International Consultation on English Texts (ICET)

views updated


Established in 1969, ICET was an independent, ecumenical organization distinct from the Roman Catholic body, international commission on english in the liturgy (icel) which sought to produce common liturgical texts for ecumenical use. The need for ICET arose from two causes. First, the Roman Catholic Church, putting its liturgies officially into English for the first time, did not feel bound by the texts of the Anglican book of common prayer, which other nonAnglican churches had largely followed. Second, the churches which had long used these Anglican texts, felt the need to modernize them. It seemed sensible that the churches should collaborate for parts of the liturgy they have in common.

In 1970, ICET published Prayers We Have in Common, containing texts in two categories. Category A consists of the Lord's Prayer, the Apostles' and Nicene Creeds, the Gloria (Glory to God), the Sanctus (Holy, Holy, Holy), and the Glory Be to the Father. These texts had been under discussion for some considerable time, and the ICET had reached agreement about them. They were therefore presented to the churches for adoption. Category B comprises the experimental texts for the Sursum Corda (Preface Dialogue), the Agnus Dei (Lamb of God), and the Te Deum. Both sets of texts had brief explanatory commentaries. In 1971 the booklet appeared in an enlarged and revised edition. All the texts were now in one category. The only major changes were to items formerly in Category B, with corresponding changes in the commentary. The Lukan canticles (Magnificat, Benedictus, and Nunc Dimittis) were added. The American edition (1972) further altered two lines in the Te Deum. In 1974, ICET met again, to consider what improvements had been suggested by the actual use of the texts. The result of this meeting was a second revised edition of Prayers We Have in Common in 1975, which now included the kyrie eleison (Lord Have Mercy), and a new commentary on changes necessary in musical settings. The commentary, though containing much of its original material, defended the changes made in the 1975 edition. Most of the major churches adopted ICET's recommendations, with the exception of the Lord's Prayer, on which it is difficult to reach agreement.

Its work completed, ICET was disbanded in 1975, shortly after the publication of Prayers We Have in Common. In 1985, a successor organization, the english lan guage liturgical consultation (ellc) was established.

Bibliography: ICET, Prayers We Have In Common (London and Philadelphia 1970; enlarged and rev. ed. London 1971, Philadelphia 1972, 2nd rev. ed. London and Philadelphia 1975). m. a. o'connor, The NPM Reference for Prayers We Have in Common: A Catalog, Collection, and Evaluation of the ICET Texts (Washington, D.C. 1990). h. r. allen, jr., "Common Texts Revisited," Worship 60 (1986) 172175.

[a.r. george/eds.]

About this article

International Consultation on English Texts (ICET)

Updated About content Print Article


International Consultation on English Texts (ICET)