1662 BCP lectionary wackiness
As I posted a few days ago, I recently purchased a nice new copy of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer, published by Cambridge University Press. I’ve been doing a little reading about that venerable text, and I’ve found out that, not only does the current printing of the 1662 BCP have a Daily Office Lectionary that is clearly marked as being from 1922, its “traditional” Daily Office Calendar is actually from 1871. I’ve seen several recommendations online that talk of the superiority of the original 1662 lectionary, but I can’t seem to find one anywhere. [Update: I finally managed to find all three lectionaries here. (1662, 1871, and 1922)] Whatever, I’ll just use the 1662 BCP from time to time, as I see fit.
Just for fun, I thought I’d read a bit today from the 1662 BCP, just to see how I like it…
O Lord, correct me, but with judgement; not in thine anger, lest thou bring me to nothing. Morning Prayer (Jer. 10.24, Psalm 6.1)
That’s a brief prayer worth praying, I think. Contrasting judgment with anger, judgment comes out looking pretty good, doesn’t it? Meanwhile, I’ve always enjoyed the language before the Confession of Sin in the 1662 BCP. Behold…
DEARLY beloved brethren, the Scripture moveth us, in sundry places, to acknowledge and confess our manifold sins and wickedness; and that we should not dissemble nor cloak them before the face of Almighty God our heavenly Father; but confess them with an humble, lowly, penitent, and obedient heart; to the end that we may obtain forgiveness of the same, by his infinite goodness and mercy. And although we ought, at all times, humbly to acknowledge our sins before God; yet ought we chiefly so to do, when we assemble and meet together to render thanks for the great benefits that we have received at his hands, to set forth his most worthy praise, to hear his most holy Word, and to ask those things which are requisite and necessary, as well for the body as the soul. Wherefore I pray and beseech you, as many as are here present, to accompany me with a pure heart, and humble voice, unto the throne of the heavenly grace, saying after me…
And then the Confession opens with a sentence that includes this beautiful phrase: “We have erred and strayed from thy ways like lost sheep…” Lovely.
Skipping ahead a bit, I’m looking at the 1922 Daily Office Lectionary, the readings for Morning Prayer, and I’m struck by this passage from Acts 19:8–20…
But when some became stubborn and continued in unbelief, speaking evil of the Way before the congregation, he withdrew from them and took the disciples with him, reasoning daily in the hall of Tyrannus.
When Paul meets opposition in the synagogue, he goes and talks to Gentiles, “reasoning daily.” For those Christians who would avoid dialogue with nonbelievers, and who may sometimes shun reason as some sort of obstacle to faith, this passage indicates that Paul may not agree with them. Then the passage ends with this bold phrase: “So the word of the Lord continued to increase and prevail mightily.” Prevail mightily, indeed…
I’d like to end this entry with a bit of text from one of today’s psalms. This is from Psalm 63:
O GOD, thou art my God : early will I seek thee.
My soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh also longeth after thee : in a barren and dry land where no water is.
Thus have I looked for thee in holiness : that I might behold thy power and glory.
For thy loving-kindness is better than the life itself : my lips shall praise thee.
As long as I live will I magnify thee on this manner : and lift up my hands in thy Name.
My soul shall be satisfied, even as it were with marrow and fatness : when my mouth praiseth thee with joyful lips.