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1 January 2023

UPDATE: An alert reader expressed surprise that The Epiphany is not an option given in the NZ lectionary booklet for Sunday. I have checked the rules of The Anglican Church of Or – yes, that is correct, The Epiphany is an option for Sunday 1 January, giving 36 licit combinations of readings for a Eucharist. Fuller blog post about this to follow.

The Anglican Church of Or (NZ Anglicanism) abandons all pretence of common prayer on a Sunday that I would wager when there are even fewer people in our pews than a usual Sunday [woops! I just forgot: we (on purpose?!) have no idea of our numbers on a “usual Sunday”]. There are 28 36 licit combinations of readings for a Eucharist on 1 January.

Shall we count “White” as the liturgical colour as being “common prayer”?! Except… in the Anglican Church of Or, the liturgical colours in the lectionary booklet are “not mandatory but reflect common practice in most parishes. Traditional or local uses may be followed” (page 4). I would put money on it that white will not be unanimous.

The original 1989 New Zealand Prayer Book He Karakia Mihinare o Aotearoa was clear: The Naming of Jesus, 1 January was a Holy Day “in bold type” which “take precedence over Sundays and all other days of commemoration or of special observance” (page7). But the Anglican Church of Or wants to constantly increase individual choice (don’t mention that the etymology of “heresy” is the Greek word for “choice”, or that “orthodoxy” actually means “right worship”!)

There will be those who, this Sunday, celebrate the Feast of the Holy Family. Others still will celebrate the Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, The Octave Day of Christmas. There will be those who do not draw from the church’s tradition, but construct a service ex nihilo.

• collect/opening prayer reflection 1st Sunday after Christmas [Common Worship CofE]


Almighty God,
you have poured upon us the new light of your incarnate Word:
Grant that this light, enkindled in our hearts, may shine forth in our lives;
through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

“The collect has as its source the Sarum collect for a Mass celebrated on Christmas Day. Its ultimate source is the dawn stational Mass at St. Anastasia’s found in the Gregorian Sacramentary (no. 42). It entered the Prayer Book in 1928 as the collect of the second Sunday after Christmas Day.” [Commentary on the American Prayer Book – Marion J. Hatchett]

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1 thought on “1 January 2023”

  1. This is intriguing. The readings for the 2nd Sunday of Christmas in NZ correspond to those given by Common Worship for the 1st Sunday of Christmas, but the CW lectionary says ‘if December 25th falls on a Sunday, Christmas Day is also the First Sunday of Christmas’. I cannot see the CofE’s 2nd Sunday of Christmas readings anywhere in the NZ lectionary. ‘Confused? You will be’ (for those old enough to remember the TV show ‘Soap’). Looking forward to your upcoming post.

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