Monday, 4 May 2015

The "Deposited Book"

The Book of Common Prayer as proposed in 1928; including the lessons for Mattins and Evensongs through the year, 2008 reprint Canterbury Press

The period after the First World War was the height of the influence of Anglo-Catholicism in the Church of England. The influence of the Anglo-Catholic party culminated in the drafting of the 1928 Book of Common Prayer not to be confused with the American 1928 prayer book). This accommodated the desire of Anglo-Catholics for a more catholic liturgy than the 1662 prayer book. However, this new liturgy was rejected by our parliament, who found it just a bit too Popish for their taste. I imagine Americans with their separation of church and state must find the idea of parliament debating church liturgy simply unbelievable.

Although the 'Deposited Book' was not authorized for worship in 1928, it continued to be printed and was used in many Anglo-Catholic parishes. This reprint from Canterbury Press is a very useful resource. It contains a complete lectionary with Old and New Testament readings for every day of the year. While this does make it a very bulky volume, it is useful as I find opening up a Bible to find the reading too much of a break in the flow of prayer. The publishers have opted to treat the liturgy as an historical document, rather a prayer book for contemporary use, as the prayers for the Sovereign have King George and Queen Mary rather than Queen Elizabeth and Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. It has one page-marker, which is quite sufficient for the simple BCP structure.

The 1928 BCP contains the 1662 offices of morning and evening prayer. However, it also contains an alternative set of offices. This offers seasonally appropriate invitary antiphons. It also offers Psalm 51 as an alternative to the Te Deum.

Distinct elements in the 1928 prayer book are an order for compline, an order for prime and a office of devotional prayer to be said prior to communion. As with the American 1928 prayer book, the occasional prayers included are more useful for contemporary use than those in the 1662 book.

This book will be of interest to all enthusiasts of the Book of Common Prayer.

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