The GREAT LITANY

By: kjcynar

02/23/21 09:31 PM
Category: General

The GREAT LITANY is said to be the first prayer composed in the English language


The GREAT LITANY

Here is the GREAT LITANY as it was presented on the first Sunday in Lent at Grace Church in Massapequa by Music Director Stephanie Steiner and Grace Productions as part of its Live-streamed worship service.

Link: https://youtu.be/8LvXGnjeke8

History -  

The GREAT LITANY is said to be the first prayer composed in the English language (i.e. not an English translation from another language) for use in public worship. It is used in Anglican/Episcopal worship at various times and seasons, but is most frequently experienced during the season of Lent because of its distinctly penitential nature. In many churches, it is chanted in procession around the perimeter of the worship space.

The Litany was prepared by Archbishop Thomas Cranmer. It was first published in 1544. Cranmer modified an earlier litany form by consolidating certain groups of petitions into single prayers with response.  

The Litany was an intercessory prayer including various petitions that are said or sung by the leader, with fixed responses by the congregation.  

The Litany‚Äôs use in church processions was ordered by Henry VIII   when England was at war with Scotland and France.  It was printed as an appendix to the Eucharist in the 1549 BCP [Book of Common Prayer].