Skip to comments.”Hear what the Spirit is saying to the Churches.”
Posted on 08/31/2005 12:46:51 PM PDT by sionnsar
Its come to my attention that some Episcopal parishes are changing what they say after the scripture lessons. In the 1979 prayer book, for Holy Eucharist Rite II, The Word of the Lord is said with the people responding Thanks be to God.
Theres also the option of saying, Here ends the Reading.
But now some parishes are saying, Hear what the Spirit is saying to the Churches or a variant.
That sets off alarm bells with me, to put it nicely. Yes, Im aware thats a quote from Revelation. But its not an appropriate closure to a scripture lesson.
First, it comes across (to me at least) as a flowery attempt to avoid the authority of Gods Word. The parish leaders dont want to announce scripture as the word of God, but simply saying Here ends the Reading isnt good enough for them for some reason.
So they say something that makes no clear commitment about the authority of the scripture just said. Hear what the Spirit is saying . . . could easily mean, We dont know how much of what we just read is from God, so listen real hard to figure out what God is really saying to us.
And, frankly, ECUSA leaders have been blaming a lot of their revisionism on the Holy Spirit lately. This change goes right along with that. I for one think that is no coincidence.
Even if I'm being overly alarmist and paranoid (and I'm not), the bad messages this innovation sends, even if inadvertent, are good enough reasons to snuff it.
But, again, you cant blame the 1979 prayer book for this its not in there. Ive been told it comes from Enriching Our Worship and is therefore authorized by ECUSA. Which brings up an important reason for having a prayer book liturgy, without an excess of alternative liturgies running amuck quality control. And part of its quality control is that it disallows at least many hobby horses from entering parish worship. (Although the 1979 BCP, even on its own, certainly allows more hobby horses than more traditional prayer books.)
For example, I come from a Fundamentalist background. But when I do my lector duties, its not appropriate for me to say, This is the God-breathed, plenary inspired, inerrant Word of the Lord. And the REC Prayer Book would not allow it, and I would lose my Lectors license if I kept it up. Instead, I can say, This is the Word of the Lord.
Similarly, someone in a church whose leadership thinks the Holy Spirit is saying all sorts of strange stuff to the churches should not be allowed to say, Hear what the Spirit is saying to the churches.
Thats not to mention that such liturgical innovations further separate a parish from the historic catholic church through the ages. I like traditional liturgy because it links a church with the saints of centuries past. Needless innovations fray those links.
In any case, this liturgical innovation is one hobby horse that should be shot.
Oh, one of these days after my New Testament reading I'm going to say, "Here endeth the Epistle". It's a holdover from the 1928 BCP that's still in the 1979 BCP as an accepted variant. Of course, after coming back to the ECUSA after having been unchurched for about 30 years, I had a heck of a time not saying "very God of very God" during the Nicene Creed ....
Is it in the '79 as part of Rite I? We use the '28 so I am accustomed to saying "Here endeth the Epistle." (And the church responds, "Thanks be to God!", per their '79 experience.)
"Hear what the Spirit...." sound suspiciously similar to the United Church of Christ's "God is still speaking," campaign.
My parish has just begun using "The Word of the Lord" as a deliberate in-your-face against the revisionist sodomite agenda.
"Here ends the Epistle" is an alternative form approved in Rite II, which is what we do, so I was wrong, a little. OTOH, "Here endeth the Epistle" is in fact an alternative form in Rite I.
If I were WRITING a liturgy or rite, or were part of a group authorized do so, I guess I would entertain the "hear what the Spirit ...." line. It's sort of provocative in a way, and in my opinion not intrinsically harmful.
But think about it. The Episcopal Church is a group which one may leave voluntarily. It has a prescribed method for establishing and revising its rites. And this method is part of the promulgated and easily obtainable Constitution and Canons of the group. It seems to me, therefore, if you join or remain in such a group, you make a commitment to abide by the rules, including the rules for changing the rules.
With me so far? Hang on.
If I make a statement in public and sign it in public and have the signature witnessed in public, with the witnesses signing that they saw me sign, AND IF that statement says that I will abide by the "doctrine, discipline, and worship" of the Episcopal Church, AND IF I THEN break my word, not over some high matter of conscience or great fear and threat but because I happen to like "hear what the SPirit is blah blah blah" more than I like "The word of the Lord", then it's a pretty safe bet that I am not to be trusted, that my word is worth nothing, and that, in setting my whim over the choice of the group I engaged to obey, I have put my SELF and my litle whims ahead of keeping my voluntary commitments.
No wonder the Episcopal Church has gone off the rails. The people, and espesially the clergy think that when they follow their fancies they are following God and they value their whims ahead of their promises.
I don't recall any signed promises in ECUSA, either. I know other churches do that, and I believe the REC may be one of them.
To me, "Here ends the Epistle" would only make sense if you were reading a whole Epistle (and Corinthians is pretty long!) or a passage that happened to be at the end of one.
Good point. But I remember from my youth that it was common for people to use that phrase if they were reading from anywhere in an Epistle. Perhaps it is or was understood to mean "Here endeth the Epistle reading." But you're right in that the way it reads, it's as if you've read the actual end of the Epistle.
It's clear enough what's intended, but the phrasing is a bit askew.
Oh, my Bill has just been elected Patrol Leader!
Art thou better than populous NO, that was situate among the rivers, that had the waters round about it, whose rampart was the sea, and her wall was from the sea?
His first resource is his Senior Patrol Leader. A BSA Troop has a definite chain of command, and he should use it. If his SPL is inexperienced, they should all be working with either the Scoutmaster or an Assistant that the SM has appointed for this. He should also get himself a copy of the Patrol Leader's Handbook (if the Troop didn't provide him with one) and read through it. There's also a link on the National web site that provides an intro to his responsibilities.
Your Troop should be running a Junior Leader Training course (which takes about 6 hours to run); there's an official syllabus and video tape that National puts out. If the Troop doesn't run it, talk to the SM and see if they can put it on. The Council may also run a training course, but that's usually during the summer.
The Patrol Leader is the most important position in a Troop. He's going to find it frustrating, since his peers may not understand the implications of electing a leader and may not want to treat him seriously when he tries to exert some leadership. Make sure he realizes that "follow me" works a lot better than "you go do that".
I imagine that the ECUSA churches have borrowed it from the New Zealander Prayer Book.
Very interesting. Thanks!
I for one don't think the Spirit is any longer speaking to ECUSA, and hasn't done so for many years.
No, it's more like many of the clergy in ECUSA have decided to stop listening.
They're listening to a spirit, but it's not the Holy Spirit.
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