The 2019 Prayer Book offers two Eucharistic prayers: The Anglican Standard Text and the Renewed Ancient Text. From the titles you can see that the Prayer Book assumes the Anglican Standard Text to be the general use liturgy for most Anglican Churches. As we journey through the 2019 Prayer Book we will use the Anglican Standard Text as a base.
Our beautiful and historic text starts with an “Acclimation”.
The People standing, the Celebrant says this or a seasonal greeting.
Blessed be God: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
People And blessed be his kingdom, now and for ever. Amen.
The definition of an acclimation is a loud and enthusiastic approval! It you think of crowd in a stadium standing at the sight of their team you get the right idea. This is not simply a sentence to get us underway but it is a reminder that our worship is joyful and triumphant. We enthusiastically praise the Lord with our voice in the liturgy.
The Acclamation is also understood as a greeting. Ancient Christians used greetings like this one to set themselves apart as the people of God. Instead of “Good Morning” they would say, “Christ is Risen” and we would respond, “The Lord is risen indeed!”. The seasonal greetings of our liturgy are the way we welcome each other into this holy space and time. This is why the priest does not say “welcome” or “good morning” before the liturgy starts. This would be redundant and would muddle the liturgies meaning.
The Acclamation also helps to set the pattern for the liturgy. Our Eucharistic Liturgy can be thought of as a conversation. It is a conversation between each other and God. Conversations require both hearing a responding. The Acclamation prepares us for the hearing and responding to God.
Some who are used to the 1979 BCP might notice the the Opening Acclamation sounds a little different. The Rt. Rev. Dr. Eric Menees explains this by saying, “the article “the” has been added before each person of the Trinity to emphasize the reality that, while the Trinity is one, we can also have a relationship with each person of the Trinity: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit!”
I pray that as we come to worship this Sunday we will acclaim God’s goodness and love and our fellowship with enthusiasm and joy!
God’s peace to you all,