Last night, at the Oxford Liturgical Group, a characteristically splendid and learned paper by Dr Colin Podmore upon the transformation of Baptismal theology in PECUSA. In the 1970s it took less than a decade to establish and give liturgical expression to a theology of Baptismal Covenant which eliminates the sacramentality of Confirmation as a constituent of Christian Initiation, and so locates the concept of Ministry within that context as to facilitate notions of the Ordination of Women. Also and incidentally it makes the rhetoric of Baptismal Covenant so dominant that the Eucharist becomes effectively redundant. Colin showed how the praxis of the Church of England had declined to 'receive' this theology, and that ARCIC had not made it the centrepoint of its own treatment of Ministry. (Apologies to Colin if I've got any of that wrong.)
Colin also brought with him some pictures of Ms Jefferts Schori's Pontifical Inauguration; it illustrated his theme because Baptismal symbolism was made dramatically central. Floosies in long white 'grecian' tunics and clutching fancy 'grecian' urns struck thespian poses around a font. It reminded me of those pictures of Emma Hamilton doing her static 'attitudes' for the delectation of Georgian gentlemen.
What we miss is the First Duke of Wellington. At an Apsley House reception in which the bimbos, in their flimsy white muslin, had made their physical charms even more visually accessible by moistening the muslin, His Grace declared that the house was too hot and had the windows flung wide open. The following day, most of the beau monde went down with sniffles.
Now there's a liturgist and a half.