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promoting your church

Recently I was in the Nelson diocese. I spotted a lot of simple, attractive leaflets (see image above) explaining about weddings in the different Anglican churches of the diocese. I have often written about my sadness that churches have been poor at indicating what we offer (weddings, funerals,…). So 5 points to the Nelson Diocese.

[Unfortunately they also lose some points – in churches I picked up sheets with communion service rites that use Eucharistic Prayers that are not allowed in our church, even in our Anglican Church of Or where nearly every possibility one can think of is allowed.]

Do you have any other examples, or ideas…

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14 thoughts on “promoting your church”

    1. Not quite sure what your question means, Matthew. Do you want a list of Eucharistic prayers allowed by our church, or are you asking me to type up on this site some of the Eucharistic prayers that I saw – I do not really have the time and resources to do the latter & I also acknowledge some complexity in the former. Blessings.

  1. Great post Bosco. Our parish websites are also a great portal now to letting folk know what we offer. Some parishes have great pages on their wedding ministry – attractive, simple, informative. Using the right tags on your page is important so people find you on google too.

    1. Thanks, Andrew. I encourage readers to click on the link to your site – a well-presented church website. The web is now a primary way people communicate. As to the “right tags” – this is an area, if it interests any readers here, that is called search-engine optimisation (SEO). Thanks again. Blessings.

  2. You mean like this?

    I felt a little uncomfortable last year and imagined Jesus throwing open the huge West doors, and yelling “My Temple should be”……

    I guess it is a compromise, they are competing against other local venues, but I long to see people married in church not just it is tradition, but they want God’s blessing on their future.

    I know radical

    Agape Lorraine

    1. Thanks, Lorraine. You would have to explain more about this particular “show” – was it the church showing what was available with the church, or was it the church building used as an advertising venue? If you look at some of the other posts I’ve written about marriage and weddings – I hope the Christian community is more forthright about presenting church as a place where one could have a less expensive wedding. So many people would love, as you say, God’s blessing on their future, but get the impression that a church wedding is, by nature, expensive. How do we let them know that all the “show” type stuff isn’t of the essence of getting married in our church? Come to our our church, receive God’s blessing, have refreshments in our hall, we can even cater, or your friends can bring food, … Blessings.

    1. Mary, eucharistic prayers from our Prayerbook, including the framework p512-514 are authorised. These others are allowed. Under certain conditions, eucharistic prayers approved elsewhere in the Anglican Communion are allowed. Blessings.

  3. Sorry not to be clear – what was the source of the unauthorised EPs? (eg, were they lifted from the Roman missal perhaps? or home grown?) Certainly not asking you to type them up!

    1. (sorry, not sure where you are writing from, Matthew) I was writing about the Nelson Diocese – no they weren’t “lifted from the Roman missal” 😉 The source wasn’t given, so I suspect these are, what you call, “home grown”. Blessings.

  4. I recall clergy regularly using the ECUSA Eucharistic Prayers in a parish in Napier at midweek celebrations. Sadly I have not had the pleasure of hearing the superb compositions from the C of E’s Common Worship liturgies.

    What I’d like to know is why Anglican clergy seem to think that a midweek service of Holy Communion can turn into the provision for Communion with the Sick (you know that abbreviated form appearing after the Ministry with the Sick section in the 1989 Prayerbook.)

    I’ve attended several services where this slimmed down service is used (usually badly) among able-bodied worshippers who are well able to navigate their way through the shape of the liturgy of the fuller rites.

    What particulary suprises me is the fact that the clergy often use one Scripture reading so we are deprived of the OT/NT first reading and Psalm portion and end up with a Gospel reading if we are lucky. The early church heretic Marcion would feel right at home.

    It seems sad that celebrants don’t realise that there are many optional sections and a canonically authorised service can be conducted in under 25 minutes with ease as long as they keep their optional homily and the intercessions short and to the point.

    1. Steve, there is so much in your comment, it really requires several blog posts to address your excellent points.

      Legally (as far as I can see – though see here), of course, you cannot use an overseas Eucharistic Prayer unless you are using the full provision of readings and psalm. I would never consider dropping the psalm or the OT/NT reading and would be interested how widespread using the Gospel alone is becoming. Apparently dropping the psalm is very prevalent. My issue is with the cluttering of the Gathering of the Community. If the rubric says “may be used” I want people to start from the direction of giving me an argument why they are not leaving it out. We are preparing to Hear what the Spirit is saying to us, the Church. The reading is the purpose of the Gathering.

      I always have a homily. And you appear to assume the presider leads the prayers – I cannot recall when I last had no choice as presider but to lead the prayers.

      A simple Eucharist with three hymns, sung Eucharistic parts (Gloria, Sanctus…), reading, psalm, gospel, homily, intercessions, silence, in our community takes 35 minutes. If there is a full choir, and hundreds of communicants, and two choir pieces during distribution of communion, it takes 50 minutes. The bishop was surprised when I organised a confirmation Eucharist that it took 58 minutes. He preached – so I had no control over that. It is not the time that is important, but the quality of the service – but so many appear to be putting the emPHAsis on the wrong syllABle.


      1. Thank you, Bosco. I am in awe of your liturgical quality-time management and can only hope other clergy will be inspired by you in this as in other matters!

        As a member of the laos I pass unnoticed and can report single reading Eucharists occurring recently in Wellington (weekday Eucharist) and at a central North Island cathedral on All Saints’ Day no less.

        I’ve also experienced the Communion with the Sick provision at a midweek Eucharist at two North Island cathedrals.

        I seem to recall that the use of the Communion with the Sick provision was once advocated at a North Island clergy conference about 10 years ago. Maybe the Mainland is immune from this sort of liturgical trimming.

        Don’t get me wrong abbreviated forms of the Holy Communion are necessary for the sick, aged and infirm who have limited energy and attention-spans. Most churches of the Anglican Communion provide for this but able-bodied worshippers at a mid-week service can handle the full provision and the proclaimation of two Scripture readings (one being the Holy Gospel) and maybe a Psalm portion should be the norm.

        The 1989 Prayerbook doesn’t really do rubrics or guidance so it allows this situation regarding lections and the misuse of liturgical provisions to take hold.

        1. I don’t know if you have read my book, Celebrating Eucharist (online here for free). It is more concerned with why we do things – rather than an obsession with rules. I would never consider having a Eucharist without a first reading, psalm, and gospel. I thought we were a church that sees the scriptures as being important… I do not think that the Mainland has a better liturgical tradition than the north – hence you may have clicked, above, on my reference to this being the Anglican Church of Or. I think for my book I worked out that the “required” parts of a full Eucharistic liturgy takes 5-6 minutes to proclaim slowly and reverently. The required parts of the Communion with the Sick rite you mention I think takes less than 2 1/2 minutes to proclaim reverently and slowly. With one reading, if one of these “sick and frail people” “unable to concentrate” on the clock, came five minutes late they might have missed it… Blessings.

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