Derek is doing very important work and attempting to add some coherence and theological depth to our shared commemorations as set forth in Holy Women Holy Men. I applaud him. Check out his latest reflections. By the way, the phrase “potemkin ecumenism” is going in the mental basket to be pulled out at an opportune time…:

“Due to the influence of the LRM and its influence in the upper reaches of liturgical thought in the Episcopal Church, the ’79 BCP ended up having a more catholic appearance due to 1) the recovery of historical ideals that also guided the reform of the Roman liturgy post Vatican-II and 2) ecumenical rapprochement with Roman Catholics. Furthermore the performance of the liturgy likewise took on a more catholic appearance with a proliferation of chasubles in places where they would have been anathema as ‘too popish’ just a generation before.

But now we’re nearing the point of a generational shift. My liturgy teachers were young academics and graduate students at the time of Vatican II; they were the ones responsible for the modification of Protestant liturgies in the the post-Vatican II era. I sat at the feet of Saliers; I read White, Lathrop and Weil, and learned from them when we met. But now my generation is coming of age and are reaping the consequences of the choices of the LRM.

My crystal ball is telling me that Holy Women, Holy Men and the furor around it is emblematic of the liturgical issues that we will be dealing with in the next few decades. We are at the point where we must come to terms with the fact that we have inherited a prayer book with a greater catholic appearance but without catholic substance behind it. To put a finer point on it, we have a catholic-looking calendar of “saints” yet no shared theology of sainthood or sanctity. While a general consensus reigned that the appearance was sufficient, the lack of a coherent shared theology was not an issue. When we press upon it too hard—as occurred and is occurring in the transition from Lesser Feasts & Fasts into Holy Women, Holy Men into whatever will come next—we reap the fruits of a sort of potemkin ecumenism that collapses without common shared theology behind it.

Is there a catholic theology of sanctity in the Episcopal Church? Yes, in some places. Is there an inherently Episcopal theology of sanctity that proceeds naturally from the ’79 BCP that is in line with a classic Christian understanding? Without question! But is it known? No. Is there any common Episcopal understanding of sanctity? The arguments around the church especially as embodied in the discussions within the SCLM lead me to answer, no—I don’t think so.The struggle of this current generation will be to wrestle with a liturgy that portrays a catholic appearance but lack a catholic substance behind it. It’s not that the substance can’t be there—it’s that it’s not.”

This is more a passing thought than a well-developed argument so take it with a grain of salt… The Liturgical Renewal Movement is the fundamental context for understanding the current shape of th…

Read it all: Liturgical Chickens Coming Home to Roost

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