“Discovering the BCP Series” by Sue Careless
This 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 PBSC 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.
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 can be ordered from St. Peter Publications.
622 Teen Curriculum
“622” is a four-year series of 42 lessons in each year which is available here. It was designed to be highly adaptable, and is intended for any parish seeking to both engage and educate with their programming for youth.
The study series aims to facilitate an experience of God—grounded in scripture and tradition—to help youth understand their relationship to God, discovering who they truly are in the process, while at the same time equipping them with the tools they will need to answer the questions posed by life, culture and critics of the faith.
Each lesson uses a blend of group activity, study and discussion (with additional “at-home challenge” assignments for individual work during the week) in order to explore the transformative relationship that lies at the heart of who we are.
J.I. Packer’s 5-Part Video Series
Talks on the BCP by the Revd. Dr. J.I. Packer
The entire series is available to view online here.
In 1993 the Vancouver Branch of the PBSC and St. John’s Church in Vancouver jointly organized a Lenten series of lectures by world-renowned theologian and writer Dr. James Packer, who was at the time a professor of theology at Regent College. The series was entitled “Our Anglican Heritage”, and over the course of five talks Dr. Packer explored various aspects of Anglican theology and the Book of Common Prayer.
- Worship and Life. In this introductory talk Dr. Packer reflects upon the human condition in general, and on the Prayer Book as “worship for real people, living a real Christian life, who want to be real with God all the way”.
- Principles of the Prayer Book. Dr. Packer shows how the Prayer Book services were carefully constructed to be Christ-centred, soaked in the Scriptures, conscious of the interconnectedness of believers, and radiating gratitude for the gift of our salvation.
- The Gospel, and Holy Communion. Dr. Packer outlines the theological debates surrounding this centre of our Christian worship at the time of the Reformation, and demonstrates the firm grounding of the Prayer Book liturgy in the Gospel.
- The Bible, and Bible Services. Dr. Packer presents the Scriptures as “a light to our path”, reviews the Anglican doctrine of the Bible as laid out in the Thirty-Nine Articles, and explores a number of Biblical themes reflected in the Prayer Book.
- From the Cradle to the Grave. Dr. Packer concludes with an examination of the BCP services for special occasions, focusing on Baptism and the order for the Burial of the Dead, and reflects on the Prayer Book as our companion throughout all the passages of our lives.
These talks were originally recorded on VHS tapes at a rather low resolution, and over the years some deterioration of the tapes has unfortunately occurred in places. Nevertheless, Dr. Packer’s insights are as fresh and vivid as ever, and the talks radiate his deep faith, his profound knowledge of the Bible, and his personal warmth, modesty and sense of humour.
“Parish Alive” Video Series
- Making Disciples of All Nations
This was the first educational DVD produced by the “Parish Alive!” initiative, a project of the PBSC. It contains a 20-minute baptism preparation course, led by the Rt. Revd. Dr. Stephen Andrews, who was at that time (2004) the Dean of Saskatchewan. Dr. Andrews is a widely respected New Testament scholar, and is well known as a warm, thoughtful and engaging speaker. Dr. Andrews leads the baptism candidates, or their families, through the basics of the sacrament in four easy-to-follow sections.
- The Trinity Today: God’s Mystery Unveiled to Us
This was the second educational DVD produced by the “Parish Alive!” initiative. It contains a four-part course on the Holy Trinity, hosted by Dr. Edith Humphrey of Pittsburgh Theological School. Dr. Humphrey looks into the doctrine of the Trinity, and what it implies about our life together in the Church. Although this course was intended for small group use, it can also be a helpful tool for personal study.
Historical Wall Chart
On the occasion of the 2008 Lambeth Conference, the English Prayer Book Society produced a colourful wallchart illustrating the historical development of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer. The wallchart 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 national office of the PBSC.