An ACNA BCP (sort of)

If you are a liturgical nerd, or simply want to study what ACNA is doing liturgically, then you want to see all the texts ACNA has to date in one place. So, if you put together the released liturgical documents along with the drafts that have not been approved, add in the Theological Lens and the Catechism, what do you have?

The Unauthorized ACNA Book of Common Prayer

Click the link and see all the liturgical PDFs released to date in one package. You’re welcome.

ACNA’s Proposed Baptismal Liturgy

The proposed baptismal liturgy for ACNA’s Prayer Book is available to view here. The proposed liturgy deals nicely with baptismal regeneration, which I have no problem with, provided we are using the term in the ways described here by Joel Garver. In the proposed (I will call it “2014”) liturgy, the Exhortation says:

Dearly beloved, we were all dead in our trespasses, having been conceived and born in sin; and our Savior Jesus Christ says, “Unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” So let us ask our Heavenly Father to give these candidates that regenerated life, which without his grace they cannot have; that being baptized with water and the Holy Spirit, they might be received as living members of Christ’s holy Church.

This differs a bit from the 1928, which says:

DEARLY beloved, forasmuch as our Saviour Christ saith, None can enter into the Kingdom of God, except he be regenerate and born anew of Water and of the Holy Ghost; I beseech you to call upon God the Father, through our Lord Jesus Christ, that of his bounteous mercy he will grant to this Child (or Person) that which by nature he cannot have; that he may be baptized with Water and the Holy Ghost, and received into Christ’s holy Church, and be made a living member of the same.

And from the 1662:

D E A R L Y beloved, forasmuch as all men are conceived and born in sin, and that our Saviour Christ saith, none can enter into the kingdom of God, except he be regenerate and born anew of Water and of the Holy Ghost: I beseech you to call upon God the Father, through our Lord Jesus Christ, that of his bounteous mercy he will grant to this Child that thing which by nature he cannot have; that he may be baptized with Water and the Holy Ghost, and received into Christ’s holy Church, and be made a lively member of the same.

So there is an addition of the word “regenerated” in the 2014 here, but that may be a compromise due to its removal later on. Specifically:

Heavenly Father, we thank you that by water and the Holy Spirit you have bestowed upon these your servants the forgiveness of sins, received them as your own children by adoption, made them members of your Church, and raised them to the new life of grace. Sustain them, O Lord, in your Holy Spirit, that they may inherit everlasting salvation through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Where the 1662 says:

SEEING now, dearly beloved brethren, that this Child is regenerate and grafted into the body of Christ’s Church, let us give thanks unto Almighty God for these benefits, and with one accord make our prayers unto him, that this Child may lead the rest of his life according to this beginning.

We yield thee hearty thanks, most merciful Father, that it hath pleased thee to regenerate this Infant with thy Holy Spirit, to receive him for thine own Child by adoption, and to incorporate him into thy holy Church. And humbly we beseech thee to grant that he being dead unto sin, and living unto righteousness, and being buried with Christ in his death, may crucify the old man, and utterly abolish the whole body of sin; and that, as he is made partaker of the death of thy Son, he may also be partaker of his resurrection; so that finally, with the residue of thy holy Church, he may be an inheritor of thine everlasting kingdom; through Christ our Lord. Amen.

And the 1928 says:

SEEING now, dearly beloved brethren, that this Child (or this Person) is regenerate, and grafted into the body of Christ’s Church, let us give thanks unto Almighty God for these benefits; and with one accord make our prayers unto him, that this Child (or this Person) may lead the rest of his life according to this beginning.

WE yield thee hearty thanks, most merciful Father, that it hath pleased thee to regenerate this Child (or this thy Servant) with thy Holy Spirit, to receive him for thine own Child, and to incorporate him into thy holy Church. And humbly we beseech thee to grant, that he, being dead unto sin, may live unto righteousness, and being buried with Christ in his death, may also be partaker of his resurrection; so that finally, with the residue of thy holy Church, he may be an inheritor of thine everlasting kingdom; through Christ our Lord. Amen.

So while the word “regeneration” is removed from the 2014 prayer following the baptism, all the concepts of regeneration are retained, such as forgiveness of sins, adoption and membership in the Church. This seems like a good path.

 

REC Sees No Doctrinal Errors in the ACNA Prayer Book

According to the Reports for the 54th General Council of the Reformed Episcopal Church:

The Committee on Doctrine and worship met twice during the last triennium. The substance of  these meetings had to do with evaluating the doctrinal content of the completed portions of the  new Anglican Church in North America Book of Common Prayer. These services are Morning and  Evening Prayer, and Holy Communion. The committee concluded there are no doctrinal errors  and made recommendation to the Council of Bishops for trial use in the REC subject to the  Bishops’ approval. The members of this committee were Dss. Annette M. Johnson, the Rev. Dr.  Randal Toms, Mrs. Burnie Barnes, and the chairman, the Rt. Rev. Ray R. Sutton.

Uncommon Worship

Doug Wilson’s review of Alan Jacob’s biography of The Book of Common Prayer contains this astute observation:

But what could not be accomplished through direct alteration was nevertheless accomplished by other means. The Prayer Book was kept just as it was, but with multiple alternative rites developed and authorized. This gave the option of mixing and matching, in a sort of liturgical choose-your-own-adventure approach…

A man with a watch knows what time it is. A man with six watches is never sure. In the old order, the goal was to get it right, and the possibility of getting it wrong was one of the risks you took. That, and the occasional religious war. But the gods of the new order have names that all rhyme with choices. And the point of having a prayer book in the first place disappears.

This is the reason why, whatever its flaws, I hope that the new BCP produced by ACNA is widely adapted and universally used. We need to be on the same page liturgically, if nowhere else. We won’t all get what we want out of it, and how could we given the chaotic state of ACNA? But I prefer a uniform liturgy to the current parish by parish, priest as Cranmer approach of making up a liturgy that you like.

Two Positives in ACNA’s “Texts for Common Prayer”

Three years ago I pointed out a couple omissions in the Book of Common Prayer, at least in many editions of it. The first was that the text of the Sanctus was altered from what the Church has always used. The traditional Sanctus runs as follows (taken from the Sarum Missal in English): “Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Hosts; heaven and earth are full of Thy glory. Hosanna in the highest. Blessed is He that cometh in the Name of the Lord.”
This last bit from ‘Hosanna’ to ‘in the Name of the Lord’ is known as the Benedictus and it is absent from the BCP from 1552 until recently.
The second omission was that the BCP omitted the holiness of the church in the Nicene Creed. Where the Creed says: “And I believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church” the BCP drops the word “holy.” The 1559 says: “And I beleve one Catholike and Apostolike churche.” From 1549 on it was the same.
So I am happy to see that the new texts from ACNA correct both of these omissions. First, the Sanctus now says:

Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of power and might, heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest.

And the Nicene Creed reads:

We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church. 

I have not analyzed the entire text, but I am happy to see these two changes, which, however small they may seem, have a beneficial consequence for the catholicity of the faith.

“that wicked monster and damned soul Muhammad”

Queen Elizabeth issued some occasional forms of prayer during her reign that are appended to this Book of Common Prayer. One prayer deals with the threat to Christendom of the Turks, who were really synonymous with Muslims in her day. The prayer follows:

Almighty and everliving God our heavenly father, we thy disobedient and rebellious children, now by thy just judgement sore afflicted, and in great danger to be oppressed, by thine and our sworn and most deadly enemies, the Turks, Infidels, and miscreants, do make humble suite to the throne of thy grace, for thy mercy and aid against the same our mortal enemies, For though we do profess the name of they only son Christ our Savior, yet through our manifold sins and wickedness we have most justly deserved so much of thy wrath and indignation, that we can but say: O Lord correct us in thy mercy, and not in thy fury. And better it is for us to fall into the hands of Turks and Infidels, thy professed enemies, who now invade thine inheritance.

Against thee (O Lord) have we sinned and transgressed thy commandments: Against Turks, Infidels, and other enemies of the Gospel of thy dear son Jesus Christ have we not offended, but only in this, that we acknowledge thee, the eternal father, and thy only son our redeemer, with the holy ghost, the comforter, to be one only true, almighty, and everliving God. For if we would deny and blaspheme thy most holy name, forsake the Gospel of thy dear son, embrace false religion, commit horrible Idolatries, and give ourselves to all impure, wicked, and abominable life, as they do, the devil, the world, the Turk, and all other thine enemies would be at peace with us, according to the saying of thy son Christ: If you were of the world, the world would love his own. But therefore hate they us, because we love thee, therefore persecute they us, because we acknowledge thee God the father, and Jesus Christ thy Son, whom thou hast sent.

The Turk goeth about to set up to extoll, and to magnify that wicked monster and damned soul Muhammad, above thy dearly beloved son Jesus Christ, whom we in heart believe, and with mouth confess to be our only savior and redeemer. Wherefore awake O Lord our God and heavenly father, and with thy fatherly and merciful countenance look upon us thy children, and all such Christians, as are now by those most cruel enemies invaded and assaulted, overthrow and destroy thine and our enemies, sanctify thy blessed name among us, which they blaspheme, establish thy kingdom, which they labor to overthrow: suffer not thine enemies to prevail against those that now call upon thy name and put their trust in thee, lest the Heathen and Infidels say, where now is their God?

But in thy great mercy save, defend, and deliver all thy afflicted Christians, in this and all other invasions of these infidels, and give to the Emperor thy servant, and all the Christian army now assembled with him, thy comfortable might and courage, that we and they that delight to be named Christians, may enjoy both outward peace, and inwardly laud, praise, and magnify thy holy name forever, with thy only son Jesus Christ, and the holy Ghost, to whom be all laud, praise, glory and empire for ever and ever. Amen.

Cultus into Culture from the Prayer Book Society

A reminder to me to listen to these lectures from last year’s Prayer Book Society conference. The summary says:

It is a common criticism today: contemporary approaches to evangelism have too often produced piety that is “a mile wide and an inch deep.” If evangelizing churches are to change the culture, they will have to rediscover the ancient insight that culture begins in cultus (worship) and catechesis. Anglicans do not have to re-invent the wheel: the solutions lie near at hand, in the liturgy and catechesis of historic Anglicanism.

Recovering Morning Prayer

Lue-Yee has a provocative post on how to integrate Morning Prayer into the working day here.

If family be a hindrance, then maybe family is the key as well. Working parents with schoolchildren know the experience of droping off the kids at school before work and picking them up at the end of the day. If drop-offs happened in the same place as Morning Prayer before work, things could be a lot easier. If parents could go to worship with their children in the morning and not have to take them some place else before work, they could have more time to grow together with their families and have a time to be still before God and peacefully to entrust themselves and their children to his mercy.

The Articles and the Prayer Book

Commenting on the position of the Articles of Religion with regard to the proposed reform of the canon law by Thomas Cranmer and others, Gerald Bray says:

This is a reminder to us of the importance of the articles within the overall settlement; the popular modern view that the essence of Anglicanism is to be found in the prayer book and ordinal, rather than in the articles, cannot be sustained from the evidence. Where the Reformatio is concerned, at least, it was the other way round.