Priest's Page...

'Maureen's Musings'

June 2012

2012 will be a year that I imagine will stay in our collective consciousness for a long time. We are celebrating the Queen's Jubilee, the Olympics, and significant anniversaries that relate not only to our history but to the very language we speak and how that has shaped our culture and identity over hundreds of years.

So we have the Shakespeare Festival - which Pattingham marked just last month. But also anniversaries that relate to the King James Bible (OK, so that was last year, but it still feels quite current) and the Book of Common Prayer.

And Pattingham and Patshull have a good record of having maintained traditional worship using the BCP. I do not see that changing any time soon - although the familiarity of its cadences and rhythms is diminishing with time. While I can appreciate some of the poetry and the sonorous quality of the prose, the BCP was not something that formed me particularly as I grew up - not overtly anyway - any more than did the words of Shakespeare. Although both I came to learn and study in time, and I recognise the legacy of both in our common language today.

If worship is to both reflect the needs of the community and be worthy of the God who is the 'very ground of our being', it cannot stand still. And recent years have seen the developments of first Series One, Two and Three, then the ASB (Alternative Service Book) and now Common Worship. Added to which is a vast resource of liturgical riches that practitioners - whether lay or ordained, can 'mine' to find worship that we hope speaks to people today and helps them to express their praise, their need and their love for God.

So our worship changes and evolves gradually over time. New ways of praying together, singing together are tried and experienced. Some may be retained, some may fall by the wayside, but as long as our focus is kept firmly on God and all that is worthy to offer him, we won't go far wrong.

It has been said that the success of the monarchy has been its ability to change with time, and yet to maintain a timeless continuity. As we celebrate with Elizabeth II the 60th anniversary of her reign, may we also as a Church and worshipping community show ourselves both resilient and flexible as we face the challenges of the future.
God save the Queen!