05 February 2013

Out of one, many

Although I've been to New Zealand twice, I didn't go to church while I was there.  The first time wasn't over a weekend (I think) and the second time ... I just didn't.  Which is rather too bad because if I had spent a morning with a congregation of the Anglican Church in Aetearoa, New Zealand, and Polynesia* I could have been part of the communal responses in  the liturgy.  However, this past Sunday I got the chance to make up for that.  

This is from our church bulletin:  "The revelation of Jesus as Lord and Savior was first made known to the wise men, but from there, spread to all corners of the word.  To mark this, our liturgy during the season of Epiphany will come from a different corner of the world:  New Zealand. At our 10:30 service, the confession, absolution, Eucharistic prayer and post-communion prayer come from our sister Anglican Church in Aetearoa, New Zealand, and Polynesia."  

I've missed church for the past few weeks for one reason or another and I'll be out again this weekend for a family funeral, but I greatly enjoyed the chance to recite the familiar ideas in a  new way.  A kind of foreign exchange.  And I'll be happy to return to the familiar phrasing as well.**

The confession:  Merciful God, we have sinned in what we have thought and said, in the wrong we have done and in the good we have not done. We have sinned in ignorance; we have sinned in weakness; we have sinned through our own deliberate fault.  We are truly sorry.  We repent and turn to you.  Forgive us, for our Savior Christ's sake, and renew our lives to the glory of your name. Amen.

The absolution: Through the cross of Christ, God have mercy on you, pardon and set you free.  Know that you are forgiven and be at peace.  God strengthen you in all goodness and keep you in life eternal.  Amen. 

The Eucharistic prayer:  
God of past and present,
We your people remember your Son.
We thank you for his cross and rising again,
We take courage from his ascension;
We look for his coming in glory
and in him we give ourselves to you.

The post communion prayer: Father of all, we give you thanks and praise, that when we were far off you met us in your Son and brought us home. Dying and living, he declared your love, gave us grace and opened the gate of glory.  May we who share Christ's body live his risen life; we who drink his cup bring life to others; we whom the Spirit lights give light to the world.  Amen.

I'm rather glad that the Lord's Prayer is consistent across the Anglican Communion.  I'd really miss my mondegreen.

*Aetearoa is the most widely known and accepted Māori name for New Zealand.  It is used by both Māori and non-Māori, and is becoming increasingly widespread in the bilingual names of national organisations.  (per Wikipedia) The full title of the collected Anglican churches in New Zealand is "The Anglican Church in Aetearoa, New Zealand, and Polynesia." (per the Church)

**After all, "wherever you wander, wherever you roam, be happy, and healthy, and glad to come home."