring new liturgical texts
for display at future IALC's.
- Hooker and Anglican Identity
Chris Irvine distributed a paper on Hooker and Anglican identity.
- Liturgical archive
Paul Gibson reminded the Consultation that for some years he had been collecting
liturgical texts which document revision and innovation in the communion
back to about 1960. He told the Consultation that Karen Evans, the librarian
of the national office of the Anglican Church of Canada, had volunteered
to catalogue the existing material and that it was important that the collection
be brought up to date before she undertakes that task in the coming autumn.
(See Note 22 below.)
- Introduction to Identity in the Anglican Communion
Cynthia Botha addressed the question, “What makes worship
Anglican worship?” She described a service which was based on a number
of elements from different provinces which some participants found frustrating.
She introduced five papers on Anglican identity which had been solicited
from some members of the Consultation. She said that a problem of the Communion
is the impossible but wonderful challenge of living with two traditions,
Protestant and Anglo-Catholic. For a long time there was uniformity in
text but not in practice. Now there is no uniformity in text and no uniform
expression in the practice of worship.
“What makes worship Anglican worship?” Cynthia Botha asked. “Is
it our use of scripture?” It is not good enough to wish ourselves
into the past. She said she thought we would have to come up with a new
strategy. What is the norm for the parish is often very different for the
outsider. The papers reveal that prior to the 1920s there was widespread
use of the BCP, but as provinces became autonomous there was a growing
need to adapt liturgy to the local context. After the second world war
there were attempts to make the liturgy more accessible to the people.
The growing multicultural needs of the Communion have to be recognized.
This is consistent with Cranmer’s desire for the liturgy to be available
to the people. Inculturation demands that we discover the riches which
are to be found in our various cultures. Where translation is not provided
a standard form of worship, not always creative, becomes the norm. In the
CPSA some early bishops required clergy to know local languages before
they conducted services in local communities. There is now a greater variety
of hymnals available, and different examples of music. In some places different
languages are simultaneously used for the same hymn at the same time. The
papers referred to a “skeletal” liturgical framework, a standard
form into which local material could be inserted. Many of the papers speak
of modern technology which presents further challenges that were not faced
by authors of the original prayer book. Because material can so easily
be transmitted it is questionable that we will ever experience uniformity
again. Perhaps the solution lies in teaching the principles of liturgy
as suggested in one paper. Where new service sheets are produced each week
the service sheet may become the norm. One paper suggests that we need
to move from worship based on texts to worship that honours God’s
transformation of the world. Church leadership needs to be challenged to
take these issues seriously. Youth were mentioned in one or two papers
and what we do with young people in worship.
In a world of globalization there can be no uniformity because ultimately
it is about our relationship with God and with one another. It is always
to embrace the truth of God’s love. We cannot wish ourselves back
into the past but must deal with creative challenges now. Cynthia Botha
proposed some questions for discussion: How to ensure that leaders of worship
understand the function and purpose of Anglican liturgy and worship? What
training is needed to ensure that the essence of doctrine is preserved
in accordance with most synodical requirements? How can there be greater
sharing of resources and liturgical practices between provinces? How can
we be sensitive to inculturation and at the same time retain an Anglican
ethos?. How do we ensure that continuing ecumenical dialogue takes place?
Reports from Groups
A group observed that all liturgical development is happening in complex
layers of activity, involving the interaction of many conversations and
conversational partners. Second, the group thought about current developments
in the Roman Catholic church. The group noticed the different ways in which
the question of identity works in different situations, e.g., when Christians
are a minority in the country. The group noted that work on ordinals had
produced particular ecumenical conversations. The ecumenical agenda, it
was noted, is rapidly being overtaken by interfaith considerations.
Another group reduced the questions to such concerns as commonality
and training, what do we have and what do we need to have to be common?
There is a problem in keeping to common texts which hold back liturgical
development. There is commonality within a province and within the Communion
as a whole. The group talked about liturgical structure in relation to
training. Liturgy and ecclesiology cannot be separated. The group discussed
the person who leads worship and how important they are in relation to
identity and the need for their integrity. There is a need for liturgical
A group spent time initially on experiences in the several provinces.
The group discussed what we have in common and questions of identity. The
group noted a move away not only from common texts but also from common
shape. There is a move towards a Christian identity as distinct from an
Anglican identity. We share fundamentals across denominations. Identity
involves the importance of connection with one another. Identity has been
more of a process than a settled reality. We may be seeing a shift from
a root metaphor of uniformity towards something more like a root metaphor
Another group noted the various diversities among the provinces and
asked, “How do people make good liturgical choices? How do we form
people in healthy liturgical discernment?” The group discussed the
provision of good liturgical form as itself formative. Some expressed discomfort
about discussion of the nature of uniformity. What is it that we are saying
to our various ecumenical partners? There was a sense of loss of ecumenical
contexts. The group discussed the work of the IALC, one of whose original
purposes was the provision of statements and documents.
A group focused on the need for leaders to understand the function of
Anglican worship. Modelling involves not only liturgy as it should be done
but as it could be done. The decline of residential seminary training has
affected liturgical formation.
Another group noted that discussion of training demands the question, “Training
for what?” The group expressed concern about reactions to varieties
of style. Anglican worship may be an obstacle to God rather than an avenue
to God. We need to train people who know how to put a coherent, flowing
liturgy together, a liturgy that has integrity. We often talk about culture
in terms of the past but we have to face the way in which we engage the
present culture, which involves willingness not to ignore what is happening.
Contemporary culture in North America has needs which are incoherent to
other people. In spite of access to electronic media, a book may still
be the best tool. We are heading into worship as an experiential, one-time
experience. What is holding us together? Too often churches are prisons
of the survivors of the secularist culture.
- Ecumenical Partner. John Melloh distributed a short
letter written by Romano Guardini for members of the Consultation to read
in preparation for his comments later in the Consultation.
- Liturgy Unbound
Trevor Lloyd asked what we could learn from cultures which have never
used a book but have adapted Anglican liturgy. This applies first to places
where books are not used, or places where only the priest has a book (as
in medieval England), as well as to places where the culture is oral. In
inner urban or rural settings of poverty, the priest might have a full
book but others only part of one. Also there are places which print their
own leaflet for each Sunday or season, downloading material from electronic
sources and sometimes projecting them onto a screen. This frees people
from the book.
To develop an understanding of where to place all of this in an Anglican
spectrum we need to examine traditional bondage to a book. Hooker gave
voice to the need for stability and his spokesmen probably still exist.
Today it is not a matter of restraining the hotheads but of blowing on
dying embers. If we turn to the Bible we find in large measure an oral
culture in the Old Testament, and in the New Testament we find charismatic
worship at variance with an Anglican sense of order. But we don’t
find many texts to copy into our liturgy. The culture was different. We
are almost as badly informed on the early centuries of the church’s
life. We don’t have all the evidence of what it was like to worship
in the early centuries. Why is there so little about the word service?
Where do we go for a picture of liturgical identity?
The Reformation came at the right time to create a people of the book.
Every parish church and eventually every worshipper could have the text
in their hands. Uniformity was a matter of national security. The requirement
to use the book and nothing but the book continued until the Act of Uniformity
Amendments Act of 1872. Most of the churches of the Reformation demanded
allegiance to a hefty doctrinal statement, like the Westminster Confession
and the Directory. But there were pressures on uniformity, such as Sunday
School services and other similar meetings. Pressure for greater freedom
built up in the 20th century. With the passing of the Prayer Book (Alternative
and Other Services) Measure 1965 the door was open greater variety. The
question became how to combine traditional common prayer with greater freedom.
Common prayer is like visiting other members of the family and recognizing
common characteristics, in the case of worship such characteristics include
a clear structure, emphasis on reading, liturgical words repeated by the
congregation, using the Lord’s Prayer, recognition of the centrality
of the eucharist, appreciation of form and dignity. One of the advantages
of a service outline is that it enables the church to recognize through
its synod important areas where we should hold together. It is now possible
to access large amounts of unauthorized material for use. Does this matter?
This raises the importance of structure. It is possible to introduce unfamiliar
material if it is set within the framework of a known structure. The electronic
resource Visual Liturgy is deliberately designed to press for a clear structure
of worship, which does not sound like the abandonment of Anglican uniformity.
Issues include the choice of music, as well as borrowing from one another
across the Communion. Is borrowing better than creating one’s own
text from within? who will police the liturgy—the bishop? the archdeacon?
There is a need for liturgical education, and for listening to one another
across cultural divides.
Five questions. Does too much insistence on having an authorized, mostly
written, liturgy promote legalistic and divisive attitudes in the church?
Second, can we hear the critique coming from some of our inner-urban areas
and from some of those whose life is either circumscribed or enlarged by
a range of electronic devices? Can we hear the critique that says that
books are in the past, too daunting or intimidating for some and give the
impression that the church is tied to the century before last? Third, does
a less book-centred, more oral liturgy promote liturgical formation as
people learn to look for the rhythms of the shape and find that the material
(texts and songs) they know by heart stay with them and become part of
them and affect the rest of their lives? Fourth, is a liturgy that is freer
from the authorized word going to promote more poetry, more music, and
more relational activity in worship? Fifth, is looking at our liturgies
from the unbound angle going to help us to greater clarity and simplicity
doctrinally and liturgically?
Discussion groups reported back.
One group reported that they had talked a lot about shape but then decided
that it was better to talk about elements, of which shape was one. Such
elements include shape, doing it together, extensive reading of the scriptures,
following the lectionary, the centrality of the eucharist, rhythm of the
year, rhythm of the day, baptism in public worship, people and clergy praying
together, and prayers which include thanksgiving, general confession and
absolution, and intercession. The group felt that a different kind of training
is needed that enables leaders to understand the elements of worship.
Another group discussed shape and deep structures, highlighting their
importance because the structures enable people to determine the flow of
worship. The group discussed the identification of criteria for working
more with a directory approach. The group acknowledged the importance of
Another group explored the image of a family tree and the question, “if
we are related in the family tree, what is the trunk?” They asked, “Is
there an Anglican methodology as to how we do this?” The group discussed
the relationship of liturgy, ecclesiology, and ethics, noting that break-away
groups are using the same rites. Is Anglican liturgy created today without
reference to 1662? Is that the trunk? Or is it the wider, deeper, longer
tradition? The group discussed the relationship of extemporary prayer and
trinitarian prayer, suggesting that the trunk-tradition is trinitarian.
The group asked if we are becoming a bookless culture.
A group identified a number of positives and negatives. When dealing
with an oral culture there is the positive aspect of what is known by heart.
It is going to become more common for instruction before a liturgy to enhance
a congregation’s ability to worship together. It is not just more
liturgical formation that is needed but a different kind of formation.
Another group discussed the suggestion that music has been taken care
of. The question is, “How well has it been taken care of?” Music
is the scene of continuing struggle. The liturgical text is very important
because it is an important vehicle by which faith and tradition are brought
forth. Texts we sing actually matter. Some provinces have authorized hymnals
and others do not. The musical styles themselves have been divisive. The
group discussed the mysterious matter of the music’s quality. The
group also moved to the question of the freedom of liturgical use. When
there are no books in the pews and the priest introduces the liturgy, the
priest gains enormous control. We might try to identify the principles
of Anglican worship in the widest possible circle.
Another group thought it would be helpful to distinguish two consequences
of “the book”, the building community of across, and the
building of community within. The BCP has been a touchstone against which
other liturgical texts have been evaluated, raising the possibility of
testing one text against another. One of the characteristic by which Anglicans
have described themselves has been by identifying the points on which they
differ from other traditions. Anglicans are good at doing liturgical things
because they are lovely, without asking what they mean. The group noticed
that unbound liturgy tends to place more power into the hands of experts.
Who has the power to choose what you regularly don’t do. The BCP
has made possible a relationship between public and private prayer. In
the world of unbound liturgies what happens to private prayer?
- Provincial Reports
Southern Africa. Ian Darby reported for the Church
of the Province of Southern Africa. He told the meeting that it is now
16 years since the current prayer book was published. The Province had
begun to consider revision of liturgical texts and work is now being done
on the ordinal. New names have been inserted into the calendar. Sister
Harrietta Stockdale, Lydia Williams, and Elizabeth Paul are being researched
for addition. Already authorized material includes additional collects,
a service of the word, communion in the absence of a priest, a eucharistic
prayer for children, a rite for the committal of bodies handed over for
medical science, reburial after exhumation, litanies for the sick and for
social justice, recognition of the closure of a marriage, thanksgiving
for healing, and celebration of a new ministry. Other rites have not yet
been authorized, for instance guidelines for interfaith services, stations
of the resurrection, inauguration of a new archdeaconry, a Good Friday
eucharistic prayer, and others. The province was visited by George Guiver
last year and will welcome visits from other liturgists. The project in
preparation at the moment is a multilingual hymn book. Forty hymns in six
languages are to be included. The use of different languages shows how
conservative the choice is compelled to be. It is difficult to find hymns
which were not brought by the missionaries nearly two centuries ago. Very
few of the locally composed hymns are available in all the translations.
Japan. Bishop Hiromichi Kato reported for the NSKK.
He told the Consultation that the first Anglican evangelistic and missionary
activity in Japan was begun in the 19th century when it was still forbidden.
Channing Moore Williams came from the United States and set about translating
the Lord’s Prayer, the Apostles’ Creed, and other essentials
of worship into Japanese. The predecessor of Japan’s first Prayer
Book was published in 1879 and the first official BCP in 1895. Although
the prayer book has gone through several revisions since that time, the
efforts of the early missionaries (American, English, and Canadian) have
continued to serve as the foundation of the liturgy. After the second world
war the Japanese BCP of 1959 incorporated the insights of much liturgical
research of the period. Bishop Kato commented on the absence of members
of the Korean church at meetings of the IALC. He stressed the importance
of Christianity in Korea and he suggested that perhaps they do not know
about the consultations. Bishop Kato noted that English is not used in
ordinary society in Korea and Japan and it is difficult for them to participate
in an anglophone context. He said that Japan and Korea need some Asian
liturgical consultations, sharing their own experience. He said he is writing
a paper on what it means to be an Asian Anglican and there was a request
that it be translated and circulated.
England. David Stancliffe told the Consultation that
the Common Worship series of resources has been followed by a number of
parochial liturgical texts. These pastoral texts have been informed by
work on understanding staged rites as well as by the Christian tradition,
and they have a sense of journey through them. Not included in pastoral
rites were rites for reconciliation, but these have now appeared. The initiation
volume is now to appear, which will also include rites for the re-appropriation
of baptismal status. Regulations governing the communion of all the baptized
are in process. Common Worship Daily Prayer has now been published, based
on Celebrating Common Prayer, which has met the needs of many lay people
who wish a more structured form of daily prayer. An ordinal has been produced
and is now available in pre-publication format. The ordination prayers
are significantly different, with a clearer theology of diaconal and presbyteral
ministry expressed. A large book on times and seasons is scheduled for
next year, replacing earlier material. David Stancliffe recalled that the
1998 Lambeth Conference had charged him and Paul Gibson to produce a one-reading
a day lectionary. He noted that several attempts at this have been made
and that further work will be done. Members of the Consultation engaged
with David Stancliffe regarding the tendency of the Vatican to treat C.
of E. ordination rites as the Anglican norm, and regarding the question
of direct ordination.
Ireland. The Church of Ireland launched a new Book
of Common Prayer in 2004. It has been very well received, especially because
traditional and contemporary language services are contained in one cover.
Two changes were made in traditional material, i.e., the “who” form
of the Lord’s Prayer and “Holy Spirit” instead of “Holy
Ghost”. The BCP Ordinal remains without change. The contemporary
Ordinal includes an ordination prayer in which the people have a part.
The Liturgical Advisory Committee is now able to turn its attention to
training and formation as well as resources. A decision was made to produce
an Irish version of Visual Liturgy. The issue of copyright is increasingly
important when more and more services are produced at diocesan and parish
level. A process has been put in place.
Scotland. What it means to be a Scottish Anglican is
not entirely clear. Part of the problem is that the roots of the Scottish
Episcopal Church are not in the Church of England. The church as a whole
through its synodical processes has adopted the principles of the Toronto
Statement and confirmation is now being changed into something new. The
liturgy of the laying on of hands for affirmation and renewal is now repeatable.
The Marriage Rite is intended to give the couple the maximum amount of
choice. The Ordinal has been amended in the direction of inclusive language.
There seems to be no desire for the gathering of “wee bookies” into
a single volume. All liturgies will shortly be on-line. Two liturgical
texts are available in Gaelic.
Australia. The commission has been meeting less frequently.
The commission attempts to model liturgy done well. New work is started
when requested by the bishops. Work is being done on texts relating to
sexual misconduct. General Synod has adopted a resolution on “Special
Sundays”. The work of the commission is available on web.
Canada. Eileen Scully told the Consultation that the
Anglican Church of Canada has no dedicated liturgical commission but responsibility
falls within the assignment of a committee of some 17 people who are responsible
for the spectrum of faith, worship, and ministry. Although the work of
worship does not appear to be central, a number of tasks are under way.
Work on translation into French continues for the use of parishes in Quebec
and eastern Ontario. The committee does not rely entirely on direct translation
from English—francophones are themselves creating prayers for ministry
to the sick. Electronic publishing is under way. Proper prayers and other
material related to the Revised Common Lectionary are now being produced
and should be available on-line. There is a voice in the church that asks
where the church is going with electronic publishing and the production
of material in booklet form. A resolution to this effect was defeated by
the 2004 General Synod but the issue remains, and the need for an agenda
addressing the church’s direction has been recognized. An important
dimension is the church’s relationship with the Evangelical Lutheran
Church in Canada (with whom Anglicans are in full communion) and the two
churches have members on each other’s committees. Healing and reconciliation
remain important issues in relation to abuse, although they will not produce
many texts. The process raises the relationship of justice, history, and
our worship lives. The church is wrestling with electronic texts but under
the shadow of publishing problems. Sharing with Lutherans as partners in
their annual liturgy conference is an important relationship. Paula Sampson
told the Consultation that the government of Canada still acts in a colonial
way towards first nations people and one of the gifts of the native people
is the fostering of awareness of the connection between action and worship.
Ritual and Identity
John Melloh of Notre Dame University, ecumenical partner, addressed
the Consultation on Ritual and Identity. He quoted Nathan Mitchell as saying
that the liturgy is no longer an established pattern but a free service
varying from parish to parish and diocese to diocese, or even within a
parish. The primary purpose of ritual is to enable to participation of
everyone by creating patterns of familiar actions that can be done by heart.
Unlike the rituals of ancient peoples, our rituals seem provisional and
made up at will without invoking tradition.
John Melloh referred to Romano Guardini who wrote an open letter to
the 1964 liturgical conference at Mainz. (Copies of the letter had been
distributed at an earlier point in the Consultation.) First, Guardini muses
on whether or not modern people are capable of positing a liturgical act
in the context of individualism. He emphasizes the corporate nature of
liturgy. Second, liturgy involves contemplative vision which brings subject
and object together. Third, renewal is not about tinkering with ceremonies
and organizing better processions, but about performing these ritual actions
in such a way that they communicate grace. The act of processing becomes
an epiphany of God moving among God’s people.
Guardini is concerned about the enactment and embodying of the rite.
Ritual not only creates the identity of the community but is also a statement
of our beliefs. Ritual is in the category of rehearsal because the liturgical
act is where the community constantly practises acting so that it may be
acted upon. Without this rehearsal we may become amnesiacs. Mary Douglas
says that ritual is primarily a form of social communication. Whenever
a child speaks or listens, social structure and identity are created and
reinforced. It would help to treat all religious forms as speech forms
which exercise an effect on social behaviour. There are two factors that
influence ritual behaviour: first, group which defines social relationships.
Second, grid which defines one-to-one behaviour within a group. You can
expect highly ritualized behaviour when groups are tight. Cultural bonding
and ritual behaviour go hand in hand.
Do these generalizations apply to modern industrial societies? John
Melloh says they do. An example is provided by Irish immigrants to English
industrial society who maintained Friday abstinence as an expression of
social identity. They could not explain this theologically; they just knew
is by heart. Some rituals are used to heal breaches. Modern societies use
the rituals of court and mediators. Other rituals are enacted for specific
purposes, like celebrating an individual or an event. Victor Turner regarded
ritual as a transformative process. Ritual is the basic social act. Rituals
have been divided into indexible and canonical. Indexible rituals are about
the transitory here and now, while canonical rituals are about the ultimate
and unchangeable. It is our job to discover them.
Liturgy is an art, subject to rules, and to ignore them is to risk leading
the assembly into idiosyncratic dead-ends. Liturgy either dies at the hands
of the trendy, or it slays them. Walter Ong says we do not live in a primarily
oral culture. We live in a secondarily oral culture in which orality has
been superseded by writing, the printing press, and electronic technology.
In traditional societies the recitation of the myth (origins) is always
adapted to changing circumstances. However, once text is written down variations
from the text or the use of alternate texts become discernible and obvious.
The text can produce conflict. Writing is authoritative and involves stratification
in which some have access to the text and some do not. Ritual change with
regard to text is much easier in a primarily oral culture. In literate
societies textual changes tend to be deliberate, debated, faction-ridden,
and explosive. Textual changes create a mess, placing universal values
over local situations and fostering orthodoxy. In traditional societies
rites are obligatory rather than optional. Rites in traditional societies
demand ritual competence rather than resourcefulness. In traditional societies
the rites concern a group that is relatively homogeneous, which we do not
have in industrial societies.
Whatever else it is, liturgy is an act of communication. Whatever else,
ritual is an act of communication which communicates through a series of
languages operating not so much by linear decoding but by imaginative evocation.
While the liturgical act is a performance it is also a contemplation. Ritual
structure and elements are relatively invariable. Ritual may be resistant
to change but it is not impervious to change. Public liturgies do shape
identity, but so do other rituals. What ought not to happen is the development
of parallel rites, like current use of the Tridentine mass as a parallel
to the Roman rite)
- Towards a Statement
Topics were assigned to pairs of groups for discussion in preparation
for a possible draft statement. What is it that makes Anglican worship?
What are the elements of Anglican liturgy? What are some illustrative texts
which reflect the Anglican way of doing things which enhance Christian
Discussion groups reported back.
One group worked on a short descriptive narrative of what makes Anglican
liturgy and what its emphases may be The following elements were suggested:
relational in time, relational in space, worshipping with all the senses,
the weekly cycle as well as the daily cycle, the importance of words and
language that reflects what we actually believe, universal Anglican norms
of worship as described in the York IALC report. The group also talked
about liturgy as the vehicle through which God acts in us as well as what
we do. Examination of liturgy through the lens of Hooker’s tripod
could be helpful. What is the relationship between theology and liturgy,
between faith and ritual. Anglican worship should honour both the universal
and the local with local liturgy following local norms rather than English
norms. Is there anything distinctively Anglican after the liturgical movement
of the 20th century? Historical considerations cover the whole of Christian
history and not merely the post-Reformation period and affect our understanding
of theology. The aesthetic is important and the beauty of holiness.
Another group also dealt with elements of Anglican worship. This group
looked at an interplay of three elements of Anglican worship: content,
structure, and enactment. An element is scripture organized for worship
with word and sacrament interpenetrating each other. Another element is
the centrality of the celebration of the eucharist on Sunday. Another is
the rhythm of the year and of the day. Another is the interaction of priest
and people. Someone in the group asked how long these things had obtained
among us? Some suggested 1850 as a date, while others thought earlier.
An element of Anglican worship is the ability to borrow from other traditions.
A great deal of subsequent discussion dealt with the difference between
being an established church and a non-established church. The group identified
a kind of Benedictine filter through which Anglicans tend to run their
Another group identified elements of ethos and elements of rite. Ethos
means we hold together catholic and Reformed traditions. There is a variety
of expression including some elements such as restraint, dignity, solemnity,
music, and movement. Elements of text are provided by the use of authorized
texts and corporate worship. The group discussed the attitude reflected
by, “we know how to do celebration.” Under rite the group discussed
shape, lectionary, the rhythm of the year, the centrality of the eucharist,
confession, intercession, use of the Lord’s Prayer, knowing words,
music, and action by heart.. The group discussed intercession and the tendency
to begin by praying globally, for the church and the world.
Another group discussed lex orandi as an expression of belief. Members
of the group were invited to identify what seemed to be specifically Anglican.
They named the middle way between Roman Catholic and Reformed, having a
BCP which is a sacrament of our identity, worship in common, a sense of
those who precede and follow us, the fact that custom and practice are
important to our sense of identity, a sense of integrity. It was noted
that ritual works for us until we notice it when it no longer works. Elements
of Anglican liturgy include the importance of scripture, a sense of belonging
to something before us and after us, an awareness of the need for the material
objects we use to have integrity, the importance of aesthetics, beauty,
and grace to express that which we actually believe, the fact that the
personal and the corporate are blended together and that private prayer
is grounded in corporate prayer.
Another group suggested that the central core elements (baptism and
eucharist) are really Christian rather than Anglican. Though there may
be historical differences that are specifically Anglican, the contemporary
ecumenical convergence has modified that considerably. There are specifically
Anglican characteristics of worship but it is not particularly helpful
to claim them as uniquely Anglican.
- Liturgy and Ecclesiology
Louis Weil began an address on Liturgy and Ecclesiology with the concept, “remembering
the future”. In the eucharistic prayer of St. John Chrysostom the
anamnesis includes the “second and glorious coming again.” Its
presence in the prayer completes a circle in salvation history, culminating
in the consummation at the end of time. We need to remember that the church’s
centre of gravity lies in the future, not the past. We tend to think of
the eucharist in terms of events in the past, including Jesus’ final
meal with his disciples. Would placing those events in the context of the
future change our perspective? Louis Weil said he had decided to focus
on the first description of the church in the Nicene Creed, i.e., “one.” We
are all required to reflect deeply on issues that are larger in scope than
our own crisis: what is the nature of the unity we affirm in the creed?
How is it related to the eucharistic celebration?
Hooker affirms the unity of the church divided into distinct societies.
He affirms that the essential unity of the church is not nullified by the
fact of division. He is affirming a unity that transcends the realities
of division. “Distinct societies” refers only to benign division,
but many of the divisions in our time are adversarial. What is this unity
that we profess? To what is the creed referring? It would be absurd to
claim that this is a numerical unity. There are currently 37,000 associations
in the world which identify themselves as the church of Jesus Christ. The
clay vessels that contain the treasure are not only individuals but communities.
Communion does not shine forth in splendour except on too few occasions.
Rarely has communion been realized in its perfection on the universal plain.
Does an eschatological perspective orient our understanding of the unity
of the church in a more realistic way? How are we to understand the role
of the liturgy in this context? What do baptism and the eucharist say about
the unity of the church? We need to examine two closely related sacramental
acts: the unity manifested in baptism and the unity manifested through
eucharistic communion. What would be the effect of placing these acts within
an eschatological perspective? How might we see unity as a promise of future
fulfillment towards which baptism and the eucharist orient the church.
In the ecumenical dialogues agreement on the theologies of baptism and
eucharist has been fairly easy to achieve. The truly divisive issues have
tended to cluster around diverse models of ordained leadership and authority.
However, agreement on baptism and eucharist might offer a basis on which
a greater degree of unity and intercommunion might be realized. There has
been a presupposition that Christians of different traditions should not
share communion until all disputed questions have been reconciled. However,
within the context of a baptismal ecclesiology differences would not be
seen as the defining characteristics separating one ecclesial tradition
from another but rather as differences within the one body. The unity created
by the one baptism has been undermined by the impact of a schismatic spirit,
fostered by a context of power issues. The vision presented here is one
which would embrace differences among Christians as inviting dialogue and
the sharing of faith experience and as a summons to a higher commitment
of unity. This may be naively optimistic but it does take seriously baptismal
This approach sees the eucharist as an effective or causative sign of
unity embodying the grace to effect the unity which it signifies. This
approach has received modest attention. Intercommunion grounded in the
one baptism is oriented toward the future. Baptism gives the unity of the
church which sin cannot annihilate. It is oriented towards the gathering
of all Christians around their Lord in the eschaton. This will involve
engagement with a clerical mentality which has dominated the church.
In recent months there has been extensive discussion among the primates
of the Anglican Communion and elsewhere about what is called “impaired
communion” as a consequence of decisions in the American and Canadian
churches. Although these are presenting issues they are related to the
larger questions. What is the nature of the unity of the church which we
profess in the Nicene Creed? How is that embodied in the sharing of the
eucharistic gifts? What would be the result of placing these issues into
an eschatological context.
Orthodox theologian John Zizioulas writes that, “each local church
received the gospel and re-receives it constantly through the ministry
of the episcope acting in communion with the faithful and with the other
local churches in conciliar decisions through a universal primacy.” Each
local church is the catholic church and each bishop is the successor of
Peter. In this model, the pope would not be Peter and the other bishops
the apostolic college, but the pope would be Peter in the church of Rome
and by virtue of that primus inter pares in his relation with other bishops,
each of whom represents Peter in the local churches, with the presbyters
representing the apostolic college.
The ARCIC document The Gift of Authority proposes to place authority
within the episcopal college and for the bishop of Rome to proclaim the
faith of the local churches. This overlooks claims that the pope acts infallibly
without any requirement that he consult his fellow bishops, let alone other
churches. The ARCIC document also seems to limit authoritative teaching
in the church within the college of bishops.
Geoffrey Wainwright claimed that the eschatological nature of the eucharist
compels Christians towards intercommunion. All eucharistic celebrations
are in some sense defective because they point to a unity which is not
a lived reality. In the light of this it would be good for Anglicans not
to be myopic about the current threat to communion forced by neo-puritan
voices.. We are more aware today how often conflicting truths are grounded
in widely divergent cultural contexts. The threat of schism is all too
real when widely different cultural languages can find no meeting point.
We are left with different understandings of truth and how the scriptures
are to be interpreted. In the face of Christian disunity our churches are
obliged to recognize the provisional character of all our eucharists.
The eschatological nature of the eucharist points us to future fulfillment.
Our celebration of the eucharist here on earth is a foretaste of that heavenly
banquet which scripture holds out to us as a promise of the future when
all of God’s people will be gathered in unity around Christ in the
kingdom of God. Louis Weil quoted Irenaeus, “God became a human person
so that we might be united with God.” In this we find the essence
of Christianity, a descent of God which opens a path of ascent. This union
of created beings with the divinity has been the fulfilment of a promise
found in the 2nd epistle of Peter, “so that you may participate in
the divine nature.” It is through this participation in the divine
nature that the unity of the church is secured. We remember the future.
- Eucharistic Food and Drink
Ronald Dowling introduced the report of a task group asked to bring
together information on the use of elements other than bread and wine at
the eucharist and the reasons given. He outlined the history of this process,
which includes a background paper produced by Paul Gibson for the Berkeley
IALC in 1991, and a report produced in response to an assignment to the
IALC by the Hong Kong ACC in 2002. He reviewed the process by which data
had been collected and the varied nature of the information given by of
those who replied. In preparation for the production of a report the chair
of the task force consulted Andrew McGowan, a. recognized expert in the
The draft report of the task force recognizes bread and wine as normative,
but on the basis of principles reflected in the practice of baptism by
the Didache provides for circumstances in which the norm cannot be realized.
The Consultation discussed the draft report and, in particular, the relative
standing of alcohol and the juice of the grape when exceptions are made.
It was proposed that the recommendations regarding bread and wine be separated
in regard to the two elements. Members raised a number of issues, including
the possibility that further work could be done in partnership with IASCER.
The Consultation agreed that dissemination of the report would be the prerogative
of the Anglican Consultative Council.
The chair asked the task force to consider the discussion and possibly
revise the document in the light of it.
- The IASCER report
Bill Crockett described his role with the Inter-Anglican Standing Commission
on Ecumenical Relations, explaining that he is a consultant with IASCER
and its liaison with IALC. He noted that the IALC appears to operate on
an older ecclesiology which is based on dispersed authority. IASCER appears
to operate on a newer ecclesiology which has been influenced by the Virginia
and Windsor reports. He noted three matters on which the work of the bodies
overlaps, the Berkeley statement on ordination, the discussion of eucharistic
food, and guidelines for ecumenical participation in ordinations.
- Business Meeting
- Publication. David Holeton reported that the Berkeley material is still
missing two papers. The next stage is to find a publisher because one has
not yet been found.
- Cuddesdon Papers. Ruth Meyers reported that a publisher is being sought.
- Future. Societas Liturgica is meeting in Sicily in 2007. The premises,
apparently very fine, would be available Monday July 30 to Saturday August
4. There is an intention that Societas may meet in Australia in 2009. It
would be possible for an IALC meeting to take place in that part of the
world in 2009. There have been overtures from New Zealand. Paul Bradshaw
asked members to consider subject matter that would be valuable to the
Communion for the next meeting.
- Worship and mission. A member suggested that the mission dimension
of worship be considered. Another member reported that in September 2006
and perhaps later there will be a colloquium of Roman Catholic and Anglican
liturgists and ecclesiologists which might provide material for the IALC’s
work. A member suggested that the 2007 IALC event be considered a full
consultation and that the work of this event be treated as preparatory,
with a view to attracting a larger number of participants from parts of
the world not presently represented. A member suggested discussion of pastoral
rites and well as baptism. A member proposed that work be done on the daily
office and daily prayer, as well as services of the word. A member suggested
liturgical pedagogy, in congregations as well as seminaries. A member suggested
that it was time to revisit inculturation.
- Nominating Committee and Election
David Stancliffe presented the report of the Nominating Committee. The
Committee proposed George Connor, Cynthia Botha, and Ian Paton and the
slate was approved by the Consultation. George Connor received the largest
number of votes in a process to determine who would serve longest.
- Financial Statement
A member requested a financial statement of the IALC and the chair agreed
to provide it. The meeting also noted the need for a letter requesting
support of the Consultation to be sent to the Provinces of the Communion.
A member suggested that the steering committee determine in a year’s
time whether sufficient funds have been gathered to make a Consultation
possible and to solicit further support if possible.
- Draft Report
Chris Irvine introduced a draft statement of the current Consultation (appended).
- Ecumenical Partner
John Melloh described the Consultation as a peek into the workings of
Anglican liturgy. He said had found at times that Anglican language is
somewhat difficult and he tried to understand some basic terminology. He
said he found it very helpful to listen to reports. He identified a number
of common themes and noted that formation and training seemed to have generated
some energy. Some of the papers which will be forthcoming from the last
meeting may provide some further insight. He noted concern about using
inclusive language, at least on the horizontal plane. The Roman Catholic
Church has not adopted a policy on this. In regard to text-boundedness
he encouraged concern about embodiment and enactment.
General conversation during the week has tended to be most respectful
and even when opinions differed people were listening to one another. John
Melloh said the way of working seems to be that fertile ideas tend to be
raised in the last 10 minutes of any session. He suggested making those
fertile remarks earlier. At this meeting we have had “a company of
voices,” but such a company has not been heard. The topic of identity
was elusive because it is both over-arching and under-girding. The preliminary
draft of a Consultation statement was quite fine as a first draft.
John Melloh said he was puzzled by a reference to monasticism or Benedictinism
in reference to Anglican celebration of the office. However, what he did
not find to be at all Benedictine was a sense of contemplation in the office.
One of the functions of poetry is to help you slow down. He did not find
the evening office to be a contemplative slowing down. He said, “If
you really want a Benedictine spirit, then do it; if not, never mind.” He
suggested that on another occasion the Consultation might want to move
beyond Cranmer. If the subject is baptism, then the readings could reflect
that theme. Another issue is the principle of participation. He said he
felt more comfortable in an Anglican parish church than in Westminster
Abbey. When at the Abbey he would have liked to be able to sing ‘the
The BCP is an issue. The question is not whether we take the BCP and
make it spiffy, but there is a question of inculturation. Inculturation
is “respecting the genius of peoples” (Vatican II). The question
is how we use the BCP in this context of time and place? How do we respect
John Melloh said he had picked up some concern about the future of Anglican
unity. The issues that seem to have caused anxiety relate particularly
to orders and ministry. His simple approach was, “Don’t let
it happen.” What about forgiveness? What about the fact that God
made us human and we just happen to be imperfect. Prayer would be a good
thing. Love would be a good thing. Listening would be a good thing, and
trying to understand positions we don’t like. In Rahner’s terms,
God is moving history along according to God’s will, in spite of
human sin. But we have to respond to the Spirit. As in mathematics, every
system contains a problem that can’t be solved except by putting
it into a larger framework. In matters liturgical the larger framework
is mission. What is this celebration trying to lead us towards?
Special thanks to the group leaders and reporters, and the Province
reporters. To Chris Irvine for his paper on the use of scripture, which
was an instance of ritual theory. Thanks to all who are editing the final
report. For all those who arranged this event. And to all because, “You
have welcomed me as a brother in Christ.” He said he sensed that
members abhorred “playing church”.
Phillip Tovey moved that this Consultation
affirms the vital importance of collecting together in one place all Anglican
liturgical texts as vital for inter-Provincial communication and the study
of Anglican liturgy;
asks all provinces to continue to send a copy of all new liturgical
and service material to the Anglican Consultative Council office;
thanks Paul Gibson for his role in initiating this task and asks that
it may continue;
asks the Secretary General of the Anglican Consultative Council to ensure
that the collection is professionally catalogued and adequately housed
and made available to scholars for future use.
24 August 2005
Participants (by province) Australia: Ronald Dowling, Albert McPherson,
Elizabeth J. Smith, Gillian Varcoe; Canada: William Crockett, Paula Sampson,
Eileen Scully; CPSA: Cynthia Botha, Ian Darby; Keith Griffiths; Cuba: Juan
Quevedo-Bosch, Michael Tamayo; Czech: David Holeton; England: Gilly Myers,
Anders Bergquist, Paul Bradshaw, Colin Buchanan, Alec George, Ben Gordon-Taylor,
Jeremy Haselock, Christopher Irvine, Simon Jones, Trevor Lloyd, Stephen
Platten, David Stancliffe, Phillip Tovey; Hong Kong: Ian Lam; Ireland:
Michael Burrows, Harold Miller, Ricky Rountree, A.J Rufli, Japan: John
Kato, John Yoshida, Kenya: Joyce Karuri, Sam Mawiyoo; New Zealand, George
Connor; Philippines: Tomas Maddela; Scotland: Darren McFarland, James Milne,
Ian Paton, Carrie Upton; U.S.A.: Robert Brookes, Jean Campbell, Carol Doran,
Rick Fabian, Lizette Larson-Miller, Ruth Meyers, Clayton Morris, William
Petersen, Susan Smith, Louis Weil; Partners: Hans-Jürgen Feulner,
John Melloh; Liaison with Primates: Ellison Pogo; ACC Coordinator for Liturgy: