With all our heart and all our mind, let us pray to the Lord.


The Book of Divine Worship (BDW) has seen more than its fair share of criticism both on and off line.  While the BDW is far from perfect, is incomplete and was laid out poorly, it still has much to recommend to it.   

One of the things my Ordinariate group has come to appreciate is the alternate forms of the Prayers of the People.  While we mostly use Form I, which was the only form in the 1928 BCP and the assumed version for Rite I of the 1979 BCP, we have used Form III the past two Sundays and it has worked well.  Form III is based on the first litany of the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom and it allows us to chant the prayers using the same tones as the Eastern Churches.

While it could be argued that this is diluting the Anglican Patrimony as it really stems from the 1979 BCP, it stems from the Cranmerian Anglican ethos.  Thomas Cranmer was aware of the Eastern liturgies and it is supposed that he consulted them while drawing up the 1549 BCP.  The Prayer of Humble Access is the clearest example of this.  While John Henry Blunt’s The Annotated Book of Common Prayer notes that this prayer had antecedents in the Sarum, Hereford and York missals, Massey Shepherd Jr. tells us that this prayer really is an original prayer by Cranmer, drawing on both Biblical texts and parts of the Liturgy of St. Basil.

Right from the beginning, Anglican liturgy has been a mix of the ancient forms of the Western Liturgy with an eye to the East.  The Book of Divine Worship keeps this Eastern influence alive and well in the Western Liturgy, which makes sense now even more that our Anglican liturgy has taken its place in the Universal Church.

 

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