Monday, January 6, 2014

GEO Set 2 Liturgy and Church Music (General Ordination Exam) 2014

Set 2: Liturgy and Church Music 

LIMITED RESOURCES: A printed one-volume annotated Bible; a printed 1979 Book of Common Prayer; a printed Book of Occasional Services; a printed Lesser Feasts and Fasts; printed Enriching Our Worship volumes; and other printed authorized supplemental or provisional material; a printed Hymnal 1982, a printed Wonder, Love and Praise; and authorized supplemental musical material. NO electronic or Internet resources.


In a lecture, the Episcopal liturgist Thomas Talley, speaking of Easter, said:
By virtue of the resurrection, Christ is now trans-historical and is available to every moment. We may never speak of the Risen Christ in the historical past. The event of his passion is historical, but the Christ who is risen does not exist back there, but here, and as we live on this moving division line between memory and hope, between the memory of his passion and the hope of his coming again, we stand always in the presence of Christ, who is always present to everyone.

In his theological commentary on the American Prayer Book, Leonel Mitchell shows how this applies in a particular instance, the Feast of the Nativity of Our Lord. Reflecting on the second collect for the feast (BCP 1979, p. 212), he writes:

It identifies this night [this very night in our time] with the breaking forth into this world of the true Light which is Christ, and it identifies the celebration of the festival with the shining of the Christ Light in our lives. To celebrate Christmas, then, is in a real sense to participate in the event which it celebrates.

Robert Taft, another prominent liturgist, writes, echoing the previous quotations:
The actuality, the presentness of it all, is because we are celebrating not something from the past, but a permanent present reality, an ongoing call and response, a new life, which we call salvation, that was called into being by saving events that are past only in their historicity.

 1)             In an essay of 750 words, comment upon how the quotations inform a coherent theology of the liturgical year, addressing both the once-for-all nature of the events in the life of Christ and the here-and-now active presence of Christ.


 2)             Building upon the previous answer in a further 750-word narrative essay - not a list or an outline - give representative examples of how you would plan the Eucharist for a Principal Feast as designated by the BCP 1979 in view of this theology, describing what you would do, your rationale, and what you would avoid doing. Please consider, for example, hymnody, choreography, spatial arrangement, iconography, imagery and homiletics, including at least three of these in your response.

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