Adapting the Prayer Book model, some modern revisions have made significant additions and subtractions to the 'eucharistic' or thanksgiving sequence at the centre of the rite.

For example, in the Second Order of the Holy Communion in An Australian Prayer Book, a more Trinitarian shape has been sought, praising God as Creator, celebrating every aspect of the Son's redemptive work (his sacrifice, resurrection, ascension, and coming again), and praying for the renewing work of the Holy Spirit in all God's people.

More congregational involvement has been achieved by providing praise responses throughout.

For example, all may say together, Christ has died; Christ is risen; Christ will come again.

And later, Blessing and honour and glory and power are yours for ever and ever. Amen.

A simplification of the whole sequence has been promoted by putting the Prayer of Humble Access at another point in the service, avoiding repetition in the petitions, and drawing aspects of the prayers after Communion into 'The Great Thanksgiving' (an expansion of the 'Prayer of Consecration' in the 1662 service).

Although some of these developments are defensible and helpful, certain problems have emerged. For example, celebrating every aspect of the Son's redemptive work may lead to a diminishing of the significance of the cross. Reference to the Holy Spirit in some modern liturgies has suggested an effect on the bread and wine, rather than the transformation of believers. Including certain petitions in 'The Great Thanksgiving' has sometimes introduced a hint of 'eucharistic sacrifice' - the idea that we offer the consecrated bread and wine to God, together with our praise and our selves, in the one action. Such developments move away from the theology of the Prayer Book and create divisions amongst Anglicans.

Next: Learning from the Baptismal Services


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