1662 is the Standard for ACNA

Discussion in 'Liturgy, and Book of Common Prayer' started by Magistos, Aug 11, 2019.

  1. Magistos

    Magistos Active Member Anglican

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    Not sure if this should go here or in Theology and Doctrine, but I thought that this was an interesting article that clears up some questions about the 2019 BCP and what the standard is.

    Common Authority in the Midst of Uncommon Prayer
     
  2. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Yup the 1662 is authoritative for the entire Gafcon, worldwide, as it's in its 2008 founding charter. We should do better in studying and rediscovering the beauties of the 1662 rather than trying to come up with new liturgies.
     
  3. Fr. Brench

    Fr. Brench Well-Known Member Anglican

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    I just read that article today, too; I thought it was great!

    The unfortunate reality though is that very few of us Americans have really looked at the 1662 prayer book very closely, so a lot of our reverence for it is only just lip service. A lot of us have a lot of learning to do if we're going to live up to what Deacon Brashier described in his article.
     
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  4. Shane R

    Shane R Well-Known Member

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    A few days ago, I learned that a jurisdiction on the fringes of the continuing movement has standardized on the 1662 and RSV-Catholic Edition. Now there's a dichotomy one does not see every day.
     
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  5. Magistos

    Magistos Active Member Anglican

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    Very true, unfortunately. I've read through the 1662, but I'll have to pull out my copy and keep it handier than I have. I'm not an ordinand in any way (though when I retire, who knows), but I do like to be informed in my faith - something that I love about Anglicanism - it encourages informed faith.
     
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  6. Magistos

    Magistos Active Member Anglican

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    That is definitely something. :D
     
  7. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    I mean, the criticism we saw from the Anglo-Catholics of the 1662 is really a figment of the 19th and 20th centuries. It's dying down (as we see), and it certainly didn't exist prior to the Ritualist movement of the 1850s. Nor can it be born out by the close reading of the text itself. All of their complaints about the black rubric (etc), are no closer to the truth than was the evangelical criticism of the same book as 'too catholic'. Both of those criticisms are coming from the two movements which themselves are essentially disappearing. The 1662 is still here with us, and all of a sudden more doctrinally binding now than it's been in our lifetimes.

    The fact of the matter is, the 1662 is one of the most successful liturgies in the history of Christendom, on par with the 1589 Latin rite, and the 1500s Slavonic Orthodox rite. (Luther's German Mass would've been a 4th one, if they managed to preserve it.) You simply cannot buy or manufacture centuries. If you make a liturgy now, you'll need to wait 400 more years to see if it will be as effective (in creating and nurturing faith across millions of people), as the 1662 was. This makes 1662 the gold standard. And yes I can address unfounded criticisms of the black rubric or this or that. It was all rubbish, from the pens of self-important nabobs who had left little that was eternal during their lifetimes.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2019
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  8. PDL

    PDL Well-Known Member Anglican

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    I think that would be a desperate criticism of it. If that is all one has to criticise it one does not have much criticism of it. I would hope criticisms of the BCP would go deeper than that.

    However, on a practical level I would offer that criticism not only of the BCP but any liturgical book. They are far easier to use if headings, sub-headings, etc. are in a different colour than the text. With the text itself it really does help if the rubrics (whether you make them red or not) and what is to be actually said are in different colours. As for the words to be spoken, again, a distinction between what a single priest or other minster says and all say is very helpful. I, for one, would have no issue at all if an edition of the BCP was published in this way.
     
  9. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    I'm in the Diocese of the Living Word which the article mentions. The '79 books were pulled out and replaced with the 2019 BCPs as soon as the rector got back from the conference. :thumbsup:
     
  10. Liturgyworks

    Liturgyworks Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Or better yet the 1549. I maintain the original still wins over the sequels. :p

    But seriously, there is a lot of beauty in the 1928 American BCP, there is a lot of beauty in the 1928 Deposited Book, and in the 1928 Scottish Book, and there is a lot of beauty in the 1962 Canadian Book (also the Melanesian and South African BCP editions from the early 20th century, and the Mozarabic Rite-based bilingual BCP prototype for the Anglican church in Mexico, are worth a look). These superb 20th century BCP editions were composed due to shortcomings in the liturgical services of the 1662 book which were frustrating people profoundly in the early 20th century. For that matter, the 1979 BCP can be fixed, as the Anglican Service Book demonstrates. I have to confess I don’t really care for the 2019 book that much; while it is superior to other contemporary language service books, it is still a contemporary language service book, and what is most desirable, in my opinion, is the 1662 BCP with the various enrichments which were applied in the 20th century.

    It should be stressed that of the prayer books I mentioned, the best of them, the 1928 Deposited Book, and the 1928 Scottish Book, contain everything that is in the 1662 Book; the changes are merely the addition of services like Compline, a Scottish style communion liturgy alongside the 1662 liturgy, and an office of Prime, for purposes of the recitation of Quincunque Vult.

    The Paschal services outlined in the 1979 BCP are also I would propose a great improvement; having a formally defined liturgy for certain holy days represents an enhancement.

    Meanwhile, there are a few services in the 1552 BCP which alas persisted into the 1662 edition, which do not make much sense, considering both the ancient liturgical usages of the Church, Eastern and Western, and the current considerations of pastoral care, those being the Commination and most especially the Visitation of the Sick. The improved version of the latter in the 1928 book closely resembles what one finds in ancient Euchologia, such as old Russian Orthodox Sluzhbeniks (the Book of Needs). Also, I can find no example of anything like the Commination before 1552; the closest thing would be the Anathemas sung in the Byzantine Rite on the Sunday of Orthodoxy (the first Sunday of Lent). So these two 1552 services, while certainly not contrary to correct doctrine, strike me as being both superfluous and out of touch with the realities of pastoral care, in the case of the old form of the Visitation of the Sick (the Visitation of Prisoners, which was included in a supplement to the 1662 book IIRC, but was commonly included in BCPs printed for use in Ireland, and which is included formally in the 1926 Irish BCP, is even worse).

    The 1662 book also contains a great deal of UK-specific material which is not optimal for Anglicans living elsewhere in the commonwealth, and entirely inapplicable for Anglicans living outside of it.

    ~

    On a personal note, I greatly value the 1928 Scottish BCP, and also the Scottish-style communion service which has always been used in American editions of the BCP due to Bishop Seabury and through him, the subsequent bishops of the Protestant Episcopal Church, receiving ordination from the Scottish Non-Juring Episcopalians. The Scottish Episcopal liturgical tradition, in my opinion, represents a unique and valuable part of Anglican heritage, and I am particularly fond of prayer books which include both a 1662 style communion service and one that follows the Scottish school, either literally or contextually, namely, the 1928 Deposited Book and the 1928 Scottish Book. I love the Scottish Holy Communion Service, with its Epiclesis taken from the Divine Liturgy of St. James.

    There are a number of other riches outside of the 1662 BCP which are worth exploring. For example, the service of Compline as arranged by the different Provinces in the early 20th century; there are slight differences between them, but they are still centered around a common set of four psalms, and the Nunc Dimitis, following the classic patterns of the Roman family of liturgical rites. The 1938 Melanesian Prayer Book, in response to the specific needs of the mission, features an unusual arrangement of the Daily Office which is quite exquisite; few people would expect a Book of Common Prayer printed on Guadalcanal before and during the Second World War by a small missionary community operating in some of the most miserable conditions anywhere in the Anglican Communiom to be one of the most exquisite of the 20th century, but it seems like in Christianity, great adversity can lead to great beauty.

    Finally, even the 1979 BCP has some hidden gems; the incorporation of the ancient hymn Phos Hilarion, which is used to open Vespers in the Byzantine Rite churches of Eastern Orthodoxy and Eastern Catholicism, and I believe also in the Armenian and Syriac Rites (but I need to check this) into Evening Prayer as a third canticle was brilliant. Except, alas, IIRC, they only put it in Rite Two. But having Phos Hilarion along with the Magnificat and Nunc Dimitus (except where Evensong is to be followed by Compline, in which case the latter canticle should be replaced by Deus Miseratur following the ancient rubrics - except on the twelfth day of the month, in which case one would use one of the optional psalms available for Compline), has the effect of balancing this office relative to Mattins, which has three Canticles: the Venite (Psalm 95), and two others, usually Te Deum Laudamus followed by either Jubilate Deo or Benedictus.

    So, while relying on the 1662 BCP, and the 1549 BCP, as doctrinal and liturgical guideposts (and at that, perhaps relying on the 1662 BCP largely because the Elizabethan Prayer Book was composed prior to the existence of the King James Bible and is not available, as far as I am aware, with modern, standardized spelling), I feel that we all know these works sufficiently well, and our focus should therefore be on finding the beautiful services that were developed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and in a few cases, more recently than that (the good bits in the 1979 BCP, which are gloriously cleaned up and presented in the spectacular traditional language Anglican Servive Book of 1994; by the way if anyone knows of any Episcopal or other parishes using that book, please let me know that I might have a chance to see it in use before the dreaded new Episcopal BCP arrives, which might well prohibit the continued use of the 1979 BCP and any derivatives, and lack those clauses which made the Anglican Service Book a canonically legal alternative to the BCP for traditional Episcopal parishes); these services are of considerable beauty and are a precious part of the Anglican liturgical patrimony.
     
  11. Liturgyworks

    Liturgyworks Well-Known Member Anglican

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    By the way, given my interest in getting the best bits out of various old BCP editions, several of which are sadly entirely disused (although thankfully the 1928 American Book and the 1962 Canadian book survive, for the moment), it might amuse my Anglican friends to note that in the context of Orthodox liturgical discussions I am an outspoken advocate of increasing the use of disused or under-utilized services, for example, the Divine Liturgy of St. Mark, and its Coptic variant, the Divine Liturgy of St. Cyril, this liturgy being the oldest attested liturgical text and the oldest liturgy in continual use (or at least semi-continual). A lot of people, including the Vatican and the Episcopal Church made the mistake of thinking that the oldest attested liturgy is that in the Apostolic Tradition, which had been attributed to the third century St. Hippolytus, but the Strasbourg Papyrus dates from the second century, and the anaphora in question, a mutilated form of which appears in the 1979 BCP’s rather disagreeable Eucharistic Prayer B, whose sole advantage is brevity, actually appears on further analysis to simply be a Latin translation of the fourth century Anaphora of the Apostles, an adaptation of the standard Antiochene anaphora for use in Ethiopia by the legendary “Seven Syrian Saints” credited with organizing the worship services of Abyssinia in the fourth century, and an anaphora which the Ethiopians still use at present. So that is something you might find moderately amusing the next time you have to endure Eucharistic Prayer B, or its equivalent in Common Worship, to think that same text has been used, albeit with much more interesting ritual, for sixteen centuries, in Ethiopia. There are a number of other ancient liturgical usages in Orthodoxy, some of which have sadly fallen into complete disuse, for example, the old Cathedral Use, which I also would like to see revived (and indeed one monastery, New Skete in the Eastern US, famed for its breeding of German Shepherds, has partially revived it). It is particularly thrilling when one comes across a bit of this material that was introduced into Anglican usage, for example, the Prayer of St. John Chrysostom in Mattins, the Litany and Evensong, and the aforementioned Epiclesis from the Divine Liturgy of St. James in the Scottish Holy Communion.

    There is so much beauty in these old prayer books and indeed in old hymnals like the lovely 1940 Protestant Episcopal hymnal, or the 1906-1911 English Hymnal, with which we might fill our churches, especially including the 1662 BCP. I simply do not wish to limit myself to the latter.
     
  12. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    It depends on how we measure historic liturgies.

    In the Orthodox (and some Roman) camps, liturgy is considered as itself somehow divinely revealed, even though they won't state it that clearly. But they really believe, for example, that God had a hand in writing the Roman Mass in Latin, for instance, or the Byzantine liturgy of St. John Chrysostom.

    But we know that's not the case. That's why the Anglican answer is the best: a liturgy is not a product of God, but the product of the Church. The liturgies are products of the Church, for the use of the faithful.

    Then the question becomes, okay what is a liturgy supposed to do, for the faithful? And the answer is: 1.) direct the faithful to worship the one true God, 2.) cause them to repent, 3.) nourish them spiritually and physically.

    By that standard, any product of the Church which does that, is a valid liturgy. And by that same standard, the 1549 is a non-starter, while the 1662 has nourished the faithful, and produced the most holiness, being among the top 3-4 most successful liturgies in the world. Not that the 1549 and the 1662 are different. I am just talking about the impact.

    It would be thinking in an Orthodox mindset, to prefer the 1549, because you are looking for certain 'God-written' elements: having the gloria in the right place, having the epiclesis. But none of these and other famous liturgical 'elements' were written by our Lord at all. Many famous historic liturgies, eastern and western, have not had them.

    Looking at it in the Anglican mindset, which liturgy produced the most holiness and led more people into heaven, the obvious answer is that the 1549 was only in operation for, say, 3 years, while the 1662 which is based on it, was in operation for now approaching 400 years. They are in the same tradition, and we are only measuring practical impact: preferring the 1549 makes no sense, because nothing in it is any 'holier' than the 1662. The mark of a liturgy's holiness is the people which it made holy; and the 1549 didn't made many people holy, while the 1662 did. When you pour over the words of the 1662 liturgy, you are poring over 400 years of people becoming holy from it.
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2019
  13. Liturgyworks

    Liturgyworks Well-Known Member Anglican

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    This is true.

    I would disagree on three points: firstly, since the liturgy primarily quotes scripture, if we say that scripture is divinely inspired, as long as the liturgy is scriptural (and 93% of the words in the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom are direct scriptural quotations; the old Roman mass also quotes scripture very heavily, as does the BCP liturgy, so that very nearly everything in the Orthodox, or the ancient Catholic* or traditional Anglican liturgy either is a direct quote from Scripture or a paraphrase of Scripture, or a Scriptural verse adopted into a prayer (for example, the Prayer of St. Chrysostom).

    Thus, since Scripture is divinely inspired, the sacred liturgy, if it is scriptural, is also divinely inspired in the same way the lectionary is divinely inspired: because it contains the written word of God, which the conclusion to the Gospel According to Luke shows us is an icon of the Incarnate Word of God, the Only Begotten Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

    My second point is that since the Church Catholic, as shown by St. Paul, is the Body of Christ, with our Lord as its head, to which we are grafted on in baptism, we can trust that the Holy Spirit is continually active in the Church, and that while local churches are usually either slow to do His bidding, or are outright intransigent in the case of the ECUSA, over time, in large measure due to the impact of those of great piety who are commemorated in the liturgical calendars of the Anglican, Orthodox and Catholic churches, the church will eventually conform to God’s desire’s for it, just as Israel tended to conform, after much protestation and needless hardship.

    For my part I consider the BCP to be obviously divinely inspired both by virtue of its contents and its impact: the BCP cultivated a new sense of piety among English speakers; it revived the Divine Office, something no other Western church has been able to do since the Roman clergy turned that office into a private devotion centuries before the English Reformation; it also provided the linguistic forms used subsequently by all other Christians in the English language for purposes of worship, so that, for example, in the US, the Lutheran hymnals and service books, the Presbyterian hymnals and service books, and the prevailing traditional language Orthodox service books are all either directly derived from the BCP or use it as a reference for purposes of literary style. This was also historically the case for English translations of the old Roman Missal, before the disaster of the Novus Ordo, the even worse translation, and the intentionally misleading “translations” peddled by ICEL. Things were much better when the BCP was the stylistic reference for English-language liturgical texts, and I consider that all English language liturgical texts, as far as style is concerned, should be evaluated in comparison to the 1662 BCP.

    Finally, for my third point, with regards to the services for baptism and the Eucharist, insofar as the Anglican catechism in the 1662 BCP and the words of the services themselves teach us these are divinely instituted sacraments, it would therefore follow that, given the especially holy nature of these services, a divine inspiration, from the Holy Spirit, is present any time these sacraments are validly celebrated. And the validity that defines whether or not they have been celebrated (for example, I believe we can all agree that the Mormon custom of water and bread in their psuedo-Eucharist, which was also practiced by an ancient cult, is imvalid). The specific premises by which the Church of England, or the Roman Catholics, or the Orthodox, would ascertain the valid celebration of a sacrament, it follows, are also sacred and of an inspired nature, dating back to the Apostles.

    We must not forget the strength of traditional Anglicanism, and its general excellence, comes from the idea of scripture, reason and tradition, as opposed to the nuda scriptura approach we find among fundamentalist Calvinist and evangelical sects, which lack stability and produce all manner of strange doctrines.

    And the traditions of Anglicanism are not some arbitrary construct created by Archbishop Cranmer, but rather represent the traditions of the ancient church, many of which the early Anglicans realized had been neglected by the decadent and degenerate Roman church of that era.

    I would add that the liturgy should, in the sacramental services, unite us with God and the church, through the regeneration of baptism and the very nature of Holy Communion, which, even if we believe God is “only” spiritually present, is still something that is quite miraculous and that does represent a Communion between God and man. Thus, I greatly respect the Church of England for calling it Holy Communion, whereas the Baptists and other radical reformers who believed in memorialism insist on calling it the Lord’s Supper, which fails to do this sacrament justice. And indeed, they would have us deny that it is a divinely instituted sacrament and call it an ordinance.

    Then such a standard is frankly aiming too low, because one could argue that a large number of deeply flawed liturgies and ex tempore worship services, such as the worship of the Church of Scotland, did nonetheless nourish the faithful, call the people to repentance and focus their worship on the One True God. But from an Anglican perspective these Scottish worship services were entirely inadequete.

    I should clarify my earlier remark concerning the 1549 book was partially made in jest, and was a bit of an in-joke relating to Anglo Catholicism. From a serious liturgical perspective, I am not going to, for one moment, pit the 1549 book against the 1662 book or deprecate the 1662 book as a doctrinal standard, and if you thought that was my point, that was my fault for failing to make clear the ironic aspect of my comment.

    Rather, my opinion is that as opposed to narrowly focusing on the 1662 book (which is basically the 1552 book with minor changes, by the way, as far as the services are concerned), the essential portions of which we should all have committed to memory, anyway, we would be neglecting the rich liturgical treasure that exists in the older 1549 book, the parallel Scottish Episcopal tradition, and the later prayer books, culminating in the 1962 Canadian BCP and Series 2 of the Church of England trial liturgies (the last liturgy to be released entirely in traditional language and with entirely traditional theology, as far as I am aware, in the Provinces of York and Canterbury), which, having been developed in response to shortcomings in the liturgical services, as opposed to the doctrine, of the 1662 book, with regards to pastoral care, the impact of the Oxford Movement, and other changes. And indeed, the Church of England voted to adopt the Deposited Book, but was thwarted by non-Anglican members of the House of Commons, which is a great tragedy, because the Deposited Book has everything we love about the 1662 book and several other equally lovable features, most of which were introduced anyway.

    I disagree on this point, and furthermore, from my Orthodox perspective I don’t think the 1549 BCP is even the ideal work. I would note that the position of the gloria does vary widely from liturgy to liturgy, and I don’t care; within the Orthodox church we have one very important liturgy, the Presanctified, which has no gloria, no institution narrative and no epiclesis. Regarding the Epiclesis, the only liturgies I have found without a prayer which could be considered as serving this function are the Lutheran liturgies, where Martin Luther insisted on discarding the entire Roman Canon, leaving only the Institution Narrative, and to this day, some Lutheran churches like the LCMS are adamantly opposed to having any kind of “Eucharistic Prayer” in their Mass. In the 1662 BCP, I see the function of the Epiclesis and several other prayers elegantly consolidated in the Prayer of Humble Access. It is very similiar to the Roman Canon, another liturgy I love and find entirely acceptable. And the second oldest liturgy in continual use, and of the two, certainly the most heavily used, by a substantial margin, next to the Alexandrian liturgies attested to by the Strasbourg Papyrus and the Euchologion of St. Serapion, which we know as the Divine Liturgy of St. Mark, or the Coptic Anaphora of St Cyril, is the Liturgy of Sts. Addai and Mari, which famously lacks a discrete Institution Narrative, and I have no problem with this.

    ~

    The Holy Communion service furthermore is not my main interest when it comes to the Book of Common Prayer; I am much more interested in the Divine Office. That said, I do particularly like the Scottish communion office, which did feature the Epiclesis of St. James in its entirety, but not because of some hypothetical Orthodox ideal about what part of a liturgy should go where. And indeed, of the BCP editions I find most interesting, only the 1928 American and Scottish prayer books contain liturgies descended from that. And the 1952 service book of the Church of South India, which was heavily based on the Divine Liturgy of St. James (since this is the main liturgy in the West Syriac Rite, used by the St. Thomas Christians of India who did not join the Roman Catholic Church), I have strong objections to; in many respects it was a harbinger of liturgical disaster, being the first mainstream liturgy to embrace horrors like celebration versus populum.

    And with regards to the Divine Office, some of the best material can be found in books which might be considered extremely Low Church. For example, I greatly admire the Litany featured in the 1689 Liturgy of Comprehension.

    Firstly, I think my mindset when it comes to liturgics is closer to high church Anglo Catholicism than anything else, in that like the Anglo Catholic liturgists, I am interested in a liturgical synthesis.

    Secondly, with regards to the holiness of the 1662 BCP, I recognize that, although not in exclusion or separation from the 1549 BCP. But rather, I should stress that when it comes to the later BCP editions that I think we should take a look at, these editions in almost all cases contain the same liturgical texts as the 1662 BCP, with only very slight differences which are not spiritually significant. For example, an American will not be edified by the Collect for the Royal Family in the 1662 book, and I doubt very many people at all bother to read the Ordinal. However, the essential prayers of Matins, Evensong, the Litany, Holy Communion, and the occasional services such as Baptism, Matrimony, and the Burial service, are what makes the BCP the BCP, and of the material I propose we take a look at, in all but one case these services are featured, usually verbatim but in some cases with interesting variations (for example, in the 1938 Melanesian book). The sole exception is of course the bilingual proposed prayer book, in English and Spanish, as one might well expect, for use by Anglicans in Mexico, which is worth our attention because it is translated from the ancient, obscure, but historically very important Mozarabic Rite, which by your own standards is a liturgy we ought to respect in the extreme, because during the Islamic occupation of Spain this was the liturgy used by the oppressed Christians, and is a pure form of the Gallican Rite, an ancient liturgical tradition from the fourth or fifth century that the Roman Catholic Church during its decadent years, when its malfeasance prompted the formation of the Church of England, repeatedly tried to suppress.

    But in all other cases, we are talking about derivatives of the 1662 BCP, with various improvements and adaptations; the 1662 remains the standard against which these are evaluated and with which compatibility must be preserved, and indeed, the 1662 BCP is simply a slightly modified 1552 BCP, so with all of these prayer books, which all trace back to the 1549 BCP and before that to the Sarum Rite liturgy, and in turn to the Gallico-Roman liturgy that emerged around 900, and the Gallican and Old Roman rites before that, and also the Byzantine Rite by virtue of the Prayer of St. Chrysostom, when we read a 1928 American BCP, we are reading a text which contains prayers that people have been becoming holy from since the very dawn of Christendom. I should especially like to cite the outstanding translations of Roman Rite Collects and also the original Collects composed by the compilers of the 1549 and 1552 BCP, which contain a sublime literary elegance that has made these beautiful and edifying prayers so pervasive as to still carry weight even in our secular society.

    Indeed, even today, no man can hope to understand the nuances of the English language without immersing himself in the two great literary achievements of the Church of England: the Authorized Version of the Bible, and the Book of Common Prayer.

    *Setting aside post-schism aberrations like the Novenas and the endless bloat of the Roman Breviary, in particular with ever more dubious feasts of saints of doubtful saintliness, which by the time the Church of England came into being resulted in the Divine Office being disused outside of monasteries and cathedral churches.
     
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  14. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    I don't disagree, but that argument would fail to make the liturgy of St. John Chrysostom superior to some hyper-modern, ripped jeans non-liturgical concoction if the latter were to cite Scripture. In other words, the two chief elements you'd prize in the former liturgy, its form, and its antiquity, you leave as defenseless.

    A similar comparison could be made to the TEC 1979 liturgy, or (ugh) Common Worship. A liturgy can cite Scripture and yet be heretical. So again, the orthodoxy of a liturgy you leave as defenseless.


    The Church Universal throughout the world, yes. That does not mean that the Russian Orthodox Church, or the Church of Rome, or the Church of England, will be protected from downfall, and even apostasy. Just because a local church uses a liturgy does not mean that that church is not in the process of falling away, and indeed its liturgy is the vehicle by which it is falling away.

    Listen you don't have to prove that to me, I agree entirely. All I'm trying to do is to push back against the quasi-mystical approach that some people have to the liturgy. I literally have heard people say that putting the Gloria in the beginning of the liturgy makes it valid, and putting it near the end next to the Eucharistic canon makes it invalid.

    Or, an argument sometimes made by the Romans and the Orthodox against Anglicans, that the presence or the absence of the Epiclesis somehow makes the liturgy valid or invalid. If you agree with me that these points are superstitious, then we are 100% on the same page.
     
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  15. Liturgyworks

    Liturgyworks Well-Known Member Anglican

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    No, I defend the ancient forms against modern blasphemous alterations or replacements of those forms by citing sacred Tradition, one of the three principles, along with Scripture and Reason, that guide Anglican thought (and I would argue Orthodox thought as well; the only difference being that the Orthodox view Holy Scripture as the central part of Tradition as opposed to seeing a dichotomy between the two).

    That said this tradition does not require blind adherence to liturgical forms; in the Byzantine Rite for example there are variations in the use and monasteries have always had huge discretion when it comes to their own individual typikon (rule of worship), and there are four varieties of the typikon presently in use, the ancient Studite-Sabaite Typikon used by Russian Old Believers, the Sabaite-Studite synthesis used on Mount Athos and in the Russian, Ukrainian. Serbian and Georgian churches on the Old Calendar, a variant of that using the disagreeable Revised Julian, or New Calendar, used by the Bulgarians and the OCA, and then the Violakis Typikon, used by the Greeks and Antiochians, together with the New Calendar (usually). Also there is a Latinized form of worship used by some of the Ruthenian Catholics, although most have de-Latinized since Vatican II, or de-Latinized in the decades before in protest at Catholic bishops in the US denying them the ancient right to have married priests.

    This is true, and this is why I am opposed to radical liturgical change like the Novus Ordo Missae. One rule of Christianity is that radical liturgical change always causes schisms. It happened in the Czech lands when the Catholic conquerors took away the vernacular liturgy and communion in both kinds, it happened in Russia when Patriarch Nikon became convinced the service books were corrupt because they differed from those used by the Greeks (they were in fact an older recension and not a corruption, as has been shown by later analysis, so the Old Believers were always in the right and the bloody persecution of them even more of a depraved act), it happened when the Revised Julian Calendar (which is horrible) was forcibly imposed on several Orthodox churches, it happened when the Tridentine mass was replaced by the risible Novus Ordo Missae, and it happened when the ECUSA replaced the 1928 BCP with the troublesome 1979 BCP, but the larger issue was the ordination of women (the 1979 book is salvageable, as the Anglican Service Book demonstrates, or indeed if you confine yourself to Rite I).

    While I do have a mystical approach to the sacraments in the sense that I view them as sacred mysteries, I do not regard them as ritual magic, and therefore reject the specific cases you cite as causing problems with validity. Actually I lean away from the Augustinian concept of liturgical validity, which I think was an overreaction to the Donastist error, and favor the model of St. Cyprian of Carthage, another North African whose views on the issue are I think more relevant. A lot of Roman Catholic problems I think are the result of reading too much Augustine and not enough of the other Fathers.

    So yes, I can agree the specific points you raise are superstitious and we would therefore be on the same page. Although I maintain that the 1662 Communion Service does have the equivalent of an Epiclesis in its Consecratory Prayers and especially the Prayer of Humble Access. Just like in the Roman liturgy there are a few different prayers which serve thie function.

    That being said I do prefer a strong Epiclesis because I consider them desirable to the liturgy, and for this reason I particularly like the Scottish Non-Juring communion office as found in the 18th century “Wee Bookies.” For that matter, I also prefer newer communion services that allow the Decalogue to be replaced with a Summary of the Law and/or the Kyrie.

    As an aside, it might surprise you to note that the best BCP-derived communion service I have seen comes from the most Low Church source one could think of, having been compiled by a Congregational minister, Rev. John Hunter, in his incredibly good service book Devotional Liturgies. He was the minister of a prominent Congregational church in the City of London (in the Square Mile itself, I think) located in the old King’s Weigh House, which was if memory serves destroyed in the Blitz, merged with another Congregational parish, and there is now a Ukrainian Catholic church on that spot. Alas the tragedy of Congregationalism is that despite the excellence of Hunter’s service book I doubt any of them are using it.
     
  16. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    You're probably one of the most reasonable EO folks I've ever talked to. I really appreciate this conversation. :D

    It may, and I'll agree with you that it does. But it doesn't have to, which is my point. That's where you are so reasonable when many other liturgical adherents aren't: they make Epiclesis something which was God-written, rather than something which was Church-written. They worship at the altar of Epiclesis (almost) with a pious reverence, and filter whole liturgies and centuries of pious worship as valid or invalid. During the 'liturgical movement' of the 20th century, this was one of the main errors of Dom Gregory Dix used to marginalize the (saintly) Prayerbook tradition in order to usher in the (heterodox) 1979 Episcopalian liturgy.

    To state it bluntly, the Epiclesis doesn't have to be in a liturgy. Like, at all. We may argue that it's a benefit or not to the piety and the holiness of the resulting faithful who live by the rule of that liturgy. The a posteriori argument in favor of some liturgy elements we could have. But a priori, there is nothing that makes the Epiclesis or any other element of the liturgy mandatory or divinely mandated, or something to sort liturgies by.

    Furthermore, the 1979 'Prayerbook' does have the Epiclesis, and yet is heterodox and has produced spiritual wreckage on two generations of Anglicans in the United States, leading to the (hopefully transient) issues in today's generation of ACNA which aspires to be the de facto Anglican Province, but can only do that if the 1979 spiritual wreckage is purged from our spiritual tradition.

    You know it's funny, I'll actually push back and castigate the Congregational liturgy. You really bring that EO mindset where you praise a liturgy for what it says. But I praise a liturgy for what it does.

    Does it produce holiness? That's the ultimate standard, for me, and I think classically for Anglicans. The Congregational liturgy, regardless of what it says/said, has absolutely produced no holiness to speak of.

    The only way to judge a liturgy (for me) is 100+ years after its writing: at the moment of its authorship, any liturgy is irrelevant, but then, if it produces holiness, we can say it is a holy liturgy; and we won't know that until at least some generations of people have gone through it, and we can start to judge the tree by its fruits. So let's judge the Congregational liturgy not by what what it said, but by what it has done: has it produced any holiness? None that I can see. Therefore it is irrelevant. By any practical standard.

    Additionally, it was a product of pride, dissent and schism, and therefore it was born in sin by definition (and if we take all Congregational theology into account, it was born in heresy). So this liturgy was born in sin and produced no holiness across any period of time, let alone centuries; that's how I'd see it.

    We can even ask why the Reformers had to revise the Sarum Mass. Shouldn't that have been retained? Only if we judge it through the EO/RCC mindset of containing 'divine elements'. In the Anglican mindset the Sarum Mass (and arguably all similar medieval Roman liturgies) simply do not, and have not, produced 1.) worship, 2.) repentance, 3.) spiritual nourishment. Even the longevity of a liturgy is no guarantee for its holiness. The Sarum Mass was there for centuries, but failed to attain to the objectives of a liturgy, and thus had to be revised. Thus I, like a true-blue Anglican, would reject both the Sarum Mass and the Congregational liturgy.

    :torch:
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2019
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  17. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    Indeed. Jesus never established a specific liturgy. Yet there are some people in this world (no one on this forum, happily) who seem to regard some forms of liturgy with a level of reverence that one would expect to be reserved for the Sacraments. It almost takes on the appearance of a worship of liturgy for liturgy's sake.
     
  18. Liturgyworks

    Liturgyworks Well-Known Member Anglican

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    That’s not quite correct. The nuclei of the sacramental services established, as we all agree, by our Lord, Baptism and Holy Communion, are taken from his words. This is why we baptize in the name of the father, son and holy spirit, and have some form of institution narrative either paraphrasing or quoting our Lord in 1 Corinthians 11 and the corresponding Synoptics and in dome cases John 6. And I would also say, and I believe Anglican doctrine entirely backs me up on this point, that the “Jesus Name” baptisms performed by Oneness Pentecostals are invalid (which is why these baptisms are rejected by the apostolic churches, including traditional Lutherans and at least some traditional Anglicans).
     
  19. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    You're saying that the liturgies revolve around the Sacraments, and the Sacraments are established by Jesus' words, therefore the liturgies themselves are established by Him. This is a bit like saying that the artist who painted the Mona Lisa is the builder of the Louvre because the Mona Lisa is housed within the Louvre. I think men created the liturgies to contain the Sacraments, and the Sacraments are powerful enough to stand on their own even if there were no liturgies.
     
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  20. Liturgyworks

    Liturgyworks Well-Known Member Anglican

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    If the Anglican liturgy lacked something like the Prayer of Humble Access I would have concerns about it. As it stands, I have grave doubts about Lutheran masses in those Lutheran churches which followed blindly followed Luther into deleting everything from the Anaphora except the Words of Institution (I don’t much like Luther anyway; among the Reformers the only ones I deeply admire are Sts. Jan Hus and Jerome of Prague (the Czech-Slovak Orthodox Church has canonized them), William Coverdale, whoever the chaps were who actually translated and compiled the BCP under Cranmer, Archbishop Laud, and John Wesley.

    The Liturgy of Sts. Addai and Mari, the second oldest anaphora in continual use, which should be considered one of the very holiedt by your professed standards, having inspired holiness for 1800 years, particularly when you factor in the extreme martyrdoms (which are a crown for the faithful; the greatest thing for a Christian is surely to follow our Lord by willingly submitting to execution for our faith, as millions of Syriac Christians using this anaphora did, first under Tamerlane, and later in the Sayfo, the Turkish genocide of Syriac Christians in which 90% of them were killed (and the main homelands, for example, Tur-Abdin, depopulated), and which about ten million Christians still use, lacks the Words of Institution except in a distributed manner, but it has a rich and detailed anaphora with many prayers akin to the Prayer of Humble Access.

    Dom Gregory Dix had nothing to do with the 1979 BCP, having died in 1950, and while I would stop short of calling the 1979 BCP heterodox (indeed, the Anglican Service Book transforms it into something splendid), and the major faults with the 1979 BCP were not suggested by Dix. Specifically, the ICEL-influenced language, produced by the Catholic church, celebration versus populum, which was primarily also the result of Roman Catholic influence (although Bugnini may have gotten the idea from the service book of the Church of South India), and the risible Eucharistic prayers. You really should, in my opinion, on the traditional Anglican principle of Nil nisi bonum, reappraise one of the great Anglican monks of the 20th century:

    There are specifically two Anglican liturgies that were influenced by the Shape of the Liturgy, before this book fell out of favor with liturgiologists in the 1970s and so for Rite II, the Episcopalians just copied the basic pattern of the Novus Ordo Missae (Eucharistic Prayer A is basically the classic communion service in modern language, like Eucharistic Prayer I, Eucharistic Prayer B is almost word for word a copy of Eucharistic Prayer II, an adaptation of the Anaphora of the Apostolic Tradition, at the time incorrectly believed to be the oldest liturgy, in part due to its extreme brevity and the fallacy of less competent liturgical scholars that shorter services are older services due to “accretions”, Eucharistic Prayer C, like the Novus Ordo Prayer III is an adaptation of the Byzantine version of the Divine Liturgy of St. Basil, with numerous liberties, and Eucharistic Prayer D is almost identical to Eucharistic Prayer IV, the two being derived from the Egyptian version of the Divine Liturgy of St. Basil, albeit with extreme abbreviations, intended for ecumenical use. These same prayers pop up in most modern service books, and Dom Gregory Dix is not to blame; rather, send the bill to Anton Cardinal Bugnini and Pope Paul VI. The Novus Ordo Missae is where these, along with what became the Revised Common Lectionary, the other major defect in the 1979 book (although the variant form the 1979 book included was not as bad as either the RCL proper or the Novus Ordo lectionary, so naturally TEC suppressed it).

    There are two liturgies in the Anglican Communion influenced by Dix to varying extents: the 1962 Canadian BCP, but here the battle between low church and Anglo Catholic elements shaped the liturgy more than Dix’s writing, and the sole liturgy influenced primarily by Dix; the Trial Communion Liturgy from Series Two of the Trial Liturgy series leading up to the Alternate Service Book. Series Two was promising; I believe the marriage liturgies used at the Royal Weddings of both Prince Charles and Princess Diana and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were introduced in either Series One or Series Two (which did not overlap), and special permission exists for these to still be used (or they were written into Common Worship; one or the other). At any rate, the Trial Communion Liturgy from Series Two is extremely beautiful and extremely Dixian. When Series Three was published, it was after the Novus Ordo Missae, so the distinctive “contemporary English” of the initial translation was copied (characterized by the inaccurate rendering of “and with Thy Spirit” as “and also with you”, something else Dix did not endorse). And by that time, a new generation of liberal liturgical scholars had built their careers on tearing to shreds the work of Dom Gregory, a simple conservative Benedictine monk with the Order of the Holy Cross who represented everything they hated in terms of liturgical tradition.

    And that’s all The Shape of the Liturgy really is; a study of liturgical traditions to identify the common patterns. It was not intended to be some kind of liturgical blueprint, but that said, the sole liturgy which used it as such was exquisite; had the Novus Ordo Missae never been published, and had the liberals not attained an ascendancy, I expect the Church of England would have published a very good BCP featuring it in the 1970s, along with the Divine Office from the 1662 book with the additions from the Deposited Book.

    I strongly suggest you read it and endeavour to enjoy doing so; it is very good book and Dom Gregory Dix simply is not a liturgical equivalent of Dr. Evil (Cardinal Bugnini, on the other hand, is just a monocle, a Persian cat, a miniaturized clone, and a risque spacecraft away from that role, according to the scholarship of Gregory DiPippo and his colleagues).

    Herein, you are missing the trees for the forest. If a liturgy incorporates prayers taken from another, or is a variant form of it, it inherits the spiritual success of the liturgy from which it is derived. To reject this simple point would be nonsensical, because we would have to say that, for example, the 1926 Irish BCP, or the 1918 Canadian BCP, which differ from the 1662 primarily in terms of their state prayers, lack its spiritual heritage, and for that matter that the 1662 book lacks the sanctity of the 1552 book from which it wad adapted, nearly verbatim.

    In like manner, it would be pointless to suggest that the 1928 American, Scottish or Deposited Books lack the holiness of the earlier BCP editions whose prayers and services they include.

    A BCP is nothing more than a particular collection of prayers and services, and it is these which, logically, following the Anglican principle of Reason, would acquire holiness under your model of liturgical sanctity. The compilation of these prayers is of reduced importance. I would argue, for example, that the Ordinal could well be omitted from the BCP, and moved to a separate volume (already the practice with consecrations of churches, Coronations and so on), and doing so might be a good idea if one could, for example, include the text of all of the lessons for morning and evening prayer in its place. In like manner, the specific national prayers for the UK in the 1662 book are inapplicable to American users, and require replacement, since an American should chiefly be concerned with praying for the President, the Congress and the State Government, and the national defense; prayers for the Royal Family are a decent but supererogatory act, and also the Accession Day service becomes wholly unwarranted.

    Lastly I should note Devotional Liturgies was a best seller among service books in the 19th century and was revised several times; I believe it was in print until the 1920s. I expect what killed it was the unfortunate merger of the Congregationalists and Presbyterians in England.

    Must we criticize congregationalists with such invective? I should prefer it if we reserve that level of polemics for the hierarchy of the Episcopal Church and other mainline churches, including, if you wish, the United Reformed Church in England or the British Methodists. But with regards to the Congregationalists, I have to say I rather like them, especially the remaining conservative Congregationalists in the US (this includes the Faithful and Welcoming Group - which is alas floundering -, in the otherwise ultra-liberal United Church of Christ, and the entirely traditionalist Conservative Congregational Christian Conference (or the CCCC, as they are commonly known). The latter has Park Street Church in Boston, which is the only Puritan-founded church in that city to not apostasize into Unitarian Universalism, or in the lesser number of cases, become part of the UCC. Also, a fun fact: Harvard was established by the Mathers and other early settlers and became the chief Divinity School for Puritans, but a mere 150 years later, Harvard officially embraced Unitarianism and this led to the formation of Yale, for the non-Unitarian congregationalists. I rather dislike Harvard.

    A disproportionate number of the great universities in the US were founded by the Methodist Episcopal Church, which took it on itself to try to realize George Washington’s dream of a “great national university.” And that church I don’t think can be considered schismatic, unlike the British Methodists, who separated from the C of E only after Wesley had reposed, a loyal member of the Church of England. There was an extreme amount of confusion in the early days of the Protestant Episcopal Church, and there was even a Unitarian faction vying for power, centered at King’s Chapel in Cambridge, Massachussets (by Harvard), which has a famous version of the Book of Common Prayer edited to remove all references to the Trinity or the deity of our Lord. They have been using it since the 1780s, but I think you and I could both agree that its sacraments are quite invalid. And they tried to push that on all of the Anglicans in the US!

    I think we should also be careful when using the word Schismatic; Schismatics as a class of people should be considered those who, driven by heterodox beliefs, excommunicate themselves from the Church Catholic. An ancient example would be the Gnostics of the Second Century. On the other hand, charity compels me to not classify as schismatic any of the Protestant groups arising between the time of Jan Hus and roughly 1750, for various reasons relating to the multitude of complex failures in the RCC and the difficulty experienced by many Protestants in separating the wheat from the chaff in terms of Catholic doctrine.

    The main problem which the BCP solved was never the Sarum Mass, which later Anglo Catholics revived and in some cases continue to use, with good results, but rather the hopelessly broken Breviary, which had degenerated into such a way as to make the Divine Office a private devotion for clergy, outside of monasteries and cathedrals. The restoration of a congregationally celebrated Divine Office in the Western Church remains an accomplishment limited to the Anglicans. The Lutherans tried but failed, and my understanding is that John Calvin for his part did not really care for Mattins and Evensong on a conceptual level.

    I do have to confess, I wish Henry VIII and his successors practiced the same religious tolerance that exists in England today. There were aspects of what happened when England broke sith Rome which I imagine many of us might be uncomfortable with. But, what we can say is that God works wonders with his church, and after the rocky divorce from the Roman church, Anglicanism really began to shine as people started routinely attending Mattins, Evensong and the Litany. This was huge. Everywhere else in the West, the vast majority or churchgoing people did not go to Church for these services.