|Book of Common Prayer 2011|
|First printing of the Book of Common Prayer 2011; we are now on the second printing with red covers.|
As one of the editors of the Book of Common Prayer 2011, I am quite attached to it and have been using it as a private and family devotional even before it was officially in print. Plus, Father Acker (the author/translator of the Book of Common Prayer 2011) and I use it for corporate worship at the Friday Healing Services at Blessed Trinity.
For the past few years, I have been posting the Collect for each week from the Book of Common Prayer 2011 here in the sidebar of my blog and also on the Book of Common Prayer 2011 Facebook page. I thought I'd also take a moment and post each week's prayer here in the blog itself and explain a little about what a Collect is and how it is used in the Anglican tradition.
The History of the BCP
The Book of Common Prayer came out of the separation of the Church of England from the Roman Catholic Church under King Henry VIII. Many people believe that this separation marks the beginning of the Church of England, but that fact may not be the case.
A number of Anglicans believe that it is quite possible that Joseph of Arimathea, the man who asked Pilate for Jesus' body and buried it in his own tomb, was a merchant who traveled by sea to many ports, including those along the southern coast of England. It is rumored that Joseph shared the Gospel with his trade partners in coastal towns as early as 37 AD, fewer than five years after Christ's death and resurrection, and helped start a few rudimentary churches. If this story is true (and there seems to be slight proof to support it), then the Gospel reached England and gained a toehold in the British Isles before even the Church in Rome was established. I found a reference in Wikipedia which states, "Alford also asserts that 'It is perfectly certain that, before St Paul had come to Rome, Aristobulus was away in Britain.' This is in accord with the date given by Gildas the Wise (425–512 AD) that the 'Light of Christ' shone in Britain in the last year of Emperor Tiberias (37 AD)."
The English Church, even under the authority of the Catholic Church based in Rome, did its own thing more often than not due to the distance from Rome to Britain. So it was not surprising that the Church of England was established during the Protestant Reformation as the Catholic Church in England was always rather independent of Roman authority.
In 1549, Thomas Cranmer, the Archbishop of Canterbury, wrote the first Book of Common Prayer. As the Preface to the Book of Common Prayer 2011 states, "The Book of Common Prayer (BCP) is not jusy a collection of prayers or liturgies but rather represents the life and worship of God's people. Thomas Cranmer crafted the first BCP (1549) as a single volume incorporating not only English Sarum usage but also current reformed, ancient Gallican, and Eastern Rite liturgies. Cranmer simplified, shortened, and used language that was readily understood not only by the clergy but also by the whole fellowship." The Preface continues, "Holy Scripture gives voice to our language of prayer and is integral to the BCP tradition. The texts and rites are intentionally scriptural."
What's a Collect?
The Preface to the BCP 2011 informs us, "Each Sunday in the Christian Year has a theme about living in relationship with a holy God and with one another. This theme is found in the Propers for that Sunday which consist of a prayer [called a Collect] and two or more readings from Scripture....During the week, we continue to pray the prayer and to apply the lessons [the readings from Scripture] from our Sunday gatherings as we go about our daily life. We read additional portions of Scripture in a planned sequence of readings [called the Lectionary] so that we may hear all of God's Word, not just the highlights."
So here is the Collect for this week and the Sunday Bible readings:
THIRD SUNDAY AFTER EASTER
ALMIGHTY God, you show the light of your truth to those in error so that they might return to the path of righteousness; May all who are admitted into the fellowship of Christ reject everything contrary to the Faith, and follow everything consistent with the same; Through our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and rules with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen. (References: 1 Peter 3.10-11; Ephesians 5.13-15; 2 Peter 1.5-8)
1 Peter 2.11-17; John 16.16-22; Psalm 66.1-8; Acts 3.1-13
I wish you all a blessed week as Eastertide continues until Pentecost, fifty days after Easter.
Soli Deo Gloria,