A eucharistic prayer that the bishop-elect wrote for Easter season 2008 says this: “In the ancient days, at the dawn of time, You leaned over creation[,] scooped it to your breast and breathed the moist breath of life. … The fire of your Spirit kindled a love between Mary and Joseph; a fire that became the roaring flame of eternal compassion””the heart of Jesus.”
The lectionary texts are notable for their exclusion of male pronouns, even when the subject of the sentence is a man. A reading from Genesis 2 refers to Adam as “the earth creature” and “it.” Readings from the gospels of John and Mark refer to Jesus as “the Chosen One,” “the Only Begotten One,” “my Beloved, my Own” and “this One.”
The Rev. Canon Ralph McMichael, canon for ministry formation in the Diocese of Missouri, expressed concern about the texts.
“We are stewards of the church’s liturgy,” he said. “Liturgy does not exist for our self-expression, whatever form it might take.”