Authority to change the Prayer Books

Discussion in 'Questions?' started by AnglicanAgnostic, Jul 14, 2022.

  1. AnglicanAgnostic

    AnglicanAgnostic Well-Known Member

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    But Tiffy isn't it slightly less than 100% legal to use something other than the 1662 BCP?
     
  2. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    1928 was never made strictly 'legal' but the C of E has mostly avoided being a 'legalist' kind of church in the past, so it didn't worry too much about 1928. The Altrnative Services Book (ASB) is now replaced by Common Worship which is fully legal thoughout the Church of England and copyrighted. Individual churches can pick and mix from all the alternatives offered and construct their own fully legal concoctions, as long as their efforts conform to the suggestions laid down in Common Worship.
     
  3. PDL

    PDL Well-Known Member Anglican

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    It was exactly in order. I don't know of an Anglican Church or a Roman Catholic one that does it differently if following the contemporary liturgical books. Yes, the Eucharist would be slightly different if celebrated according to the C of E BCP or the Roman Catholic Traditional Latin Mass. However, not significantly different.
     
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  4. PDL

    PDL Well-Known Member Anglican

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    No! The Book of Common Prayer is not the only form of liturgy permitted in the Church of England by its Canon Laws.
     
  5. AnglicanAgnostic

    AnglicanAgnostic Well-Known Member

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    This may be true but it's my understanding that the Canon Law was introduced to circumvent legislative law. It more or less said you can try this new experimental service to see how it goes, and thus it has been for several decades.
    As Alan Jacobs in his book "The book of Common Prayer" (Lives of Great Religious Books series) says

    "And that is why as I write these words in 2012 the only official Book of Common Prayer of the Church of England is a very slightly altered version of the one introduced in 1662.pg 164

    and

    "In 1974 the Church of England authorised the creation of an Alternative Service Book (ASB)-so called because as long as the Book of Common Prayer itself was not tampered with, Parliament need not become entangled in the deliberations." pg 179

    I think the CoE was slightly underhand in it's actions like that woman in America who claimed she could drive in a two person per car lane because in the light of Roe vs Wade being 34 weeks pregnant there were two people in the car.
     
  6. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    There are those in here who would have to agree with her on that point, because that is EXACTLY their main argument for not terminating that 'other person' they would have to claim is in the car with her, just as she did. :yes: In fact she could claim that there were two persons in the car, according to the pro life lobby, from the moment she knew she was definitely pregnant.
    .
     
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  7. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    I would say that she was meeting the letter of the law, but not the spirit (the intent) of the law. A legislature might find it helpful to amend the law slightly to make things crystal-clear, and "problem solved". :)
     
  8. PDL

    PDL Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Perhaps if you wish to continue with your anti-British and anti-C of E rhetoric you should at least get your facts in order. The power to change the forms of Worship in the Church of England are vested in its General Synod. It has the powers to make what are called Measures. These have the same authority as an Act of Parliament of the UK and indeed they can amend Acts of Parliament on matters within the scope of General Synod's powers. Consequently, Genral Synod legislates for forms of worship in the Church of England. Within the limits defined in such Measures the Church of England also makes Canons concerning forms of worship. No longer does the UK Parliament have any say over the forms of worship with the C of E. That is why, in addition to the Book of Common Prayer (1662) there are other lawful forms of worship in the C of E.
     
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  9. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

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    I detected no “anti-British and anti-C of E rhetoric” whatsoever. :no:
     
  10. AnglicanAgnostic

    AnglicanAgnostic Well-Known Member

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    This whole issue started in the the 1920's when Parliament twice rejected changes to the book of common prayer.
    This is correct but Measures can't amend Acts of Parliament you probably meant amend other Measures, but even this is incorrect. I understand you can't amend a Measure, to change it you have to abolish the Measure and introduce a new one.

    I would be interested if you know of the Measure that allows the BoCP to be dispensed with.
    It does if it involves changing a Measure.

    The CoE probably introduced new services to get around the rejection of the BoCP changes in the 1920's. I think it is also a legal right to have the 1662 BoCP used.
    Hey no one's more pro British than me here. Who else tries to correct peoples spelling, get the date in the right order, criticise people for fighting against the British monarch in contravention of the BoCP. etc.

    I'm not anti Cof E. As I said to Tiffy "slightly less than 100% legal " If there is any illegality, in my view it is as important as you (PDL) illegally carrying a plank down a street (Metropolitan police district act 1839 section 54) or failing to ask a passenger if they have the plague or small pox when they get in your cab.(Public Health Act 1936).

    Who else tries to inform you about British politcs.
    https://forums.anglican.net/threads/what-are-you-currently-reading.697/page-8#post-56366

    Which two hours a week do you spend practising with your long bow?:)
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2022
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  11. PDL

    PDL Well-Known Member Anglican

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    No, I meant exactly what I wrote. The Church of England can change previous liturgical norms introduced by Acts of Parliament.

    I do not know why you wrote this sentence. Neither I nor, as far as I am aware, anybody else has claimed that the Church of England has said the Book of Common Prayer can be dispensed with.

    This is what I mean about your rhetoric against the Church of England. The Church of England did not introduce new services to attempt to circumvent anything. First of all, they did not introduce new services. They introduced new forms of already existing services. This did not start until the mid-1960s with Series 1. The Church of England was not alone. Many Anglican churches and other Western Christian churches has been changing their liturgies from around this time.

    I do not believe anybody has the legal right to go into a Church of England church, chapel, etc. and demand that the Book of Common Prayer be used as legal right.

    I disagree with your claims about not being anti-British: you are always complaining about something British or about the Church of England. I think you will find many people do not follow laws that are no longer useful. I doubt a police constable in London would prosecute a hackney carriage driver for failing to carry hay on his carriage. I doubt you would be successful in mounting a defence against murder for shooting a Welshman with a crossbow within the walls of the City of Chester after midnight, despite that law not being repealed.

    Of course, you could always join the Roman Catholic Church. I believe they are noted for being highly legalistic.
     
  12. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

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    Someone’s cranky… :laugh: Very wide of the mark.
     
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  13. AnglicanAgnostic

    AnglicanAgnostic Well-Known Member

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    Look I've done a bit more research and I'll do a bit more and get back to you all.
    You're sort of right. Church services can be changed by a canon not a measure. This sort of canon doesn't need to be passed by Parliament but it does need the royal assent and to be licensed and it's this part I'm not sure has been done.
    By dispensed with it, I meant using a form of service that avoids using it.
    Yes many churches around the world have changed their liturgies the difference is none of the churches outside England is bound by the laws of an established church.
    Thanks for informing me. I now know how pop stars and royalty feel when they read articles in women's magazines- They find out so much more about themselves they never knew before.
    Didn't you read my thread "I'm not prejudiced against Roman Catholics but....."?
     
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  14. PDL

    PDL Well-Known Member Anglican

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    The royal assent will have been given. Queen Anne (1702-1707) was the last monarch who attempted to refuse assent. Without doing some research, I am not sure who was the last monarch to successfully refuse assent. I believe Queen Victoria (1837-1901) was the last monarch to personally give assent. Nowadays, it is given automatically and announced in Parliament or General Synod. Acts, Measures, etc. are often given assent in batches rather than one at a time.

    I do not understand why you keep pecking away at this idea the Church of England's General Synod is acting in an underhand manner.

    I think dispensed with tends to mean abolished in this context. The Book of Common Prayer (1962) (BCP) of the Church of England is, however, still fully authorised for use in the Church of England. It is also still used. In the church we attend early morning Eucharist on Sunday is according to the BCP. In the parish in which we lived prior to its dissolution our Thursday morning daily Eucharist was according to the BCP. I know Evening Prayer (Evensong) in a lot of places is done according to the BCP, especially if it's choral.

    However, the Church of England has other forms of service that are fully authorised by the competent authority and which may be validly chosen for use. I do know many places today prefer to use Common Worship so that people can worship in modern English. I know some people hanker after the older idiom of English found in the BCP but it needs to be remembered that when the BCP was compiled the English used was the modern idiom of the day.

    You do keep making vague assertions like this. Please provide me with the name of the legislation that states the following:

    1. The Book of Common Prayer (1962) is the mandatory form of worship in the Church of England;
    2. All forms of worship in the Church of England other than the Book of Common Prayer (1962) are prohibited;
    3. A person has the right to go into his local Church of England parish church and demand that the liturgy be celebrated according to the rites in the Book of Common Prayer (1962).
    Are you now having delusions of grandeur?

    No!
     
  15. PDL

    PDL Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Simply opinion. I am more interested in facts.
     
  16. AnglicanAgnostic

    AnglicanAgnostic Well-Known Member

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    This is probably correct except for the part where she dies in 1707. But this assent relates to parliamentary laws and Measures. Royal assent is required for lots of things. Sword patterns since 1788 have required Royal assent and this was refused by Edward VII in 1908 for the 1908 pattern cavalry sword. They had to get high level cavalry officers to persuade him otherwise.

    Church canons of the type we are talking about also require Royal assent, but I am not suggesting the assent was refused, I suspect ( yes possibly wrongly) that he or she was never asked.
    Because I am not the only one to think so!
    Can I quote from "The Church in Crisis A critical assessment of the current state of the Church of England" Charles Moore writes the section in it called "The central organisation. There is more for me to write from this book but I'll do it later. I am to speed typing what Rexlion is to organising gay mardi gras.:)

    "If say the Synod decided that it wished to remove the right of all citizens to be buried on consecrated ground, it would have to frame a Measure. The same would be true if it wanted to get rid of the Book of Common Prayer. (Realising this the synod has been more cunning and has circumvented the Prayer Book by putting up various replacements for it rather than attacking it directly.)"

    and

    " Like all organisations, it has developed an amour-propre which leads most of its members and all of its officials to try to get more power for it. Indeed as I shall discuss later, the Synod's resentment of Parliament has led to one of the largest, but least noticed changes in the relation between Church and State centring round the alterations to the liturgy"

    Two pages on from this last extract begins the chapter "The Prayer book Controversy" doesn't that sound interesting?
     
  17. AnglicanAgnostic

    AnglicanAgnostic Well-Known Member

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    The next exciting chapter in this saga.

    This whole service changing issue happened because the proposed 1927 BoCP with its service changes, although passed by; Convocation, Synod and the Lords was rejected by the Commons. This book was an amalgamation and compromise between the Church factions who produced their own contributions called; the Blue book, Green Book and Grey Book. The evangelicals didn't produce one they were happy with the status quo.
    A slightly altered version was also rejected by the Commons in 1928.

    This is when the underhand actions started. The Church produced a book which was published for several decades, by the Oxford University Press no less, called "The Book of Common Prayer with the Additions and Deviations Proposed in 1928."

    In the first few pages of the book before you get to the contents page, yes those same few pages no one reads except me and a few other weirdos, there is a little statement.
    It starts by explaining the 1927 and 28 defeats in parliament, and ends in a separated paragraph which says-

    " This Book is a copy of the Deposited Book referred to in the Prayer Book Measure of 1927 as amended in accordance with the provisions of the Prayer Book Measure,1928"

    Gosh almost sounds official doesn't it?

    Following the statement there is a sentence in bold print saying

    "The publication of this Book does not directly or indirectly imply that it can be regarded as authorized for use in churches"
    Does this sound like a rear-end covering legal disclaimer to you?

    The page then ends with a small print statement saying if the measures had passed the Book would have been called...

    and then in caps

    " THE BOOK OF COMMON PRAYER....38 words of officialise......... THE BOOK OF 1662 WITH ADDITION AND DEVIATIONS APPROVED IN 1928"

    Why was this book even published for several decades? Perhaps PDL knows.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2022
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  18. AnglicanAgnostic

    AnglicanAgnostic Well-Known Member

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    I have pm'ed Phoenix about separating this thread ,but no action as yet.
    Despite being thousands of miles away I don't think he's forgiven me for correcting him on aspects of the Duke and Duchy of Cornwall.

    And fair enough to.

    I was going to mention the 1965 "Prayer book (Alternative Services) Measure", suggesting it probably may have only passed because Dr. Michael Ramsey use the word "experiment " when introducing the Measure to The Lords.
    So off to Hansard to find this introduction by Ramsey to satisfy PDL's "without any actual facts to back up his case." accusation.

    It's not easy (or at least for me ) to find Lord's debates online. I haven't found Ramsey's intro yet but I did find this debate below introducing the second reading of a Prayer Book Laity Ballot Bill. It would appear there are procedures to use when deciding what service to use and people in the House of Lords thought the CoE was being underhand and slightly less than 100 % legal in its application.

    The whole debate can be found here,
    https://hansard.parliament.uk/Lords/1978-03-21/debates/9b35cd2b-6b40-4eab-80b4-09242b119643/PrayerBook(BallotOfLaity)BillHl?highlight=lord ramsey#contribution-2f998ef4-70c9-4108-92bc-adad0d226fb8
    and the edited highlights
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Lord SUDELEY

    My Lords, I beg to move that this Bill be now read a second time. When the Church of England introduced its Worship and Doctrine Measure in 1974, it was to be much congratulated on its sense of timing. Success in politics, as in business, depends on timing. The 1974 Measure was introduced to coincide with the Archbishop of Canterbury's 70th birthday and retirement. Such is the way our public life is conducted that noble Lords were so much engaged on congratulating the Archbishop on these happy events that they were not so critical as they might otherwise have been of the Measure itself. The noble Lord, Lord Clitheroe, went so far as to say he was sorry; and the Measure went through this House without a Division. Then it went to the other place where there are no Bishops to promote it. Because I think it is not the custom of this House to dwell at great length on what happens in another place, I will merely observe how widely it is thought that the success of the Church of England in the Division Lobby there was partly due to the Tribune Group of the Labour Party who did not attend the debate.

    All this was four years ago and so I think that the time has come now for a review of whether the safeguards for the Book of Common Prayer laid down in the 1974 Measure are adequate, or whether, on the contrary, if they are not adequate, they need to be reinforced or even replaced by other safeguards. I think that the time has also come to review whether the safeguards for the Book of Common Prayer are adequate or otherwise in the light of the desirability or otherwise of the new services, the alternative services, themselves.
    During the debate in both Chambers of Parliament in 1974 speeches were concerned largely with the constitutional question of whether the Church of England should be able to govern its own worship and doctrine, and not so much with the new services themselves. On my own modest understanding from this point of view the debates both Chambers in 1974 seemed to be a trifle deficient. As I have no doubt that I shall be reminded Toggle showing location ofColumn 1726later on in this debate, the Worship and Doctrine Measure of 1974 provides that decisions over whether any services to be used are those of the Book of Common Prayer or the alternative services are to be made jointly by the incumbent and the parochial church council. Where the two parties disagree, then either the Book of Common Prayer will be used or the form of service which has been in regular use for two out of the four years preceding the disagreement, the parochial church council having resolved that such services shall be used either in addition to or to the exclusion of the Book of Common Prayer. These safeguards, adequate though they may appear on the surface, beg the question of whether the parochial church council is the proper instrument through which to decide whether we want the Book of Common Prayer or the alternative services. The reason for this Bill is that it is not.
    By the Act of 1921, which brought them into being, parochial church councils are required to co-operate with the incumbent. This must disable them to some extent from opposing the incumbent over forms of worship which he may wish to introduce. Members of the parochial church council therefore who disagree with the incumbent on matters of liturgy are inclined to "vote" by resigning from the parochial church council and ceasing to come to church. I am hoping that later on in this debate noble Lords may be mentioning particular instances in their own parishes where very much this kind of thing has happened. Alternatively, where the incumbent is simply told by the bishop or the archdeacon that Series 3 must be used, and the parochial church council is not consulted, the church gets rather more empty than it used to be.
    Meanwhile, I will cite the testimonies of three bishops. One bishop has written to me that something certainly needs to be done to prevent alternative services from being pressed on unwilling congregations. Another bishop has written to me with regard to the introduction of the new services that there are instances in which the parochial church councils have not been properly consulted. Such is the inadequacy of the machinery in the 1974 Measure in that regard, this bishop has felt obliged to send out a pastoral letter requiring to know from all the parishes in his diocese the date and minute when the Toggle showing location ofColumn 1727decision was taken whether to use the old or new forms of service and what result ensued. This bishop has no objection to the use of the alternative services but he requires to know that the decision to use them has been reached in a democratic fashion.
    A third bishop has written to me that lay people are sometimes pusillanimous and allow their incumbents to get away with all sorts of things which they ought not to do. This seems a round-about way of saying that lay people allow themselves to be trodden down by their vicars. Now I have outlined the evil, the question is what to do about it. During the debate on the 1974 Measure in your Lordships' House the most reverend Primate the Archbishop of Canterbury said that the desire for the self-government of the Church had long been vitiated by the failure of the laity to be represented in a traditionally episcopal church. But now all this is changed because the laity is represented in the Church's government through the Church's synodical constitution. The Church of England therefore is fully entitled to its self-government much as the Church of Scotland says with regard to spiritual matters that it must have the Crown rights of the Redeemer.
    So I anticipate that a right reverend Prelate, a bishop, will inform your Lordships that legislation on Church matters should always come from the Synod to Parliament. If, on the other hand—as I here envisaged in this Bill—legislation on Church matters should come the other way round, from Parliament to the Synod, for the first time in 60 years since the enabling Act was passed in 1919, then the Church must seek its disestablishment. The idea that under provocation no more significant than this Bill the Church should seek its disestablishment must be taken with a pinch of salt.

    Lord Bishop of London
    I must also express a note of great regret that the noble Lord vitiated his speech by a totally erroneous and offensive suggestion that the presentation of the Worship and Doctrine Measure in this House was rigged purposely to coincide with the retirement of the late Archbishop of Canterbury, to invoke sympathy for him and therefore to get the Affirmative Resolution without a proper debate and vote. That has no truth whatsoever.

    Baroness EMMET of AMBERLEY
    My Lords, I wonder whether the right reverend Prelate would allow me to make one observation. I am in the See of Chichester, where there has been trouble. The people who disagree with the changes just do not go to Church. Their protest is mute.

    ____________________________________________

    The bold bits are my doing. Also please forgive the computer artifacts in the text.

    I mentioned earlier the unauthorised 1928 Version of the BoCP and here it is with the legal disclaimer. you can still by it. I note it is copyrighted. The site it is on also says it was used in church services ( maybe less than 100% legally).

    http://justus.anglican.org/resources/bcp/CofE1928/BCP.pdf

     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2022
  19. PDL

    PDL Well-Known Member Anglican

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    This must be something that bothers you. I have no recollection of what you are talking about and care even less. I do not understand why an atheist* who lives on the other side of the world its besotted with attempting to prove the Church of England has behaved in an underhand way to get forms of worship other than the Book of Common Prayer approved and used.

    *I do not employ this term in any pejorative sense, simply as a statement of fact.

    I am not sure how you can demonstrate the Lord Ramsey's use of the word 'experiment', out of context, led to the passing of the mentioned Measure by quoting from Hansard on a debate on a Bill before Parliament.

    You can find Hansard's report on the debate about the Prayer Book (Alternative and Other Services) Measure 1965 here: https://api.parliament.uk/historic-hansard/lords/1965/feb/18/prayer-book-alternative-and-other
     
  20. AnglicanAgnostic

    AnglicanAgnostic Well-Known Member

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    No offence taken, though I do think of myself as an agnostic, but perhaps on the atheistic end of the spectrum.

    I'm not besotted, I just find the topic interesting. And the more I study it, the more interesting I find it and find out about it.

    Now I have suggested that the 1928 Prayer Book was used in a slightly less than 100% legal way. Unfortunately for PDL I have now found out there are others who think the same, Archbishop Michael Ramsey for one. I would now like to quote from the Hansard record that he [ PDL not Michael Ramsey] helpfully provided.
    ------------------------------
    "THE LORD ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY rose to move,........

    Let me now say a word or two about law and order in the Church. It is well known that considerable departures from the law take place in the parish churches and cathedrals. The departures from the law are of many different kinds. There are many small deviations from the text and the rubrics of the Prayer Book, probably familiar in most parish churches and, I believe, welcomed by the laity with little consciousness of illegality, though illegality there certainly is. Then in some parish churches (and I believe a diminishing number) there are deviations which most Churchmen would deplore as wildly eccentric and outside the doctrinal standards of our Church. There is also a considerable use of whole forms of service which are illegal and yet familiar and widely welcomed. For instance, in the Crypt Chapel here in the Palace of Westminster the christenings of the children of Members of Parliament commonly follow the Baptism Service of the 1928 Prayer Book, a service much used also in parish churches, as is the Marriage Service from the same Book."
    -------------------------------
    My emphasis with the bold text and underlining.

    I though it was a nice touch of the Archbishop to drop her Majesty in it, by mentioning the Crypt Chapel which is a Royal Peculiar and comes under the jurisdiction of the Monarch and not a bishop.

    Ramsey goes on to say

    "Clause 2 refers to preliminary experiments in selected parishes for two years, and makes it clear that the total period in which alternative services may be provided for any particular Prayer Book service does not exceed sixteen years. Clause 3 lays down that changes made under either of the first two clauses in the services of a particular parish church require the consent of the laity."

    There seems to be 16 year sunset clause in this measure. I'll try and find out what happened. It may be the 1974 measure from memory.
    Stay tuned for the next exciting episode in this drama.:D