Liturgy: Creation and Control

Norman Doe

in The Legal Framework of the Church of England

Published in print July 1996 | ISBN: 9780198262206
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191682315 | DOI:
Liturgy: Creation and Control

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The Church of England has chosen to conduct its public worship in a formal manner; liturgy is the principal method by which worship is expressed and organized. Liturgical law both orders and facilitates public worship: it enables the enjoyment of the spiritual benefits of worship but at the same time it obliges members to worship in accordance with the prescribed forms. The liturgical revolution of the last twenty years has heralded the end of uniformity; today the law of the Church of England allows the use of a multiplicity of liturgies. This chapter examines the terms of the new facilitative law, the extent to which it employs a principle of subsidiarity (distributing rights of liturgical innovation to all levels of the church), and the ways in which the General Synod enjoys an overriding power of liturgical authorization. As in the canon law of the Roman Catholic Church, executive control of liturgy is vested in the bishop. In this context, the study covers the episcopal jus liturgicum which retains prominence particularly in the ecumenical context.

Keywords: Church of England; Roman Catholic Church; liturgy; liturgical law; facilitative law; public worship; subsidiarity; General Synod; liturgical authorization; canon law

Chapter.  15434 words. 

Subjects: Comparative Law

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