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A Bigger Conversation Needed: Prayer Book Revision at the General Convention

[This post first appeared in the Center Aisle blog and newsletter of the Diocese of Virginia, after an initial proposal for Prayer Book revision from the House of Deputies, and before the proposal from the House of Bishops eventually passed].

Half-way through the 79th General Convention, Prayer Book revision seems likely. While the Bishops may have their own different thoughts, it seems probable that the Church will gird its loins and face some version of a long and challenging process of trial use and preparation for reform.

There is a curious introspection about much of the conversation so far. Whatever our positions on the different rites, existing and envisaged, the driving concerns seem focussed on the sensibilities and characteristics of Episcopalians themselves - “our" diversity, our commitments, our needs.

Liturgy however is an ecumenical and a cross-cultural business, not a merely denominational or national one. The drafters of the 1979 Book knew this, certainly. Many curr…

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