What We Need in a New Prayer Book

Recently I posted on Why We Need a New Book of Common Prayer in the Canadian Church. In this post I want to directly go over what I feel we need in a New Prayer Book.

Calendar

This one is obvious as the Church needs to know it’s own Feasts. My own recommendation that the new Calendar be based primarily on the that of the Book of Alternative Services, however, some of the feasts days should be moved back to the more traditional days while allowing alternate days (ex. St. Stephen’s Day).

Daily Office

The new Prayer Book would need order of services for Morning, Mid-day, and Evening Prayer with Compline. Nominally there should be one each using traditional English and one in Contemporary English. While conforming to a traditional structure the rubrics should allow for some creative deviation (with the permission of the Ordinary). The optional Canticles should be allowed for these services, however, the suggested Canticles for these services should be the traditional ones either rendered in traditional or contemporary English. The Great Litany should be included in either contemporary English or both.

Holy Baptism

Services for Holy Baptism, either as a separate service or part of Holy Communion as has been the norm in contemporary liturgies. If included in a Communion service it should be in contempoary English but should be compatible with being part of any Holy Communion service. The separate service should be modeled on the traditional services.

Holy Communion

Nominally, two services: one in traditional English and the other in contemporary. While both services should allow for a number of Eucharistic Prayers they should not be too numerous (no more than say 7). Both services should follow a contemporary order (like the services of the 1979 American BCP).

Allowances must also be made for the use of Reserve Sacrament.

Reconciliation/Confession

We’re sinn(ers. Sometimes we need to do this in private with a Priest. If you don’t think so then get over it.

Marriage

We need to marry people. Er… I’m not even going to get into the Marriage of Same-sex couples or blessings or structure.

Ministries to the Sick and Dying

The Church requires services for the laying on of hands of the Sick and the Rites for those at the time of their Death.

Funerals

People die. I know, shocking news. We need to grieve for their loss, remind the faithful of the promise of Everlasting life through our Lord Jesus Christ, and then bury their Body or cremate and intern it.

Services for traditional and contemporary English should be included, however, due to the modern world said services will have to allow for a number of options in order to facilitate  the needs of any one particular family or situation.

Thanksgiving after Childbirth

Ah, yes, the good old Churching of Women. I don’t know of anyone that has used this service at all in the last 25 years, however, a contemporary English service should be included.

Episcopal Offices

As Anglicans we have Bishops who are responsible for certain Rites of the Church that only they can preform, namely:

  • Confirmation – contemporary English version that should integrated into Holy Communion service with Baptism, and a traditional English version used as has been done previously.
  • Blessing of Oil/Chrism – contemporary English version.
  • Ordinations – I would urge a contemporary English version while the Rites use strong language to support and maintain Anglican Theology regarding Holy Orders.

Special Services

Throughout the Church year they comes a time when any one of the previously mentioned services needs to be altered. This should include, but be limited to:

  • Lighting of Advent Wreaths
  • Ash Wednesday,
  • Palm Sunday,
  • Maundy Thursday,
  • Good Friday,
  • Easter Vigil

Propers and Lectionaries

The system of the Church year as introduced with the 1985 BAS should be maintained, along with use of the Revised Common Lectionary, or a modification to it. Collects should be available in both contemporary and traditional English.

Conversely, Collects for optional observances of the Pre-Lenten Season should be made available for those Parishes wishing to observe that season.

The use of commemorating the Collect for the First Sunday of Advent for the Season of Advent and the Collect for Ash Wednesday for the Season of Lent should be highly encouraged, but not not required.

Psalter

A contemporary English Psalter should be included, however, use of a traditional Psalter should be allowed. Conversely, the “truncated” Psalter from the 1962 BCP should not be used as it left out a number of Psalm verses and one whole Psalm.

Historical Documents

The Solemn Declaration of 1893, the Athanasian Creed, the Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion, among others, should be included

Supplemental Liturgies

Although not directly in the New Prayer Book a series of Supplementary Prayer Books, such as a Book for services in traditional language and form similar to that of our 1962 Book of Common Prayer with its system of Collects and Lessons, should be published.

Closing

If you have any comments or remarks please feel free to comment on this blog posting or to send an email to me via info@mapleanglican.com.

In Christ,

MA~

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