The irony for the officiant is that the only way to promote harmony among the various voices at prayer is to focus on their own. The role of the officiant is to pray through the chaos so the chaos can eventually find order through the prayers. The officiant must be attentive to all who are praying, but not at the expense of their own prayers.
Among the various characterizations of Mary, I find myself repeatedly drawn to Mary as the Second Eve in parallel to St. Paul’s reference to Christ as the Second Adam (Rom 5:12, 15; I Cor 15:45, 47).
By saying this prayer, those of us who are Gentiles become like the Syrophoenician woman. We admit we are dogs, unworthy as Gentiles and those who chronically forget God’s promises to the Jews to sit at God’s table, and yet we go on to ask for God’s food all the same, trusting that our host is merciful.
When Nathan Jennings says that liturgy is an “organic analogue of reality,” he means that the connections between the divine life and human life are not arbitrary. He also means that liturgical theology is something more than history (how liturgy developed) or anthropology (how people happen to behave in the liturgy). When we are doing liturgical theology we are encountering the very nature of God.
Perhaps the lesson of the ACNA BCP for us is this: thoughtful contemporary-language retrieval of classical Anglican liturgical texts and forms is very possible...However, when such retrieval sets up a uniform classical Anglicanism against errors or excesses of the liturgical movement, it can smooth out of differences in the classical Anglican tradition in a way that produces less-than-coherent liturgies.