NZ Prayer Book

In the Constitution of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia Part B1 has that the doctrine of our Church is explained in “A New Zealand Prayer Book – He Karakia Mihinare o Aotearoa”. That would seem straight forward enough. But, it isn’t!

Does this refer to the 1989 Prayer Book, or the 1997 edition, or the 2002 version, or the 2005 new edition? Or does it refer to the online Prayer Book which asserts:

The version of ANZPB/HKMOA available on this website aims to be the most up-to-date available (incorporating all authorised alterations) and is the only ‘officially permitted’ online version. It still contains some errors, which are being edited and updated as quickly as possible.

http://anglicanprayerbook.nz/

There are some who argue that “A New Zealand Prayer Book – He Karakia Mihinare o Aotearoa” in the Constitution refers to all formularies not in the Book of Common Prayer 1662. This approach holds that Ashes to Fire, being a formulary, is part of “A New Zealand Prayer Book – He Karakia Mihinare o Aotearoa” even though it is not in any bound IRL Prayer Book, nor is it at the time of writing part of the online version (it’s omission there could be an error mentioned in the quote above!).

The online Prayer Book has a “Historical Content” section with content from the 1989 Prayer Book which it says remains authorised for use but has since been “replaced” [sic].

Contents vii of the online Prayer Book

This part of the blog post is a bit “live”: I will change it if new information comes to hand (please put it in the comments below). I can indicate when new information becomes available.

In the Proceedings of the 2012 meeting of General Synod Te Hinota Whanui (page S18) states that authorised changes from GSTHW 2010 are now intended to become a formulary. In the Proceedings of 2010, I cannot locate the authorised changes referred to (can you?). Then, in 2012 there is reference to a “schedule” (which I cannot locate) and that this will be inserted into the schedules of Title G, Canon VI. But online that canon is stated to have been repealed in 2016! Also online, the official Prayer Book Changes, as authorised by General Synod /Te Hinota Whanui: “Authorised Prayerbook Changes to 2018” also makes no reference whatsoever (that I can see) to help us untangle all this confusion!

In amongst all this bewildering befuddlement is the point that rearranging bits from a formulary, or combining bits from disparate formularies, does not, by this rearrangement, create a new formulary. Rearranged formulary bits can be published as a book (or online), but this book (or its online equivalent) cannot be called A New Zealand Prayer Book He Karakia Mihinare o Aotearoa as if this rearrangement is what is binding on us as per our Constitution!

This blog post will be continued in a future post. I remind you of the recent promise by our Liturgy Commission:

On the horizon is the exciting reprint of the full Prayer Book, scheduled to be launched at the 64th General Synod in 2020. The Samoan 404, Tongan 404, Fijian 404, and Samoan 476 authorised translations will add to the diverse richness of the multilingual prayer book we all treasure and value so greatly. It is hoped that the much worked on Māori translation of Years A,B,C Sentences and Collects will be ready for inclusion also.

30th Anniversary A New Zealand Prayer Book – He Karakia Mihinare o Aotearoa

I will continue, in the next post about this proposed new Prayer Book, to underscore that a translation of a formulary is not (simply by being a translation) a formulary, and hence the translation (unless it goes through the normal process required to produce a formulary) cannot be part of the A New Zealand Prayer Book He Karakia Mihinare o Aotearoa binding on us in our Constitution.

All this simply reinforces my call to have a review in order to clarify what is required; what is forbidden; and what is allowed.

Testing what we have covered so far

In order to hold a licence in the Anglican Church of Or, clergy must answer at least two of the following correctly; bishops must get all correct.

  1. Are the Alternative Great Thanksgivings included in A New Zealand Prayer Book He Karakia Mihinare o Aotearoa as referred to in our Constitution as explaining Church doctrine?
  2. Is Ashes to Fire included in A New Zealand Prayer Book He Karakia Mihinare o Aotearoa as referred to in our Constitution as explaining Church doctrine?
  3. Are the prayers and readings for Other Feasts and Holy Days included in A New Zealand Prayer Book He Karakia Mihinare o Aotearoa as referred to in our Constitution as explaining Church doctrine?

To be continued…

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