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Source: (consider it) Thread: Was this technically legal?
Basilica
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# 16965

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quote:
Originally posted by L'organist:
Blindsiding? How so?

I feel bound to point out it would be no different from taking someone to the theatre to see a Shakespeare play. The BCP is, after all, written in good, standard English.

It is just nonsense (and rather condescending nonsense at that) to suggest that Mr or Ms average churchgoer in 2015 might have 'difficulty' or 'trouble' with a standard English text.

Much as I love the language of the BCP, I have to say I agree that it would not be sensitive to introduce 1662 mattins to a congregation not familiar with it without some preparatory work.

The language is standard (in some sense it is the standard!), but at times somewhat arcane.

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Arethosemyfeet
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quote:
Originally posted by L'organist:
Blindsiding? How so?

I feel bound to point out it would be no different from taking someone to the theatre to see a Shakespeare play. The BCP is, after all, written in good, standard English.

It is just nonsense (and rather condescending nonsense at that) to suggest that Mr or Ms average churchgoer in 2015 might have 'difficulty' or 'trouble' with a standard English text.

Someone going to see Shakespeare in the theatre knows what they're getting. That's the difference. Look, I love the BCP as much as the next man, but let's not pretend that the language isn't archaic, or indeed that the tone isn't rather different to that of Common Worship. If you're not familiar with it the BCP is a little like listening to a legal argument - you know what the words mean but the meaning of the whole requires a good bit of chewing to extract, even though it's English.
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L'organist
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quote:
the Third Collect at Morning Prayer
O Lord, our heavenly Father, Almighty and everlasting God, who hast safely brought us to the beginning of this day: Defend us in the same with thy mighty power; and grant that this day we fall into no sin, neither run into any kind of danger; but that all our doings may be ordered by thy governance, to do always that is righteous in thy sight; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

So which bit of that do you see as being 'difficult'?

I agree the 'tone' is different to CW - but then it reads as if written by someone whose given it some thought, as opposed to something that's been thrashed out by a committee of middle-ranking bureaucrats.

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Rara temporum felicitate ubi sentire quae velis et quae sentias dicere licet

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Baptist Trainfan
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Might I suggest that this thread is in danger of being hijacked by what might be construed as a Defunct Equine debate?

I have no idea of this congregation ever uses BCP.

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american piskie
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They should have asked you to preside!
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Enoch
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quote:
Originally posted by seasick:
An antecommunion using most of the liturgy the congregation would have been expecting would seem like a very sensible approach to me in the circumstances.

I agree. It means everybody who was doing something, playing music, reading etc would still be doing the same thing in approximately the same place as they would have expected to be doing it.

Suddenly switching to the BCP Morning Prayer with different hymns, chanted psalms and canticles, and completely different readings would probably have thrown everybody, including the person who had to stand in to lead it. Not a wise option unless everyone involved knew what they were doing.

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TomM
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quote:
Originally posted by american piskie:
They should have asked you to preside!

I suspect that would have fallen into one of the few categories of things that are illegal in CofE worship... I assume from other posts that Baptist Trainfan isn't episcopally ordained?
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Spike

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Some years ago, during an interregnum, the priest who was supposed to be presiding that morning didn't show up. We weren't sure what had happened to him, so after about 15 minutes I took the decision to start without him in the hope that he would show up. (I'm a Reader BTW)

As time went on, it became obvious that he wasn't coming, so the service took the form as described in the OP. I was later reassured by the Archdeacon that what I did was perfectly legal and above board.

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"May you get to heaven before the devil knows you're dead" - Irish blessing

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venbede
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Sounds OK in the circs to me.

Incidentally, the C of E does not have specific readings for Holy Communion (sic) and Morning or Evening Prayer on Sundays and major holidays.

It has readings for 1st, 2nd and 3rd services and leaves the minister to decide which set goes with which service.

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Man was made for joy and woe;
And when this we rightly know,
Thro' the world we safely go.

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Gamaliel
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Our local vicar selects his own readings and ignores the lectionary altogether - we've had words at that and some acrimonious email exchanges. I was taken aback by a rather sneery response he gave when I said that I used the lectionary in my own personal devotions.

More evidence, if any were needed, that he'd be better off as a Baptist or in the Vineyard ...

Morning Prayer needn't be BCP. There's Common Worship Morning Prayer too, of course - and it can all be found online on the CofE website.

Many MoTR and evangelical parishes do tend to play fast and loose with the rules ...

The Service of the Word at our parish does - just about - fit within the rubrics but they like to push the envelope - as it were - a bit from time to time. I'm sure they get some kind of frisson from doing so, like little boys 'scrumping' apples ...

[Big Grin]

Don't get me wrong, I'm no liturgical fascist.

For me, the important thing is that things cohere and fit their particular context. If Baptist Trainfan felt some kind of 'disconnect' or that something didn't feel 'quite right' then I'd suggest that he was picking up on something that actually wasn't quite 'right' and which felt awkward and didn't 'fit' ...

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Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

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dj_ordinaire
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quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:
Might I suggest that this thread is in danger of being hijacked by what might be construed as a Defunct Equine debate?

Not a Dead Horse, no, although probably tangential to this debate!

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Flinging wide the gates...

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Joan_of_Quark

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A churchwarden told me about a similar occurrence when all the parish clergy were away and the visiting priest did not arrive. Some longstanding congregation members told her that it was her duty as a churchwarden to lead the service in that event. Has anyone else seen any evidence for that? I can't find anything specific online.

As for what they did, her congregation took the same approach as the OP. She was not a Reader, BTW.

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further quarkiness

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Rev per Minute
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I would think that the average Sunday congregation in a C of E church would not know the words of Morning Prayer in either BCP or CW form. If they only attend Communion services (which I expect is all that is offered on a Sunday morning), they would never have taken part in MP. The approach taken in the service in the OP seems to be the one that would have been most familiar to those attending.

I would also expect that many churches have not used BCP since the introduction of ASB, if not before, so if they still have their copies they will be dusty and damp (not to mention, in tiny print)...

ETA I too have been told that, in England, the warden is required to ensure that a service of some sort takes place if the minister does not arrive. I don't know where this might appear in canon (or statute) law, or whether it is apocryphal (or deuterocanonical), but it does seem widespread.

[ 03. February 2015, 20:30: Message edited by: Rev per Minute ]

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Albertus
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This is what the Constitution of the Church in Wales says on the matter:
quote:
If exceptional circumstances require, it is customary for a churchwarden to lead worship in a church, using either the Ministry of the Word from the Holy Eucharist service or Morning or Evening Prayer in the Prayer Book.
As much of our custom and law derives from the time when we were part of the CofE, I would be suprised if it were not still true in England. BTW the 1662 rubric prescribes the antecommunion (the service up to the end of the Prayer for the Church Militant, + collects & blessing) for Sundays and holy days when there is no communion. I believe that until the early C19 it was customary to use this straight after Mattins. On Sundays when I haven't been able get to church I have occasionally read the Antecommunion, rather than Morning Prayer, to myself, and found it surprisingly effective.

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Gamaliel
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Some CofE churches have a non-eucharistic Service of The Word these days, so perhaps one or two morning services a month would be non-communion
Quite common in evo circles

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Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

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Enoch
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quote:
Originally posted by Albertus:
This is what the Constitution of the Church in Wales says on the matter:
quote:
If exceptional circumstances require, it is customary for a churchwarden to lead worship in a church, using either the Ministry of the Word from the Holy Eucharist service or Morning or Evening Prayer in the Prayer Book.
As much of our custom and law derives from the time when we were part of the CofE, I would be suprised if it were not still true in England.
I'm under the same impression. People act on the assumption that it is the case.
quote:
BTW the 1662 rubric prescribes the antecommunion (the service up to the end of the Prayer for the Church Militant, + collects & blessing) for Sundays and holy days when there is no communion. I believe that until the early C19 it was customary to use this straight after Mattins. ...
I think the Litany usually came between them.

I think it's the case that if there isn't anyone else there to communicate, to this day the priest is supposed to stop at that point.

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Albertus
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Ah yes, of course, MP, Litany, Antecommunion. And I think you're right about what the rules say a priest should do if there are no (other) communicants.
I suppose the Churchwardens' role might be seen as being of a piece with their responsibility for ensuring that the furnishings and consumables are provided, to maintain order, and so on- all part of a general duty to ensure that Divine Service is celebrated.

[ 04. February 2015, 09:54: Message edited by: Albertus ]

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Barefoot Friar

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We celebrate the Eucharist weekly during Advent, Christmas, Lent, and Easter, and we celebrate on the first Sunday of the month during Ordinary Time. I've experimented with MP for Sundays when we don't have Communion, but with the offering, the sermon, and parish notices added in it looked just like ante-Communion but with the Psalm before the OT reading instead of after. There were a couple of additions (the introit and a canticle), but by and large it just didn't work for us. So we switched back to ante-Communion. I have a prayer of general thanksgiving in place of the Eucharist on non-Communion weeks, and the familiar pattern from week to week doesn't surprise infrequent attendees.

But then, we're liturgical outlaws. YMMV.

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Do your little bit of good where you are; its those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world. -- Desmond Tutu

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dj_ordinaire
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The other reason for following this pattern would be purely pragmatic - if the readings were already set then so one supposes was the music, intercessions, Sunday School (if applicable) and sermon. It would thus have been simpler to have the service as planned but without Communion rather than trying to organise a completely different order.

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Flinging wide the gates...

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Albertus
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Indeed. It sounds like it was a very sensible thing to do- the minimum of change from what had been prepared / expected.
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Gamaliel
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FWIW a URC minister I knew once told me that she enjoyed getting to lead/be involved with services at the Anglican parish through some kind of ecumenical pulpit-sharing arrangement in her area ... because she didn't have to prepare as much because everything was already written down ...

She sounded quite envious ... [Big Grin]

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Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

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Baptist Trainfan
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I've often thought the same ... My Anglican colleagues seem quite surprised when I tell them that I basically start with a clean sheet of paper. Sometimes that galls me, sometimes I relish the freedom.

I do have a variety of Communion liturgies, culled from various sources, which I use, together with other prayers. IME Baptists tend to prefer extempore prayer, URC and Methodists tend to prepare them in more detail.

[ 04. February 2015, 16:23: Message edited by: Baptist Trainfan ]

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Hooker's Trick

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quote:
Originally posted by Albertus:
BTW the 1662 rubric prescribes the antecommunion (the service up to the end of the Prayer for the Church Militant, + collects & blessing) for Sundays and holy days when there is no communion.

The US 1979 BCP includes the same provision, with the service to end with the offering (!), Lord's Prayer & blessing or Grace.

I've never seen this provision taken up in real life. I have turned up for services advertised as 'Morning Prayer' or 'Mattins' only to discover it was instead Holy Communion (in the modern idiom, as well).

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L'organist
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Traditionally one uses the Ante Communion on Good Friday as the concluding part of the Three Hour Service.

On which note: does anyone on here go to a church where they still have the traditional 3 hour liturgy?

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Rara temporum felicitate ubi sentire quae velis et quae sentias dicere licet

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John Holding

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quote:
Originally posted by L'organist:
Traditionally one uses the Ante Communion on Good Friday as the concluding part of the Three Hour Service.

On which note: does anyone on here go to a church where they still have the traditional 3 hour liturgy?

On the contrary, the ante-communion is the second part, with evensong the third.

That is, if you are in one of the very few places that ever used that format.

John

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Oblatus
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I think every Anglican province has a provision for the Holy Communion rite to be led by a lay person if there's suddenly no cleric available; it seems this would be the logical choice, as it keeps much of the rite, and the hymns (other than the Communion ones) and choral works planned can go ahead as scheduled. The lectors can do their expected lessons, familiar prayers said, and it won't all be a new, unfamiliar thing; it will just have the Sacrament bits removed.

Switching to Morning Prayer instead would, I think, involve more work and feel disruptive and odd.

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Spike

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quote:
Originally posted by Oblatus:
I think every Anglican province has a provision for the Holy Communion rite to be led by a lay person if there's suddenly no cleric available;

Not quite true. Lay people cannot "lead the communion rite" as such, but in an emergency an authorised lay person can distribute the communion from the reserved sacrament (Communion by Extension). If the individual church doesn't keep the reserved sacrament, then no communion will take place.

[ 07. February 2015, 17:47: Message edited by: Spike ]

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"May you get to heaven before the devil knows you're dead" - Irish blessing

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Oblatus
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quote:
Originally posted by Spike:
quote:
Originally posted by Oblatus:
I think every Anglican province has a provision for the Holy Communion rite to be led by a lay person if there's suddenly no cleric available;

Not quite true. Lay people cannot "lead the communion rite" as such, but in an emergency an authorised lay person can distribute the communion from the reserved sacrament (Communion by Extension). If the individual church doesn't keep the reserved sacrament, then no communion will take place.
I should probably have called it a Communion-less version of the Communion rite, or a reduction of the Mass, or the Liturgy of the Word and concluding prayers, or some such. Doesn't everyone have a provision for doing a subset of the rite if there's no cleric available, on short notice?
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Zappa
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Sounds like someone not entirely trained in liturgy doing the best they could in extremis. I suspect God and the angels smiled.

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Galloping Granny
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quote:
Originally posted by L'organist:
quote:
the Third Collect at Morning Prayer
O Lord, our heavenly Father, Almighty and everlasting God, who hast safely brought us to the beginning of this day: Defend us in the same with thy mighty power; and grant that this day we fall into no sin, neither run into any kind of danger; but that all our doings may be ordered by thy governance, to do always that is righteous in thy sight; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

So which bit of that do you see as being 'difficult'?

I agree the 'tone' is different to CW - but then it reads as if written by someone whose given it some thought, as opposed to something that's been thrashed out by a committee of middle-ranking bureaucrats.

As a Presbyterian unfamiliar with the BCP I nevertheless love this prayer as it was used every morning at a school where I taught for two years, and presumably wasn't 'too difficult' for the girls.
Must see if I cam borrow a BCP.

GG

[ 08. February 2015, 07:38: Message edited by: Galloping Granny ]

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The Kingdom of Heaven is spread upon the earth, and men do not see it. Gospel of Thomas, 113

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Aravis
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I am fairly sure my church has no copies of BCP or any other prayer book. The building is about 12 years old and didn't move anything to the new building that the congregation wouldn't use. There are copies of our own service books for various occasions, but no Morning Prayer as we never say it.
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Enoch
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Two things,

1. There's a modern language equivalent of the Morning Collect on page 101 of Common Worship.

2. Common Worship includes the BCP versions of Morning and Evening Prayer p59ff and the Order 2 Holy Communion in traditional language is a slightly simplified version of the BCP Communion. However, Aravis, if you are in South Wales, you will have completely different book. Common Worship stops at Beachley.

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Spike

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I don't know of many churches that have full copies of CW for congregational use. Most places I know have their own printed leaflets and /or booklets

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dj_ordinaire
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CW is loaded with so many options and variants that most churches probably think it would be far too confusing. Hence the printed sheets.

The more streamlined Church of Ireland BCP (which follows many of the same patterns as CW but in a less elaborated manner) does turn up for congregational use quite often, however.

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venbede
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The entire 1662 Book of Common Prayer can be found here:

https://www.churchofengland.org/prayer-worship/worship/book-of-common-prayer.aspx

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Man was made for joy and woe;
And when this we rightly know,
Thro' the world we safely go.

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Albertus
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I have been using 1662 Morning Prayer for daily private prayer and have got on with it very well, precisely because it doesn't have all the chopping and changing and variants that more modern liturgies have (and a very simple lectionary as well). I found that after a little while the structure became regular and familar enough to free my mind up for praying.

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L'organist
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Precisely, Albertus.

The Psalm(s) changes, the lessons change, the collect of the day changes - but the rest is the same.

The idea that the familiar was somehow of little value gained ascendancy in the 1960s: it went with getting rid of children learning tables, or poetry.

Most of the rest of society has grown-up and ditched the childish change-for-change's-sake mindset: the Church of England alone stands firm, sticking to the standards of a group of 1960s second-raters.

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Rara temporum felicitate ubi sentire quae velis et quae sentias dicere licet

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venbede
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I prefer the Common Worship Daily Prayer - the variety is getting back to the breviary and the ancient sources of Christian daily prayer.

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Zappa
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quote:
Originally posted by Albertus:
(and a very simple lectionary as well).

I haven't used it so I am asking, not criticising, but isn't one problem with such lectionaries that they have a(n even more) terribly limited scriptural scope?

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Albertus
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It might depend what you want to use it for. Reading on my own, it works for me.

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Zappa
Ship's Wake
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within liturgy I like to cover a broad spread of the biblical canon ... so we don't get too bogged down in our or our tribal favourite passages. Does BCP spread well (like margarine, I guess?)

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Enoch
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I get irritated by the lectionary suddenly skipping odd bits of scripture. I can see that the various genealogies are a bit dull. But quite often the reasons are an unwarrantable bowdlerism. Sometimes it's completely mystifying why bits have been left out.

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dj_ordinaire
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In some cases, it is because the passage is considered particularly appropriate for a specific feast or season. Hence, it gets removed from the lectionary for Ordinary Time to avoid duplication - with the strange gap being the consequence.

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Oscar the Grouch

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quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
I get irritated by the lectionary suddenly skipping odd bits of scripture. I can see that the various genealogies are a bit dull. But quite often the reasons are an unwarrantable bowdlerism. Sometimes it's completely mystifying why bits have been left out.

I have a slightly different problem - which is the way that the lectionary gives us a snip of a book and can often give a rather misleading impression.

For instance, a few weeks ago, the OT reading one Sunday was Jonah. We didn't get the beginning or the end; all we had, coming out of nowhere and then disappearing again, was Jonah 3:1-5 - Jonah calling the people of Ninevah to repentance. I think this rather misses the whole point of the book of Jonah, which is not about Ninevah's repentance, but Jonah's prejudice and sulking. It felt a lot to me like the "proof-texting" I so dislike among some evangelical circles.

Having made this grumble, I recognise that any lectionary will have its limitations and that we just have to live with that.

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Faradiu, dundeibáwa weyu lárigi weyu

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Baptist Trainfan
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quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
I get irritated by the lectionary suddenly skipping odd bits of scripture. I can see that the various genealogies are a bit dull. But quite often the reasons are an unwarrantable bowdlerism. Sometimes it's completely mystifying why bits have been left out.

Of course the Lectionary must be selective; I suspect that some bits are left out simply to produce a coherent passage which isn't too lengthy (or repetitive) for liturgical use. But one also feels that sections are sometimes omitted because they seem to present discomfiting pictures of God and/or of human behaviour - a sort of "theological correctness". Do others feel the same?
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Got it in one, BTF.

Another annoying habit is that of missing out 'difficult' verses of set Psalms: not infrequently this results in a short burst which finishes abruptly and, sometimes, makes no sense.

As a general rule, if a psalm is set we sing the whole lot (Psalm 119 excepted), setting a limit of around 20 verses - not because the choir can't do more but because the congregation get a little restive.

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Rara temporum felicitate ubi sentire quae velis et quae sentias dicere licet

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Zappa
Ship's Wake
# 8433

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quote:
Originally posted by dj_ordinaire:
In some cases, it is because the passage is considered particularly appropriate for a specific feast or season. Hence, it gets removed from the lectionary for Ordinary Time to avoid duplication - with the strange gap being the consequence.

Like the Daily Office lectionary, which has suddenly somersaulted from the prophets to 1 Chronicles and the Crucifixion according to John,, because we now enter into a penitential preparation for the penitential season of Lent [Ultra confused]

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Horseman Bree
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Going back to the OP: I can remember in the 1950's attending Anglican services in Winnipeg. Since my father, the son of a village schoolteacher and churchwarden (in England), he clearly knew the format, but he was agnostic/uncertainly atheist enough that he always left at the beginning of the preparation for Communion, along with quite a lot of other people. (My mother was rather weakly Orthodox and not much for church at all)

So we always attended the part of the service described (but in the BCP form). I didn't actually attend Communion until I was confirmed.

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It's Not That Simple

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Jude
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Thread seems to have moved on a bit since the OP, but I must tell you this story of what happened during an interregnum at a church I attend.

One morning the priest who had been booked rang to say that he had inadvertently double-booked and would be unable to take our service. Unaccustomed to such a situation, the churchwarden/server, by mutual agreement with church members who arrived early, took the service of Ante-communion. As he was unused to taking a service, there were one or two "irregularities", e.g. instead of the Collect of the day, he prayed "Lord, help us to get through this service" - which in the circumstances was probably more appropriate! He also did not know where to end the Eucharistic prayer, so that he prayed the prayer of consecration over non-existant bread and wine. When it got to the Communion part, he simply said, "Well that's as far as we can go with this service, let's sing our final hymn."

Since there was actually no bread and wine, I believe that no crime was committed. This is an example of somebody doing their best under circumstances to which they were completely unfamiliar and thrown in with no time for preparation. This is a very sympathetic and understanding church congregation, who appreciated the churchwarden's efforts and, notwithstanding the "irregularities", were happy with the service, although disappointed not to have Communion.

I am happy to report that, following this service, arrangements were put in place for when no priest turned up. This happened a few weeks later. However, a priest had taken an early morning Communion service on this occasion and consecrated extra bread and wine so that we were able to have Communion by Extension, once again led by the churchwarden. Everyone I have heard from was happy with this arrangement.

At another church I used to attend, the service of Ante-Communion was decided upon for times during the interregnum when no priest was available. However, the congregation objected to it and Morning Prayer (ASB) was subsituted. We wondered if the congregation had mistakenly thought that the service was "Anti-Communion"!

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Anselmina
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quote:
Originally posted by seasick:
An antecommunion using most of the liturgy the congregation would have been expecting would seem like a very sensible approach to me in the circumstances.

In some churches this would certainly be quite normal given the situation. So maybe, to some people, not preferable as an alternative service - but I think it's quite canonical.

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