Friday, September 28, 2007

For your consideration

The Eucharist

of the 1928 Book of Common Prayer

in contemporary language

Let us pray for the whole state of Christ's Church.

ALMIGHTY and everliving God, who by your holy Apostle has taught us to make prayers, and supplications, and to give thanks for all men; We humbly implore you most mercifully to accept our [alms and] oblations, and to receive these our prayers, which we offer unto your Divine Majesty; imploring you to inspire continually the Universal Church with the spirit of truth, unity, and concord: And grant that all those who do confess your holy Name may agree in the truth of your holy Word, and live in unity and godly love.We implore you also, so to direct and dispose the hearts of all Christian Rulers, that they may truly and impartially administer justice, to the punishment of wickedness and vice, and to the maintenance of your true religion, and virtue.Give grace, O heavenly Father, to all Bishops and other Ministers, that they may, both by their life and doctrine, set forth your true and living Word, and rightly and duly administer your holy Sacraments.And to all your People give your heavenly grace; and especially to this congregation here present; that, with humble heart and proper reverence, they may hear, and receive your holy Word; truly serving you in holiness and righteousness all the days of their life.And we most humbly implore you of your goodness, O Lord, to comfort and support all those who, in this transitory life, are in trouble, sorrow, need, sickness, or any other adversity.And we also bless your holy Name for all your servants departed this life in your faith and fear; imploring you to grant them continual growth in your love and service, and to give us grace to follow their good examples, that with them we may be partakers of your heavenly kingdom. Grant this, O Father, for Jesus Christ's sake, our only Mediator and Advocate. Amen.

¶ Then shall the Presbyter say to those who come to receive the Holy Communion,

You who do truly and earnestly repent you of your sins, and are in love and charity with your neighbours, and intend to lead a new life, following the commandments of God, and walking from this time foreword in his holy ways; Draw near with faith, and take this holy Sacrament to your comfort; and make your humble confession to Almighty God, devoutly kneeling.

¶ Then shall this General Confession be made, by the Presbyter and all those who are minded to receive the Holy Communion, humbly kneeling.

ALMIGHTY God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Maker of all things, Judge of all men; We acknowledge and bewail our many sins and wickedness, Which we, from time to time, most grievously have committed, By thought, word, and deed, Against your Divine Majesty, Provoking most justly your wrath and indignation against us. We do earnestly repent, And are heartily sorry for these our misdoings; The remembrance of them is grievous unto us; The burden of them is intolerable. Have mercy upon us, Have mercy upon us, most merciful Father; For your Son our Lord Jesus Christ's sake, Forgive us all that is past; And grant that we may from this day forward Serve and please thee In newness of life, To the honour and glory of your Name; Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

¶ Then shall the Presbyter (the Bishop if he be present) stand up, and turning to the People, say,

ALMIGHTY God, our heavenly Father, who of his great mercy has promised forgiveness of sins to all those who with hearty repentance and true faith turn unto him; Have mercy upon you; pardon and deliver you from all your sins; confirm and strengthen you in all goodness; and bring you to everlasting life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
¶ Then shall the Presbyter say,

Hear what comfortable words our Saviour Jesus Christ says to those who truly turn to him:

COME to me, all who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. St Matthew 11:28
God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. St. John 3:16

Hear also the words of Saint Paul:
The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. 1 St. Timothy 1:15

And hear what Saint John says:
If anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. He is the propitiation for our sins. 1 St. John 2:1, 2

¶ The Presbyter continues, saying,

[The Lord be with you.]
[Answer. And with your spirit.]
Presbyter. Lift up your hearts.
Answer. We lift them to the Lord.
Presbyter. Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
Answer. It is right to give him thanks and praise.

¶ The Presbyter turns to the Lord's Table and says,

IT is indeed right, it is our duty, at all times and in all places to give thanks and praise to you, Lord, Holy Father, Almighty, Everlasting God.

¶ The PROPER PREFACE, if one is appointed, shall be said here, otherwise the Presbyter continues saying,

THEREFORE with angels and archangels, and with all the company of heaven, we proclaim and magnify your glorious name, forever praising you, and saying,

¶ Presbyter and people.

HOLY, HOLY, HOLY, Lord God of hosts, heaven and earth are full of your glory. Glory be to you, O Lord most high.


On CHRISTMAS DAY, and the seven days following
BECAUSE you gave Jesus Christ, your only Son, to be born as at this time for us, who by the operation of the Holy Spirit, was made man of the substance of the Virgin Mary, his mother, but without spot of sin, to make us clean from all sin.
Therefore with Angels, etc.

On the EPIPHANY, and the seven days following
THROUGH Jesus Christ our Lord, who in substance of our mortal flesh, revealed his glory, that he might bring us out of darkness into his own marvellous light.
Therefore with Angels, etc.

BECAUSE in the mystery of the Word made flesh you have caused a new light to shine in our hearts to give the knowledge of your glory in the face of your Son, Jesus
Christ our Lord.
Therefore with Angels, etc.

On EASTER DAY, and the seven days following
BUT chiefly we are bound to praise you for the glorious resurrection of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord. He is the very Passover Lamb who was offered for us and has taken away the sin of the world. By his death he has destroyed death; and by his rising to life again he has restored everlasting life to us.
Therefore with Angels, etc.

On ASCENSION DAY, and the seven days following
THROUGH your most dearly loved Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who after his glorious resurrection plainly appeared to all his Apostles, and in their sight ascended up into heaven to prepare a place for us, so that where he is, there we might also ascend and reign with him in glory.
Therefore with Angels, etc.

On WHITSUNDAY, and the six days following
THROUGH Jesus Christ our Lord, according to whose most true promise the Holy Spirit came down from heaven, with a sudden and great sound, as it had been a mighty wind, and in the likeness of fiery tongues, lighting upon the Apostles to teach them, and to lead them into all truth; giving them both the gift of tongues, and also boldness with fervent zeal, constantly to preach the Gospel to all nations, by which we have been brought out of darkness and error into the clear light and true knowledge of you and of your Son Jesus Christ.
Therefore with Angels, etc.

On the feast of TRINITY only
WHO with your only-begotten Son and the Holy Spirit, we confess to be one God, one Lord, in Trinity of Persons and in Unity of Substance. For what we believe of your glory, O Father, we believe of the Son also, and of the Holy Spirit, without any difference of inequality.
Therefore with Angels, etc.

¶ Or this.

FOR the precious death and merits of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord, and for sending to us the Holy Spirit, the Comforter; who are one with you in your Eternal Godhead.
Therefore with Angels, etc.

On ALL SAINTS' DAY, and the seven days following
WHO, in the multitude of your saints, has surrounded us with so great a cloud of witnesses, that rejoicing in their fellowship we may run patiently the race that is set before us, and, together with them, may receive the crown of glory that fades not away.

THEREFORE with angels and archangels, and with all the company of heaven, we laud and magnify your glorious name, for ever praising you, and saying,

¶ Presbyter and people.

HOLY, HOLY, HOLY, Lord God of hosts, heaven and earth are full of your glory. Glory be to you, O Lord most high.

¶ When the Presbyter, standing before the Holy Table, having so ordered the Bread and Wine, that he may with the more readiness and decency break the Bread before the People, and take the Cup into his hands, he shall say the Prayer of Consecration, as follows.

ALL glory be to thee, Almighty God, our heavenly Father, for that you, of your tender mercy, gave your only Son Jesus Christ to suffer death upon the Cross for our redemption; who made there (by his one oblation of himself once offered) a full, perfect, and sufficient sacrifice, oblation, and satisfaction, for the sins of the whole world; and did institute, and in his holy Gospel command us to continue, a perpetual memory of that his precious death and sacrifice, until his coming again: For in the night in which he was betrayed, he took Bread; and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, Take, eat, this is my Body, which is given for you; Do this in remembrance of me. Likewise, after supper, he took the Cup; and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, Drink this, all of you all you; for this is my Blood of the New Testament, which is shed for you, and for many, for the remission of sins; Do this, as often as you shall drink it, in remembrance of me.

The Oblation
WHEREFORE, O Lord and heavenly Father, according to the institution of your dearly beloved Son our Saviour Jesus Christ, we, your humble servants, do celebrate and make here before your Divine Majesty, with these your holy gifts, which we now offer unto you, the memorial your Son commanded us to make; having in remembrance his blessed passion and precious death, his mighty resurrection and glorious ascension; rendering unto you most hearty thanks for the innumerable benefits procured unto us by the same.

The Invocation
AND we most humbly implore you, O merciful Father, to hear us; and, of your almighty goodness bless and sanctify, with your Word and Holy Spirit, these your gifts and creatures of bread and wine; that we, receiving them according to thy Son our Saviour Jesus Christ's holy institution, in remembrance of his death and passion, may be partakers of his most blessed Body and Blood.
AND we earnestly desire thy fatherly goodness, mercifully to accept this our sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving; most humbly imploring you to grant that, by the merits and death of your Son Jesus Christ, and through faith in his blood, we, and all your whole Church, may obtain remission of our sins, and all other benefits of his passion. And here we offer and present unto you, O Lord, our selves, our souls and bodies, to be a reasonable, holy, and living sacrifice unto you; humbly imploring you, that we, and all others who shall be partakers of this Holy Communion, may worthily receive the most precious Body and Blood of your Son Jesus Christ, be filled with your grace and heavenly blessing, and made one body with him, that he may dwell in us, and we in him. And although we are unworthy, through our many sins, to offer unto you any sacrifice; yet we implore you to accept this our honour-bound duty and service; not weighing our merits, but pardoning our offences, through Jesus Christ our Lord; by whom, and with whom, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all honour and glory be unto you, O Father Almighty, world without end. Amen.

Presbyter. And now as our Saviour Christ has taught us, we are bold to pray,

OUR Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours now and for ever. Amen.

¶ Or this.
OUR Father, who art in heaven, Hallowed by thy Name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, On earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, As we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, But deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

¶ Then shall the Presbyter, kneeling down at the Lord's Table, say, in the name of all those who shall receive the Communion, this Prayer following.
WE do not presume to come to this your Table, O merciful Lord, trusting in our own righteousness, but in your many and great mercies. We are not worthy so much as to gather up the crumbs under your Table. But you are the same Lord, whose property is always to have mercy: Grant us therefore, gracious Lord, so to eat the flesh of thy dear Son Jesus Christ, and to drink his blood, that our sinful bodies may be made clean by his body, and our souls washed through his most precious blood, and that we may evermore dwell in him, and he in us. Amen.
¶ A Hymn may be sung while the bread and wine are distributed.

¶ The Presbyter shall receive the Communion in both kinds himself, and then proceed to administer the Bread and Wine to the Bishops, Presbyters, and Deacons, in the same way, and after that to the people, placing it in their hands as they devoutly kneel. Sufficient time shall be given for all to communicate. The Presbyter shall distribute the Bread saying,

THE body of our Lord Jesus Christ which was given for you, preserve your body and soul to everlasting life. Take and eat this in remembrance that Christ died for you and feed on him in your heart by faith with thanksgiving.

¶ And the Minister administering the Cup shall say,

The blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, which was shed for you, preserve your body and soul to everlasting life. Drink this in remembrance that Christ’s blood was shed for you and be thankful.

¶ If the consecrated Bread or Wine be spent before all have communicated, the Presbyter is to consecrate more, according to the Form before prescribed; beginning at, All glory be to thee, Almighty God, and ending with these words, partakers of his most blessed Body and Blood.¶ When an have communicated, the Presbyter shall return to the Lord's Table, and reverently place upon it what remains of the consecrated Elements, covering the same with a fair linen cloth.¶ Then the following is said by the Presbyter, or by the Presbyter and the people together,

ALMIGHTY and everliving God, we heartily thank you for feeding us, who have received these holy mysteries, with the spiritual food of the most precious Body and Blood of your Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ, and by that feeding, assuring us of your favour and goodness towards us, and that we are true members of the mystical body of your Son, the blessed company of all faithful people, and are also heirs, through hope, of your everlasting kingdom, by the merits of the most precious death and passion of your dear Son. And we humbly implore you, O heavenly Father, so to assist us with your grace, that we may continue in that holy fellowship, and do all such good works as you have prepared for us to walk in; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom with you and the Holy Spirit be all honour and glory, now and for ever. Amen.

¶ Then the GLORIA IN EXCELSIS or another appropriate Hymn shall be sung, all standing.

¶ And note that alternately the Gloria may be sung immediately after the Kyrie Eleison.

GLORY to God in the highest, and peace and goodwill to his people on earth. Lord God, heavenly King, almighty God and Father, we worship you, we give you thanks, we praise you for your glory.
Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father, Lord God, Lamb of God, you who take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us; you who are seated at the right hand of the Father, receive our prayer.
For you alone are the Holy One, you alone are the Lord, you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit, in the glory of God the Father. Amen.

¶ Or this.

GLORY be to God on high, and on earth peace, good will towards men. We praise thee, we bless thee, we worship thee, we glorify thee, we give thanks to thee for thy great glory, O Lord God, heavenly King, God the Father Almighty.
O Lord, the only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ; O Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father, that takest away the sins of the world, have mercy upon us. Thou that takest away the sins of the world, receive our prayer. Thou that sittest at the right hand of God the Father, have mercy upon us.
For thou only art holy; thou only art the Lord; thou only O Christ, with the Holy Ghost, art most high in the glory of God the Father. Amen.

¶ As the people kneel, the Presbyter, or Bishop if he is present, shall give this BLESSING.

THE peace of God, which passes all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God, and of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord: and the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, be amongst you, and remain with you always. Amen.

¶ A Hymn may be sung.


Dss. Teresa said...

I am always torn by attempts to update the magnificent BCP language. On the one hand, I realize that many of the words have fallen out of use and that our continuing to use the liturgy in public worship begins to bend the 24th Article's injunction not to "minister the sacraments in a tongue not understanded of the people." Yet the problem is that adequate synonyms do not exist for most of the unfamiliar words. As our culture's view of God has eroded, we have lost the ability to express such concepts as "vouchsafe."

With regard to the specific rework posted here, I'm not sure that "implore" is better known to the masses than "beseech," and "proclaim" does not capture the full meaning of "laud." Switching out "thee" and "thou" is probably the easiest thing to do but the least necessary. I suppose the bottom line is that although I applaud the effort to make the language more accessible, I will always prefer the BCP original language, not as inspired but as inspiring.

welshmann said...


As you know, I'm not from a liturgical tradition, but the same problem comes up in revivalist churches when debating the merits of modern translations of the Bible versus the KJV. I'm not a KJV-onlyist, but I admit I'm always a little leary of the perceived need to have a modern translation for fear that "modern" is a synonym for "watered down". Somewhere between worshipping in Aramaic on the one hand and in American slang on the other, there has to be a middle ground where we worship in a language that the people can understand, but where it is understood that the people will also be taught the language of worship.

All that being said, compared to some of the modern "liturgies" I've read--again, I admit I don't come from a liturgical tradition--the modern language of the re-write sounds positively ancient by comparison. Which, I think, is a good thing.

Enjoy your Lord's Day.

Rev. Dr. Hassert said...

Thank you both for the comments.

I share you sentiments, Deaconess. However, I still think having orthodox modern language services available is a useful tool for outreach (if you are invited to do a service for a Christian group or nursing home, etc). I'm not suggesting replacing our beautiful 1662/1928 BCP, only to provide services that are not cut and paste nor dumbed down. Also, I too think the word choice replacements for beseech, vouchsafe, and laud are a bit week. However, I modeled the choices after the modern language 1662 already approved by the REC General Convention in order to preserve some continuity between the two services.


Dss. Teresa said...

Oh, yes, it would be a bit heavy-handed to drop "vouchsafes" on the heads of unsuspecting outsiders. That's the surest way to keep them outside, unless they are Shakespeare buffs. In the first parish I served, we tried offering an early service in modern language on Sundays for a while, but I suppose it was too early because the attendance was dismal and we gave it up after a few months. But now that I've now publicly put my blue-shod foot in my mouth by criticizing the wording approved by my fathers in Christ, I must now say something nice in hopes of diverting attention from my faux pas.

Therefore, I will truthfully admit that I like the more modern Gloria better, and as long as no one changes those words for which Archbishop Cranmer died ("feed on Him in your hearts by faith") I shall promise to be content with "proclaim" instead of "laud" (though I will at first gently insist under my breath that "praise" is a better substitute.)

Rev. Dr. Hassert said...


I don't think your comments were off the mark; in that the 1662 Modern language was only approved for a "first reading" I think it is quite appropriate to point out where it may clunk a bit. I agree that better choices for certain words may be out there.

I am heartened by the words of the Welshmann: ". . .compared to some of the modern "liturgies" I've read--again, I admit I don't come from a liturgical tradition--the modern language of the re-write sounds positively ancient by comparison. Which, I think, is a good thing."

Liturgical conservatism has a point; to keep all for which there is no reason to change. 98% of ++Cranmer requires no alteration to "modernize" it in an intelligent way, so I don't think taking out "vouchsafe" or "beseech" is the same thing as say "The Message." It can be done in a way the preserves the cadance, the affect, as well as the meaning.

Anonymous said...

Robert Opala, the Anglican Church gives a great example for all Christians.
Robert Opala, UK

Anonymous said...

xThe use of the word "presbyter" instead of the more easily understood "priest" indicates an anti-Anglican bias and a misunderstanding of what the framers did and why in their choice of words in the ordinal. The Latin services ordained to the "presbyterate" but the earliest Anglican ordinal deliberately chose to use the words priest and priesthood to illustrate their understanding of the office and their difference from the thinking, the theology, if you will, of the continental 'deformers.'

I am sorry, but it gets my back up and seems an unnecessary break with "classical prayer book Anglicanism."

Rev. Dr. Hassert said...

Peter's Mouse,

Well, if that is the most negative comment you have on the piece I will take it as a compliment.

Keep in mind that I have composed this to conform to the 1662 Modern Language liturgy already approved in the Reformed Episcopal Church, which itself conforms to the 1662 traditional language liturgy in our Prayer Book. This prayer book contains both the 1662 English and 1928 American Eucharistic prayers, unaltered (including the prayer for the faithful departed in the 1928) except for the use of the word "presbyter." I do not find this alteration as "un-Anglican" as you, given that the Scottish liturgy upon which the 1928 is based employed this term, and it is the more ancient term used to refer to this Holy Order in the Church: Episcopate, Presbyterate, and Diaconate. You have detected an "anti-Anglican bias" where there was none, and in a near word for word update of the 1928 PECUSA liturgy.

Again, my main reason for including this term instead of priest was one of conformity to the body in which I am a priest and the Prayer Book that I am to use as a cleric in said body. No underlying theological machinations were present. Also, given that the 1928 BCP is approved for use in the REC (as the whole book itself in addition to the 1928 Eucharistic canon being approved as an alternate liturgy to the 1662 in our main BCP) and it uses the word priest, if this service is ever approved (I have submitted to our liturgical committee) perhaps the word priest would be substituted in 1928 BCP parishes.

Anonymous said...

All of which would be true except for the rise of Calvinism which destroyed the Orthodox use of the word "Presbyter." The waters are also muddied because it seems to deny the meaning given the office by the "earliest bishps and Catholic fathers." The question it raises is whether we, as Anglicans, believe in a minsterial priesthood or not. And this is the reason that the ordinal chose the word priest over the Greek presbyter. It stressed the connection with just recent past and stood against what Rome would and did say about the abandonment of the Catholic (not Roman) conception of order.