Mattins, Litany, and Ante-Communion Question

Discussion in 'Liturgy, and Book of Common Prayer' started by Toma, Aug 4, 2012.

  1. Toma

    Toma Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Friends :)

    Maybe this topic is more for the Hackney Hub or Symphorian, but all members are welcome...

    Imagine a group of faithful Anglicans gather on Sunday in a humble home in mission territory; devout people, they want the longest possible service on the Lord's Day, but have no clergy. I understand that Morning Prayer can be seamlessly connected to the Litany, and the Litany to the Communion - if such a lengthy service is desired.

    How shall the chosen lay-Minister order his saying of the service so that it is as long as possible, yet commits no blasphemy against God by daring to do what only the ordained may do?

    Studying my 1962 Book of Common Prayer, I have noticed a rubric following the service of Holy Communion:

    "If there be no Communion, the Priest or Deacon may say all that is appointed, until the end of the Intercession, together with one or more of these Collects and the Lord's Prayer, concluding with the Grace."

    Deacons being lay-people, I assume they can lead at least the first half of the Communion. My question is: the Morning Service and Litany being over, how much of the Communion may be said by a lay-man? Clearly the Sermon would have to be left unsaid, unless the lay Minister had permission from his (distant) bishop to preach.

    I suppose the order would be:

    I. Morning Prayer up to and including the Third Collect for Grace?
    II. The Litany up to and including the Lord's Prayer, which acts as the beginning of:
    III. The Ante-Communion, up to and including the Intercession, ending with the Grace.
     
  2. The Hackney Hub

    The Hackney Hub Well-Known Member

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    A licensed Reader can read Mattins, Litany, and the Ante-Communion, actually any layperson can read those, it would be best to have permission from your bishop if you're leading public services. Typically, you would need some sort of license to preach in one of these services, if this were a public service, I suppose if it was more of a "home group" a discussion of sorts wouldn't be out of order. Of course, only ordained priests can consecrate the elements of bread and wine in the Communion service.

    Just a correction, deacons aren't laypeople, they are ordained ministers but not priests, i.e. in a different order.
     
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  3. The Hackney Hub

    The Hackney Hub Well-Known Member

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    Of course the full "morning marathon" as they used to call it, is quite long!
     
  4. Toma

    Toma Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Thank you for the reply, Hackney.

    Question answered. Thank you.

    Indeed, that is the premise. A remote, clergy-less area might find it difficult to get into contact with any sort of bishop, however.

    A discussion of the Lessons, Epistle, and Gospel would definitely be in order for the scenario I've imagined. For those praying this whole grand series of MP+Litany+Ante-Communion alone, a bit of reflective personal prayer would replace the Sermon.

    Part of my intention was to meditate on how much of the service I could pray at home, alone. Praying this long service alone may make no sense given that it's assumed to be communal, but it's possible. I just wanted to be sure that no spots of private blasphemy might take place - like a lay-person praying this at home and continuing to the Consecration, breaking a dinner-roll apart and thinking he's making the Eucharist.

    ... and our lack of ability to give blessings and pronounce absolution somewhat restrict things. :)

    I wonder if you know when the Church of England added this rubric to 1662:

    If no priest be present the person saying the Service shall read the Collect for the Twenty-First Sunday after Trinity, that person and the people still kneeling.
    It is not present in 1681, 1693, or 1731 editions I have found. Interesting that the original 1662 considered the leading of this service to be primarily a priestly duty.

    I've always had a prejudice against seeing Deacons as clergy, especially since their role in the early Church seems to have been limited to alms-collecting, alms-giving, baptising, and reading the Gospel. They never struck me as very clerical. I shall try to correct my underlying mindset.
     
  5. The Hackney Hub

    The Hackney Hub Well-Known Member

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    If you're in a place away from an orthodox parish, reading at home could be an option, but it would be good to find an alternative group, perhaps orthodox Lutherans or Presbyterians, to submit yourself to the visible church. If you do plan to read at home, you can read all of Mattins, the Litany, and Ante-Communion (except the bits such as the absolution). You would follow the directions for the deacon, essentially.
     
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  6. Scottish Knight

    Scottish Knight Well-Known Member

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    If there was no ordained clergy present, would a layperson be allowed to read out loud one of the approved sermons in the two books of homilies? Since the sermons are approved, so the layperson is merely reading it and technically not preaching would that be an acceptable thing to do in the anglican church?
     
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  7. Toma

    Toma Well-Known Member Anglican

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    That's a very interesting question, SK! :) Didn't think of that...

    How is a Presbyterian wiser than an actual Anglican devotee? :p
     
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  8. Symphorian

    Symphorian Well-Known Member

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    For private devotion I see no problem with what you've outlined. If a lay person were leading public worship in a remote mission then certain issues would have to be addressed and the Bishop would need to give permission as Hackney said. If it were an informal house group then I'm unsure.

    According to CofE Canons, Readers and Lay Workers can preside at certain acts of worship and may also preach. They have to be licensed/authorized by the Bishop to do so. Such lay ministers must be baptized, confirmed and regular communicants, they must also satisfy the Bishop that they've had sufficient training and possess the necessary qualities for that ministry. CofE Canons don't specifically mention Ante-Communion being led by Readers/Lay Workers. In terms of what constitutes a 'regular communicant', the 1662 BCP specifies at least 3 times per year of which Easter must be one.

    Re this rubric from Evening Prayer in 1662:
    If no priest be present the person saying the Service shall read the Collect for the Twenty-First Sunday after Trinity, that person and the people still kneeling.

    I've had a quick look in 'New History of the BCP' by Procter & Frere but found no explanation. Had it appeared in the Elizabethan BCP it could be perhaps put down to the revival of the office of Reader due to the shortage of clergy after Mary's reign. Ordained clergy are of course obliged to pray the offices of Morning and Evening Prayer daily. In an ideal situation this should be in church.
     
  9. Scottish Knight

    Scottish Knight Well-Known Member

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    Because:
    [​IMG]
    :cool: :p
     
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  10. Scottish Knight

    Scottish Knight Well-Known Member

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    Adam, come back to the cool side, you know you want to :p

    [​IMG]
     
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  11. The Hackney Hub

    The Hackney Hub Well-Known Member

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    Does anybody know if there are parishes that still do the "morning marathon" as it was called?
     
  12. Toma

    Toma Well-Known Member Anglican

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    I know the local historic 1749 church now run by a quasi-evangelical community "alternates" between Holy Communion and Morning Prayer at 11 AM on Sundays. Presumably this means Sundays 1 & 3 are MP and Sundays 2 & 4 are Communion. Deplorable. The local Cathedral and a round church north of the 1749er are exclusively Holy Communion on Sundays.

    I'll be checking an Anglican Network in Canada (ACNA diocese in Canada) parish next weekend. We can pretty much assume that 90% of the parishes in the Communion today will never do the full run. "People have things to do", "it takes too long", "there are luncheons planned", "no one wants to sit for such a length of time", etc.

    Only once secularism is defeated can we make things long and godly on Sunday again.
     
  13. Symphorian

    Symphorian Well-Known Member

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    In some of the smaller rural parishes in my diocese, Mattins on alternate Sundays is not unheard of.

    I can vaguely remember Mattins with Holy Communion in my childhood.

    This Episcopal parish has Mattins with HC:

    http://www.stjohnsdetroit.org/home.html