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Welcome to the “new format” Liturgy website.

This is an ecumenical website of resources and reflections on liturgy, spirituality, and worship for individuals and communities. It is run by Rev. Bosco Peters.

Tag Archives: ordination

Obsession With Rules 2

RulesAs promised, this post continues the reflection on keeping faith with our agreements (and, if you haven’t read that post, it may benefit you to do so to get the frame for this one).

The Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia (ACANZP) is a community held together by voluntary compact. We do not have to belong – we voluntarily join ourselves to together, to this community and the rules and agreements that are part of this community. This is recognised in the law of the land, particularly in the 1928 Church of England Empowering Act: property is not held by an individual, it is owned by the community that holds to these rules and agreements by voluntary compact; income, remuneration, and stipends are tied to promising and signing affirmations and agreements. If there is energy to alter any of these affirmations and agreements, then there is a rigorous process to do so [Agreement at General Synod Te Hinota Whanui (GSTHW); agreement by the majority of diocesan synods and hui amorangi; agreement again at GSTHW; waiting a year for anyone to protest - this three-year decision-making process is nicknamed the "twice-round" process].

Many in NZ have looked down their noses at secular courts being involved in arguments over property upon changes to agreements and rules in The Episcopal Church (USA), repeating that such clashes would never happen here (Yeah, right!)

The agreements of teaching and practice in ACANZP are called formularies. Many formularies are services authorised by the “twice-round” process (all services contained in A New Zealand Prayer Book He Karakia Mihinare o Aotearoa are examples). This site has regularly highlighted the liturgical chaos in this province, and this year GSTHW has ruled that many services have had “(1) inconsistency with the 1928 Act and (2) lack of fundamental authorisation in the first place.”

GSTHW has set in motion a process to broaden the meaning of “authorised services” beyond formularies to make possible services which are not formularies. It will be fascinating to follow the discussions around this Bill No 4, being a change to our Constitution, as it does the rounds of diocesan synods and hui amorangi. And, in the wake of this, it will be interesting to see what is done about the innumerable ordinations that were done “inconsistent with the 1928 Act and lacking fundamental authorisation.” My suspicion is that, in a church that has grown accustomed to liturgical muddle, few will have the agility to see the import of what is being debated.

Those who have followed and been affected by the quakes in Christchurch and Canterbury may now wish that there had been a bit more “obsession with rules” in our church previously. Certainly those who are opposed to blessing (or marrying) committed same-sex couples are often quickly becoming adept at our agreements (often having been, and still possibly being, in the more liturgically-contumacious part of the church’s spectrum). I am saddened that it is this focus that precipitated “obsession with rules”; I underscore the need for integrity and consistency across all agreements, but I have no ostrich tendencies that thinks that obsession with certain rules is on the decline.

To be continued…


Andrew Hedge Bishop-Elect

Bishop-elect Andrew Hedge

I am delighted with the announcement that my friend Andrew Hedge has been elected as the 16th bishop of Waiapu. Andrew (41) grew up in Papatoetoe, in South Auckland. He trained for the priesthood at St John’s College and was ordained priest in 1999. He was an assistant priest at All Saint’s Howick and thenContinue Reading


Blessing Committed Same-Sex Couples

blessing same sex couples

One door opens another closes Update: With General Synod Te Hinota Whanui’s meeting concluded, I have written about what I can discover from afar, here. Yesterday, General Synod Te Hinota Whanui (GSTHW) passed a motion about blessing committed same-sex couples. This calls for a working group to report to GSTHW 2016. This group is to workContinue Reading


High Street to High Church

Ordination in laundry

I’ve been very taken by two images from the same diocese, at the same time. Above, is the ordination to the diaconate at a laundromat where ‘Laundry Love’ is a regular programme in which homeless people or anyone in need may drop by to do their laundry for free with money, soap and machines provided.Continue Reading


Option B2

blessing same sex couples

I am very hesitant to add to the IMO-excessive time and energy expended by my church debating about committed same-sex couples, but… {…especially with the meeting of our General Synod Te Hinota Whanui (GSTHW) only a month away, the need for reflection towards a decision is pressing…}… After years and years of meetings, hui, commissions,Continue Reading


Celebrating the Eucharist

Celebrating the Eucharist: A Practical Ceremonial Guide for Clergy and Other Liturgical Ministers by Patrick Malloy [218 pages]. Buy this book. I have no real idea why it has taken six years for me to discover this exists. Then I check – it is not in our local Theology House library; it is not inContinue Reading


Church changes marriage rules?

St Peter and spouse

If there is a spectrum – from those who treat communion as the reward for good behaviour to those who see it as one of God’s gifts to fix our human sinfulness – then I’m firmly at the latter end of that spectrum. So I pray the rumours are correct, and may Pope Francis workContinue Reading