Monday, January 22, 2007

Liturgists Take Note

The Anglican Mission in America has published a trial-use Order for Holy Communion based on the 1662 Book of Common Prayer, which can be found here.

For those of you who are interested, an interesting and lively discussion on the pros and cons of the rite is taking place at Stand Firm in Faith.

12 comments:

Mike the Geek said...

When I looked at the eucharistic service, I saw there was nothing that could even remotely be considered an epiclesis. Is this from the 1662, or ist it specific to AMiA?

Ohio Anglican said...

I have read it. Unlike the apostates who wrote the 1979 so-called "BCP", they didn't seem tp attempt to change the Anglican faith. It mostly just updated old-English pronouns to modern ones, etc. Its just a shame if they wanted an edition of the BCP with updated pronouns, that they didn't base it on the orginal 1549, or the 1928. Both are better editions of the BCP than the 1662. Personally, I still like the 1928 better. The 1549 is my favorite. I just don't buy the argument that modern day Americans are too stupid to understand what "thee", "thou", "thine", "thy", and words like "beseech" mean. The language of the 1549/1928 BCP is such lovely church language and prose that is almost poetic to the ear. As a former teacher, I wish all my students were raised Anglican (for many reasons) because they would have a much-improved vocabulary. My physician always proudly relates that as an Episcopalian raised with the 1928 BCP, she was the only kid in her elementary school class that knew what "propitiation" meant.

D Bunker said...

What a piece of hatchet work!!! I much prefer the US 1979 Rite One to this. It keeps all of the liturgical awkwardness and misconceptions of the 1662 whilst robbing it of its Cranmerian sentence. It is too bad no one bothered to consult Frere's Anaphora or T. A. Lacey's Liturgical Interpolations for some suggestions as to a better arrangement of the prayers. Amongst issues I take with it: the placement of the Prayer of Humble Access removed from the post Canon preparation for receiving the sacrament; removal of the Lord's Prayer until after the distribution (thus making the prayer for our daily bread anachronistic in a sense); a truncation of the Prayer of Consecration with what looks like the only--and weak at that--epiclesis stuck in an optional part of the prayer; the first of the prayers offered as a substitution for the Thanksgiving is unsuitably penitential for that portion of the service and would be better placed nearer the Prayer of Humble Access; the General Confession lacks strength; Proper Prefaces seem to have disappeared; the Kyrie which would ordinarily be used in the case of the Summary of the Law disappears; and, the use of the RSV of the scriptures seems a complete abandonment of that triumph of the English Reformation, the Authorised Version.

In what way is this better than the 1662? Answer me this.

Ohio Anglican said...

For those who don't like the order of the service: ie. Lord's Prayer after receiving, etc., thats the way it is in the 1662 BCP. This is why I think they shold have used the 1549 or the 1928 ifthey wished to update the pronouns. It is no btter than the 1662. Its just the 1662 loosing the beautiful prose of Cranmer.

D Bunker said...

It makes one much happier to have joined the Continuum fold. The discussion on Stand Firm in Faith (or whatever it is) hints at just how divisive this may prove for the AMiA. For a more catholic, logical arrangement of the 1662 I can't see why Dr. Toon didn't use the Approved Book of 1928 (except the very fact that it was the product of catholic thought would preclude his adoption of it as a model). Further, it seems insidious that Dr. Toon (given his role in the Prayer Book Society) should be involved in something which threatens the very traditional formularies he professes to cherish.

At least the 1928 Approved Book of the English Convocations might pass muster with the African bishops.

Besides, the Anglican communion ran off the rails when Common Prayer ceased to be that. No matter where one worshipped in the world the language was familiar and the organisation very similar--similar enough to know that one was home. English was our lingua franca; the Gregorian Latin canon, Rome's. Now, the babble is no so much an abandonment of English but of our liturgical English and our Cranmerian/Cosin-ian prayers and collects.

Ohio Anglican said...

saobrhI just hope that we continuuers always maintain and support the 1928 BCP. This is the second proof of what happens when you start trying to make changes (the first proof was 1979 "BCP"). As C.S. Lewis said, some people get the "liturgical fidgits" and just have to do change for the sake of change!!!! The end result is usually not an improvement, and frequently can be dangerous. The use of the Missal as a supplement is more change than I feel is needed, but at least it leaves the beautiful words on Cranmer in the BCP alone and just adds to them.

poetreader said...

I'm not essentially opposed to the use of modern English, but when I look at the state of the language today, and of the discourse it supports, I feel that now is most certainly not the time for such a project. There is very little of beauty, stateliness, or precision to be found in contemporary writing (nor is there a great deal of desire for any of it), and there is an intense sloppiness of reasoning dominant in contemporary theology and philosophy that leaves me acutely dissatisfied with most of what I read, even when I am in agreement with the author's conclusions. We are far safer to continue with the Tudor English of our liturgy and of our Scripture, explaining as need be, than to subject it to the erosion of this modern period.

ed

Salome said...

Every time there is an updating of the translation of the liturgy, a whole musical tradition gets thrown out. The fashion in the C of E and the Anglican Church of Australia has, in recent decades, been to update every 20 years. The result is that, even if there were composers with the talent and inclination to compose really great music for the liturgy, the inclination is crushed by the knowledge that the work will be discarded in only a couple of decades. For disposable liturgy, you get disposable music. Any composer with serious intent is better off setting Latin liturgical texts for the concert hall. Not only are the original texts of Cranmer, Coverdale et al absolutely magnificent in their beauty and rhythm and memorableness, but they gave rise to the glories of Gibbons, Tomkins, Purcell et al. Liturgical music is not, and should not be, a trivial matter. It is in integral and necessary part of worship. This alone is good reason for not tampering. Sorry to seem like a shallow aesthete, but after many years of trying all sorts of things, I know what's helpful, and what feeds me.

D Bunker said...

Excellent point, Salome. We are using the Merbecke right now as it is a common denominator musically for our little ACC mission group just as it would have been for any traditional Anglican group after say 1550!!! And, certainly, we have so many other wonderful gems to choose from--how long has it been since you've heard the Third Communion Service--it's sublime but completely forgotten by TEC. Music is not a trivial element in didactics and catchesis--associations of tunes with words leads to a different kind of learning and different storage area of the brain. We see people who have had strokes and who can no longer speak able to sing with great fluency and recall words set to music and learn words set to music. No, one must be vigilant to preserve our musical heritage and to ensure orthodoxy in the texts. You never know when they might just pop out!!

Salome said...

Strange to relate, d bunker, but quite a lot of work on aphasia (not being able to speak) and music was done in the 1890s. They concluded at the time that different parts of the brain must be responsible for music and language. It would appear that words attached to music can get shifted from the language part to the music part, and I say that's no bad thing, as long as it makes them memorable.

Methinks I have strayed from the topic like a lost sheep. Oops.

Lee Poteet said...

I am sure that AMiA chose 1662 because it is still in use in Africa and they, being 'Evangelicals', see it as a low church and evangelical liturgy. I am sure that this is also the reason that Dr Toon left out those rubrics which demonstrate that the framers of that liturgy intended it to be both 'high church and Catholic'
The place of the Pater Noster to which D Bunker objects is where it was in the Roman liturgy before Gregory the Great who moved it to right after the canon. AS I much prefer St Gregory's place to the old Roman one I agree with D Bunker here.
Somewhere I have seen an assertion that the use of the 1928 liturgy or its equivalent is worth an additional 100 points on the SATs. I can much believe it just as I am sure that the use of the ancient Anglican music is also great for stimulating the brain. It never in the long run pays to dumb down anything as those whose brains you despise soon figure it out and will in this case also. Consequently as much as I like Dr Toon and admire his scholarship, I think this was an unwise step for him to take. As for AMiA it is one further proof as far as I am concerned that the letter actually represent Anglicanism Missing in the Americas.

Laurence K Wells said...

Peter Toon has been peddling the notion of rewriting the Prayer Book liturgy into "contemporary" language for over a decade. He has used the PBS to publish a similar paraphrase of the 1928 Eucharistic liturgy. This is a shameful perversion of the original intentions of the Society for the Preservation of the Book of Common Prayer, as the organization was originally known.