1 Corinthians 11.23-25 Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, ‘This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.’ In the same way he took the cup also, after supper, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.’ It is very clear that from the very early in the life of the Church the Eucharistic Assembly was a key part of the life of the followers of the way, soon to be called Christians. There is a discussion as to whether or not the group that gathered in the upper room were there for the traditional Passover Seder meal or not. On the surface the account bears a strong resemblance, however the Gospel of John asks a question about this. John 18.28 Then they took Jesus from Caiaphas to Pilate’s headquarters. It was early in the morning. They themselves did not enter the headquarters, so as to avoid ritual defilement and to be able to eat the Passover. Central to the Seder meal is the question from the youngest "Why is this night different from all other nights?" which leads to the account of the Exodus, and the journey from slavery into freedom, and about God's faithfullness to his people. This account ends with the statement "Tonight we have come out of Egypt". The word used to describe this statement was anamnesis. In one sense it represented a recalling of the mighty acts of old, but more specifically it was a calling of those acts into our present reality. It is, to my mind at least, not insignificant that this was the word that Christ used, and was recounted in the acount of the last supper. I suspect that rendereing as we have in English "in rememberance" we have failed to do justice to the concept and the force if the original. The Eucharist is not just any meal. So why is the meal different from other meals? Because here Jesus joins us in the upper room, on the cross and passion, in the resurrection and ascension. We do not simply remember these events, we call them into our present reality. Matthew 18.20 For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them. Luke 24.34-35 They were saying, ‘The Lord has risen indeed, and he has appeared to Simon!’ Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he had been made known to them in the breaking of the bread. The present tense of the reality of the presence of Jesus in the breaking of the bread is part of the authentic expression of Church and the Chritian Life. I take this to be the utmost force of Article XXVIII. The liturgy has developed and and been shaped over the years. The first part of the liturgy we often call the Ministry of the Word (I think the EO see this as the liturgy of the Catechumens), which includes readings and prayers, and perhaps a homily, and in the west since the Synod of Friuli 796 under Charlmagne - The Nicene Creed, and concluding with the Peace. The second part of the liturgy we often call the Communion (I think the EO see this as the liturgy of the faithful), which includes (in the East the Nicene Symbol in its original position) The Preparation of the Table, the Sursum Corda (the lifting up of hearts), The Great Thanksgiving for the mighty acts of our redemption, The Words of Institution, A clear reference to the involvement of the Holy Spirit (Epiclesis), the Amen of the people, the Fraction, the sharing of the most holy sacrament of the altar, The ablutions, and the dismissal of the people. Sometimes this is simplified to Take, Bless, Break and Share - and in this is seen the model of a Christian life. The liturgy of the Anglican Church has been through several iterations. The Sarum Rite was generally thought to be elaborate, and quite likely strongly influenced by Eastern Christianity, Augustine no doubt brought the more simplified Western Influence, and almost certainly from 1067 and the coming of Lanfranc as ArchBishop of Canterbury following the Norman Conquest a more uniform Latin rite. In the flurry of the events following the Act of Supremacy, no doubt heavily influenced by Cranmer saw the intruction of liturgy in the vulgar tongue. First a litany and the the 1549 Prayer Book, the 1552 Prayer Book, The retuirn to the Latin Mass in 1553, and a slightly modified 1552 Prayer Book in 1559. From the Death of Elizabeth there seems to have been a variety of options, ultimately leading to the prayer book passed by the Convocations of Yourk and Canterbury in 1661 and by the House of Commons in 1662, generally referred to to this day as The Book of Common Prayer. This book served most of the communion faithfully for the next 400 years, or thereabouts, which some variations, 1928 been one that many will be familiar with. Since the 1960's there has been a plethora of liturgies in the various parts of the communion, and in various Dioceses within the member Churches of the Communion, and indeed in various Parishes within various Dioceses within various Churches within the Communion. A wit once said that the Anglican Communion is a divers group of people loosely held together by a prayer book. That no longer seems to be the case. One of the things that has changed is represented by scholarship. The Canons of Hippolytus, the Didache, and other ancient manuscripts have informed our discussion, and there has been a sense of striving to return to the historic origins of Christianity reflected in contemporary liturgy of many of the western Churches, including the Church in Rome. This has meant that there ahas been a convergance in much of the liturgical shape and form over the last 50 years, mainly because we are all looking at the same ancient texts. I know a friend of mine attending an Anglican Church was totally unaware that his Vicar was using the Roman Missal with modest adjustments. There is without doubt a string connection between theopraxis and theology. There is no doubt that there are times when people have pushed theological agendas through the bounds of academic scholarship, and that some of the liturgies foistered on some parts of the Church have been intended to force theological change. Some of that reflects social change. When 1662 came to pass, The Anglican Church was the Church of all the People - and a child presented for baptism was baptised. I know in many parts of the communion today there are numbers of barriers raised, from Church attendance, to Marital state of the parents, requirements to attend courses and the like, because we now live within a pluralist society and incraesing we are pressured to become a membership church so we (they) can define the lines. Sadly some of it represents a determination on the oart of some to have their particular position validated over and against others. For many of us we lament the loss of beauty and dignity in the language of the liturgy. I recall attending Benediction and as the monstrance was raised aloft I prepared my ears to hear 'Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world' but actually heard 'This is Jesus your best friend'. I had to mark that 'CDB' (could do better). There are many things to love about a prayer book that can hold a people together for 400 years (I know the EO probably see that as a day and a half). One of the great principles of the 39 articles is the use of the common tongue. In hanging on to the Book of Common Prayer for 400 years we did perhaps drive it past the flag of article XXIV. Article XXIV Of speaking in the Congregation in such a tongue as the people understandeth It is a thing plainly repugnant to the Word of God, and the custom of the Primitive Church, to have publick Prayer in the Church, or to minister the Sacraments in a tongue not understanded of the people. Sadly however we also recognise that a lot of our language today has lost much of the depth and texture it once had. I for one can't imagine the liturgy reduced to SMS textual abberations. TLBWY aawy. Neither to I want the liturgy to begin 'Gooday' and the response 'whatever'. We have also moved past the need for everything to be bulk printed, or printed at all, (I hate liturgy on the screen by the way), however it does aqlso run the risk taht we are out of control liturgically when each priest makes up their own rules. I think the Church of England's 'Common Worship' has been a valient effort to try and find a balance, whilst still maintaining some central input. I understand that there are things there I do not wish to use, however there is enough there for most Angicans to work with.