St. Augustine’s Prayer Book: Call for Corrections

I received word today from Forward Movement that they are getting ready to do a reprint of the St. Augustine’s Prayer Book that David Cobb and I revised. Before the presses start running, though, they wanted to make check if there were any uncaught typos or oddities that ought to be corrected in the next version.

Have you seen anything?

And, no, this isn’t the opportunity to revisit items put in or taken out, but to make sure that what is there is there correctly…

10 Replies to “St. Augustine’s Prayer Book: Call for Corrections”

  1. I love and use the book; one of the very few things that have made me go, “Hm!” is when a traditional-language prayer ends with “through the same, Jesus Christ our Lord.” I’d drop the comma; I think the book has this in a few places (pp. 32 and 152, for example); but not all instances of this construction. I hadn’t encountered a comma in that phrase before. I personally would like the comma to go away but will of course survive perfectly well if it stays. :)

  2. On page 50: “. . . it is fitting to conclude the Noon Devotion with the Memorial of the Passion found on page 42 of this book.” The Memorial of the Passion is actually on page 33.
    Also on page 50, the rubric at the bottom of the page refers the user to “The Angelus (p. 40,” but the Angelus is actually on page 31.
    On page 54: “The Church takes up the Magnificat (p. 47),” but the Magnificat is actually on page 38.
    And I know it’s outside of what you are asking, but I can’t help but add that the word “borest” in the Alma Redemptoris grates on my ears a bit. I don’t say it is incorrect–it just sounds weird. Is “didst bear” too presumptuous?
    Loving the book, by the way–thanks so much for the work!

  3. I agree that “borest” sounds weird. If we’re going to follow the conventions of Traditional Liturgical English when it comes to verb-endings, we should also follow its practice of using “a” in past-tense verbs where contemporary English has “o.” We have “spake” instead of “spoke” and “brake” instead of “broke;” we should likewise use “barest” instead of “borest.” But “didst bear” works fine too.

  4. The grammatical question is an interesting one.

    See KJV Isaiah 63:19, “… thou never barest rule over them…”
    and Shakespeare’s King Lear, “… thou borest thine ass on thy back…”

    I agree that “borest” is kind of strange. At least there is relevant ecclesiastical evidence for “barest”, although I do think “didst bear” is more comprehensible to the modern ear.

  5. One quick point: In the prayer for the dead, “May the souls of all the [faithful] departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace,” I’ve always known “mercy” rather than “mercies.” The book has “mercies” in some places. I’d like it to be “mercy”…not singular, but the property of God rather than countable mercies. But I realize this may be deliberate, as I’ve heard several different clergy use “mercies.” If it’s unintentional and should be one way or the other, I vote for “mercy.”

    I also vote for “he whom so meetly thou barest” rather than “borest.”

    A way picky thing to fix or not would be making sure the text following a drop-cap is in small caps consistently.

  6. Don’t fall into the “thou didst” trap. Far too many recent hymn translations rely on this construction.

  7. What’s wrong with “thou didst”? It’s grammatically correct. “Thou dyddest not abhorre the virgins wombe”, for example, right out of the first Prayer Book.

  8. There’s nothing wrong with it and it’s fine in small doses, but a lot modern English translations employing archaism will use it out of laziness.

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