Unity in Diversity Previously the way things were done was simple: Authority in the form of Church or State laid down the rules and everyone was coerced to conform to this “sanctioned” way. This led to super-organisations where leaders dictated that there would be lots of the same. Unity was to be found in uniformity. There was little room to experiment or for diversity.
Paradigm Shift In the current age an ever-increasing number of people are searching for a non-prescriptive way to express their spirituality. This implies a paradigm shift with regard to authority and responsibility. No longer is the spiritual seeker happy to follow the instructions given by a particular person claiming authority, but wants to determine for him or herself how to give expression to this spirituality. The Young Rite gives the seeker this opportunity, amongst others by acknowledging the validity of individual experience and by providing a non-prescriptive path of development based on the Christian tradition.
Autonomy The first step to break down the hierarchy is the restoration of autonomy. Just as each individual is expected to be his or her own authority, this same freedom needs to be given to groups operating within the Young Rite. Diversity is encouraged. Within the richness of diversity many expressions may be found, all depicting the process of awakening to the spiritual truths, yet each expression lays the emphasis on a different aspect. We do not have one, authorised and final liturgy. We have many, constantly changing liturgies. Experimentation is therefore encouraged.
Multiple Forms In order to vouchsafe the Apostolic Succession, we keep the Traditional Form of the Holy Eucharist. This Traditional Form may be celebrated as often as a group chooses to, but is obligatory whenever one of the major orders (deacon, priest or bishop) is to be conferred. This is also the form that is taught in the liturgical training for those priests who wish to become celebrants.
Next to the Traditional Form, each group may also develop several experimental forms. These experiments are first tried out in private and once in a form that is relatively stable and workable, is published in an official liturgy. This is not the end of the experiment, as each form is “for the mean time”. Liturgy in the Young Rite is therefore not static, but work in progress. Groups may share and exchange forms, jointly develop them, or experiment on their own.
Examples of current experiments Under the ‘Resources’ section some of the liturgies are available for download. We do not copyright our experiments, as we believe any individual or organisation should be allowed to use or modify our liturgies for their own use.