Those planning liturgies need to have useful information to inform their work, and the diocesan Task Force on Liturgy, Music and the Arts wants to help.
We direct you to a resource list of available liturgical materials. Organized by type, it explains what resources exist, as well as whether there are any special parameters around their use.
Where General Convention has specifically addressed the use of any resource, we have tried to provide the year and legislative reference number. You can learn more at the General Convention website.
Whenever possible, a direct link to the resource has been provided and Spanish-language versions also are provided.
This resource list is not necessarily comprehensive, and it is certainly something that will keep evolving. If you have questions or comments that would help us to improve or update this asset, please do let us know.
One area to which you should pay special attention is whether the bishop is required either to offer permission beforehand or to otherwise weigh in. Anything labeled as either “Authorized” or “Authorized for Trial Use” is already acceptable for congregational use and does not require advance permission. This resource list predominantly includes items that fall into this category.
However, you may be surprised to learn that some categories (e.g., “Rite 3” Eucharistic prayers, or using certain translations of Scripture) do require advance permission from the bishop. If you are already doing using of these (or are contemplating it), please connect with Bishop Bascom right away – not for a “gotcha” moment, but so that we can all get on the same page together.
Expansive Language liturgies
Another category worth highlighting is “Trial Use Rite II Expansive Language” texts, which include updates for Eucharistic Prayers A, B and D. These were approved for use by General Convention 2018 and, at least for now, are available until a new Book of Common Prayer is issued.
The work done on expansive-language services is an attempt to retrieve some of the theological conversations that have taken place around the current Prayer Book. Remembering the stories of frustrating conflicts during the last process of revision, we believe that praying with these texts now in some regular way (and learning to pastorally collect feedback about them) will be a good skill for the church to have. At the same time, please keep in mind that the process of Prayer Book revision requires years of patient conversation.
If you’ve been wondering what material is available for the marriage of same-gender couples, note the inclusion of Trial Use Marriage Rites on the list. These are the services approved by General Convention 2018 and therefore reflect the most recent decisions we have within the Episcopal Church on these matters.
Regarding hymnals, Bishop Bascom approves music from any mainline Christian denomination as copyright allows. For use of songs from more free church traditions or other religions, please send a brief email about the source to both Dean Lightcap and Bishop Bascom for consideration.
Licensing, Copyright, and Streaming
You must be certain that music you broadcast is free from copyright restrictions, or that you have a license to use copyrighted material. Just because something is in the Hymnal 1982 does not mean it can be broadcast (streamed on Facebook or YouTube) without a separate license.
List of hymns that are in the public domain (no copyright restrictions).
Companies that help churches obtain necessary permissions for use and streaming:
- Christian Copyright Solutions
- OneLicense https://www.onelicense.net
We make it easy for worshiping communities to obtain reprint permissions of copyrighted music for congregational use.
- Christian Copyright Licensing International https://us.ccli.com (CCLI)
Enables real-time access to licensed Christian music and media while at once easing the burden of administration in the many complex issues related to copyright.
- WORSHIPcast https://christiancopyrightsolutions.com/worshipcast/
WORSHIPcast allows your church to legally stream, live or on-demand, your performances of copyrighted music, including worship services and special events from your church website.
- Riteseries.org https://www.riteseries.org/song/
A digital library of liturgical music at your fingertips.
Broadcast copyright guidance from the Episcopal Church
Authorized Liturgical Resources (Excel spreadsheet)