Last summer, at the 79th General Convention of The Episcopal Church, the House of Bishops and House of Deputies both passed Resolution D078, Authorize Holy Eucharist, Rite II (Expansive Language) for Trial Use, which provided expansive language for Eucharistic Prayers A, B and D. However, many deputies and bishops felt that Eucharistic Prayer C needed additional study before expansive language was provided. A subcommittee is currently undertaking the additional study.
The Rev. Deacon Stannard Baker, a member of the subcommittee on Eucharistic Prayer C, reports that the work is engaging and fascinating on many levels. He writes, “As we talk with deputies, bishops, liturgists, and theologians, we are getting helpful and thought-provoking responses. To date we have received thoughts about expansive language, adding a preface, moving away from dialogic structure, and re-structuring the order of the Eucharistic Prayer (e.g., placement of institution narrative, anamnesis, oblation, epiclesis, etc.).”
The subcommittee is now requesting input more widely from church members.
To assist readers with their own review of Eucharist prayer C, the subcommittee has provided this four-column table that includes the 1979 BCP Prayer C; Anglican Church of Canada Alternative Service BAS (Book of Alternative Services), Prayer 4, which was patterned after our Prayer C; Prayer C with expansive language that was part of GC79 resolution D078; and a version based on the ACC/BAS Prayer 4 without responses. The table of prayers is provided for reference only. Readers are asked to be as flexible and creative as possible in the ideas, comments, suggestions, and recommendations.
Stannard continues, “To do our work well, we are hopeful for a large number and wide variety of responses, and are inviting that now. We will be gathering ideas, comments, responses, and suggestions throughout the summer, with work on a recommendation to take place this fall.”
Please note that recommended changes will not be implemented in place of the current version of Eucharistic Prayer C, which has been memorialized as part of the 1979 Book of Common Prayer and will always be available. Submitted changed will be considered among various expansive language alternatives and possible new formats to be discussed as the subcommittee on Eucharistic Prayer C continues its work.
Please send responses to The Rev. Deacon Stannard Baker at firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline for responses is August 31, 2019.