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Calling Priests, Deacons and BCP cognoscenti -and you, of course! 27 October 2008

Posted by Dr Moose in Church.
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Being a request of sorts:

Those who know me well know my general dislike for the gem of English literature that is the Book of Common Prayer. However, in a moment of madness I proposed (and the proposal was accepted) that we have Sung Evensong for All Souls next Sunday evening. Invitations have been issued, responses have been forthcoming, and the response threatens to result in quite the biggest service of the year (with the possible exception of Midnight Mass).

I’m a great believer that if people say they want BCP that they get BCP. Not BCPlite, 1928, Series 2 or any other malarky. I think, somewhat evilly that this is because I hope that if I do it often enough they might realise that it’s not what they really want after all! This leaves me with a number of issues, which I think I have resolved, on the whole.

I’ve found the BCP Lectionary readings – which means an outing for Ecclesiasticus (a rather splendid book of the Apocrypha! I even have an Authorised Version it somewhere, if I can find it!)

Seeing as how we may have more worshippers than copies of the BCP I am trying to produce a disposable order. Legally dubious, but the texts are readily available if you know where to look -even the Coverdale Psalm 18!

Whether I will use them, since “lectionarial” rigour is all well and good, I don’t know. After all, the whole point of the service to offer a chance for memory and to extend the message of the Gospel to folks. I’m tempted to select from the Eucharistic readings.

However, in my usual roundabout manner I’ve finally got to the point of this post.

The rubrics and practice of BCP Evensong seem somewhat vague.

I’ve been in places where the whole (printed)  service has been done, started with a hymn and ended with one, after which the candles have been extinguished by the verger,  despite the fact that we’ve then gone on to have the sermon, another hymn, further prayers and a final hymn.

I’ve also known the sermon to be preached after the (printed) service, with no further additions – as well as preaching a sermon after the readings and before the creed.

So, bearing in mind that at some point the names of those we are gathering to remember will be read out, and the opportunity for votive candles to be lit, here’s the chance to comment. To criticise, make suggestions, or even just post condolences!

(For what it’s worth, I’d rather find a decent charismatic church for the evening and be able to receive for a change, but that’s not an option… We will meet God, and the almighty will be worshipped, however, and I can only hope and pray that the “we” includes me too).

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1. Rachel - 28 October 2008

I attended BCP evensong at my college chapel at least twice a week for a couple of years. On Sundays if I remember correctly, we used to have the sermon after the sung responses which end ‘O God, make clean our hearts within us’/’And take not thye Holy Spirit from us’ and before the prayers, anthem, a hymn and the blessing.

I hope this helps.

2. Kathryn - 31 October 2008

St M’s CK, which tended to do things properly went…Collects up to and including Lighten our darkness, anthem, prayers, hymn, sermon hymn, blessing..and yes, when the Sacristan was present she would extinguish the candles before the anthem…Quite where in that lot you’d do your list of names I can’t say..I’m doing two All Souls type services – one for the non churchy, using a nice vague Dorothy McRae McMahon type liturgy with no names (we’re thinking about hidden losses, you see) but space for candles etc etc and then on Monday a full Eucharist with what seems to be about 150 names to read out….
In between we have a Patronal Festival which I MUST not lose track of…
This weekend is beginning to feel like a rehearsal for Christmas
Hope all goes well for you


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