Adapted from Anglican Communion News Service
Communiqué from the 2015 meeting of the International Anglican Liturgical Consultation:
Rites of Corporate Reconciliation
1. The International Anglican Liturgical Consultation met in Montreal, Canada, from the 3rd to 8th August 2015. The Consultation was warmly welcomed and appreciated the facilities placed at its disposal by the Montreal Diocesan Synod Office. The Anglican Communion Office was represented at the meeting by the Rev. Canon John Gibaut, the Director of Unity, Faith, and Order for the Anglican Communion.
2. Members were present from Aotearoa New Zealand and Polynesia, Australia, Canada, England, Hong Kong, Ireland, Japan, Korea, the Philippines, Scotland, the Solomon Islands, Southern Africa, the United States of America, Uruguay, and Wales. Unfortunately some members were again unable to attend the consultation because of visa problems.
3. We were able to support the attendance of some members through the bursary fund. Significant bursary donations will be needed to secure this assistance for future meetings.
4. We were pleased to be able to join the congregation of Christ Church Cathedral for morning and evening prayer. The daily Eucharist was led by teams from the various regions of the Communion. The feast of the Transfiguration on 6 August marked the 70th anniversary of the dropping of the first Atomic Bomb at Hiroshima. In the light of the consultation theme of reconciliation, this was a significant service led by members from Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, and the Philippines.
5. The Provincial reports indicated a significant move in a number of Provinces towards the revision of prayer books, hymnals, and liturgical texts, which emphasised the importance of this gathering for the sharing of knowledge, resources, and process. Although a number of Provinces are engaging in such revision, often these efforts are hampered by inadequate financial and human resources.
6. Common concerns emerged, such as the inadequate training and liturgical formation of clergy and lay leaders in leading worship, and that liturgical education is no longer seen as a priority in many seminaries and ministerial training schemes.
Work on Reconciliation
7. The Dublin meeting in 2013 focused on rites of healing and reconciliation. The need for conversation around wider social and structural issues of reconciliation emerged from those discussions. The work in Montreal was aided by preparatory material, including rites of reconciliation and papers exploring narratives of the process of reconciliation.
8. The Consultation benefited from the input of Archbishop Fred Hiltz, Primate of Canada, Bishop Mark MacDonald, National Indigenous Anglican Bishop of Canada, and Fr. Michael Lapsley, SSM, Director of the Institute for the Healing of Memories.
9. Archbishop Fred and Bishop Mark explored the journey toward reconciliation being taken by the Anglican Church of Canada with the Indigenous peoples in the wake of that church’s role in the Canadian Indian Residential Schools. Fr. Michael Lapsley spoke both of his own journey towards healing and reconciliation in South Africa and of the wider work of the Institute and its workshops. The three speakers spoke from their experience and different perspectives, and the common ground was recognition of the power of deep-rooted institutional political oppression, which dehumanised and traumatised peoples. It was clear from all three presentations that the journey towards reconciliation requires space, time, and patience and should include ritual moments and symbolic enactments.
10. The issues presented by our three guests were reflected on and translated into a liturgical framework through work in small groups. The outcome of the discussion has been a commitment to produce guidelines and resources for rites to support corporate reconciliation. Ongoing task groups are exploring the areas of
- relevant Biblical texts in contexts
- theology of reconciliation and baptismal identity
- frameworks for developing rites of corporate reconciliation
The meeting took note of the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Consultation on Peace and Conflict Prevention and seeks to work in partnership with this initiative.
Relations with the Anglican Communion
11. Considerable time was given to reviewing and strengthening the role of the Consultation as a network of the Anglican Communion. Revised guidelines for governance were adopted articulating the purpose of the Consultation:
- to promote the deepening of communion between the Churches of the Anglican Communion by renewing its life of liturgy and prayer as integral to the mission of the Church
- to advise the Provinces and the Instruments of Communion on questions of liturgy and common prayer and to encourage and support conversation between the Provinces on questions touching on Anglican liturgical theology and practice
- to review developments in liturgical formation and practice in the Anglican Communion and among ecumenical partners, and to give advice upon them to the Provinces and the Instruments of Communion, with the intention to promote common understanding, consistency and coherence, both within the Anglican Communion and in ecumenical engagement
- to assist any Province with new proposals in the areas of liturgical formation, development and practice
- to report the scope and results of its work to the Anglican Consultative Council
This process was much assisted by the presence and contribution of the Director of Unity, Faith and Order for the Anglican Communion, the Rev. Canon John Gibaut.
- Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia: Tricia Carter
- Anglican Church of Australia: Dane Courtney, Elizabeth Smith
- Anglican Church of Canada: Terry Brown, John Hill, Jay Koyle, Lizette Larson-Miller Edward Simonton, Eileen Scully, Gregor Sneddon
- Anglican Church of Southern Africa: Cynthia Botha, Keith Griffiths
- Anglican Communion in Japan: Shintaro Ichihara, Saya Ojiri
- Anglican Church of Korea: Nak-Hyon Joseph Joo
- Anglican Church of South America (Uruguay): Enrique Illarze
- Anglican Church of Melanesia (Solomon Islands): Anderson Saefoa
- Anglican Church in Wales: Catherine Haynes
- Church of England: Anne Dawtry, Alec George, Harvey Howlett, Christopher Irvine, Bridget Nichols, Phillip Tovey
- Church of Ireland: Gerald Field, Alan Rufli
- Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui: Chun-wai Lam
- Episcopal Church In The Philippines: Tomas Maddela
- Scottish Episcopal Church: Douglas Kornahrens
- The Episcopal Church: Barrington Bates, Robert Brooks, Walter Knowles, William H. Petersen
- ACC Office: John Gibaut