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» Ship of Fools   » Special interest discussion   » Ecclesiantics   » Pew prayer books in the Episcopal Church (USA) (Page 1)

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Source: (consider it) Thread: Pew prayer books in the Episcopal Church (USA)
Hilda of Whitby
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I am a cradle Episcopalian and stopped attending way back in the 1970s. After wandering in the wilderness for decades, several years ago I decided to come home and am happy to be back.

I'm puzzled, though--in many if not all ECUSA churches I have been to upon my return, the copies of the BCP in the pews are not used. Instead, you pick up a printed bulletin that contains the entire service.

This is done for every service, every week. It seems really wasteful to me, even if all the bulletins are recycled after the services. I was wondering when this practice started, because when I stopped going to church in the 1970s, the pew prayer books were still used. As a child I learned how to make my way through the BCP. Also, the rector would tell the congregation, "turn to page XX for Psalm XX" and so on.

Does anyone have any info about when this bulletin trend began? Was it to make the service easy for newcomers to follow without, to quote S.J. Perelman, "the divvil's own flipping of pages"?

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David Goode
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I'm not a fan of those little bits of paper. But I am a fan of the rather caustic sense of humour of Thomas Cranmer of blessed memory, who once wrote:

"Moreover the nombre and hardnes of the rules called the pie, and the manifolde chaunginges of the service, was the cause, yt to turne the boke onlye, was so hard and intricate a matter, that many times, there was more busines to fynd out what should be read, then to read it when it was faunde out."

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Brenda Clough
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Our church does this. The argument is that, if you are just wandering in, a newbie Christian, it's intimidating. You have to juggle at least two very fat unfamiliar books, the BCP and the hymnal, plus a leaflet/sheet/whatever of the current service with the hymns, the text, the announcements about the coffee after the service, etc. Sometimes you need the Bible as well, so as to follow along with the readings, three fat books. A good deal of frantic paging back and forth is observable.

Getting everything onto one document is easier to manipulate. This is now further refined (at least in our church) by projecting things up onto the wall. All the lyrics for hymns go up on the wall, verse by verse (and woe unto the projectionist if he gets confused) and so no hymnals are necessary and the sheet can shrink down to one page. The standard prayers (the Lord's prayer, etc.) can be projected too. The only things now not projected are the items that are purely extempore (prayers for the sick) and the sermon. Venomous complaint has gotten the clergy to quit using Power Point for the sermons and we thank God.

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Leorning Cniht
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quote:
Originally posted by Hilda of Whitby:

I'm puzzled, though--in many if not all ECUSA churches I have been to upon my return, the copies of the BCP in the pews are not used. Instead, you pick up a printed bulletin that contains the entire service.

Our bulletins aren't complete like that - they don't contain the creed, for example. So if you don't know the Nicene Creed, or you don't know the responses to Eucharistic Prayer C, the bulletin gives you a page number in the BCP.

At Christmas and Easter, when we expect a large number of occasional visitors, we print everything in a large booklet.

So our bulletins contain:

  • An ordering of parts of the service.
  • Music for the setting of the Gloria, Sanctus, and Kyrie that we are using at the moment (we typically change every season, and often use something that isn't in the hymnal.
  • Hymns and choir anthems, together with an English translation if the choir are singing in foreign. If we're singing something not in the hymnal, we'll print the music, otherwise just the hymn number.
  • Instructions for communion
  • The collect and readings for the day
  • Basic information about the church - staff list, service times, contact details
  • Extra congregational prayers that aren't in the BCP

I think we could get away with printing less than we do, but we couldn't get away with printing nothing.

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Og, King of Bashan

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Funny thing about the Creed- if it isn't listed in the leaflet, we seem to get along just fine, with many people saying it (or mumbling along) from memory, and other folks finding it in the prayer book about at the incarnation bit. However, a few months back, we were doing a familiar musical setting of the Creed, and one line of music was omitted. This brought everything to a screeching halt. Even the folks who had it memorized had turned off their brains, and couldn't recover.

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Gee D
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quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
Our church does this. The argument is that, if you are just wandering in, a newbie Christian, it's intimidating. You have to juggle at least two very fat unfamiliar books, the BCP and the hymnal, plus a leaflet/sheet/whatever of the current service with the hymns, the text, the announcements about the coffee after the service, etc. Sometimes you need the Bible as well, so as to follow along with the readings, three fat books. A good deal of frantic paging back and forth is observable.

Can a non-Episcopalian Anglican step in, and agree with this argument? It's one which has been concerning St Sanity for some time. We get a modest number of different people each week, unaccustomed to our worship. Now it's straight from APBA, but even after the announcement that the service begins as usual on page 119 of the Prayer Book, people have to work out which book that is. There are seasonal variations for Advent and Lent, which changes the pattern. Even in using the Second Order, all but standard outside Sydney and a couple of other dioceses, there are 5 variations on the Great Thanksgiving. No matter which one is used (the 1st is the standard) people then have to find their way to the remainder of the service. Some hymns are in the hymnal, others printed in the weekly bulletin. The readings are in a sheet of their own.

It looks welcoming for those sitting nearby to help those having trouble finding their way, but we're at the stage when we realise that this is not the answer, and that a separate leaflet containing everything is the way to go. We deliberately do not have a screen large enough to be used for the liturgy and so a separate leaflet containing everything is the way to go. We'll need 3 variations - one for most of the year, one for Advent/Lent and a 3rd for baptisms. The present Bulletin which contains news an announcements will continue.

This will involve more work in the office to do a cut and paste each week, then print and collate; to simplify this, we're probably going to simply print the hymns on a weekly basis as a separate hand-out, and try to recycle as many leaflets as possible of the prayerbook. Certainly worth a try.

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Brenda Clough
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Although some may condemn projection as the work of the devil, it is a Godsend if you have vision issues. I can't read fine print, even with my readers. The projected words are legible even without glasses.
Videos, however, are Satan incarnate.

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Vulpior

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We have Mass booklets for each season. Advent (with the Advent wreath prayers at the beginning), Epiphany, Lent (Lent prose for entrance, prayer of humble access, later confession), Easter, Ordinary time.

The bulletin contains the readings, psalm, gospel acclamation, notices and information on music being used.

For one-off services, such as Palm Sunday, Easter, Christmas, etc, they tend to be combined into a single publication.

The reusable seasonal booklets strikes the right balance between being user friendly but not printing everything every week.

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Pigwidgeon

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quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
Although some may condemn projection as the work of the devil, it is a Godsend if you have vision issues. I can't read fine print, even with my readers. The projected words are legible even without glasses.
Videos, however, are Satan incarnate.

I'm just the opposite. With my not-too-good vision I have to hold the book or leaflet at just the right angle and distance in order to read it. I can't do that with projected words.

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Don't keep calm. Go change the world.

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RuthW

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quote:
Originally posted by Gee D:
We get a modest number of different people each week, unaccustomed to our worship.

This is the key thing not only for the Episcopal parish I attend but also for the United Church of Christ congregation I work for. People in SoCal are highly mobile, and there's a lot of churn -- there are always new people coming in. Add to that the fact that there is little denominational loyalty, and that means new people need the service booklet to be complete.

Projection, though -- ugh. I have vertigo, and one of the many things that makes it bad is tipping my head back. At my mother's church I find myself feeling ill by the end of the first song.

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Gee D
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Our location means that we get some tourists, in Sydney for a holiday, and looking for an Anglican church in which they feel comfortable. But there are also quite a few tourists who just want a church, and St Sanity is the nearest.

I should have said that we do print entire services for special occasions, such as Good Friday, Easter, Patronal Festival, Christmas and so forth.

[ 11. April 2017, 06:22: Message edited by: Gee D ]

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Hilda of Whitby
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Thanks to everyone for their replies.

Yes, our church includes everything in the service bulletin, including the Psalm for the day, the Nicene creed and readings from the Bible. Only hymns are excluded.

I certainly can see that the service bulletin makes it much easier for newcomers and others who find dealing with the BCP and a hymnal difficult (hard to hold, etc.).

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Oblatus
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We have detailed leaflets for Sundays and major holy days, but our BCPs are well used on weekdays for Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer. All you get for those services is the hymn board showing the psalms and canticles to be used. Typically attendees use offering envelopes (in the handy pew racks)to mark these places in the BCP so they're ready.

Even with our leaflets, you have to go to the Hymnal for the hymns themselves. The leaflet has any congregational service music but not the hymns.

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Bishops Finger
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We have a Eucharist booklet (a horrible mish-mash of Common Worship and the latest Roman rite), which is like the law of the Medes and Persians, and changeth not (though the Easter acclamations and Regina Coeli are provided for that season).

It is an Abomination Unto The Lord, and I hope soon to get it changed for a much simpler booklet, which provides the congregational bits only, giving scope for the priest to interpolate seasonal bits, such as penitential Kyries, introductions to the Peace, blessings, etc. I don't think we could run to seasonal booklets yet, though IMHO it's a Good Idea.

The Bible readings (we use all three, plus a responsorial Psalm - no skimping on the Scriptures here!) are provided on a printed A4 sheet, on the reverse of which is the weekly bulletin.

Hymns are usually from our main hymnbook, with now and then a printed sheet, if the hymn isn't in the book.

For Mothering Sunday, Sea Sunday, Harvest Festival, and Christingle (when our Scouts/Cubs/Beavers come to church), the service and hymns are all provided in a single leaflet.

IJ

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Leorning Cniht
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quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
Although some may condemn projection as the work of the devil, it is a Godsend if you have vision issues. I can't read fine print, even with my readers. The projected words are legible even without glasses.

I've never yet found anyone who projects the music. If you ask me to swap our SATB hymnal for a picture of some flowers or a sunset with one verse of the hymn overlaid, I'd consider it a very poor trade indeed.
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Al Eluia

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quote:
Originally posted by Hilda of Whitby:
Thanks to everyone for their replies.

Yes, our church includes everything in the service bulletin, including the Psalm for the day, the Nicene creed and readings from the Bible. Only hymns are excluded.

I certainly can see that the service bulletin makes it much easier for newcomers and others who find dealing with the BCP and a hymnal difficult (hard to hold, etc.).

That's what we do, with one exception. A while back we stopped including the scripture readings so that people listen to the reader instead of burying their faces in a piece of paper. Some copies of the readings are available in the back for those who want them (e.g., because of hearing issues).

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Pigwidgeon

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quote:
Originally posted by Leorning Cniht:
I've never yet found anyone who projects the music. If you ask me to swap our SATB hymnal for a picture of some flowers or a sunset with one verse of the hymn overlaid, I'd consider it a very poor trade indeed.

I agree -- without music I don’t sing (melody is fine for me, I don’t need SATB).

quote:
Originally posted by Al Eluia:
That's what we do, with one exception. A while back we stopped including the scripture readings so that people listen to the reader instead of burying their faces in a piece of paper. Some copies of the readings are available in the back for those who want them (e.g., because of hearing issues).

Please ensure that your readers enunciate and project (and pronounce Biblical names properly). We get pre-printed inserts with the Lectionary readings -- I rarely follow along, but with a couple of our readers I know I’ll have to.

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Graven Image
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My last Parish had many visitors each week sometimes more visitors then regular members so a number of years ago they went to fully printed service each week. They do still use a hymn board for music pages. The Hymnal with the service music in the front often throws visitors for a loop so it is explained at the start of the service. Hymn page 9 not S9 will be our second hymn this morning.
I totally agree that printed lessons are useless when you have good readers as this church did. They continue to use lesson inserts however.
Prayer books have so many wonderful things in them other then the Sunday service it is a shame a generation may be growing up who will never know their full beauty I fear, but printed service sheets are much more user friendly to those new to the church.

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Pigwidgeon

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quote:
Originally posted by Graven Image:
Prayer books have so many wonderful things in them other then the Sunday service it is a shame a generation may be growing up who will never know their full beauty I fear...

They'll never know the Athanasian Creed or how to determine the date of Easter using Golden Numbers.
[Eek!]

Of more serious concern, I wonder about those who have grown up as Episcopalians in a parish like mine (with the full service, except hymns unless it's Christmas or Easter, printed out each week) who move and attend another Episcopal church that actually uses the BCP. They'll be as confused as any other newcomer. It will be their loss not knowing the riches of the Prayer Book.

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Hilda of Whitby
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quote:
Originally posted by Pigwidgeon:
Of more serious concern, I wonder about those who have grown up as Episcopalians in a parish like mine (with the full service, except hymns unless it's Christmas or Easter, printed out each week) who move and attend another Episcopal church that actually uses the BCP. They'll be as confused as any other newcomer. It will be their loss not knowing the riches of the Prayer Book.

I agree with this, even while understanding that having a service bulletin makes things easier for many. During parts of the service that seemed dull to me when I was growing up, I'd rummage through the BCP. I found wonderful prayers that weren't included in Morning Prayer or Holy Communion.

It kinds of tugs at my heart to see the BCP sitting in pews ignored. I credit the BCP for giving me a sense of the numinous and the beauty of language. Even as a kid I really loved the majesty and dignity of the BCP. Obviously the language in the service bulletin is straight out of the BCP but somehow it doesn't seem the same.

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Lothlorien
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I still remember when I was about 10, the pride I felt in being able to finally follow the prayer book. Could find psalm etc and happily recall that it was the xth Sunday after Trinity etc. my parents went to church only very rarely, so the discovery of finding my way around was all my own. I often stayed for Morning Prayer after Sunday School had finished. Held at a separate time, not concurrently with any service. As has been noticed, all sorts of lovely things to read if bored . Churching of women and lots more, all food for my avid brain to digest.

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Al Eluia

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quote:
Originally posted by Pigwidgeon:
[QUOTE]Please ensure that your readers enunciate and project (and pronounce Biblical names properly). We get pre-printed inserts with the Lectionary readings -- I rarely follow along, but with a couple of our readers I know I’ll have to.

Absolutely! We have a mic at the lectern, too, and readers are instructed to make sure it's reasonably close to their mouth. When I read I try to project as if the mic isn't even there.

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Al Eluia

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quote:
Originally posted by Og, King of Bashan:
Funny thing about the Creed- if it isn't listed in the leaflet, we seem to get along just fine, with many people saying it (or mumbling along) from memory, and other folks finding it in the prayer book about at the incarnation bit.

I'm on the liturgical planning committee in our parish, and at a recent meeting I (somewhat facetiously) suggested that one Sunday we do the liturgy entirely from memory. We would have written texts for certain things (hymns, lessons, collect) but it would be an exercise in learning how much of the liturgy is actually in our hearts and memories. I'm not sure our rector took my suggestion entirely seriously, but she's the kind of person who might be game for something like that.

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Galloping Granny
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?Tangent/

St Andrews-by-the-Sea (Meth/Pres) projects the hymns and the readings; the rest is in a service leaflet.
After spending several hours with J, preparing both using her new computer which has confusingly upgraded versions of her familiar software, I discovered when we came to the readings that #1 I had not appointed a reader and #2 I had left at home the printed copy of the translation I wished to use.
So I read the bible passages from the screen. No problem, just a very awkward few moments.
/end tangent/

GG

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Cathscats
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Re. The idea of visitors being confused, this happens across the board. I get quite a few visitors who are used to more liturgical services, to say nothing of visitors from overseas at my fairly run-of-the-mill Church of Scotland. So we have printed and laminated some generic orders of service, in various languages, which can be given to visitors, so that they know what will happen next and when they should or should not stand etc.

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sonata3
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I'm Lutheran, but attend Episcopal services perhaps 8-9 Sundays a year. From my experience, the reason the BCP is not used is that not many Episcopal parishes use the liturgical texts of BCP. The various forms of intercession in the 1979 book I haven't encountered in years. Most parishes are using their own forms of non-gendered language. Some are experimenting with their own Eucharistic prayers, or using those from the supplemental liturgical resources published a couple of decades back. There is so little correspondence between how many Episcopal parishes worship, and what is in the 1979 BCP, it is hardly surprising that parishes fall back on home-grown worship leaflets. 1979 became a dated book very quickly, as it made no effort to deal with gendered language. TEC has hobbled along with it, simply because (IMHO) it simply doesn't have the energy to become embroiled in a second generation of liturgy wars. There were those in the ELCA that had hoped for a joint Episcopal/Lutheran book, but we eventually decided we could not wait, and produced our own book.

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Amanda B. Reckondwythe

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quote:
Originally posted by sonata3:
I'm Lutheran, but attend Episcopal services perhaps 8-9 Sundays a year. From my experience, the reason the BCP is not used is that . . . there is so little correspondence between how many Episcopal parishes worship, and what is in the 1979 BCP. . . . There were those in the ELCA that had hoped for a joint Episcopal/Lutheran book, but we eventually decided we could not wait, and produced our own book.

But I find just the opposite in churches I visit -- that the Piskies follow the Prayer Book almost to the letter and that the Lutherans all but ignore their book.

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Nick Tamen

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Likewise, the services of most if not all of the Episcopal churches around here seem to be straight out of the BCP. I'm not as familiar with Lutheran services around here, but from what I can tell they seem to stick fairly close to the book too.

Regional variations are at play in both traditions, I assume.

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The first thing God says to Moses is, "Take off your shoes." We are on holy ground. Hard to believe, but the truest thing I know. — Anne Lamott

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sonata3
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quote:
Originally posted by Nick Tamen:

Regional variations are at play in both traditions, I assume.

I can't speak to TEC's regional variations, but that's certainly true in ELCA; Minnesota, Wisconsin, Chicago and the East Coast - my experience is liturgies are very close to ELW, perhaps with a high church addition or two. But then, ELW is a very flexible book.

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Swick
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Maybe it's a regional thing, but every Episcopal church I've attended or visited uses either the BCP or the authorized alternative services from "Enriching Our Worship."--this is for the Sunday service. Some parishes do get creative with weekday services, but these are often from the New Zealand Prayer Book.
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sonata3
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But the parishes using EOW would need leaflets, no? - the point of the original post. I've encountered the "Affirmation of Faith" (You, O God are supreme and holy) from the NZ book at Sunday TEC services. Thinking of the last six Episcopal services I have attended, 3 had Eucharistic prayers from neither BCP or EOW (whether from another Anglican PB or locally composed, I don't know - one though was rather strange, with the beginning of the prayer addressed to God the Father, the institution narrative addressed to Christ, and the end of the prayer addressed to God the Holy Spirit); one used a Lutheran Eucharistic prayer; one used a considerably altered version of Prayer C from '79. The other was strictly by the book - except that they used the propers for Thanksgiving Day on Christ the King Sunday. I suppose one question here is - what is there in my subconscious that leads me to this type of parish?

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Nick Tamen

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quote:
Originally posted by sonata3:
But the parishes using EOW would need leaflets, no? - the point of the original post.

Tha's not how I read the OP. I read it as asking about what I often see around here—service leaflets that contain the BCP service when the BCP is available in the pews. In other words, it's a straight-up BCP Eucharist Rite II, but it is all contained (essentially reprinted) in the bulletin/leaflet, sometimes with hymns, so that the books aren't needed and flipping to the right page and the Episcopal Juggle are avoided.

[ 10. May 2017, 00:34: Message edited by: Nick Tamen ]

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The first thing God says to Moses is, "Take off your shoes." We are on holy ground. Hard to believe, but the truest thing I know. — Anne Lamott

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Hilda of Whitby
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quote:
Originally posted by Nick Tamen:
Tha's not how I read the OP. I read it as asking about what I often see around here—service leaflets that contain the BCP service when the BCP is available in the pews. In other words, it's a straight-up BCP Eucharist Rite II, but it is all contained (essentially reprinted) in the bulletin/leaflet, sometimes with hymns, so that the books aren't needed and flipping to the right page and the Episcopal Juggle are avoided.

Nick's right. This is exactly what I was talking about. While intellectually I understand why these service leaflets came about and how they can be helpful, I still think they are rather difficult to justify from an environmental standpoint.

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Gramps49
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Lutheran here. I instituted printing of our full service out in our congregation several years ago after I noticed many newcomers had trouble following along. At one time we would have three items for the worshipers: a bulletin with announcements, assigned hymns, assigned readings; a hymnal (at that time it was the Lutheran Book of Worship) and every once in a while a hymnal supplement. It was even to the point some of our regular worshipers had trouble following along.

At first, we printed the full service out every week; but after about six months we decided to print out the full service with the readings for a full month.

As you may know, our liturgies are not a part of canon law. While our liturgical outline is very similar to the BCP we are quite free in using different chants and even songs that are not in the current Evangelical Lutheran Worship (ELW). The only directive we have is that the service needs to be Gospel oriented.

Now we will change our liturgy every six weeks so we publish what is essentially a missal very much like the Roman Catholics have. This will contain the liturgy and any supplemental hymns we plan on using during the six weeks.

We will usually sing the main hymns out of the regular hymnal. We find that the many hymns in the ELW come from many different sources and there are some copyright issues we want to avoid

The material we do print out come through the CCLI or OneLicense to which we subscribe.

We just find that having a printed missal along with the hymnal gives us more freedom to sing different liturgies and hymns. The outcome is we have less confusion about where we are at in the service, and the printed missals are well received by our visitors.

Yes, it does cost more to do this, but we do recycle all old missals. But if it allows visitors to be more comfortable with our worship, it well worth the cost.

BTW--we are in a university setting. We do have many visitors every week. I would say about 2/3 of our congregation have joined in the past five years.

Frankly, the one item I would resist is the use of TV screens to project our service and hymns. I much rather have something printed in my hand.

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Pigwidgeon

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quote:
Originally posted by Gramps49:
Frankly, the one item I would resist is the use of TV screens to project our service and hymns. I much rather have something printed in my hand.

[Overused]

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Brenda Clough
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A key issue for screens or projection is architectural. Do you have someplace to hang or project? If it's not possible, it can't be done. Our church has convenient large blank walls on either side of the altar.

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Gramps49
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We are in the round, so...
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Pigwidgeon

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For me, the key issue with screens is whether everyone can read them. Also, if they include the hymns/songs, is the music included?

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Baptist Trainfan
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It doesn't have to be either/or.

It's perfectly possible have screens and also printed versions (even with music!) for those who prefer them. Indeed, it's good practice if a church is considering those with sight problems.

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Leorning Cniht
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quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:

It's perfectly possible have screens and also printed versions (even with music!) for those who prefer them. Indeed, it's good practice if a church is considering those with sight problems.

True. But if you have screens, I can't choose not to see the screens. It's rather like the big fold-down TV screen on old planes. You can choose whether or not to plug in your headphones, but you can't choose to not see the flickering of the screen, even if only out of the corner of your eye.

For sure, screens-and-hymnals is better than screens alone, but I wouldn't choose either.

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Brenda Clough
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If you have screens, then many other things become possible. For instance, you could live-feed the entire service to shut-ins or (as we do at Easter) to the overflow chapel in the undercroft. You could run it on the internet. You can save it to look at later. This makes Monday-morning quarterbacking possible; you can look at the entire service and see where it's running long or the congregation is getting restless or how nobody can see what you're doing at the altar.
There is also the expectations of the congregation. Younger people are used to screens; they're everywhere, in bars, coffeeshops, stores. They expect to be able to see and read without effort. They go to sports arenas or music concerts and the screen is six stories tall. It's not such a much.

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Enoch
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Sorry, Brenda. What are,

Shut-ins?
Monday-morning quarterbacking?

These are both phrase that I don't think we use.

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Nick Tamen

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quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
Sorry, Brenda. What are,

Shut-ins?
Monday-morning quarterbacking?

These are both phrase that I don't think we use.

Shut-ins—the elderly or infirm who are more or less home bound or in a nursing facility.

Monday-morning quarterbacking—the quarterback is the lead offensive player in American football. He calls all of the plays and throws or passes the ball to others. Professional football games are traditionally played (and televised) on Sunday afternoons. A Monday-morning quarterback (aka an armchair quarterback) second-guesses the quarterback's plays and basically tells everyone how the team would have won if only he had been calling the plays. By extension, anyone who, with benefit of hindsight, second-guesses decisions others made without benefit of hindsight.

[ 11. May 2017, 15:16: Message edited by: Nick Tamen ]

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The first thing God says to Moses is, "Take off your shoes." We are on holy ground. Hard to believe, but the truest thing I know. — Anne Lamott

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Pigwidgeon

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quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
Younger people are used to screens; they're everywhere, in bars, coffeeshops, stores.

Yes, they're everywhere! I'd love to go to a restaurant, doctor's office, car repair, airport gate, etc. without having the #&%$!£ television blaring at me. At least let me escape it at church, please.

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Leorning Cniht
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quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:

There is also the expectations of the congregation. Younger people are used to screens; they're everywhere, in bars, coffeeshops, stores. They expect to be able to see and read without effort.

I think your scale is off. Young people (teens and twenties) expect personal, portable devices. They are very much less interested in large communal screens.

The TV-gazing barflies that you're calling "young" are all middle-aged. It's my generation that seem to live their lives with TVs blaring at them, not the young people.

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Pigwidgeon

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Brenda, are you talking about screens to display the hymns, prayers, readings, etc. (which is what I assumed), or screens that project the whole service being live-aired? If you're using them to "Monday morning quarterback," I assume the latter -- which wouldn't replace the pew Prayer Books.
[Confused]

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Brenda Clough
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They do both. Just like your computer monitor, upon which (I assume) you are reading this. You can crunch your Word documents, or you can look at a TV show.
Our church mostly uses the screens for hymn lyrics, prayers, and such. But on certain occasions, we go live. The last time was the sunrise service on Easter morning.
Due to fire regulations, they have to kindle the fire out front on the pavement. It is one of those metal firepit things, which would be fearfully dangerous in a crowded sanctuary. But, OTOH, the entire congregation can't stand out there watching the rector light the Paschal Candle from it. It would take us all another half-hour to file in and sit down, and by then not only would sunrise be long over, the candle would have burnt down to the socket. The solution: we all sit in the pews, and the camera broadcasts the kindling, lighting, etc. onto the screens for us to watch. The rector steps in with the candle, announces the Light of Christ, and the organ begins to blast out "Jesus Christ Is Risen Today."

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Albertus
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Interesting discussion. I think that one question it brings out for me is about the balance between repetition (invariable, week-in week-out content) and seasonality/ variation.
Now, as a CinW/ CofE person I've never used the 1662 BCP week-in week-out, but I'm prepared to take the word of people who say that it could be a bit limiting. But for me part of the absolute genius of that book is that everything you need- order of service, psalter, the readings and collects for Sundays and major feasts- is there in a pretty compact space. In fact if you then bind it in with a hymnbook, as has often been done, you've got pretty much everything in a package which needn't be much bigger than a packet of fags. And of course a lot of the people Cranmer and his successors were writing for would not have been terribly literate- but they would have heard much the same thing, week-in, week-out, and thus have come to have a lot of it by heart.
I'm coming to think that the increased variation of texts, seasonal and otherwise, which is provided for in most modern liturgies is in some sense a sign of clericalisation of worship. Sure, I can see why it's done and I think that to a certain extent it can be a sensible and sensitive extension of possibilities. But ISTM that the more complex it gets, the more likely that you end up with a (mostly clerical) elite which knows what variations to use and when, and a wider body of people-in-the-pew who don't, and who don't have the time or headspace or interest which clergy and a certain type of pseudo-clerical lay enthusiast devote to these things. And I think that's a shame.

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Zappa
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quote:
Originally posted by Hilda of Whitby:
Only hymns are excluded.

When I was deaning I included those, too - just for ease of access.

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Nick Tamen

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quote:
Originally posted by Zappa:
quote:
Originally posted by Hilda of Whitby:
Only hymns are excluded.

When I was deaning I included those, too - just for ease of access.
There can be copyright issues with hymns, though.

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The first thing God says to Moses is, "Take off your shoes." We are on holy ground. Hard to believe, but the truest thing I know. — Anne Lamott

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