The Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music has announced that The Book of Occasional Services 2018 is available as a free download in English and Spanish.

The 2018 edition, authorized by the 79th General Convention, includes outlines for celebrations of “Las Posadas” and “Dia de Los Muertos,” and a five-page “Service of Renaming.”

The renaming rite suggests Scripture texts about Sarah, Moses, Peter, the Transfiguration, the naming of Jesus, and the Virgin Mary. It cites three sources consulted by the commission: Trans-gender: Theology, Ministry and Communities of Faith by Justin Tanis (Pilgrim Press, 2003), Changes: Prayers and Services Honoring Rites of Passage (Church Publishing, 2007), and A New Zealand Prayer Book (HarperOne, 1997).

The introduction to the renaming rite says:

When an event or experience leads a baptized person to take or to be given a new name, the following may be used to mark this transition in the parish community. It is expected that the presider or someone appointed by the presider has prepared the candidate for this rite through pastoral conversation and theological reflection.

This new beginning is distinct from the new life begun in Holy Baptism, which conveys regeneration and the responsibilities of Christian discipleship.

The rite can be used on its own or in place of the Word of God during a celebration of the Holy Eucharist. It is particularly commended for use on a major feast day or any of the following occasions: Advent 3 (Gaudete); Holy Name (Jan. 1); Presentation in the Temple (Feb. 2); The Last Sunday After the Epiphany (Transfiguration Sunday); The Feast of the Transfiguration (Aug. 6).

Throughout the rite, the pronouns “they,” “their,” and “them” are used, with corresponding verb forms. These pronouns should be adapted to the preference of the person receiving or claiming the new name, with appropriate adjustment to the accompanying verbs.

Other services include:

  • Advent Festival of Lessons and Carols
  • Our Lady of Guadalupe
  • Blessing of a Crèche
  • Agapé for Maundy Thursday
  • St. Francis Day/Blessing of Animals
  • Service for All Hallows’ Eve
  • Welcoming New People to the Congregation
  • When Members Leave a Congregation
  • Blessing of a Pregnant Woman
  • Celebration for a Home
  • A Public Service of Healing
  • Concerning Exorcism
  • Burial of One Who Does Not Profess the Christian Faith
  • Setting Apart Secular Space for Sacred Use
  • Restoring of Things Profaned
  • Secularizing a Consecrated Building
  • Liturgical Materials Honoring God in Creation
BOS 2018 excerpts

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