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The Anglican Church of Or

Last year on the 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time, in the Lectionary of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia The Anglican Church of Or the suggested liturgical colour was colours were Green, or… ummm… Red, or…. White, or… ummm… Violet. My mentioning this on this blog apparently was taken very seriously by those preparing this year’s lectionary.

The Lectionary states, “The colours suggested for each day… are not mandatory but reflect common practice in most parishes.” (page 4). Now clergy, with the high level of theological education and formation expected in our Church, should know where to do the deep research required for what colour is usual during Ordinary Time. Yes… most of the church, throughout most of the world, throughout most of history have used Green for this Sunday (“Green for growth”).

So, having researched the colour which is the “common practice in most parishes” for this Sunday, the Lectionary has, as you see (the image above is from this year’s Lectionary), been updated from last years options. This year we wear every possible colour… EXCEPT Green!

In order to be really helpful for those preparing the future lectionary (remembering, as noted, that our Lectionary describes practice) – please complete the following poll:

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12 Responses to The Anglican Church of Or

  1. These traditions serve three purposes in my opinion – connecting with faith-filled memories, connecting with the the Communion of believers who share these traditions (sometimes across language barriers), and as an additional channel of sensory communication about what is going on in Church on any given occasion.

    Visual traditions in worship are an additional literacy of our faith, one that served the common people when they had no print literacy of their own, and when they had no sound system to hear what was going on in the sanctuary anyway. It makes sense that they can therefore help anyone who can’t read or hear/understand everything today – but only if they are sufficiently consistent!

    Visual traditions are not the core business of faith as such – they are culture. However, care of those whose participation may be aided by connection with faith-filled memories, by visual cues that are similar to those in a homeland far away, or by communication that does not require print literacy and clear hearing is pretty close to our core business.

    Let’s respect everything that is an aid to clear delivery of the message, and not muddle it any further.

    • Thanks, Mary. I don’t want to go too much down the track of liturgy=learning model, but at a rough guess, a third of people have a visual focus. I wonder if we are led mostly by “auditory learners” who naturally focus on words, words, words, and more words, and then making sure we get all the words right… Then add to that the Reformation, words focus,… maybe it should (sadly) not surprise me that the good points you are making are so easily lost. Blessings.

    • Anjel, if you have any other suggestions that would be more inclusive towards traditional members while moving to the obviously far-more-contemporary blue with pink spots, that would be very helpful! Is one way forward to start with a greener hue of blue with the pink spots, and then slowly, year by year, bring in more blue? That seems to have been the approach in our Church here. Few would now question the wide variety of “flexibility” in the Anglican Church of Or, because we have allowed it to sneak up on us without any reflection had such stressing on being inclusive to every approach. Blessings.

  2. We’ll be using Red, because the Church in Wales goes in for ‘kingdom season’ for the 3 Sundays leading up to Christ the King. Not sure I approve, but as a church we keep it.

  3. I suspect that in many parts of the Church there is an awkward combination of increased choice and decreased education about choice regarding liturgical practice. In Australia our most commonly-used eucharistic rite is printed beginning with a jumble of elements for entrance/penitential purposes and a rubric about how they can used “according to local and seasonal custom”. Much of that “custom” now – surprise, surprise – simply reflects the arbitrary order in which those were printed in 1995, and presents meaningless (or contradictory) transitions back and forth between celebration, penitence etc. Clergy and lay people alike can be forgiven – especially in a book-centred tradition like Anglicanism – for exhibiting a sort of lex legendi, lex orandi I guess. So I think the framers of liturgical books could afford to be more prescriptive. Of course people can still depart from those norms, as they always have at times – but without even a norm to depart from, the challenge is quite different.

    • Thanks, Andrew. Your point occurs on p120 of your Prayer Book. I think NZ still wins on options: our comparable pages would be pp 406-408, or 457-460, or 477-479, or if you don’t like those, anything whatsoever that “Gathers in the Lord’s Name” (p 511). Blessings.

  4. As a low church Presbyterian, I’m relatively new to all this. We’re dressing our tables at cafe church in seasonal colors. There are 8 tables, which is roughly 8 times more colour, so can I have 8 votes in your poll? I’m not sure what shade of violet to go for, nor do I wish to upset my forebears by actually paying for another set of tablecloths for one day. Perhaps violet candles? On green table clothes? Oddly enough we don’t seem to have a set of Presbyterian blue table cloths. I quite like the white ones, but they do show the red candle wax quite dramatically.
    Clearer guidance is needed – help!

    • Thanks for your comment here, Mary-Jane. My own approach is quite simple: it is Ordinary Time – Green. The poll reflects this, as does the church’s history – the vast majority are using Green. Blessings.

    • Presbyterian/ Marian blue? As an Episcopal priest with a Presbyterian son in law being ordained next weekend, I like it! Please pray for him– James.

  5. I can understand your preference for Green, Bosco, and agree that this is likely to be the majority view, and for good reasons.
    I can also understand Red, which is what I used. For similar reason as Yr Ieithydd, but I refer to it as an All Saints season, to round off the year.
    If we decide to celebrate Remembrance Sunday, (an odd choice in NZ, given the emphasis here on Anzac Day) then I guess there is a rationale for either White or Violet – reflecting the lack of consensus about the appropriate colour for funerals.

    What I really can’t understand is the “W” directly underneath the “13” as you have copied from the lectionary. Even if you don’t agree with it, can you think of a rationale for that? I think it must have been a misprint.

    • Thanks, Edward. I respect your choice of Red, although I use Green and continue Ordinary Time.

      I can make sense of the Church of England’s desperately trying to find ways to vary church during their long winter by adding new seasons – one prior to Advent, and another up to the Presentation (early Feb). And then looking around for the least-used colour… ah, red! But I still think of red as being for martyrs and the Holy Spirit…

      Our Lectionary, I am presuming, is on a digital database, and not retyped each year which may excuse typos. So to alter from G to W required a decision and implementation. One, like you, I cannot make sense of.


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