PERCY DEARMER REVISITED: DISCERNING AUTHENTICALLY ANGLICAN LITURGY IN A MULTICULTURAL, ECUMENCIAL, 21ST CENTURGY CONTEXT
AuthorCramer, Jared C.
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As the worship of The Episcopal Church stands on the cusp of a new period of renewal and innovation, important questions must be explored about what constitutes Anglican liturgy in today’s multicultural and ecumenical context. No longer will simply doing what we have always done (or coming up with new exciting ideas) suffice to enrich the people of God. The time is instead ripe for a reclamation of the work and ideals of Percy Dearmer, noted liturgical scholar from the late nineteenth and early twentieth-century. Though his work is often dismissed as “British Museum Religion,” the truth is that his “English Use” approach to liturgy contributed significantly to the growing Liturgical Movement in the Church of England. Further, the ideals of his work—often misunderstood—stand the test of time and offer a word of encouragement and, at times, correction, to the liturgical tendencies of our own time. Authentically Anglican liturgy is still a goal worth pursuing—it just likely is a much more difficult one that the setting up of riddle posts and the wearing of amices. By getting to the heart of Dearmer’s work, and identifying the ten ideals he used over and over again for Anglican liturgy, we will find our own approaches to worship enlivened and invited into greater truth, faithfulness, and beauty.