Thursday, February 23, 2012

New Bulletin Format Starting First Sunday in Lent

This coming Sunday a new bulletin format will be coming to Trinity, Easton.

Before now, the bulletin contained outlines for the services on Saturday evening, Sunday at 8 a.m. and Wednesday at 12:10 and the 10:30 service had the entire service printed out in full.

Now all four liturgies will be in outline form. For 10:30 service music (like the Gloria...Glory to God...and the Sanctus...the Holy, Holy, Holy) and prayers not found in the Prayer Book will be included.

This means that folks at 10:30 may have to learn how to juggle.

We have always intended the bulletin to be kind of like a magazine, with all the information you need to focus on the important part, which is the worship. We also mean it to be the chief communications tool in the parish, through not the only one by any means! Moist of the elements that you have gotten used to will stay the same, but a few things will change.

We won't do away with bulletin with complete services entirely. When we have special services and big events, we will use the long format. So at Christmas and Easter, Holy Week, special services like Baptisms, Confirmations as well as weddings and funerals will all have the complete service printed in it.

Here is a link to a draft of this Sunday's bulletin in PDF format.

Here is an outline of the Trinity Sunday bulletin:
  • The Cover: Pretty much the same although the picture will emphasize some aspect of Trinity's life and ministry and change a little less often.
  • Welcome Page: The inside front cover still has our welcome message and everything you need to know to navigate the service, where to find restrooms, things for children to do and the list of ministry assistants for the day. 
  • Lessons and Prayers: This next section contains things that are common to all our Sunday liturgies, namely the Lessons and Prayers. This starts on Page 2. 
    • The Great Litany (page 2). On the First Sunday in Lent we pray this great prayer, the first English liturgy of the English Reformation, originally penned by Archbishop Thomas Cranmer. This version is printed in the bulletin because it is not the version found in the Prayer Book, but is the version found in an official supplemental liturgical text of the Episcopal Church called Enriching Our Worship. This version is both contemporary in style and gender inclusive. Because we are using something not found in the Book of Common Prayer, it is printed in full here.
    • The Collects for the Day (page 5): The collects gather the prayers of the faithful according to a theme for the Sunday. Both Rite II and Rite I (8 am) collects are found here.
    • The Lessons (Page 5): The Sunday readings from the Bible are here. We follow the Revised Common Lectionary, now the official lectionary of the Episcopal Church. The Psalm comes from the Book of Common Prayer. We reprint it here instead of naming a page number in the Prayer Book, as we do on Wednesdays.
    • Sending Out Lay Eucharistic Visitors: This ritual is found in The Book of Occasional Services. In the past we put in the 10:30 section of the bulletin, even though it might be used at 5 p.m. or at 8 a.m. Because we only use it when needed and that could be at any of the weekend liturgies, we put it here.
    • Blessing and Dismissal: Again, this also used to be found in the 10:30 section, but these are used in all three liturgies so it is found here.
    • Next Week's Lessons: The continues to reside at the end of the readings section.
  • The Prayers of the People: This would normally be found here, between the Lessons and Liturgies, but on this Sunday, the Great Litany serves as the Prayers of the People.
  • Saturday, 5 p.m.: The outline for this service is found next. The format has not changed. The pages refer to the Book of Common Prayer or to the Bulletin. The bulletin pages are always italicized. 
  • Sunday, 8 a.m.:  The outline for this service is found next. The format has not changed. The pages refer to the Book of Common Prayer or to the Bulletin. The bulletin pages are always italicized. Please note the parts that are have an asterisk, this tells you where the people are to stand. 
  • Sunday, 10:30 a.m.: This is the part of the bulletin that has changed the most. 
    • As with 8 a.m. the asterisk indicates where the assembly stands. 
    • The Hymns may be found in the blue Hymnal 1982
    • The page numbers refer to the Book of Common Prayer, which are usually red but a few are black. (There are only a few of these scattered about. If you should find yourself using a black BCP, we should give you a prize but, alas, we don't. Sorry.)
    • Notice that any service music, such as for the Psalm, the Sursum Corda ("The Lord be with you."), another other music are printed in the bulletin. Most of these are in the Hymnal but they come and go so fast, we thought it easier to simply print them out for you.
  • The Prayer List: In Our Prayers This Week comes next and it is the same as before. Please use it in your devotions every week.
  • The Wednesday Holy Eucharist: This is unchanged and still includes a description of the feast or saint that we celebrate that day.
  • Calendar and Announcements: Here is a guide to what is going at Trinity in the coming week and more. This section remains the same. Please take home your bulletin and use this as a guide for your participation in the parish.
  • The Back Cover: "One Step More" continues on the back cover with a short description of the Sunday's lessons, a short Stewardship reflection based on the Sunday's lessons.  We hope "One Step More" helps you take the extra step to be faith follower of Jesus Christ in the coming week. 
  • Agnus Day, the Sunday cartoon based on the week's scripture remains on the Back Cover. Each week, two sheep from Jesus' flock, go to coffee hour after Church. Rick, the one with the black nose, and Ted discuss one of the readings from the Revised Common Lectionary. We don't know what you talk about in Coffee Hour, but we do know that Sunday just would not be Sunday without Rick and Ted. (See the bottom the page on this blog.)
So that's it. We know that for you 10:30 worshipers this change may feel a little off-putting at first.

We know you only have two hands, and like Episcopalians everywhere we are asking you to hold three things. Here some things you can do to make your life a little easier.
  • You can go to an 8 o'clocker and ask for a lesson on book and hymnal juggling. 
  • You can share. Right away you have doubled your hand count.
  • Mark your book before the service. Long time Episcopalians used to do two rituals before church....kneel in silent prayer when the first come in to church...and mark their prayer book and hymnal. 
  • Look around. If you see someone struggling to keep up, offer to share or hand them your prayer book open to the right page. Let them know that they are not alone and that help is always there!
  • Read what you need, say the rest...many of us have learned the parts of the service by heart. Look up! Sing and speak aloud! 
  • Use the Hymn Board. Those numbers in front of church indicate the hymn numbers and the Psalm. 
  • Relax. We will give you a little time to find where you are. We will announce some pages but only when we need to, not for every item in the liturgy. 
  • Relax. And let God into your heart.
So why are we doing this? Partly it is to save trees. Our old bulletin would crack 28 or 32 pages sometimes. That's 7 or 8 sheets of paper per bulletin per week. This new version comes in at 20. Not only do we kill fewer trees (even though we use recycled paper), it also saves money.

But there is another reason. We were finding that people were becoming less and less conversant with our Book of Common Prayer. The Prayer Book contains what Episcopalians believe. We pray what we believe and do what we pray. Becoming practically connected with our Prayer Book tradition will build us up as Christians and as a Church.

If you have any questions, talk to me, Dale Grandfield or one of the members of the Worship Committee.

--Father Andrew

Cartoon by the Rev. Jay Sidebottham, copyright 2009, Church Pension Fund.

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