Four Possible Paths for the Book of Common Prayer – Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music

Our Book of Common Prayer, of course, unites us as Episcopalians. It is not a static document anymore than we are static Christ-followers. God is always working within us, and within our collective worship. Here is an example of God’s constant call to us to renew our lives in Christ and our faithful response to that call.

The Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music (SCLM) will be sending to General Convention 2018 four different paths forward for its consideration in regards to the Book of Common Prayer and liturgical renewal.  It will request that General Convention 2018 select one of the four paths that will chart the SCLM’s course for the 2018-2021, and 2021-2024 triennia.

Source: Four Possible Paths for the Book of Common Prayer – Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music

Remembering Mark, Evangelist

The beginning of the Gospel of Mark from the 7th century Book of DurrowApril 25 The Feast of St. Mark, Evangelist

“The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.” Mark 1:1 NRSV

Almighty God, by the hand of Mark the evangelist you have given to your Church the Gospel of Jesus Christ the Son of God: We thank you for this witness, and pray that we may be firmly grounded in its truth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

 

The Book of Common Prayer, p. 240

Image: The beginning of the Gospel of Mark in the 7th century Book of Durrow. Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain.

A short note on the Book of Common Prayer

The Book of Common Prayer (1662)

“Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.”
“All the deceits of the world, the flesh and the devil.”
“Read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest.”

Shakespeare? The King James Bible? Close — the Anglican Book of Common Prayer, the liturgical and literary masterpiece that along with the playwright and the landmark Bible helped shape the English language, [marked its 350th anniversary in 2012].

Anglicans Celebrate Book of Common Prayer’s 350th Anniversary by Trevor Grundy for Ecumenical News International and posted by Sojourners on May 2, 2012

From the same article:

The anniversary actually refers to the revised edition that still stands as the official doctrinal standard of the Church of England and most other churches in the worldwide Anglican Communion. After Henry VIII’s break with the Roman Catholic Church, Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Cranmer set out to replace the Latin missal with a book of liturgical services and prayers in English that would also incorporate theological changes, such as less prominence for saints.

The Prayer Book now appears in many variants in the 77 million-member Anglican Communion and has influenced the liturgical texts of other denominations.

The book’s language — another phrase is “till death us do part” from the marriage service — resonates even today, said Bishop Stephen Platten, chair of the Church of England’s Liturgical Commission. “Even in an apparently secular world, large numbers come to have their children christened or baptized. The cadences of the Prayer Book have become part of a treasury of prayers and reflections that have helped to fashion people’s lives,”

Read the entire post by Trevor Grundy.

Do you have some favorites from the Book of Common Prayer? Share them in the Comments section here. Keep the conversation going …

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Photo from the article by Trevor Grundy via Shutterstock

Wind Chimes: 10 Jan 2013

Gracious Father, we pray for thy holy Catholic Church. Fill it with all truth, in all truth with all peace. Where it is corrupt, purify it; where it is in error, direct it; where in any thing it is amiss, reform it. Where it is right, strengthen it; where it is in want, provide for it; where it is divided, reunite it; for the sake of Jesus Christ thy Son our Savior. Amen.

A prayer (updated) of William Laud (see The Book of Common Prayer, p. 816)

The chimes produce a mixed sound today: sometimes a violent crashing sound, sometimes a soft peaceful sound. What do you hear?

William Laud, Archbishop of Canterbury, d. 1645

Today (January 10th) the Episcopal Church remembers William Laud, Archbishop of Canterbury (1633-1645). Laud’s short biography in Holy Women, Holy Men tells the truth, “Laud’s reputation has remained controversial to this day. [He is] [h]onored as a martyr and condemned as an intolerant bigot ….”

Given the current concern among some in England about “The Succession to the Crown Bill” it is informative to remember today that, “Laud believed the Church of England to be in direct continuity with the medieval Church, and he stressed the unity of Church and State, exalting the role of the king as the supreme governor.” (“William Laud” on Holy Women, Holy Men).

Wind Chimes: 22 Nov 2012

Grateful to hear the sounds at all, I pause and I pray. What do you hear? What is your response?

A Song of Creation: Glorify the Lord, all you works of the Lord

Invocation

Glorify the Lord, all you works of the Lord, *
praise him and highly exalt him for ever.

In the firmament of his power, glorify the Lord, *
praise him and highly exalt him for ever.

I The Cosmic Order

Glorify the Lord, you angels and all powers of the Lord, *
O heavens and all waters above the heavens.

Sun and moon and stars of the sky, glorify the Lord, *
praise him and highly exalt him for ever.

Glorify the Lord, every shower of rain and fall of dew, *
all winds and fire and heat. Winter and summer, glorify the Lord, *
praise him and highly exalt him for ever.

Glorify the Lord, O chill and cold, *
drops of dew and flakes of snow.

Frost and cold, ice and sleet, glorify the Lord, *
praise him and highly exalt him for ever.

Glorify the Lord, O nights and days, *
O shining light and enfolding dark.

Storm clouds and thunderbolts, glorify the Lord, *
praise him and highly exalt him for ever.

II The Earth and its Creatures

Let the earth glorify the Lord, *
praise him and highly exalt him for ever.

Glorify the Lord, O mountains and hills, and all that grows upon the earth, *
praise him and highly exalt him for ever.

Glorify the Lord, O springs of water, seas, and streams, *
O whales and all that move in the waters.

All birds of the air, glorify the Lord, *
praise him and highly exalt him for ever.

Glorify the Lord, O beasts of the wild, *
and all you flocks and herds.

O men and women everywhere, glorify the Lord, *
praise him and highly exalt him for ever.

III The People of God

Let the people of God glorify the Lord, *
praise him and highly exalt him for ever.

Glorify the Lord, O priests and servants of the Lord, *
praise him and highly exalt him for ever.

Glorify the Lord, O spirits and souls of the righteous, *
praise him and highly exalt him for ever.

You that are holy and humble of heart, glorify the Lord, *
praise him and highly exalt him for ever.

Doxology

Let us glorify the Lord: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; *
praise him and highly exalt him for ever.

In the firmament of his power, glorify the Lord, *
praise him and highly exalt him for ever.

The Book of Common Prayer,  pp 88-90

Photo: by Booksworm on Wikimedia Commons

Wind Chimes: 19 Nov 2012

Alone

[Hannah] was deeply distressed
and prayed to the Lord,
and wept bitterly.

Hannah was praying silently;
only her lips moved,
but her voice was not heard

1 Samuel 1:10, 13 NRSV

The chimes, barely audible, sound like a prayer today. What do you hear?

Prayer is

Prayer is, then, to speak more boldly, a conversation with God. Though whispering, consequently, and not opening the lips, we speak in silence, yet we cry inwardly. For God hears continually the whole inward conversation. Clement of Alexandria (c. 150 – c. 215) Stromateis 7.7.

Cindy Crosby;Thomas C. Oden. Ancient Christian Devotional: Lectionary Cycle B (Search term: Proper 28). Kindle Edition.

Prayer is

Prayer is responding to God,
by thought and by deeds,
with or without words.

From the Book of Common Prayer, page 856

Take our tears, Lord

Take our tears, Lord: to water the seeds of prayer.

Psalm 6:6–9

I grow weary because of my groaning
every night I drench my bed and flood my couch with tears.

My eyes are wasted with grief
and worn away because of all my enemies.

Depart from me, all evildoers
for the LORD has heard the sound of my weeping.

The LORD has heard my supplication
the LORD accepts my prayer.

Take our tears, Lord: to water the seeds of prayer.

Claiborne, Shane; Wilson-Hartgrove, Jonathan; Okoro, Enuma (2010-11-09). Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals (p. 168). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.

Photo: by epSos.de on Wikimedia Commons

Wind Chimes: 1 Nov 2012

Revelation 5:8 presents the saints in heaven as linked by prayer with their fellow Christians on earth.

… you are no longer strangers and aliens,
but you are citizens with the saints
and also members of the household of God …

Ephesians 2:19 NRSV

Today is All Saints’ Day. A great day to remember those in every ago and circumstance, known to many, known only to a few, or known only to you, who have helped (or are helping) shape your faith, your service, and your love. ~dan

The chimes are glorious with sounds today. What do you hear?

We believe … in the communion of saints …

What is the communion of saints?

The communion of saints is the whole family of God the living and the dead, those whom we love and those whom we hurt, bound together in Christ by sacrament, prayer, and praise.

“An Outline of the Faith,” The Book of Common Prayer, p. 862

The companionship of the dead

Quote . . .As we grow older we have more and more people to remember, people who have died before us. It is very important to remember those who have loved us and those we have loved. Remembering them means letting their spirits inspire us in our daily lives. They can become part of our spiritual communities and gently help us as we make decisions on our journeys. Parents, spouses, children, and friends can become true spiritual companions after they have died. Sometimes they can become even more intimate to us after death than when they were with us in life.

Remembering the dead is choosing their ongoing companionship.

Nouwen, Henri J. M. (2009-03-17). Bread for the Journey: A Daybook of Wisdom and Faith (p. 252, August 29). Harper Collins, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

I sing a song of the saints of God

I sing a song of the Saints of God sung by the Choir of Grace Cathedral, San Francisco to the tune “Grand Isle”. From the album “Hymns of Grace”~

St. John on Patmos: Wikimedia Commons

Wind Chimes: 5 Oct 2012

Composting at Camp Stevens
Learning about composting. An extensive recycling program saves precious resources while composting food waste provides soil enrichment for the Camp’s 2-acre organic garden. Photo: Camp Stevens

Here is today’s sampling of the music made by the Spirit in the Wind Chimes.
What do you hear?

Camp Stevens: Living in the spirit of St. Francis

Camp Stevens is our Episcopal Camp and Conference Center in Julian, CA. This is their Environmental Mission Statement:

As a peaceful place apart in a beautiful natural setting, Camp Stevens serves as a point of contact between human beings and the natural world. Today we are faced with enormous environmental challenges, having failed in many respects to appreciate and protect the earth. We invite you to join us in reclaiming an active stewardship of God’s Creation.

Not so ecumenical in San Francisco

The Religion News Service headline reads Episcopal bishop says he was denied entrance to Catholic archbishop’s installation Mass. The Episcopal bishop of California (San Francisco), Marc Andrus, was invited to witness the installation Mass of the Roman Catholic Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone. Bishop Andrus says he arrived 30 minutes early. The Roman Catholic Archdiocese claims he arrived late and they were attempting to seat him without disrupting the service. Read the article on the RNS website to discover other dimensions to this ecumenical moment.

A ‘prayer for mission’

A morning “prayer for mission” from the Daily Office. On Friday I often am put in mind of ‘Good Friday.’ I remind myself to stretch out my arms in love and reach forth my hands in love. ~dan

Lord Jesus Christ, you stretched out your arms of love on the hard wood of the cross that everyone might come within the reach of your saving embrace: So clothe us in your Spirit that we, reaching forth our hands in love, may bring those who do not know you to the knowledge and love of you; for the honor of your Name. Amen.
BCP 101 (Morning Prayer II)

Remembering—a treasure trove of hope and inspiration

 Loving God, we bless your Name for the witness of Ini Kopuria, police officer and founder of the Melanesian Brotherhood, whose members saved many American pilots in a time of war, and who continue to minister courageously to the islanders of Melanesia. Open our eyes that we, with these Anglican brothers, may establish peace and hope in service to others, for the sake of Jesus Christ; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. Collect for the Commemoration in Holy Women, Holy Men.

An image of Ini Kopuria in 1945
Ini Kopuria from Holy Women, Holy Men

From the time Jesus said “Do this in remembrance of me” (and even before) faithful men and women have remembered, not just the meal and words of Jesus, but, the stories of those who went before them and those contemporaries who inspired hope in them. We have followed Jesus’ command and we have added the stories of Holy Women and Holy Men to our (Eucharistic) meals.

The Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music of the Episcopal Church is revising our “Memory Book.” You may remember the book Lesser Feasts and Fasts. This book collected short stories of “saintly” forebearers, men and women, commemorated throughout the year (see the Book of Common Prayer, pp. 15-33). In 2009 the Commission was asked to expand the number and kinds of commemorations. The Commission will report to General Convention this summer. However, the “Trial Use” of the old and new commemorations, now called Holy Women, Holy Men, will continue.

All of that is said so that I can introduce Ini Kopuria, Founder of the Melanesian Brotherhood, 1945. You may read his story here: June 6: [Ini Kopuria, Founder of the Melanesian Brotherhood, 1945]. You can see from the Collect to be used in the commemoration that the work of the Melanesian Brotherhood continues to this day.

Do you have a saintly woman or man (women or men) whose memory inspires your best actions and gives you hope? Please share.