That would be a liturgical matter - miscellaneous questions
As it seems there is not a miscellaneous questions thread I will start one by posting the answer to my perennial question about whether it is permissible for the Ash Wednesday liturgy, including imposition of ashes, to be conducted by a lay person. It seems that, at least as far as my own tradition goes, it is. The notes to the experimental liturgies authorised for use in the Scottish Episcopal Church specifically state that where a priest is not available the blessing and imposition of ashes may be conducted by a lay-presider. Now to ponder how long it is likely to have been since the imposition of ashes was last available here...
In our parish school there will be about 400 children at one of the Masses on Ash Wednesday and two of the teachers help the priest to impose the ashes.
For the last few years I have been in Abu Dhabi on Ash Wednesday when there will be about 16 000 people at Mass,about 2 000 at each Mass. The ashes are imposed at the end of the liturgy with about 20 laypeople signing the faithful with ashes as they come out of the church
God our Father, you create us from the dust of the earth:
grant that these ashes may be for us a sign of our penitence and a symbol of our mortality; for it is by your grace alone that we receive eternal life.
AIUI, this can be said by a cleric or an authorised Lay Minister.
If it comes down to a choice between no service/ blessing of ashes or a layperson taking the service, which makes the most sense? To be blunt, if you are meeting together to mark the beginning of Lent, will God mind if the person leading the remembrance hasn't been priested? I'd suggest not.
Still and all,the liturgy is the liturgy and the liturgical rites,should help us to appreciate these things more.
Alas, as Basilica points out, even then clergy will still alter the official liturgy (which they have sworn a solemn oath to use) to suit their own prejudices.
"Corrected"? Why do ashes need to be 'blessed'? Surely those in need of 'blessing' are people. Ashes are not considered sacramental, only symbolic. As a Reader and Layman I was never called upon to impose ashes but I see no reason that a Reader or Lay Minister could not perform that function adequately.
In Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us. 2 Cor. 5:19. Love covers a multitude of sins. 1 Pet. 4:8.
Certainly. But one of the ways I express my devotion to God is to, so far as it depends on me, follow carefully the liturgies drawn up by the part of his church to which I belong. In the past we have met to mark Ash Wednesday but traced the cross on our own foreheads without ash, as that seemed to be closest we could manage under the existing liturgy.
But if it's a real correction - as in a canonical amendment - it would apply to all the CofE not just the Anglo-Catholic end, wouldn't it? If it's only something that one end of the CofE spectrum is aware of it can hardly be universal! Anyway, not something to go to the stake for, either way!
I'm with Bishop's Finger on the general principle of not altering liturgy - but then all too frequently the wallahs who produce this sort of thing today come up with something so clunky that one has to amend just to ensure it actually comes across as English.
This is the rite in question. The rite itself does not use the term "blessing", and actually neither does the commentary:
That was my poor phrasing, my apologies.
YMMV, but the festal character of the Maundy Thursday Mass is emphasised by inclusion of Gloria, before seguing into the Procession to the Altar of Repose, the Watch of Prayer etc., if that's what you do.
It's many aeons since I last went to a 1662 BCP Mass on Maundy Thursday, so I can't recall if it included Gloria (which, in that case, would come at the end of the service.)
The Maundy Thursday liturgy is a complex one. It involves the joy of the new commandment and the institution of the Eucharist, then moves into the sadness of Gethsemane and the Passion.
So the Gloria is there in recognition of the joy of the evening, before it descends into darkness.
As I said, I'm afraid memory is too dim to recall whether Gloria was omitted - I suspect not, and, in any case, it was never sung at all, as that would have been Rank Popery!
On another matter, for those who veil crosses and images, when do you do so? Our tradition in recent years appears to have been noting on Lent 5 that we probably should have done it for then, and getting round to it during the week in time for Palm Sunday.
Nothing with organ accompaniment after the communion and appropriate chants or anthems while the altar is stripped and the reserved sacrament carried to the altar of repose.
We usually have something like Sumsion in F for the setting, with Byrd's Ave verum at communion or the Durufle Ubi caritas et amor. No closing hymn of course, no voluntary - in fact no organ music at all until the beginning of the Gloria at the Vigil service.
Regards, the use of bells after Maundy Thursday: I know I may be a heretic on this one, but on Good Friday, as the chancel is darkened I will have the bell toll thirty two times and then slam the book at the end of the tolling.
So at least in the liturgies of the Roman Rite and of the Episcopal Church, the fact that Sundays in Lent but not of Lent and are little Easters does not mean the Gloria can be sung.
Ours are veiled in purple throughout Lent. They'll be veiled in red on Palm Sunday. I'm pretty sure we veil in black for Good Friday, but I haven't made it to church then for a few years, because I've always had the small children.
I want to say Holy Friday to Holy Saturday, but I can't remember if they come off during or after the morning service, or the Paschal Resurrection service that night.
Any who can help my failing memory please do so.
In the Byzantine Rite, the icons are not usually veiled but the hangings on the icon stands and around the church are changed from light to dark (usually purple) during Forgiveness Vespers prior to the commencement of Lent. The prayer that is usually read, Vouchsafe, O Lord, to keep us this evening without sin, is sung very slowly on this day to any of a number of chants composed for the purpose, and the veiling takes place at this time.
The purple hangings give way to the black ones of the Holy Friday services. Then, during the Vesperal Liturgy of St Basil, which is served on Holy Saturday afternoon, the black hangings are removed and replaced with white or silver hangings, (often the festal hangings have already been placed beneath the black ones prior to the service for convenience). The clergy also change their vestments at this point, from black to white.
This is in fact the original paschal Vigil, which is why it bears so many hallmarks of the western Paschal Vigil (replacement of dark hangings with light, baptisms, reintroduction of joyful chants, a number of the same readings, and so forth) - they share the same roots.
I once attended a talk by Metropolitan Kallistos of Diokleia, who said that, when the new Vigil was introduced in about the 8th century, the old one was so loved that it was simply moved to the afternoon, which is when it takes place today.
There is no morning Liturgy appointed for Holy and Great Saturday: only the Vesperal Liturgy and the night Liturgy of the Paschal Vigil. The Vesperal Liturgy is appointed to begin at about 4pm (or "the tenth hour of the day", as it is worded in the rubrics), although most places serve it somewhat earlier for pastoral reasons, (the clergy and choir have a big job in the coming night and will need some rest!). At my old parish, the start time varied from one year to the next, the latest being 3pm and the earliest being 12 noon. I have never seen it done in the morning, but I have heard of parishes where it happens. It always seems to me to be taking pastoral need a bit too far. After all, it is Vespers.
In any case, the change happens during the elongated responsorial chant Arise, O God; judge the earth, which replaces the Alleluia prior to the Gospel.
It's quite a job, requiring much huffing, puffing, and stepladders, and has to be undone on Holy Saturday morning.
We never did the purple veiling. And had the Holy Saturday Liturgy at 8 or 9am. Oh well, it was sunset somewhere in the world I used to think. Or, as someone told me, Lent turns everything upside down.
Re: veiling of crosses and images. This varied somewhat, most places putting on the veils before the evening office on Saturday before Lent V, but one place insisting on doing the deed on Shrove Tuesday afternoon.
Unveiling likewise varied. Most changing the altar cross to black for Good Friday, and some, though not all, unveiling a cross during the liturgy.
Most left other images covered until sometime during the Gloria at the Vigil. (All pretty much according to Fortescue, and these were all TEC parishes!)
And modern RC practice is not to veil anything until Maundy Thursday and thern to veil anything that cannot be moved for Good Friday.
In my tradition, every Sunday during Lent is referenced "X Sunday in Lent." Otherwise, there would be 46 days of Lent. The Sundays in Lent are not counted.
Either "trid-joo-um" or "trid-oo-um". The latter is the more authentic Latin pronunciation; the former is the more common (IME) English pronunciation.
Sure, but certainly there's power in periodically saying, "Yes, I took that vow, and I would do it again, and I'm fully committed to it." Necessary? No. Helpful in continuing to keep the vow? Yes. Works the same way for renewal of wedding vows, especially after a healing of something that threatened the keeping of the vows.
It depends on what you mean by "sunrise service".
Is this simply the Paschal Vigil that your church does in the early hours of the morning? Or is it something different?
I once went to a sunrise service in my Anglican days and was sorely disappointed, (and not just because of the bye-laws that I'm sure we broke by lighting a fire in a park). It was a Team Ministry affair. Essentially, someone lit a fire, said a prayer or two, and we all stood there waiting for sunrise while singing Taizé chants, which lasted considerably longer than expected, despite the information from someone who had supposedly checked the time of sunrise that day. Then we all lit tealights from the fire, put them in jars, and took them to our respective churches. An utter and complete let-down.
The following year I went to a church that did a proper vigil and made it my home parish after the refreshing water that the experience turned out to be.
If you don't know what form it will take or what to expect, the best thing to do is to go and see. Then you can make an informed decision about your attendance in the future.
In these parts, many churches will have a sunrise service followed by a church breakfast. The latter is, IME, the best part.
I once went to our local Cathedral Easter Vigil, which starts at the illegal hour of 530am on Easter Sunday morning. To my surprise, there were about 150-200 people present, and we had the works - New Fire (outside), Exsultet (with bees), OT readings, Baptisms, Confirmations (by the then Suffragan Bishop), full Sung Eucharist (with choir), incense, holy water, and all....
IIRC, there was a champagne breakfast in the Crypt afterwards, but I needed to go back to bed by then. By the time the service was over, the people were beginning to arrive for the usual 8am BCP Eucharist!
A neighbouring church does something similar, but on a much smaller scale, also at 530am or thereabouts, whereas another has a service on Holy Saturday evening. I'm afraid I would not be at all attracted by the sort of low-key service described by Cyprian.
In south-eastern Ukland this weekend, there may be a (frosty) sunrise on Easter Sunday morning, but at the moment it is Grey, Grim, Grisful, and Raining.