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From the Priest in Charge

Rev. Aileen DiBenedetto

We welcome you to our website, and hope that we may soon welcome you in person to Christ Church; thank you for visiting us.  We are proud to be the oldest Episcopal Church in Worcester County, in Rochdale, one of the original mill villages of Leicester, Massachusetts.  Christ Church is a community known for warmth and friendliness, as well as for an active ministry of service in both the local community and beyond.  We experience God as active among us, nurturing us through our worship and our friendships with one another, and helping us to grow both individually and, together, as the Body of Christ, in caring for God’s world.  We are committed to a number of ministries that you can read about elsewhere on this website, and we are always open to the new ways and new directions in God’s call to us.  We invite you to join us for worship, to explore  your own relationship with God in Christ, and to discover how you can best serve. 



From the Priest in Charge

One of the hallmarks of our Anglican Tradition is the use of vernacular language. Another hallmark is liturgy that follows ancient Christian tradition. When we consider these two hallmarks together we, as a community, may find ourselves at a crossroads to honor both hallmarks. 

     Christians have been worshiping Jesus with a memorial of his Last Supper for centuries. The earliest writings of this celebration comes in Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians (1 Cor 11:23-25). The way we celebrate has been passed on as tradition through the centuries.  The English Reformers looked at the earliest sources of Christian liturgy, which includes The Didache (The Teachings of the Twelve Apostles) to translate the prayers of Eucharistic worship. From the very start, our liturgy includes translation. Although the form of our worship remains the same, the language of our worship has adjusted across time.

     The current Book of Common Prayer, gave us worship according to Rite II. This is once again a translation of early Christian worship in the common language of the day. The interesting thing, is that language changes so quickly that almost as soon as the BCP was promulgated, work began on Enriching Our Worship (EOW).

     EOW provides supplemental prayers for our corporate worship.  It was composed so that we can continue to follow the ancient form of our liturgy while also honoring vernacular language.

     One of the joys of liturgy is that it is so familiar one can almost loose oneself, allowing the soul to be engaged in communion with God. New language can make this harder for some to achieve. Fortunately the form remains the same so no worship is entirely new. Different language also allows us to hear the prayer anew and perhaps gain new understanding of our liturgy. For some this is very life-giving.

     When worshiping with any new language, there may be places that one falls into the old familiar phrases.  That is ok! We are all speaking with the same intention. However, I encourage everyone to try the new language so that new insight may fill our souls.

    We will be worshiping with EOW for the month of May.

-Rev. Aileen