Updated BCP liturgies made available on new website

May 19, 2020 by

Anglican Mainstream report:

BCP 2020 is a new version of the Book of Common Prayer which aims to be faithful to the theology, structure and poetry of the original, while making the language intelligible and accessible to more people today.

The updated liturgy is the work of one author who wishes to remain anonymous. In his introduction he says:

“The 1662 Book of Common Prayer is the liturgical heart of the Church of England – and indeed of the entire Anglican Communion across the world. It demonstrates within its pages the fullness of what the Church believes and it is in itself one of the most effective ways of teaching the Christian Faith… It is permeated from end to end by the words of Holy Scripture and the liturgical prayers of the early Church. It follows much the same framework as the service books of the Middle Ages, but it displays a perfect balance of Word and Sacrament, a balance unique in Christendom and in this sense truly Catholic.”

The author acknowledges previous liturgical revision, but warns that these projects introduced “a subtly different content within services, where many of the ancient words and phrases could be quietly discarded and newer theological ‘insights’ unobtrusively incorporated,” in particular the toning down or removal of language around sin, repentance, saving faith, obedience to the Ten Commandments, and the Last Things.

BCP2020 can be seen here: all liturgies including Morning and Evening Prayer and Holy Communion can be downloaded free of charge.

[Editor’s note: clergy, students of liturgy and worship leaders might like to compare BCP2020 with Church Society’s 1994 publication An English Prayer Book.]

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