The College of Bishops has authorised, for experimental use, liturgical material for times of lament, writes Rev Canon Dr Nicholas Taylor, Convener of the Liturgy Committee.
An order of the Eucharist, based on the most recent iteration of Scottish Liturgy 1982 but with special material, has been in use in most if not all dioceses for some time, and has now been complemented by adaptation of that material for use with the Service of the Word 2015.
Lament is not simply a matter of moaning about personal misfortune. It confronts honestly, and before God, the reality of our own and others’ suffering and the tragedies which surround us. At the same time we remember God’s past blessings, acknowledge God’s sovereignty in the world, and seek God’s presence and healing work in the present and into the future – and commit ourselves to being part of that work of transforming the world, so that humanity may live in justice and peace. Liturgies on their own will not change the world, but they provide a context of communal worship in which our response to suffering, tragedy, injustice, and oppression may be transformed, and the Church may be empowered not only to provide comfort to the afflicted, but to be a vehicle of God’s healing power in the world.
The liturgies are available here on the SEC website. Like other liturgies authorised for experimental use, they are accompanied by an on-line feedback questionnaire, through which members of the Church are invited to submit any reflections on their use of the material, and any comments and suggestions they may have.
Webinars to introduce these liturgies will be held on Monday, 9 May, at 10am, and Tuesday, 17 May, at 7.30pm. All are welcome, but advance registration is necessary. Please contact Sandra Brindley at firstname.lastname@example.org to note your intention to attend, and you will receive a link to join the webinar shortly before it starts.