Liturgical help from Porvoo

Several — perhaps all now — of the European Protestant churches with apostolic episcopal succession are linked in the Porvoo Communion. Interesting stuff, but only useful to a point for an American not ordained in the (I love this term) tactile apostolic succession.

Except, of course, that this intercommunion seems to have spawned a number of informative webpages, translated into English, from the Nordic churches. Among these are liturgical resources. I think the Danish state church (PDF; original site down), a Porvoo observer, was the first to get its liturgy online in English and German. This is a Eucharistic service, and this is what each of the churches led with. Like the Norwegians. Wedding and funeral rites followed.

Recently, the Swedes published their worshipbook in English online, and wonder of wonders it includes a non-eucharistic service. Helpful stuff that. Why?

In English, via England, Cranmer set the standard for liturgical worship. Much of what he developed, he took from the Latin and lengthened into what we know as “church language” today.

In the worship wars of the last two decades, the baby, the bathwater, and sometimes the basin went. By looking at the English translation of the Swedish service — which is akin to morning prayer; I’ve gone into why morning prayer is such a good service elsewhere on this blog — we can better see the “bones” of the service, and other options for its implementation.

If Anabaptists can seriously consider a liturgical book (link thanks to Leaving Munster) then Universalists with a heritage of liturgical worship can take it seriously too.

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