Filling the gaps in the liturgy

If you read the last two (1, 2) blog entries about the Kings Chapel Book of Common Prayer (1785) as compared with the Church of England Book of Common Prayer (1662), you’ll see they have a lot in common.

But maybe you think they have less in common with today’s ordinary Sunday worship service than they ought.

  • Where are the hymns?
  • And where’s the sermon?
  • There’s no place for announcements, which some of you may think this is a good idea.
  • And there’s no collection.

In other words, some of the basic parts but we think of as a normal order of service are missing. Perhaps the only necessary parts!

As it happens, there are places for these, and they were customarily added. In part because a full Sunday service is different than the daily prayers of an individual or small group. Also, because the traditional morning prayer service, is of not quite complete by itself.  It’s stort on intercession, for one.

To be fair, as a main Sunday service, it was often billed as “Morning Prayer and Sermon.” As daily morning prayer was concieved to one of at least fifteen services — seven each morning and evering prayers and Sunday Eucharist) per week. (We already see in the King’s Chapel prayer book, with the incorporation of the Litany with Morning Prayer that is wasn’t likely a daily service.)

This evolution of liturgy is a subtle business. And we’ll consider where the other parts go in the next twe posts on this topic.

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