Liturgical Suggestions for 2022 Celebrations
of the 60th Anniversary
of the Canadian Book of Common Prayer
Please note that for all of the occasions we celebrate this year, there are two very fine prayers for “Thanksgiving for the Prayer Book” on pages 120 and 121 of The Canadian Book of Occasional Offices. This book is still in print and is available from ABC Press here: Buy Occasional Offices, Canadian Book of – Anglican Church of Canada eStore (gilmore.ca).
Monday, March 21 – The Anniversary of the Martyrdom of Archbishop Thomas Cranmer, the Translator, Compiler, and Author of the Book of Common Prayer.
He was burned at the stake on this day in 1556 on the orders of Queen Mary for his part in the divorce of Mary’s mother, Queen Catherine, from King Henry, and because he refused to conform to the doctrine of the Church of Rome.
Since this date falls on a Monday this year, we suggest that the commemoration be moved to a more convenient weekday, such as a Wednesday mid-week Eucharist. (Since the date occurs in Lent it is not recommended that this commemoration be moved to a Sunday.) We suggest that the BCP Propers “Of a Martyr” on page 310, or “Of a Bishop or Archbishop” on page 312, be used for this occasion. In the ABC publication For All the Saints: Prayers and Readings for Saints’ Days, there is a short biography of Cranmer and some modern language Propers on pages 118 -119 that might be adapted for this commemoration as well. There are further biographical details and an excerpt from Cranmer’s book, A Defence of the True and Catholic Doctrine of the Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Our Saviour Christ, on pages 482 – 487 of For All the Saints. The latter book is available from ABC Press here: Buy For All the Saints: Prayers and Readings for Saints’ Days (Revised Edition) – Anglican Church of Canada eStore (gilmore.ca).
The first edition of the American Episcopal Church book The Lesser Feasts and Fasts has the following Propers that might be used as well:
- Collect: Almighty and everliving God, who didst guide thy servant Thomas Cranmer, with others, to render the worship of the Church in a language understanded of the people: Make us ever thankful for this our heritage, and help us to pray in the Spirit and with the understanding also, that we may worthily magnify thy holy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the same Spirit, ever one God, world without end. Amen.
- Epistle: Acts 2.38-42
- Gospel: Matthew 6.5-15
Saturday, September 3 – The first recorded celebration of the Eucharist using the BCP in what is now Canada by the Revd. Robert Wolfall, Frobisher Bay, 1578.
It was also on this date in 1959 that the 1962 Canadian BCP was first used to celebrate the Eucharist. Since September 3 falls in the Labour Day weekend this year, it is recommended that this commemoration be moved to a midweek celebration in the following week. The Propers for “The Founders, Benefactors, and Missionaries, or other Worthies of the Church in Canada” on page 302 of the BCP are recommended for use at the Eucharist. The book For All the Saints has a short biography of Robert Wolfall and some modern language Propers that could be adapted for the occasion on pages 270 and 271. (Please note that the BAS moved this commemoration to September 4, so you have to look it up under that date.) A really ambitious congregation could use the Elizabethan BCP of 1559, which would have been the edition used by Robert Wolfall, if desired. An online copy of the 1559 BCP can be found here: The 1559 Book of Common Prayer (anglican.org).
Sunday, November 27 (First Sunday in Advent) – The date in 1962 on which the Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada mandated the adoption of the 1962 Canadian BCP by all Canadian Anglicans.
The actual date fell on December 2 in 1962, but we recommend that the first Sunday in Advent 2022, November 27, be chosen to commemorate this event. This is the cornerstone date of this Diamond Jubilee year. We hope that all congregations in the Canadian Church will consider celebrating Advent I using the BCP and the proper readings for that day. An Evensong or Advent Carol service could be considered for an additional act of celebration. One or both of the collects from The Canadian Book of Occasional Offices entitled “Thanksgiving for the Prayer Book” would also be appropriate at such a service.