Disenfranchised Episcopalians | Letters | Chicago Reader

Disenfranchised Episcopalians 

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To the editors:

Thank you for the best, the fairest, and the most objective article on the Episcopal Church and its BOOK OF COMMON PRAYER that I have ever read since our revolution began ["Is Nothing Sacred?" June 9]. As one of many still unhappy Episcopalians who are tired of being told we are "whining," I am collecting a dozen copies of your newspaper to send to friends and family across the country.

There are some points your reporter might have added, too. Historically, the Episcopal Church has been in favor of continuity, a buzz word these days in theological circles, but one more honored in the breach, etc. What we have lost is all sense of connectedness with our ancestors; to use G.K. Chesterton's analogy, we have disenfranchised them and ourselves at the same time.

Secondly, my children, growing up with green books and zebra books and trial services and rows--have all left the church. They had already lost the priceless heritage of being able to read, speak and understand Elizabethan English, which had been a common, everyday thing until the change was made.

Finally, in my clubby, successful parish, the majority of members are not "birthright" Episcopalians, but people who have come from the four corners of the earth because they like the ritual--not the liturgy--the ritual, the candles and incense and robes and such. Hearing different services week by week, they have no concept of the way in which worship and prayer are honed by repeated usage. But that really does not matter because they are chiefly there to celebrate one another.

Alzina Stone Dale

S. Kenwood

PS: Of all the Peoples of the Book, we were most blessed; now we have selections instead.

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