Wednesday, August 22, 2012

50 years ago: Anglican Church of Canada adopts new Book of Common Prayer

On August 23, 1962, more than 300 clergy and laymen at the 21st General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada, meeting in Kingston, Ontario, voted unanimously to adopt a new Book of Common Prayer. The new book had been unanimously approved at the 1959 General Synod, but the move could not take effect until there was unanimous approval at two consecutive general synods.

As reported by Canadian Press in newspapers on August 24, 1962:

The revision began in 1943. Publication of a draft work in 1955 produced a burst of controversy and prompted more than 1,200 letters to the committee from churches across Canada.

...The book in general use now is a 1918 revision of the 1662 version.

The present revision, bringing some language and ideas up to date and reorganizing the layout for easier use by worshippers, also restores some liturgy from versions dating from the middle of the 16th century.

Two old anthems for use at communion have been revived from earlier versions in the new book.

The revised funeral service includes for the first time a place for reference to the deceased by name.
The 1962 Book of Common Prayer is now mainly used by traditionalist Anglicans who have broken away from the Anglican Church of Canada because of the ACC's increasing liberalism. The Anglican Church of Canada published the Book of Alternative Services in 1985, and that's the main liturgical text in use by the ACC today.
A discerning reader will see that "alternative" in the BAS's title really means "alternative to biblical Christianity."

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