Seasonal Liturgical Changes

The guidelines for worship in the Anglican tradition call for variation within a structure of regularity. Some of these variations are weekly (e.g., readings or collect), some variations are annual (e.g., the church calendar), and some variations are seasonal (e.g., colors). With this first Sunday in Advent, we come upon a new week, new year, and new season, and so we will be experiencing a fair amount of variation within the regularity of our worship structure. 

First, we will notice our shift in our liturgical color from the green of Ordinary Time to the purple of preparation, used in both Advent and Lent.

Second, our prayer book has two liturgies for the Eucharist: the “Renewed Ancient Text,” which we tend to use in Ordinary Time and Eastertide, and the “Anglican Standard Text,” which we tend to use during Advent and Lent. The “Renewed” text is based upon liturgies from the first few centuries of the Church which were rediscovered during the twentieth-century liturgical renewal movement. The “Standard” text is based upon the sixteenth and seventeenth century Anglican services. With respect to the liturgy, we also seasonally vary our service music (e.g., Sanctus, Agnus Dei).

Third, the opening of our worship this week includes the reading of the Exhortation. This is an invitation to self-examination and confession as a preparation for receiving the Eucharist penned by Thomas Cranmer for the first Book of Common Prayer. Our prayer book commends the reading of the Exhortation at the beginning of three major liturgical seasons: Advent, Lent, and Ordinary Time. For the next three weeks following, the opening of our worship will include the Decalogue, a helpful rubric for self-examination in this Advent season of preparation.

Fourth, here are a few words from the Music Committee regarding the Psalm setting:

As the written psalmody of the church follows a three year lectionary cycle, it is appropriate for our musical psalmody to follow a similar rhythm. To that end, starting this year, we will take up a new chant tune beginning on Advent I. This tune will become All Souls’ “Year B Psalm chant tune”. Similarly, on Advent I of 2024, as the lectionary begins “Year C,” we will introduce an All Souls’ “Year C Psalm chant tune.” The tune we are all familiar with and have sung for over a decade will remain All Souls’ “Year A Psalm chant tune.” The composer of our “Year B Psalm chant tune” is James Turle, 1802-1882. Mr. Turle was Organist and Master of the Choristers at Westminster Abbey for 51 years, until his death. He was the editor of the 1st and 2nd editions of “The Westminster Abbey Chant Book,” 1855 and 1878. 

Fifth, moving through the service, note that the words of the Doxology after the Offertory are the same but the tune is that of “O Come, O Come Emmanuel,” another instance of the dance between variation and regularity.

Finally, we bring back our lovely ceramic Eucharistic vessels with their hues reminiscent of the color of this season.