Orthodox liturgies

Discussion in 'Liturgy, and Book of Common Prayer' started by Dave Kemp, Nov 21, 2019.

  1. Dave Kemp

    Dave Kemp Member Anglican

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    I personally use the 1662 BCP myself but have been collecting the various prayer books from our communion, I even got a copy of the ‘79 TEC BCP! I quite like the new ACNA ‘19 BCP and have a first edition with all the errors.

    I would like to ask our orthodox brothers and sisters on here if they could point me in the direction of what would be the Orthodox equivalent? If such a book exists. I understand that it would be difficult to have a standard book as there are the Russian, Greek, Ukrainian and more versions of orthodoxy .

    I recently brought on eBay an RCC St Joseph’s missal from 1962 and a Sunday missal from 1932 and the Anglican missal American edition to try and learn about the Roman traditions more and would like to get more educated on the eastern church liturgy as I find that church tradition fascinating.

    Forgive my ignorance.

    Many thanks in advance.
     
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  2. Liturgyworks

    Liturgyworks Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Hey there,

    Firstly, here is a very complete collection of BCP editions; the only major versions it is lacking are the recent Australian prayer books, and these from what I have heard are of a disagreeable nature, much like the 2004 Irish BCP or Common Worship, which this site does feature, along with much better BCP editions, including my all-time favorited (the 1892 American BCP, the 1928 American BCP, the 1928 English Deposited Book, the 1929 Scottish BCP, the 1962 Canadian BCP, and the 1938 Melanesian BCP):

    http://justus.anglican.org/resources/bcp/

    Now, moving along to the realm of Orthodoxy, here things get a bit more complex. Firstly, there are two Orthodox communions, the Eastern Orthodox and the Oriental Orthodox, and while most of the Eastern Orthodox use basically the same liturgy (predominantly the Byzantine Rite, while a very small minority use one or more arrangements of the Western Rite, usually based on a mix of Anglican and Roman Catholic sources), there are four separate liturgical rites in use among the Oriental Orthodox (the West Syriac Rite, the Coptic Rite, the Ethiopian Rite and the Armenian Rite). There is also the Church of the East, which is presently divided by a schism into the Assyrian Church of the East and the Ancient Church of the East, but the liturgy is the same, that being the East Syriac Rite. Of the Eastern liturgies, only the Byzantine and Coptic Rite liturgies have been completely translated into English (much of the East Syriac Rite and a good chunk of the West Syriac Rite is also available). As far as the Coptic liturgy is concerned, the best way to acquire it is to download the Coptic Reader app onto your iPad or Android device and then acquire the add-on content packs; these collectively include everything. Failing that, PM me and I can send you PDFs which do contain a fair chunk of the liturgy, but the Coptic Reader app is the easiest way.

    The Eucharistic liturgy of the West Syriac Rite can be found here: http://sor.cua.edu/Liturgy/Anaphora/index.html

    I can supply you, if you would like, with the Divine Office of the Syriac Orthodox Church, a book called the Shimo, which is used during what in contemporary Anglican or Roman Catholic practice one might call “Ordinary Time.” There is another volume called the Fanqitho which contains the Divine Office as it would be used in Lent, Holy Week and on the various feasts and fasts throughout the year; unfortunately this has not yet been completely translated, although I have heard there is a project underway to produce a full translation. In the interim, the propers for several of the most important feasts can be downloaded from the US website of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church (one of three Oriental Orthodox churches to use the West Syriac Rite), and I can link you to that material.

    I also have PDFs of two very old books which contain the Eucharist and the Divine Office as celebrated in the Church of the East, according to the East Syriac Rite.

    There is a related version of the West Syriac Rite which has been almost entirely translated into English, which is the post-Vatican II recension of the Maronite Catholic liturgy. I can send you a complete set of their Missals, although I do not have their Liturgy of the Hours; this can be purchased, but my understanding is that it is, like their Eucharistic liturgy, basically a simplified and watered down derivative of the Syriac Orthodox liturgy. The Maronite liturgy was at one time probably as ornate and beautiful as the West Syriac Rite described above, and it also contained some East Syriac influences; one of its Anaphoras, or Eucharistic Prayers, follows the East Syriac form, but alas, I cannot find an English translation of that anaphora. By the 20th century however, the Maronite liturgy had been Latinized to within an inch of its life, with the Roman Canon having supplanted the original Anaphoras proper to the West Syriac liturgy, so the post-Vatican II recension is a rare case where things actually improved in the liturgical life of a Catholic church after that council, which was in most other respects a liturgical trainwreck.

    Now, let us move on to the Eastern Orthodox:

    Fortunately, there are actually no differences in liturgical praxis between the Russians and Ukrainians, and indeed the differences between Russian liturgy and Greek liturgy as one will find it on Mount Athos are fairly minimal. On the other hand, at the parish level, there are differences, but these are minor and relatively easy to understand; basically, all of these differences stem from two things: some Orthodox churches, including the Church of Greece, most of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, except for Mount Athos, the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Constantinople, much of the Orthodox Church in America, the Antiochian Orthodox Church, the Romanian Orthodox Church, and the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, adopted the Revised Julian Calendar, which basically means they use the Julian Calendar for the celebration of Easter and the related movable fasts and feasts (the whole period from Septuagesima through All Saints Day, which in the Byzantine Rite is celebrated on the same day as Trinity Sunday in the Western Rites), and the Gregorian Calendar for everything else (so Christmas is celebrated on the same day as it is in every other church).

    The Russians, Ukrainians, Serbs, Georgians, the Greek and Romanian Old Calendarists, and the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem, on the other hand, which collectively account for the vast majority of Orthodox Christians, continue to use the Julian Calendar for everything. This results in no real differences in terms of the liturgical texts, only a difference in the liturgical calendar and also the services for each given Sunday (because there are complex rules which tell you what to do when fixed and movable feasts coincide, and also observances change depending on what day of the week a feast occurs in, and indeed which week a feast occurs in). The use of the Julian Calendar for fixed feasts and the Gregorian calendar for movable feasts does wreak some havoc with the liturgical year, by changing the number of Sundays between Christmas, Pascha and the Feast of the Apostles, with the result being that there are often substantially too many Sundays after Epiphany, and conversely, in some years the Apostles Fast does not happen. The Finnish Orthodox did better simply by using the Gregorian Calendwr,

    The other variable is that in the 19th century the Greek and Antiochian churches, except for Jerusalem and Mount Athos and some other monasteries (each monastery is free to adopt its own Typikon, or rule governing the services), which still represent a minority of the worldwide Orthodox population, but which conversely are a very large presence in the US, use a slighlty simplified Typikon sometimes called the Violakis Typikon, a 19th century recension of the more ancient Sabaite Typikon, which remains in use by the Russians, Ukrainians, Georgians and Athonite monks, among others. There is an even older and more formal version of this Typikon in use among the Russian Old Rite Orthodox communities, sometimes called the “Old Believers.” Now even their liturgical texts are basically the same as the standard Orthodox texts; the differences amount to how these are used, as well as other practices such as how one makes the sign of the cross.

    The most obvious difference between Greek and Russian liturgics, aside from the music, is that the Russians, Ukrainians, Georgians, Athonite monks, and most members of the Orthodox Church in America, will, following the Sabaite Typikon, sing as the Three Antiphons Psalms 102, 145 and the Beatitudes, usually in their entirety, on Sundays and most weekdays, whereas the Greeks and Antiochians, using the newer Violakis Typikon, will sing only a small portion of Psalms 91, 92, and in theory, 94 (although I have seen the Third Antiphon skipped over). Also, the Russians, Ukrainians and Bulgarians, and some other Slavs and Slavic-influenced churches prefer to celebrate Matins as part of a service called “All Night Vigils” (which despite the name lasts at most two hours, usually 90 minutes or less), whereas the Greeks, Romanians and Antiochians prefer to serve Matins (commonly known in Greek as Orthros) immediately before the liturgy (and in the process neglect to serve the Hours of Prime, Terce and Sext; frequently Vespers is served the night before, but Compline is usually omitted, and some parishes only do Orthros and the liturgy, which greatly annoys me; just as I feel every Anglican parish should have weekly services of Evensong, Mattins and the Litany, at a minimum, and preferrably also Compline and other divine services, I feel Orthodox parishes should at a minimum serve all of the canonical hours).

    Textually however, the service is basically the same.

    Now, the real complexity is in the texts themselves. Metropolitan Kallistos Ware summarizes the somewhat formidable nature of the Eastern Orthodox service books in his classic The Orthodox Church:

    “If anyone wishes to recite or to follow the public services of the Church of England, then (in theory, at any rate) two volumes will be sufficient – the Bible and the Book of Common Prayer (or whatever alternative service book has been authorized); similarly in the Roman Catholic Church only two books are required – the Missal and the Breviary; but in the Orthodox Church, such is the complexity of the services that a small library of some nineteen or twenty substantial tomes will be needed. ‘On a moderate computation,’ remarked J. M. Neale of the Orthodox Service Books, ‘these volumes together comprise 5,000 closely printed quarto pages, in double columns.’ Yet these books, at first sight so unwieldy, are one of the greatest treasures of the Orthodox Church.”

    Fortunately, all of those books are available in English, and much of the bulk he refers to consists of the twelve volume monthly Menaion, which consists of all propers for every day of the year (basically a combination of the propers one would find for a given day in the Roman Missal and the Breviary). This work is not needed except by a professional liturgist working for a diocese, compiling services for multiple parishes, or the choir director of a particularly liturgically vigorous parish, or the cantor (or succentor in Anglican terminology) of a monastery or a cathedral. It should also be noted that these books are almost entirely hymnals, and most of the content contained therein relates to Matins. Matins is the most complex and variable part of the Byzantine Rite liturgy. The second most complicated part of the liturgy is Vespers, but even it is relatively simple compared to Matins.

    What is more, most of what you would need even for Matins can be found in an anthology compiled by Fr. Seraphim Nasser, affectionately known as the Nasser Five Pounder. This is out of print, but it is not very expensive. There also exist an impressive selection of materials on the website of the late monk and liturgiologist Fr. Ephrem Lash (memory eternal): https://web.archive.org/web/20151127203142/http://www.anastasis.org.uk/

    There is a Euchologion containing the complete text for the Divine Liturgies, Baptism, Holy Matrimony, Ordination, Holy Unction, and other offices, translated in the late 19th century by Isabel Florence Hapgood, and richly illustrated. It is in the public domain. You can find a link to it, and many other liturgical resources, on the website of my friend Fr. John Whiteford: http://www.saintjonah.org/services/library.htm

    ~

    Fr. John’s website also contains excellent guidance on acquiring a liturgical library, which I myself followed in setting up my own rather sumptious library, which comproses both physical and ebooks.

    I have a great deal of PDFs also, which contain important parts of the Orthodox liturgy and which are in the public domain. I can furnish you with this material if desired.

    ~

    Lastly, as far as the Roman Rite is concerned, this website features an online Missal and Breviary, of the Vetus Ordo (pre-Vatican II): http://divinumofficium.com/cgi-bin/horas/officium.pl

    I believe the “Pre-Tridentine Monastic” Ordo they have available for the Breviary reflects the old Benedictine Breviary, which is generally held to be vastly superior to the exceedingly cumbersome Roman Breviary, which Pope Pius X attempted without much success to repair; my understanding is that the very excellent divine office in the Book of Common Prayer is partially derived from a proposed reform of the Roman Breviary by Cardinal Quinones. It is lamentable to consider that the mismanagement of the Roman Breviary resulted in the scenario wherein, by the time of the English Reformation, and continuing until the present, the Divine Office is not really very heavily celebrated in most Roman Catholic parishes. There are masses of masses, but Vespers and Matins are incredibly rare, at times seeming as elusive as a mythical blue rose. One of the great accomplishments of the Church of England was restoring the Divine Office as an important congregational worship service, which is one of many commonalities between traditional Anglicanism and the various churches of the East (Oriental Orthodox, Eastern Orthodox, the Assyrian Church of the East, and to a lesser extent, the various Sui Juris Eastern Catholic churches such as the Maronites, Melkites, the Ruthenian Greek Catholics, the Chaldeans, and so on).

    Speaking of Breviaries which are better organized than the Roman Breviary, I have PDFs of the public domain English/Latin Dominican Rite Breviary, which is in two volumes rather than the cumbersome four volumes of the Roman Breviary from the same period. The Dominican Breviary was generally considered to be somewhat better organized, like the Benedictine. These are very large PDFs but if you are interested, I believe I can track down where I downloaded them from.

    By the way, do you have Scribd? Much of this material is on Scribd, and scribd also makes it somewhat easier to share PDFs.
     
  3. Shane R

    Shane R Well-Known Member

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  4. Liturgyworks

    Liturgyworks Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Note that most of those links are dead; they pointed to Fr. Ephrem Lash’s website, may his memory be eternal, which is fortunately preserved on the Internet Archive, and which I had linked to in my post:

    https://web.archive.org/web/20151127203142/http://www.anastasis.org.uk/

    By the way, ACROD is not particularly good when it comes to liturgical resources, except with regards to their music (Prostopinije), but the OCA also has a large number of former Ruthenian Catholic parishes which use Prostopinije, and tends to do a better job when it comes to textual quality. The problem with ACROD is they have a very strong diocesan preference for using contemporary English, and the quality of their contemporary English translations of the liturgy is ... debated.

    Most of the best materials that are used to the greatest extent in the different churches come from Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, St. Tikhon’s Monastery (and seminary), St. John of Kronstadt Press, Holy Cross Seminary for some of the Greek Orthodox material.

    If someone is specifically interested in Byzantine Chant, there is some good material published by Holy Transfiguration Monastery; their material however is not very good unless one specifically wants to learn Byzantine chant; their Psalter is awkward and their service books tend to feature Byzantine Chant notation, where each line ends with slashes to demarcate the strophes; if one is not interested in learning the music, or is interested in the music but would rather learn a different variety, such as Prostopinije, or Georgian chant, or one of the numerous exquisite varieties of Slavonic chant, then this notation only gets in the way.
     
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  5. Dave Kemp

    Dave Kemp Member Anglican

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    Thank you very much, a lot to digest but fantastic stuff.
     
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  6. Dave Kemp

    Dave Kemp Member Anglican

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    Thank you.
     
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  7. PDL

    PDL Active Member Anglican

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    Personally, I have no objections at all to Compline; however, it is not strictly part of the Anglican praxis.
     
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  8. Liturgyworks

    Liturgyworks Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Strictly speaking, Evensong is Vespers and Compline combined into one office, which is actually a very common practice (the Russian All Night Vigils does this). The reforms to the Anglican Divine Office were brilliant and the best part of the 1549 and 1552 BCP; inspired by Cardinal Quinones masterful plan for saving the Roman Catholic Divine Office by revising the Breviary, so as to facilitate congregational use outside of cathedrals and abbeys, Cranmer pushed the envelope further through radical simplification, removal of dubious extra-scriptural lections, and the consolidation of Nocturns, Matins, Lauds and Prime into Mattins, or Morning Prayer, and Vespers and Compline into Evensong, or Evening Prayer, with the Litany serving as a third office, fitting into the liturgy in roughly the same spot the Third and Sixth hours occupy in an Eastern Orthodox church (using the Sabaite typikon, rather than the rubbish Violakis typikon from the 1890s), which is in between Mattins (Orthros and Prime in the case of Eastern Orthodoxy, but the same idea; Lauds was always a part of Orthros in the Byzantine Rite), and the Eucharistic liturgy.

    Now, Compline has become very popular since the 1900s as a discrete office, and I would argue that it has always been a part of Anglican praxis, just not as a discrete office. Basically, everything between the Nunc Dimitis and the closing prayers in Evensong is Compline; Matins in the Roman Rite was conversely built around the Magnificat. Nunc Dimitis by the way is associated with Compline in many churches, including the Eastern Orthodox, whereas the Magnificat in the Byzantine Rite is a part of the ninth and final ode of the Canon (which is a long, variable hymn, in which, depending on the occasion, a set of nine Biblical canticles, two of which are split into separate Odes and two of which are combined, are usually replaced by hymns which reflect on the canon in light of the occasion being commemorated).*

    The separation of Compline into a discrete office in Anglicanism does follow a general pattern however; churches that preserve or have restored a Cathedral Office (like the Anglican tradition, or the Assyrian Church of the East), as opposed to those with a monastic office (such as the Eastern Orthodox, the Syrian Orthodox, the Coptic Orthodox, or the surviving Latin Rites in the Roman Catholic Church, some of which, by the way, do have functional divine offices - the problem has always been with the Roman Breviary, and not the distinct Divine Offices of the old Gallican Rite and its Mozarabic and Ambrosian descendants, or the ancient Benedictine office, or the Dominican, Carmelite, or Norbertine Breviaries, but rather, that of Rome and those rites that closely followed it, such as the Sarum Rite, which is not vastly different from the Roman Rite by any means), is a pattern towards having three offices. For that matter, most monasteries, including the Copts, consolidate their prayers into three occasions, even though there are typically seven canonical hours of prayer in the Christian monastic rite. But these are usually combined. The Russians, by merging Matins and Prime with Vespers and Compline, wind up with just two. And invariably, one is consolidated with the liturgy. So in the 20th century, some instability in Anglican praxis did occur; far too many parishes completely eliminated Mattins in favor of the Eucharist; others dropped the Litany; the communal celebration of the office became disrupted. But several cathedrals, one notable example being the Episcopal Cathedral in Seattle, have attracted people to a late night Compline, occuring at night, rather than at Sunset (the proper time for Vespers, strictly speaking), or the late afternoon (when Evensong has often historically happened for reasons of convenience).

    This does cause problems in terms of the music. Some composers, notably Herbert Howells, did compose settings of the Nunc Dimitis without the Magnificat, but most settings of Choral Evensong have a paired Magnificat and Nunc Dimitis, which suffer if separated.

    In my opinion, Compline is a good thing, as a discrete office, because it does attract people into churches who otherwise might not attend, and it is an ancient tradition. But so is Choral Evensong. Compline without the Nunc Dimitis is unthinkable. Now, if a parish has Evensong at say, 4 PM, and Compline at 8 PM, the former could use a traditional setting of both canticles, and the latter, any English language rendering of the Nunc Dimitis. But, if a church is serving a liturgy with a discrete Evensong and Compline, perhaps with a Eucharist in between them, for example, on the eve of a great feast, such as Christmas (where Nine Lessons and Carols might also fit in - also a recent and happy addition to Anglican praxis), or All Saints Day, or Whitsunday, or Michaelmas, or the Epiphany, then Evensong needs to be viewed as a Vespers, basically, and Nunc Dimitis not used. The 1662 BCP provides Deus Miseratur as a direct replacement for Cantate Domino, and this works provided that the same Psalm is not called for in the Psalter on that particular day (unless one was willing to bend the rubrics and transpose it from the Psalter into the place of the Nunc Dimitis).

    Now, one of a few ideas the 1979 BCP had which were actually brilliant, but which were marred by other problems (but, on account of which, I cannot find it in me to actually object to the 1979 BCP with the same firmness with which I decry Common Worship, or the Canadian Alternative Service Book, or the dreadful 2004 Irish BCP), was inserting the very ancient Greek hymn, Phos Hilarion, which is of an age comparable to the Te Deum Laudamus, in all probability, into Evensong, facilitating a traditional Lucenarium, or lighting of the candles or oil lamps in the church at sunset, symbolic of the persistant Light of Christ guiding us through the darkness. This hymn, where Compline and Vespers are separated, logically displaces the Magnificat (and an anthem before the Magnificat logically gets deleted for reasons of brevity, and the Psalter shifted around, and the Magnificat in turn takes the place of Nunc Dimitis, which will be sung later, at Compline).

    While I prefer Evensong on ordinary occasions to remain integral, Compline is working for some parishes, and the importance of the Divine Office being a congregational service I think is absolutely critical. So in the modularized BCP “Editio MMXX” that I am working on, which is intended chiefly as a combination of the 1662 and 1928 American books, with some of the best parts from other editions, I think it will be desirable to have an optional module that will provide for a discrete Vespers, as well as a Vesperal Eucharist, for use with Compline, where the services are contiguous. However, this is a supplemental module; the core module for the Divine Office is the text for Morning and Evening Prayer and the Litany from the 1662 BCP, with a variable option to have the Prayers for the Royal Family, etc, or the prayers and petitions in the Litany from the 1928 BCP.

    By the way, the Anglican Communion managed to produce a discrete Vespers already, in one of the provincial prayer books, I believe the 1926 Irish BCP, so I might well provide that as well as a slightly modified and contracted 1662 Evensong.

    The 1928 BCP has an irritating defect, shared with other American BCPs, in that only half of the preces is used, and the 1979 BCP makes this worse by alternating the half of the preces used depending on whether it is Mattins or Evensong. This is very annoying, and a very good reason to just use the 1662 version, since there are no material differences.

    There are also three settings of Compline which appear in BCPs throughout the Anglican community: the Occasional Service Book of 1915 and other American books have one, and the 1926 Irish BCP, the 1927 Proposed Book and the 1928 Deposited Book, rejected by Parliament despite a majority of Anglican MPs voting for it, and the 1938 Melanesian BCP, and the 1929 Scottish book all have very similiar Complines. There are minor differences between them in how the Preces and opening prayers are arranged, but the content is basically the same. The 1962 Canadian BCP opens more in the manner of Choral Evensong, with the very penitential aspects of both the American and the 1920s-30s Scottish/Irish/Deposited English/Melanesian/etc versions largely absent. This unfortunately is an example of a disappointing squeamishness in the 1962 BCP which makes it, while still a good BCP edition, not a great one; indeed this squeamishness was a harbinger of worse things to come as a radical liberalism seized control of the Liturgical Movement and ruined all of the subsequent liturgies to varying extents (although the 1979 BCP was largely repaired with the heroic effort that is the 1994 Anglican Service Book, which is expressly allowed under a rubric in the 1979 BCP that allows for comgregations to use the book, rephrased in traditional liturgical English. And the 1979 BCP is public domain, like all American BCPs, so that made fixing it possible. Alas the ASB is still under copyright AFAIK, although I hope the rightsholders might be prepared to at least release it under an open source or creative commons license. They have made a large chunk available here: http://justus.anglican.org/resources/bcp/Anglican_Service_Book/index.html

    (By the way, that site is indispensible; they have the greatest collection of Anglican prayer book variants)

    Three other examples of wishy-washiness in the 1962 Canadian BCP are the removal of the controversial final verses of Psalm 1979, By the Rivers of Babylon, which are actually very important if properly understood according to the traditional theological model of Alexandrian typological exegesis (it is speaking about sins and passions, the offspring of demons, and not actual Babylonian children); this Psalm is offensive only to people who are utterly committed to an extreme form of Antiochene historical-literalism much more extreme than that of either St. Chrysostom or Theodore of Mopsuestia. The imprecatory Psalms ought not to be tampered with, but the 1962 BCP did tamper with them (a desire to delete them is one of a few things about John Wesley I don’t agree with, but only our Lord is perfect; perhaps the removal of the imprecatory verses of the imprecatory psalms in the 1962 BCP was due to the influence of the historically enormous Methodist population in Canada, which probably outnumbered the Anglicans, as in Wales; Toronto in the early 20th century was called Methodist Rome; this is all unfortunate, because Wesley did not want a schism, and worse, the Canadian Methodists merged with most of the other non-Anglican Protestants into the polymorphic liberal monstrosity that is the United Church of Canada. The only extremely conservative Canadian church I am aware of operating on anything close to a large scale is the Canadian branch of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod, which is very high church, and probably where I would go, unless I was lucky enough to find myself in a Canadian township, parish or commune with a traditional Anglican church using the 1962 BCP. The other two wishy washy aspects in this BCP, are, by the way, the compromised Holy Communion service, the result of a Battle Royale between Evangelical and Anglo Catholic elements in which everyone lost, unlike the 1928 American book where the Holy Communion service has always been well loved, or the 1928 Deposited Book and the 1929 Scottish Book, which provide the 1662 service alongside a more high church service in the former, and the traditional Scottish Episcopalian liturgy in the latter. I don’t support a broad church approach to liturgics, because compromised liturgies are lukewarm, even if I am in other respects extremely latitudinarian. But my view is that there is enough material in the Anglican patrimony to suit the needs of each congregation according to their churchmanship - except for the liberals who want gay marriage. But otherwise, a low church service from, say, the 1926 Irish BCP, and a high church service from the 1929 Scottish BCP, I feel can be used, because Common Prayer is maintained through the link both services have to the 1662 BCP.

    Finally, the 1962 BCP made an attempt at midday prayer, but this failed miseably, and the only successful midday prayer service I have seen in an Anglican prayerbook is the traditional language revision of the 1979 Rite II office in the 1994 Anglican Service Book. This is a problem, because there are actual occasions when a midday prayer service could be useful.

    I do like the 1962 BCP, but its ethos of compromise and its squeamishness I feel is an unhealthy conflation of Broad Church tolerance with Pietism, and it renders it a tad lukewarm; it should be hotter or colder. In a sense, what I am working on is the opposite of the 1962 BCP; because of print on demand and the increasing irrelevance of physical books (I see very inexpensive tablets with improved, flexible electronic paper being standard fixtures in churches within 15 years, and even now a parish could outfit itself with new tablets for as low as $25 per attendee, or used, but still viable, iPads or Android tablets, possibly for even less). There is no need to compromise the services; instead, the trick is to make the good stuff available and accessible in one place and ensure the core of the book is still the 1662 BCP, thus preserving liturgical commonality, making sure the music works, and that everything else is basically an optional supplement.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2019
  9. Liturgyworks

    Liturgyworks Well-Known Member Anglican

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    * Here is an example of an Ode from a Byzantine Rite canon, Ode VII, which in its default form is the Canticle Benedicite, Omni Opera. On Christmas, as on most days, the Canticle serves as the template for a hymn which connects the liturgical event to the subject matter of the Biblical Canticle in question. Note that I am not suggesting this as a model for Anglican hymnody; this is not a part of the Anglican Rite, but am rather providing it for purposes of edification about the practices of one of my other favorite liturgical traditions (I love the Anglican, Byzantine, Syriac Orthodox and Coptic Orthodox liturgies the most):


    Ode 7. The Irmos.

    ‘The Youths brought up together in godliness, scorning the impious decree, feared not the threat of fire, but standing in the midst of the flame they sang: God of our Fathers, blessed are you!’

    Shepherds abiding in the fields had a vision of light which filled them with fear; for the glory of the Lord shone round them and an Angel crying aloud: Sing praises, for Christ is born. God of our Fathers, blessed are you!’

    Suddenly, at the word of the Angel, the armies of heaven cried: Glory to God in the highest, on earth peace, among men good will, Christ, has shone forth. God of our Fathers, blessed are you!’

    What is this word? the Shepherds said. Let us go that we may see what has come to pass, Christ God. Having come to Bethlehem they worshipped him, with her who gave him birth, as they sang out: God of our Fathers, blessed are you!’

    Iambic. The Irmos.

    ‘Caught and held fast by love for the King of all,
    ‘The Young Men despised the impious threats
    ‘Of the tyrant in his boundless fury;
    ‘And when the dread fire withdrew from them, they said
    ‘To the Master: Unto all ages, blessed are you!’

    Seething and roaring in its wrath the flame
    Burnt up when heated sevenfold the servants,
    But the Young Men it saves, as victors crowns.
    On whom the Lord, rewarding piety,
    Bestows abundantly his cooling dew.

    Christ our Defender, you shamed mortals’ foe,
    Having your incarnation beyond speech
    As shield, in human form bringing the joy
    Of being like God; in hope of which we once
    Fell from on high into the murky depths.

    You have cast down by your almighty power
    Fierce sin that raised its head in wanton pride,
    And raged blaspheming through a world gone mad.
    Those once dragged down today you save from snares,
    O Benefactor, by your will made flesh.
     
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  10. Liturgyworks

    Liturgyworks Well-Known Member Anglican

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    @Dave Kemp, would you like me to send you some of the material I have from the Coptic, Ethiopian, Armenian, West Syriac and Assyrian rites? I also have material from obscure Western rites in electronic format. All of this stuff has slipped into the public domain, and I am setting up a website to host it.
     
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  11. PDL

    PDL Active Member Anglican

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    As I originally said I personally have no objections to Compline. Indeed, I think I would regard it as my favourite office. Having heard it chanted in the dark with only a few candles lit only served to confirm it has my favourite.

    I would, however, still maintain it may be a practice adopted by Anglicans, and not a bad one, but it is not really part of the Anglican praxis. I am fully aware the BCP Mattins and Evensong were both derived from other offices. However, they are liturgies, I believe, in their own right and are what is the norm for Anglicans. In C of E Canon Law it is these two offices to which clerics are daily bound. Both must also be recited in cathedrals daily. There is also expressed the desire that they be recited in parish churches, which is not common, and that the bell be rung at the time of these offices, not that every church has bells these days. In fact, Sunday morning is no longer the same without church bells ringing out across the town.

    I am not sure I would consider the Litany to be a separate Office. In the BCP (1662) it is required that it be recited as part of Mattins. A requirement more honoured in the breach than the observance.
     
  12. Liturgyworks

    Liturgyworks Well-Known Member Anglican

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    I believe the greatest liturgical accomplishment of the Church of England was restoring Mattins and Evensong to the state of congregationally attended services, rather than a mere private devotion of the priests, which had already happened to the Breviary by the time of the Reformation. For this reason, I am maximally upset by the disappearance of these offices from parish life in Britain; a state where they are found only in cathedrals and monasteries is what had happened to the Sarum office at the time of the Reformation.

    Frankly, I wish the canon law were toughened to require parish clergy to either lead or participate in a congregational celebration of the Divine Office, daily.

    Now, I do think a case can be made that provided Vespers was said, if Compline is said, this constitutes Evensong; in general, this line of interpretation facilitated the maximum period of Anglican liturgical splendor between 1900 and the 1960s, when liberal elements hijacked the liturgical process, and began to destroy the traditional Anglican liturgy. I am also convinced that if more parishes served the Divine Office, more people would attend.

    One thing that troubles me is casual communion becoming so normalized in Anglican parishes, which historical Anglicanism never wanted (recall the exhortations in Ante Communion, which as an office is virtually dead). I think it would be a huge improvement if parishes that presently have two Eucharist services on Sunday had each service alternate between Morning Prayer followed by Ante Communion, and then Holy Communion on Sunday next. In this way, weekly reception would be possible, but people would hear Morning Prayer and the warnings about examing ones conscience every other week if they attended the same service. I would like it still more if Mattins was the main choral office on most Sundays in the month, with Holy Communion a said service, except for one Sunday when there would be a solemn Holy Communion with choral music. Also, the monthly use of the Athanasian Creed I strongly support. The 1928 Deposited Book included an Office of Prime* mainly to encapsulate the Athanasian Creed; one gets the impression it was intended for use at the actual First Hour, before Mattins, but liturgically, Mattins, being a combination chiefly of Matins and Lauds, woule fall before it in a monastic liturgical cycle, so it could hypothetically be positioned in either place.

    There is also the possibility which I alluded to above of copying the Russians, and combining Evensong, Compline, Mattins and the Litany, and indeed Prime, if desired (since the Russian vigils consists basically of Vespers, Compline, Matins and Prime, with numerous short litanies rather than one long one as in Anglicanism). The Anglican vigils might not work on Saturday nights owing to unfortunate modern trends, but where it failed on Saturday night, it might succeed on Sunday, for the same reason as Sunday evensong and Compline. There is also a legitimate problem with a lack of Sunday evening worship in the US, especially traditional worship; if anything at all is available, it is likely to be a Novus Ordo mass in a Catholic parish served by a retired priest, with contemporary music. And very rarely does one find the Divine Office, due to Roman Rite canon law being configured so as to encourage each priest to serve a daily mass, but not to make any effort at a conventual, congregational service of the Breviary, or The Liturgy of the Hours as Rome now calls it.

    It is a sad fact that the Divine Office is regularly celebrated to a reasonable extent only in the parishes of only a few of the Eastern churches. The Russian, Belarussian, Ukrainian, Latvian and Estonian Orthodox, and ROCOR, the Orthodox Church in America and most of the Slavic churches, the Romanian Orthodox Church, the Coptic Orthodox Church, the Indian Syriac Orthodox churches (Indian Orthodox, Jacobite and Thoyizoor**), the Ethiopian Tewahedo Orthodox Church, and the Assyrian and the Ancient Church of the East. The rest at most serve Orthros before the Divine Liturgy, which is better than nothing, but not the ideal of Vespers and Matins. This includes tragically the Levantine portion of the Syriac Orthodox church, which members here will know how much I love it; in the Western US, St. Ephrem’s Cathedral serves Vespers only during the Fast of the Ninevites (A severe pre-Lenten fast observed by the Syriacs, Copts and Assyrians, based on the book of Jonah and the historical ethnic connection between Syriac Christianity and Nineveh, which is its remaining heartland in Iraq, or at least it was before ISIL), Holy Week, and the Exaltation of the Cross on September 14.

    I would also lament that to the extent the churches I praised in the preceding paragraph still serve the Divine Office, they are generally spending less time and energy on it and have fewer attendees than a typical Church of England parish as recently as the early 20th century. If I were to list the four most important priorities for Anglicanism, in my opinion, required in order to halt the shrinking of the provinces of the “Global North”, it would be firstly to adopt the attitude of the Archbishop of Sydney towards homosexuality and other forms of perversion, and insist people live in monogamous holy matrimony or holy celibacy, with unrepentent adulterers, fornicators and sodomites refused communion as “notorious evil livers”, and likewise firm up against abortion and doctor assisted homicide, with abortionists and pro-death activists also refused communion, secondly, to restore an exclusively male priesthood, and differentiating between the liturgical functions of a deaconess and a deacon (As in the early church, these were different offices), while encouraging the wives of married priests to lead the women of the parish*** and be a mother to the congregation. in the tradition of the Presbyteras of the Eastern churches, thirdly, to restore decent and orderly worship by banning CCM and permitting only said services, plainsong, and the traditional forms of church music in each province (ideally, the most innovative composer they might hear would be Benjamin Britten, whose setting of the Divine Office does annoy me; Herbert Howells, whose music was equally innovative, cultivated a much more prayerful atmosphere, especially in his settings for choral evensong; but let us also hear Byrd, Tallis, Dyson, Noble, Stanford, Bairstow, Gibbons, and other great composers of Anglican music), and lastly, to restore the Divine Office to at least a weekly service, in every parish.

    *Prime and Compline became central to the daily prayer of the Anglican church in Melanesia, as reflected in the 1938 Melanesian BCP, due to the long hours the people worked at agriculture during that era. The services used were basically those from the 1928 Deposited Book.

    **Thoyizoor, the popular nickname for the Malankara Independent Syrian Church, is in full communion with the Mar Thoma Syrian Church, a member of the Anglican Communion, and thus is unique in that it is the only Orthodox church to be in communion with a member of the Anglican communion.

    *** If a parish lacks a functioning organ, the use of a piano should be strongly discouraged, and a capella singing encouraged, which is the practice at St. Sepulchre in the City of London during their celebrated Monday night choral evensong; a capella singing was also held in high regard by most of the Reformers, and is the norm in most of the Eastern churches. Anglican services are enriched by a genuine pipe organ, but pianos, synthesizers, and the massively overpriced “hybrid organs” which are a synthesizer surrounded by a set of large pipes, which act as a glorified subwoofer, do not enrich the service, and the sadly the use of a Hammond organ does not quite work, because the intervals produced by the tone wheel are not the same as the intervals between the notes in both the standard A = 440 Hz tuning, and the regional tuning that preceded it, such as that of the Bachorgel in Leipzig; the loss of regional tuning is bad enough, but when the intervals change, it will ruin the music of many composers; conversely, jazz music composed on the Hammond organ would break on a traditional pipe organ or a digital synthesizer.
     
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  13. Dave Kemp

    Dave Kemp Member Anglican

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    That would be great thank you.
     
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  14. Dave Kemp

    Dave Kemp Member Anglican

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  15. PDL

    PDL Active Member Anglican

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    We used to be in a parish in which Mattins and Evensong were offered daily. We haven't moved house but the parish has gone. We were a very traditional and conservative Anglo-Catholic parish. We had a wonderful parish priest. He wasn't just about the ritual and ceremonial but was very involved in pastoral work in the parish. He eventually retired as he had to do. It was sad to lose him but to be fair he ought to have retired before he did on health grounds. However, he soldiered on because he knew what his retirement meant. In fact he was quite distraught about it. As he and we knew the bishop (liberal buffoon he is) swept in with a pastoral scheme and closed down our parish. We couldn't raise the money to pay our full share to the diocese and the bean counters couldn't have that! We were merged with two other parishes. Although our parish church was declared redundant even though a listed building the other two were kept open but, of course, they were nice, anything goes, liberal parishes.

    Now we go to a parish we have to travel to which although Anglo-Catholic (the reason we go) is stuck in a time warp. It is like a Roman Catholic parish in the 1970s that had embraced all the supposed liturgical changes allegedly mandated by Vatican II. The only liturgy offered at all is Mass. I don't recall the office ever being recited there. I hope, but can't be certain, the priest fulfils his obligation to recite the Office.

    I wouldn't want to see parish clergy obliged to say the Office daily in the parish church, at least not both Mattins and Evensong. I know many clergy are good men and committed to their work which takes up many hours of their day. I think it would be unfair on them to oblige them to say their office in the parish church at a fixed time. But, we don't need the clergy for the Office. A lay group could be set up in a parish to recite the Office. I know in mine such an idea wouldn't get past first base. Most people I know at the church we attend feel its an imposition on their precious time to have to come to church once a week.

    I cannot quite agree about making Mattins the principal liturgy on a Sunday but would love to see Choral Mattins in addition the Mass.

    The problem with frequent reception of Communion is many people nowadays seem to equate attending Mass with being equal to must take Holy Communion. This is where there needs to be catechesis. Going to Mass doesn't mean you need to receive Communion. There are times I've stayed in the pew knowing myself to be not properly disposed to receive Communion. Of course, people can't mind their own business and have to wonder why. On most of the occasions I've remained in the pew my wife has told me women have come up to her to ask what was wrong with me, was I ill or something. Her way of shutting them up is to tell them if they were to ask me I might tell them. They never do.

    The other thing about receiving Communion in the Anglican Church is that there is no real practice of going to confession. Many Anglicans think it an entirely Catholic practice if you mention it. But, the exhortations to which you refer tell people to go to their priest for confession. Unfortunately, it is not widely practised in the Anglican Church. In the parish we attend confessions are only available by appointment. At our last parish there were set times every week to go to confession and father encouraged it. I may be entirely wrong but I doubt whether even an eighth of the people we see at Mass each week and who take Communion ever go to confession
     
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