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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Book of Common Prayer Anniversary

VirtueOnline - January 21: A Day for Episcopalians to Rejoice

Virtueonline.org reports: "Today marks 460 years of Common Prayer in the Church of England and, later, the American Protestant Episcopal Church, then named Episcopal Church USA (ECUSA), now called The Episcopal Church (TEC). In 1549, Archbishop Thomas Cranmer issued the first Book of Common Prayer -- written in beautiful language, accessible to all, and, most important, based on holy scripture."

The underlined emphasis mine. The linked article is written by a group that supports the continued use of the 1928 BCP instead of the 1979 version that is used in many Episcopal churches. Their caution is that the change in language in the 1979 BCP departs from the historic faith handed down.

I find it ironic that they call the 1928 BCP "written in beautiful language, accessible to all". In it's day it may have been accessible language but it no longer is. It's like reading the King James Version Bible.

Some say that the change from 1979 to 1928 has created two different religions. A further difference is also readily apparent: they are written in two different languages. Whilst both may be called "English" one (1979) is understandable to the common person of our day and the other (1928) is not, though 1928 advocates do not seem to be interested in that.

Here are two 1928 BCP sites:

The 1928 U.S. Book of Common Prayer The BCP is available here for your Palm PDA and in PDF formats.

In light of yesterday's festivities, here are the appropriate prayers for us all to pray:

A Prayer for The President of the United States, and all in Civil Authority.

O LORD, our heavenly Father, the high and mighty Ruler of the universe, who dost from thy throne behold all the dwellers upon earth; Most heartily we beseech thee, with thy favour to behold and bless thy servant THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, and all others in authority; and so replenish them with the grace of thy Holy Spirit, that they may always incline to thy will, and walk in thy way. Endue them plenteously with heavenly gifts; grant them in health and prosperity long to live; and finally, after this life, to attain everlasting joy and felicity; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

¶ Or this.

O LORD our Governor, whose glory is in all the world; We commend this nation to thy merciful care, that being guided by thy Providence, we may dwell secure in thy peace. Grant to THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, and to all in Authority, wisdom and strength to know and to do thy will. Fill them with the love of truth and righteousness; and make them ever mindful of their calling to serve this people in thy fear; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end. Amen.

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