Liturgy and Reconciliation

Harvey Shepherd writes for Anglican Journal, via Anglican Communion News Service:

Some of the church gestures and documents aimed at reconciliation after past wrongs – like those associated with Canada’s residential schools — already have the characteristics of liturgy, Archbishop Fred Hiltz, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, told an international gathering of specialists on liturgy on 4 August.

Hiltz suggested the church take another step and make liturgy out of them.

For example, he said, a timeline poster almost seven feet long available from the national church and detailing the evolving history of relations between the Anglican church and Indigenous peoples between 1452 and 2014 does not just tell a story.

“It prays a prayer. It sings a song. Wouldn’t it be marvellous to create a liturgy around this timeline? You could share an incredible litany of reconciliation around this timeline.”

… The Rev. Michael Lapsley, an Anglican priest and social justice activist in South Africa, who lost both hands and was blinded in one eye in 1990 by a letter bomb, also warned against hasty approaches to forgiveness in a talk Wednesday, 8 August.

“I don’t know who made the bomb or who wrote my name on the envelope. I don’t know what it means to forgive an abstraction.”

He said he believes in “a justice of restoration rather than a justice of punishment.”

“We often reduce forgiveness to saying we’re sorry. Reality is much more messy and ambiguous.”

Read the rest.

Image: Michael Lapsley chats with Nak-Hyon Joo of Korea and Lapsley’s personal assistant, Mosuoe Rakuoane. • Harvey Shepherd/Anglican Journal photo


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