We are a small Episcopal Church on the banks of the Rappahannock in Port Royal, Virginia. We acknowledge that we gather on the traditional land of the first people of Port Royal, the Nandtaughtacund, who are still here, and we honor with gratitude the land itself and the life of the Rappahannock Tribe. Our mission statement is to do God’s Will in all that we do.

The American Prayer Book Since 1789

American Prayer Book

Prayer book – Key Themes over time

  1. Increasing flexibility in services
  2. Simpler language
  3. Richer content

The preface to The Book of Common Prayer begins with words printed in every American prayer book since 1789:

It is a most invaluable part of that blessed "lib­erty wherewith Christ hath made us free," that in his worship different forms and usages may without offence be allowed, provided the sub­stance of the Faith be kept entire; and that, in every Church, what cannot be clearly deter­mined to belong to Doctrine must be referred to Discipline; and therefore, by common consent and authority, may be altered, abridged, enlarged, amended, or otherwise disposed of, as may seem most convenient for the edification of the people, "according to the various exigency of times and occasions." (BCP 9}

There are four American versions in total; 1789, 1892, 1928 and the current one, revised in 1979.

I. The 1789 Prayer book had is its sources, the 1662 English book and the 1764 Scottish Liturgy

The American Revolution brought a host of challenges for Anglicans in the former colonies. Not the least of these was the need to revise The Book of Common Prayer – prayers for the monarch and the oath of loyalty to the crown required at ordination, for example, were clear­ly politically inappropriate for an American church. But there were other issues of theology and practice that would play a large role in the American revision.

This Scottish strand began to influence the American situation early on, particularly in New England. It did so most obviously with the consecra­tion of Samuel Seabury of Connecticut as the first bishop of the Episcopal Church in the United States. As a result of the English bishops’ initial refusal to ordain bishops for the American church, Seabury was ordained to the episcopate in 1784 by bishops of the non-juring Episcopal Church in Scotland. He promised in return to try to persuade the church in the United States to adopt the Scottish rite for the celebration of the eucharist

The Scottish reforma­tion under John Knox followed its own course. When James VI of Scotland succeeded Elizabeth as James I of England, he attempted to bring the Scottish church into conformity with England by having Scottish bishops consecrated and by introducing the prayer book. In spite of the attempts of James and his son Charles I, the English prayer book of 1604 was never accepted in Scotland, and the Scottish bishops, with the approval of the Archbishop of Canterbury under Charles I, William Laud, produced the Scottish prayer book of 1637, a book more in the spirit of 1549 and Laud’s own views.

The Scottish prayer book of 1637 contained a number of changes to the English prayer books that are still familiar to worshipers using Rite I in the 1979 book today:

  1. The collection, along with the bread and wine, is to be offered "upon the Lord’s Table."  (Part of Penitential Order 1)
  2.  Perhaps the most significant contribution of the Scottish prayer book revision of 1764 was the attempt to recover the ancient sacrificial pattern of the eucharist: the offering of bread and wine in thanks­giving for all that God has done for us in Christ, together with the invocation of the Holy Spirit to make them a present reality,3 This Scottish rite placed the words of offering and invocation in the eucharist where they still appear in Rite I of the 1979 Book of Common Prayer: Prayer of Consecration with the epiclesis invoking the Holy Spiri. This was introduced by Seabury and revision occurring in Maryland Pennsylvania

        We, thy humble servants, do celebrate and make here before thy divine  Majesty, with these thy  holy gifts, which we now offer unto thee, the memorial thy Son hath commanded us to make    … vouchsafe to bless and sanctify, with thy Word and Holy Spirit, these thy gifts and creatures of bread and wine  (BCP 335)

     3.  In this prayer book the words of institution are followed not immediately by communion {as in the English books since 1552), but by the Memorial or Prayer of Oblation: "Here we offer and present unto thee, O Lord, our selves, our souls  and bodies” (BCP 336)

      4   The Lord’s Prayer is introduced by the  familiar words ‘As our Lord Jesus Christ hath taught us, we are bold to say," and the Lord’s Prayer is fol­lowed by the Prayer of Humble Access;  (BCP 336)

Although it was to have long-lasting influence, the 1637 Scottish book was short-lived in Scotland. The 1764 Scottish revision incorporates material and insights from a variety of ancient sources. In the early 1700s Anglican liturgical scholars had begun to look seriously at what was then known about the liturgical patterns of the early church

In 1784 they chose the name of the new Church – Protestant Episcopal Church

In 1785 a convention of Anglicans from the states south of New England met in Philadelphia -Pro­posed prayer book of 1786.  Influenced by the rational­ism and deism of the time, the prayer book of 1786 deemphasized distinctive doctrines such as the Trinity and the atonement and offered a less exalted view of the sacraments and episcopacy. The most obvious changes from the 1662 book—apart from removing prayers for the monarch—were the omission of the Nicene and Athanasian creeds and the removal of the phrase "He descended into hell" from the Apostles’ Creed.

As with virtually every revision before and after it, the proposed book of 1786 was not popular, The English bishops, to whom the south­ern states looked for episcopal consecration, objected to the elimination of the Nicene and Athanasian creeds and to the alteration of the Apostles’ Creed. It is diffi­cult to imagine how any revision could have been received with enthusiasm, given the political and ecclesiastical realities of the time—Tories and patriots, Latitudinarians and advocates of traditional liturgical forms, all trying to form one unified church

The first General Convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church met in Philadelphia on September 29, 1789. It was able to meet at all in large measure because the southern states gave up their commit­ment to the proposed book of 1786 with its elements Seabury and others in New England found objectionable

Key point

Adding Prayer of Consecration in the Celebration of Holy Communion (BCP Rite 1, Page 334)

Its incorporation was the result of liturgical scholarship and the newly independent church’s ability and will­ingness to revise its public worship without legal con­straints. In fact, the most important legacy of the first American prayer book may be simply the fact of its existence. The church saw that it was possible to revise Anglican liturgy without reference to govern­mental authority.

The American prayer book of 1789 would be in use for the next hundred years. While the various offices and rites are arranged in the 1789 book in a different order than in the current book, its pattern of worship would be recognizable to anyone familiar with the 1979 prayer book: a calendar and lectionary for the liturgical year, the orders for daily Morning and Evening Prayer, The Lord’s Supper or Holy Communion, Baptism and Confirmation, Holy Matrimony, Visitation of the Sick, and Burial, a cate­chism, and a collection of prayers for various occa­sions

Services in Colonial America – In churches of the colonial period, a typical arrangement would be for Morning Prayer to be read from a triple-decker pulpit on the north wall of a building in the Georgian or "meeting-house" colonial style. On Sundays, Morning Prayer would be followed by the Litany and Holy Communion, although in pop­ular practice it was usually Ante-Communion: the service of Holy Communion only through the readings and sermon.  (the liturgy of the Word from the Holy Eucharist, with the essential part of the full rite – the communion – being omitted). Basically Morning Prayer was the chief service). 

Music would consist of metrical psalms and simple hymns accompanied possibly by a group of instrumentalists.

It is to this rather bare and yet lengthy and invariable pattern that the movement can be traced in the next century demanding greater flex­ibility and enrichment of prayer book worship—in other words, further revision of the prayer book.

II. 19th centuryThe images many people have about what worship in an Episcopal church looks like—vested choirs and processions, candles flickering at altars set in long divided chancels, organ music, pseudo-Gothic architecture, and the Holy Eucharist as the principal serv­ice—can be traced to reforms in the nineteenth centu­ry that took the prayer book tradition and reshaped it.

Prayer book wasn’t changing but the Church was

Some of these movements had to do with social changes,

some with changing artistic tastes and fash­ions,

some with scholarly inquiry in theology and liturgy, and

some with shifts in piety, but all made their mark and contributed to the next stage in prayer book revision: the prayer book of 1892 and on to the 1928 prayer book.

The Catholic Revival, with its ori­gins in the English Oxford Movement (Tractarian) in the 1830’s, was leading to a deeper appreciation of the sacraments and a renewed interest in medieval liturgy and the study of liturgy in general

3 divisions in the Church

High Church“ritualists”

Low Church “evangelicals”

Broad Church middle

Many practices of today began with this movement

Ritualism,a child of the Catholic Revival, was eventually to transform thoroughly the physical fabric, ceremonial, and music of the Episcopal Church. It is startling to realize what an innovation it was in the middle of the nineteenth century to place a cross on the Holy Table of an Episcopal Church

Tractarian Heritage in America  – New to America

Frontals, Eucharistic vestments

Vested choirs, acolytes

Cassocks, surplices replaced preaching gowns

Candles, flowers in sanctuaries

Communion tables now altars

Crosses, crucifixes appear

Divided chancels replaced central pulpits

Epistle, Gospel read from opposite sides

Bowing, genuflecting, sign of the cross


The need for greater flexibility in worship was per­haps most apparent in urban centers and on the mis­sionary frontiers. In these settings, the sheer weight of lengthy Sunday services was impractical for popula­tions with neither the time nor the inclination to attend them as traditionally presented

In 1853 William Augustus Muhlenberg gave formal voice to these requests by calling on the General Convention to authorize flexibility in the use of prayer book services and a greater sensitivity to the ecumenical opportuni­ties for the Episcopal Church in a multidenominational, multicultural society. In his own work as head of an influential boys’ school and later as the founder of the Church of the Holy Communion in New York City, he advocated enriching worship with music, flowers, and the colors of the liturgical year.

  • practice of singing parts of the service, chanting psalms,
  • placing the altar in a central position, with the pulpit to one side.
  • At his church he separated the celebration of Holy Communion from Morning Prayer and the Litany and began to celebrate the eucharist weekly.

Muhlenberg’s interest in the beauty of worship was tied to a deep concern for the poor and the needs of urban working people

One spe­cific outcome of the memorial was that three years later the House of Bishops explicitly noted that Morning Prayer, the Litany, and Holy Communion were distinct services that could be conducted separately. Until the 1979 prayer book, the typical Sunday morning schedule of worship in many Episcopal parishes was an early celebration of the eucharist fol­lowed by a main service of Morning Prayer.This pat­tern can be traced to the bishops’ provision—an unintended warping of the traditional Christian pat­tern of daily morning and evening prayer, and a prin­cipal eucharist on the Lord’s Day

A key figure in this next stage of revision was William Reed Huntington, the rector of Grace Church in New York City and a leader  in  the  House  of  Deputies   of the  General Convention. His persistent calls for revision began the process, in 1880 that led in 1883 to the issuing of a prayer book for trial use, known as The Book Annexed.

 During the three-year trial period that followed there were many suggestions for liturgical changes that went far beyond simply shortening services, including eliminating the Ten Commandments at the beginning of Holy Communion, reciting the Nicene Creed in the first-person plural, and placing the sermon after the gospel rather  than after the  creed  (where it had appeared in every prayer book since 1549).

III. 1892 Prayer Book

1892 – a revision so modest that the most noticeable change from the 1789 book is that the Magnificat and the Nunc Dimittis, traditional canticles at Evening Prayer, appear for the first time in the American prayer book

More flexibility

– Exhortation – reduced requirement – had been required at every celebration to be omitted except one Sunday of the month

-Required Decalogue only once on each Sunday

-Kyrie followed the Summary of the Law if the Decalogue had been omitted

-Nicene Creed only said on 5 major feast days

-Communion hymn no longer obligatory

-Morning Prayer not required to be said before Eucharist

-Morning Prayer could be read without requiring Eucharist

The benefit of this rubrical change is that it reminded people that the celebration of the Eucharist is the climax of the liturgical week. However, by this point, the eucharistic liturgy of the word had become so sparse, that without Morning Prayer, the rite was severely lacking with its paucity of scriptural material. This and other problems with the rite were not corrected until the current Prayer Book.

IV. 1928 Prayer Book

1928 -. The most influ­ential leader in the revision process this time was Edward Lambe Parsons, later bishop of California and professor of theology and liturgy at Church Divinity School of the Pacific. He is responsible for writing new prayers for the 1928 book for social justice, for the "family of nations," and the collect for Independence Day.

The 1928 prayer book also reflected other con­cerns of the day and the changing attitudes of society:

-there is a much greater concern overall for social jus­tice, the marriage service drops the word "obey" from the wife’s vows, and the derogatory reference to "the Jews" is dropped from the third collect for Good Friday.  (“Have mercy upon all Jews, Turks, infidels, and heretics and take from them all ignorance, hardness of heart and contempt of thy word”. It has been replaced on BCP 277 “We pray there for the people everywhere according to their needs.”)

-Provision is made in the Visitation of the Sick for laying on hands and anoint­ing, and there is a greater sensitivity to ecumenical concerns.

Some of the many changes from the previous 1892 book included

-Exhortation – reduced requirement to first Sunday in advent, first Sunday in Lent and Trinity Sunday

-Decalogus one Sunday a month

-dropping liturgies of rather outdated theology, such as the Visitation of Prisoners;

– the three baptism rites were combined into one;

– several changes were made to the Communion service, including further deemphasis of the Decalogue, and rearrangement of the Lord’s Prayer and the Prayer of Humble Access back to the position they had in the Prayer Book of 1549. 

– permission to use a hymn or anthem after the Epistle and the Laus tibi after Gospel

– 3 additional proper prefaces – (Epiphany, one for Purification, Anunciation and Transfigurationa dn one for All stains

– Controversial – inclusion of provision for departed


Some charged that changes in the 1928 book went too far in the direction of Roman Catholicism.

But these changes were made as a result of contemporary scholarship rather than from the influence  of Anglo-Catholics  looking  to Roman Catholic practice.


propers were added for the celebration of the eucharist at burials and marriages, for example, as well as prayers for the dead,

Lord’s Prayer became the conclusion of the Prayer of Consecration in Holy Communion.

Other change as a predecessor -‘And now as our Savior Christ hath taught us, let us  say’ to  ‘’And now, as our Savior Christ hath taught us, we are bold to say. This was a return to the more ancient use


Criticisms of 1928 Prayer Book

– lack of psalmody

– paucity of lectionary material, particular the Old Testament.  

– lack of opportunity for congregation participation

– Eucharistic prayer failed to provide thanks for creation and incarnation

– absence epiclesis

V. Toward the 1979 Prayer Book

the Liturgical Movement has grown into what one writer calls the "Liturgical Revolution.

A. The essential shape of the pattern of Christian worship had been almost totally obscured in both Protestant and Roman Catholic churches. It is hard to overstate the impact that the recovery of descriptions of worship and texts from the early church has had on the way we worship today. Lack of liturgical material

B Focus on Eucharist –  Continental movement in Europe.

 In the 1930s in England, pioneers such as Henry de Candole and A. G. Hebert began to promote the development of what came to be called "the parish communion," a genuinely participative "family eucharist"  that was  the principal Sunday service. . It focused on the connections between worship and social action, the implications of the liturgy for the life of Christians in the world.

In the United States, the name of William Palmer Ladd is most closely associated with the spread of the Liturgical Movement and its impact on worship in the Episcopal Church. Ladd taught at Berkeley Divinity School in New Haven, Connecticut, from 1904 to 1941, where he actively promoted the works of those in the European Liturgical Movement.

In the Episcopal Church the Liturgical Movement found its greatest and most persistent advocate in an organization known as Associated Parishes for Liturgy and Mission. Begun in 1946 by a group of clergy who wanted to find practical ways to imple­ment the principles of the Liturgical Movement, given the realities of parish life and the 1928 prayer book, it was to exercise enormous influence over the next thir­ty years leading to the 1979 Book of Common Prayer

Over the course of one hundred fifty years, the Episcopal Church had moved from understanding its pattern of Christian worship as a monolithic, invariable, and unchanging set of texts and ritual actions, to a sense that flexibility, variety, and change were not only inevitable but desirable if the church was to accom­plish its mission. By the second half of the twentieth century The Book of Common Prayer was increasingly seen as a distinctive and living pattern of Christian life and worship that could change, rather than as a sacred object in and of itself.

The prayer book took from 1964 to 1976 to be revised.

Over the course of six years, from 1967 to 1973, the commission published three books of litur­gies for trial use: The Liturgy of the Lord’s Supper in 1967, Services for Trial Use in 1970 (known as "The Green Book"), smi Authorized Services in 1973 ("The Zebra Book").

One of the outcomes of this process of trial use and feedback was the decision to include ver­sions of the daily offices and the eucharist in both con­temporary and Elizabethan English—Rite I and Rite II—because one single form of the liturgy was no longer going to be sufficient.

Overall, the 1979 prayer book has moved worship in the Episcopal Church from being an experience primarily of text to one of liturgical actions. In other words, the congregation participates to a degree we have never known before; we are not simply listening to the priest, but together with the one who presides we are the doers of the liturgical action.

VI Specific Changes in 1979

The first overarching theme of the 1979 BCP to grasp: It is really two prayer books combined, plus a new appendix of various items meant to assist us in our common life of faith. The 1928 book is 611 pages; the 1979 prayer book is 1,001 pages.

The 1979 book contains content changes and changes in emphasis :

(1)  Much, but not all, of the contents of the 1928 prayer book

The inclusion of the 1928 prayer book consists primarily of Morning Prayer, Evening Prayer, the Eucharist (two versions), and burial of the dead. Like the 1928 book, it is in Elizabethan English, using words like “thee” and “thou,” and “Holy Ghost.”

(2)  Contemporary Language and content additions
The contemporary language prayer book contains Morning Prayer, Evening Prayer, the Eucharist (four versions), and burial of the dead. Added were Compline (night prayers), and newer versions of baptism, confirmation, marriage, celebration of new ministry, and the ordinations of deacons, priests and bishops. Also added were “pastoral offices” that were not in the 1928 book, most notably “Ministration to the sick” and “Ministration at the Time of Death.” There was another huge addition: liturgies for all three days of Easter, particularly an opulent Great Vigil of Easter celebrated on Saturday night before Easter Sunday. We will talk about these liturgies closer to Easter.

(3) New appendixan appendix containing psalms, extra prayers, historical documents foundational to the Church; an instructional “Outline of the Faith” in a Q&A format; and calendars showing what biblical lessons to read on Sundays, ordinary weekdays, and saint days.

(4) Baptism

In its language and its theology the 1928 prayer book reflects a six­teenth-century western society that was largely Christian—at least in name and culture—and an essentially medieval understanding of the nature of sin and redemption. The 1979 book represents a deep shift in the direction of a more ancient, biblical view of God and God’s relationship in Christ to the church and the world


The emphasis of the baptismal rites in earlier prayer books had been around curing human depravity; baptism had become something of a vaccine against it. Culturally, baptism had become “Christening” and was done often in private. What had begun in the early church as an elaborate initiation rite had become what was described by some as “the arid ten words” in the 1928 book.

The 1979 prayer book, while not purporting to fully bring back the elaborate baptismal rites of the Early Church, brought the emphasis of baptism to the gifts of the Spirit and the Resurrection of Jesus Christ (and that the Resurrection has something to do with us). Baptism also now includes a challenge to us in how we live out our life in a faith community.

BCP p. 299, note the opening salutation: “One Lord, One faith, one baptism.”
Those words encapsulate the meaning of baptism: that there is One God, that baptism is once, for all time, and includes the baptized fully into the Christian faith everywhere and forever. The whole thing is right there.

BCP p. 302The baptismal examination: Harkens back to the Early Church practice of lengthy preparation and then exorcism before baptism. The idea here is that baptism requires the renouncing evil, and pledging to live a new life. You might say these short words are a pale imitation of the ancient rites. The new rite deemphasizes human sinfulness without completely dispensing with the theology behind it. Human depravity is still there, but baptism moves beyond that by moving into the baptismal covenant.

BCP pps. 304-306 – This is the heart-and-soul of the baptismal pledge and challenge. First asks us to recite the ancient Apostles Creed, which is the basic baptismal creed, as a statement of the faith. Look at the creed as joining in the same words as the earliest Christians would have said, praying the same prayers, walking with them as symbolic of there being “One Faith, one baptism.” We join with them in their baptism, bringing us in communion with all Christians in all times and places.

The covenant then moves to a pledge on how we will live out our life together in faith. We pledge to love our neighbor as ourselves and to “respect the dignity of every human being.” Those are tough words to live by, and we pledge “I will, with God’s help.” The emphasis is that our living out our baptismal covenant is a gift of the Spirit and we can’t do it without God’s help.

The 1979 prayer book added a new prayer to the baptismal rite: the “Thanksgiving over the Water” BCP p. 306; notice the amenesis – the remembering – that is in the prayer; water is remembered as symbolic of how the oppressed out of bondage “through water” from Egypt, and water is remembered as symbolic of the baptism, death and resurrection of Jesus. The water is a physical outward reminder that we are part of this story.

Finally, the 1979 prayer book included the blessing of the baptized, or “sealing” with Holy Oil. The oil used is blessed by the bishop during Holy Week, and then taken to all of the parishes. The oil is a reminder, again, that it is “one baptism” and we are all connected to each other through our baptism; bishops and their blessings are an outward symbol that we share in this baptism. Holy Oil was used in baptism in the early church, and the baptized were drenched in oil. Now we get only a dab on the forehead.

One of the theological changes brought about by the 1979 prayer book was the realization that baptism represented a full entry into the membership of the Church. From that flowed the idea that baptism was full entry to the Lord’s Table. That shift was huge; previously only the confirmed were allowed to come to Communion. Confirmation was now understood as an adult affirmation of the faith, but it conferred no particular special rights. With the 1979 prayer book, all the baptized were included at the Table, no matter their age.

(5) Worship

Our Sunday worship can be seen as two liturgies: (1) The Liturgy of the Word (the biblical readings), and (2) The Liturgy of the Table, or the Eucharist.

The 1979 Book of Common Prayer provides six formats for the Eucharist; two are in Rite I, with the Elizabethan-style language. Four more are in contemporary language, called Rite II. All of these prayers, in some manner, are based on the Prayer of Hippolytus in the 3rd century.

A. Contemporary language

B.  Hypolytus origin – risen Christ
C.  Revelation of God through creation

D.  St. Basil prayer popular with Eastern Orthodox

The 1979 prayer book also needs to be seen as part of the larger ecumenical liturgical reform movement of the 1960s, arising from Vatican II in the Roman Catholic Church. Eucharist was to be made by the people, not the priest alone, hence the Table was moved to the center of the church. Moving the Table to the center also symbolized the centrality of Eucharist in our walk of faith.

In both Rite I and II, the Sunday service maintains Archbishop Thomas Cranmer’s practice of beginning each worship service with a series of gathering prayers, called the “collects.” The word “collect” is an English word that means – wait for it — collect. The idea is that we collect the common longings of our hearts and souls into a single prayer representing the common prayer of that week.

We start with the “Collect for Purity,” p. 355, “Almighty God, to you all hearts are open…” The prayer is meant to center and focus us for our time of worship together.

Then comes the “Collect of the Day.” Each Sunday has its own collect, and most were written or adapted by Cranmer. The traditional versions, with Cranmerian language, begin on p. 159, or on p. 211 with contemporary language. Note that the first collect is the First Sunday in Advent; that marks the beginning of the church year, and all of the lectionary cycles begin on that Sunday.

The collects bring us to the biblical readings – the Liturgy of the Word.

The point of the sermon is to connect the old story – the remembering – to our story. The sermon is not a lecture or a pep talk, but part of our common amnensis.

(6). Lectionaries

The 1979 BCP contains another major innovation: calendars for biblical reading throughout the year, beginning on p. 888. The calendar of readings is called “the lectionary,” and each reading is called a “lection.” The 1928 and earlier prayer books had assigned readings for each Sunday, and the readings never varied from year to year.

The 1979 adopted the practice of the Roman Catholic, Lutheran and other churches by assigning biblical lessons to be read in church in a three-year cycle. Each Sunday has its own set of biblical readings; the lectionary is another practice of the early church, and ours parallels the earliest known lectionaries.

The idea of the lectionary was to put the Episcopal church in synch with other churches, hearing the same lessons each Sunday, and to give the faithful more biblical readings than they had ever had before.

The Episcopal Church in 2006 adopted the Revised Common Lectionary, the same as in the Catholic, Lutheran and other churches. The idea here is that we are hearing the same biblical lessons in our church as those in other churches, across denominational lines, giving us a connection with those churches despite our differences.

Tract 1 – Old Testament in Order

Tract 2 – Themes Old Testament in line with the other readings

Both have Epistle and Gospel

The Sunday lectionary is marked as Year A, B, or C, and each year emphasizes a particular gospel. Year A is the year of Matthew, which the early church considered the first-among-equals of the gospels (hence it is also first in the New Testament). Year B is the book of Mark.  Year C is the year of Luke. The Gospel of John is interspersed in all three years.

Following the sermon is the Nicene Creed, written in the 4th century as a loyalty oath for bishops and to solve issues of orthodoxy. Following that are the Prayers of the People, p. 383, an innovation of the 1979 book designed to foster more lay involvement in the leading of the worship.

Prayers of the People

I,IV,V – primary service prayers, fullness of forms, fixed congregations responses
II, III, V – small group services where people can add their own petitions

Thence to The Peace, p. 360, echoing Paul’s admonition that we should not come to the Table for communion until we have forgiven each other and “made peace.” The ancient liturgies ordered people to leave the church and not return until they had done so.

(7) Easter

The liturgy for Holy Baptism directly follows that for the Great Vigil of Easter in the prayer book

If we turn to the section of the prayer book called Proper Liturgies for Special Days (BCP 263), we will find the liturgies for the observance of Lent and the Three Days of Easter, the central focus of the liturgi­cal year. Originally,  the once-a-year celebration of Easter was a liturgical encounter with Christ’s death and resurrection in a single act of worship. Over time, however, this unified celebration was expanded to include the days immediately preceding Easter.

A definite pattern eventually emerged,  and the mystery of Christ’s passion, death, and resurrection was celebrated as a three-day liturgy that began at sundown on Thursday (the beginning of the Jewish day), extended through Friday and Saturday, and con­cluded  at  sundown  on  Easter  Day.  

Maundy Thursday

At the last supper Jesus says to his disciples, "I give you a new commandment, that you love one another" (John 13:34). Jesus takes the role of a ser­vant by washing the disciples’ feet, revealing his iden­tity as servant of all; servanthood was to be the sign of those who follow him. The washing of feet is meant to be a ritual identification with the servanthood of Christ, a declaration of who we are by baptism.

Good Friday

The service has no formal entrance rite and no bless­ing or dismissal

However, mourning is not the intent of the prayer book’s Good Friday liturgy. Page 281 We do not bring a wood­en cross into our assembly in order to mourn a dead Jesus. Jesus Christ is alive. The purpose of our gath­ering is not to recreate sacred history, but to worship a living Lord. The cross is venerated as the sign of the victory of Christ, the sign we receive in baptism

The Great Vigil of Easter

In the ancient church, howev­er, it was the most significant liturgy of the year and its recovery is central to our understanding of what

 If the liturgical life of the church is an encounter with the death and resurrection of Christ, then our sacramental celebrations are the means of our incorporation into that mystery. In other words, they make real our participation in the dying and rising body of Christ in the world.

The Easter Vigil has four parts: the service of light, the scripture readings, Christian initiation, and the Holy Eucharist. This is only a bare outline for a serv­ice of many layers of symbol and meaning.

In the darkness a light is kindled and blessed. The paschal candle is lighted and carried in procession before the people, representing the pillar of cloud  and fire  that  led Israel  in  the  wilderness. Members of the congregation may hold smaller can­dles that are lighted from the paschal candle. The dea­con leads the Exsultet, the ancient blessing of God for the mighty act of salvation in the resurrection of Christ.

Then follows a series of readings, the story of sal­vation history. The prayer book provides nine lessons and directs that at least two of them must be read, including the story of Israel’s deliverance at the Red Sea in Exodus. The readings are the vigil: a lengthy series of readings is the heart of a liturgical vigil, usu­ally interspersed with psalms, canticles, and prayers, as they are on this night. After the telling of the story of salvation, new members are added to the ongoing story of God’s  people in the  celebration of Holy Baptism. In the absence of candidates for baptism, the renewal of baptismal vows takes place. Following baptism and its renewal, the Easter eucharist is cele­brated, beginning with the proclamation of what we have just experienced sacramentally

(8). Other points

– preparation of table is in logical place just before the Eucharistic prayers.

breaking of the bread is restored with an optional fractional anthem

-brief sentences of administration

– various options for dismissal

– “Order for Celebration the Holy Eucharist which lists elements essential to Eucharist but allows the rite to adapt for different settings

Decalogue – abbreviated but puts Exodus 20:1-3  before 10 commandment  “And God spoke all these words:

“I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. “You shall have no other gods before me.”.God that makes the demands of the 10 commandments is the one who brought us out of slavery

VII. Changes in 1979 in Rite II

12 changes seen in Rite II:

1. Song of Praise  -“Glory to God in the Highest…” Page 356

Hymn added from time of  St. Basil (330-379) . This is the Gloria in Excelsis.  In West it was a hymn well known to the people. By 1789 other hymns used. Dropped in Prayer Book of 1892 and restored in 1979

2. Kyrie  – “Lord Have Mercy (Kyrie elison) …” Page 356

This is the Trisagion – “Holy, God, Holy and Mighty, Holy and Mighty One, Have Mercy On Us” – an ancient hymn of Eastern Churches sung after the entrance of the clergy with the scripture . 1979 Prayer Book first to include this as an alternate to the Kyrie

3. Lessons – Page 357

1979 brought  the full liturgy –  Old Testament, Psalm, New Testament and Gospel. Substantial amount of Old Testament and almost all of the New Testament heard over a 3 year period

Announcement of lessons–  “A Reading from” dates to 12th century- announce book, chapter (1549 PB) and verse (1552 PB). Chapter and verse now optional in 1979

4. Gospel1979 encourage a return to the pulpit. Only in recent years have lecturns and pulpits become separate pieces of furniture that use of the altar spread for reading the Gospel. Use of pulpit symbolizes of the word both read and preached, of the presence of Christ in His word and going out into the people symbolizes Christ in the midst of people

5. Prayers of the People (Page 359. Special Prayers 383

They followed readings and sermons as early as 2nd century. By 4th century a litany with biddings by the deacon to which the people responded Kyrie eleison. At the same time intercessions became part of it. The 1979 prayer book restored it to after sermon and creed and prior to the peace.  There are 6 forms.

6. Confession of Sin   (Page 360)

In 1548 the Order of the Communion was published consisting of an exhortation, invitation, confession, absolution, scriptural assurances of forgiveness, and a prayer which later became known as the "prayer of humble access."  1549 prayer book retained a revised form of this confession 1979 moved it to a place among the prayers before preparation of the table for the Eucharist

1979 – Not only do we ask that we may walk in God’s ways, but also that we may delight in His will.

7. The Breaking of the Bread (Fraction) – Page 364

The optional anthem printed in  both rites of the 1979 Book is "Christ our Passover," which may be said or sung by the celebrant, said as a versicle and response, or sun-: by the people, by a cantor, or by a choir.

This replaced a sentence sometimes used as the consecrated bread was shown to the people: "Behold the Lamb of God who takes away  the sins of the world" (John 1:19). This is the Agnus Dei was restored in 1979 as an optional hymn

8. Ministration of Communion

1979- deletes the direction to kneel in order that the traditional posture, and the Eucharistic concepts which it signifies may be recovered.

9.  The Cup

1979- used to be Deacon only administer the cup but no longer true. Traditional celebrant administers the bread

10. The Dismissal  Page 366 – “Let us got forth in the .name of Christ”

Use of dismissal was not part of the Book of Common Prayer but was restored in 1979

11.  Rite II did not exist in the 1928 prayer book

12.   Exhortation – “may be used in whole or in part during the liturgy or at other times”

Thanks God for creation of world, love of us and redemption through Jesus. The sacrament instituted as a “sign and pledge of his love, the continual remembrance of the sacrifice of his death and for a spiritual sharing of his risen life

To worthy preparation to receive sacrament. Look at life in “what you have done or left undone whether in thought word or deed”. Acknowledge sins with readiness “to make restitution for all injuries and wrongs done by you to others and also being ready to forgive those who have offended yhou”

If need help in preparation then go to a “discreet and understanding “ priest and confess sins