Beginning on July 3 and through August 28 we will switch our Eucharistic prayer at the 10:30 service to prayer “C.” The prayer book provides us with four Eucharistic prayers in the Rite II liturgy: prayers A, B, C, and D. Prayer A emphasizes the historic Anglican theology of the cross and salvation in the celebration of Holy Communion. Prayers B and D are based on two ancient texts from the 3rd and 4th centuries, with B highlighting the incarnation of Jesus. Only prayer C was newly composed for the current Book of Common Prayer. The language of the prayer is modern, and the theme focuses on the revelation of God in and through the creation. When it first appeared in the trial service books of the late 1970’s it was dubbed the “Star Wars” prayer because is lines such as:
At you command all things came to be: the vast expanse of interstellar space, galaxies, suns, the planets in their courses, and this fragile earth, our island home.
The structure of the prayer is a litany, recited back and forth between the presider and the congregation. Prayer C begins on page 369 in the BCP, and it will be helpful to use the prayer book during the service to add your responses.
One other change for this time is the use of hymn 380, “From all that dwell below the skies,” and the familiar tune Old 100th as our presentation hymn. Several denominations have sung the 3rd stanza at the offertory, and it is familiar and beloved by many. We will sing all three verses.
These shifts in the Sunday service allow us to experience some of the breadth of our liturgical traditions.