Over at Liturgy, Bosco Peters has taken up a cause dear to both our hearts, as well as the Synod of the Diocese of Christchurch, clarifying and improving the state of our church's liturgical life. The specific concern in the post I have linked to is whether we offer an easy to comprehend approach to finding out, within our own rules, what we may use, what we have to use, and what we may not use in the services of our church. That we do not offer such an approach is not, in the end, the fault of any one person or single decision of our General Synod, but it is the result of years of tinkering with our services, especially since 1989, and despite the amazing popularity of our 1989 prayer book (NZPB). Some tinkering I myself have been part of, and approve (I was part of General Synod's decision-making, 1996-2004). But that was mostly adjusting rubrics within the 1989 book. Since 2004 we have added eucharistic prayers and what have you, which is tinkering on a different scale.
There is one decision I supported but now regret, at least in part. That was the decision to authorise a raft of flexible possibilities in our services via a concept known as the Template. I do not regret trying to find a way to encourage flexibility in our services, but I regret doing that via the Template which quickly became a recipe for 'anything goes' - a fact admitted by General Synod when later it passed a clarifying resolution that variations used under the mandate of the Template must nevertheless conform in content with the theology of our prayer books. In my view the resolution effectively nullifies the Template and both should be excised from our canons ... that would be my first decision in my imaginary role as Czar of our church's liturgy.
What else would I do? I think there is already good flexibility in our eucharistic services (within the 1989 book) because so much of what we do is governed by the word 'may' rather than 'must', but I would want to offer a more flexible non-eucharistic worship service than currently in our book. The current service owes a lot to the Mattins and Evensong tradition of the BCP, but current practice in many of our churches is geared to a different set of 'canticles' than provided for in NZPB. A slightly revised order of service, with a few more 'mays' would cover the tendency in some churches to sing more Brooke Fraser than Mary mother of Jesus. Pause for recoil by some traditionalists reading this paragraph :)
I would get rid of all the eucharistic prayers we have recently approved. I do not think they add anything to our church's life. If anything they diminish it because of a noticeable tendency in this set of prayers to downplay the connection between sin and our Lord's sacrificial death. But I would want to propose a eucharistic prayer useful for family services: slightly shorter than anything we currently have, yet with great theological depth, and some better turns of phrase than the currently approved 'children's' eucharistic prayer.
Finally, I would take out a canonical broom and sweep up all our rules, scattered as they are through our canons and resolutions, and bundle them into one canon. In that canon would be a clear statement about what we may, must and may not use in the liturgical life of our church.
I am happy to do this work for no monetary reward. My reward would be in the satisfying experiences of liturgy which would be unleashed in all parishes :)