An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

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Liturgy of the Word

The first part of the eucharist, centered upon the proclamation of the Word of God, preceding the Great Thanksgiving. The BCP identifies this part of the eucharist as the Word of God (p. 355). Since it precedes the Great Thanksgiving (the anaphora), it is known as the Pro-anaphora. It is also known as the ministry of the word. In a standard eucharistic rite, it includes the entrance rite (with salutation and collect of the day), the lessons, the sermon, the prayers of the people, the confession and absolution, and the peace. The entrance rite may be preceded by a hymn. Morning Prayer or Evening Prayer may be used for the liturgy of the word at the eucharist. A lesson from the gospel is always used when Morning or Evening Prayer is the liturgy of the word. The Nicene Creed may take the place of the Apostles' Creed, and the officiant may pass directly from the salutation and response to the collect of the day (BCP, p. 142). There are various liturgies for special days or occasions that may serve as the liturgy of the word, including, for example, the proper liturgies for Ash Wednesday (BCP, p. 264), the Great Vigil of Easter (BCP, p. 285), Holy Baptism (BCP, p. 299), Confirmation (BCP, p. 413), the Celebration and Blessing of a Marriage (BCP, p. 423), and the Burial of the Dead (BCP, p. 491). See Entrance Rite.

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from "An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians," Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.