Work of the Liturgical Advisory Committee highlighted in General Synod Report
The Liturgical Advisory Committee has been able to progress a significant amount of work in four key areas even in the midst of lockdowns and restrictions, the Very Revd Nigel Dunne stated proposing the report of the LAC to General Synod on Thursday evening (September 30).
The LAC has continued to work with the Historical Centenaries Working Group to provide further liturgical provision for the marking of historic centenaries as they occur. The most recent of these are A Service of the Word to Mark the Centenary of the End of the War of Independence in Ireland and A Service of the Word Marking the Centenary of the Opening of the Northern Ireland Parliament.
The committee has also drawn up a very important new set of Services and Resources in the Case of Sudden and Unexpected Death. “This resource provides comprehensive pastoral guidelines, pastoral prayers, propers for Holy Communion, and a fully worked out Service of the Word in the Case of a Sudden or Unexpected Death which also allows for creativity and contextualisation of the service and is designed to help those who are responding to a sudden and unexpected death in their parish, school or other setting. It can be used as a stand–alone act of worship or material from it may be used at other suitable places in other services provided in the Book of Common Prayer,” Dean Dunne explained.
Thirdly, the Committee has produced two resources in light of the coronavirus pandemic. The first is A Service of Light – Remembering the Impact of a Pandemic which is designed to help the bereaved acknowledge their loss, express their love for the one who has died and for worshippers to gather in support of each other, and the second is A Service of Lamentation and Hope in the Context of a Pandemic Experience, which is designed to make space for children’s experiences of loss and sadness due to the disruption of the pandemic to be expressed within the context of the worshipping community.
Dean Dunne drew the attention of all General Synod committees and associated groups to the recently circulated Guidelines for Groups Preparing Liturgical Resources for Special Observances or Commemorations on Sunday. This document is designed to assist committees and groups preparing for special observances or commemorations to integrate with other elements of the Sunday liturgy without distracting from the lectionary of the day, he stated.
The report was seconded by Susan Green.
Commenting on the report, George Woodman (Connor) thanked the LAC for their work and the Dean of Cork for outlining the sensitive involvement of liturgy in pastoral work. Liturgy is fundamental at the heart of our life and worship, he said. Since the pandemic he said he had come to appreciate all the years of work of the LAC because his main act on Sundays was to say the Morning Prayer and the Litany in the revised forms. “I felt I was not on my own praying but rather was part of the wider Church of Ireland,” he commented. He also thanked the Archbishop of Dublin for circulating a prayer at the start of the pandemic.
Jocelyn Sanders (Limerick and Killaloe) drew attention to a liturgy developed by the Community of Brendan the Navigator for Morning Prayer. He said it had been a valuable way for the community to worship together during the pandemic.
Dean Dunne also reminded people that the Church of Ireland’s Daily Worship App was available.