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The emperor is naked!

naked anglican[Update 7 September 2013: the Christchurch diocesan synod has just resoundingly agreed with me and not given assent to the Statute 699 below]

The Christchurch diocesan synod in 2011 unanimously and with applause called on the Anglican Church of Or to stop authorising new liturgical stuff until it had produced a straightforward report which makes clear
1) what is required,
2) what is allowed, and
3) what is forbidden

A motion to this effect was put on the agenda of General Synod Te Hinota Whanui (GSTHW) 2012. But GSTHW was too busy passing legislation on adding another “or” to our already confused and confusing regulations to even discuss Christchurch’s concerns.

Apparently we have not been allowed to have “nautically festive activities… in this Church” on Sundays other than the 2nd Sunday of July. We cannot pray for seafarers, or sing “Eternal Father, strong to save… For those in peril on the sea!”

So legislation was prepared that was passed by GSTHW 2012 and now needs to be debated and voted on in all diocesan synods and hui amorangi. Then it needs to be debated again at GSTHW 2014, await a year for anyone to protest, and then you will be allowed to pray for seafarers, sing “…for those in peril on the sea”, and choose any Sunday that “delivers weather … conducive to … outdoor nautical activities”.

No – check the date, this is not my latest April Fools’ post. Wait till you read the actual legislation. You know I am not making this story up because I couldn’t have thought of it!

Apparently this legislation was kept in a room where they had forgotten to change the blown light bulb, or something like that, because the legislation has only now (after more than a year) been sent on to our diocese for our debate. As our synod is in two weeks time, and insufficient notice has been given, there will also have to be another debate and vote whether to allow this motion onto the synod floor at all.

One of the worst aspects of this whole silliness is that it reinforces the commonly-held misconstruction that liturgy is about irrelevancies that waste time and energy, sucking the real life and mission out of the church. Jesus said something about gnats and camels. The understanding that liturgy is the very heart of our church’s life will take another generation to recover – if it is ever.

Lipstick on a pig?

lipstick on a pig
Putting lipstick on the Anglican pig?

The best we might be able to do as a diocese is to disallow this motion from being debated on our synod floor, and urge our GSTHW members to work for a moratorium on all liturgical legislation until our request for the straightforward report mentioned in the first paragraph above, is actioned. If we accept that this legislation be debated on our synod floor, we have now received information that our planning to discuss how to go forward in our earthquake-ravaged diocese would have to be re-timetabled.

I urge all other dioceses and hui amorangi to be similarly proactive in renewing the true focus of the common prayer and shared spiritual discipline at the heart of church life. Do not pass this legislation – instead, urge GSTHW to be honest, and review the liturgical mess of our province, and set in motion a programme of recovery and renewal.

This is (I am not making this up!) the legislation that is being debated twice at GSTHW and at every diocesan synod and hui amorangi:

Statute 699

The Calendar – Te Maramataka Amendment Statute 2012

Noting that:

(a) The General Synod / te Hinota Whanui by Statute 456 in 1988 confirmed the adoption of The Calendar – Te Maramataka as a Formulary, and

(b) The May 2011 Conference of the Oceania Council for Missions to Seafarers drew attention to the historical date for Sea Sunday on the Second Sunday of July being chosen to suit the, at the time, predominantly English Mission to Seafarers, and is thus in the height of a northern hemisphere summer, when weather permits more easily nautically festive activities, while July in this Church more often delivers weather not conducive to such outdoor nautical activities, and thus the Sunday is already being observed at different times in many places, and

(c) That Conference requested that in addition to the 2nd Sunday of July, provision be made for Sea Sunday to be celebrated on another Sunday as determined by local custom, and

(d) The 2011 International Mission to Seafarers Consultative Forum held in London gave unreserved support to proposing such a change,

The General Synod / te Hinota Whanui enacts as follows:

1. Title: The title of this Statute shall be The Calendar – Te Maramataka Amendment Statute 2012.

2. Purpose: To allow for Sea Sunday to be celebrated on an alternative date to the 2nd Sunday of July as determined by local custom.

3. The Calendar – Te Maramataka (of A New Zealand Prayer Book / He Karakia Mihinare o Aotearoa) – is amended as follows:

at the appropriate place on page 13, Section 6 (iii), in the Calendar, the words ‘or on a Sunday as determined by local custom’, are inserted following the words ‘Sea Sunday – Second Sunday in July’.

4. Clause 3 of this Statute is the adoption of a specific proposal in terms of Part B, Clause 6(a) of the Constitution/ te Pouhere, and Section 4 (a) of the Church of England Empowering Act 1928, and shall be made known to Te Runanganui o Te Pihopatanga o Aotearoa, the Synod of the Diocese of Polynesia, and the several Diocesan Synods in New Zealand.

We certify that this Statute was passed by the General Synod/ te Hinota Whanui on 11 July 2012. As witnessed by our hands 14 August 2012.

WB Turei DJ Moxon W Halapua
Primate and Archbishop Primate and Archbishop Primate and Archbishop

Are you not surprised that there isn’t a further expansion that the Sunday chosen cannot displace a Principal Feast or be during Advent and Christmas nor from the start of Lent until Trinity Sunday (remembering some people have spent a serious amount of energy on this)?

This legislation, doing the rounds of the dioceses and hui amorangi, is too much and/or too little. If all that is intended is that we can pray for seafarers and sing “For those in peril on the sea” at a service other than on the second Sunday in July, then I submit – this legislation is far too much for that. If, on the other hand, what is intended is to be able to replace our agreed readings but not on Principal Feasts and Seasons (or whatever) then this legislation does not go near to providing for that.

And, yes, by writing this blog post, I’ve now done the very thing that I’m trying to avoid: spend energy on gnat-straining. Welcome to the Coffee Machine Church!

For further reflection on this read Lectionary logic?
and Agreement

I am not the only one blogging about this. Read Rev. Dr. Peter Carrell’s post Jesus never, ever intended this to happen!

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38 Responses to The emperor is naked!

  1. As horrifying as this timewasting is, I must admit to some sad comfort in finding that our brothers and sisters throughout the communion share similar struggles against stupidity in church bureaucracy. Even as I shake my head, I pray for the church in NZ and ask your prayers for your sisters and brothers here in the ECUSA.

  2. Greetings Bosco,

    You surprise me! I might even go so far as to suggest a hint of hypocisy in this post. A significant number of people throughout this Province were convinced that issues raised by yourself regarding a proposed new edition of the Prayer Book (which was actually derailed as a result) were trivial in the extreme. I was personally accused of wasting General Synod’s time for pushing a debate on the inclusion of Trinitarian (in the traditional sense of the term) Collects in the Prayer Book. What constitutes a “minor” matter is, as you well know, very much in the eye of the beholder. You and I would not consider the Collect issue minor, albeit for different reasons I suspect. Others, however, disagree with us.

    A few years ago we did actually approve a motion allowing “minor” changes to the formularies without the usual General Synod processes. It was assured that by “minor” this meant the correction of grammatical and spelling errors. I would suggest that the debate over Sea Sunday was significant, and I would have thought you would agree. After all, aren’t we both concerned about the proliferation of ‘special’ days in the Church Calendar and the associated displacing of the readings set for the day? This new initiative now allows for such displacement almost anywhere in the Calendar, surely that is worthy of some debate?

    The reality is, as you of all people are aware, the twice round rules are there precisely because what some consider minor others consider significant. If we were all in agreement on those points it would be a simple case of letting General Synod make the decision and moving along, but we’re not. Sometimes that will mean we might appear to be ‘wasting time’ over trivialities – like Sea Sunday, or Collects – instead of focusing on the ‘real work’, whatever that may be. That is the price of a robust process, and one I am sure you would not want to see watered (pardon the pun) down.

    I cannot explain the delay in sending out the request to dioceses, although suspect it is related to the timing of meetings – General Synod Standing Committee met in February, the Common Life Liturgical Commission after that, and then GSSC again in July, which included a CLLC report. Of course anyone who was at General Synod (and understands the processes) would have known the request was coming – this was a Bill to change a formulary after all. Does this mean the Christchurch General Synod reps didn’t report back on proceedings?

    So, I would encourage those tempted to vote against this procedure to not do so if their sole motivation is they think it’s silly. Do vote against it if you genuinely don’t think people should be able to drop special days into the Calendar wherever they like!

    Pax, Brian

    • Thanks, Brian, for taking the time to make such a fulsome comment, your erroneous, unjustified ad hominem notwithstanding.

      Stopping the printing of a revised NZ Prayer Book which had not gone through our church’s agreed decision-making process is IMO in a different category to allowing people to pray for seafarers on a day other than the 2nd Sunday in July!

      This legislation that you are classifying as “significant” does not, as you claim, “displace the readings set for the day”. Were it to do so, yes, it would become more significant, (but it would also, then, need the addition of Sundays that it could not displace). All the legislation does, as I have pointed out clearly, is claim that we need all this debating in order to pray for seafarers, or sing “Eternal Father, strong to save… For those in peril on the sea!”, and have “nautically festive activities… in this Church” on Sundays other than the 2nd Sunday of July!

      Please can we have such energy expended after we have sorted what is required, what is allowed, and what is forbidden, and not before!

      I also have not the slightest idea why you suggest that General Synod Standing Committee meeting in February, the Common Life Liturgical Commission after that, and then GSSC again in July (with its CLLC report) would slow down getting this legislation to our diocesan office.

      Blessings.

  3. Oh Bosco, as you well know there is and has never been absolutely anything stopping any of us praying for seafarers (which I hope we do regularly) and singing ‘Eternal Father Strong to Save’ whenever we jolly well like. To claim that this is the purpose of the bill that went to General Synod is total rubbish and you know it. This is categorically NOT what the legislation is about. What the legislation does is allow Sea Sunday – a specified day with a specific focus in our Church Calendar – to be celebrated on any Sunday rather than only the second Sunday in July (and you are quite correct that it fails to specify those feast days which cannot be displaced). Sea Sunday as set out in our calendar DOES have its own set of readings, seperate to the readings set down for the day, and therefore will very likely displace those other readings if a parish chooses to have the particular focus that the day encourages them to.

    The reality is this Bill was placed on the General Synod order paper BEFORE your motion (as is usually the case). Once it had been passed there was no choice but to continue “our church’s agreed decision-making process” with regards to the changing of a formulary – in this case the Calendar.

    You really underline my point when you state; “Stopping the printing of a revised NZ Prayer Book which had not gone through our church’s agreed decision-making process is IMO in a different category …” Precisely IN YOUR OPINION, and possibly mine as well. Not, though in the opinion of others, who would care not one jot about the printing of the prayer book, or the wording of the Collects, or who does or doesn’t say/pray said Collect on a Sunday! We might disagree, but that is their opinion, and when we start trying to determine whose opinion takes precedence, well as you are aware, there are a number involved in the working of liturgical affairs in our church who would gladly ignore your opinion in favour of their own. Fortunately we have an “agreed decision-making process” that sets aside individual opinions on what is and isn’t important and ensures as many people as possible get a say in the final decision. That may be cumbersome and at times a little odd-looking, but I for one prefer it to the option of a small group of non-representative people making decisions that impact on us all.

    As I originally stated, I have no explanation for the delay, I merely surmise it is to do with the meeting dates. May I also suggest that the late notice for dioceses also indicates that those responsible for ensuring this process is followed place as little importance on the date of Sea Sunday as you do. I suspect if they had thought there was going to be an issue it would have been much higher up the ‘to do’ agenda.

    • Thanks, Brian.

      I would appreciate your simply giving your own position, and responding to what I actually say, rather than second guessing mine with comments like “and you know it”.

      If your interpretation is correct, of this now also-clearly confused and confusing next piece of liturgical befuddlement, then no one should further support this legislation because of the inadequacy “that it fails to specify those feast days which cannot be displaced”.

      However, your interpretation is not correct. Please point me, and the readers here, to the formulary of the readings that go with Sea Sunday. If you can point us to that formulary, I will happily apologise for my error, and amend the post above. However, if you cannot point to the formulary of Sea Sunday’s readings, I think it behoves you to publicly here apologise to me, and to commit yourself to work harder for a review and documentation in our province of what is required, what is allowed, and what is forbidden. For if someone like you is unclear about what is and what is not required – heaven help the rest of our province! As I said above, I do not think this will be recovered in our generation, if ever.

      As for your suggesting that GSTHW members would not read ahead, and bring important issues later on the order paper to bear on discussions for ones printed earlier, you may be explaining both the quality of the legislation and the timing of its arrival in our diocese.

      Blessings.

  4. The readings for Sea Sunday are those in For All the Saints and laid out in the lectionary on the second Sunday in July. Regardless of the formulary status of the readings (and I never said they were part of the formulary) their presence in the lectionary adds strongly to the natural tendency to use readings with obvious connections to the special focus of the service.

    I don’t disagree with you about the state of liturgical regulations in our church. My point is that your opinions – and mine – of what is important aren’t necessarily those of others. That’s why the processes we have are important.

    • What is important, Brian, is that the processes we have are clearly not working and in fact are counter-productive. That you now would have the lectionary-tail wag the church’s-agreements-dog only deepens the hole you are digging.

      You cannot on the one hand bang the drum of the robustness of our twice round process and then slip in that the readings are found somewhere that has had no such “robust process”! According to you, this legislation, without mentioning readings anywhere, would authorise replacing readings that we have actually agreed to, with some that we have not, on any Sunday whatsoever!

      Still waiting for your apology
      while my mind continues to boggle!

      Blessings.

  5. What an appalling waste of everyone’s time! One question is whether Sea Sunday should have been on the calendar in the first place. There are plenty of church charities that encourage their supporters to observe their Sunday. Not every church will want to observe all of them, and some will not observe any. For me, the date of Education Sunday on Septuagesima and Vocations Sunday on Easter 4 are always a little awkward, but not overwhelmingly so. We have a problem with some agricultural revival of Plough Sunday displacing the Festival of the Baptism of Christ. In fact, seeing as there is an Orthodox custom of blessing the waters at the Baptism of Christ, why do not New Zealanders, who wish to have a summer Sea Sunday, celebrate the Baptism of Christ by going down to the sea, and incorporating prayer for seafarers into it. Of course, Sea Sunday must not displace the Baptism of Christ.

    • I absolutely agree about the time-wasting, Gareth, especially when our worship life here, both in principle and practice, is so in need of leadership.

      This Sunday, in the NZ Lectionary booklet 2013, is “Anglican Communion Sunday”. I am perfectly happy for people to pray for the Anglican Communion, have an Anglican Communion hymn, mention it in the sermon, explain the Anglican Communion in the pew sheet. I would not be happy to have it suddenly have its own set of readings with people replacing our agreed readings and church year cycle.

      Rev. Brian Dawson (a member of GSTHW that set this legislation in motion), in the comments above, well illustrates the mess our church has got itself into, and the need for GSTHW to review our worship life and provide real leadership (as mentioned at the start of my post). He illustrates that the legislation in process is itself so confused and confusing that, in his interpretation, it allows for (taking your example) communities to replace the Baptism of Christ and its readings and prayers with Sea Sunday precisely because in NZ that time of year “delivers weather … conducive to … outdoor nautical activities”.

      The last thing we need in the Anglican Church of Or is more confusion like this. We urgently need a provincial review sorting what is required, what is allowed, and what is forbidden.

      Blessings.

      • It sounds awful. The integrity of the church year is so important for the sanity of ministers and congregations. I remember being taught that every Sunday should be a Little Easter and that any theme or memorial has to be anchored within that. The Church of England took a long time to decide to create an Epiphany season stretching to Candlemas and the unnamed season of All Saints to Advent. Even the two big themed Sundays of the year that don’t fit well into the story of salvation — Mothering Sunday and Remembrance Sunday — are given very light treatment with encouragement to try to blend the themes into wider sense of the temporale.

        • I am totally with you on this, Gareth. Last Sunday, here, was “Religious Vocations Sunday”, this Sunday is “Anglican Communion Sunday”, next Sunday is “The Builders of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia Sunday”. Many here prefer to celebrate and preach theme by theme, others realise the inadequacy of this and so abandon our agreed readings altogether. What I want to preserve and enhance is the week by week celebrating and preaching our way through our shared common life. I see no difficulty in incorporating these Sunday “extra themes” as you suggest in your last sentence. Those who are incapable of doing this, I would question their competency for liturgical leadership. Blessings.

  6. Kia ora Bosco,

    For those of us who live in Te Waka o Maui, whose tipuna travelled to this land over the sea, who claim to follow in the footsteps of Jesus who walked on the water and calmed the waves, perhaps we should be petitioning to celebrated Sea Sunday each week?

    • Kia ora, Mike. I tautoko your points. The word “sea” is mentioned 874 times in the Bible, more than enough for GSTHW to construct a three year (even four year!) world-leading lectionary with 3 readings and a psalm (as normal) and every reading mentioning the word “sea”. Previous reading choices have shown we have the skills to do this here! Arohanui!

  7. Bosco, I repeat: The readings are found in the lectionary. The fact that they are sourced from For All the Saints – a resource written and maintained by one if our foremost scholars and used by the majority of theChurch for decades – matters not one jot.

    • Let me just summarise your points, Brian.

      According to you, our church has a “robust agreed decision-making process” that ensures that “individual opinions”, however well founded and scholarly, are not what bind us as a church {whether they originate with you, me, Dr Ken Booth (editor of For All the Saints 1996), or the editor(s) of the annual lectionary publication booklet}.

      But now you want to go against the very core of your point, by having readings (which have not been accepted by the very process which you are calling “robust”) as assumed within the confused and confusing legislation that, according to you, would allow the possibility of (to take an example from a comment above) replacing the celebration and readings of the Baptism of Christ.

      The original formulary for Sea Sunday clearly had no thought of replacing the readings assigned for that Sunday, neither did the other celebrations on that list. If you now want readings associated with a revision of the Sea Sunday formulary, following your own logic, you will need to follow the agreed decision-making process that you see to be robust.

      As you are repeating yourself, permit me also to repeat: each of your comments is only further underscoring the primary point of my post that our church’s rules are confused and confusing all the way to those who are authoring these rules, that we need a moratorium on the creation of further confusion until our church formally acknowledges the mess we are in and sets in train robust processes to remedy it. Until this is done, legislation like the one you are supporting is seriously damaging by reinforcing the commonly-held misconstruction that liturgy is about irrelevancies that waste time and energy, sucking the real life and mission out of the church.

      I continue to wait patiently for that apology.

      Blessings.

    • Thanks, Andrew.

      I am assuming then, that the reference to the Emperor’s New Clothes is understood as continuing as if everything is fine and flash, and that it is time for some more people to point out that this is not the case.

      “To put ‘lipstick on a pig’ is a rhetorical expression, used to convey the message that making superficial or cosmetic changes is a futile attempt to disguise the true nature of a product.” (Source: Wikipedia) Here our church is being represented by a pig – the legislation is like the lipstick. The legislation is continuing as if all is fine and as if the language and concepts it presents are perfectly sensible for our church, as if this kind of legislation is perfectly appropriate within the real church that you and I find ourselves in.

      As you know, in attempting to put up a blog post daily I have to rush and take shortcuts. Had I had the time and money I would have created a YouTube video of actual church life and worship in our province, and paid John Cleese to do a voice-over reading the actual wording of the legislation we are being asked to debate and vote on. Had I managed that, we might have been able to make a series out of the comments that have ensued 😉

      Blessings.

  8. Bosco, you will continue to wait for an apology. You said there were no set readings, I told you where they are, if you have a problem with that take it up with the lectionary editors, because it is obviously to the lectionary that people will go when they are considering what to do for Sea Sunday.
    I don’t think there’s any value in continuing this conversation as we are talking past each other, so I will agree to disagree with you.

    • The apology I was hoping for, Brian, was for the ad hominem.

      I am sorry that you see no value in continuing the conversation, and so I am grateful that Rev. Dr. Peter Carrell is picking it up as I think he has sharpened up the issues even more.

      I revert to my primary point: the fact that you, Peter Carrell, and I, three senior clergy, cannot agree on how to understand and apply legislation fresh off the GSTHW press reinforces, yet again, that GSTHW should have a moratorium on producing such confusion and begin the process of remedying the current mess.

      Those in our church, and there are many, who do not keep their vows to our liturgical life, look on to a discussion like this and find it justifies their noncompliance. It reinforces the commonly-held misconstruction that liturgy is about irrelevancies that waste time and energy, sucking the real life and mission out of the church.

      Blessings.

  9. Almost as entertaining as discussions between the Traditiona; latin Mass adherents and the Novo Ordo team., or, as I have recently been reading, the horror of communion in the hand versus on the tongue.
    I thought of the classic response “what would Jesus have said” as a variant of “have done’, but decided I shouldn’t think like that.
    But it does show the importance of organisations over their intent.

  10. The following are my questions in the light of the post and thread of comments above. In parentheses I have placed what my current answers are, pending confirmation/de-confirmation, by Bosco and/or Brian Dawson:

    1. Has the lectionary (i.e. as printed by our church annually) set down readings for Sea Sunday? (My answer: yes).

    2. Are those readings ‘authorised readings via proper Synodical process’? (My answer on the basis of above, “No, they are just recommended readings”.)

    3. As set out in the lectionary, might liturgy preparers assume that one may choose which readings to use for the day (i.e. RCL or Sea Sunday readings)? (My answer: yes).

    4. (More generally, with a particular point of comparison, Sunday 2 June, 2013, Te Pouhere Sunday) does the current manner of setting out Sea Sunday (RCL first, Sea Sunday second) not imply it is a. Optional b. transferable to suit local custom without going ‘twice round’? (My answer: Yes.)

    (Additional observation: Also, compared to Te Pouhere Sunday, where Te Pouhere is first printed and RCL second, and thus it seems that Te Pouhere DOES take precedence over RCL, it seems plain that by comparison, Sea Sunday is a ‘lesser’ matter and thus not worthy of “twice round” re some alteration. A simple italicised direction within the lectionary, such as, “or on another Sunday to suit local custom, providing it does not displace a major feast” should do the trick!)

    • Thank you so much, Peter, for joining this discussion here (as well as providing perspective on your own site). My fundamental point remains that GSTHW needs to take our church’s confused situation seriously. The confusion is evident from seemingly-trivial to very serious.

      I think it best to take each of your points and place my own response in italics.

      1. Has the lectionary (i.e. as printed by our church annually) set down readings for Sea Sunday? (My answer: yes).

      Agreed, there are readings printed in the annual NZ Lectionary 2013 booklet for Sea Sunday. These cannot be used in the Eucharist, as, for the Eucharist, we have an agreed formulary, RCL. And formulary trumps. I am trying to be clear in my distinction between the annual lectionary booklet publication and any other use of the word “lectionary”.

      2. Are those readings ‘authorised readings via proper Synodical process’? (My answer on the basis of above, “No, they are just recommended readings”.)

      Agreed that the readings printed in the lectionary booklet for Sea Sunday are not part of the Sea Sunday formulary. Page 5 of the booklet lists a full page of “Where does this material come from?” The editors source, internationally and ecumenically, material that, in their opinion, is useful and appropriate.

      3. As set out in the lectionary, might liturgy preparers assume that one may choose which readings to use for the day (i.e. RCL or Sea Sunday readings)? (My answer: yes).

      I think I have to accept your answer, Peter. I think that the majority of liturgy preparers would rely on the annual lectionary publication. Personally, I just tend to follow RCL, so that often means I might forget to even look in the booklet. I also understand myself as having committed myself in my vows to following RCL when celebrating Eucharist, so it would never cross my mind to replace what I have vowed to do with an interesting other resource. Also, there are occasions when the lectionary booklet, over many years, is clearly in error.

      4. (More generally, with a particular point of comparison, Sunday 2 June, 2013, Te Pouhere Sunday) does the current manner of setting out Sea Sunday (RCL first, Sea Sunday second) not imply it is a. Optional b. transferable to suit local custom without going ‘twice round’? (My answer: Yes.)

      (Additional observation: Also, compared to Te Pouhere Sunday, where Te Pouhere is first printed and RCL second, and thus it seems that Te Pouhere DOES take precedence over RCL, it seems plain that by comparison, Sea Sunday is a ‘lesser’ matter and thus not worthy of “twice round” re some alteration. A simple italicised direction within the lectionary, such as, “or on another Sunday to suit local custom, providing it does not displace a major feast” should do the trick!)

      Thank you for pointing this out Peter. I think, in fact, if that is what the lectionary booklet implies then that is false, and the booklet is misinforming. I think this needs a full post of its own, not a simple comment at the end of a long thread. I now think, especially from your own further expansion on your site, that for Sea Sunday, being one of the Sundays “designated by resolution of General Synod from time” (NZPB p13), it is not appropriate for GSTHW to seek the twice round process. This would only be appropriate if GSTHW was seeking to have the possibility of readings replace the ones we have agreed to in RCL. There is nothing in the legislation as it has reached us that suggests that the agreed (RCL) Sunday readings may be replaced.

      Blessings.

  11. My understanding Bosco was that you wanted me to apologise for asserting that there are readings set for Sea Sunday, which (as Peter also notes) there are.

    I continue to have no problem with your point that our rules are confused and confusing – no argument there at all and, as you note, this conversation has highlighted some of that issue.

    My central point, however, was the differing views on what is and isn’t important and the need for our processes, whatever they may be, to operate outside of that. There may well be a case for taking a bill to GSTHW changing the approach to approving some changes in the Calendar / Lectionary. I would probably support it, but I would also have to acknowledge that many people would consider such legislation, and the energy that would go into passing and enacting it, a complete waste of time.

    On Peter’s questions (I will return to your comments): 1) Yes. 2) No, although interestingly ‘For all the Saints’ is probably as commonly used as the Prayer Book and still made available via General Synod. 3) Yes, although the clear and obvious suggestion in the Lectionary is that there are different readings recommended for Sea Sunday than for the Ordinary Day and I would suspect most would use them as such. 4) This is really a two parter. IMO Te Pouhere Sunday should take precedence given its focus in our church life. The resources offered for it in the lectionary and elsewhere are pretty appalling. I wouldn’t personally have seen the way Sea Sunday is presented as an invitation to transfer it wherever I like, but then I take more notice of the lectionary than many.

    I’m intrigued in your comments about the lectionary (booklet) vs the RCL. In my recollection I didn’t sign anything that bound me to the RCL. I understand I am bound to use the Lectionary approved by the Church, which is commonly interpreted as the booklet you refer to. Now I actually have copies of the tables the lectionary is compiled from and I can tell you that the Sea Sunday readings are included in them. I have certainly never heard it suggested that those readings can’t be used at the Eucharist on that day. If I am in error I am by no means alone, and stand with bishops and archbishops as well as many others.

    Now, I must go and prepare for 8am Mass – we will use the readings set out in the lectionary!

    • Thanks for picking up the conversation again, Brian, and hopefully from a different direction that helps you to not feel we are talking past each other.

      We agree that our rules are confused and confusing. And that frames this comment as it does this particular blog post.

      So, as I said in my response to Peter (3) “the majority of liturgy preparers would rely on the annual lectionary publication” – so, yes, Brian, you are certainly not alone in this.

      That there are readings provided in different resources associated with Sea Sunday is not disputed. A quick search online provides many suggestions. They are not, and never have been, part of our formulary. If GSTHW wants to provide the ability for certain Sea Sunday readings to be an option alternative to the RCL formulary for our Sunday Eucharistic readings, that we have robustly agreed to through our twice round procedure, then they need to set in train such legislation.

      Quite the opposite of being hypocritical as you suggested I am, I am in fact being consistent about both the processes we follow and the quality of the material we move through such processes. I can see no justification for the conclusion you draw from this current legislation in the actual legislation. Pointing to the tables you have in your possession is just reverting to the level of opinion which you said was not to be the basis of debate. If you want your tables to be our agreed basis for readings, being consistent, your tables need to go through the twice-round process. The basis should be, according to you, the legislations that have actually been through the rigorous twice-round process. No readings for Sea Sunday have been through your rigorous process. The RCL readings have. [As an alternative example: the readings for 1 September – The Builders of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, have]. Formularies trump.

      GSTHW 2012 had on its agenda a debate about reviewing our confused and confusing rules and practices, a debate they failed to have. The last thing I would want, at this stage, would be your suggestion in your third paragraph of yet another confused and confusing bill. Christchurch diocese unanimously called for a moratorium on all this stuff until the confusion has been acknowledged and an exacting process underway to fix things – the motion at GSTHW2012 was seeking that this begin.

      Blessings.

  12. Hi Bosco

    With respect to the RCL, and noting that the readings in the RCL today vary from the readings on NZPB pp. 691 following, has our church committed itself to the RCL (today) as a matter of formulary or to the RCL (1989, as written in pp. 691 following?

    • Good question, Peter, the answer to which helps (once again) to clarify the points I was making to Brian above.

      The RCL (with its readings provided today in the lectionary booklet) is a formulary of our church, so is the Three Year Series you refer to in NZPB, so is the Two Year Series in NZPB (today you would use the Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost “the gift of hope”). Off the top of my head, so is the lectionary in BCP 1662, in which today you would use the readings for the Thirteenth Sunday after Trinity (Gospel Luke 10:23ff).

      This well illustrates the error of identifying the annual lectionary booklet publication with the agreed formularies of our church. Not all that is allowed to be read is provided in our lectionary booklet. And, as has been made clear (some of it by you!), not all that is provided in our lectionary booklet is allowed to be read.

      In the Anglican Church of Or.

      Blessings.

      • I think we need to give the ‘lectionary booklet published by our church’ some credit.

        It offers the formulary.

        It offers guidance to assist with offering services in keeping with themes etc our church had identified as good and proper (e.g. Sea Sunday) as well as those that have been identified as newly important within the Calendar/calendar of our life (e.g. Te Pouhere Sunday).

        It offers heaps of other important information.

        One issue being highlighted on this thread is the challenge of educating clergy and lay readers/preachers in the obligations and options of the Calendar/calendar!

        • Thanks, Peter.

          I do not think that this thread of comments pointing out that the lectionary booklet is not infallible and has some errors should be taken to mean that that publication lacks credit. Far from it. The danger of a discussion like this is that it reinforces for the many who take no notice of their vows and our agreements is that it can be used, as I have repeated, as justification for their disdain or bemusement. While Brian, you, Andrew, and I may disagree about the details, I think we are in wholehearted agreement about its importance and its principles. That, too, may be a future blog post. That being said, I do not think we should shy away from the discussion we are having here just because it may be fuel for the disdain and bemusement brigade.

          Blessings.

  13. To clarify; the tables I refer to are not MY tables, they are the tables used to compile the annual lectionary. There are four of them: one for Sundays, another for weekeday Eucharists, another for Morning and Evening Office and a last one for feast and ‘special focus’ days (including Sea Sunday). I cannot comment on where all the material in these tables comes from or how (if at all) is it authorised, but it certainly carries the weight of authority that is vested in the lectionary.

    BTW, no one has ever suggested we search online for Sea Sunday readings. Why would we? They are provided in the lectionary which is provided by General Synod.

    • Thanks, Brian.

      I do not have the tables. You do not know where they come from or how (if at all) they are authorised.

      I do not know anything about “authority that is vested in the lectionary”, nor even what that clause means, sorry.

      To clarify, GSTHW’s role in the lectionary booklet is ruling that the General Secretary cause such a booklet to be published annually. It is a stretch to say that “the lectionary [booklet] is provided by General Synod”, at least in my understanding of such language.

      Blessings.

    • “BTW, no one has ever suggested we search online for Sea Sunday readings. Why would we?” Brian Dawson

      Surprise!

      I was just checking our official website of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia (what the lectionary booklet calls the “General Synod website”) where it has the following:

      Sea Sunday – in the Lectionary the second Sunday in July, or another Sunday by local custom

      In 2013 on Sunday 14 July, and resources are now available on the Sea Sunday website.”

      Yes – our church’s official website provides a link to online resources for Sea Sunday readings!

      Blessings.

  14. Not readings (if there are any I think you’ll find they’re the same as those in the lectionary) these are the resources that are usually sent to us anyway. Nothing new to see here.

    • The readings provided by the General-Synod-website-suggested link and “sent to us anyway” in the Anglican Church of Or are:

      Amos 7: 7 – end
      Psalm 82
      Colossians 1: 1-14
      Luke 10: 25-37

      The readings suggested in For All the Saints
      and printed in our NZ Lectionary booklet (as appearing alternative to RCL Ordinary 15) are:

      Ps 107:23-32; 33:1-12
      Job 38:1,4-11
      Acts 27:27-32,39-44
      Mark 4:35-41

      Blessings.

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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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