Liturgical Advisory Committee reports on productive year
The Liturgical Advisory Committee reported on a very productive year to members of General Synod today (Wednesday May 4).
Proposing the report, Dean Susan Green said that the LAC had continued to develop liturgies and resources for use personally and in parishes and for wider civic, national and international use. She explained that these were a mixture of online editable resources that could be tailored by clergy for use in their specific contexts and standalone liturgies that could be used in full for a specific occasion.
Some are available in booklet form. One of the projects being worked on was the new three year resource of Collects of the Word. The liturgy for use in the case of Sudden or Unexpected Death would be published in booklet form shortly, she said, but in the meantime was available online.
One of the advantages of the recently acquired ability to meet online was that liturgies could be developed quite rapidly in response to events. In this respect Dean Green highlighted the liturgy for the National Day of Remembrance and Recognition and the prayers for use in a time of war.
She added that acknowledging our ecological realities within liturgy was vital and connected what is done in church with how our lives are lived. The LAC are providing resources online and they will be available in the Prayer and Worship section of the Church of Ireland website.
Liturgies for all age services and for use with children had also been developed, the Dean reported.
Seconding the report, Dean Nigel Dunne added that the LAC had found that the use of Zoom for the work of the subcommittees had been particularly useful.
He added that the work of the Resources Group was critical to the careful and efficient production of liturgical material between meetings for scrutiny by the full committee, the most recent examples of this being the material for the National Day of Remembrance and Recognition in March and for the forthcoming Platinum Jubilee.
He acknowledged the work of two key members who had recently retired as elected members, Dean Gerald Field and the Revd Ken Rue.
Archbishop Michael Jackson (Dublin and Glendalough) thanked the two key members and all the members of the committee for the rapidity with which work was turned around. He urged members of synod to consider supporting liturgy for acts of worship with members of other world faiths. He said the recent Census in Ireland would reveal increasing statistics of people of other world faiths who are Irish people. There was a difference that had to be worked on relating to large scale events, for example in Collins Barracks, and small scale gatherings across the country. He said there was a risk that the larger scale gathering may be transcribed to the smaller occasion and this might not work.
George Woodman (Connor) thanked the LAC for the Prayers in Time of War on the Church of Ireland website. He said he had found them helpful and supportive in directing his thoughts.
The following were elected to the Liturgical Advisory Committee for the triennium term May 2022 – May 2025: The Most Revd Dr Michael Jackson; The Very Revd Nigel Dunne; The Revd Alan Rufli; The Revd Dr Peter Thompson; The Revd Canon Lynda Peilow; The Revd Adrian Dorrian; The Revd Canon Peter McDowell; The Very Revd Susan Green; The Revd Julie Bell The Revd Abigail Sines; The Revd Nigel Pierpoint; The Revd John McLoughlin; Mrs Jacqueline Mullen; and Mr John Morris.
A motion from the committee on the use of liturgies for the Season of Creation was proposed by Dean Susan Green. The motion calls on General Synod to recognise that the Season of Creation exists de facto within the liturgical calendar on the Sundays from September 1 to October 1 and therefore commend the use of the LAC liturgies on this subject during this time and at other appropriate times.
Proposing the motion, Dean Green said there had been developing growth of concern and an appreciation for the environment throughout society for the past few years and the LAC believed it was important to join with sister churches in the Anglican Community in having a seasonal period during which people could reflect on the issue.
“This season of creation originated within the orthodox church… This is not just another special Sunday, rather it is a set period during which parishes can choose a time to reflect on these significant issues; perhaps including their harvest thanksgiving or further widening the scope to encompass local environmental initiatives or issues as well as enabling clergy to focus on the themes of creation care and climate justice,” she stated.
Speaking to the motion, Alan Gilbert (Cashel, Ferns and Ossory) raised two points. Care for Creation was an excellent idea, he said. But he asked if we could care for Creation and not be too creationist in our outlook. He said there was a delicate balance talking about Creation and the environment. Secondly, he said that Polar icepacks are melting and the Jet Stream was moving which benefited our harvest. However, he said we could be sure that someone else was suffering as a result of what benefited us.
Jocelyn Sanders (Killaloe) sought clarification on what liturgies were available for Creation time. He said there were lovely liturgies available from the World Council of Churches and asked if these liturgies were authorised for use.
David Whyte (Dublin), chair of Dublin & Glendalough’s Social Action Committee. He said they had been asked to look at rural isolation. He asked the LAC if they would look at assisting parishes with liturgical advice which could be used to help with this.
Archbishop Jackson said that thinking back to the days before lockdown, one of the things that inspired young people was marching for climate justice and highlighting how older people had let them down in care for the environment. He encouraged a link between the LAC and the Youth Department in regard to the environment issue.
Stephen Trew (Dromore) welcomed the motion and the work that the LAC has done. It was good to see the new prayers, he stated. He said people found the Daily Prayer from the Church of Ireland website was very useful for when they were isolated.
In response Dean Dunne said they had done a huge trawl of the material for Creation Time and took the best of materials out there and wrote some of their own.