Subject:Prayer for Reconciliation with the Jewish People
Moved By: The Rt. Rev. Bruce Myers
Seconded By: The Rt. Rev. Linda Nicholls
Be it resolved that this General Synod:
Give first reading to the addition of the following section to Canon XIV:
5. Prayer number four in “Prayers and Thanksgivings upon Several Occasions” is to be deletedfrom use and from future printings of the Book of Common Prayer and replaced with a prayer entitled “For Reconciliation with the Jews” as follows:
O GOD, who didst choose Israel to be thine inheritance: Have mercy upon us and forgive us for violence and wickedness against our brother Jacob; the arrogance of our hearts and minds hath deceived us, and shame hath covered our face. Take away all pride and prejudice in us, and grant that we, together with the people whom thou didst first make thine own, may attain to the fullness of redemption which thou hast promised; to the honour and glory of thy most holy Name.
Source: Council of General Synod, supported by the Faith, Worship, and Ministry Coordinating Committee
Submitted By: Faith, Worship, and Ministry Coordinating Committee
Does this motion contain within it any financial implications? Yes No
Possible typesetting costs for BCP reprints.
If yes, has the General Synod Expenditures Committee considered the implications? Yes No
In 1992 the General Synod voted to delete from use and from further printings of the Book of Common Prayer the third collect for Good Friday. The prayer asked for God’s mercy on Jews for willfully rejecting and denying Jesus. It read in part, “Take from them all ignorance, hardness of heart, and contempt of thy word; and so fetch them home…”
The prayer’s removal was a recognition that the collect represented an obstacle in Jewish-Christian dialogue. Its continued presence in our official liturgies also did not reflect the church’s renewed understanding—especially in the shadow of the Holocaust—of Christians being joint heirs, with the Jewish people, of God’s covenantal promises.
A similar prayer, entitled “For the Conversion of the Jews” (found on page 41), remains in the Book of Common Prayer, even though it reflects the same attitudes towards the Jewish people as the collect that our church removed from use in 1992.
Rather than simply expunge this prayer, this resolution proposes that it be replaced with a new prayer entitled “For Reconciliation with the Jews.”
This new prayer attempts to express the same reproach found in the meditation on the cross, in the Good Friday liturgy of the Book of Alternative Services, in which Jesus Christ says from the cross, “I grafted you into the tree of my chosen Israel, and you turned on them with persecution and mass murder. I made you joint heirs with them of my covenants, but you made them scapegoats for your own guilt.” However, it attempts to do so in a literary style consistent with the Prayer Book.
The prayer “For Reconciliation with the Jews” was composed and approved by the Prayer Book Society of Canada, and in consultation with the Canadian Rabbinic Caucus, a representative body of ordained Jewish leaders from across the country.
PROCEDURE FOR ADOPTION (D)
Section 11 c) i) of the Declaration of Principles requires the enactment or amendment of all canons dealing with doctrine, worship or discipline to be passed by a two-thirds majority of each Order voting at two successive sessions of General Synod.
Note: This type of resolution must also be referred to all diocesan and provincial synods for information (not consent) after first approval by General Synod.