Sunday, September 12, 2010

Practice of the Protestant Reformed Religion: The Daily Offices

With my call for a renewal of high chuchmanship in this blog, I felt it was necessary to include a brief tutorial on using the 1662 BCP in private worship, for I believe a renewal of the 1662 BCP is crucial to the renewal of vibrant, Protestant, High Churchmanship.

Where to Find a Copy?

The 1662 BCP is available in many formats. First, you can acquire it through, I have both an Everyman's and Oxford pew version which I bought online for under $20. You can also acquire it through the (English) Prayer Book Society for £8.30 or about $14. You can also access the 1662 BCP through the Church of England's website and through their Daily Prayer site. If you're tech savvy, you can also get it on your iPhone through the app, iPray BCP.

Introduction - Sentences, Exhortation, Confession, and Absolution

The 1662 BCP only provides penitential sentences to be said before the Exhortation at the beginning of daily services. Some authors have attempted to divide these into seasonal sentences but this goes against the rationale behind their use, however, Dearmer's list is as follows:

  • Repent ye in Advent
  • Hide Thy Face in Lent
  • The Sacrifice in Passiontide
  • I acknowledge on ferias

A simple selection will suffice. Then the Exhortation is read and the Confession said. The Exhortation can be omitted on weekdays. A priest will read the absolution as it is printed while a layman will read the Collect for the Twenty-First Sunday after Trinity, "Grant, we beseech Thee...," or skip the absolution and say the Lord's Prayer. The Our Father and Preces follow.

The Variations permitted by the Church of England to the 1662 BCP provide for seasonal sentences and a shorter Exhortation. I will not reproduce these here out of copyright violations (if there would be any). These can be found on the Church of England website and through Common Worship publications. Likewise, a shorter Exhortation is provided. Also, the introductory material can be ommitted on weekdays. I would encourage it to be used on Litany days, however.


The Venite is appointed to be said every day in the 1662 BCP, except on Easter Day when the Easter Anthems are appointed.

The Variations permit only saying verses 1-7, I cannot endorse this variation, for it severely diminishes the penitential aspect of the Office.


The Psalter is appointed to be read through each month in the 1662 BCP. Here is the monthly scheme provided:
  1. 1-5/6-8
  2. 9-11/12-14
  3. 15-17/18
  4. 19-21/22-23
  5. 24-26/27-29
  6. 30-31/32-34
  7. 35-36/37
  8. 38-40/41-43
  9. 44-46/47-49
  10. 50-52/53-55
  11. 56-58/59-61
  12. 62-64/65-67
  13. 68/69-70
  14. 71-72/73-74
  15. 75-77/78
  16. 79-81/82-85
  17. 86-88/89
  18. 90-92/93-94
  19. 95-97/98-101
  20. 102-103/104
  21. 105/106
  22. 107/108-109
  23. 110-113/114-115
  24. 116-118/119:1-32
  25. 119:33-72/119:73-104
  26. 119:105-144/119:145-176
  27. 120-125/126-131
  28. 132-135/136-138
  29. 139-141/142-143
  30. 144-146/147-150 (If a month has 31 days, repeat the psalms for Day 30)
If this scheme is too much, there is an alternative psalm schedule provided in the 1962 Canadian BCP and the 1928 American BCP.

The Gloria Patri is said after each Psalm and Canticle.


The First Lesson follows the reading of the Psalms. At this point, I will mention the issue of lectionary. There are two lectionaries provided in most versions of the 1662 BCP. The first is the 1871 Revised Lectionary. This follows the form of the original but has been slightly revised. It follows the calendrical year, therefore, for today you would look under the month of July to find the readings for the day. The other is the 1922 lectionary, which follows the church year, so you would look under "Third Sunday after Trinity" to find the reading for today. There are editions of the Book of Common Prayer bound with either lectionary and other publications which print the daily lessons.


The readings in the 1662 BCP are followed by the canticles. At Morning Prayer, the first reading is followed by the Te Deum Laudamus or the Benedicte, omnia opera. The 1549 BCP and Dearmer both recommend substituting the Benedicte for the Te Deum in Advent and Lent. At Evening Prayer, the first reading is followed by the Magnificat or Cantate Domino, it is not suitable to substitute the Magnificat unless it is included in the daily readings. The second lesson is followed by the Benedictus or Jubilate Deo at Morning Prayer and the Nunc Dimmittis or Deus Misereatur, likewise the Gospel Canticles should not be substituted unless they are included in the daily readings, however, the Jubilate Deo does replace the Benedictus on St. John the Baptist's Day.

To summarize the scheme it is as follows:

At Morning Prayer
  1. First Lesson
  2. Te Deum (or Benedicte in Advent/Lent)
  3. Second Lesson
  4. Benedictus (or Jubilate Deo when appropriate or St. John the Baptist's day)
At Evening Prayer
  1. First Lesson
  2. Magnificat (or Cantate Domino when appropriate)
  3. Second Lesson
  4. Nunc Dimmittis (or Deus misereatur when appropriate)


The Apostle's Creed, Lord's Prayer, and versicles follow. At this point, the American user must change the petition, "O Lord, save the Queen," for something else. I give two options below:

  1. O Lord, save the State.
  2. O Lord, defend our rulers.
One can write this in the Prayer Book or simply memorize it.

The Collect for the day and the two collects proper to Morning and Evening Prayer follow, they should not be omitted.

Final Prayers

Percy Dearmer spends some time in his famous book, The Parson's Handbook, discussing the end of the service. After the third collect, there is the rubric, "In quires and places where they sing, here followeth an Anthem," and then five prayers: A Prayer for the Queen's Majesty, A Prayer for the Royal Family, A Prayer for the Clergy and People, Prayer of St. Chrysostom, and the Grace. After some exploration of the rubrics, Dearmer concludes that the minimum to be said daily is as follows:

At Morning Prayer (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday)
1. Prayer for All Conditions
2. Prayer of St. Chrysostom
3. Grace

At Evening Prayer (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday)
1. General Thanksgiving
2. Prayer of St. Chrysostom
3. Grace

Dearmer concludes that the state prayers are only obligatory in "quires and places where they sing," i.e. cathedrals and collegiate churches. However, during Ember Weeks, the prayer provided for Ember Days is to be read every day. Likewise, those in the English political situation, during the session of Parliament, the prayer for Parliament should be read. Likewise, the other prayers provided may be used at any time in place of the others printed at the end of the daily services. Likewise, prayers proper to the American political situation should be used instead of the prayers provided. These can be found in any edition of the American BCP.

The Litany

The BCP directs that the Litany is to be read on Sundays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, after Morning Prayer. On Litany-days, the Office ends at the Third Collect and the Litany commences.

There have been many suggestions to Americans using the 1662 as to how to deal with the various petitions for the Queen in the Litany. Many have noted that the order of the petition in the 1928 Prayer Book equates a secular presidency with a Christian monarch. A laudable option is that of the 1892 BCP which prays for "all Christian Magistrates" then the Bishops and clergy. The Litany is not to be said at Evening Prayer.

Quicunque Vult

Another forgotten rubric is that of the Athanasian Creed which directs, "Upon these Feasts; Christmas Day, the Epiphany, Saint Matthias, Easter Day, Ascension Day, Whitsunday, Saint John Baptist, Saint James, Saint Bartholomew, Saint Matthew, Saint Simon and SaintJude, Saint Andrew, and upon Trinity Sunday, shall be sung or said at Morning Prayer, instead of the Apostles' Creed, this Confession of our Christian Faith, commonly called the Creed ofAthanasius, by the Minister and people standing."

Therefore, the Athanasian Creed is to be said on these days:
  1. Christmas Day
  2. The Epiphany
  3. St. Matthias
  4. Easter Day
  5. Ascension Day
  6. Whitsunday
  7. St. John the Baptist
  8. St. James
  9. St. Batholomew
  10. St. Matthew
  11. St. Simon & St. Jude
  12. St. Andrew
  13. Trinity Sunday
Why Use the 1662 BCP?

One may wonder... why use the 1662? Don't we already have a "classic" Prayer Book in America (the 1928)? While I don't condemn the use of the 1928, I feel it lacking in many ways. For one, it has been influenced significantly by the 1689 Liturgy of Comprehension which has influenced all American BCPs due to the 1786's reliance on it. (For reference check out the post: A Comparison of the Daily Office in the 1662 and 1928 Prayer Books). The 1928 also reduces the penitential aspect of the 1662 BCP due to Latitudinarian and Anglo-Catholic influence which diminishes the character of the Reformed rite.

The 1662 BCP is a great place to start praying the Office everyday. It is both a catholic and reformed rite which shows the ethos of Protestant High Churchmanship. I hope all my readers consider using the 1662 BCP in their daily prayers.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Identity Problem

The eternal question for Anglicans seems to be a question of identity. Who are we as Anglicans? It seems as if this question is not going away anytime soon, due to competing varieties of Anglicanism on the North American continent, in particular. There are four distinct Anglican identities available for the religious consumer on the American religious market. There is the "official" Episcopal Church, aka Affirming Catholicism with Broad to High Ceremonial, Conservatives not welcome. There is the Continuum, or those Anglicans who left the Episcopal Church in 1976 due to the ordination of women to all three of the historic orders and the publication of the new Prayer Book, which they felt was not authentic to Anglicanism. Next there is the Anglican Church in North America, which is the conservative version of the Episcopal Church. Anglo-Catholicism + Broad to High Ceremonial, a few charismatics and convergentists to make it diverse. Lastly, there is the Anglican Mission in the Americas, which is mostly like the ACNA but has more (what the British would call) open evangelicals, i.e. Arminians.
In my last post, I looked at the idea of churchmanship throughout the centuries. However, modern Anglicanism does not reflect historic churchmanship because of one crucial event in the life of Anglicanism. That movement? The Oxford Movement forever changed the landscape of Anglicanism because it widened the possibilites for Anglican identity. How so? Well, before the Movement, Anglicans were firmly convinced that they were Protestant Christians. Sure, in the beginning there were Catholic dissenters who did not agree with the Henrician and Edwardinian reforms but by the time of the Restoration in 1660, Anglicanism was thoroughly Protestant, albeit, in a different manner than Continental Protestantism. Anglicanism was a Protestantism defined by the Book of Common Prayer and Ordinal, and the Articles of Religion. The classifications of "high church" and "low church" have changed meanings over time, in different contexts, but overall they have to do with the level of ceremony that a person or parish desires in the celebration of the liturgy. The Protestant concept of adiaphora comes into play here, because according to the Reformers, ceremonial was a matter of adiaphora or "indifferent matters" which did not affect one's salvation. What did the Oxford Movement do to nullify this common identity that Anglicans had before? I would argue that the infamous Tract 90 destroyed the confidence in the Articles, although it was not received by the English at the time of its publication. It gave Anglo-Catholics a plausible interpretation of the Articles and some talking points which over time were used to convert others to their line of thinking. It had more disasterous effects in the United States, where there was no Evangelical party to counterract the staunch Anglo-Catholicism of the Tracts. The Reformed Episcopal Church was the Evangelical party in the Episcopal Church, but when it departed in 1873, all that was left in the PECUSA was the Anglo-Catholics and Broad Churchmen, which led to the chaos we experience today in TEC.

What do we need then? We need a renewal of classical and confessional Anglicanism in North America. We need High and Low Churchmen, united by the Book of Common Prayer, the Ordinal, and the Articles of Religion to stand up and proclaim the Gospel. We need a revival of true Anglicanism in America. Transubstantiation, Benediction, Rosaries, and Requiem Masses are not part of historic or Classical Anglicanism. We are a Gospel people, united by a Gospel Prayer Book. Let us join in prayer together for the revival of biblical, confessional Anglicanism in America.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Navigating Anglican Churchmanship

Anglican churchmanship has become increasingly difficult to navigate due to the "victory" of the latitudinarian viewpoint in the 19th century but which continues to dominate official Anglican thought to this day. Church authorities in the late 18th and early 19th centuries didn't want to interfere too much with Church politics and wanted to broaden theological persepctives in the Church of England. This attitude was probably facilitated due to the Civil War earlier in the early 1600's which disestablished the Church of England and established a form of Presbyterianism in England for a brief period.

The first traces of churchmanship as we know it are found in the Elizabethan era. This is the period after the reign of Bloody Mary. Elizabeth ascended to the throne and re-established the state, Protestant Church under the Elizabeth Settlement and Act of Uniformity, which did not define doctrine in any substantial way, except providing the 1559 Prayer Book (the Articles would be enacted in 1563). During this time, there were the puritans, who were anything but a homogenous group, however, the one overall characteristic they shared was the view that the Settlement was not far enough in a Reformation direction and further liturgical and doctrinal reforms were necessary. At the same time, however, there were others who wanted to return to some of the ceremonial and doctrine of the pre-Reformation Church. These disparate groups were expected to live side by side. However, these factions were not churchmen like we experience today, but, rather, different factions of a fragile church who sought to form the fragile church in their own image. The hostility between the factions only grew with time and especially during the reign of Charles I, who was supportive of the Arminian Archbishop of Canterbury, William Laud, who was an anti-puritan. Here is a summary of the church factions at the time of Charles I:

"The spectrum of English religious life at this time was well summarized
by Neill (1958, pp.140-142). On the right stood the recusants, those who still
remained faithful to the Church of Rome. Next came ‘those who in a later age have
been called high churchmen, but were then more generally known as Arminians’.
Next came the episcopalian Calvinists, those who were content with the episcopal
nature of the Church of the Elizabethan settlement. Next came the Calvinists who
still looked for their model of a reformed Church to the European models of
presbyterian and congregational churches. Still further to the left came the
sectaries, separatists or independents: ‘whereas the upper-middle-class man tended
to adopt an Erastian form of presbyterianism, the lower-middle-class man often
became a separatist’ (Davies, 1937, p.193). Finally came ‘the lunatic fringe – the
Fifth Monarchy men, the Seekers, the Levellers, and so forth’."

Under Oliver Cromwell, English Puritans rose and executed Charles I and William Laud and abolished the episcopal Church of England and established in its place a presbyterian body. In lieu of the Book of Common Prayer, the Directory for Public Worship was released, which followed continental liturgics instead of the Cranmerian liturgy. The period ended in 1660 with the re-establishment of the monarchy, Prayer Book, and episcopacy. The Laudian school of thought became dominant in the Restoration and in the Act of Uniformity which restored the episcopal Church of England. The Restoration bishops required ministers who had not been episcopally-ordained during the period of the Commonwealth to be re-ordained and to subscribe to the new Prayer Book. Puritans objected because they accused the bishops of denying their ministries and they were opposed to kneeling to receive Communion and the surplice, among other things. Around 2,000 Puritan clergy left their parishes in opposition to the Restoration Church. Besides the Laudians, another group became prominent during the Commonwealth, the Latitudinarians. These churchmen stressed human reason and argued that humans were guided by divine providence through their reasons. Thus, they tended to allow more diversity in the expression of Christianity. During this time we have the first manifestation of a developing churchmanship. "High Churchmen" were those who stressed obedience the Established Church including the requirements of Puritan clergy, while "Low Churchmen" favored reconciliation with the Dissenters and supported ways of including them in the national church.

The next major development in the Church was the Non-Juror schism, which without getting into detail, had to do with a question of swearing allegiance to William and Mary. Most High-Church Bishops would not swear allegiance to the new king and were subsequently deprived of their sees and ended up in the Church of Scotland. William appointed many latitudinarian bishops to replace the Non-jurors' sees. During this time, "high church" came to mean what it means today, in a general sense, and "low church" was increasingly used to describe the latitudinarians. During the next century, latitudinarianism dominated the thought of the Church, which consequently led to radicalization from both sides in the high and low traditions. Beginning in the 18th century, the Evangelical movement had begun in England, first with the Methodists and later on through the Evangelical Revival. The Evangelicals were distinct from low churchmen who were the latitudinarian party in the Church. The Evangelicals stressed inner religion and renewal of the heart. They thought the religion of the Church had become too rationalistic and dry.

Ironically, it was the same concern which began the Oxford Movement in 1833. A group of Anglican scholars at Oxford had grown increasingly dissatisfied with the moral laxity of the Established Church and with its inherent Erastianism. They began to look to the Early Church and pre-Reformation Church for inspiration to maintain the catholicity of the Church of England. Their method of change for the Church was to publish a series of "tracts' hence acquiring the name "Tractarianism" for their movement. As time moved on, Tractarians separated from the earlier High Churchmen in significant ways. One author describes it as such, "High Churchmen took as their standard of catholicity the Anglican formularies supported by scripture and antiquity; Tractarians used the appeal to antiquity to correct and supplement the Anglican formularies." The Oxford Movement began acquiring new members with new ideas about the renewal of Catholic identity in the Church. One such grou was the Camden Society or the Ecclesiological Society, who wanted more ritual and decoration in churches. Their tastes were largely reminiscent of the Gothic Revival in Europe. They began imitating then contemporary Roman practices, which aroused much suspicion in the English people and caused the equation of Tractarians with Romanizing tendencies. During this time, also, the Broad Church party emerged, probably from the earlier latitudinarian churchmen but mostly influenced by German liberal Protestant theology and biblical scholarship. Up into the pre-war era, they continued to grow in the Church.

By the pre-war time, ritualistic Tractarians, now called Anglo-Catholics, were campaigning for ritualistic implementation in the Church of England. During this time, we also see the fragmentation of these groups into conservative and liberal factions as well as the introduction of a charismatic faction in the church. This time, however, was the time of ascendency for Anglo-Catholics, who were gaining leadership in the church and winning some of the ritualistic battles such as vestments, candles, and most notably the Parish Communion Movement. The movement sought to restore the Communion service as the main Sunday liturgy as the Reformers and Early Church had done. The one party who was losing was the old High Church party, which had almost completely disappeared by the 20th century, except for a certain few old-fashioned clergy and some dormant theology in the pews. In modern times, Anglo-Catholicism has splintered into different factions such as the liberal Affirming Catholicism, Prayer Book Catholicism (probably where many High Churchmen took refuge, although a dying breed in England), Anglo-Papalism, and the Forward in Faith crowd. Evangelicals have splintered into Conservative and "Open" factions, as well as what I call "neo-evangelicals" such as in the Sydney Diocese in Australia, who have largely abandoned liturgical worship. Also, there are "Convergentist" evangelicals in the US who are not really Evangelical Anglicans at all but rather champions of Convergence theology and largely Arminian charismatics. The Broad Church philosophy still dominates church politics in the global Anglican Communion, especially in the Anglophone world.

More about what this means in the next post...

Citations in this post from this page:

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The English Liturgy

The Book of Common Prayer (BCP) is the creation of Archbishop Thomas Cranmer. Its first appearance was in 1549 with the first publication of the BCP, preceded earlier by the publication of the Litany (1547) and the Order for Communion (1548). The 1549 BCP was a conservative reform of the Sarum Rite. It was a transitional rite in which Cranmer issued as a "first edition" while preparing the second draft of the Prayer Book. The 1549 retained many traditonal elements of the Mass and other rituals associated wtih medieval Catholicism. Three years later the 1552 BCP was released. Although not used in public worship it became the base structure for the 1559, 1604, and 1662 Prayer Books (substantially the same liturgy with significant minor changes).

The 1662 BCP opens up with the Lord's Prayer said by the minister followed by the Collect for Purity, from the Sarum Rite, which reads as follows, "Almighty God, unto whom all hearts be open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hid; Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of thy Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love thee, and worthily magnify thy holy Name; through Christ our Lord. Amen." In the traditional rite, the Kyries and Confession followed but Cranmer altered the Kyries and introduced the Decalogue with the congregational response, "Lord, have mercy upon us, and incline our hearts to keep this law," which became the Anglican "Kyrie". Cranmer felt that the liturgy could be transformed to teach the Gospel to the people. In the English book, a collect for the soverign follows before the Collect of the Day, Epistle, and Gospel, without provision for graduals, tracts, or salutations at the Gospel. The Creed follows the Gospel before the sermon with the notable scribal error, "And I believe one Catholick and Apostolick Church..." omitting the word "holy." After the sermon, there is the offertory, of both the people's gifts and the elements. Then the "Prayer for the Church Militant here in earth" although a self-contradictory prayer because the 1662 revisers added this intention, "And we also bless thy holy Name for all thy servants departed this life in thy faith and fear; beseeching thee to give us grace so to follow their good examples..." Beginning the Liturgy of the Eucharist, we have Cranmer's "Order for Communion" beginning with a long exhortation to repentance, followed by an invitation to confession, the prayer of confession, the Comfortable Words (Matt. 11:28, Jn 3:16, 1 Tim. 1:15, and 1 John 2:1,2), and the absolution. The "Prayer of Humble Access" is transferred till after the Sanctus.

What follows is the beginning of the Prayer of Consecration, as it is titled in the 1662 BCP. The salutation, "The Lord be with you -- and with thy spirit," is removed from the Sursum Corda ("Lift up your hearts...") because of its association with the doctrine of transubstantiation. The same fate happened to the "Benedictus" i.e. "Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord." The BCP only provides five propers, Christmas, Easter, Ascension, Penecost, and Trinity, and for their octaves. Then follows the Sanctus sans Benedictus and then one of Cranmer's most memorable prayers, the Prayer of Humble Access. "We do not presume to come to this thy Table, O merciful Lord, trusting in our own righteousness, but in thy manifold and great mercies. We are not worthy so much as to gather up the crumbs under thy Table. But thou art the same Lord, whose property is always to have mercy: Grant us therefore, gracious Lord, so to eat the flesh of thy dear Son Jesus Christ, and to drink his blood, that our sinful bodies may be made clean by his body, and our souls washed through his most precious blood, and that we may evermore dwell in him, and he in us. Amen." The actual prayer of consecration is very brief in the BCP:

"Almighty God, our heavenly Father, who of thy tender mercy didst give thine only Son Jesus Christ to suffer death upon the Cross for our redemption; who made there (by his one oblation of himself once offered) a full, perfect, and sufficient sacrifice, oblation, and satisfaction, for the sins of the whole world; and did institute, and in his holy Gospel command us to continue, a perpetual memory of that his precious death, until his coming again; Hear us, O merciful Father, we most humbly beseech thee; and grant that we receiving these thy creatures of bread and wine, according to thy Son our Saviour Jesus Christ's holy institution, in remembrance of his death and passion, may be partakers of his most blessed Body and Blood: who, in the same night that he was betrayed, (a) took Bread; and, when he had given thanks, (b) he brake it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, Take, eat, (c) this is my Body which is given for you: Do this in remembrance of me. Likewise after supper he (d) took the Cup; and, when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of this; for this (e) is my Blood of the New Testament, which is shed for you and for many for the remission of sins: Do this, as oft as ye shall drink it, in remembrance of me. Amen."

At this point the people receive communion with the words of distribution of the bread, "The Body of our Lord Jesus Christ, which was given for thee, preserve thy body and soul unto everlasting life. Take and eat this in remembrance that Christ died for thee, and feed on him in thy heart by faith with thanksgiving," and of the wine, "The Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, which was shed for thee, preserve thy body and soul unto everlasting life. Drink this in remembrance that Christ's Blood was shed for thee, and be thankful," thus combining the 1549 and 1552 forms.

The service resumes with the Lord's Prayer and either prayer of oblation or prayer of thanksgiving, the Gloria, and the Prayer Book blessing, "The peace of God, which passeth all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God, and of his son Jesus Christ our Lord: and the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, be amongst you and remain with you always. Amen."