ECUSA's BCP "memorialized"

Pardon me if this was already discussed somewhere- I couldn't find it in a search- but I wanted to see if anyone here, particularly US Episcopalians, had any thoughts on the decision last summer to "memorialize" the 1979 BCP. I've read some blog posts parsing this odd resolution; many interpret it as meaning the BCP will be perpetually authorized but alternate materials will be made available. Others though seem to find the language quite ambiguous. Thoughts?

Comments

  • Nick TamenNick Tamen Shipmate
    There’s a very little bit of discussion about it in the thread “TEC: Theological liberals who are wedded to the 1979 BCP,” starting here. But not much. I look forward to the thoughts of TECers.
  • SirPalomidesSirPalomides Shipmate
    Thanks, Nick. As someone possibly joining ECUSA, the idea that the BCP might be overhauled in the near future makes me nervous. Not that the 1979 BCP is by any stretch perfect, but I have 0 confidence that those tasked with revision would do anything except make it a whole lot worse.

    I'm not sure if I could be classed as "theologially liberal"- I am in an odd position of being socially left-wing and also supporting women's ordination, LGBT inclusion, etc. but being firmly committed to the faith of the creeds and reasonably traditional liturgy.

  • I'm not sure if I could be classed as "theologially liberal"- I am in an odd position of being socially left-wing and also supporting women's ordination, LGBT inclusion, etc. but being firmly committed to the faith of the creeds and reasonably traditional liturgy.

    That's not odd in my book. In fact that's where I am too.
  • ClimacusClimacus Shipmate
    Not in ECUSA, but me three. I wonder what an Ecclesiantics Venn diagram of social liberal/conservative and theology liberal/conservative would look like!

    Thanks Nick for that link; I missed that thread.

    I went off googling about "memorialized" and found a wealth of blogs, many of them deliciously snarky^; this one, from someone who attended, even says:
    What does "memorialize" mean? The bishops themselves didn't know what this meant. Let's repeat that. The bishops themselves could not agree on what this verb meant. One bishop stated that this verb authorized the use of the 1979 Prayer Book in perpetuity for use. Another bishop said he understood it to mean the exact opposite, that to "memorialize" meant "to remember" and would consign it to the church's memory and its past.
    This is only one person's view (and he is a rector), and they are not afraid to state their views, but it was interesting to me. Like the comments above, it does seem an interesting term.

    ^ Lent is over; it's surely fine to revel in a bit of snark?
  • OblatusOblatus Shipmate
    Seems that when our General Convention (USA) can't figure out what "memorialize" means but is trying to do that, it's time to look at other provinces (C of E?) and find out whether they've taken a similar step and what it was called and how it worked, if it's worth doing.

    I see that with local governments all the time: going round the mulberry bush many times about some perplexing issue that's already been dealt with elsewhere.
  • BabyWombatBabyWombat Shipmate
    As I recall, when the 1979 BCP was issued some bishops were clear that it replaced the 1928 book. There was furor over that in the rural parish I'd moved into after leaving the big city. The Rector bought up every new copy of the 1928 book he could find, and kept them safe in the library. I suspect that by "memorializing" the 1979 book, the bishops are saying that while new texts have been authorized, and more may be authorized in the future, the 1979 may be used. This move to avoid the furor of the past. (Although how much persuasion will come forth to 'encourage' use of the newer texts is something we shall wait and see).

    Currently I alternate with another supply priest in meeting the sacramental needs of a small parish. We have no pastoral responsibility other than preaching and the small discussions at coffee hour. He is enthusiastic about the newer texts, with their female imagery of God. He has used it without discussion or pastoral support, and the elderly parishioners are confused and somewhat aghast. I am very comfortable with such imagery, but think that it is only respectful to have education and discussion prior to using it at the principal service. Therefore I am 'strictly 1979' when I am there. I am seen somewhat as a dinosaur in that regard, even though in my personal prayer I range more widely in language and imagery. By memorializing the 1979 BCP I suspect the bishops want to keep a wide road for the church, and avoid the narrowness that frightens some.
  • Oblatus wrote: »
    Seems that when our General Convention (USA) can't figure out what "memorialize" means but is trying to do that, it's time to look at other provinces (C of E?) and find out whether they've taken a similar step and what it was called and how it worked, if it's worth doing.

    If GC can't agree on what the words in the motions that they pass actually mean, they should go back and do it right, in unambiguous language.

    Sure - when discussing prayer book revisions, it makes sense to look at the recent experience of other provinces. It is always helpful to find out what pitfalls other people encountered, what things they thought were important, and what techniques they used to square the various circles involved. But this is not dependent on GC being unable to perform a simple act of ass-elbow differentiation - it's a thing that should be done anyway, as an integral part of the preparatory research in any prayer book revision process.

    And when you've done all the preparatory research, and found out what people currently do, what works, and what doesn't work, then you go back to the theology. You have to get the theology of the liturgy right, rather than carelessly adopting something because it sounds good.

    And once you know what you want to write, then you find some people with a talent for the language to write it.
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    If GC can't agree on what the words in the motions that they pass actually mean, they should go back and do it right, in unambiguous language. ...

    I haven't been able even to guess what this thread is about, but that statement stands up as a principle of general application. It gets three of these, 👍👍👍.
  • ZappaZappa Ecclesiantics Host
    edited May 7
    ...
    I'm not sure if I could be classed as "theologially liberal"- I am in an odd position of being socially left-wing and also supporting women's ordination, LGBT inclusion, etc. but being firmly committed to the faith of the creeds and reasonably traditional liturgy.
    It's probably a tangent, but I don't think that's an unusual position - or maybe we're just unusual together :wink: - in general mainstream ecclesiastical society or around these decks.
  • RossweisseRossweisse Shipmate, Hell Host
    ...And once you know what you want to write, then you find some people with a talent for the language to write it.
    Ay, there’s the rub! In contrasting the sacred poetry of earlier BCPs with the clunk and cludge of the 1979 Book, it's hard not to recognize the downside of working by committee. Committees are never long on graceful language; they're primarily about the beady-eyed fixations of their members.

    Exhibit A: That supreme example of cludge, "And also with you." (And I don't care that the RCs invented it. No one has ever looked to them for graceful English translations of anything. But we're supposed to be good at it.)

  • ForthviewForthview Shipmate
    Rossweisse you may or may not know that several years ago now the liturgical reply to the greeting 'the Lord be with you' became 'and with your spirit' for those using the Roman Missal ( who 'defer' to the pope !). This was ,however, not because of it being a more graceful English translation. The words are a closer literal translation of the Latin 'et cum spiritu tuo' but it is thought that they more closely express the ideas in the Old Testament text where they are originally seen.
  • SirPalomidesSirPalomides Shipmate
    “And with your spirit” is also in the Greek and that’s what you will hear in Orthodox churches.
  • RossweisseRossweisse Shipmate, Hell Host
    Forthview wrote: »
    Rossweisse you may or may not know that several years ago now the liturgical reply to the greeting 'the Lord be with you' became 'and with your spirit'...
    Yes, I am well aware of that. I wish, in this case, that we'd followed them as slavishly as we did back in the 1970s with "And also with you"! (It's one reason that my funeral instructions call for use of the Rite II service: I want as little cludge as possible.)



  • Ex_OrganistEx_Organist Shipmate
    “And with your spirit” is also in the Greek and that’s what you will hear in Orthodox churches.

    The Greek text translates as "Peace to all" with the response "And to your spirit". You will encounter a correct translation (rather than an imitation of BCP) in some (but by no ,eans all) Anglophone Orthodox churches.
  • ClimacusClimacus Shipmate
    Interesting. Thank you. The Greeks in America's published texts have "And with your spirit", which is what the Greeks and Antiochians down under went for. I think the Russians went for "And to thy spirit", but my memory is faulty there as I attended an Antiochian parish mainly.
  • Al EluiaAl Eluia Shipmate
    Rossweisse wrote: »
    Forthview wrote: »
    Rossweisse you may or may not know that several years ago now the liturgical reply to the greeting 'the Lord be with you' became 'and with your spirit'...
    Yes, I am well aware of that. I wish, in this case, that we'd followed them as slavishly as we did back in the 1970s with "And also with you"! (It's one reason that my funeral instructions call for use of the Rite II service: I want as little cludge as possible.)

    I'm mostly a Rite II guy, but I attended the memorial service of someone who requested a Rite I service and I was annoyed by everyone around me saying "And also with you."

    The comedian John Mulaney has a great bit about "And with your spirit": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=63RcymipKuY
  • RossweisseRossweisse Shipmate, Hell Host
    Al Eluia wrote: »
    I'm mostly a Rite II guy, but I attended the memorial service of someone who requested a Rite I service and I was annoyed by everyone around me saying "And also with you."

    The comedian John Mulaney has a great bit about "And with your spirit": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=63RcymipKuY
    Oh, that was good.

    I shall have the music director rehearse the choir in the proper response. They can be counted upon to drown out the congregation as needed.


  • ZappaZappa Ecclesiantics Host
    I'm less convinced that "and also with you" is glumph.

    My reading of the "and" is that it is a subordinator in a relational clause. This therefore demands that the second part of the sentence assumes the same subject ("The Lord"), but now in relation to a different object. The object in the first clause is "you [pl.]" (the congregation, collectively, though by implication singularly also), and in the second is "you [sing.]" (the presider).

    Grammatically it should be a bit like one of those simultaeneous equations, with equivalance on either side of the subordinator. "And with thy spirit" suddenly whacks extraneous information into the conversation,* new information about the Lord's presence, a sort of a x b = ac outcome. The presider was talking about the Lord's being with the whole person ("you", unqualified) , the conregation limits the "being-with-ness" to merely the spirit of the presider thereof.

    Sort of "roses are red, [and] violets are really-quite-nice-but-don't-quite-cut-the-mustard."

    Or maybe I need more coffee. But basically I've always felt that "with thy spirit" glumphs badly at a whole unequivalence level.

    *a bit like a naughty third speaker in a debate, trying to slip some new information into the rebuttal and summary. A point of order is called for, though it could get messy in a liturgy:

    A. The Lord be with you.
    B. And with thy Spirit.

    A. Lift up your hearts.
    B. We lift them ... [point of order Ms Chair...]

  • ZappaZappa Ecclesiantics Host
    Oh bugger ... I think ^^^ that ^^^ is the the same point Mulaney was making in Rossweisse's link 😟
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