New Patterns for Worship

G Praise and Thanksgiving

Stories from the four churches

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St Ann's Evening Praise replaced Evening Prayer some years ago when people were looking for something much freer in their worship. The service this evening includes some teaching in preparation for an evangelistic event in a few weeks' time, and is punctuated at intervals by one of the acclamations:

Christ in you, the hope of glory:
this is the gospel we proclaim.

A Service of the Word provides the structure which holds everything together, including some dance to the psalm, interviews with a couple just moving to a new job and wanting to thank the congregation for their support, some praise songs and a time of extempore thanksgiving. The service moves to a climax of sung and spoken praise using one of the longer Thanksgivings, ending with the Sanctus. Other things they have used at the climax of the service have been traditional sung texts like the Te Deum and the Gloria, and the first section of one of the Eucharistic Prayers, ending with the Sanctus.

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The Worship Planning Group at St Bartholomew's are leading worship based on Evening Prayer on Sunday from Common Worship.They have been grappling with the problem - and opportunity - of how to deal with the Advent theme of heaven, when one of the older people in the village has just died.While preparing for the funeral they came across the thematic material for a vigil on pages 247-252 of Common Worship: Pastoral Services and decided to use the psalm (116), with its psalm prayer ('We walk through eternity in your presence'), and the canticle 'A Song of the Justified' from Romans 4 and 5, concluding with the Prayers of Thanksgiving from the Memorial Service (Pastoral Services, page 340) and one of the Resurrection Thanksgivings (G38 below) as an alternative Thanksgiving section for the end of Evening Prayer. At the end of the service there is an almost tangible silence as people feel they have been caught up to heaven and are reluctant to come back to earth
again.

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The Eucharist at St Christopher's today uses two items from this section of New Patterns. The theme is justification by faith, using the first of the two lectionary modules from Romans (pages 119-120 above).They have been using the acclamation there ('I am not ashamed of the gospel …') for the last two weeks, and today they use one of the responsive acclamations on this theme (G45) as a Gospel acclamation, and one of the Thanksgivings (G75) replaces the preface in Eucharistic Prayer E. The clergy have read Note 18 to Common Worship Holy Communion, which says that Extended Prefaces may be used with Eucharistic prayers A, B and E for Order One and that they replace the entire text between the opening dialogue and the Sanctus.

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The St Dodo's Praise Service has no apparent structure at all - and so, one or two people say, must be led by the Spirit. There is little content, with only one of the lectionary readings (irrelevant to the theme of praise) and the sermon is replaced by long introductions by four different people to four of the hymns. People in the congregation are encouraged to suggest items to give thanks for or to sing (sometimes without the congregation having the words because it is assumed everyone knows them), with the inevitable result that there is no development in the service and no one quite knows when it should come to an end. But a liturgical structure used without preparation can produce equally bad results. Last week the president got a bit lost in Eucharistic Prayer E, used a Short Preface rather than an extended one, with the result that no one knew when to come in with 'Holy, holy…'

 

Notes to the resources

Acclamations and praise responses

Where to use them

These may be used
* at the beginning of the service;
* at the end of worship;
* after a reading; or
* acclamations may be repeated at various points in a service as a reminderof the theme.

Finding some more

There are more acclamations and responses in the Gathering and Greeting section.

See the Lectionary modules in Resource Section C for some specific acclamations which relate to the readings there.

Further appropriate forms can be devised locally. The key principles in constructing your own are:
* look at the readings for the service and especially the psalm as a possible source for words and ideas;
* keep the length of sentences short (especially for the congregation's part);
* match the length of the response to the length of the leader's text;
* take care over words that people may not be sure how to pronounce in the congregation's text (even something like 'blessed' can cause uncertainty).

Songs

Some of the praise responses are suitable for saying or singing together, rather than in responsive form. These are marked with an asterisk*.

Thanksgivings

* These may be used at any suitable point in A Service of the Word, but they are particularly appropriate for use as the climax to the service or part of the response to the Liturgy of the Word.

* They may also be used as a proper preface in the Eucharistic Prayer: in this case, the introduction 'Father, we give you thanks and praise through Jesus Christ our Lord' should be used only where indicated.

* The Benedictus qui venit ('Blessed is he who comes…') may be added to the Sanctus in any of these thanksgivings where it is not printed.

* If it is desired to shorten the Thanksgivings, the lines in brackets may be omitted.

* If the Preface is specially composed, the president says,' And now we give you thanks…' and then offers brief thanksgivings in the form 'We thank you that …' or similar words. They normally include thanksgiving for

* creation;
* redemption;
* the continuing work of the Spirit.

* They should not conclude with 'Amen'. The president concludes by saying ' Therefore with angels and archangels …' (Prayers A, B and C) (or)' And so we gladly thank you, with saints and angels …' (Prayer E)
Eucharistic Prayers D, G and H are not suitable for this approach.

Short Prefaces

These short seasonal or thematic Prefaces are for use at the appropriate points in any authorized Eucharistic Prayer on suitable occasions.They may be inserted in Prayers A, B and C in Order One and, suitably amended, in both prayers in Order One in Traditional Language.They may also be used (suitably amended: see Note 28 to the Common Worship services of Holy Communion) with Order Two and Order Two in Contemporary Language.

Texts for this section