The ACNA Prayer Book Liturgy Committee (PBCL) is meeting this week at Church of the Apostles in Columbia. This morning's opening Eucharist offered, perhaps, a taste of North American Anglicanism's liturgical future, although the committee's chairman, Bishop Bill Thompson, said it was by no means the finished product. I will be interviewing the bishop for Anglican Ink on Wednesday after the committee has wrapped up its work for the week.
In any event, the service this morning was a moving experience, quiet and reverent yet deeply uplifting with a definite 1662 feel. Although the language was in modern English, it was unburdened by the cumbersome grotesqueness of sterile "inclusive language" which has plagued so many contemporary liturgies. The restoration of traditional elements which have been missing in the dumbed down liturgies of the age was quite refreshing. Most notable, perhaps because this is the season of Lent, was the prayer of confession and its accompanying invitation. For older generations, the words, though slightly updated, would be quite familiar. For even the most ostensibly orthodox among the younger and emerging generations, however, the language of repentance and reconciliation, of acknowledging and confessing our many sins and offenses, of provoking God's wrath and righteous anger may sound quite foreign.
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