A058 Resolution on Official Liturgical Website for The Episcopal Church

The Task Force for Liturgical and Prayer Book Revision determined that online (mobile as well as desktop) platforms would be essential for gathering and distributing new or revised liturgical texts and resources. Since The Episcopal Church already has a significant online presence and infrastructure in place, we felt that it was necessary to survey the state of the digital landscape as it related to liturgical resources to see whether we could use an existing platform or would be better served creating a new one for our particular needs.

We detailed the various liturgical resources that were available in early 2019 on a variety of official and unofficial websites. We discovered that though many liturgical texts were available online in a variety of official and unofficial websites and mobile apps, there was no single online place where someone might easily (and freely) find and browse which liturgies were currently authorized by The Episcopal Church. (Note: RiteSeries online is a pay/subscription platform that serves a narrow purpose, primarily bulletin building and music licensing.) None of the existing official or unofficial liturgical resource websites provided background information on how liturgical texts were authorized. In many cases authorized liturgical texts and resources were side-by-side with unauthorized texts and resources without distinction. Some of the available liturgical material was out of date. There were also inaccuracies and errors in terms of sources and whether something was official and/or authorized or not. For more detailed information, see Addendum: Survey of Episcopal Liturgies available online (as of April 30, 2019), which may be found at www.episcopalcommonprayer.org

We determined that there was no single, official, free, access point for browsing and comparing liturgies and liturgical resources authorized for use by The Episcopal Church. We did not originally intend to build a website that provided a library of authorized liturgical resources, but we felt that it was impossible to consider liturgical and Prayer Book revision without first having a clear understanding of which liturgies were already authorized for use in The Episcopal Church.

We created and built www.episcopalcommonprayer.org, which we hoped could serve as the single, official access point for all authorized liturgies and liturgical resources and include information on how each liturgy is authorized by General Convention.