Someone told me that General Synod of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia has authorised 38 “special Sundays”. IMO, the General Synod is irresponsible in its liturgical governance and leadership.

I strongly support the three year lectionary in its RCL and RC forms. And I notice that this doesn’t work as well when people are constantly looking for themes. Or abandoning the Sunday readings for a “special Sunday”.

It is difficult for me to understand, for example, why, in New Zealand, National Bible Sunday gets its own readings which, rather than encouraging systematic reading of the scriptures actually models the opposite by departing from the RCL’s systematic reading of the scriptures!!!

By all means, add a special intention into the prayers, or pick up a focus in a hymn, or make a connection between the set readings and such a focus, or have a visiting preacher from a particular organisation, or add something to the pew sheet, or alter the worship environment, … but don’t force the service into a constraining theme; and don’t depart from the three year lectionary, in a community that meets weekly, without good cause.

Here are some of the “special Sundays” that spring to mind:

AAW SUNDAY (1st Sunday in February)
ASIA SUNDAY (nearest Sunday to 20 May)
Te Pouhere Sunday – Second Sunday after Pentecost
DISABILITY AWARENESS SUNDAY (3rd Sunday in June)
REFUGEE SUNDAY (1st Sunday in July)
Sea Sunday (2nd Sunday in July
NATIONAL BIBLE SUNDAY (3rd Sunday in July)
Social Services Sunday (4th Sunday in July)
RELIGIOUS VOCATION SUNDAY (3RD Sunday in August)
ANGLICAN COMMUNION SUNDAY (last Sunday in August)
BATTLE OF BRITAIN SUNDAY (Sunday nearest 15 September)
Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation
if date unknownFeast of Dedication or Consecration
TIKANGA YOUTH SUNDAY
REMEMBRANCE SUNDAY (2nd Sunday in November)
Feast of Christ in All Creation
Aotearoa Sunday

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