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Source: (consider it) Thread: Sundry liturgical questions
seasick

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Here is a brand new thread for all those random queries that are burning for an answer.

Remember that the Ecclesiantics Dictionary is there for vocabulary-related matters and The Tatler is there for queries on vestments, liturgical impedimenta and the like.

seasick, Eccles host

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We believe there is, and always was, in every Christian Church, ... an outward priesthood, ordained by Jesus Christ, and an outward sacrifice offered therein. - John Wesley

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venbede
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OK, here's trivial and pedantic question.

The C of E lectionary for Morning Prayer has been reading through Matthew continuously (with a break for Colossians over Christmas) since before Advent.

Thursday 9 January comes to the end of Matthew 20. Next day starts with Matthew 23, omiting chapters 21 & 22. Saturday gets to Chapter 23.28.

Then this morning we backtrack to Matthew 21.

There must be some reason for this, probably to do with fitting in continuous reading around Epiphany.

Anyone got a good explanation?

--------------------
Man was made for joy and woe;
And when this we rightly know,
Thro' the world we safely go.

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seasick

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quote:
Originally posted by ardmacha:
I was asked the other day about liturgical change in Anglican cathedrals. I am very out of date and couldn't give a good answer.
Are there any Anglican cathedrals where the old High Altar is use exclusively for the sung/choral Eucharist on Sundays and there are no new altars and choir stalls on the nave-side of the choir screen ? In other words, are there any cathedrals which look and work as they did in the late 1950s/1960s ?



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We believe there is, and always was, in every Christian Church, ... an outward priesthood, ordained by Jesus Christ, and an outward sacrifice offered therein. - John Wesley

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Oblatus
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quote:
Originally posted by seasick:
quote:
Originally posted by ardmacha:
I was asked the other day about liturgical change in Anglican cathedrals. I am very out of date and couldn't give a good answer.
Are there any Anglican cathedrals where the old High Altar is use exclusively for the sung/choral Eucharist on Sundays and there are no new altars and choir stalls on the nave-side of the choir screen ? In other words, are there any cathedrals which look and work as they did in the late 1950s/1960s ?


I believe this is the case in Detroit Cathedral, where I was received into the Anglican Communion by the Bishop of Michigan in 1986. I haven't been there in a while, so I don't know whether a movable nave altar might be used for the 8.15am Sunday Eucharist with hymns, but I've never seen such a nave altar there.
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leo
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Westminster Abbey isn't a cathedral but it behaves like one and they used the high altar, eastward facing, for Christmas midnight and morning solemn Eucharists.

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My Jewish-positive lectionary blog is at http://recognisingjewishrootsinthelectionary.wordpress.com/
My reviews at http://layreadersbookreviews.wordpress.com

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BulldogSacristan
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I thought that some of the Medieval cathedrals were in no way designed for the high altar to be used in connection with the nave? It was more just for the clerics' worship in the chancel. In large part because there wasn't a real worshipping congregation at a cathedral. And that, in fact, it was common for cathedrals to have altars on the nave side of the pulpitum or rood screen for masses where they expected a lot of pilgrims or something. Sort of like they do now.
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Angloid
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Quite a few cathedrals with nave altars use the high altar on certain occasions. One that doesn't have a nave altar is Chichester: it works quite well with the Liturgy of the Word in the nave and the Eucharist at the high altar (versus populum).

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Utrecht Catholic
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The High Altar, at the New-York Cathedral of St.John the Divine is being used on special occasions like Christmas,Easter,the Consecration and the Installation of New Bishops.
The celebrant take the westward facing position.
Normally the Nave Altar is being used for the Eucharist.

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Robert Kennedy

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Knopwood
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St James' Cathedral in Toronto pulled out its high altar rather than supplementing it with a nave or quire altar. (I'm not sure where the frontal has got to in that shot, which is of the bishops concelebrating the Mass on New Year's Day in 2011 - this video is, if not more typical, at least atypical in the opposite direction).
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BulldogSacristan
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I thought that some of the Medieval cathedrals were in no way designed for the high altar to be used in connection with the nave? It was more just for the clerics' worship in the chancel. In large part because there wasn't a real worshipping congregation at a cathedral. And that, in fact, it was common for cathedrals to have altars on the nave side of the pulpitum or rood screen for masses where they expected a lot of pilgrims or something. Sort of like they do now.
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ardmacha
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Yes, I think the People's Altar (sometimes the Jesus Altar) on the west side of the screen would be used for big services, ordinations and other large events when the Quire would be too small. They were often handsome with a Laudian frontal and communion rails on three sides. I was thinking of the more modern style. Westminster Abbey used the High Altar - Eastward Position -on the Saturday Pilgrim Eucharist within the Octave of St Edward.
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NatDogg
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Washington National Cathedral uses its High Altar for the daily noon Eucharist -- so it is pretty active. They also use it for other special services. . . the only one that comes to mind at the moment is the All Souls Requiem.

What is interesting about that altar is that it is original to the building (put in around 1920 or so) but it has always been "pulled out" from the reredos. So the priest celebrates westward facing.

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Sarum Sleuth
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Derby Cathedral uses the High Altar for the Sung Eucharist, as do Carlisle and Blackburn. All three buildings are relatively short by the standards of English cathedrals.

SS

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The Parson's Handbook contains much excellent advice, which, if it were more generally followed, would bring some order and reasonableness into the amazing vagaries of Anglican Ritualism. Adrian Fortescue

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aig
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Chichester always uses the high altar for main services as Angloid describes (service of the Word from below the Arundel screen then moving to the High altar). However occasionally there is a nave altar e.g. Licensing of Readers. . Sight lines are equally poor either way, and despite the screen, probably more people can see the action at the high altar than at a nave altar.

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New Yorker
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I never knew, until recently, that the BCP Calendar had a letter of the alphabet assigned to each day of the year. The letters used were a-g in repetition and were apparently used to determine which days were Sundays. Am I correct in this? Do they have any useful purpose now or are they included for historical purposes only?
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dj_ordinaire
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quote:
Originally posted by Sarum Sleuth:
Derby Cathedral uses the High Altar for the Sung Eucharist, as do Carlisle and Blackburn. All three buildings are relatively short by the standards of English cathedrals.

SS

I was going to say one would expect it to be determined by the size of the structure as much as anything. The traditional 'High Altar half a mile to the east, behind the quire' is unlikely to be used for the main Sunday Eucharist anywhere that it is encountered I'd have thought.

It should als be noted that with regards to congregational worship, such a thing was never the intention of the High Altars in question - go far enough back and it would have used to celebrate the conventual Masses of the Benedictine monks or colleges of canons associated with the chapter.

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Carys

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quote:
Originally posted by venbede:
OK, here's trivial and pedantic question.

The C of E lectionary for Morning Prayer has been reading through Matthew continuously (with a break for Colossians over Christmas) since before Advent.

Thursday 9 January comes to the end of Matthew 20. Next day starts with Matthew 23, omiting chapters 21 & 22. Saturday gets to Chapter 23.28.

Then this morning we backtrack to Matthew 21.

There must be some reason for this, probably to do with fitting in continuous reading around Epiphany.

Anyone got a good explanation?

No explanation but an echoing of the question. I suspect it's to do with starting a section after the baptism of Christ, which is the start of Ordinary time for the RCs and Methodists and indeed the shift to the weeks of the Daily Eucharist Lectionary for us, must remember it's year 2 tomorrow. This year with Epiphany being a Monday there were more days before Baptism of Christ, so maybe they were filler days that were Matthew 23.

The other weird lectionary glitch last week was omitting a few verses of 1 John from the continuous reading at EP although they'd featured in the Mass readings a few days before.

Carys (who also read the last verses of Ruth last Monday because it seemed weird to stop 3 verses before the end )

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Mockingbird

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quote:
Originally posted by New Yorker:
I never knew, until recently, that the BCP Calendar had a letter of the alphabet assigned to each day of the year. The letters used were a-g in repetition and were apparently used to determine which days were Sundays. Am I correct in this? Do they have any useful purpose now or are they included for historical purposes only?

The Sunday letters serve the same purpose they always did. They work just as well now as they did in the 4th century.

Folk might not need them as often now as they once did, since now we have pocket-planners and computers. But pocket-planners cover only a few years at once, and computers can break down. There's nothing wrong with having a fallback.

Did you notice the lunar numbers in the far left-hand column on the pages for March and April?

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Forþon we sealon efestan þas Easterlican þing to asmeagenne and to gehealdanne, þaet we magon cuman to þam Easterlican daege, þe aa byð, mid fullum glaedscipe and wynsumnysse and ecere blisse.

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Knopwood
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In my family I've acquired a bit of a reputation as a calendar savant, since I know the dates of Sundays for several months to come and from there can work out what day of the week any other date is pretty much on instant demand.
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Ecclesiastical Flip-flop
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Strictly speaking, 29 February does not have a 'daily letter' in the dominical series - A through to G. That is why there are two dominical letters for leap year. (e.g. AG in 2012 & FE in 2016) Of these, the first letter refers to leap year January & February and the second letter refers to the remaining months in such a year.

I know the 'daily letter' for the first of every month throughout the year, by heart and I am aware that the same letter is repeated on the 8th, 15th, 22nd & 29th of the same month. By means of this knowledge, I can work out the day of the week for any date in any year, in my head. This of course, is in a cycle of seven rather than twelve, bearing in mind that not all months in the year have 31 days. Consequently, the first of the month on the same day of the week, occurs once, twice or thrice in the same year.

For the superstitous, when the first of the month is a Sunday, then Friday 13th ensues in the same month. Another consideration is that when the dominical letter is B (CB in leap year), then Christmas day falls on a Sunday.

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Ecclesiastical Flip-flop
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Guildford Cathedral (in which Diocese I am situated), uses the nave altar for the main Eucharist, on the first Sunday in the month; at least, they used to - I don't know if they still do.

If that is no longer the case, I am open to any such up-date.

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Ecclesiastical Flip-flop
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Correction - I should have said above that the dominical letters for 2016 are CB. I mis-counted and although I took my time over my proof-reading, I missed it. Sorry about that.
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Ceremoniar
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I like the use of the word sundry for the new thread. This distinguishes it from last year's thread. [Smile]
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venbede
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Some ten years ago, I attended the Sunday Sung Eucharist at Salisbury Cathedral which used the altar at the East End of the choir, probably with the presiding priest facing West. I don't think Salisbury has a nave altar. Or at any rate, not when I was there last.

The High Altar is whatever altar is used for the principal eucharist of the week. If that is now at a Westward facing altar in front of any screen, that is the High Altar.

--------------------
Man was made for joy and woe;
And when this we rightly know,
Thro' the world we safely go.

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Ecclesiastical Flip-flop
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Given that this new year of 2014 is an 'E' year, that immediately tells us that the first Sunday in the year was 5th January and that Sunday 1st occurs in June.

It follows that:-

An 'F' day is a Monday, making Monday 1st fall in September & December. A 'G' day is a Tuesday, making Tuesday 1st fall in April & July. An 'A' day is a Wednesday, making Wednesday 1st fall in January & October. A 'B' day is a Thursday, making Thursday 1st fall in May. A 'C' day is a Friday, making Friday 1st fall in August. A 'D' day is a Saturday, making Saturday 1st fall in February, March & November.

That completes the cycle of how the 'daily' letters work for this year of 2014.

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leo
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quote:
Originally posted by venbede:
The High Altar is whatever altar is used for the principal eucharist of the week. If that is now at a Westward facing altar in front of any screen, that is the High Altar.

Are you sure about that or is it just your opinion?

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My Jewish-positive lectionary blog is at http://recognisingjewishrootsinthelectionary.wordpress.com/
My reviews at http://layreadersbookreviews.wordpress.com

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New Yorker
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How does one know if a given year is an A, B, C, D, E, F, or G year?
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Clotilde
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It depends on what you are referring to! Who uses such a range of letters for the years?

I thought it was just A, B , C - for the lectionary. But then didnt the old Book of Common Prayer have complicated tables in the front about this sort of thing?

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ST
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Truro Cathedral still uses the High Altar on Sundays etc (or did when I was last there a couple of years ago), although they do bring a nave Altar out on occasions for other services.

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venbede
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quote:
Originally posted by leo:
quote:
Originally posted by venbede:
The High Altar is whatever altar is used for the principal eucharist of the week. If that is now at a Westward facing altar in front of any screen, that is the High Altar.

Are you sure about that or is it just your opinion?
I am sure that is what the words mean.

You can use the term "High Altar" to mean the one at the East End before we had one for a Westward facing president if you like, but it is not a very accurate use of words.

--------------------
Man was made for joy and woe;
And when this we rightly know,
Thro' the world we safely go.

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Enoch
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Alternatively, is a 'High Altar' always a main altar that is on a platform and reached by a flight of steps? Or am I being over literal?

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Emendator Liturgia
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quote:
Originally posted by venbede:
I don't think Salisbury has a nave altar. Or at any rate, not when I was there last.

Venbede, while it has been two years since I was last at Salisbury, but over the years prior to that I was there a couple of times a year and each time there was a nave altar in place as well as the traditional high altar.

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Ecclesiastical Flip-flop
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quote:
Originally posted by New Yorker:
How does one know if a given year is an A, B, C, D, E, F, or G year?

Good question!

Dominical letters should not be confused with the three-yearly cycle of lectionary readings A B C in rotation, followed by year 'A' again after year 'C'.

One has only to refer to the obscure part of the BCP, to the kalendar in the early part of that book, including the date of Easter. The 'daily' letter is given for every date in the year in the kalendar covering every month in the year.

Apart from that, knowing the dominical letter for the year, is akin to knowing one's multiplication tables; very often one knows a good part of multiplication tables, and the bits one doesn't know, can be worked out from the bits one does know. The same principle holds good for dominical letters, which is why I can arrive at the dominical letter for any year without reference to BCP or any other book.

It should be born in mind that the dominical letters follow one after the other in reverse order from one year to the next: - G F E D C B A. Thus - 2015 D, 2016 CB, 2017 A, 2018 G, 2019 F, 2020 ED ,,,, and so on.

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Ecclesiastical Flip-flop
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To keep it simple, one has only to pick on any date in the year falling on a Sunday; be aware of its 'daily' letter and that gives the dominical letter for the entire year. If a leap year, treat each part separately(before and after 29th February).
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lily pad
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Why two letters for one year though? Still very confused.

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Enoch
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quote:
Originally posted by Ecclesiastical Flip-flop:
One has only to refer to the obscure part of the BCP, to the kalendar in the early part of that book, including the date of Easter. ...

It's only obscure if you are young enough not to go back to when all services were BCP, and had a childhood which was unblessed with hours of compulsory church/chapel/choir attendance, with nothing else to read during interminable sermons.

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Ecclesiastical Flip-flop
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quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
quote:
Originally posted by Ecclesiastical Flip-flop:
One has only to refer to the obscure part of the BCP, to the kalendar in the early part of that book, including the date of Easter. ...

It's only obscure if you are young enough not to go back to when all services were BCP, and had a childhood which was unblessed with hours of compulsory church/chapel/choir attendance, with nothing else to read during interminable sermons.
Not obscure to me, or I would not have been in a position to mention it. Perhaps I should have put "obscure" in inverted commas.
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Ecclesiastical Flip-flop
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quote:
Originally posted by lily pad:
Why two letters for one year though? Still very confused.

That is only because such a year is leap year. The first letter is pre-29th February: the second letter is post-29th February.
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Clotilde
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A quick question please,
which came up in a chat I had.

Does the liturgy (I mean 'Western' RC mainly or Anglican) refer anywhere to Christ as THE Light of the World?


Please note 'THE LIGHT'! not 'a'?
I know its in Scripture, by the way. John 8.12

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A witness of female resistance

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ken
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quote:
Originally posted by Clotilde:
A quick question please,
which came up in a chat I had.

Does the liturgy (I mean 'Western' RC mainly or Anglican) refer anywhere to Christ as THE Light of the World?


Please note 'THE LIGHT'! not 'a'?
I know its in Scripture, by the way. John 8.12

Loads of times in Church of England Common Worship. Mostly as quotes from Scripture but also, e.g. the post-communion prayers for Sundays in Epiphany. And some of the evening "Service of the Word" liturgies. And other places.

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Ken

L’amor che move il sole e l’altre stelle.

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Clotilde
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Thanks for that Ken.

Anyone able to give a specific quote please, if possible.

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Roselyn
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Here's an eg from 3rd order communion service
"THE HOLY COMMUNION
THIRD ORDER

GATHERING IN GOD’S NAME

The service may begin with songs and/or a hymn.

The minister greets the people

The Lord be with you.
And also with you.

In Eastertide
Christ is risen. Alleluia! Alleluia!
He is risen indeed. Alleluia! Alleluia!

The minister may read one or more suitable Sentences of Scripture (see pages 10-13, 18-20, and 32-34), and may briefly explain the theme of the service.

One of these Prayers of Preparation or another suitable opening prayer may said.

Let us pray.

Almighty God, you bring to light things hidden in darkness, and know the shadows of our hearts; cleanse and renew us by your Holy Spirit, that we may walk in the light and glorify your name, through Jesus Christ our Lord, the Light of the world. AMEN."

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New Yorker
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Thanks, EFF! They are an interesting piece of history, those letters. That said, I'm glad we have the internet for this now! Cheers.
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Ger
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Wellington Cathedral of St Paul, New Zealand does not have a crossing/nave altar. High altar at east end beyond quite a substantial quire.

Sitting in front row of nave you need binoculars to see action at the high altar! To be fair I am not sure that a nave/crossing altar would work in the space. Funerals/ordinations are conducted across the nave/quire boundary. Have never attended a wedding there so don't know.

I am not aware, over many years/decades, of any pressure for a nave altar.

Interesting optical illusion though. From the nave there appears to be a cross set on the altar. In fact cross is set on a plinth of appropriate height behind the altar. Becomes obvious when celebrant/officiant facing west is inserted between altar and cross.

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Elohai, n'tzor l'shoni mayro, usfosai midabayr mirmo.
V'limkal'lai nafshi sidom, v'nafshi ke-ofor lakol tih-ye.
(Shemoneh Esrei)

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Ecclesiastical Flip-flop
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quote:
Originally posted by New Yorker:
Thanks, EFF! They are an interesting piece of history, those letters. That said, I'm glad we have the internet for this now! Cheers.

Internet (which I am into!) or not, I have learnt how to use those dominical letters. It occurs to me that they can also be found in the Encyclopedia Britannica.

There is a lot more I could write and I have far from exhausted this subject.

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Barefoot Friar

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I'm wanting to put together an Ash Wednesday service of appropriate length and content for people who are on a lunch hour. Thus it ideally must be about 15-20 minutes. Yet I don't want it to feel rushed. I am not planning on having any music, since our pianist won't be available that day. I do want to impose ashes, and would preferably like to offer the Eucharist.

Can anyone point me toward some resources that will help me figure this out?

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Do your little bit of good where you are; its those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world. -- Desmond Tutu

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JeffTL
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quote:
Originally posted by Barefoot Friar:
I'm wanting to put together an Ash Wednesday service of appropriate length and content for people who are on a lunch hour. Thus it ideally must be about 15-20 minutes. Yet I don't want it to feel rushed. I am not planning on having any music, since our pianist won't be available that day. I do want to impose ashes, and would preferably like to offer the Eucharist.

Can anyone point me toward some resources that will help me figure this out?

'79 BCP Rite II would work - pare readings down to the Epistle and Gospel, omitting Joel or Isaiah and the psalm. Form III intercessions, EP B. Impose ashes either where the sermon would go - making the sermon brief or absent, obviously - or immediately following the confession and absolution, which I would not omit on this occasion. It's a major fast, not a feast, so the Creed is optional also. Even with a brief sermon and the psalm, weekday mass can be said in twenty minutes without feeling rushed, but to allow for imposition of ashes those can go away if needed.

Depending on the expected crowd you might want to have an assistant to help with the chalice and ashes - a deacon would be ideal, of course, though a lay eucharistic minister would do the job excellently also.

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ken
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Unless you have the tiniest congregation - like four or five - I don't think you can get through both the Eucharist and the ashing in 15 or even 20 minutes without rushing things horribly.

It it was me I'd either have a longer service or just do the ashing as part of a Service of the Word - that only happens once a year and the Eucharist can be done on any other day.

If you were in the Church of England the obvious thing to do for a very short service would be to use the liturgy for Ash Wednesday in Times and Seasons up to just before the peace - so include the confession, the readings, the ashing, and various seasonal responses, but end before the Eucharist. Even though you aren't CofE there might be some interesting or useful things in there.

Its a solemn and reflective occasion. It needs to be taken at a slow enough pace to allow time for some thought.

As it says in Note 3 of that Times and Seasons service:

quote:

The silence during the Liturgy of Penitence is an integral part of the rite and should not be omitted or reduced to a mere pause.



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Ken

L’amor che move il sole e l’altre stelle.

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Callan
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Ken is right. I once did a daytime Ash Wednesday service with a congregation of three plus me which was fairly minimalist and it took us half an hour. That doesn't seem an unreasonable amount of time to be out of work if lunch is a sandwich at one's desk. If it is an issue for your lunchtime congo then you could tell them at the outset how long it will take and let those who need to slip out during the peace. Whilst offering Masses over the course of Lent with the intention that their employers will repent of their hardness of heart.

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How easy it would be to live in England, if only one did not love her. - G.K. Chesterton

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lily pad
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Another option might be to have it be more of a drop in thing. Set it over an hour or hour and half - like from 11:45 to 1:15.

Have some prayers and readings ready and ask someone who to plays an instrument be ready with hymns or reflective music. Even someone who likes to sing could choose some hymns and be ready. Do a prayer and reading and then have some music. If there are more people there, the hymn could be announced, otherwise just leave it as background and meditative. People would come up for the ashes while the music goes on. They could be there for as little as 10-15 minutes or for longer depending on their availability.

I would make up a small flyer and have it in the pews already to explain what it is all about and that people are free to leave when they need to. I might make a larger sign to have on the doors as people come in too. Maybe have a bookmark or card with an appropriate prayer for Ash Wednesday or Lent on it to take away with them.

Personally, I'd be very happy to know that it was an option to go to something like this. So often my schedule doesn't allow me to take part in things that have a set start time.

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Sloppiness is not caring. Fussiness is caring about the wrong things. With thanks to Adeodatus!

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