NZ Lectionary 2013

I want to share an email I received with you. But first some reflections around the 2013 NZ Lectionary publication.

Let’s not get too hassled that it incorrectly put Daylight Saving on Easter Day. There was no real problem with having people turn up an hour early at church and having their own personal Easter Vigil. But what is it that the Gospel reading on the Day of Pentecost is incorrect? Is someone really every year typing in every single reading individually, one by one, and typed that one in incorrectly?!

What about the suggesting that we should change to Red from Ascension to the Day of Pentecost (with no alternative provided when other days have up to all four colours given as alternatives!)? Well, you know I just think that is wrong. And remember the Lectionary explicitly says that “[liturgical colours indicated] are not mandatory but reflect the common practice in most parishes.” Seriously?!!! Lots of days get options (even all four colours!) but apparently you out there are all using Red during the Easter Season?! Well I have been using White for the whole Easter Season.

This year there’s a new rule. I have not the slightest idea where this rule is coming from. Tell me. This year, suddenly, “The reading from Acts must be used each Sunday in Eastertide” (image above). Where does the Lectionary get this stuff?! Certainly not from the Revised Common Lectionary. As far as I can see.

Let’s not get into a discussion about Ascension Day which has “This is a principal feast and should not be displaced by any other celebration” but can be transferred to Sunday where it can be replaced by Easter 7…

The problem, of course, with having a tradition of errors in the printed lectionary is that no one is assured which are the errors and which are correct. Another win for those (many) who don’t bother to follow the lectionary.

The email:

I am an avid follower of your website as well as a priest in The Episcopal Church. In the post on heretical hymnody you mention that your church has no authorized hymnal. You’ve also decried the decline of traditional collects, the confused ordo calendar and liturgy so permissive that any sense of common prayer is largely lost. I’m genuinely curious in what way your church understands its “Anglican” character? I’ve been to Episcopal Churches all over the US and though their particular affect or character may differ, they are all recognizably Prayer Book services. I guess what I’m getting at is that here, by and large, it is our common liturgy (and often precious little else) that draws us together and makes us see one another as “us.”

How is “us” defined within New Zealand Anglicanism? My international church experience is quite limited. You have followers all over the world, do you think that in our respective national churches, we are elevating only some aspects of a mythical “pan-Anglicanism” and diminishing others, which might contribute to our mutual misunderstanding?

Please keep up all your good work!

So here’s the question to Kiwi readers here:
How does the Anglican Church here understand itself? What unites us? What makes us Anglican? Is it anything more than “two degrees of separation” – the fact that our church is so small that everybody knows somebody who knows you?
And internationally:
What makes Anglicans (Episcopalians) Anglican? Internationally, what makes you recognise Kiwi Anglicans as Anglican, for example?

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