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The English Prayer Book Society has produced a colourful wall chart illustrating the historical development of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer.  It measures 100 cm wide by 68 cm high (39 1/4″ x 26 3/4″), and makes a valuable teaching tool.  Copies of it can be ordered free of charge from the Toronto Branch of the Prayer Book Society of Canada; contact Diana Verseghy at diana.verseghy AT sympatico DOT ca.

 


 

The Book of Common Prayer: Past, Present & Future

book1This is the title of a collection of fourteen essays that has been commissioned and published by the Prayer Book Society in England on the occasion of the 350th anniversary of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer.  The foreword is by the Prince of Wales, and the authors include such luminaries as P.D. James and Terry Waite.  Five of the fourteen essays are by Canadian authors, reflecting the warm ties between the English and Canadian Societies.  The book can be ordered from on-line sources such as amazon.ca.

 

 

 

Discovering the Book of Common Prayer: A Hands-On Approach

book2This is the title of a set of three books, designed to provide an in-depth but user-friendly guide to the Book of Common Prayer for long-time Anglicans and newcomers to Anglicanism alike.  The Prayer Book Society commissioned well-known journalist Sue Careless to write the series; the first two volumes were co-published with the Anglican Book Centre and the third with St. Peter Publications in Charlottetown.  The three volumes appeared in 2003, 2006 and 2009 respectively; Volume I won a prestigious Word Guild Canadian Writing Award, and is now in its third printing!

Volume I, “Daily Prayer”, discusses the joys and problems of prayer in general, and explains the daily and yearly rhythm of prayer in classical Anglicanism: the lectionary, the collects, family prayers, the Litany, Morning and Evening Prayer, and Compline.  Volume II, “Our Life in the Church”, focuses on the two core Christian sacraments of Baptism and Holy Communion, and also deals with Confirmation and the Catechism.  Volume III, “Special Occasions”, addresses the “occasional” offices of Matrimony, Ministry to the Sick, Burial of the Dead, Ordination, and the lesser-known services associated with childbirth, thanksgiving, seafaring and young people.

Author Sue Careless is a freelance journalist whose work has appeared in the Globe and Mail, the National Post and the Toronto Star. The recipient of seven church press awards, she is news editor of the Anglican Planet and has contributed to the Anglican Journal, Christian Week and Faith Today.

The three volumes of the series are affordably priced at $19.98, $22.95 and $24.95 respectively. They are available from sources such as Augsburg Fortress and St. Peter Publications.

 

Comfortable Words: The Influence of the Book of Common Prayer on Life and Literature

To mark the 30th anniversary of its founding, the PBSC has sponsored the publication of a book that demonstrates the importance to English-speaking culture of the Prayer Book, by presenting excerpts from literary works from 45 different writers over four centuries, from Shakespeare to T.S. Eliot, including references to Charlotte Bronte, P.D. James, and Robertson Davies among others, all of whose quoted work shows Prayer Book influences. The book also demonstrates praise showered on the Prayer Book by such modern writers as C.S. Lewis, W.H. Auden, Rudolf Otto and Roger Scruton. It is not an academic study or a work of reference, but has been written as an historical survey that does not require any prior knowledge of literature or theology. It is an expanded version of a popular evening interest course taught in 2015 in Ottawa.

The author of the book is long-time PBSC member Peter Scotchmer, who is kindly donating all proceeds from the sale of the book to the PBSC.  Peter was an English and E.S.L. teacher for 33 years, and until his retirement, Head of the English Department at Canterbury High School for the Arts in Ottawa. The book is available for $15.00, plus $5.00 postage and handling, from the Ottawa Branch of the PBSC. To order, please contact Ronald Bentley at rwbentley@sympatico.ca or (613) 822-1911.

 

Select BCP (1962) services

Morning Prayer – booklet

Holy Communion – booklet

Evening Prayer – booklet

Compline – booklet


Online Resources

everymanEveryman’s History of the Prayer Book[external link]

Percy Dearmer (1867 – 1936) was a Christian socialist and probably best-known as the author of A Parson’s Handbook, a popular guide to the ritual and conduct of Anglican liturgies. He was also chief editor of The English Hymnal, one of the major hymnals of the Church of England. In this 250-page book he gives an accessible account of the history and content of the Book of Common Prayer, as it existed in 1912 when the book was written. One can see from this book that the author was deeply appreciative of the tradition and sources of the Book of Common Prayer, but in no way blind to its shortcomings, as he perceived them. He has strong opinions of the way development of the Book of Common Prayer should take (or should have taken), but, in most cases his opinions have been vindicated by subsequent events.