Daily Archives: September 9, 2008

Minimum Prayer Book Anglican Requirements

Fr. Griffiths at Hypersync presents a call for Prayer Book Anglicans at the same time that a very thoughtful post by Fr. Haller makes the rounds and shows up on the Cafe. There’s an interesting, inevitable and contructive tension between these two reflections. One polarity is the  call to continuity, consistency and stability in the call back to prayer book faithfulness. The other polarity is the recognition of basic reality: there is no monolithic prayer book that contains and describes the whole of the Anglican Way; while the English 1662 BCP has a special claim given its long-standing status and its role during the era of imperalistic evangelism, the Laudian prayer book (Scottish 1637 BCP) and its American offspring should not be denied their proper place. Furthermore, not all the changes motivated by the broad Liturgical Renewal following Vatican II (contained in the American 1979 BCP and other recent national variants) should be excluded as aberrations as some of these changes put far firmer historical footing on the intentions signalled by Archbishop Cranmer in the preface to the 1549 BCP. 

Between these polarities, I believe there is a constructive tension that can responsibly be called Prayer Book Anglicanism that is not static but holds within itself possibilities including my preferred position–Prayer Book Catholicism. I would suggest that this position can best be staked out by a set of indispensible liturgical texts from which Anglicans draw their core theology and identity. Here’s my thesis–I’d love to hear your thoughts and disagreements…

Central Thesis: The heart of all Anglican Books of Common Prayer and thus the heart of the Anglican Path of Spirituality is the complimentary use of the Mass and the Office within the structure of the Liturgical Year.

Common crucial Mass texts include:

  • The Collect for Purity
  • Gospel and non-Gospel Reading(s) keyed to the mysteries of the Liturgical Year
  • the Nicene Creed
  • The Canon of the Eucharistic Prayer (This last is, historically, the most problematic, as Christopher and others more knowledgeable than I can attest. However, I believe that a general precis of characteristics can be identified including the distinctive double epiclesis where the Holy Spirit is invoked upon both the eucharistic elements of the bread and wine and the echaristic element of the gathered congregation [[yes–I know it’s not in all books–it’s still characteristically Anglican…])

Common crucial Office texts include:

  • Regular constant repetition of the Psalter as the heart of the Office
  • A lectionary that attempts to cover a vast amount if not the whole of Scripture within a set period
  • Regular if not daily repetition of: the Te Deum, the Benedictus, the Magnificat, and the Nunc Dimittis
  • The Apostles Creed
Common crucial aspects of the Liturgical Year include:
  • A seasonal pattern that leads us to reflect upon the mysteries of the Incarnation, Passion, and Resurrection of our Lord through the lenses of various aspects of our Lord’s words and works. I.e., minimally Advent, Christmas, Lent, and Easter
  • a yearly recollection of a handful of stars that form the great and brilliant constellation of the Communion of the Saints including saints from the Scriptures and through the scope of Christian history
  • A body of collects, mutable though rooted in historical precedents, that bind both Mass and Office to the framework of the year 

Wanna be a Prayer Book Anglican? Then I’d suggest that these are the materials we need to be mastering. Not just using, but reflecting upon, digging into, and embodying as we attempt to live our faith. Mastering–as we offer and present unto the Lord our selves, our souls and bodies, to be a reasonable, holy, and living sacrifice in order–not to live into a label, even as one as great as “Anglican”–but into the life in which we are hid with Christ in God.

Electric Scooters and Short-Range Transport

Here’s an interesting post on The Oil Drum on electric scooters

Just as interesting as the article are the comments. What I find especially useful is the discussion about a new transportation paradigm. The current paradigm is the road-tripping vehicle. As notd by the commenters, both the industry and consumers seem focused on range and how far a vehicle can go before being refueled. Perhaps that shouldn’t be the central criterion. Localization is a sensible way to go in terms of overall conservation and sustainability. Why not split our paradigm into long-range and short-range vehicles? (Obvious issues here would include the current practice of the long-range commute; in the ATL most commutes were between forty minutes to an hour–things aren’t too much different here…) My favorite over the scooter is the electric-assist bike, The technology is still in process but is getting better all the time. And if your batteries do give out, you can just pedal it….

Our grocery store is maybe a half-mile from the house. I don’t know about our preferred single major weekly shopping trip, but for the one-off trips (Lil H’s soy-milk in particular), I’m thinking the bike is the way to go. I spent Labor Day Weekend with a bike repair manual from the library going over my old beater to get it back into road condition. (It’s currently sidelined as I discovered a tire puncture I haven’t patched up yet.) It’s cheap and isn’t something I’d want to race or take long trips on (my SIL is thinking about getting into triathalons and would like us to join her…) but would be great for a short-range cargo bike given some basket, panniers, and a decent lock.