Responding - by heart

God fill you with... what was that again?

What is the response to (1) "The peace of God be always with you."?
OK - if you got that one right from memory - what is the response to (2) "The peace of God be with you all"?

I have long been an advocate for the New Zealand Prayer Book to be made digitally available. OK - so we lost the disks (that's another story) and the Harper San Francisco edition was pretty much a photocopy because of the book's unexpected popularity in USA. Well it's on disk now, and I will review the disk once I get my copy - but, that too, is another story.

This is the story of the start of the Christchurch diocesan "The Great Outdoor Eucharist" (actually held indoors - well we do live on an island) celebrating 150 years as a diocese.

The presider greeted us as we have been greeted for over a thousand Sundays, "Grace and peace to you from God." But instead of replying with the response we have used for at least 22 years, the 1500 people present read the typo instead from their special service book.

Unfortunately our Prayer Book Commission wanted to have variety so that nearly the same cue in different places calls for a different response. Occasionally theological fine points meant our Prayer Book departs from international ecumenical standard responses.

Nonetheless, this site continues to advocate that a community learns by heart some standard responses so that we are actually addressing our greetings to each other - not with our heads in books, booklets, or even facing screens. Hymns and prayers said together, certainly - let's use texts for those.

And those responses?

1) Praise to Christ who unites us in peace. (p.485)
2) In God's justice is our peace. (p.466)

It seems to me we need to do two things. Get some nationally agreed standard responses that will not take us another 22 years to learn, and encourage people to learn them and use them without checking the text.

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