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The 78th General Convention of the Episcopal Church and the Liturgy: New Wine in Old Wineskins?

Bryan Cones

The 78th General Convention of the Episcopal Church generated a significant number of resolutions related to the church’s liturgy, most of which passed both Houses, including resolutions authorizing preparation of the revision of the 1979 Book of Common Prayer and The Hymnal 1982. A review of the resolutions related to liturgy and music, however, raises fundamental questions about the kind of liturgical reform the church may undertake and how it may integrate growing appreciation for linguistic and cultural diversity in the church, including the insights of feminist, postcolonial, and LGBTQ theological reflection and those produced by theologians of color. This essay argues that serious engagement with these questions suggests a completely reimagined liturgical “center of gravity” that integrates the insights of liturgical scholarship and practice since the authorization of the 1979 Book of Common Prayer and The Hymnal 1982, while providing the flexibility to respond to the church’s current diverse contexts.

 
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