Monday 14 October 2013

Revision of the Prayer Book

A further report from Provincial Synod


Provincial Synod endorsed plans for the comprehensive revision of An Anglican Prayer Book 1989.

In September 2012, the Synod of Bishops decided that revision of the prayer book was a necessary part of taking forward the commitment in the ACSA Vision to ‘Liturgical Renewal for Transformative Worship’ as one of the Provincial Priorities. This was affirmed by Provincial Standing Committee, meeting later the same month.

This work is now being taken forward under the auspices of the Liturgical Committee, and steered by Revd Canon Bruce Jenneker. He gave a detailed presentation on the programme of work that will now be taken to develop ‘An Anglican Prayer Book for Southern Africa Today’.

The details of this are set out in the Resolution which Synod subsequently passed (text below).

Archbishop Thabo, in his Charge at the opening of Synod also underlined the vital nature of this undertaking, saying, ‘I’d also like to highlight the work underway to revise our Prayer Book. I cannot overestimate the importance of the centrality of worship that draws us ever closer to our Lord and Saviour.’

The text of the Resolution follows below

This Synod,
1. Noting the decisions taken by Synod of Bishops in September 2012 and endorsed by the Provincial Standing Committee in September 2012, and

2. Encouraged by the response of the Synod of Bishops in March 2013 to the Workshop setting out a programme for the revision of APB ’89;

3. Affirms the decision to ask the Provincial Liturgical Committee to develop ‘A Prayer Book for Southern Africa Today’ as a vital element within the overall vision of Liturgical Renewal for Transformative Worship as set out in the Provincial Vision for the Anglican Church of Southern Africa;

4. Notes that to carry out this work effectively, the Provincial Liturgical Committee will require:
4.1 additional members to be appointed to the Provincial Liturgical Committee;

4.2 a second meeting of the Committee each year during the development of the Prayer Book;

4.3 a series of Liturgical Consultations to be arranged approximately every three years starting with the first Consultations in July 2014;

4.4 a re-launching of Translation Committees to work with the Provincial Liturgical Committee throughout the process to ensure that material is available in the languages used in the Anglican Church of Southern Africa;

5. Respectfully requests that Provincial Synod receives the attached budget that will be required to support the work of this project, and recommend it to the Provincial Finance Committee for possible inclusion in the budget of the provincial liturgical committee.

6. Affirms that this process of development provides an excellent opportunity to identify and train a new generation of liturgists who will ensure the ongoing development of suitable liturgies for the “unfolding tradition ... of our liturgical heritage.” (APB ’89, General Preface);

7. Thanks the Provincial Liturgical Committee for accepting this responsibility and for undertaking to make regular reports to the Synod of Bishops, Provincial Synod and Provincial Standing Committee throughout the period of development of the new Prayer Book.