One of the great triumphs of the 1979 Book of Common Prayer was and continues to be a vision of church and worship in which everyone — lay people and clergy — play powerful parts. With an exciting vision from our bishop to incorporate the whole diocese (the neighborhood) in prayer and praise, the Liturgy and Music Commission is an active body of clergy and musicians dedicated to bringing educational opportunities and formational resources to equip congregations to worship God in the beauty of holiness.

The commission strives to help our parishes tap into their own abilities and gifts to create beautiful, worshipful liturgies which give glory to God and edify and build up our people for God’s reign. Over the years, the commission has gone through many changes, including being two separate bodies (one focused on music and another on liturgy). In the past, the focus was often on planning diocesan liturgies or hosting music festivals.

Recently, however, Bishop Breidenthal has given us a new direction with a new vision: formation, education and resources. To that end, the commission has developed and expanded an annual gathering called Jubilate, a conference to excite the imagination and learn from guest speakers. At past Jubilate conferences, we’ve featured Dent Davidson, missioner for liturgy and the arts in the Diocese of Chicago; David Hurd, former professor of sacred music at General Theological Seminary; William Petersen, former dean of Bexley Hall; and Elise Feyerherm, former professor of liturgy at Bexley Hall and Episcopal Divinity School.

This year, we’re particularly excited to be an integral part of the Diocese of Southern Ohio’s diocesan-wide study of the Book of Exodus. As such, Jubliate 2018 is aligned to focus on the Great Vigil of Easter and the themes of Exodus embedded in that powerful liturgy. Everyone is warmly invited to join us at the Procter Center on Saturday, January 20, 2018, for lively conversations and presentations from the Rt. Rev. J. Neil Alexander, Dean of the School of Theology at Sewanee, and Ellen Johnston, Director of the Center for Liturgy and Music at Virginia School of Theology. One part of the day that you surely won’t want to miss is a roundtable with our speakers and our own Bishop Breidenthal on the subject of prayer book revision. And be certain to check out Ellen’s website at, where you will find articles as well as resources for liturgy planning.

But there’s more to our commission’s work than Jubilate – we’re also working on two other projects. The first is to gather contact information on any music leader, choir director, organist, pianist, etc. in all the congregations as well as information on the music program in each. Using this information as a guide, our second project will be to create smaller educational and musical events in various places in the diocese.

As noted at the outset of this reflection, one of the breakthroughs of our current prayer book is incorporating the gifts of all the baptized, so we welcome your insights. Please feel free to reach out and share your thoughts about the liturgical and musical needs of our diocese and wider church with commission members.

The commission is comprised of the following individuals from all parts of the diocese: Marsha Reilly, co-chair, Church of the Good Shepherd, Athens; The Rev. Dr. Cal Lane, co-chair, St. George’s, Dayton; the Rev. Trevor Babb; Patrick Bachmann, St. Andrew’s, Pickerington; the Rev. Canon Lynn Carter-Edmands, diocesan staff representative; Dr. Stephan Casurella, Christ Church Cathedral, Cincinnati; Phil Clary, St. Timothy, Cincinnati; the Rev. Edward Payne; Marti Rideout; the Rev. Marjorie Menaul; the Rev. A.J. Stack, St. Peter’s, Gallipolis, and Christ Church, Ironton; Kevin Wine, Trinity, Columbus; Jennifer Bell, St. Patrick’s, Dublin; and the Rev. Jason Prati, All Saints, New Albany. Please feel free to contact either Marsha Reilly at or the Rev. Dr. Cal Lane at with questions, ideas, or concerns. We will be happy to refer you to other commission members.

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Marsha Reilly serves as co-chair of the Commission on Liturgy and Music, and as director of music at Church of the Good Shepherd, Athens.

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