Choosing a Canticle

Discussion in 'Liturgy, and Book of Common Prayer' started by Toma, Aug 1, 2012.

  1. Toma

    Toma Well-Known Member Anglican

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    I am slowly discovering the beautiful history of variations in the Book of Common Prayer.

    The 1662 and 1962 present the option of replacing the Te Deum with the Benedicite opera omnia (Song of the Three Children) following the First Lesson, and the Benedictus (Song of Zechariah) with Jubilate Deo (Psalm 100) following the Second Lesson at Morning Prayer

    Similarly, the Magnificat (Song of the virgin Mary) may be replaced with Cantate Domino (Psalm 98), and the Nunc dimittis (Song of Simeon) may be replaced with Deus miseratur (Psalm 67) after their respective Lessons during Evening Prayer.

    As an Anglican newbie, I'm wondering what governs selection between options. Are the Psalm alternatives merely to avoid repetition when the Gospel canticles appear in the lectionary? May they be used at any time? If so, why? Why is the Te Deum potentially replaced by the Benedicite? Was it to calm potential Puritan objections to using non-Biblical canticles?
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  2. The Hackney Hub

    The Hackney Hub Well-Known Member

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    The Episcopal Church
    Historically, there is no guideline as to when to use a Canticle. The 1549 directed the Benedicte to replace the Te Deum in Lent but after 1552 that rubric disappeared. The Psalms showed up in 1559 (maybe) because some puritans did not like saying the Gospel canticles. I imagine that most Higher clergy would have always used the Te Deum/Benedicte and the Gospel Canticles. I think the 1662 does give a direction to replace the Benedictus when it shows up in the readings.
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  3. Symphorian

    Symphorian Well-Known Member

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    Anglican, CofE
    Much the same as what The Hackney Hub wrote.

    For the English Prayer Books:
    In 1549 the Benedicite replaced the Te Deum during Lent. The direction was omitted in 1552.
    In 1549 the Benedictus was directed to be read throughout the year. Jubilate Deo was added as an alternative in 1552. The 1662 rubric directs that the Jubilate Deo be used if the former "shall happen to be read in Chapter for the day, or for the Gospel on St John Baptist's day". It seems that the Benedictus should be the norm.
    Cantate Domino was inserted in 1552 as an alternative to the Magnificat. This was possibly because some felt that daily use of the Blessed Virgin's song tended to exhalt her too much in the eyes of the people!
    I dont know of any specifics for Deus Misereatur apart from 1662 saying "Except it be on the twelfth day of the month".

    Perhaps Percy Dearmer's 'Parson's Handbook' or Procter & Frere's 'New History of the Book of Common Prayer' can provide answers.