Wednesday, February 27, 2002

from a journalist...

As always, Dr. Toon writes with clarity, as he discusses the use of traditional language in our worship.

In reflecting upon his observations about cultural conservativism, I thought of the number of persons who have told me -- or who have written or spoken in public -- about "finding my true spiritual home in the Anglican/Episcopal church because of the beauty of its music and liturgy." [I've read similar expressions written by persons who have left other branches of the Body of Christ to become members of Orthodox congregations ... while reading complaints by US Roman Catholics that the "beauty of the music and liturgy" has been ruined in their local congregations.]

As one raised in a Methodist congregation in the Bible Belt, I was amazed at the language of the 1928 BCP: the biblical language in many places was sharper than what was in the Methodist "order of worship," and certainly would have provided a better platform for the preaching of the Gospel. "Goodness," I thought, "Episcopalians are much more God-fearing than I had assumed."

Over the next decade or so, it dawned on me that the desire to get rid of the 1928 BCP was motivated by the desire of a good many Episcopalians to get rid of (or at least make "optional") that language. The "beauty of the music and liturgy" must not be spoiled by making anyone think of their sins and fears.

Odessa Elliott

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