Rev. Jefferies Response Re: ACNA 2019 BCP & Prayer Book Society USA’s Updated 1662 BCP

Glad to see Rev. Jefferies respond and do so on the same outlet that has mainly hosted as the battlefield of opinion on the new ACNA 2019 BCP, The North American Anglican.

A few items worth noting:

Some priests and theologians might explain the prepositions in the sacramental rites as causative, some as promissory, but in either case, we can all pray the same prayers. This was the theological genius of 1662.

. . .

And, certainly, the 1662 has strengths that the 2019 does not have. Most definitely. In unity, simplicity, beauty, the 1662 easily beats 2019.

Agree on all counts, which is why I hate to see us lose common prayer with so many options and would have rather seen an updating of the 2003 REC BCP as the baseline instead of “Starting from what is known and nearly-ubiquitous (the 1979 structures etc) . . . .”

I agree that some things have been lost that were in the 1662, but I don’t think they are the core — which I would argue is theological — of the legacy of the 1662.

I would disagree here. Losing language like “miserable offenders” in the daily office confession is excising theological language while adding additional prayers for the faithful departed does reflect minimizing one aspect of Anglican theology (original sin) while emphasizing a theology of remembrance for the dead. Likewise, it is unfortunate that the classic, short prayer book catechism (the basic requirement for confirmation and admission to Holy Communion) is not retained while additional daily offices are included and the word “regeneration” is made optional.  Such losses do not render the ACNA 2019 BCP a deviation like the 1979, but I do lament not restoring what was loss in the 1979 BCP. This was a crucial opportunity to restore what American Anglicanism loss and while the end result is a solid step in the right direction, but not a full restoration.

This makes the Prayer Book Society – USA’s recent announcement in publishing a new edition of the 1662 BCP with minor alterations to make it more global in usage quite interesting. Additionally, the United Episcopal Church of North America recently voted at National Council to allow usage of the 1662 BCP and a deanery has been formed in CANA West that will solely use the 1662 BCP.  Although personally, I prefer retaining the American inheritance of our 1892/1928 BCP and adapting it to conform to the 1662 (Athanasian Creed restored, Luther’s Flood Prayer restored, etc.). Hence, I remain a broken record for the 2003 REC BCP and REC Modern Language BCP, which does this but could still have been improved upon slightly in the modern language aspect.

. . . the BCP 2019 is un-apologetically an inheritor of the 1979 BCP and the Liturgical Movement it participated in . . .

. . .

. . . in a world indelibly shaped by the Liturgical Movement, . . .

Which is quite a shame, considering the errors spurred by Dix and the resulting Liturgical Movement. (See pages 1-2 here for more.)

A point of clarification, before closing out, the letter states:

That it could be approved both by John Cosin AND Richard Baxter, even though these two men had very different theological convictions; Indeed, the 1662 is clearly what we might with hindsight call a via media between those who emphasized the reformed aspect of their reformed catholicity, and those who emphasized the catholic heritage within that same description.

However, Richard Baxter was a nonconformist in part due to the 1662 BCP being enforced in the Act of Uniformity (1662), so the 1662 BCP is not exactly the “via media” between Bishop Cosin and Baxter but I agree the 1662 prayer book is truly representative of “reformed catholicity.”

This is why I support the traditional language version that ACNA Liturgy Task Force member Jacob Hootman has drafted, namely due to the restoration of prayer book language previously disregarded, and not because it is in traditional language.  I continue to urge readers to write the ACNA Liturgy Task Force and show your support for this project. Perhaps the ACNA BCP will once again restore some of the loss language and we can catechize those raised on the 1979 BCP with the reformed catholicity our forefathers professed and passed onto us in the historic liturgies and in the Articles of Religion.

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A must read for families

This article from The North American Anglican, a special from one of the contributors to The Homely Hours, is an absolute must-read for those interested in family devotions.

Articles 11-21 on the ACGS – Pelham podcast

Deacon Andrew continues the Anglican Church of the Good Shepherd – Pelham, AL podcast by picking back up in his read-through of the Thirty-Nine Articles. Give it a listen on your favorite podcast app.

Great Article on Family Prayer and an Announcement

The Rev. Dcn. Parker has authored a brilliant article on utilizing the full version of the daily offices but in an abbreviated manner (as allowed by the rubrics) to better facilitate family prayer.

The readers of this blog will recall my focus on using the Catechism, Family Prayer, 39 Articles, and other sections of the 1928 American and 2003 REC Prayer Books to facilitate family devotions.  As Dcn. Parker points out, Bishop Edmund Gibson authored a booklet of family devotions that were minimally adopted in creating the Family Prayer Offices in the 1928 American and 2003 REC Prayer Books.  These offices are greatly abbreviated and lack liturgical responses that would be more engaging for the family.  However, the abbreviated version of the full daily offices Dcn. Parker writes about do include responses that are more engaging for the entire family (or church small group for that matter).

I fully endorse and strongly recommend families use the abbreviated office that Dcn. Parker references in his article.  He is to be commended for “doing the math” and condensing the office (as allowed by the Prayer Book) into a shorter form and publishing this office for the church to use within their home.  A copy of the condensed office may be found at the bottom of the article at The North American Anglican or here.

Speaking of Bishop Edmund Gibson and his work, Family Devotion; or an Exhortation to Morning and Evening Prayers in Families, I have submitted for publication a book that takes the abbreviated daily offices and prayers from Bishop Gibson’s work and “updated” the language and spelling so the contemporary church will have his work again for family use.  Bishop Gibson’s booklet included several prayers not included in the Family Prayer Offices published in the 1928 American and 2003 REC Prayer Books.  Additionally, since the ACNA 2019 Proposed Book of Common Prayer will only include an abbreviated form of Family Prayer based on the 1979 Episcopal Prayer Book, my work will hopefully serve as a supplement.

But wait, that’s not all!” Also included in my book will be the Godly Prayers originally attached to the 1559 and later editions of the classic Books of Common Prayer, but not formally considered a part of the Prayer Book.  I have also edited the language and spelling as needed and hope it will prove a useful resource for families, small groups, individuals, and the church at large.

Finally, I have edited and enlarged much of my work on this blog to serve as a bit of a “how to” guide in starting family prayer.  Hopefully, it will prove to be of some use, but the real gems are the two works on prayer that are being edited and republished.  More details on a publication date will be posted later.

An Update on Family Prayer in ACNA’s Proposed Book of Common Prayer

The Liturgy Task Force (LTF) for the ACNA has updated numerous sections of its Texts for Common Prayer as of January 2018.  One proposed text in particular has captured my attention due to this blog’s emphasis on family catechesis and prayer.  Namely, the greatly abbreviated daily office for family prayer.

Previously, I brought attention to how the proposed ACNA daily office for family prayer is substantially lacking in terms of content when compared to the 1928 Book of Common Prayer. Indeed, I proposed and submitted to the LTF a slightly modernized and complete version of the family prayer daily office that Bishop Gibson originally authored.

My submission appears to have fallen on deaf ears as the only noticeable changes to the ACNA proposal is revising the Psalms and minor formatting.  The changes to the Psalms likely correspond with the LTF’s work on a “Revised Cloverdale Psalter.”  I had hoped that my submission (while rather large when compared to their current proposal) would at least encourage the LTF to expand the family prayer section more in tune to the 1928 Book of Common Prayer.  Although the LTF did not make any movement towards expanding their draft family prayer office, I remain hopeful that the LTF is open to further revision and expansion.

To that extent, the LTF has been very vocal lately in its call for feedback.  If you share my concern that the ACNA proposed family prayer daily office is lacking then I ask that you please contact the LTF at liturgytaskforce@anglicanchurch.net and respectfully ask that they consider using the full work of Bishop Gibson’s family prayers or at least update the version published in the 1928 Book of Common Prayer.  Using the 1928 family prayer offices is a relatively easy route for the LTF to take as the REC 2003 Modern Language BCP has already done the LTF’s work for them by modernizing the text. (See pages 160-167).

Should the LTF decline further revision to the family prayer section of the ACNA BCP, I would like to publish my edited work of Bishop Gibson’s classic.  Please feel free to comment whether you would be interested in such a work.  My present work could be expanded with a guide on how to start a family oratory in the Anglican tradition and concluding with the edited version of Bishop Gibson’s family prayers.

New Anglican Resources

Previously, I dedicated a post to resources to assist Anglicans in their daily prayer, catechesis, and devotional life: Online BCP, Sermon, & Catechesis Resources.  Since then, I have discovered a few additional resources that need to be shared.

For several years I have wished there was an app that would contain the Anglican formularies.  Someone has finally created an app for both iOS and Droid that contains the daily office from the 1928 Book of Common Prayer. It is www.anglicanhours.com and the iTunes link is: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/anglican-hours/id1330286668?ls=1&mt=8 while the Droid link is: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.anglicanhours.lifeofprayer.

The app developer admits this is a work in progress and is extremely receptive to comments, suggestions, and identifying any bugs. He is to be commended for doing this work of love and I am very grateful to his contribution to making Anglican devotions easily accessible. I’m hopeful he will add the Athanasian Creed, Family Prayer sections from the 1928 BCP, Thirty-Nine Articles, and the Homilies.

Several excellent resources are located on the revamped Reformed Episcopal Church website: http://www.recus.org/resources.html. The Modern Language Edition of REC’s 2003 BCP (which is a slightly updated 1928 with modifications from the 1662) is now available here: http://www.recus.org/documents/ModernLanguageBCP.pdf. Also available is the REC’s Book of Occasional Services: http://www.recus.org/documents/Book-of-Occasional-Services.pdf. Finally, an excellent essay from REC’s Presiding Bishop Ray Sutton, entitled, “A Catechetical Model for Evangelism.” The REC continues to pave the way within the ACNA regarding how liturgical revision can occur and be faithful to the prayer book tradition.  May their tribe increase.

If you are aware of additional resources please feel free to leave a comment or contact me and I will include.