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A Short History of the Book of Common Prayer   By: (1838-1909)

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First Page:

[Transcriber's Note: The footnotes have been numbered and moved to the end of the document.]

This file was produced from images generously made available by The Internet Archive/American Libraries.

A SHORT HISTORY OF THE BOOK OF COMMON PRAYER

TOGETHER WITH

CERTAIN PAPERS ILLUSTRATIVE OF LITURGICAL REVISION 1878 1892

BY

WILLIAM REED HUNTINGTON D. D. D. C. L.

Rector of Grace Church New York

NEW YORK THOMAS WHITTAKER

2 and 3 Bible House

Copyright, 1893,

by

THOMAS WHITTAKER,

THE MERSHON COMPANY PRESS, RAHWAY, N. J.

CONTENTS

I. A Short History of the Book of Common Prayer:

I. Origins,

II. Vicissitudes,

II. Revision of the American Common Prayer,

III. The Book Annexed : Its Critics and its Prospects,

Appendix:

I. Permanent and Variable Characteristics of the Prayer Book A Sermon Before Revision, 1878

II. The Outcome of Revision, 1892

III. Tabular View of Additions Made at the Successive Revisions, 1552 1892

INTRODUCTORY NOTE.

The opening paper of this collection was originally read as a lecture before a liturgical class, and is now published for the first time. The others have appeared in print from time to time during the movement for revision. If they have any permanent value, it is because of their showing, so far as the writer's part in the matter is concerned, what things were attempted and what things failed of accomplishment. Should they serve as contributory to some future narrative of the revision, the object of their publication will have been accomplished. So much has been said as to the poverty of our gains on the side of "enrichment," as compared with what has been secured in the line of "flexibility," that it has seemed proper to append to the volume a Comparative Table detailing the additions of liturgical matter made to the Common Prayer at the successive revisions.

W. R. H. New York, Christmas, 1892.

A SHORT HISTORY OF THE BOOK OF COMMON PRAYER.

A SHORT HISTORY OF THE BOOK OF COMMON PRAYER.

I. ORIGINS.

Liturgical worship, understood in the largest sense the phrase can bear, means divine service rendered in accordance with an established form. Of late years there has been an attempt made among purists to confine the word "liturgy" to the office entitled in the Prayer Book, The Order for the Administration of the Lord's Supper or Holy Communion .

This restricted and specialized interpretation of a familiar word may serve the purposes of technical scholarship, for undoubtedly there is much to be said in favor of the narrowed signification as we shall see; but unless English literature can be rewritten, plain people who draw their vocabulary from standard authors will go on calling service books "liturgies" regardless of the fact that they contain many things other than that one office which is entitled to be named by eminence the Liturgy. "This Convention," write the fathers of the American Episcopal Church in the Ratification printed on the fourth page of the Prayer Book, "having in their present session set forth a Book of Common Prayer and other rites and ceremonies of the Church, do hereby establish the said book; and they declare it to be the Liturgy of this Church."

For the origin of liturgy thus broadly defined we have to go a long way back; beyond the Prayer Book, beyond the Mass book, beyond the ancient Sacramentaries, yes, beyond the synagogue worship, beyond the temple worship, beyond the tabernacle worship; in fact I am disposed to think that, logically, we should be unable to stop short until we had reached the very heart of man itself, that dimly discerned groundwork we call human nature, and had discovered there those two instincts, the one of worship and the other of gregariousness, from whence all forms of common prayer have sprung. Where three or two assemble for the purposes of supplication, some form must necessarily be accepted if they are to pray in unison... Continue reading book >>




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