Resolution Number A125 – Gathering Rites for the Paschal Season

Subject: Gathering Rites for the Paschal Season

Moved By: The Ven. Douglas Fenton
Seconded By: The Rt. Rev. Andrew Asbil

Be it resolved that this General Synod:  

Authorize for use Gathering Rites for Paschaltide.

Source: 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

If yes, has the General Synod Expenditures Committee considered the implications?   Yes    No


These texts take their current shape as a result of input by a Liturgy Working Group that held one meeting in the 2016-2019 triennium. Their origins are in the catechumenal resource Becoming the Story We Tell (BST), a project commissioned by the Primate addressing baptismal formation of worshipping communities. BST responds to some of the recommendations by a Task Force initiated by the House of Bishops tackling questions concerning Christian Initiation, Eucharistic participation, and hospitality.  

FWM continues to act on the conviction that a robust approach to Christian Initiation is foundational to effective discipleship formation and missional action. As a result, we keep before ourselves the question of how to foster a culture shift reflecting a more substantive baptismal ecclesiology in the life of congregations.

As part of this larger concern, FWM initiated a test of gathering rites for Lent and Easter during the paschal seasons of 2018. The gathering rites for Lent are simply revisions of the opening penitential rite provided in the BAS. There are two options. In one, a different question arising from the baptismal covenant is recalled each week, followed by the choice of two prayers of confession. In the other option, the recollection of all the questions belonging to the baptismal covenant, each followed by a congregational response, serves as the act of confession. The Easter gathering is based on a rite included in Evangelical Lutheran Worship. Two of the three were part of the original posting of the ‘Becoming the Story We Tell’ resource. Congregations associated with the 2017 Liturgy Working Group members, those involved with Liturgy Canada, and other settings receiving appropriate permission of the Ordinary used these rites and provided feedback.

The texts were approved by CoGS in November 2018 for Trial Use and Evaluation and posted – with the attendant evaluation tools – on, and sent to bishops with a note encouraging their promotion of use and evaluation. The texts remain as originally posted. In a sense, as part of the package of Becoming the Story We Tell, they have been published, with the potential for use, since 2014, and so have been in circulation in our church for over four years. They have been picked up and used – as part of the whole catechumenal package of Becoming the Story We Tell, by several Episcopal Dioceses or congregations in the United States, and have been tested in numerous workshops led by Liturgy Canada and by the Associated Parishes for Liturgy and Mission.

Our Full Communion Partner, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, will likely be considering a similar resolution during the 2019 National Convention. 


In the normal course, an ordinary motion must be passed by a majority of the members of General Synod present and voting together. Six members of General Synod may, prior to the question being put, require a vote by Orders, with a majority of each Order being necessary to pass. 

If a question passes on a Vote by Orders, any six members (two from each of three different dioceses) may immediately before the next item of business require a vote to be taken by dioceses. A motion passes if a majority (or a tie) of dioceses vote in favour. 

Source: Sections 4 and 5 of the Declaration of Principles and sections 18, 19 and 20 of the Rules of Order and Procedure