Episco-Fact #164
November 14, 2019

Is it required to use Rite 1 at 8:00 AM services?

8:00 AM services are a curious phenomenon in the Episcopal Church, and very familiar. So familiar, in fact that people from Episcopalians from out of town or church shopping from within town will ask, "What time is your 8 o'clock service?" And it is asked without irony. Our 8 o'clock service used to be at 7:45 AM, and my parish in Lake Forest used to have one at 7:30 AM.

There was a time when the 8:00 AM service was the place to go for those who had been divorced, so that might receive communion without disapprobation. Yes, there was a time in the Episcopal church, too, when divorce was judged very harshly.

8 o'clock services are also place where adults without children like to gather. The services are shorter than those with choir and hymns, and they are quiet as well.

Because of this demographic and aesthetic, traditionalist practices of liturgy are followed.

Without throwing the 8 o'clocker who made this suggestion under the bus, St. Francis is trying an experiment for the season of Advent, celebration of the Eucharist using Rite 2 and Eucharistic Prayer B, an emphatically incarnational prayer. The only real change with this prayer is its late Twentieth Century vibe and vernacular.

This will be for Advent. We will return to Prayer II for Christmas. Comments and feedback will be welcome.