Catechesis through singing

Advent.  The season of the year in which singing resurges in religious and secular homes alike.  Songs such as “O Come, O Come Emmanuel”, “Joy to the World” (yes, it is an Advent hymn), and “O Holy Night” (okay, a Christmas hymn) are staples this season of the year.  They are easily memorable tunes and verses.  Additionally, these songs are chock-full of incarnational and Trinitarian theology that can be reflected upon while singing.

Singing hymns with the family is immensely more fun for young children than teaching the catechism (at least in my experience!) and results in quicker memorization.  Granted, the deep riches of the verses of these songs and the meaning of the words may not be fully grasped by young children, but learning these songs will provide foundational doctrine that can be drawn upon at a moment’s notice.  My own understanding the incarnation has been enriched through the verses of traditional Christian hymnody.  Singing hymns can capture one’s heart in a manner that reading and listening to another simply cannot.

Teaching children classic hymns provides them songs directing them towards Christ and His work.  It is a natural educational tool for younger kids to draw upon.  My three year old daughter regularly belts out the classic African-American spiritual, “Go Tell it on the Mountain” and is excited to sing from our family hymnal.  It brings her such joy to sing hymns that she now asks to see the family hymnal and flip through its pages while singing what she thinks is on the page.  Another added benefit is she now wants to participate more in Sunday worship as the pew hymnal is familiar to her.

Although she has not learned a whole hymn to sing by heart, she can join in at various portions of several songs.  Additionally, during our evening devotion we discuss a verse and its meaning to explain the hymn.  Discussing a hymn’s content quickly becomes a lesson on why the wise men traveled to see Jesus and present Him gifts or and why Christ is called Emmanuel.

On a similar note, I commend the Reformed Episcopal Church in their new hymnal, Common Praise, for including several annotated sections of the Book of Common Prayer.  It would be wise for Anglican churches globally to sing portions of the prayerbook as families could teach the words of the BCP to their children through singing.  Indeed, it is a long-term goal of mine to learn Anglican chant and to incorporate it in our devotions.  REC’s Common Praise includes a short section on Anglican chant – a noteworthy addition that I greatly value and hope to utilize.

Practically speaking, I encourage families to begin with simple, short songs for their very young children.  We began with “Jesus Loves Me” and eventually progressed to more familiar traditional hymns, typically Advent and Christmas themed due to my own familiarity.  There is no right or wrong way to begin such a practice – just dive in!

Our custom is to sing one or two songs, share a Biblical story or parable of Christ, and conclude with the Lord’s Prayer and/or Apostle’s Creed.  As an Anglican, I use this pattern in order for my children to learn the requirements for confirmation: the Creed, Ten Commandments, Lord’s Prayer, and eventually the catechism.  See 1928 Book of Common Prayer, Rubric at end of Office of Instruction.  This pattern is easily amendable to Trinitarian Christians across the theological spectrum of Protestant, Eastern Orthodox, or Roman Catholic.  Start early with your children and no matter their age, starting today is better than beginning tomorrow.  Family devotionals are messy, but necessary to build up catechized and well-discipled members of the Church.

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Reformation, Authority, Anglicanism, & the Home

On the eve of the 500th anniversary of Luther’s 95 Theses, we face the same question the Augustinian monk faced: authority. Be it a pope in the Vatican or a Baptist pronouncing truth as though he were pope Christians face the same question as to who, or what, is authoritative in the Christian life.

The Reformers answered the question by pointing to Scripture as the primary authority.  The English Reformation agreed that as it pertains to matters of salvation, sola scriptura wins the day. (Art. VI of 39 Articles of Religion).  The tradition of the church and church fathers were not discarded, as one can plainly read in the writings of the magisterial reformers and in the numerous citations to the church fathers in the Anglican two Books of Homilies.  Instead, the Reformers set the writings of the church fathers beneath the Scriptures to ensure that authority started and rested with the Word of God.

Unfortunately, contemporary Protestantism has forgotten the works of the Reformers and their actual teachings. Protestants today are typically more likely to read Scripture and interpret it as they subjectively feel and without any guidance of the church, much less ancient church fathers.  Shockingly, many denominations and their followers, have not the slightest idea about the confessions the Reformers subscribed to that detail their reformed or reforming Catholicism.

However, not everyone in Protestant circles have forgotten that Protestantism, at its best, is a reformed Catholic religion.  The Reforming Catholic Confession is an effort to demonstrate the highest common denominator of Protestant catholicity and is an effort to be commended, although certainly not a perfect exercise.

The lack of authority and trading in one pope in the Vatican for a dozen in every Bible study is not a uniquely Protestant problem, but a modern one.  The Bible study (or Christian denomination) that trades objective truth for “my truth” or “this is how I read/understand this passage” is not what the Reformers had in mind.  This stereotype serves as cannon fodder for Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic polemics (which ignores the same problem that infects both churches as well – this is a modern, cultural issues that does not limit itself to Protestant circles).

Indeed, the Anglican Communion has lost her way in holding to an authority that transcends the globe and unites multiple national churches behind a common belief.  In the spirit of the 500th anniversary of Luther’s 95 theses, the Anglican churches and her members must remember what unites them as Anglicans.  In order to do so, Anglicans must remember what makes them Anglican.

Ultimately, the basis of our rule of faith is the Holy Scriptures, with the Apocrypha included for the edification of the Christian but not as a source for doctrine.  This decision to include the Apocrypha as useful instruction but not for determining doctrine firmly lies within church history by relying on the church fathers.  Article VI of the Articles of Religion cite St. Jerome for this proposition.  The ultimate rule as to our salvation comes from Scripture alone. But what if the Scriptures are silent? Article XX explains that the church has the authority to determine rites and ceremonies in addition to determining controversies but the church must never contradict the ultimate authority of Holy Scripture.

Anglicans have another guide to walking and living life as reformed Catholics, namely the 39 Articles of Religion. They have been tossed aside to small print and behind the section “Historical Documents” in the 1979 Book of Common Prayer or used as a weapon by those with Genevan sympathies to erect a hardline Calvinism.  But the 39 Articles are a work of genius that were enacted in the Elizabethan settlement and walk in and out of the theologies of Geneva and Wittenburg with a solid foothold on historic catholic teaching.  I dare say the 39 Articles embody the essence of a reformed Catholicism with the insight of Luther, Calvin, and historic Christianity.  All the while without throwing any babies out of the bathwater.

The old saying is the rule of prayer is the rule of belief: lex orandi, lex credendi.  Enter the next guideline for Anglicans, the Book of Common Prayer.  The classical prayer book serves as the source for public worship for reformed Catholics in the Anglican tradition.  The abbreviated daily office (from seven to two offices) allow the laity to worship in a manner similar to the Rule of St. Benedict.  The Eucharist is restored to the laity and encouraged to be performed often.  And the Ordinal attached is the defining fence post for church leadership and the role of  ordained minsters.

Fortunately, the three “guideposts” defining Anglicanism: the Book of Common Prayer, 39 Articles, and Ordinal are all included within published versions of the Book of Common Prayer.  One can even purchase the Holy Scriptures (with Apocrypha) and Book of Common Prayer (with 39 Articles and the Ordinal) in one bound volume (see picture at top).

As it relates to family oratories, the primary authority of Scripture, followed by the guidance of the Book of Common Prayer, 39 Articles, and the Ordinal serve as the backbone of practicing reformed Catholicism in the home.  The 1928, 2003 REC, and to a lesser extent the ACNA Books of Common Prayer also have the benefit of including family prayers to guide family praise, worship, and petitions.  Additionally, the church catechism provide a succinct overview of the Christian faith and life easily digestible for children and adults alike.

Singing can also be accomplished through singing the Psalter included in the Book of Common Prayer.  Since plainsong, chant, or metrical tune is rare (but if you want to learn check this out), the authorized hymnal can provide the source for singing in a family context.  Indeed, hymnals with theologically rich songs serve as a lesser authority to the Anglican formularies outlined earlier, but nevertheless can support the mission of an oratory to disciple children and adults in the faith.

Finally, a forgotten “semi-guidepost”, are the two Books of Homilies.  These sermons were officially written by the Church of England and although several are dated, can still be useful in the home when teaching and useful for laity in understanding the church’s doctrine.  Although not on the same level as the Book of Common Prayer and Articles of Religion, Article XI cites directly to one of the homilies for a deeper understanding of the official position for Anglicans on justification by faith.  This homily (Homily on Salvation, but cited as Homily on Justification in Article XI) refutes the typical polemic that Protestants reject good works by explaining succinctly:

Faith alone, how it is to be understood. Nevertheless, this sentence, that we be justified by faith only, is not so meant of them, that the said justifying faith is alone in man, without true repentance, hope, charity, dread, and the fear of GOD, at any time and season. Nor when they say, That we be justified freely, they mean not that we should or might afterward be idle, and that nothing should be required on our parts afterward: Neither they mean not so to be justified without good works, that we should do no good works at all, like as shall be more expressed at large hereafter. But this saying, That we be justified by faith only, freely and without works, is spoken for to take away clearly all merit of our works, as being unable to deserve our justification at GODS hands, and thereby most plainly to express the weakness of man, and the goodness of GOD, the great infirmity of our selves, and the might and power of GOD, the imperfectness of our own works, and the most abundant grace of our Savior Christ, and therefore wholly to ascribe the merit and deserving of our justification unto Christ only, and his most precious blood shedding.

They that continue in evil living, have not true faith. For how can a man have this true faith, this sure trust and confidence in GOD, that by the merits of Christ, his sins be forgiven, and be reconciled to the favor of GOD, and to be partaker of the kingdom of heaven by Christ, when he lives ungodly, and denies Christ in his deeds? Surely no such ungodly man can have this faith and trust in GOD. For as they know Christ to be the only savior of the world: so they know also that wicked men shall not enjoy the kingdom of GOD. They know that GOD hates unrighteousness (Psalms 5.5-6), that he will destroy all those that speak untruly, that those which have done good works (which cannot be done without a lively faith in Christ) shall come forth into the resurrection of life, and those that have done evil, shall come unto the resurrection of judgement: very well they know also, that to them that be contentious, and to them that will not be obedient unto the truth, but will obey unrighteousness, shall come indignation, wrath, and affliction, &c.

The bottom line is a Christian must be governed and rooted in an authority, the question is who or what?  Although contemporary Protestantism, Anglicanism, and frankly Christians of all persuasions have deviated to following what their gut, emotions, or a bad piece of cheese (as C.S. Lewis puts it) provide, there are guideposts that fence-in the beliefs and interpretations of reformed Catholics. Families seeking such a guidepost for their own discipleship should look to the Anglican path as one that provides a number of resources and tools that are catholic and reformed in the best sense of both words, and both worlds.

A New Oratory

Glad to see a new oratory arise, although this one is more of a “roving oratory” that has events from one place to the next. A unique idea fit for the times.  From the REC’s Diocese of Mid-America’s newsletter, The Crozier Connection:

This past Summer, the Most Rev. Bishop Sutton introduced the REC vision of recapturing and revitalizing our sense of Mission and our initiative of establishing 100 new REC parishes known as REC100. Following the missional lead of our beloved Bishop, Fr. Michael Templin, from the Church of the Holy Communion, formulated a vision for a new mission in Rockwall, twenty-five miles east of Dallas. Having received approval from the Chapel and CHC’s vestries we then formed The Anglican Oratory of Lake Ray Hubbard (www.anglicanoratory.com) to communicate who we are, what we do, and why we exist. What is an Oratory? The word Oratory identifies a place of prayer outside of a local parish church. During the middle ages, Oratory’s were established within communities to revitalize Christian piety and service. Christian homes and public spaces were set apart to keep the daily office, foster personal devotion, and for catechesis (Christian education). Their origin probably goes back to the chapels built over the tombs of the martyrs in the earliest times where Christians would stop and pray. The Anglican community established in the home of Nicholas Ferrar at ‘Little Gidding’ is a beautiful example of an Oratory. The Anglican Oratory gathers in different locations throughout the Lake Ray Hubbard area for one important purpose: to reform people into the image of Christ in the Anglican way. The Oratory consists of clergy and lay persons seeking to establish a common rule of life within a small community. We call people to communal prayer and study for growth in Christian piety, service, and evangelism. We are humbled to have been called to this important work and covet your prayers and support.

It is good to see a new take on oratories being done by the REC at The Anglican Oratory of Lake Ray Hubbard.  Those of us at Prattville Anglican Fellowship support our brothers and sisters and are convinced the best model for catechizing a new generation of Christians, especially those based on historic Christianity, is through a rule of life.

Through regular prayer and teaching, the home can serve not only as a training ground on how to worship but also as a central network for families and friends to naturally generate a church plant.  Look no further than the creation of Littlewood UE Chapel from Charles Bartlett’s own Queen Ann’s Oratory.

It is also good to see the REC engage in a focus on planting 100 mission churches over the next ten years, what it calls REC 100.  Traditional churches should consider networking and sharing ideas on church planting.  It would be fruitful to see a conference on family oratories and traditional church planting.  The first conference could be hosted completely online with Skype or livestreamed to defray extraordinary travel costs.  The ability to share ideas and hear from others could be very beneficial in encouraging others to start their own family oratories and a network, or circuit, of family oratories.

The 42 Articles of Religion

Few people realize that the Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion were originally forty-two when first published and that the wording was different in several places from their present form.  Queen Elizabeth I trimmed the Articles of Religion to thirty-eight when she reintroduced them after the Roman Catholic Queen Mary’s reign.  Later in Queen Elizabeth I’s reign she reintroduced Article 29 and the Thirty-Nine Articles as we know them today were finalized.

Of course, the American church would not adopt the Thirty-Nine Articles after the War for Independence until 1801 and edited them gently for the context of the newly formed American republic.  Since it has been difficult trying to find a copy of the Forty-Two Articles of Religion, I am posting a copy here for those who have searched the internet like myself at one time or another.

Hat tip to the fine posters who pointed me to this resource: http://forums.anglican.net/threads/42-articles-of-religion.2071/

42 Articles of Religion
Articles agreed on by the Bishops and other learned men in the Synod at London, in the year of our Lord God, 1552, for the avoiding of controversy in opinions and the establishment of a Godly concord in certain matters of religion.
I
Of Faith in the Holy Trinity.
There is but one living and true God, and he is everlasting, without body, parts, or passions; of infinite power, wisdom, and goodness; and the maker and preserver of all things both visible and invisible. In unity of this Godhead there are three persons of one substance, power, and eternity: The Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.
II
That the Word, or Son of God, was Made a Very Man.
The Son, which is the word of the Father, took man’s nature in the womb of the blessed virgin Mary from her substance, so that two whole and perfect natures, that is to say, the Godhead and manhood, were joined together into one person, never to be divided, whereof is one Christ, very God and very man, who truly suffered, was crucified, dead, and buried to reconcile his Father to us, and to be a sacrifice for all sin of man, both original and actual.
III
Of the Going Down of Christ into Hell.
As Christ died and was buried for us, so also it is to be believed that he went down in to hell. The body laid in the sepulcher until the resurrection, but his Ghost departing from him was with the Ghosts that were in prison, or in Hell, and did preach to the same, as the place of St. Peter does testify.
IV
The Resurrection of Christ.
Christ did truly rise again from death and took again his body with flesh, bones, and all things appertaining to the perfection of man’s nature, wherewith he ascended into Heaven, and there sits until he returns to judge men at the last day.
V
The Doctrine of Holy Scripture is Sufficient to Salvation.
Holy Scripture contains all things necessary to Salvation, so that whatsoever is neither read therein nor may be proved thereby, although it is sometimes received of the faithful as Godly and profitable for an order and comeliness, no man ought to be constrained to believe it as an article of faith or repute it requisite to the necessity of salvation.
VI
The Old Testament is Not to Be Refused.
The Old Testament is not to be put away as though it were contrary to the New, but to be kept still, for both in the Old and New Testaments everlasting life is offered to mankind by Christ, who is the only mediator between God and man, being both God and man. Wherefore they are not to be heard which feign that the old Fathers did look only for transitory promises.
VII
The Three Creeds.
The three Creeds, Nicene Creed, Athanasian Creed, and that which is commonly called the Apostles Creed, ought thoroughly to be received, for they may be proved by most certain warrants of Holy Scripture.
VIII
Of Original or Birth Sin.
Original Sin stands not in the following of Adam, as the Pelagians do vainly talk, which also the Anabaptists do nowadays renew, but it is the fault and corruption of the nature of every man that naturally is engendered of the offspring of Adam, whereby man is very far gone from his former righteousness which he had at his creation and is of his own nature given to evil, so that the flesh desires always contrary to the spirit, and therefore in every person born into this world, it deserves God’s wrath and damnation. This infection of nature does remain in them that are baptized, whereby the lust of the flesh called in Greek φρονημα σαρκος, (which some do expound, the wisdom, some sensuality, some the affection, some the desire of the flesh) is not subject to the law of God. Although there is no condemnation for them that believe and are baptized, the Apostle does confess that concupiscence and lust has of itself the nature of sin.
IX
Of Free Will.
We have no power to do good works pleasant and acceptable to God without the Grace of God by Christ preventing us that we may have a good will and working in us when we have that will.
X
Of Grace.
The Grace of Christ, or the Holy Ghost by him given, does take away the stony heart and gives a heart of flesh. Although those that have no will to good things, he makes them to will, and those that would evil things, he makes them not to will the same, he nevertheless enforces not the will. Therefore, no man, when he sins, can excuse himself as not worthy to be blamed or condemned by alleging that he sinned unwillingly or by compulsion.
XI
Of the Justification of Man.
Justification by only faith in Jesus Christ, in that sense as it is declared in the Homily of Justification, is a most certain and wholesome doctrine for Christian men.
XII
Works Before Justification.
Works done before the Grace of Christ and the inspiration of his Spirit are not pleasant to God, forasmuch as they spring not of faith in Jesus Christ, neither do they make men meet to receive Grace or, as the school authors say, deserve grace of congruity. Because they are not done as God has willed and commanded them to be done, we doubt not but they have the nature of sin.
XIII
Works of Supererogation.
Voluntary works besides, over, and above God’s commandments, which they call works of Supererogation, cannot be taught without arrogance and iniquity, for by them men do declare that they do not only render to GOD as much as they are bound to do, but that they do more for his sake then of bounden duty is required, whereas Christ says plainly, “when you have done all that are commanded you, say, ‘we are unprofitable servants.’”
XIV
No Man is Without Sin, but Christ Alone.
Christ in the truth of our nature was made like unto us in all things, sin only except, from which he was clearly void both in his flesh and in his spirit. He came to be the lamb without spot, who, by sacrifice of himself made once forever, should take away the sins of the world, and sin, as Saint John says, was not in him. But the rest, although we are baptized and born again in Christ, all offend in many things. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.
XV
Of Sin Against the Holy Ghost.
Every deadly sin willingly committed after Baptism is not sin against the Holy Ghost, and unpardonable, wherefore the place for penitents is not to be denied to such as fall into sin after Baptism. After we have received the Holy Ghost, we may depart from grace given and fall into sin, and by the grace of God we may rise again and amend our lives. Therefore, they are to be condemned which say they can no more sin as long as they live here, or deny the place for penitents to such as truly repent and amend their lives.
XVI
Blasphemy Against the Holy Ghost.
Blasphemy against the Holy Ghost is when a man of malice and stubbornness of mind does rail upon the truth of God’s word manifestly perceived, and being enemy thereunto persecutes the same. Because such are guilty of God’s curse, they entangle themselves with a most grievous and heinous crime, whereupon this kind of sin is called and affirmed of the Lord as unpardonable.
XVII
Of Predestination and Election.
Predestination to life is the everlasting purpose of God, whereby (before the foundations of the world were laid) he has constantly decreed by his own judgment, secret to us, to deliver from curse and damnation those whom he has chosen out of mankind, and to bring them to everlasting salvation by Christ as vessels made to honor, whereupon such as have so excellent a benefit of God given unto them are called according to God’s purpose by his spirit working in due season, and they through grace obey the calling, they are justified freely, they are made sons by adoption, they are made like the image of God’s only begotten son Jesus Christ, they walk religiously in good works, and at length, by God’s mercy, they attain to everlasting felicity.
As the Godly consideration of predestination and our election in Christ is full of sweet, pleasant, and unspeakable comfort to Godly persons and such as feel in themselves the working of the spirit of Christ mortifying the works of the flesh and their earthly members, drawing up their mind to high and heavenly things, as well because it does greatly establish and confirm their faith of eternal salvation to be enjoyed through Christ, as because it does fervently kindle their love towards God, for curious and carnal persons lacking the Spirit of Christ, to have continually before their eyes the sentence of God’s predestination is a most dangerous downfall whereby the Devil may thrust them either into desperation or into a recklessness of most unclean living, no less perilous than desperation.
Furthermore, although the Decrees of predestination are unknown unto us, we must receive God’s promises in such wise as they are generally set forth to us in Holy Scripture, and in our doings, that will of God is to be followed which we have expressly declared unto us in the word of God.
XVIII
We Must Trust to Obtain Eternal Salvation Only by the Name of Christ.
They also are to be had accursed and abhorred that presume to say that every man shall be saved by the law or sect which he professes, so that he is diligent to frame his life according to that law and the light of nature, for Holy Scripture does set out unto us only the name of Jesus Christ, whereby men must be saved.
XIX
All Men are Bound to Keep the Moral Commandments of the Law.
The Law, which was given from God by Moses, although it binds not Christian men concerning the ceremonies and rites of the same, neither is it required that the civil precepts and orders of it should of necessity be received in any commonwealth, no man, be he never so perfect a Christian, is exempt and loose from the obedience of those commandments which are called moral. Wherefore they are not to be harkened unto who affirm that Holy Scripture is given only to the weak and do boast themselves continually of the spirit, of whom (they say) they have learned such things as they teach, although the same is most evidently repugnant to the Holy Scripture.
XX
Of the Church.
The visible Church of Christ is a congregation of faithful Men, in which the pure word of God is preached, and the sacraments are duly ministered according to Christs ordinance, in all those things that of necessity are requisite to the same.
As the Church of Jerusalem, of Alexandria, and of Antioch has erred, so also the Church of Rome has erred, not only in their living, but also in matters of their faith.
XXI.
Of the Authority of the Church.
It is not lawful for the Church to ordain anything that is contrary to God’s word written, neither may it so expound one place of scripture that it is repugnant to another. Wherefore although the church is a witness and a keeper of holy writ, it ought not to decree anything against the same, so besides the same ought it not to enforce any thing to be believed for necessity of salvation.
XXII.
Of the Authority of General Councils.
General councils may not be gathered together without the commandment and will of Princes, and when they are gathered (forasmuch as they are an assembly of men whereof all are not governed with the spirit, and word of God) they may err, and sometime have erred, not only in worldly matters but also in things pertaining unto God. Wherefore things ordained by them as necessary to salvation have neither strength nor authority, unless it may be declared, that they are taken out of Holy Scripture.
XXIII.
Of Purgatory.
The doctrine of school authors concerning Purgatory, pardons, worshipping and adoration as well of images, as of relics, and also invocation of saints, is a fond thing vainly feigned and grounded upon no warrant of scripture, but rather repugnant to the word of God.
XXIV.
No Man May Minister in the Congregation, unless he is Called.
It is not lawful for any man to take upon him the office of public preaching or ministering the sacraments in the congregation before he is lawfully called and sent to execute the same. Those we ought to judge lawfully called and sent, which are chosen and called to this work by men who have public authority given unto them in the congregation to call and send ministers into the Lord’s vineyard.
XXV.
Men Must Speak in the Congregation in Such Tongue as the People Understand.
It is most seemly and most agreeable to the word of God that in the congregation nothing be openly read or spoken in a tongue unknown to the people, the which thing S. Paul did forbid, unless some were present that should declare the same.
XXVI.
Of the Sacraments.
Our Lord Jesus Christ has knit together a company of new people with Sacraments, most few in number, most easy to be kept, most excellent in signification, as is Baptism, and the Lord’s Supper.
The Sacraments were not ordained by Christ to be gazed upon or to be carried about, but that we should rightly use them. In such only as worthily receive the same, they have a wholesome effect and operation, and yet not that of the work wrought, as some men speak, which word, as it is strange and unknown to Holy Scripture, so it engenders no Godly, but a very superstitious sense. They that receive the Sacraments unworthily purchase to themselves damnation, as Saint Paul says.
Sacraments ordained by the word of God are not only badges and tokens of Christian men’s profession, but rather they are certain sure witnesses and effectual signs of grace and God’s good will towards us, by the which he does work invisibly in us, and does not only quicken, but also strengthen and confirm our faith in him.
XXVII.
The Wickedness of the Ministers Does Not Take Away the Effectual Operation of God’s Ordinances.
Although in the visible Church the evil is ever mingled with the good, and sometime the evil have chief authority in the ministration of the word and Sacraments, forasmuch as they do not the same in their own name, but do minister by Christs commission and authority, we may use their ministry, both in hearing the word of God and in the receiving the sacraments, neither is the effect of God’s ordinances taken away by their wickedness, or the grace of God’s gifts diminished from such as by faith and rightly receive the Sacraments ministered unto them, which are effectual because of Christ’s institution and promise, although they are ministered by evil men. Nevertheless, it appertains to the discipline of the Church, that enquiry be made of such, and that they be accused by those that have knowledge of their offences, and finally being found guilty by just judgment, be deposed.
XXVIII.
Of Baptism.
Baptism is not only a sign of profession and mark of difference whereby Christian men are discerned from others that are not Christened, but it is also a sign and seal of
our new birth whereby, as by an instrument, they that receive Baptism rightly are grafted in the Church, the promises of forgiveness of sin and our adoption to be the sons of God are visibly signed and sealed, faith is confirmed, and grace increased by virtue of prayer unto God. The custom of the Church to Christian young children is to be commended and in any wise to be retained in the Church.
XXIX.
Of the Lord’s Supper.
The Supper of the Lord is not only a sign of the love that Christians ought to have among themselves one to another, but rather it is a sacrament of our redemption by Christ’s death, insomuch that to such as rightly, worthily, and with faith receive the same, the bread which we break, is a communion of the body of Christ. Likewise, the cup of blessing is a Communion of the blood of Christ.
Transubstantiation, or the change of the substance of bread and wine into the substance of Christ’s body and blood cannot be proved by holy writ, but is repugnant to the plain words of Scripture, and has given occasion to many superstitions. Forasmuch as the truth of man’s nature requires that the body of one and the self-same man cannot be at one time in diverse places, but must needs be in some one certain place, the body of Christ cannot be present at one time in many and diverse places. Because (as Holy Scripture does teach) Christ was taken up into heaven, and there shall continue unto the end of the world, a faithful man ought not, either to believe or openly to confess the real and bodily presence (as they term it) of Christ’s flesh and blood in the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper.
The Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper was not commanded by Christ’s ordinance to be kept, carried about, lifted up, or worshipped.
XXX.
Of the Perfect Oblation of Christ Made Upon the Cross.
The offering of Christ made once forever is the perfect redemption, the pacifying of God’s displeasure, and satisfaction for all the sins of the whole world, both original and actual, and there is none other satisfaction for sin but that alone. Wherefore the sacrifices of masses, in the which, it was commonly said, that the Priest did offer Christ for the quick and the dead, to have remission of pain or sin, were forged fables and dangerous deceits.
XXXI.
The State of Single Life is Commanded to No Man by the Word of God.
Bishops, Priests, and Deacons are not commanded to vow the state of single life without marriage, neither by God’s law are they compelled to abstain from matrimony.
XXXII.
Excommunicate Persons are to Be Avoided.
That person, which by open denunciation of the Church is rightly cut off from the unity of the Church and excommunicate, ought to be taken of the whole multitude of the faithful as a Heathen and publican until he is openly reconciled by penance and received into the Church by a Judge that has authority thereto.
XXXIII.
Traditions of the Church.
It is not necessary that traditions and ceremonies be in all places one or utterly like, for at all times they have been diverse and may be changed, according to the diversity of countries and men’s manners, so that nothing is ordained against God’s word. Whosoever through his private judgment willingly and purposely does openly break the traditions and ceremonies of the Church which are not repugnant to the word of God and be ordained and approved by common authority ought to be rebuked openly (that others may fear to do the like) as one that offends against the common order of the church, hurts the authority of the Magistrate, and wounds the consciences of the weak brethren.
XXXIV.
Homilies.
The homilies of late given and set out by the king’s authority are Godly and wholesome, containing doctrine to be received of all men, and therefore are to be read to the people diligently, distinctly, and plainly.
XXXV.
Of the Book of Prayers, and Ceremonies of the Church of England.
The Book which of very late time was given to the Church of England by the king authority and the Parliament containing the manner and forms of praying and administering the Sacraments in the Church of England, likewise also the book of ordering Ministers of the Church set forth by the foresaid authority, are Godly, and in no point repugnant to the wholesome doctrine of the Gospel, but agreeable thereunto, furthering and beautifying the same not a little, and therefore of all faithful members of the Church of England and chiefly of the ministers of the word, they ought to be received and allowed with all readiness of mind and thanksgiving, and to be commended to the people of God.
XXXVI.
Of Civil Magistrates.
The king of England is Supreme head on earth, next under Christ, of the Church of England and Ireland. The Bishop of Rome has no jurisdiction in this Realm of England. The Civil Magistrate is ordained and allowed of God; wherefore we must obey him, not only for fear of punishment, but also for conscience sake. The Civil laws may punish Christian men with death for heinous and grievous offences. It is lawful for Christians, at the commandment of the Magistrate, to wear weapons and to serve in lawful wars.
XXXVII.
Christian Men’s Goods are not Common.
The riches and goods of Christians are not common, as touching the right title and possession of the same (as certain Anabaptists do falsely boast); notwithstanding every man ought of such things as he possesses liberally to give alms to the poor, according to his ability.
XXXVIIL
Christian Men May Take an Oath.
As we confess that vain and rash swearing is forbid Christian men by our Lord Jesus Christ and his Apostle James, so we judge that Christian religion does not prohibit that a man may swear, when the magistrate requires in a cause of faith and charity, so it is done (according to the Prophets’ teaching) in justice, judgment, and truth.
XXXIX.
The Resurrection of the Dead is Not Yet Brought to Pass.
The Resurrection of the dead is not as yet brought to pass, as though it only belonged to the soul, which by the grace of Christ is raised from the death of sin, but it is to be looked for at the late date, for then (as Scripture does most manifestly testify) to all that are dead, their own bodies, flesh, and bone shall be restored that the whole man may (according to his works) have other reward, or punishment, as he has lived virtuously, or wickedly.
XL.
The Souls of Them That Depart this Life Do Neither Die with the Bodies, nor Sleep Idly.
They which say that the souls of such as depart hence do sleep, being without all sense, feeling, or perceiving, until the Day of Judgment, or affirm that the souls die with
the bodies, and at the last day shall be raised up with the same, do utterly dissent from the right belief declared to us in Holy Scripture.
XLI.
Heretics called Millenarii.
They that go about to renew the fable of heretics called Millenarii are repugnant to Holy Scripture, and cast themselves headlong into Jewish dotage.
XLII.
All Men Shall Not Be Saved at the Length.
They also are worthy of condemnation who endeavor at this time to restore the dangerous opinion that all men, be they never so ungodly, shall at length be saved when they have suffered pains for their sins a certain time appointed by God’s justice.
GOD SAVE THE KING

An Expanded Family Prayer Daily Office

My prior attempt at drafting a very modest and slightly updated version of the 1928 BCP Family Prayer Office can be found here. After examining the 2003 REC Modern Language rite, which is an update similar to my own proposal (with little, if any meaningful deviations), I was fortunate to have a colleague at The North American Anglican steer me to Bishop Edmund Gibson‘s original Family Prayer devotions, which can be found here and here. A side-by-side comparison of: Bishop Gibson’s Family Prayer devotions, the first three American BCP’s adaptations of those devotions, the 1928 BCP, and the 1979 BCP adaptations can be found here.

Bishop Gibson is an excellent standard the Liturgy Task Force should lean upon. He included a variety of prayers and an excellent preface to his works which should be republished.  My revised version of an updated language Family Prayer section for the proposed ACNA BCP incorporates much more of Bishop Gibson’s original prayers and adds a section regarding individual prayer.

It is interesting that Bishop Gibson took the step to create an individual prayer section since all worship is corporate throughout the BCP. This individual prayer devotion was originally addressed towards servants who were not always allowed inside the family’s worship and were too far away or consumed with their duties to attend distance church services. It is also evident that Bishop Gibson developed these extensive prayers to serve the American frontier, since all Anglican churches in the colonies were under his purview as Bishop of London.

The language Bishop Gibson utilizes is beautiful in both its wording and theological depth.  I prefer not to alter the wording, but since the proposed  ACNA BCP is to be written in contemporary language, I thought that taking a stab at “modernizing” (I hate that word) the Family Prayer devotions for the ACNA Liturgy Task Force’s consideration would be worthwhile.

Family prayer and catechesis within the family is ignored by the average American Christian.  The inclusion of a more extensive Daily Office for Families would help encourage laity to take up their responsibilities to the Lord in raising disciples within the home. It is imperative that ACNA, and every orthodox Anglican and Christian jurisdiction, take up the banner for pressing laity into service by calling them to have home oratories to bolster and strengthen the local parish. Our vocations are not merely limited to our careers but extend to fatherhood and motherhood. Through the Family Prayer Daily Office, parents are continually presenting supplications and blessings to the Lord in prayer and providing examples to their children. A new BCP without the traditional Family Prayer section would be a missed opportunity for ACNA.

Forgive the formatting, it has not translated well from my copy and paste job from Microsoft Word. I will try to reformat and republish as it appears in my Word version.

Updated Proposal to ACNA Liturgy Task Force for BCP Office for Family Prayer

FAMILY OFFICE MORNING PRAYER.

The head of the household having called together the Family says the following with all kneeling, and repeating with him the Lord’s Prayer.

Let us pray:

OUR Father, who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy Name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, On earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, As we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, But deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

Here may follow the Collect for the day.

¶ Here may follow the Daily Lectionary reading from the Old and New Testaments.

¶ Here may follow the Daily Lectionary reading of the Psalter, read responsively.

Acknowledgment of God’s Mercy and Preservation through the Night.

ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, in Whom we live, move, and have our being, and whose mercy is all over Your works: We, your needy creatures, in a thankful sense of Your good Providence over us, give your our humble praises, for your preservation of us from the beginning of our lives to this day. Blessed be Your holy Name for the continued protection by Your hand, by which we have been defended within the changes and changes of this mortal life, and kept safe and delivered from innumerable dangers, and particularly from the dangers of the past night. To Your watchful Providence we wholly owe that regardless our fears and dangers around us, we are brought in safety to the beginning of this day. For your mercies, we bless and magnify your glorious Name; humbly asking you to accept this our morning sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving; for the sake Him who lay down in the grave, and rose again for us, your Son our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

Dedication of Soul and Body to God’s Service.

 

Since it is of your mercy gracious Father that another day is added to our lives; We here dedicate both our souls and our bodies to your service, in a sober, righteous, and godly life. We renounce the devil and all his works, the vanities of this evil world, and all the sinful lusts of the flesh; desiring nothing so much as to serve You faithfully all the days of our lives. Sincerely we resolve to improve in the time you are pleased to grant us in this world that we may each day become better servants of You and persevere in holiness and righteousness until the end. We ask you merciful God to confirm and strengthen us; that, as we grow in age, we may grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

But God, who know the weakness and corruption of our nature, and the many temptations which we daily meet; We humbly ask You to have compassion on our infirmities, and to give us the constant assistance of your Holy Spirit; that we may be effectually restrained from sin, and incited to our duty. When You see us giving into temptation, prevent us from being tempted beyond our ability, and stretch out Your helping hand to save and deliver us.

Imprint upon our hearts such a dread of your judgments, and such a grateful sense of your goodness to us, as may make us both afraid and ashamed to offend You. And, above all, keep in our minds a lively remembrance of that great day, in which we must give a strict account of our thoughts, words, and actions to Him whom you have appointed the Judge of quick and dead, your Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

¶ Here may follow a hymn, canticle, or the Apostle’s Creed

For Grace to guide and keep us the following Day, and for God’s Blessing

So we may give a good account of this day, give us grace to have You and your law before our eyes, that we may walk in it according to Your will with watchfulness and guarded consideration. We implore Your grace and protection for the ensuing day. Keep us sober and temperate in all things, including food and drink, and diligent in our several callings and professions which Your Providence has appointed us. Grant us patience under our afflictions and minds always contented with our present condition You see fit to lay upon us. Give us grace to be just and upright in all our dealings; quiet and peaceable among our neighbors; full of compassion towards the needy and afflicted; and ready to do good to all men, according to our abilities and opportunities. Through walking faithfully before You throughout our days, and being found watchful for our appointed time, we may from a life of righteousness be translated to a life of glory, through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ, our only Savior and Redeemer. Amen.

For God’s blessing upon the business of the day

[*Now we are entering upon the business of the stations which Your Providence has placed us, and we truly ask Your blessing this day upon our honest plans and work ahead. Direct us in all our ways and prosper the works of our hands.] We desire to walk in a constant sense of Your all-seeing Providence, therefore preserve our coming and going throughout this day. Defend us from all dangers and adversities; and be graciously pleased to take us, and all who are dear to us, under your fatherly care and protection. These things, and whatever else You shall see to be necessary and convenient for us, we humbly ask You, through the merits and mediation of your Son Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. Amen.

*On Sunday morning, instead of the bracketed text, say: And now we are going to public worship, therefore we ask you to let Your Holy Spirit accompany us, and make us devout, serious and attentive, raise our minds from the thoughts of this world, to the consideration of the next, that we fervently join in the prayers and praises of Your church, and listen to our duty with honest hearts, in order to practice it. And give us grace to dedicate this day, as You have appointed us, to Your service and the care of our souls. Direct us in all our ways, and guide our feet into Your paths.

THE grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Ghost, be with us all evermore. Amen.

 

FAMILY OFFICE EVENING PRAYER.

The head of household with all the Family kneeling, and repeating with him the Lord’s Prayer.

Let us pray:

OUR Father, who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy Name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, On earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, As we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, But deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

Here may follow the Collect for the day.

¶ Here may follow the Daily Lectionary reading from the Old and New Testaments.

¶ Here may follow the Daily Lectionary reading of the Psalter, read responsively.

Confession of Sins, with a Prayer for Contrition and Pardon.

Let us silently confess our sins before Almighty God.

MOST gracious and merciful God, who are of purer eyes than to behold iniquity, and has promised mercy and forgiveness to all those who confess and forsake their sins; We come before You in an humble sense of our own unworthiness, acknowledging our manifold transgressions of your righteous laws, in thought, word and deed. We have every day been doing those things which You have forbidden, and leaving undone the things which You have commanded. When we look upon our past lives and remember that You are privy to our most secret sins, we are afraid of Your judgements and are ashamed to lift up our eyes to You.

* But, O gracious Father, who desire not the death of a sinner, look upon us, we ask you to be merciful, in Your Son Jesus Christ, for the merits of His sufferings, and forgive us all our transgressions. Make us deeply aware of the great evil of them; and work in us a broken and contrite heart leading to a lamentation of our sins and a hearty repentance; that we may obtain forgiveness at Your hands, Who art ever ready to receive humble and penitent sinners; for the sake of Your Son Jesus Christ, our only Savior and Redeemer. Amen.

* Here let him who reads make a short pause, that every one may secretly confess the sins and failings of that day.

Prayer for Grace to reform and grow Better.

AND prior to our own frailty, or the temptations which encompass us, we be drawn again into sin, protect us through the direction and assistance of your Holy Spirit. Reform whatever is amiss in the temper and disposition of our souls; that no unclean thoughts, unlawful designs, or wrongful desires, may rest there. Purge our hearts from envy, hatred, and malice; that we may never allow the sun to go down upon our wrath; but may always go to our rest in peace, charity, and good-will, with a conscience void of offence towards you, and towards men: That so our hearts are fit for Your Holy Spirit’s dwelling and whether we wake or sleep, will be under His blessed protection, and have our whole spirit, soul, and body preserved pure and blameless, unto the coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

The Intercession.

Accept O Lord as the testimony of our love and charity, our intercessions for all mankind. Let the light of your Gospel shine upon all nations; and may as many as have received it, live as becomes it. Be gracious unto Your Church; and grant that every member of the same, in his vocation and ministry, may serve you faithfully. Bless all in authority over us; and so rule their hearts and strengthen their hands, that they may punish wickedness and maintain your true religion and virtue. Send down your blessings, temporal and spiritual, upon all our family, friends, and neighbors. Reward all who have done us good, and pardon all those who have done or wish us evil, and give them repentance and better minds. Be merciful to all who are in any trouble and affliction of mind or body; and do administer to them according to their needs; for the sake of He who went about doing good to the souls and bodies of men, Your Son our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

¶ Here may follow a hymn, canticle, or Apostle’s Creed

The Thanksgiving.

TO our prayers, O Lord, we join our sincere thanks for all your mercies; our life, our reason, and all other gifts of soul and body. We thank you Lord for our health, friends, food, clothing, and all the other comforts and conveniences of life. Above all, we adore Your mercy in sending Your only Son into the world, to redeem us from sin and eternal death, and in giving us the knowledge and sense of our duty towards You. We bless You for your patience with us, notwithstanding our many and great sins. We bless You for all the directions, assistance, and comforts of Your Holy Spirit; for Your continual care and watchful providence over us through the whole course of our lives; and particularly for the mercies and benefits of the past day. We humbly ask you to continue your blessings to us, and to give us grace to show our thankfulness in a sincere obedience to Your laws, through whose merits and intercession we received them all, Your Son our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

Prayer for God’s Protection through the Night following.

IN particular, we ask you to continue your gracious protection to us this night. Defend us from all dangers and from fear that we may enjoy refreshing sleep for the duties of the coming day. And grant us grace always to live in such a manner that we may never be afraid to die; so that, living and dying, we may be Yours through the merits and satisfaction of Your Son Christ Jesus, in whose Name we offer up these our imperfect prayers. Amen.

THE grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Ghost, be with us all evermore. Amen.

On Sundays, and on other days when it may be convenient, it will be proper to begin with a Chapter, or part of a Chapter, from the New Testament.

 

 

A SHORTER FORM OF THE FAMILY DAILY OFFICES:

MORNING.

After the reading of a brief portion of Holy Scripture, let the Head of the Household, or some other member of the family, say as follows with all kneeling, and repeating with him the Lord’s Prayer.

OUR Father, who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy Name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, On earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, As we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, But deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

LORD, our heavenly Father, Almighty and everlasting God, Who has safely brought us to the beginning of this day; please defend us with Your mighty power; and grant that this day we not fall into sin, neither run into any kind of danger; but that all our doings, being ordered by Your governance, may be righteous in your sight; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

¶ Here may be added any special Prayers.

THE grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Ghost, be with us all evermore. Amen.

EVENING.

After the reading of a brief portion of Holy Scripture, let the Head of the Household, or some other member of the family, say as follows with all kneeling and repeating with him the Lord’s Prayer.

OUR Father, who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy Name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, On earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, As we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, But deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

Enlighten our darkness, we beg you O Lord; and by Your great mercy defend us from all perils and dangers of this night; for the love of your only Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Here may be added any special Prayers.

THE Lord bless us and keep us. The Lord make his face to shine upon us, and be gracious unto us. The Lord lift up his countenance upon us, and give us peace, this night and evermore. Amen.

AN ORDER FOR PRIVATE INDIVIDUAL MORNING PRAYER

When you rise from bed in the morning, begin.

“I laid me down and slept, and rose up again, for the Lord sustained me.” Psalm 3:5.

Almighty and Everlasting God, in Whom I live, move, and have my being, and whose mercy is all over Your works; I give you my humble thanks for the preservation of my life.  I thank You that You have protected me from the perils and dangers of the past night and have given me quiet and comfortable rest and brought me safely to the beginning of this day.  Allow the same good Providence continue to watch over me and preserve my comings and goings, that I may be defended from all dangers, the temptations of the world, the flesh, and the devil. Give me grace to act with sobriety, diligence, honesty, in my vocation, and with duty and submission to those You have set over me; and to desire and endeavor to live in peace and love with my neighbors. Preserve a strict regard to truth and sincerity in all my words and actions and let no fear of punishment or displeasure from men ever make me transgress my duty to You.

To the end may I walk in Your fear this day, and all the days of my life; keep up in my mind a due sense and reverence of Your all-knowing wisdom, and the remembrance of the last day in which I must give a strict account of my thoughts, words, and actions; and according to the works done in my body, be sentenced by Your righteous judgment for eternity. Grant this, O Father, for the sake of Your Son Jesus Christ, my blessed Savior and Redeemer. Amen.

AN ORDER FOR PRIVATE INDIVIDUAL EVENING PRAYER

Just prior to entering your bed, begin.

Most gracious God, who by Your wise Providence have appointed to Mankind their several stations and offices in this life, I acknowledge Your wisdom and goodness in this and all other dispensations; desiring in all things to pay a ready and cheerful submission to Your holy will. To this end, provide me with a spirit of humility, patience, and contentment, as is suitable to the condition in which Your Providence has placed me. Bless me with good health, a comforted mind that I may perform the offices which belong to me with cheerfulness and doing my duty to You, and resting on the gracious promises for a reward of my labor and obedience in this life.

Since, through the frailty of my nature and the numerous temptations which I daily meet, I cannot always stand upright; I pray You to forgive me all transgressions of my duty, whether in thought, word, or deed, and especially forgive me the sings and failings of the past day, and enable me through the Holy Spirit to avoid them for the future, and to be ever rowing in the graces and virtues of the Christian life, as long as You shall be pleased to continue my life in this world. I thank You for your constant care over me considering the changes of this mortal life, and in particular for Your preservation of me during this past day.  I ask You to continue Your gracious protection to me this night that I may enjoy such quiet and refreshing sleep as may fit me for the duties of the next day.  I ask you for this in the Name, and for the merits of Your Son Jesus Christ, my blessed Savior and Redeemer. Amen. Our Father, which art in heaven; hallowed be thy Name. They kingdom come. They will be done on Earth, as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive them that trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, forever and ever. Amen.

“I will lie me down in peace, and take my rest, for I is Thou Lord only that makest me dwell in safety.” Psalm 4:9.

ADDITIONAL PRAYERS

For the Spirit of Prayer.

ALMIGHTY God, who pours out on all who desires the spirit of grace and of supplication; Deliver us, when we draw away to your from coldness of heart and wanderings of mind, that with a diligent mind and heart we may worship You in spirit and in truth; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

In the Morning.

O GOD, the King eternal, who separated the day from the darkness, and turns the shadow of death into the morning; Drive far off from us all wrong desires, incline our hearts to keep Your law, and guide our feet into the way of peace; that having done Your will with cheerfulness while it was day, we may, when the night arrives, rejoice to give You thanks; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

ALMIGHTY God, who alone provided us the breath of life, and alone can keep alive in us the holy desires you do impart; We ask You for your compassion’s sake, to sanctify all our thoughts and endeavors; that we may neither begin an action without a pure intention nor continue it without your blessing. And grant that, having the eyes of the mind opened to behold things invisible and unseen, we may in heart be inspired by your wisdom, and in work be upheld by Your strength, and in the end be accepted by You as Your faithful servants; through Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen.

At Night.

O LORD, support us all the day long, until the shadows lengthen and the evening comes, and the busy world is hushed, and the fever of life is over, and our work is done. Then in your mercy grant us a safe lodging, and a holy rest, and peace at the last. Amen.

O GOD, who are the life of mortal men, the light of the faithful, the strength of those who labor, and the repose of the dead; We thank you for the timely blessings of the day, and humbly supplicate your merciful protection all this night. Bring us, we ask you, in safety to the morning hours; through Him who died for us and rose again, Your Son, our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

Sunday Morning.

O GOD, who makes us glad with the weekly remembrance of the glorious resurrection of Your Son our Lord; Provide us this day such a blessing through our worship of your, that the days to come may be spent in Your service; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

For Quiet Confidence.

O GOD of peace, who has taught us that in returning and rest we shall be saved, in quietness and in confidence shall be our strength; By the might of Your Spirit lift us, we pray to your presence, where we may be still and know that You are God; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

For Guidance.

O GOD, by whom the meek are guided in judgment, and light rises up in darkness for the godly; Grant us, in all our doubts and uncertainties, the grace to ask what You would have us to do, that the Spirit of Wisdom may save us from all false choices, and that in Your light we may see light, and in Your straight path may not stumble; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

For Trustfulness.

O MOST loving Father, who wills us to give thanks for all things, to dread nothing but the loss of you, and to cast all our care on you and who cares for us; Preserve us from faithless fears and worldly anxieties, and grant that no clouds of this mortal life may hide from us the light of that love which is immortal, and which You have manifested to us in Your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

O HEAVENLY Father, You understand all Your children; through Your gift of faith we bring our confusion to the light of your wisdom, and receive the blessed encouragement of your sympathy, and a clearer knowledge of your will. Glory be to You for all Your gracious gifts. Amen.

For Joy in God’s Creation.

O HEAVENLY Father, who has filled the world with beauty; Open, we as You, our eyes to behold your gracious hand in all your works; that rejoicing in your whole creation, we may learn to serve you with gladness; for the sake of Him by whom all things were made, Your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

For the Children.

ALMIGHTY God, heavenly Father, who has blessed us with the joy and care of children; Give us light and strength so to train them, that they may love whatsoever things are true and pure and lovely and of good report, following the example of their Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

For the Absent.

O GOD, whose fatherly care reaches to the ends of the earth; We humbly ask you graciously to behold and bless those whom we love, now absent from us. Defend them from all dangers of soul and body; and grant that both they and we, drawing nearer to you, may be bound together by your love in the communion of your Holy Spirit, and in the fellowship of your saints; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

For Those We Love.

ALMIGHTY God, we entrust all who are dear to us to your never-failing care and love, for this life and the life to come; knowing that you are doing for them better things than we can desire or pray for; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

For the Recovery of a Sick Person.

O MERCIFUL God, giver of life and health; Bless, we pray You that Your servant, [N.], and those who administer to him of your healing gifts; that he may be restored to health of body and of mind; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

For One about to undergo an Operation.

ALMIGHTY God our heavenly Father, we ask You graciously to comfort Your servant in his suffering, and to bless the means made use of for his cure. Fill his heart with confidence, that though he be sometime afraid, he yet may put his trust in Your; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

For a Birthday.

WATCH over Your child, O Lord, as his days increase; bless and guide him wherever he may be, keeping him unspotted from the world. Strengthen him when he stands; comfort him when discouraged or sorrowful; raise him up if he fall; and in his heart may your peace which passes understanding abide all the days of his life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

 

For an Anniversary of One Departed.

ALMIGHTY God, we remember this day your faithful servant [N.], and we pray that, having opened to him the gates of larger life, you will receive him more and more into your joyful service; that he may rest, with You and Your servants everywhere, in the eternal victory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

For Those in Mental Darkness.

O HEAVENLY Father, we ask you to have mercy upon all your children who are living in mental darkness. Restore them to strength of mind and cheerfulness of spirit, and give them health and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

For a Blessing on the Families of the Land.

ALMIGHTY God, our heavenly Father, who places us in families; We place in your continual care the homes in which your people dwell. Put far from them every root of bitterness, the desire of vainglory, and the pride of life. Fill them with faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness. Knit together in constant affection those who, in holy wedlock, have been made one flesh; turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to the fathers; and so enkindle fervent love among us all, that we be endued with brotherly love; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

For all Poor, Homeless, and Neglected Folk.

O GOD, Almighty and merciful, who heals those that are broken in heart, and turns the sadness of the sorrowful to joy; Let Your fatherly goodness be upon all that You have made. Remember in pity those that are destitute, homeless, or forgotten of their fellow-men. Bless the congregation of your poor. Uplift those who are cast down. Mightily befriend innocent sufferers, and sanctify to them the endurance of their wrongs. Cheer with hope all discouraged and unhappy people, and by your heavenly grace preserve from falling those whose extreme poverty tempts them to sin; Although they be troubled on every side, let them not be distressed and though they be perplexed, save them from despair. Grant this, O Lord, for the love of Him, who for our sakes became poor, Your Son, our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

For Faithfulness in the Use of this World’s Goods.

ALMIGHTY God, whose loving hand has given us all that we possess; Grant us grace that we may honor you with our substance, and remembering the account which we must one day give, may be faithful stewards of Your bounty; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

A General Intercession.

O GOD, at whose word man goes forth to his work and to his labor until the evening; Be merciful to all whose duties are difficult or burdensome, and comfort them concerning their toil. Shield from bodily accident and harm the workmen at their work. Protect the efforts of sober and honest industry, and allow not laborers to be defrauded. Incline the heart of employers and of those whom they employ to mutual forbearance, fairness, and goodwill. Give the spirit of governance and of a sound mind to all in places of authority. Bless all those who labor in works of mercy or in schools. Care for all elderly persons, all little children, the sick and the afflicted, and those who travel. Remember all who by reason of weakness are overtasked, or because of poverty are forgotten. Let the sorrowful sighing of the prisoners come before You; and according to the greatness of Your power, preserve those that are appointed to die. Give ear unto our prayer, O merciful and gracious Father, for the love of Your dear Son, our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

Grace before Meat.

BLESS, O Father, Your gifts to our use and us to your service; for Christ’s sake. Amen.

GIVE us grateful hearts, our Father, for all Your mercies, and make us mindful of the needs of others; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

Drown

Your love is the sea.
Deep as the ocean,
Sublime as the tide,
Open as is wide.

I drift alone
With ship-wrecked men,
Taking their time,
Plotting demise.

Cold to the touch
Dark as my heart,
Deep is the abyss
We float upon.

Dare to take a dive
Open my breath wide,
And take within
Your unyielding embrace.

Releasing my will
Surrendering the surface,
Driven by the currents
Of your direction.

Cast ashore the
Beach of your choosing,
Governs the steps
Upon firm ground.

Online BCP, Sermon, & Catechesis Resources

The Homely Hours has an excellent post compiling Book of Common Prayer Resources: https://thehomelyhours.com/2017/04/20/great-prayer-book-online-resources/

I also recommend the following Anglican resources:

iPray app: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ipray-bcp/id431349318

Variety of BCPs across the Anglican Communion: http://justus.anglican.org/resources/bcp/

Sermons for Lay Readers: http://www.angelfire.com/sc3/kaysplace/

Lectionary Central: http://www.lectionarycentral.com/

Read the Fathers: http://readthefathers.org/calendar/

Two Books of Homilies: http://footstoolpublications.com/Homilies/index.htm

Compilation of Anglican Resources: http://www.anglican.net/

The Anglican Library: http://www.anglicanlibrary.org/

Anglican Books Revitalized: http://newscriptorium.com/

1928 Daily Office Updated Daily: http://commonprayer.org/

Prayer Book Society US Catechesis Project: http://www.pbsusa.org/catechesis-project/

ACNA Catechism: http://anglicanchurch.net/?/main/catechism