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NZ illicit Prayer Book printing?

I would like what I write in this post to be wrong. I would like someone in a comment to write: this blog-post is completely mistaken because of A, B, C…

A printing of a revised New Zealand Prayer Book is being planned which has not followed the required process of revision.

A New Zealand Prayer Book – He Karakia Mihinare o Aotearoa binds together formularlies of our church. Not only are we required to follow the formularies in worship, clergy vow and sign to do so, and affirm allegiance to the doctrine to which the Prayer Book bears witness.

Hence, appropriately, there is a complex process for altering formularies: a particular type of statute is passed at General Synod/te Hīnota Whānui (GSTHW). Such a statute refers to the requirement under Clause 4 of the Church of England Empowering Act 1928 and Part B, Clause 6 of the Constitution/te Pouhere. This statute then goes to all the dioceses and hui amorangi for their approval, and then back to a newly elected GSTHW. And then it “lies on the table” for a year for the opportunity for anyone to appeal.

Funny though it may have seemed, this was the process the church went through to change “breech” to “breach” in Psalm 106:23. There are no short-cuts and no other ways to do it. A motion won’t do it. It’s more than “authorising” something for worship.

Plans have begun to print a new edition of the Prayer Book – with the intention to include significant alterations that have not been through this process! The plans would replace the current pages 549 to 723 with alterations that I am implacably opposed to.

When I first started picking up suggestions that such plans were being thought about I didn’t take much notice, as I knew that there would be plenty of opportunity once the process I’ve described was on the horizon.

But now it appears that the powers that be either do not know, do not understand, or do not intend to abide by the legal requirements. It is time to speak out.

At the heart of both the Ministry of Word and Prayer and the Ministry of the Sacrament traditionally there is a prayer addressed to God (the First Person of the Trinity) in Christ, in the power of the Holy Spirit. In the Ministry of the Sacrament that is the Great Thanksgiving prayer (the Eucharistic Prayer). We stand praying together as Christ, in Christ. An exception in our 2,000 year history would be so rare it underscores the Trinitarian insight.

At the core of the Ministry of Word and Prayer the collect follows the same insight and structure, a prayer addressed to God, in Christ, in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Week by week on this site I provide commentaries on these much loved taonga (treasures), which many Anglicans learnt “by heart” (such an appropriate term!) and which we share with Roman Catholicism, the Anglican Communion, and other denominations.

I wrote an open letter to Tikanga Pakeha Liturgical Working Group (TPLWG – this is the liturgical working group for Tikanga Pakeha, the Pakeha cultural stream of our Church). As well as Trinitarian collects, little prayers to Jesus and the Holy Spirit have proliferated in NZ revisions. But options have been offered – those of us who wished to preserve the precious gift of Trinitarian orthodoxy (literally “right worship”) using our Prayer Book could still choose a collect, addressed to God through Christ in the Spirit, from the three provided each Sunday.

In the planned new edition of the Prayer Book, current pages 549 to 723 could be replaced with propers with only one collect provided rather than a choice as currently. The prayer for the proper could be addressed to Jesus or the Holy Spirit…

The letter was well-received by TPLWG. They replied to me that they agreed with my concern and assured me they would raise it at the Common Life Liturgical Commission (CLLC) meeting. [CLLC is the three-tikanga, the provincial liturgical commission of our church].

I waited for some sort of further feedback from CLLC. And waited.

Finally I asked for the minutes of the CLLC meeting. My concern was not mentioned. CLLC does not read the TPLWG minutes. The representative from TPLWG on CLLC did not present my issue as promised.

I have written to our bishop and diocesan Standing Committee to see how our diocese might support my concern. I have let the publishers, Genesis, and the General Secretary know of my concern.

postscript
The minutes have much else of concern: poor communication; confusion about what is authorised or allowed; concern about liturgical and general Anglican formation, confusion about the status of our own copyright; confusion about processes,… I have blogged previously about our liturgical chaos here and here.

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49 Responses to NZ illicit Prayer Book printing?

  1. Must be a slow Saturday, Bosco, if I am first to comment some hours after first post? Or, is the full import of what you are saying not sinking home to Kiwi Anglican readers?

    Here’s one lateral observation: a church which sidesteps constitutional process on its prayer book could do so on any other issue … like the Covenant!?

    • Thanks, Peter. I often reflect on what brings comments and discussion and what doesn’t. Maybe I’ve expressed the issues so badly, no one understands what I’m talking about. Maybe I’ve written it so well – there is nothing left to discuss. Maybe people have no idea why this is important. Or think it’s another debate at the level of what colour should be worn at the Eucharist on a certain feast, or how to hold your hands at a certain moment when presiding…

      Yes, there are the two issues you highlight. (1) Our theology and spirituality at stake (2) the process whereby we make significant decisions.

  2. The real question is what would have Jesus done?
    The answer is staring you in the face
    I know he had 12 followers but I don’t remember him being a committee type

  3. As “we are all one body”, surely all the body should be (directly or indirectly) prayerfully involved in discerning its correctness (through a process like the one you describe), yes? That’s obvious. Jesus may not have been a “committee man”, but his Church – his Body – is one entity and should make decisions as one.

  4. To be fair (and let me bs clear that I don’t disagree with Bosco here) thus isn’t something being done illicitly behind closed doors. This did go to General Synod last year, but as a motion rather than in the appropriate form Bosco describes.

    A contributing factor to some if this confusion has been the retirement if Bishop George Connor who, though sometimes criticised for being focused (at length) on the proper process for liturgical change (a la the breech / breach saga), was the central repository for our collective wisdom on such matters. More thought doubtless needs to go into how we pass on that knowledge in future.

    It would be good to hear an ‘official’ response to this situation, either from the General Secretary or the chair of CLLC, Bishop Kito.

    • With respect, Brian, the retirement of Bishop George Connor is no excuse. During his time, as only a couple of examples, our province’s confusion of the Worship Template and the Alternative Form for Ordering the Eucharist were also passed along with the careful steering of “breech” to “breach”. Our Christchurch synod not only declined to assent to the Alternative Form for Ordering the Eucharist but in our motion gave reasons why this legislation failed to be appropriate.

      The General Synod meeting that passed motion 5 was the same meeting that made the correct formulary alteration from
      for all who through their own or others’ actions are deprived of fullness of life
      for prisoners, refugees, the handicapped, and all who are sick.
      and replacing it with
      for all who are deprived of fullness of life,
      for prisoners, refugees, and those who are sick.
      It was the same General Synod meeting that used the correct formulary alteration procedure to add five names to our calendar.

      These alterations can be included in any reprint of our Prayer Book.

      You may be correct that our church has recently been very poor in the way too much has been held in the hands of too few, and that others with good skills and interest have not been able to participate in a collegial manner, and that we have lost our way in forming new generations, but there are good, skilled hands on General Synod who know very well that motion 5 was no way to alter the Prayer Book.

      I particularly warned about the confusion presented in motion 5 here and here. I have written more than once on this site about the chaos of our province’s liturgical regulations as well as the chaos in our actual liturgical life. The current issue, sadly, underscores my concern.

      The situation would have been even more fraught had I not discovered this issue prior to the printing presses rolling.

  5. Hi Brian // Bosco,

    It should matter not a whit that +George has retired. We have a full-time General Secretary with times to check carefully what needs to be done re important legislation. We have legal eagles in each diocese. Etc. (And +George is alive and could be consulted 🙂 ).

    I take strong issue, Brian, with your use of the word “appropriate”. This is not about being appropriate. This is about being “legal”. There are few legal requirements upon Anglican clergy in our church, but the ones that exist are important (e.g. formularies express doctrine) and potentially threatening (or life-giving) to our mission and ministry (e.g. not following the formularies could lead to disciplinary procedures). Thus it is very important that what we are required to do has buy in from the whole church, otherwise we will be at odds with ourselves, or self-undermining: e.g. if we set up requirements that many clergy knowingly disregard, or requirements which we have no expectation of their being met.

    It was not at all clear to me that “Motion 5” was so significant that it could lead to the reprinting of the Prayer Book with one and only one collect specified per Sunday, and many of those collects a mixture of the nonsensical and the banal.

    What do we want our church to be?

    • Thanks for these points, Peter.

      To enlarge your penultimate paragraph: this was not clear to you that it could lead to such a printing because it cannot lead to such a printing. It is, as you have clarified, not about a “quantity” of “significance”.

      There is an agreed process, even with an Act of Parliament, to legally alter our formularies – we pay particular attention to this when altering our Prayer Book as, according to our Constitution, it expresses our doctrine. In Anglicanism more than most lex orandi, lex credendi, the way we pray expresses our belief. Or to translate it a bit more literally, appropriately in this context: the law of prayer is the law of belief. Other significant members from that General Synod meeting have been writing to me privately that they had no idea that motion 5 was intended to lead to this; in fact some had no idea what motion 5 was intended to be about.

      Blessings

  6. Lacking knowledge of the local situation, all I can do is to offer my encouragement, Bosco, in your frustration and your resistance.

    Lex orandi, lex credendi really only works when everyone believes (or is expected to believe) what the liturgy expresses, and the liturgy expresses what everyone believes (or ought to believe). Nowadays, when there is so much disagreement about what we are to believe, every liturgical revision muddies the waters by introducing the devices and desires of this or that liturgist’s heart. And when it’s done in committee, the neither-hot-nor-cold result makes us want to spew it out of our mouths (the Eucharistic Prayers of Common Worship have that effect on me…).

    It is, moreover, an ironclad rule of liturgical revision that what is ancient and traditional is sacrificed to make way for the newfangled and peripheral. Think of the congregations that omit the first lesson for the sake of brevity, but retain a hymn after the homily. Every liturgical reformer in history has wanted to restore what is “early” or even “apostolic” (so far as that can be ascertained); but the result always falls short and introduces new problems. More and more, I am reaching the conclusion that when it comes to liturgical reform the best thing is usually to change nothing and to use our inherited liturgies as we find them, though always intelligently and reverently. Too few of us have the historical perspective and knowledge, not to mention the spiritual insight and maturity, to escape making a complete hash of the whole thing. Let every liturgist take the watchword, “I am not better than my fathers”.

    But fight the good fight! As W. C. E. Newbolt wrote in his Speculum Sacerdotum, “Do not let us flinch in taking up our weapons [in controversy]; do not let us flinch in using them. We cannot buy off our enemies. Satisfied with a Creed to-day, they want a Sacrament to-morrow, and then the supernatural altogether, and finally, as a necessary consequence, the Incarnation.” To be sure, you’re not at that stage here. But you rightly note that the “Trinitarian insight” has not been appreciated and inwardly digested. And having lived so long in the “Church of Or”, it may be that few retain a sense that some of these prayers are the “real ones” and have an “authority” that more recent compositions do not. Perhaps New Zealanders need to hear the Athanasian Creed a little more often (as do we all).

  7. Just my thoughts, but: I’d like it to be easy to make cosmetic changes to the NZ Prayer Book, or at least adapted printings of it (that help people reading it, e.g. in the size and location of text, and even pictures, and those using computer/OHP displays, but not including changes to the liturgy’s wording), while making the process of important changes a well-understood and visible process that shows we care very much about it (but can still fix a spelling mistake easily).

    I’d love to see a rethink of the NZPB that takes into account the wisest range of input, including an appreciation of the way some churches use modern technology, as well as appreciating some people struggle to find the right place without putting on reading glasses or putting down their young child, and loosing a few sentences of what is being said. I think there can be a lot of improvements in practical little details without loosing the important text (and keeping page numbers pretty much the same, for those familiar with what should be on p406 etc!). The way the liturgy is laid out has a big impact on its clarity for those newcomers to services, as well as conveying the impression that the service builds up to any significant “peak”.

    • Thanks, Mark. Part of what you are bringing up points to another confusion: the church is unclear, currently, about the copyright status of our own texts! But that is a whole other story – which I’ve addressed partially here in the past. I would have addressed the layout of the Prayer Book quite differently – with a much stronger focus on key pieces which we would understand regulars to know “by heart”. As it is, the same cue has different responses in different places! Also I would have had the Prayer Book online, copyright free – as CofE and TEC and other Anglican Churches do. Blessings.

  8. Speaking of fixing spelling mistakes easily, I made a typo in the above.. wrote “wisest” where I meant “widest”. Not sure how to correct it now, but I think I like the mistake better than what I intended now! The only trouble is “wisest” will exclude me :-}.

    P.S. is there a definitive solution to the copyright situation possible or on the horizon? Are the people who are most involved in all this at the highest “official” levels aware of the problems raised (e.g. on this website)? It would be nice to know the wheels are in motion to sort it all out.

    • My understanding is, Mark, that the advice of an expert in copyright is being sought.

      As I mention in my post I have kept our General Secretary, Genesis Publishers, our bishop and Standing Committee fully informed of my concerns. Brian Dawson, writing in a comment on this thread, is a member of TPLWG and General Synod. People from General Synod and from General Synod Standing Committee have been writing to me privately about this – some are writing to other bishops, Standing Committees, and General Synod representatives. I am asking our Standing Committee to bring a motion about this to our Diocesan Synod (I discovered this too late to put a motion as an individual).

      Blessings

  9. Two quick points: my major point above is that there has been nothing ‘illicit’ going on. Illegal maybe, but from ignorance not ill intent. I still believe clarification is needed from either the General Secretary of chair of CLLC.
    Secondly, the issues surrounding copyright have been resolved. This was a very complex issue.

  10. The copyright issue covers a multitude of areas to do with electronic versions of the prayer book and ability to sellin certain overseas markets – locally was never a problem.
    The lawyers now agree that we copyright and Harper Collins has some rights, but can’t do anything without our permission.
    I can’t answer how the church will be told, but I’m not aware of anyone who has been effected who doesn’t know.

    • Thanks, Brian. I am not sure that I can make much sense of your statement, sorry, Brian. Nor do I understand how you would or should be aware of “anyone who has been effected”. Nor how those would know, since we, in NZ certainly don’t know – why would they? A website that offers the office online had NZ’s Night Prayer as a resource and received a strong letter to remove it or suffer consequences apparently because his site was hosted in USA. As I regard the web as an international resourcing, I could not understand why where it is hosted makes a difference… I regularly receive requests from people for permission to print one off services using material from our Prayer Book… I do not understand why you are suggesting that such questions will now cease.

  11. Kiwis, you are the picture of confusion.

    I am the American who dared to put your midday and late night prayers online. Why? It’s fair use and I want the prayers to be said. They help people reach out to God.

    I’m not trying to steal your work, or violate your copyright, or keep you from selling books. In fact you’re likely to sell more books because I make those prayers available; NZ is a small country and the rest of the world’s never heard of you. You should want your liturgical “products” and your spirituality to be better known.

    You have a precious spiritual gift because of your multi-racial society and unique history. You should want people reproducing these prayers because they are moved by them.

    Copyrighting the Prayer Book is an utter mistake. Invite people to borrow your prayers; the more they do, the more the prayers get said, the more your spirituality is shared.

    I cannot comment on your chaotic processes except to recall a dinner party I once attended with Canon and Mrs. Charles Mortimer Guilbert at their large and lovely apartment in New York in 1974, in the very thick of Prayer Book revision in the U.S. Church. We were about to make some monumental changes in our liturgy, restoring the Holy Eucharist as the principal Sunday service and tossing out the thee’s and thou’s. My mentor Howard Galley was General Editor of our new Prayer Book (proposed 1976, adopted 1979) and Canon Guilbert also occupied a key position: he was Custodian of the Standard Book (1928) and no one could print anything without his signature. If he didn’t okay Howard’s manuscript, there wouldn’t be a new Prayer Book.

    It was Charles’s job to compare the manuscript with the resolutions of General Convention, and if “breech” was supposed to be “breach,” he could stop the presses – and he would.

    I asked him if I could inspect the Standard Book; he said no. He kept it under lock and key at a secret location and not even Howard Galley could see it. I doubt the Presiding Bishop ever laid eyes on it.

    Two years later, after carefully comparing the manuscript with the canons and resolutions, word by word and line by line, he signed off; Howard wasn’t about to let that book go down because of a stupid mistake. (After all, it caused a bit of schism, some people were so devoted to their thee’s and thou’s.)

    That is how the American Prayer Book of 1979 came about – and every copy of every edition comes certified by Charles Mortimer Guilbert as Custodian of the Standard Book of Common Prayer. If it’s got his signature, you can trust it to be the real deal.

    They wouldn’t have dreamed of copyrighting it. They wanted those prayers to go to the ends of the earth.

    I rather think that’s the right way to go about it. Besides, Mrs. Guilbert was a perfect hostess that night; I’ll never forget my first real dinner party.

    P.S. Charles’s sister Ann Morgan Guilbert played the wacky neighbor on “The Dick Van Dyke Show.” She might have seen the Standard Book once, but don’t count on it.

    • Thanks, Josh, for your contribution. I know that your upsetting warning from our church was public but I think it is better that you told it than I. Others have written to me angrily about not receiving replies to copyright-release requests or receiving them after they were required. When you received your admonition for the work of love of your site I became concerned that my weekly commentary on a collect would receive a demand to be removed – but, apparently because those texts are hosted in NZ, that was fine.

      I totally agree with you that TEC’s approach to its liturgical texts is the appropriate model. The whole idea that people are threatened by the church for encouraging people to pray appals me.

      Part of the confusion you mention is that our church actually lost the disks of our Prayer Book’s texts. It is only relatively recently that we have been publishing our Prayer Book ourselves – hence the significant variety of quality of the book productions. I believe that the most recent product is the most attractive – and all printings should have been of this calibre. The attractiveness of this printing, and the encouragement (requirement?!) of our church to actually use our liturgical texts would have gone a long way to not needing to safeguard sales by our heavy-handed copyright.

      Those who are reading this comment: do check out Josh’s wonderful site.

      Blessings

  12. I’ve long wondered why the NZ BCP was under copyright. The only logical reason I could ever come up with on my own was that the sales of the NZ BCP was helping fund the work of the Church.

    I hope and pray (to God, in Christ, through the power of the Holy Spirit) that y’all in NZ can sort out the copyright issues, as well as preserve the Trinitarian collects. So much “modern” liturgy gets so watered down that any and all beauty is lost along with any message.

    • Thanks. I am unaware of any sales profits funding any church work. If a book is attractively produced, as the Genesis version is, I think sales are unaffected by the copyright status. Possibly the opposite as has already been suggested in comments: as the text goes more viral on the internet, sales tend to increase, not decrease.

  13. Jumping back to thus conversation (which I lost track of) and hopefully I can shed some light on the copyright issue. Sit back, this might take some time …
    The problem began in the late 80s when in order to get the new Prayer Book printed on time and within budget the decision was made to let Harper Collins publish the book in return for ownership of the copyright. Thus turned out to be very silly as when it came time for a reprint the costs jumped and the quality dived.
    It was decided that the copyright should be brought back, which was done at a cost, BUT … Harper Collins retained some rights (the nature if which has been the subject of recent explorations) to the North American and several other markets. What was unclear was (a) how exclusive those rights were, and (b) how the effected online or other electronic versions. When the contracts were entered into no one had imagined the Internet being used in such a way. This is why US based websites reproducing prayer book resources were seen as a problem, because it appeared that legally Harper Collibs held that right. For some time a very conservative view was taken that allowed for zero sales or reproduction of the Praye Book outside New Zealand.
    A byproduct of the Living Liturgy project was the reopening of discussions about the copyright questions. The final resolution to these (with the assistance if a specialist lawyer) has only happened in recent weeks.
    What us now clearly understood is that Harper Collins do hold rights (both electronic and print) in North America and several other markets, but (most importantly) they are not exclusive. So they have rights and so do we. What is also significant is the clarification of a handwritten addition to the repurchase contract which indicates that even with their rights, Harper Collins must have our church’s permission before doing anything (which we cannot withhold without good reason).
    All this opens the way for a far more open and permissive approach to the use of our prayer book resources, including making them freely available on line.
    I hope that clarifies things a bit!

    • Thanks, Brian. My understanding of the history is quite different to yours, Brian. Ownership of the copyright did not pass from our church at that point as you suggest. There was no rush to print, nor was it printed by Harper Collins. It was printed in Singapore, as planned, with William Collins as the publishers. Our church was not prepared for the popularity of our Prayer Book beyond our shores. When a number were sought from USA a reprint was necessary. Because of the fraught nature of the launch normal procedures had not been followed. Ven. Margaret Wood, a significant member of the Commission, had retained the disks. She died, and as far as I know, those disks were never recovered. Singapore lost the original printing films. So our church had no means to print its own Prayer Book. At that stage, 1997, Harper Colllins, in San Francisco, produced essentially a photo-copy of the text. It is a ghastly production, cumbersome in size, has only one colour, and does not have Archbishop Brian Davis’ distinctive art work on the front (its declaration inside that it does notwithstanding!). As part of that deal, our church negotiated away the full nature of our own copyright – the confusion that ensued after that is picked up in the comments. The relatively recent repatriation of our own Prayer Book and its publication by New Zealand-based Genesis involved the recreation of the text from those earlier printings. Blessings

  14. Thanks Bosco. As you know, my involvement has been almost exclusively at the electronic end of the spectrum so I’m happy to defer to your knowledge of the ‘pre-history’.
    Your reference to the photocopy reminds me of what we started with when we began the Living Liturgy project, which was a scan of the physical book, complete with all the usual issues that involved in the late 1990s, not to mention the extra fun all the different languages produced!

    • Thanks, Brian. Your description of working from a scan fits in with my picture of the church having lost the original computer disks. It would help to fill in the picture if you could tell us what year you were turning that scan back into digital text. My own collection is in a bit of a post-quakes disorganisation, so I cannot quickly say when Genesis took over the publishing – but their side of the story could also be expanded. Sadly, and related to the launch, we do not have a history, commentary, or ceremonial guide for our Prayer Book. My thesis presents a history of one part of the Prayer Book (the Eucharist and related sections – including, hence, the collects and lectionary), and I do intend one day to get that in a form, however poor, to put on this site. My book Celebrating Eucharist was one attempt at a ceremonial, again of only a limited part. That was vetted and alterations were recommended by the church and then it was promoted by it for a while. But the church has gone in different directions now, and some of it also does need some refreshing. Blessings.

  15. The scan was arranged by +George Connor and then proof read before he did the original data entry, so it was at least 10 years ago. I can say that the process is still not totally complete and I continue to work on laying out and correcting the texts for online and digital use. Hopefully the whole resource will be available on the General Synod website in the near future!

    • That sounds great, Brian. The pertinent question of this thread is: will what is on our church website be the formulary of our church as found in our Prayer Book, or will it be the reworking with only a single collect presented for each proper and, hence, many times not a Trinitarian collect?

  16. I have only just got around to looking at this, Bosco.

    You raise some pretty serious issues here,and it would seem most people are unaware of what is happening. Thank you for bringing this to our attention.

    I am urging other Anglicans I know in Aotearoa New Zealand to visit your blog so they may learn about this for themselves.

    • Thanks so much, Darryl. I have been feeling a pretty lone voice on this, so your encouragement is very much appreciated. And it will be good when others start joining my voice on this. Blessings.

  17. Bosco; a belated comment on this important subject. Having ascertained the nub of your argument for the proper arrangement and subsequent authorisation of the proposed new printing of the NZ Prayer Book; might I suggest to whomever is responsible that your knowledge of the liturgical sensitivity of the background issues would render you as the most likely person to supervise, at least, the liturgical elements that need revision.

    Your web-site contains the most up-to-date information on the subject of the NZ Prayer Book available to the uninitiated, thus putting you in the best position to advise those responsible for the newly proposed edition.

    Hopefully, someone ‘in authority’ might read my suggestion and act upon it. You have liturgical gifts that should not be lost to the ACANZP. Regards, Fr. Ron

    • Thank you, Fr Ron, for your very kind and encouraging words. Your comment is not late – this issue is very much alive, and currently I have not received any response indicating that it is resolved. Blessings.

  18. Hi Bosco,
    As one who has never been very satisfied with our No 8 Wire Prayer Book it seems to me that the time has come to make a proper revision taking into account:
    1. The quality of all the collects as properly-constructed, Trinitarian and theological prayers.
    2. The provision of Sentences, Post-Communion Sentences and Post-Communion Thanksgiving Prayers (not too wordy) for each Sunday and festival. These should assume the three-year cycle and the two-year one should quietly be put to one side.
    3. The setting-out of all the Eucharistic liturgies in such as way that there is a common set of basic responses so that people actually perform the liturgy as a community rather than as a class of primary school children taking part in a class reading exercise.
    4. We need somehow to reclaim the idea of a Prayer Book rather than seeing it primarily as a resource book to be used (or not) according to individual inclination. There is a very large educational task to be undertaken almost in every parish. A task-force with a reasonably long life is needed to educate people liturgically to understand what is being done and how to make it happen.

    All this is a very long way of saying that the issues of legality and correct process which you raise are very important, and that there are a lot of issues to be dealt with in the medium to long term which are more important than just replacing the often rough but sometimes honest collects we have at present with little pieces of sentiment for Jesus.

    • Thanks, David. I wrote my book and started this website very much with the sort of aims you describe in mind. As part of this, our province needs IMO to have a commitment to serious liturgical training and formation of our clergy. So now there’s two of us 🙂 Blessings

  19. David, I chuckled a little when I read your comment “… so that people actually perform the liturgy as a community rather than as a class of primary school children taking part in a class reading exercise.”

    Several years ago I made the decision to stop using the prayer book in Church duruing normal Eucharistic services and rely on memory instead, as many of our Roman Catholic brothers and sisters do, and I have found it a far richer and more engaging experience to be able to watch what happens rather than have my head buried in a book.

    Yet sidespersons often just dont get it when I politely refuse a book before the service, with one recently trying to tell me I HAD to have one…

    • When I have given addresses about the Prayer Book I regularly advocated “every community should have one”. One! If we were well-formed, the Prayer Book would be descriptive (rather than prescriptive). In my community we know regular responses “by heart” and say them to each other – not to a book. Not many of us check the response to “Good morning” in our book each morning as we arrive at work – why is the church different? In my community we do read some texts together. The Prayer Book made some significant liturgical errors in its preparation, including different responses to the same cue. But all that is another story. David and Darryl, we are not alone 🙂 Blessings.

  20. I noticed Darryl’s comment – about the need for memorising the liturgical responses at the Eucharist. As a daily-Mass priest, one did know the liturgy off by heart (as did the daily-Mass-goers), but this did not mean any sort of automatism – rather a heart-felt and growing understanding of what the Eucharist really is all about: that is; to Re-Member Christ and incorporate Him into the proceedings of every day – to consciously carry Him within and with us, in order to perform the ministry required of us as Christ’s partners in mission.

    Unfortunately, with the ‘pick and mix’ mentality, one is for ever wedded to the book – sometimes without taking account of one’s fellow members of the Body of Christ we are celebrating.

    This, indeed, is different from the provision of the ‘Propers’ of the Eucharist, which are special to the particular Saint or event we are commemorating, which need to remind us of how how the Mystery of Christ is revealed in and through the life or witness of the Saint or event ‘of the day’.

  21. I have read a few more of the comments above. I would like to see the Prayer Book under Creative Commons License rather than Copyright. The changes in the Copyright law that just came into effect make this even more important. It is imperative for anyone who ever reproduces any part of this document to have an understanding of the laws that apply to its re-use. In terms of international use, there are significant differences between New Zealand Copyright laws and those overseas, so the need for clarity will only continue to grow.

  22. OK sure. I believe the Prayer Book can’t really be defended as a copyrightable work in its entirety anyway, as the bulk of it is a collection of derivative works (which should all show their sources, every canonical and extra-canonical quote). The way in which the collection is organised and the original prayers would be copyrightable, but I believe it is unwise to continue to copyright it.

    Creative Commons Licensing has several categories, and I think attribution and share alike would probably be the most appropriate. Users would be obliged to attribute the Prayer Book to our church (or at least those aspects of it that are not so derivative and traditional as to correctly belong in the public domain). Share alike means that anything re-used must also have a Creative Commons License. It cannot be reused in a document with a copyright. See more at http://www.creativecommons.org.nz/ and http://creativecommons.org/ which offer comprehensice information. There is a quick summary at http://www.flickr.com/creativecommons/, and information in cartoon form here that offers a really good initial explanation http://unescochair-elearning.uoc.edu/blog/2011/03/10/explaining-creativecommons-licenses-with-a-comic/. Following the changes in New Zealand Copyright Law, I am a bit inclined to drown people in CC Licensing information – that way you can pick what suits the audience you are communicating it to. Fines are huge now, and someone could apparently initiate proceedings who is not themselves the copyright holder. I am not a lawyer, I am in online education, and we have to be extremely careful and informed.

  23. Australia’s AAPB is also subject to the normal copyright laws, which means reproduction by parishes (in any form) requires a licence. This is paid for annually.

    I think it stinks.

    Charging the community of faith to use the community of faith’s own creation? Madness.

    Like NZ, attempts to post Australia’s daily office have been met with stern rebuke and take-down orders.

    I think that creative commons licensing is a terrific solution to liturgical copyright issues.

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About This Site Welcome to this ecumenical website of resources and reflections on liturgy, spirituality, and worship for individuals and communities. It is run by Rev. Bosco Peters.

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