Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Original Preface to the Book of Common Prayer

I have gotten some interesting feedback for idea topics from my query yesterday on what to do for a new series of blog entries, now that I have finished my 39 Articles in 39 days series. A commentary on the "Tracts for the Times" which spawned the Tractarian movement in the early 1800's was suggested on Facebook. Other suggestions were to compare and contrast the Canons of the Mass between the BCP and the Novus Ordo. Both of those ideas interested me, but both are some heavier duty academic lifting that I do not have time to engage in at the moment. 

My wife also suggested doing a Saint of the Week commentary, which I may do in addition to a longer series.  I have to figure out what saint to pick from. I, personally, refuse to use that new Holy Women, Holy Men monstrosity (or as I refer to it, Holy Women, Holy Weirdos) that General Convention is trying to foist on us because it is just any and every "saint" that someone somewhere wanted to add to the calendar. So, instead of actually discerning canonization on an individual basis, we simply canonize buckshot. I just refuse to use it because it is not a canonization process that is community based. What left the worst taste in my mouth about it was the way it was presented in the extremely emotive "You have to accept it all because we've put so much effort into it, you don't want to hurt our feelings by rejecting it!" The whole thing has just rubbed me the wrong way. 

So, that leaves either the major feasts in the BCP, most of whom are New Testament figures, or the older Lesser Feasts and Fasts (which in itself has some problems because there are, in fact, no lesser fasts in the book) or and even older Anglican saint calendars. There is an interesting list in the Book of Common Worship series from the Church of England that is very similar to Lesser Feasts and Fasts but has more local saints known only in England and Ireland in it. That might be a possibility. Or, I can just pick a saint either at random or from the Catholic calendar (they have one almost every day). I can call it the "Dealer's Choice Saint of the Week." 

For a somewhat longer series (not nearly the 39 article commentary behemoth that I have just finished), someone suggested a commentary on the Original Preface for the original 1549 Book of Common Prayer. That interests me because it is an interesting salvo into the English Reformation and liturgical reform. I will start a short series on that this week. 

So, read up on it. The original version can be found here. If the old style language and spelling is too much for you to decipher, there is a modernized version of in the "Historical Articles" section of the 1979 American Book of Common Prayer. You can access that on www.bcponline.org. Simply click on the "Historical Documents of the Church" link in the left column (it is the 14th one from the top, left) then scroll down a few pages past the Creed of Athanasius. 

No comments: