Praise and Thanksgiving
Stories from the four churches
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.
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
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.
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,
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
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
* 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).
Some of the praise responses are suitable for saying or singing
together, rather than in responsive form. These are marked with an
* 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
* 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
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