Friday, March 25, 2011

Wesley on Common Prayer


"I believe there is no Liturgy in the world, either in ancient or modern language, which breathes more of a solid, scriptural, rational piety than the Common Prayer of the Church of England."
-John Wesley (H/T: Northern Plains Anglicans)

10 comments:

Brit NorAm Freedom said...

Excellent comment on the Prayer Book by Anglican Charles Wesley. Thanks for sharing it with us.

R. H. said...

Sorry, in my comment above I meant John Wesley. They both were C. of E. (Church of England - Anglican Christians)

Anonymous said...

So devout, in fact, they founded Methodism. Wait...

Kelso said...

Of course now they (like me) would say: "The 1979 BCP is a disgrace and a charade." Not an ounce of poetry in it. Rise up O 1928!

R. H. said...

I totally agree with you Kelso! It's really a book of "Alternative Services" as other Provinces in the Anglican Communion acknowledge. At least that's an honest description of the revised and re-written book. It's definitely NOT "Common Prayer" any more in those parts of the Communion that use it. See the Prayer Book Society's website for more info. on this.

Kelso said...

Since many Episcopalians today don't know what they are missing, let me share the website where I listen to Morning and Evening Prayer every day. It said by a strong-voiced priest and the congregational responses are sung by a wonderful soprano. (Sometimes the tunes are wonderful and familiar; sometimes obscure and awful, but the tunes change regularly.) It's a wonderful site that shows what we have lost in our services.
http://www.cradleofprayer.org/free-daily-prayer-download.html

Matt Perkins said...

Thanks for the comments everyone.

Kelso and R.H., I suspect you are correct about 1979 vs. other prayer books. Hopefully I will get more exposure to 1928 or earlier versions someday but so far the parishes I've worshipped in have used mostly 1979 and some of the stuff from that book does rub me the wrong way. I really appreciate your comments and I'll check out that website you suggested Kelso.

Brit NorAm Freedom said...

See article at Episcopalians for Traditional Faith web site for more on the Prayer Book.

http://etf1928.org

There were many changes made to de-emphasise sin (for instance the original BCP makes it clear that we willfully sinned against God, whilst the modern re-written book says things like: "when we fell into sin" (as though by accident). Urban T. Holmes and Marion Hatchett of the Seminary at the University of the South (Sewanee, Tenn.) had a lot to do with this Prayer Book revision. They were theological liberals. In the guise of simply updating the text to make it more understandable to the people, they in fact changed much of the Reformed and Catholic doctrine that the Church had believed since the English Reformation. The American 1979 Book broke with all previous editions going back to the original one by Archbishop Cranmer.

R. H. said...

Here is one last link that may interest you. It's to the Reformed Episcopal Church Prayer Book, with short introduction.

http://homepage.mac.com/klock/lwec/bcp.htm

This is from the Living Word Episcopal Church in Courtney, British Columbia, Canada.

I don't think there is only one "perfect" Prayer Book. But it is a guide for our worship of God and therefore important. I think it profitable to compare and contrast the different versions, but not let it totally define our Anglican identity. That said, I like the Anglican Mission in the Americas P.B. edited by the Rev. Dr. Peter Toon and published by the American Prayer Book Society. And I like the one available at the above link.

Kelso said...

You know I really used to admire Dr Toon but I turned against him when he crossed over to the Federation side by writing that contemporary prayer book.

People our age think that the young want things "contemporary". No, young people want the Supernatural: look at the popularity of vampire series, and wizards, and other fictional beings.

By using the superlative poetry of the 1928 BCP we can give them access to the GENUINE Supernatural.

When you partake of a 1928 service, the gateway between earth and the supernatural world immune to the laws of earthy physics draws very close in the sanctuary.