Make Preparation: Liturgy Planning Notes By Paul Gibson (free download).
The Canadian Anglican Book of Alternative Services (BAS) came out in 1985. It was a significant new Anglican prayer book. Contemporary, renewed liturgy has significantly different in concepts, spirituality, and approach than the inherited Book of Common Prayer. So often worship leaders, it seems to me, as well as worshipping communities have not been given/taken opportunities to be enriched by understanding the shifts involved. Some (many?), it seems to me, have brought a Book of Common Prayer approach to the new texts. [Others, of course, have abandoned a liturgical approach altogether – but that is another story]. David Holeton, Catherine Hall, and Gregory Kerr-Wilson’s in 1991 produced a wonderful introduction called Let Us Give Thanks: A Presider’s Manual for the Bas Eucharist.
My own book, Celebrating Eucharist (also free), was a New Zealand response to the same need. I was grateful for what Let Us Give Thanks provided, and followed a similar underlying contemporary theology and liturgical spirituality.
Now Paul Gibson provides this new resource, building on 25 years of experience of the BAS. Paul has served as the liturgical officer of the Anglican Church of Canada and was on the group that shaped the BAS and its companion the 1998 hymn book, Common Praise. What he writes in Make Preparation provides principles that can be applied well beyond the Canadian context.
Here is one suggestion:
Have your community’s worship committee read a chapter from
and the related chapter from
and then meet to discuss these, how they apply in your context, and what changes you might make.
You can, of course, do this individually also. Remembering one of the important insights: community worship is owned by the whole community, it is not the possession of the worship leader. Worship works best when the whole community sees it as a shared event – but that is not merely pragmatism, it is also principle.