I am the guest preacher at the Patronal Festival of Saint Mark.

I want to know what the readings will be. Should be straightforward enough. Would be straightforward in other Anglican Churches. But not in the Anglican Church of Or

Anyone with parish leadership experience will know the networking around the readings: they get printed a week ahead in the pew sheet; different readers prepare for their proclamation; the cantor and musicians look at options and prepare for the psalm; study groups and individuals reflect on them and pray about them… the preacher prepares the sermon with the readings in mind… we need to be sure we are all on the same page

A New Zealand Prayer Book – He Karakia Mihinare o Aotearoa (ANZPB/HKMA) has two options for Saint Mark:

Isaiah 52:7-10
Ephesians 6:10-20 or Acts 15:36-40
Mark 13:9-13

Isaiah 62:6-12
Psalm 89:1-9
Ephesians 4:7-16 or 1 Peter 5:5b-14
Mark 16:15-20

OK. So those are the formularies of our church. Those are what we promise and sign we will use. This is the agreement that our church and Act of Parliament says “may not be diminished”…

So what does our NZ Lectionary give us? Well under the heading ANZPB/HKMA, which it clearly isn’t (see image above), it has:

Proverbs 15:28-33 or
Acts 15:35-41
Psalm 119:9-16
Ephesians 4:7-16
Mark 13:5-13

The added irony is that I’ve just received information from the General Secretary of our church. Our diocese, regulars here will remember, passed the following at our synod unanimously and with acclaim:

asks the Standing Committee of the General Synod/ te Hinota Whanui to urgently set in place a review of the labyrinthine liturgical rules of our province and produce a straightforward report which makes clear
1) what is required,
2) what is allowed, and
3) what is forbidden,
and that this review become the foundation for a renewal of the way we categorise our liturgical resources to a transparent, simple system;

The response from the General Secretary I received this week is:

The liturgical rules of this Church are already transparent, simple and clear if one reads the Canons and Standing Resolutions of the General Synod, and these were explained to the Rev’d Peters at the above meeting, but to aid understanding CLLC has commissioned a one-page simple guide to where and how to find what is ‘authorized’ liturgy in this church. This guide will be presented to the Bishops’ meeting this month and then reported to GSTHW 2012.

Clearly no one in my diocese, from the bishop down, is reading the transparent, simple and clear Canons and Standing Resolutions of the General Synod. And nor is the drafter of our Lectionary.

I look forward to the one-page simple guide.

I do wonder why ‘authorized’ is in scare quotes…

[For a while I had to be careful this didn’t become a regular weekly post. See here, here, here, here, here,…]

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