The Book of Common Prayer (BCP) is the short title of a number of related prayer books used in the Anglican Communion, as well as by other Christian. Book of. Common Prayer. and Administration of the Sacraments and Other Rites and Ceremonies of the Church. Together with The Psalter or Psalms of David. The Book of Common Prayer (). By the Bishops, the Clergy, and the Laity of the Protestant Episcopal. Church in the United States of America, in Convention.
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4 days ago THE BOOK OF COMMON PRAYER is one of the major works of English Literature. Since its introduction in the sixteenth century, it has had an. A permanent feature of the Church of England's worship and a key source for its doctrine, the Book of Common Prayer is loved for the beauty of its language and . Search: Looking for a particular word of phrase? Now you can search this entire site - several dozen complete Books of Common Prayer, plus.
Immediately after the Words of the Institution, the prayer continued, "wherefore O Lord and Heavenly Father, according to the institution of thy dearly beloved Son our Saviour Jesus Christ, we, thy humble servants, do celebrate and make here thy Divine Majesty, with these they holy gifts, the memorial thy Son has willeth to make.
Absent is an oblation of the gifts signified by such language "which we present unto thee," or "bring before thee" or "offer unto thee. The Latin prayer had referred to the oblation as holy victim, a spotless victim but as an unbloody, liturgical representation of an actual event. The English Rite defined the oblation not as offering of Christ to God but rather as a self-offering of the whole church, "oure selfe, our soules, and bodies" which begged the question how this was connected to the consecrated bread and wine.
Instead of the gifts being carried to the Heavenly Altar on high, the oblation was "our prayers and supplicacions". However, perhaps with Eastern anaphoras in mind he added an epiclesis in fact a double epiclesis of Holy Spirit and Word as discussed by some 4th Greek theologians , a petition that God the Father send the Holy Spirit upon the gifts to be the Body and Blood of Christ.
For centuries it was held that Cranmer's theology of Christ's Presence in the Eucharist was Zwinglian. It was not.
It was closer to Calvinistic Receptionism and Virtualism: i. Christ is really present but by the power of the Holy Spirit. Cranmer's work of simplification and revision was also applied to the Daily Offices, which were to become Morning , and Evening Prayer ; and which he hoped would also serve as a daily form of prayer to be used by the Laity, thus replacing both the late medieval lay observation of the Latin Hours of the Virgin , and its English equivalent, the Primer.
His first draft, produced during Henry's reign, retained the traditional seven distinct Canonical hours of Office prayer; but in his second draft, while he retained the Latin, he consolidated these into two.
The readings provided that the New Testament other than the Book of Revelation be read through three times in a year, while the Old Testament , including the Apocrypha would be read through once. Of the set canticles, only the Te Deum was retained of the non-biblical material.
Introduced on Whitsunday , after considerable debate and revision in Parliament—but there is no evidence that it was ever submitted to either Convocation—it was said to have pleased neither reformers nor their opponents, indeed the Catholic Bishop Gardiner could say of it was that it "was patient of a catholic interpretation". It was clearly unpopular in the parishes of Devon and Cornwall where, along with severe social problems, its introduction was one of the causes of the "commotions", or rebellions in the summer of that year, partly because many Cornish people lacked sufficient English to understand it.
There was widespread opposition to the introduction of regular congregational Communion, partly because the extra costs of bread and wine that would fall on the parish;[ dubious — discuss ] but mainly out of an intense resistance to undertaking in regular worship, a religious practice previously associated with marriage or illness.
The recovery of oblation and the epiclesis would have to wait until the Scottish Non-Jurors in the 18th century did so in whose canon are written the words, "which we now offer unto thee," after "holy gifts" and "bless with thy Word and Holy Spirit this bread and wine. Thus, in the Eucharist , gone were the words Mass and altar ; the ' Lord have mercy ' was interleaved into a recitation of the Ten Commandments and the Gloria was removed to the end of the service.
The Eucharistic prayer was split in two so that Eucharistic bread and wine were shared immediately after the words of institution This is my Body..
This is my blood The Elevation of the Host had been forbidden in ; all manual acts were now omitted. The words at the administration of Communion which, in the prayer book of described the Eucharistic species as 'The body of our Lorde Jesus Christe The Peace, at which in the early Church the congregation had exchanged a greeting, was removed altogether.
Vestments such as the stole , chasuble and cope were no longer to be worn, but only a surplice , removing all elements of sacrificial offering from the Latin Mass; so that it should cease to be seen as a ritual at which the priest, on behalf of the flock gave Christ to God and such as wanted partook of Christ; and might rather be seen as a ritual whereby Christ shared his body and blood, according to a different sacramental theology, with the faithful.
Cranmer recognized that the rite of Communion was capable of conservative misinterpretation and misuse in that the consecration rite might still be undertaken even when no congregational Communion followed. Consequently, in he thoroughly integrated Consecration and Communion into a single rite, with congregational preparation preceding the words of institution—such that it would not be possible to mimic the Mass with the priest communicating alone.
He appears nevertheless, to have been resigned to being unable for the present to establish in parishes the weekly practice of receiving Communion; so he restructured the service so as to allow ante-Communion as a distinct rite of worship—following the Communion rite through the readings and offertory, as far as the intercessory "Prayer for the Church Militant". Cranmer made sure in the Second Prayer Book Rite that no possible ambiguity or association with sacrifice would be made: the Prayer of Consecration ended with the Words of Institution.
The rest of the prayer that had followed was completely eliminated. There is an oblation of sorts but it is not the as in the Roman Rite in which the priest offers the sacrifice of Christ to God using bread and wine and by association the congregation during the consecration. The truncated Rite had referred to making and celebrating the memorial with the holy gifts without an oblation of them to God thus reducing the sacrifice to a memorial, prayers, praises and sentiments.
In the Book the sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving is found in the optional post-communion Prayer of Oblation whereby the communicants ask that 'this our sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving' be accepted followed by the self-oblation of the communicants as holy and living sacrifices.
However such an arrangement raises the question what is the connection between the worshippers and the prayer of consecration other than to effect the Presence of Christ so they can make their communion and self-offering possible?
Presumably the recipients can do so as a result of having made their communion rather than by offering themselves in union with Christ during the consecration? The intention was to eliminate the faithful as co-offerors with Christ by attaching them to his sacrifice he alone had accomplished for them and reduce them to worthy recipients.
In making his changes he overthrew years of eucharistic liturgical doctrine and practice. He omitted the Epiclesis. Diarmaid MacCulloch suggests that Cranmer's own Eucharistic theology in these years approximated most closely to that of Heinrich Bullinger ; but that he intended the Prayer Book to be acceptable to the widest range of Reformed Eucharistic belief, including the high sacramental theology of Bucer and John Calvin.
At the same time, however, Cranmer intended that constituent parts of the rites gathered into the Prayer Book should still, so far as possible, be recognizably derived from traditional forms and elements. In the baptism service, the signing with the cross was moved until after the baptism and the exorcism, the anointing, the putting-on of the chrysom robe and the triple immersion were omitted.
Most drastic of all was the removal of the Burial service from church: it was to take place at the graveside. All that remained was a single reference to the deceased, giving thanks for their delivery from 'the myseryes of this sinneful world'. This new Order for the Burial of the Dead was a drastically stripped-down memorial service designed to undermine definitively the whole complex of traditional beliefs about Purgatory and intercessory prayer.
In the Burial service, the possibility that a deceased person who has died in the faith may nevertheless not be counted amongst God's elect , is not entertained.
In the Baptism service the priest explicitly pronounces the baptised infant as being now regenerate. In both cases, conformity with strict Reformed Protestant principles would have resulted in a conditional formulation.
The continued inconsistency between the Articles of Religion and the Prayer Book remained a point of contention for Puritans; and would in the 19th century come close to tearing the Church of England apart, through the course of the Gorham judgement. The Orders of Morning and Evening Prayer were extended by the inclusion of a penitential section at the beginning including a corporate confession of sin and a general absolution, although the text was printed only in Morning Prayer with rubrical directions to use it in the evening as well.
The general pattern of Bible reading in was retained as it was in except that distinct Old and New Testament readings were now specified for Morning and Evening Prayer on certain feast days. Following the publication of the Prayer Book, a revised English Primer was published in ; adapting the Offices and Morning and Evening Prayer, and other prayers, for lay domestic piety.
The Latin Mass was re-established, altars, roods and statues were reinstated; an attempt was made to restore the English Church to its Roman affiliation. Cranmer was punished for his work in the English Reformation by being burned at the stake on 21 March Nevertheless, the book was to survive.
After Mary's death in , it became the primary source for the Elizabethan Book of Common Prayer, with subtle if significant changes only.
Hundreds of Protestants fled into exile—establishing an English church in Frankfurt am Main. A bitter and very public dispute ensued between those, such as Edmund Grindal and Richard Cox , who wished to preserve in exile the exact form of worship of the Prayer Book; and those, such as John Knox the minister of the congregation, who regarded that book as still partially tainted with compromise.
Under Elizabeth I , a more permanent enforcement of the reformed Church of England was undertaken and the book was republished, scarcely altered, in The alterations, though minor, were however to cast a long shadow in the development of the Church of England. It would be a long road back for the Church of England with no clear indication that it would retreat from the Settlement except for minor official changes. In one of the first moves to undo Cranmer the Queen insisted that the Words of Administration from the Book be placed before the words of administration in the Book thereby leaving re-opening the issue of the Real Presence.
The Book, however, retained the truncated Prayer of Consecration which omitted any notion of objective sacrifice. However, from the 17th century some prominent Anglican theologians tried to cast a more traditional interpretation onto the text of the Rite as a Commemorative Sacrifice and Heavenly Offering even though the words of the Rite did not support such.
Another move, the " Ornaments Rubric ", related to what clergy were to wear while conducting services.
Instead of the banning of all vestments except the rochet for bishops and the surplice for parish clergy, it permitted "such ornaments This allowed substantial leeway for more traditionalist clergy to retain the vestments which they felt were appropriate to liturgical celebration namely Mass vestments such as albs, chasubles, dalmatics, copes, stoles, maniples et cetera at least until the Queen gave further instructions per the text the Act of Uniformity of The Rubric also stated that the communion service should be conducted in the 'accustomed place' namely facing a Table against the wall with the priest facing it.
The Rubric was placed at the section regarding Morning and Evening Prayer in this book and in the and Books. It was to be the basis of claims in the 19th century that vestments such as chasubles, albs and stoles were legal. The instruction to the congregation to kneel when receiving communion was retained; but the Black Rubric 29 in the Forty-Two Articles of Faith which were reduced to 39 which denied any "real and essential presence" of Christ's flesh and blood, was removed to "conciliate traditionalists" and aligned with Queen's sensibilities.
Therefore, nothing at all was stated in the Prayer Book about a theory of the Presence or forbidding reverence or adoration of Christ in the Sacrament. On this issue, however, the Prayer was at odds with the repudiation of Transubstantiation and carrying about the Blessed Sacrament in the Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion. As long as one did not subscribe publicly to or assert the latter one was left to hold whatever opinion one wanted on the former.
The Queen herself was famous for saying she was not interested in "looking in the windows of men's souls. The BCP has been profoundly influential in transforming not only the culture and religion of the English-speaking peoples but the English language itself.
Not only are our rites of corporate worship and private devotion found in the pages of the BCP, but also our core beliefs. Lex orandi, lex credendi. Certainly not our spontaneous and individualistic utterances. By saying the Daily Offices and offering the Holy Eucharist weekly over the course of a year, most all of the Old Testament can be read, much of the New Testament can be traversed more than once and the Psalms can be read and prayed up to twelve times.
The Scottish BCP was very influential in the development of our own. Such protests unfortunately reveal a misunderstanding of what actually happened when our Savior instituted the Sacrament of Holy Communion. He did not recite the prayers extemporaneously, impulsively—in a vacuum—but they rather represented a well known act known as Berakoth, where God was blessed for gifts of mercy and deliverance in the past and was begged for that same saving action in the present.
Beyond the liturgy, the meal itself unfolded to a definite ritual pattern. Bread and wine were blessed at prescribed moments and only certain persons could be present for the final solemn prayer. The shape and content of early Christian worship and that offered at St.
John the Evangelist: On Sunday, all who live in the city or countryside assemble. The memoirs of the Apostles and the writing of the Prophets are read. When the Lector has finished, the Priest addresses us, admonishing us and exhorting us to imitate the splendid things we have heard.