The author examines some of the issues arising from the recent introduction of contemporary English language into Anglican worship, especially in the authorised liturgy of England and New Zealand. Three key questions are addressed. Are there criteria for worship which are satisfactorily fulfilled by contemporary language? To what extent is the language used in modern liturgies truly contemporary, reflecting its social and cultural milieu? How has the introduction of contemporary language been received by regular Anglican worshippers? Based on a large body of evidence, the author reaches conclusions which are both reassuring and disturbing.
Contents: Foreword; Introduction. Part 1 Contemporary Language in Liturgy: Worship, liturgy and language; The arguments for and against the use of contemporary language; The process of liturgical revision in England and New Zealand; The basis of traditional language in Anglican liturgy; Contemporary English in Anglican liturgy. Part 2 The Opinions and Attitudes of Worshippers: Surveying the evidence; What worshippers expect … and what they find; Meaning and understanding; Fear of change. Part 3 Conclusion and Appendices: Conclusion. Appendices. Annexes; Bibliography; Index.