Which Book of Common Prayer to buy

Discussion in 'Faith, Devotion & Formation' started by bwallac2335, Jul 29, 2019.

  1. Shane R

    Shane R Well-Known Member

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    Morning Prayer:
    1. Opening sentences of Scripture. You must read at least one of them and may read as many as you wish.
    2. The Call to Confession.
    3. The General Confession and Absolution. (Here, a layman would read the Collect for Trinity 23 rather than the absolution by the clergy.)
    4. The Our Father.
    5. A series of petitions and responses by the minister and congregation.
    6. Venite. (Psalm 95)
    7. The Psalms for the day.
    8. The First Lesson. After this you get a choice. Some canticle should be read but you can choose between Te Deum or Benedicite.
    9. The Second Lesson. Again, you have a choice of canticles: Benedictus or Jubilate Deo.
    10. Apostle's Creed. (There are certain days of the year where it is appropriate to substitute the Athanasian Creed.)
    11. A series of Petitions and responses, with the Our Father sandwiched in between.
    12. The three collects. The first is the Collect of the Day, which is the Collect of the past Sunday unless the day is a Holy Day. Then the Collects for Peace and for Grace.
    13. The closing prayers (5). This is where the Litany could be inserted. If the Litany is prayed, only the last two prayers need to be read: A Prayer of St. Crysostom and 2 Corinthians 13 (the Grace or Benediction).

    Evening Prayer follows the same format but is slightly shorter at the end and offers different canticles.
     
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  2. Shaun

    Shaun Member Anglican

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    Thank you so much Shane, I really appreciate, I feel a bit silly now as what you have outlined is exactly is in my book, I just couldn't piece it together for certain. Thank you for taking your time to instruct me. I have sat and gone through the process with my book in hand and now I know how to begin.

    Cheers.
     
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  3. Anglo-cracker

    Anglo-cracker Member Anglican

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    As to the readings, when I started using the BCP, I was ignorant of how to use the lectionary (nor had I found such wise council as you have had here) but I did find that the Psalter is divided up to be read through in 30 days, so that is what I did every month (imperfectly) for a year and a half. I was coming out of a very dark time in my life and the Psalms were an anchor for me, doubt if I would have made it without the BCP. That was God's Rx for my ailment.
     
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  4. Shaun

    Shaun Member Anglican

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    That is amazing to hear. I'm just beginning to grasp the Psalms a lot more, pausing to reflect and slowing down my readings instead of previously reading without much thinking being placed on what was being said.

    I look forward to my readings with the BCP. I started last night with the Evening Prayer and thanks to Shane's guide I was able to make it through. I messed up in a few places and had to go back and do sections I missed and had to check key dates. I almost missed the 30 day Psalter section but realised my error and actually read the day 30 Psalm at the end of evening prayer, I think this was out of place to do. Am I right in thinking too that on 31st we must read the Psalm for the 30th day, as there is no 31st?

    I saw a website which I have decided to use too, someone posted it, https://www.lectionarypage.net/ to help me not to miss key dates.
     
  5. Shane R

    Shane R Well-Known Member

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  6. Anglo-cracker

    Anglo-cracker Member Anglican

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    Remember that you are using this is for private devotions not public worship, so you are free to "mess it up".
    For the 31st day you might consult the lectionary for the Psalms appointed for that day or just pick your favorites. The 30 day
    Psalter is meant to be a helpful guide not a burden.
     
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  7. Shaun

    Shaun Member Anglican

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    Thank you. :)
     
  8. Liturgyworks

    Liturgyworks Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Since you are in England, you can also avail yourself of Choral Evensong on BBC Radio 3, and follow along with your BCP.
     
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  9. Liturgyworks

    Liturgyworks Well-Known Member Anglican

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    For my part I wish there were editions of the BCP available without the Ordinal, but with lectionary text for the Divine Office. One version I particularly like for its end-user friendliness is the Deposited Book-based Churchpeople’s Prayer Book published in Wales starting in 1935: http://justus.anglican.org/resources/bcp/Wales/Churchpeoples/index.html

    However, it isn’t precisely what I think would be ideal; I don’t mind a thick volume like the 1979 American book, but the material in the volume might well be optimized for routine congregational use.

    That said, there are catechetical benefits in including the Ordinal. So I am, conversely, glad that one can so easily obtain a BCP edition with the ordinal included.
     
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  10. Shane R

    Shane R Well-Known Member

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    Don't feel bad. I was talking to my Archbishop yesterday. We have a clergy retreat in October and he picked me to read Morning Prayer one day. He said he wanted to go over the service in advance. I asked if he was aiming to do something special with it. He said, No, I just want to make sure the sermon is in the right spot because the guys who led in the spring routinely messed it up. We're professionals and we don't always get it right!
     
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  11. Shaun

    Shaun Member Anglican

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    Thank you, I wasn't aware of this. I have just checked and I have missed today's episode, although it is available on catch up. Every Sunday and Wednesday it seems at 1500 and 1530 respectively, GMT. I have bookmarked the programme page :D
     
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  12. Symphorian

    Symphorian Well-Known Member

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    Amazon UK sell a Proposed 1928 including the lesson texts for MP and EP. (A little over 1000 pages.)

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1853119113/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_de.ADbA0PJH5P
     
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  13. Symphorian

    Symphorian Well-Known Member

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    As Shane said, even the professionals get it wrong sometimes! There have been one or two occasions recently at my parish church where the minister leading Mattins also forgot about the Psalm and had to slot it in at another point.

    I'm organist at my church, we don't have a choir but chant the BCP canticles congregationally. I lead them with a loud voice whilst I play because the congregation struggle with the pointing. Recently I was bellowing out the Venite 'O COME, LET US SING UNTO THE LORD...' and noticed no one else was singing. I then realised we'd already sung it and I should've moved on to the Te Deum!

    You might find the SPCK Lectionary useful alongside the BCP. You can find them a little cheaper on Amazon. It covers both Common Worship and the Book of Common Prayer.

    https://spckpublishing.co.uk/common-worship-lectionary-2019-pb
     
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  14. Liturgyworks

    Liturgyworks Well-Known Member Anglican

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    :o

    I ... must ... have ... that ... book!!!!!

    That’s literally the most awesome liturgical book I have seen since the Anthologion compiled by Fr. Seraphim Nasser (affectionately known as the Nasser Five Pounder). In terms of the pure value of what you are getting, the two books fall into the same category.

    I wasn’t even aware that the Deposited Book was in print, so that’s even better from my perspective. And of the group of BCP editions I consider my favorites (the 1928 American Book, the 1928 Deposited Book, the 1929 Scottish Book, the 1938 Melanesian Book, and the 1962 Canadian Book), the 1928 book is my favorite, at least if all supplemental offices are included.

    But even if that book lacks the optional services of Prime and Compline, it would still be extremely worth it. For that matter, any of the aforementioned BCP editions, or the 1662 BCP, with the proper scripture lessons for the Divine Office included, would be worth it.
     
  15. Liturgyworks

    Liturgyworks Well-Known Member Anglican

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    There is an amusing thread on the forum I admin about liturgical mishaps. If it makes you feel any better, at least you did not experience a thurible accident or a vestment fire. ;)
     
  16. Liturgyworks

    Liturgyworks Well-Known Member Anglican

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    You can also listen to some archives of it going back to the 1940s:
    https://m.youtube.com/channel/UCoJLDKYk8C9b0_32eNHJf0w
     
  17. Anglo-cracker

    Anglo-cracker Member Anglican

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    There is a two volume set of the Daily Office from the 1979. It contains all of the offices of both rites, collects, the Psalms and all of the readings from the daily office lectionary. It is two volumes, one for each year of the lectionary. Its what I primarily use.
     
  18. Liturgyworks

    Liturgyworks Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Interesting. So it has the Coverdale Psalter as well as the modernized one? Also, hopefully Psalm 137 is not truncated? (The great flaw with the 1962 Canadian BCP was yielding to the influence of liberal theologians ignorant of the concepts of Alexandrian exegesis vs. Antiochene literalism, and deleting the final verses on that Psalm, which do not mean what some people think they mean).
     
  19. Anglo-cracker

    Anglo-cracker Member Anglican

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    No, it has the modern Psalter, I would prefer Coverdale, but the 137th Psalm is complete, dashed heads and all.
    It is the '79 and it is what it is, I would rather use the '28, but for private devotions (and I am on the road 5 days a week) its too convenient to have the offices and the lectionary texts in one book.
    Now that I think of it, I'm not a big fan of the '79s lectionary. They tend to leave out the less agreeable scriptures like Romans 1:24 and following.
    Definately would not recomend for public worship.
     
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  20. Liturgyworks

    Liturgyworks Well-Known Member Anglican

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    The 3 year lectionary in the 79 BCP is horrible, but the Revised Common Lectionary the Episcopal Church recently switched to, and also the Novus Ordo lectionary on which the RCL and the 1979 lectionary are based, are even worse. For example, the 1979 lectionary at least gave pious TEC priests, of whom there are many, the option to read 1 Corinthians 11:27-30 on Holy Thursday. Not a mandate, and not the full 11:27-34 (the reading of 1 Corinthians 11 including the warning in verses 27-34 on Holy Thursday by the way is a tradition among all of the apostolic churches whose lectionaries I have examined in any detail). The only reason I can think of for why the Novus Ordo lectionary and the RCL omit it is somewhat sinister: a desire to encourage frequent communion and avoid any passage that might discourage people. There is real peer pressure reported in many congregations, Catholic and Protestant, for people to take the Eucharist and I have even experienced this personally when for obvious reasons of denomination I have not felt inclined to communicate.

    One of the best articles on the problems with the RCL in comparison win the truly excellent BCP lectionary is here: http://liturgy.ca/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/LitCan_Oct_05.pdf

    The BCP actually has one of of my four favorite lectionaries, the others being those of the Byzantine Rite (which like the BCP reads the entire New Testament in a year, although it does not manage the same with regards to the Old Testament; also like the BCP it features a separate lectio continua of the Psalter albeit on a weekly or biweekly schedule, based on the division of the Septuagint Psalter into Kathisma and Stases), the Gallican Rite based lectionaries (which include an Old Testament lection matched with the epistle and Gospel, like the RCL, only done correctly, and dating from antiquity), the East Syriac lectionary (which features two Old Testament lessons before the Epistle and the Gospel, starting with a Torah lesson and following this up usually with what would be the corresponding Haftarah according to the one year lectionary of the Babylonian Talmud; this system illustrates the connection between the Jewish synagogue service implemented by St. Ezra the Priest during the return from captivity under St. Nehemiah, and the Christian liturgy; specifically we can see how the Torah followed by a reading from one of the other books of the Old Testament (the Haftarah) corresponds to the New Testament reading of an Epistle followed by the Gospel lection, which is accounted with a reverence analogous to what one would expect for the Torah*), and this is quite beautiful.

    Of these four lectionaries however, the BCP manages to read the most scripture in one year, and does so splendidly.

    ~

    Of the other major lectionaries, I don’t know enough about the Armenian or Ethiopian to comment, but the Syriac Orthodox and Coptic lectionaries are very likeable; the Coptic lectionary features separate lessons from the Pauline and Catholic Epistles (those by St. Peter, Jude, James, and John), followed by one from the Book of Acts, and then the Gospel, at every liturgy; the Book of Revelation is read entirely on Holy Saturday (Easter Even). This I quite like. There is, for each Eucharist, in addition to the four New Testament lessons, a corresponding reading from the Synaxarium, which one might expect in a church that is particularly connected with martyrdom and indeed, the Coptic Calendar epoch is “The year of martyrs”, based on how many years have elapsed since the Diocletian persecution. There are also fixed Gospel lessons for each of the canonical hours of the Divine Office, which tend to be celebrated communally rather than read privately in the Roman manner. The Copts have a really good prayer book called the Agpeya, which features a set of Psalms for each hour along with a Gospel lesson and various prayers and litanies. There is alas not as much use of the Old Testament as I would prefer, it being used chiefly during Holy Week, but these services are exceedingly well attended.

    The Syriac Orthodox lectionary is also quite nice but the problem there tends to be an excess of abbreviation in the diaspora. However, I really love to an extreme extent the specific lessons it chooses for Great Lent, which correspond with the Signs from the Gospel of St. John.

    The Tridentine Roman lectionary tends to have lessons which were shortened over the years, resulting in it being a bit stylized and insubstantial at times, and one can tell how this combined with overuse of lessons from Patristic and hagiographic sources (which are important, but it is the sort of thing one expects to hear in the trapeza or refectory of a monastery rather than in the divine services themselves), led to frustration on the part of the reformers. Other aspects of the old Roman lectionary are quite good, however, in particular, the twelve prophetic Old Testament lessons it assigns for the Paschal Vigil Mass served traditionally on the morning of Holy Saturday, which correspond with the seventeen such lessons used in the Byzantine Rite for the Vesperal liturgy served at the same time. These lessons were traditionally read in both the Roman and the Byzantine Rite while catechumens were being baptized.

    ~

    Any of these one year lectionaries marks a huge improvement over the new Three Year Lectionary.

    There have also been attempts by people to “fix” the RCL; for example, a pastor (Lutheran I think) wrote an interesting book outlining a Year D designed chiefly to read those portions of scripture which the RCL misses. But Year D in its zeal to do that makes some truly bizarre choices which are even more in opposition to the tradition of the ancient Church than the three year lectionary.** Also I believe the rubrics of the BCP and newer Anglican liturgies would have the fortunate effect of requiring the priest to either use the old BCP lectionary or the RCL, in which case the choice should be obvious.

    *The Gospel Book, or Evangelion, is traditionally venerated in the Eastern churches to varying degrees, especially in the Syriac Orthodox church where the congregation kisses it as they depart. However, the current degree of veneration given to the Torah Scroll in Rabbinical synagogues strikes me as being excessive; I also object, with the Karaite Jews, to the Rabinnical interpretation regarding Torah that prompts the use of teffilin (phylacteries) and mezuzah.

    **The only three year lectionary remotely connected to Christianity one can find in history is that indicated in the Palestinian Talmud, and presumably at one time used by synagogues in the Holy Land, although this was until recently, disused, and also there is no evidence of any Christian church using a three year lectionary prior to the 1960s when we are confronted with what ultimately became the Novus Ordo lectionary and its Protestant-targeted derivative, which was subsequently revised to produce the Revised Common Lectionary that is so offensive from my perspective.

    ~

    Thus, I would urge anyone in the market for a BCP to buy one which has the traditional Anglican lectionary, which is extremely good. If one can afford it, that 1928 Deposited Book with the proper lessons for Mattins and Evensong looks amazing; I am ordering one.

    If you want a 1979 BCP, and there are things in the 1979 BCP worth having IMO, you can at present likely get one for fxree; an ACNA parish switching to the 2019 BCP or an Episcopal Church parish preparing for their new BCP, that does not heavily use the old one, or a TEC parish which is most unfortunately closing, all might be sources of a complementary or very inexpensive 1979 book.