Prayer Book liturgies, church calendar commemorations reach final action in House of Deputies

By Melodie Woerman
Posted Jun 28, 2024

[Episcopal News Service – Louisville, Kentucky] In the final two days of General Convention, the House of Deputies acted on the last of the 43 resolutions from the legislative committees on Prayer Book, Liturgy & Music. All of them first were considered by the House of Bishops, the house of initial action for all resolutions from these committees.

On June 27 the House of Deputies took action on these resolutions, all of which required votes by orders, in which lay and clergy deputations vote separately and each order casts a single vote, as required by the church’s Constitution:

  • Adopted with amendment A112, which provides for use over the next three years of an optional “Expanded Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings” prepared by the ecumenical Consultation on Common Texts.
  • Concurred with the bishops on A114 in authorizing two alternative versions of Prayer C in Holy Eucharist Rite II that congregations can use with the approval of a diocese’s ecclesiastical authority.
  • Concurred with the bishops on A115, which provides a variety of alternative readings or parts of readings for the Good Friday liturgy that many see as antisemitic. Use requires the approval of a diocese’s ecclesiastical authority.
  • Approved on second and final reading A117, removing William Porcher DuBose from the church calendar in Lesser Feasts and Fasts. DuBose was a noted theologian who also espoused white supremacist views.

On June 28, the convention’s final day, deputies concurred with action by the bishops in passing seven resolutions, all by a vote of orders.

Two of them are changes that reflect church Canons regarding the marriage of same-sex couples, and each prompted remarks from deputies describing the importance of these changes to them and their families:

  • A116 (with substitute), which authorizes for trial use additional marriage rites in addition to the one included in the Book of Common Prayer.
  • A160, which revises the catechism to state that marriage is between two people, rather than a man and woman, to bring the catechism into conformity with church Canons. This will take place under the provision for trial use.

The other resolutions are:

  • D035, which authorizes for trial use marriage liturgies that previously had been approved by General Convention under a different section of the Constitution.
  • A126, which transfers seven commemorations in Lesser Feasts and Fasts to other dates so they don’t occur on the date of another commemoration.
  • B011, authorizing the commemoration of Harriet Tubman on the church calendar.
  • A121, which adds three commemorations to the church calendar: the consecration of Bishop Barbara Harris, the first women bishop in the Anglican Communion; Simeon Bachos, the Ethiopian eunuch; and Frederick Howden, Jr.
  • C023, which begins trial use of five calendar commemorations: the ordination of the Philadelphia Eleven, the first women ordained in The Episcopal Church; Élie Naud; George of Lydda; Liliʻuokalani of Hawai’i; and Adeline Blanchard Tyler and her Companions.

After the vote on C023, all ordained women in the House of Deputies were asked to stand as their ministries were acknowledged with enthusiastic applause.

 — Melodie Woerman is an Episcopal News Service freelance reporter based in Kansas.