Vol II No. 5
Anglican Communion

Revising the Liturgy of the Episcopal Church: Can a thousand flowers bloom ? - A PBS Colloquium in Dallas on 20th October

by sinetortus


A One Day Colloquium of the Prayer Book Society USA

at the Church of the Incarnation Dallas

10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Friday 20th October, 2017

Tickets available via the following links:




Exploring the proposals for a  “Comprehensive Revision”

of the liturgy of the Episcopal Church

to be considered by the General Convention in 2018


This Colloquium will explore the implications of the mandate from the Episcopal General Convention of 2015 in Resolution A169 directing the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music (SCLM)  “to prepare a plan for the comprehensive revision” of the 1979 Book of Common Prayer ready for the next General Convention in 2018.

The Commission has already announced that it will request that the General Convention 2018 select one of four options, namely:

  1. A full and comprehensive revision of the 1979  Book of Common Prayer
  2. Creation of a comprehensive Book(s) of Alternative Services, and leaving the present BCP 1979 unchanged
  3. More research, talking, listening, and discerning as to whether revision is desirable
  4. Stepping back from revision to allow a deepening of  our relationship with current liturgies and the 1979 BCP

Or as a further alternative

(5) choose some combination of pathways 2, 3, or 4 while also developing “technical fixes” to the 1979 Book of Common Prayer which would be “adjustments in grammar, punctuation, and word choice that do not change the theology, poetry, or intended meaning of the text”.  (for example: in Eucharistic Prayer C – changing “you made us the rulers of creation” to “you made us the stewards of creation” or adding the word matriarchs along with the patriarchs).


The Colloquium presenters will examine what these options could mean in practical terms on the one hand and what principles should inform an authentically Anglican-Episcopal approach to Liturgy on the other, bearing in mind the central role of the Prayer Book tradition since the inception of Anglicanism.

The principle speakers will be

  • Jesse Billett, Professor of Liturgy at Trinity College Toronto University, and the Trinity School of Theology in Toronto, under the heading “The Mysterium Anglicanum and the New Puritans” will argue that the original basis upon which modern reforms of the liturgy were advanced have been found wanting in the light of subsequent research and must now be defended on scriptural, theological and aesthetic grounds and these can warrant no threat to the earlier Prayer Book tradition.
  • The Revd. Canon Victor Austin, Theologian in Residence in the Diocese of Dallas, based at the Church of the Incarnation, will explore the Authority in Anglicanism and the role of the Prayer Book within this
  • The Revd. Fr Gavin Dunbar, President of the Prayer Book Society of the USA and Rector of St. John’s Church Savannah, will discuss the principles behind the earliest Anglican Books of Common Prayer and their continuing relevance and resilience regarding the challenge of revision. 
  • The Revd. Canon Jordan Hylden, Canon Theologian of the Episcopal Diocese of Dallas, will speak on the specific subject: “Not to be Entered into Unadvisedly or Lightly: Reflections on Marriage and BCP Revision”.

Bishop Anthony Burton (Rector of the Parish of the Incarnation) and The Bishop of Dallas, Dr. George Sumner also hope to participate as their schedules allow.

The Revd. Canon Alistair Macdonald-Radcliff (International Advisor to the PBS) will also be participating, along with Prayer Book Society Board members Bill Murchison (from Incarnation)  and Dean William McKeachie (from St Andrew’s Fort Worth).

There will also be a discussion of the issues that have been raised by those seeking revision of the liturgy ranging from concern that Creeds may be too exclusionary, to the idea that all liturgical language should be fully inclusive and gender neutral.

There will be ample opportunity for audience participation and the day is aimed not only at clergy but laity as well as Seminarians, interested in the impact of the coming General Convention on the liturgy and future of the Prayer Book tradition and Rite I.

A Sandwich Luncheon will be included and the day will run from 10 am and run to about 4 p.m.

Tickets can be obtained online via Brownpaper tickets at



 Ths cost for the day (including the luncheon) is $35  and $20 for Seniors, Students and Seminarians. Some scholarships available in the case of need.