Posted by our editor, Meredith Gould, for The Virtual Abbey.
Without specifically seeking a community-wide Lenten practice, one seems to have emerged for us. We've been prompted to review some of the prayers we've been using for the Daily Office. More specifically, our prayer team has been discussing inclusive language which, in case you don't know, refers to removing sex-based pronouns.
No doubt we would have gotten to this issue sooner rather than later. We've gotten to it sooner, having recently received comments about how using male pronouns disrupts the flow for some visitors.
For nearly fifty years, the conversation about inclusive language has been protracted, theologically complex, and frequently contentious. For some, inclusive language is non-negotiable. For some, it is not. And for others, the issue itself comes as a surprise. What? "He" and "him" don't generically mean men and women?
For us the question is opportunity to explore what we think and believe. It has become a way to talk about what many of us were taught as children. We've just spent the first week of Lent chatting about this via email and, no surprise, the range of responses is...a range of responses.
"Community, is never a simple thing," noted a prayer team member who went on to write, "our discussions are typically very stimulating." Yes, they are! With that in mind, we'll be sharing excerpts from our email exchange(s) in a series of posts during Lent.
We invite you to use the comments box to join us in this illuminating conversation and, as always, the Twitter stream to join us in praying the Daily Office.
Image: Adam and Eve, Lucas Cranach (1526)