BCP 1662 Evensong- too penitential for some?

Discussion in 'Navigating Through Church Life' started by Antony, Sep 1, 2019.

  1. Antony

    Antony New Member

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    Yesterday I attended a BCP 1662 Evensong at one of England's great cathedrals. I noticed they missed out the general Confession and The Absolution or Remission of sins. Why might they have done this, and is it common?
     
  2. Symphorian

    Symphorian Well-Known Member

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  3. Tiffy

    Tiffy Active Member

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    I can think of no reason whatever for missing out the general confession. It would make a service of Evensong into a theatrical performance in my opinion, rather than an act of worship. Even if there is no ordained person to offer absolution, any member of the laity can publicly request absolution from God, on behalf of the congregation they are leading, using 'us' and 'our' instead of 'you' and 'your'.

    Assuming that you hadn't accidentally nodded off and missed it, whoever was responsible for 'missing it', needs a lesson in Anglican liturgical practice.

    Some 1662 words in the leader's introduction are permitted to be omitted but according to the order of service laid out in Common Worship, there should be a confession at the beginning of every Evensong wherever it is said or sung.

    The permitted omissions in the introduction by the leader, are as follows:

    [bretheren] in "Dearly beloved brethren the scripture moveth us in sundry places to acknowledge our sins and wickedness;

    [and that we should not dissemble nor cloak them before the face of Almighty God our heavenly Father; but confess . . . . as well for the body as for the soul ]

    Quite a large chunk, but the rest is not optional, it is obligatory:

    We therefore I pray and beseech you, as many as are here present, to accompany me with a pure heart, and humble voice, unto the throne of the heavenly grace, saying [after me]:

    [after me] may be omitted because most people now can read and do not need to repeat each line of the confession after it having been recited by whoever is leading it.

    An alternative into is included, beginning: "Beloved we are come together in the presence of Almighty God::
    Up to " . . . . . . Wherefore let us kneel in silence, and remember God's presence with us now."

    Then the General confession which is definitely all obligatory.
    .
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2019
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  4. Antony

    Antony New Member

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    I certainly didn't nod off, but it might have been something to do with the service being delayed if you, Tiffy, can think of no reason one would omit it. It was at York Minster - so technically not a Cathedral I suppose - and a celebrity wedding was held - to which said celebrity arrived late - just prior. Perhaps they omitted it as they were running a bit late.

    Thank you for the link to the interesting article Symphorian.

    As an aside, during one of the readings from the New Testament, the speaker, a member of the laiety by the looks of it, sounded like he was reading in suspiciously contemporary English. I don't mean that he was reading in a contemporary accent, but rather the verb endings he used were not those I would expect from the KJV. Are the readings sometimes from contemporary translations of bible, or was he simply changing the language for whatever reason? Maybe I'm too cynical and the reader was indeed reading verbatim.
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2019
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  5. Liturgyworks

    Liturgyworks Active Member

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    York Minster, formally known as the Cathedral and Metropolitical Church of St. Peter, is the Cathedral Church of the Province of York and the seat of the Archbishop of that Province, as well as of the Diocese of York.
     
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  6. Symphorian

    Symphorian Well-Known Member

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    The main volume of CW permits the penitential rite of MP/EP using the BCP order of service to be omitted on weekdays. It may be used on any occasion and must be used on Sundays and Principal Holy Days.

    When using the BCP for services I feel that it's aesthetically more pleasing to use the KJV for readings so that the style of language is in sync. It's not a requirement however.

    My parish church uses the BCP and traditional language services from CW but we normally use the NRSV for readings.
     
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  7. Liturgyworks

    Liturgyworks Active Member

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    Which traditional language services from Common Worship? I know there are some; I am just curious how your parish does it.
     
  8. Symphorian

    Symphorian Well-Known Member

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    For HC: Common Worship Order One in Traditional Language. (Very occasionally straight from 1662 when taken by one of our Associate Priests.)

    For Mattins: 1662 BCP. (BCP Mattins and Evensong are also included in the main volume of Common Worship.)
     
  9. Liturgyworks

    Liturgyworks Active Member

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    Does your parish use the Common Worship traditional language service for marriage?

    If memory serves, these traditional language services in Common Worship and the old Alternative Services Book were taken from Series 1 and 2 of the Trial Liturgies, in part, and from the 1928 Deposited Book, in part....?
     
  10. Tiffy

    Tiffy Active Member

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    There are a number of translations permitted for public reading besides the KJV. It could have been NRSV, RSV, AV, NEB, NIV, Jerusalem Bible even. What you probably won't hear are any Paraphrased or Amplified Bible translations. Most commonly you will hear either the KJV-AV, NRSV or NIV in England. I don't know what goes in the USA though.
    .
     
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  11. Liturgyworks

    Liturgyworks Active Member

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    What about the Challoner Douay Rheims, the Lancelot Brenton Septuagint, the Murdock translation of the Peshitta, the entire Coverdale Bible, or the Bishops’ Bible? Could one get away with using one of those?

    The new version of the NIV I am very much opposed to. The old one was acceptable, not great but not horrific, but the intentional use of gender-neutral language in the new NIV is entirely unacceptable in my opinion; it represents a distortion on a par with the J/W bible.

    The old NIV however, while not my favorite, is a work I nontheless appreciate as it does have good readability and stylistic elegance.

    I have not been able to find online the text of the original Jerusalem Bible, which is something I would really greatly enjoy.
     
  12. Symphorian

    Symphorian Well-Known Member

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    Our Rector uses the contemporary language version of the marriage service found in CW. I can't recall anyone having a BCP or Series 1 wedding in recent years.
     
  13. Liturgyworks

    Liturgyworks Active Member

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    The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge had one (with abbreviations, but still, that was a beautiful service).
     
  14. bwallac2335

    bwallac2335 Active Member

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    What Old Testament books are in the Peshitta? Do the use the Protestant Old Testament or what?
     
  15. Liturgyworks

    Liturgyworks Active Member

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    The Old Testament of the Peshitta was translated 200 years before the new Testament and there is a lack of a good English translation thereof, but it contains those books which one would find in St. Jerome’s translation from the Hebrew-Aramaic OT.

    I should not like to call the Hebrew and Aramaic books of the OT the Protestant Old Testament; rather, a subset of them are the Masoretic text, edited by the Jews, which Martin Luther stupidly used, but the King James Version translators, while from this text, like St. Jerome when he translated the Vulgate, were careful to consult the Septuagint and the Peshitta and the Vulgate in this case, to make sure that Judaic corruptions were avoided, to ensure that the “Antilegomenna” were in their proper place rather than shoved into the back of the book because Luther dislikes them, and to get from the Septuagint those books surviving only in Greek or that were regarded as deuterocanon. Thus, the two best bibles of the Reformation are ironically the Authorized Version and the Challoner Douay Rheims, because it was translated from the Hebraic text.

    Translations of the Peshitta did not appear until the 19th century and were only of the New Testament. And alas I can’t tell you exactly which books are in the Peshitta Old Testament, because I am still learning Syriac, it is very hard reading, and there are several versions; the Assyrians, Syriac Orthodox, Syriac Catholics, Maronites and the St. Thomas Christians of India all have their own copies, which can vary in the number of books (for example the Assyrian Peshitta has only 22 books in the New Testament, as the Church of the East adopted it before receiving the Athanasian Canon (the Peshitta predates this), which they then accepted, but did not use liturgically, so they left the missing books out, whereas the Syriac Orthodox, being in much closer contact with Alexandria, were careful to include all of them).

    There is also only one translation of the entire Peshitta including the Old Testament into English, by George Lamsa; it is known to have inaccuracies and Lamsa is a member of a group of idiots known as Peshitta Primacists, who believe, contrary to the evidence, that the Peshitta was the original New Testament and the Greek was translated from it.

    Some Peshitta old Testaments contain Psalms 152-155, which are not found elsewhere, but most do not, and in general they look like the KJV.
     
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  16. bwallac2335

    bwallac2335 Active Member

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    I knew you were the guy to ask. When I get up some more money I am going to be getting a new. Bible or two.
     
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  17. Liturgyworks

    Liturgyworks Active Member

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    In the case of the Peshitta everything is free:

    Here is the aforementioned Lamsa Bible Old Testament:
    http://web.archive.org/web/20130529185246/http://www.aramaicpeshitta.com/OTtools/LamsaOT.htm

    And here are the New Testament translations and other resources.

    http://web.archive.org/web/20130523080350/http://aramaicpeshitta.com/

    The Etheridge uses the Assyrian version at its base and includes a lot of Syriac words oddly Romanized (God, ALH in Aramaic, including Syriac, is amusingly rendered as Aloha rather than the East Syriac/Classical accent Alaha or the West Syriac accent Aloho; the two accents differ in that Classical Syriac and the modern Assyrian Neo-Aramaic dialect spoken by the Assyrians in the vernacular has seven vowells, whereas the very few speakers of vernacular Syriac in a Western dialect use only five; A is a consonant if it appears at the beginning of a word, and this five-consonant accent dates from around the 500s, AD, and later turned into dialects like Mlahso, which is virtually extinct, and Turoyo, which still has some speakers). But the Etheridge will show you the Assyrian “canon” (they actually recognize all 27 books in the New Testament as canonical and do Bible studies on them, but the extra 5 books are not quoted in their lectionary and thus their version of the Peshitta preserves their early attempt at a New Testament canon before the Athanasian Canon of 27 Books was promulgated by St. Athanasius in his 39th Paschal Encyclical, which he wrote every year to all his parishes to inform them of the date of Easter for that year calculated using the Paschalion which had been used in parts of the church and was made standard.

    As this encyclical circulated around, these 27 bookswe know and love (except for Martin Luther, who wanted to erase four of them because they disagreed with his theology, which is shocking arrogance on his part) became standard; in the West this happened by 493 when Bishop Gelasius of Rome (still not called the Pope, only Alexandrian bishops were Popes at the time!) published an encyclical restating the canon and also anathematizing a long list of Gnostic apocrypha.

    The Syriac Orthodox Church uses the 27 book canon, and the Murdoch translation is the best translation of the Western Peshitto (that is how it is pronounced in Syria, but I expect Syriac Orthodox in Nineveh and Tikrit call it thr Peshitta). Actually I daresay its the most readable formal language translation I have found, aside from certain quirks due to literal translation (St. Peter is referred to as Cephas, and the Apostles are called Legates, because the Syriac word for Apostle translates to Legate).

    ………………………………………………………………………………………………

    The chap who run that website is a nice guy, but he used to be a strident Peshitta Primacist to the point of fanaticism, and like many fanatics, this concealed an unstable faith, and he burned out and tried to publish some books he wrote expressing his new religious philosophy, which was a sort of non-confrontational, non-fanatic, non-disputational atheistic pantheism. :( I think we might do well to pray for him that he understands he accidentally made an idol of the Peshitta, and returns to healthy Christianity.
     

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