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New Seasonal Services and Church Music Hub Highlighted in Liturgical Advisory Committee Report

The new blue edition of the Book of Common Prayer and the new Seasonal Service Booklet were highlighted by Bishop Harold Miller when he presented the report of the Liturgical Advisor Committee to General Synod today.

Bishop Miller said that the new edition of the Book of Common Prayer was proving extremely popular. Apart from minor emendations made by Synod over the year, the new edition include Morning and Evening Prayer for use on Sundays as passed by Synod last year.

The Seasonal Service Booklet, produced alongside the BCP, is entitled Morning and Evening Prayer for use on Sundays: Seasonal Services. The booklet contains the order of service approved by last year’s synod, with five worked out seasonal versions, based on materials agreed by the House of Bishops for experimental use. These are for: Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent and the Season of Easter.

“So within these pages you will find material for the key seasons of the Christian year and for ‘ordinary time’. Indeed, the material here provides services for every Sunday of the year. This booklet can be used alongside either the green prayer book or the new blue prayer book,” Bishop Miller said.

Some of the key features of the services are:

·         Seasonal variation; 


·         focussed opening prayers blessing God based on Jewish–style benedictions

·         Responsive Confessions, as well as the ore usual style 


·         Collects of the word (published for worship leaders in a separate booklet) 


·         a responsive introduction to the Ministry of the word 


·         a question and answer Affirmation of Faith 


·         a range of responsive prayers appropriate to the seasons, and 


·         a fuller ending with a focus on thanksgiving and going out into the world. 


Bishop Miller said the LAC would seek to provide training sessions on the new service for those who needed it but that they were largely simple to follow.

He also paid tribute to Canon Dr Peter Thompson for the work he was doing on finding accessible ways to sing Canticles in church.

Seconding the report, Canon Thompson said that while the LAC was very proactive in making new material available, it was not always easy to access it. To that end they have created a new church music hum on the Church of Ireland website which can be accessed at www.music.ireland.anglican.org

“This hub contains a simple list of links to all of the resources available and ongoing projects. Please tell your musicians about this and encourage them to explore all that is available to help them glorify God through their music and worship,” he stated.

In response to requests to the LAC for help with singing the Canticles, Canon Thompson promised that by the end of the year they would produce a volume entitled ‘Treasure in Clay Jars’.

“ [This is] a book of reflections on the message of the Canticles, which will provide both liturgical and musical ideas to encourage their use in worship. It is intended that a copy of this book will be provided, free of charge, to every incumbent in the Church of Ireland, and further copies will be available for those who wish. There will also be additional resources provided periodically on the website,” he concluded.

Speaking to the report, Archbishop Richard Clarke paid tribute to Canon Thompson for the enormous amount of work he contributed to church music.

The following have been elected to the Liturgical Advisory Committee for the triennium term May 2019– May 2022: The Rt Rev Dr Harold Miller, The Very Rev Gerald Field, The Very Rev Nigel Dunne, The Rev Alan Rufli, The Rev Dr Peter Thompson, The Rev Ken Rue, The Rev Julie Bell, The Rev Abigail Sines, The Rev Nigel Pierpoint, The Rev Adrian Dorrian,
The Rev Peter McDowell,
The Rev Johnny Campbell Smith, Mrs Jacqueline Mullen and Mr John Morris.

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