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Liturgical Adaptations for Lent

Rev. Anne's Approach to Prayer and Tradition during the Holy Season

Rev. Anne Abdy

Liturgical Adaptations for Lent

From the Priest's Corner

Dear Friends in Christ,

You may have noticed that during different liturgical seasons, I change the Eucharist Prayer. This decision is based on the theology of the season and the meaning or impact of the words upon us as we hear them. The same principle applies to the Prayers of the People.

During the season of Lent, I chose not to use the forms listed in the Book of Common Prayer (more on this a little later), but rather to use the prayers from the text, Intercessions for the Christian People, edited by Gail Ramshaw. The refrain said after each prayer is located in the service outline of your bulletin. These prayers change weekly to reflect the Sunday lectionary readings for each lectionary year and have not been printed in the bulletin. This approach prevents a rote or overly familiar response to the words. Instead, I would like you to listen to each prayer thoughtfully. The response by the people is intended as an inward acknowledgment of intention. I hope that with slight variations in the prayers, we can make this Lenten season meaningful, as prayer is a dialogue with God from a soulful and intimate sacred place.

Now, regarding the Book of Common Prayer's Prayers of the People, did you know that these are merely sample prayers? The Standing Commission on Worship and Music of The Episcopal Church, in revising the prayer book in 1979, selected these six forms as examples from which priests could craft their own prayers. These templates demonstrate how to structure communal prayers. Yes, seminary does offer a class on this! Unfortunately, in many churches, these six forms have become the default prayers for the Prayers of the People.

I possess a number of prayer books with wonderful prayers for special occasions, major celebrations, and feast days, which I look forward to sharing with you.


Rev. Anne

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