Which Book of Common Prayer to buy

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

  1. Fr. Brench

    Fr. Brench Active Member Anglican

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    For what it's worth, the ACNA's version of the [Revised] Common Lectionary is an improvement on the previous RCL-based lectionaries. It restores the longer version of the Maundy Thursday epistle you mention, as well as the "unpalatable" section of Romans 1 that our culture would prefer to go away.

    Personally, I'd prefer to be using the classical prayer book Sunday lectionary, with all the benefits therein, but at least what I'm stuck with is better than the more blatantly modernist predecessors.
     
  2. Liturgyworks

    Liturgyworks Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Indeed, the 2019 BCP is very good.

    That said I feel a great BCP is needed for worldwide use, one which preserves, at least as an option, the traditional language, one which is offered in a visually elegant Standard Edition, like the 1928 BCP, one which features the traditional lectionary of the Anglican Rite, and one which is in the public domain, like the Episcopalian BCP editions, so as to facilitate its modification by different groups of varying levels of churchmanship and by churches of different nationality, with appropriate dialect, and the correct prayers for the relevant nobility or civil authority.

    Hopefully the licensing on the 2019 BCP will permit it to be used as the basis for contemporary language services or a contemporary language edition.

    I also personally feel very strongly that cause exists to add rubrics to the Ordinal precluding the ordination of women to the priesthood and episcopate, and perhaps a separate office altogether, as has been done in the past, for the ordination of deaconesses (also, services for making a subdeacon and a reader and consecrating a parish, an altar, and so on, as well as a host of blessings would be rather useful; these exist; I am leaning towards being an advocate that these “Euchologion-type” services, so as to avoid exiling them to A Book of Occasional Services, be included in a second volume, with other services found in the BCP; I have not generally been a fan of the two volume BCP editions published thus far, but I am not entirely convinced that a printed physical Book of Common Prayer will be needed much longer; it seems to me a hymnal, and a rather vast BCP, might exist together in eBook format and as an app; I also see the parish of the future using inexpensive tablets in the pews rather than printed books.
     
  3. Symphorian

    Symphorian Well-Known Member

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    I have one of those Euchologion type books which claims to be Anglican. Among the services that you mention it also includes a Form of Degredation from Holy Orders, the Reconciliation of a Profaned Font and the Benediction of a Lifeboat. (Plus many other useful services blatantly missing from Common Worship 2000! )

    I'm going to suggest to our Rector that we use the 'Office for Church Decorators' just before Christmas in the hope that it helps minimise the glittery tat and multitude of plastic candles that we often end up with.

    Interesting thought about the tablets for liturgies/hymnals. Recently we had a visiting Priest who conducted a wedding largely from his iPad. I've just started using mine at the organ for hymn tunes that are either absent from our book or have terrible harmonisations.
     
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  4. Liturgyworks

    Liturgyworks Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Note that the Book of Offices was an official adjunct to the 1892 and 1928 American editions of the Book of Common Prayer, and the Book of Occasional Services is an official adjunct to the 1979 BCP (although, whereas its predecessors were illustrious and filled with beauty, the new 2018 Book of Occasional Services is a realm of liturgical evil, home to the perversions such as homosexual marriage and other vile practices which we must pray for the abolition thereof.

    However, the Book of Offices were quite good, especially the 1914 edition, from which several American services and versions of services which were to become standards and which were later incorporated, albeit in a damaged form, in the 1979 BCP, originated, most notably the American form of Compline (which is of course similar to Compline as featured in the 1928 Deposited Book, the 1938 Melanesian Book, and the 1962 Canadian book, but is the oldest of these services to be formally set to paper, as far as I am aware, and represents a template for how the Anglican Rite would import Compline from the Divine Office of the Roman Rite in a classically Cranmerian way, and do so without neccessarily bifurcating or detracting from Evensong). You can read it, and the other American Books of Offices, here: http://justus.anglican.org/resources/bcp/bcp.htm

    In like manner, the Anglican Church of Canada composed a book of pastoral needs, as a supplement to the 1662 BCP as early as 1911, before the first 1918 Canadian BCP (and indeed, the current 1962 BCP contains a fair number of supplemental pastoral services). Here is a link to the 1911 book:
    http://justus.anglican.org/resources/bcp/Canada/services&prayers.html

    There has never been an official Euchologion-type book in the Church of England to my knowledge, so the consecration of churches and so on lacks standardization, although there are influential liturgies authored by the likes of Lancelot Andrewes, and of course, some politically correct offices in the ASB and Common Worship. As far as I am aware, the only major liturgical service in the Church of England not contained in the BCP, but nonetheless done in a relatively standard way over the centuries, is the Coronation service.

    That said, this type of service book is something of a standard in the Church; the Roman Rite has the Ritual and Pontifical, the Orthodox Churches, the Book of Needs (sometimes called the Euchologion, except in the Coptic Rite where this refers to the book containing the main Eucharistic liturgies, which would be called a Liturgikon elsewhere), the Lutheran churches have a book called the Agenda, and indeed the 1965 Methodist Book of Worship consists primarily of collects and blessings for a vast array of pastoral occasions; indeed it has everything from a Prayer for Nuclear Power and a Prayer for the Space Age to the Dedication of the Cornerstone of a University (which doubtless proved useful given the vast array of reasonably good universities the UMC opened across the United States, which are too numerous to even attempt to iterate over; I think only the Roman Catholics have a greater number). And of course there are inevitably small pocket-sized books published by nearly every church for their clergy to carry with them, for emergency use, with the kind of essential prayers you might need to console a family at a hospital whose loved one is in critical condition.

    I can think of some retired Episcopalian bishops who could have benefitted from that office early in their career.

    This reminds me of the East Syriac Rite, where a large number of liturgical mishaps can cause the altar to become deconsecrated, requiring the priest to send for the bishop. For example, if a priest in the Assyrian Church of the East should have the misfortune to have their shoe fall off in the altar, and their bare foot touch the consecrated floor, even if they are performing maintenance work in the altar or cleaning it, in between services, or if they should inadvertently pour the Oil of Healing (consecrated olive oil) into the Chalice and not notice their mistake before saying the Anaphora, this has the effect of desecrating the altar.

    Fortunately, given the dangers that exist in Iraq and Iran and other areas where one finds Assyrian parishes in the Middle East, which can delay the arrival of a bishop, and of particular convenience a century ago, before reliable transportation existed, yet after the genocide and the relocation of the Patriarchate to Chicago, when Assyrian bishops were in short supply, the Assyrian liturgy, like other Eastern liturgies, can be served on its corporal (or the equivalent thereof, in this case, a wooden tablet), in the absence of a consecrated altar, and these corporals (wooden tablets in the Syriac and Coptic churches, a replica of the Ark of the Covenant in the Ethiopian church, and in the Byzantine church a cloth called an Antimension with an icon of our Lord, with a relic sewn into the fabric) are sometimes issued to priests as well as to a parish, in order to allow a priest to serve missions or in multiple parishes which lack their own corporal.

    They can have other functions as well, for example, the Byzantine antimension acts as a license issued by the currently reigning bishop that authorizes a given parish in his diocese to celebrate the Eucharist. It is always inspected by the bishop during hierarchical divine liturgies; it is the property of the bishop and must be surrendered at his direction, and is replaced when there is a new bishop. The lack of an antimension is a canonical impediment to the celebration of the Eucharist.

    Perhaps some device equivalent to this might well be useful in traditional Anglicanism as a means of revoking the ability of rogue parishes or clergy, for example, if any parish in a traditional diocese began to worship in the style of the infamous St. Gregory of Nyssa Episcopal Church in San Francisco...

    This sounds like a very good prayerbook @Symphorian - could you link me to it (either the text if it is online, or a page where I might purchase it, or alternately provide the name, editor, and so on, so I can track it down)?

    This sounds like a very good idea. I particularly object to tacky decorations of the altar. Perhaps you might ask the rector to consider consecrating the decorators for good measure. Also, the book A Parson’s Handbook by Rev. Percy Dearmer is filled with tasteful suggestions for the proper decoration and furnishing of Anglican parishes. There are some other books along this line; there is a good book regarding the furnish of altars in the United Methodist Church, which commonly has Altar Guilds (as the laity are allowed to touch the altar, whereas in the Eastern and Oriental rites, and I believe the old Latin rites, this privilege tends to be restricted to subdeacons or deacons and higher orders, with further restrictions on who can even step into the consecrated apse), and these altars, in older parishes, tend to be identical to traditional Anglican altars (of the 19th century high-church variety, at any rate)

    The larger iPad Pro and less expensive Android and Windows products, running software like Finale, might be of particular use to the organist.

    Recently at Target I saw Amazon Fire tablets, of a similar size and display quality to an iPad Mini, for $80. The use of such tablets, or for that matter, older refurbished iPads purchased in bulk, seems to me a reasonable replacement for daylight services.

    The one area where backlit tablets do pose a liturgical problem is at nighttime liturgies; in the Orthodox church, for example, the midnight services on Christmas Eve and Pascha (Paschal Nocturns followed by the Divine Liturgy) often begin in very dimly lit settings, and monasteries routinely serve matins and the Divine Liturgy at midnight, in a dimly lit church illuminated mainly by the subtle reflection of vigil lamps on the icons; these services are enriched by the interplay between light and darkness, and the clergy rely on candles and to a lesser extent, oil lamps to read the texts. But there is “ePaper”, for example, the older style monochrome Kindles, which could work very well in such a setting.
     
  5. Oliver Sanderson

    Oliver Sanderson Member

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    I can see no argument which would favour anything other than the 1662 Prayer Book (much like the Authorised Bible). The modern attempts are cheap imitations written in the most flat English possible; i’m impressed people can actually use them.
     
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  6. Symphorian

    Symphorian Well-Known Member

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    'The Priest's Prayer Book with A Brief Pontifical'

    I have a printed copy from 1890 but there's on online version including downloads at the following site:

    https://archive.org/details/priestsprayerboo00littuoft
     
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  7. Liturgyworks

    Liturgyworks Well-Known Member Anglican

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    By the way, can anyone link me to a particularly good PDF of the 1662 BCP? One with modern spelling and typography, and the current lectionary. It strikes me as strange that I can download a faithful reproduction of the exquisite Standard Book of the 1928 BCP, whereas I cannot download even a normal 1662 BCP in acceptable PDF graphics.
     
  8. Dave Kemp

    Dave Kemp Member Anglican

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    Fantastic, I use my pocket edition every day, I got it from Chichester cathedral in 1997.
     
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