Q: Isn’t the language of the Prayer Book outdated and too difficult to understand?
Users of the Book of Common Prayer (BCP) might be interested to know that its language was “obsolete” the day it came off the press! When Archbishop Thomas Cranmer compiled the first BCP in 1549, the language he chose to use was not common English: people didn’t really say “thee” and “thou” in Cranmer’s day. He purposely chose an “elevated English” because the subject matter (God) was special, and deserving special attention. The language of the BCP, actually, is one of its greatest assets: it’s like a rich banquet. It’s the language of poetry, the kind that lovers might use: this is perhaps more appropriate for our worship than we realize! As for difficulty in understanding, like every trade and speciality a new language must be learned. Christians must learn words like “atonement” and “Eucharist,” and on the same token we can learn that “thine” means “yours.” We do not seem to flinch when we recite the Lord’s Prayer in “traditional English,” and so we can extend the same ability to pray with the totality of the BCP. It takes learning, but it’s worth learning. The language employed in modern liturgies is not truly “everyday speech,” either. So we must choose which we think is most appropriate for our approach to Almighty God.
Q: Isn’t the Prayer Book Society irrelevant?
Actually, our continued presence remains a vital voice in our church today. It is because of our efforts that we have been able to promote the use and teachings of the Book of Common Prayer in places high and low: General Synod and in the most rural of parishes.
Q: Where can I purchase a copy of the BCP?
The publisher of the BCP is Augsburg Fortress Canada. Please visit their website to purchase new copies of the BCP.
Q: How do I join the PBSC?
If you wish to inquire about joining the Prayer Book Society of Canada, please click here.
Q: How can I financially support the PBSC?
The PBSC is a registered charity, and one way to support our mission is to give electronically online. Your support is great appreciated! Click here to give.