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Whatever happened to inclusive language in liturgy?

Whatever happened to inclusive language in liturgy?

Why is the US Episcopal church afraid of innovation and inclusive language in liturgy when The Church of England is responding creatively and expansively? The Rev. Winnie Varghese asks in her essay at Huffington Post:

WinnieVargheseSmall1.jpgI think there is one significant negative impact of women ordained in The Episcopal Church. We, as a church, have become sensitive to anything perceived as an innovation. We seem to want to claim traditional and orthodox more than faithful, just or compassionate. As though traditional or orthodox equals unquestionable truth, not simply what was done or thought in the past.

Inclusive and expansive language means I get to hear the poetry of today and yesterday and my capacity to imagine God at work in the world expands. I wish the new generations of clergy in The Episcopal Church would take a page from the mother church I witnessed this week. Every service I attended, from cathedral to royal peculiar to parish church was pastoral and creative in its prayers. The language was modern, the prayers written for the occasion, the images rich.

What if our rigidity is why we are failing? By failing I don’t mean declining numbers in the church, but failing in being a church engaged in reconciliation within ourselves and in the world. There are implications to limiting our language for God.

Read it all here.

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Rod Gillis

Interesting article, interesting perspective. Nice to see Janet Morely and her prayers mentioned at the end of the article. Morley's book, All Desires Known (Prayers Uniting Faith and Feminism), has been a treasure and resource for some time. I remember in one parish I served, when we printed Morley's collect for Mothering Sunday,Lent 14, in the leaflet, a couple of parishioners were not happy. The collect begins, "God our Mother, you hold our life within you; nourish us at your breast and teach us to walk alone...." Some Men and some women both seemed much happier with St. Paul's bondwoman free woman imagery.

On the same topic, hardly an innovation in itself, but important none the less, I gather the Canadian Church is producing an Inclusive Language Liturgical Psalter.

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