Friday, April 1, 2011

A Return to the Prayer Book...

Here, at St. Thecla's of the Man Eating Seal, we share something central with ALL Episcopal Churches--the Book of Common Prayer. The use of the Book of Common Prayer is something that defines us as Episcopalians and its usage throughout the church is one of the things that unites us as a faith community.

It has been the custom at Church of St Thecla's of the Man Eating Seal to use a booklet that has the entire service printed out, rather than the Book of Common Prayer. This 12 page document with music and pages of announcements/inserts has had to be recreated every week in its entirety.

At this time, we are choosing to use an “ordo” or “order of service” rather than the booklet format to which our community is accustomed. We are choosing to do so for a variety of reasons:

respect for the volunteers who will be responsible for the bulletin;
stewardship of our natural resources;
as a tool for education;
as a means of grounding ourselves in our Episcopal identity;
to become familiar with this central tool of our faith life

During this season of Lent we will be using the service in the order it appears in the BCP in order to facilitate this change. We will also be using Eucharistic Prayer C (which is particularly suited to Lent) as a means of drawing our attention to the prayer book as we make our responses.

It will take some time to get reacquainted with the “BCP”. I encourage all of us to help our neighbors, visitors and newcomers as we all “fumble with the books”. Use this as an opportunity to extend a warm welcome to those finding their place--both in the books and in our midst.