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Church of Or Prayer Book

A New Zealand Prayer Book He Karakia Mihinare o Aotearoa 2020 pages 6-7

The Calendar in A New Zealand Prayer Book He Karakia Mihinare o Aotearoa 2020 (NZPB2020) describes different ranks of celebrations – this helps when two celebrations occur on the same day. For example, if Easter Day falls on the same day as the celebration of Richard of Chichester (Feast Day: 3 April), we celebrated Easter Day. Easter Day, a Principal Feast, takes precedence over Richard of Chichester, a Commemoration.

[Feasts and Holy Days are delineated on these pages. There is also mention of a “festival” category without any explanation. I am guessing that Feasts and Holy Days together make up the category of what NZPB calls “festivals” – but, who knows…

NZPB2020’s pages 7 is unchanged from the 2005 book with the same name. NZPBs prior to 2005 had differences in page 7 – but options and terms are confused and confusing enough without adding the nameless bold and unbolded categories to the unclear named classification]

But, it is not for nothing that the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia can be termed ‘The Anglican Church of Or‘. There is another document which has the same role of describing different ranks of celebrations and making decisions when celebrations clash. On the Church’s Website page of Authorised Services (Formularies) there is Liturgical Precedence (updated 2014). And – surprise! – this Liturgical Precedence document and the 2020 Prayer Book do not agree.

The Liturgical Precedence document has twice as many Principal Feasts as NZPB2020!!! Just one example: in NZPB2020, The Transfiguration of the Beloved Son, 6 August, is not a Principal Feast. It “may displace a Sunday in … the Season after Pentecost“, or it might not. BUT, in the Liturgical Precedence document, it IS a Principal Feast, and there is no option of celebrating 6 August as the Ordinary Sunday 18: “[This] day, and the liturgical provision for [it], should not be displaced by any other celebration.”

[Unlike NZPB, in the Liturgical Precedence document, Principal Feasts and Principal Holy Days are NOT festivals. The Liturgical Precedence document is quite clear what the festivals are. It names 26 festivals.]

Add to the confusion: NZPB2020 seems, oddly, to be referring to the Liturgical Precedence document (which conflicts with NZPB2020) towards the bottom of NZPB2020 page 7 (the italics of Section 2)! “The observance of a festival may … not [displace] the Sundays of Advent, Lent or Easter except as provided in guidelines for Precedence in Liturgical Observance provided by the General Synod/te Hīnota Whānui.

Concluding the confusion, the NZ Anglican Lectionary booklet sometimes follows NZPB2020, sometimes the Liturgical Precedence document, and sometimes it even provides an other option.

Let’s stay with the Transfiguration, to keep the illustration simple. The option of our Church’s authorised (formulary) of the 1992 Revised Common Lectionary allows for the Transfiguration on the Sunday before Lent [Year AYear B (this year)Year C]. Transfiguration Sunday prior to Lent, part of the authorised formulary of our Church, is omitted from NZPB2020. BUT it was still included in the years up to and including 2017 in the NZ lectionary booklet.

2017 also happened to be the most recent year that the The Transfiguration of the Beloved Son, 6 August, was on a Sunday. NZPB would have that The Transfiguration may displace a Sunday. So, hence, according to NZPB, one may also celebrate the “18th Sunday in Ordinary Time” on that 6 August. In the Liturgical Precedence document, however, The Transfiguration of the Beloved Son is a Principal Feast which must be celebrated. In the Liturgical Precedence document, when August 6 is a Sunday, we cannot celebrate the 18th Sunday in Ordinary Time; we must celebrate The Transfiguration of the Beloved Son. In this case, the lectionary booklet followed NZPB, not the Liturgical Precedence document (in spite of NZPB confusingly saying that we should follow the Liturgical Precedence document!)

We could go through other examples like this. In summary: the Calendar section of NZPB2020 is so confused and confusing alongside other resources that, even in a year in which the feast of The Transfiguration falls on a Sunday [a year in which there are, hence, three agreed possible Sundays to read the Transfiguration story], in the Anglican Church of Or, there are so many options that a community might not use any of those three possibilities and NEVER hear the Transfiguration story on a Sunday.

Posts on A New Zealand Prayer Book He Karakia Mihinare o Aotearoa 2020
1) how this book, in many ways, is maybe the book many might have hoped for in 1989;
2) how this book bears the same title as the 1989 book but has quite a different status;
3) this post began looking in detail at some of the changes in the book from previous books which bore the same title;
4) this post showed how the new Prayer Book defied General Synod Te Hinota Whanuia;
5) this post looks at this book removing collects (prayers); and
6) this post discusses the omitting of the agreed option of celebrating the Transfiguration on the Sunday before Lent.

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