Let us pray (in silence) [that we may grow into the likeness of Christ]
before the passion of your beloved Son
you revealed his glory on the holy mountain:
grant that we who by faith behold the light of his face
may be strengthened to bear the cross,
and be changed into his likeness from glory to glory;
through the same Jesus Christ
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
Commentary on the above collect.
The Revised Common Lectionary provides the option that this coming Sunday (14 February 2021), the Sunday directly before Lent, the “Last Sunday after the Epiphany”, is celebrated as Transfiguration Sunday. Whilst my own preference is that we use the Transfiguration Gospel story with the majority of Christians on the Second Sunday in Lent, I acknowledge that doing so on the Sunday before Lent is an authorised option.
This 1992 RCL is an agreed and binding formulary of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia. But, I can see no sign of this Transfiguration Sunday option – Anglican Church of Or though it is – in either the lectionary booklet or the new A New Zealand Prayer Book He Karakia Mihinare o Aotearoa 2020.
Transfiguration Sunday was in the NZ Lectionary booklet as an option until 2017.
The last four years it has been omitted as an option in the NZ Lectionary booklet without explanation. That it is not in the booklet, ultimately, is neither here nor there – the lectionary booklet is a varying resource, not the agreed binding formulary of our Church. What IS more concerning is that I cannot see Transfiguration Sunday as an option in the new A New Zealand Prayer Book He Karakia Mihinare o Aotearoa 2020. That book, having the same title as the one binding on us in our Church Constitution, certainly gives the impression that it is binding on us – so the option of Transfiguration Sunday this coming Sunday should be there.
As a final point, with the Transfiguration in the Anglican Church of Or only being an option on the Second Sunday in Lent, it is possible, following the rules on page 7 of NZPB2020, that a parish or other community in our Church never celebrates The Transfiguration on a Sunday!
Resources beyond this site:
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; and
5) this post looks at this book removing collects (prayers).