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All Things Rite and Musical

All Things Rite and Musical

Episode 15: Service Bulletins

They’re called service bulletins, or service leaflets, or service booklets. One is handed to nearly every worshipper in the Episcopal Church. So, they’re a key part of the liturgy in most places.


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John Miller

I work as the Church Administrator at All Saints Episcopal Church in Sacramento, and prepare our service bulletins each week. The design and format of our bulletins has been very intentionally thought about. I would like to respond to several comments in the podcast.

“Bulletins are appropriate at those services where there will be people unfamiliar with the episcopal service” That should be every Sunday service! We need to be welcoming to those seeking Christ every time we gather not just Christmas and Easter.

“Does everyone need all the words” If your worship space has a world class sound system, stellar acoustics and no one with hearing loss then no they don’t. But in my congregation we have an live space, an affordable sound setup, and several members with profound hearing loss. We print all the words. We do this for the same reason we have wheelchair ramps and ADA compliant restrooms.

You can find a sample of our bulletin at

Ian Lasch

Hi, John! First off, thanks for listening and commenting! I agree that we should be welcoming every Sunday and not just on feast days. I think the best of both worlds would be if the congregation is willing to help those who are new find the rite in the BCP. It’d be lovely if every Sunday had a critical mass of visitors/seekers, but I’d wager this isn’t usually the case on any given Sunday in most contexts. As such, it seems to me that on some of these more average Sundays, printing less might both encourage BCP familiarity and also be good stewardship by using (perhaps only slightly) less in the way of ink and paper. As far as whether or not all the words are needed, I don’t think either of us meant to imply that any of the words in the liturgy should ever be unavailable to anyone, particularly those with hearing loss. But I think printing every single word in the bulletins every single Sunday does encourage people, however subtly, to read the liturgy rather than experience it.

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