Book of Common Worship (Presbyterian)—2018 edition

I thought that perhaps some shipmates with ecclesiantic tendencies might be interested to know that later this month, the Presbyterian Church (USA) will publish the sixth edition of its Book of Common Worship. The first edition was published in 1906; the fourth edition (1970) was the one edition to bear a different name—The Worshipbook.

This being a Presbyterian liturgical book, it is not, of course, for mandatory use, nor does it lay down any kind of “law” concerning worship. For us, the “law” worship-wise is set forth in the Directory for Worship, which some have described as a liturgy of only rubrics. A revision of the PC(USA)’s Directory for Worship was ratified (by a wide margin, as I recall) by the presbyteries last year. The revision of the BCW took place on a parallel track with the revision of the Directory, and as with the previous 5 editions of the BCW, the idea is that the BCW provides a model for worship consistent with the Directory. Experience is that while the BCW is not mandatory for use, it is very influential.

The BCW is also not a pew book. It is designed for use primarily by those who plan and lead worship. The new (2014) hymnal does include basic liturgies (without texts needed only by the ministers or others leading worship) for the Service for the Lord’s Day, Baptism and Reaffirmation of the Baptismal Covenant, and Morning, Midday, Evening and Night Prayer. These liturgies were also planned in tandem with the BCW revision.

A few things that I have noted in what has been publicized so far about the revision, some of which seem to relate to recent conversations on the Ship:
  • The marriage liturgy has been revised to reflect the possibility of same-sex marriage.
  • A form of prayer to mark the end of a marriage is included.
  • A liturgy for Extended Communion (taking Communion from the church to the homebound or hospitalized) is provided. (The amendment to the Directory to allow this occurred after the 1993 BCW came out.)
  • Prayers and liturgies for use after national crisis or violent events, including services in a multi-faith context, are provided.
If anyone is interested, an excerpt with a table of contents and preface, which includes a brief history of service books in the Reformed/Presbyterian tradition, can be found here. (And for anyone who's really interested, a pdf copy of the 1993 BCW can be found here.)

Sorry for the long post. Hope someone finds it interesting.

Comments

  • demasdemas Shipmate
    The 1993 BCW had a companion book setting out its rationale for its decisions which I remember as interesting reading- do you know if this revision has something similar?
  • I wonder whether the Church of Scotland Book of Common Order will be up for revision soon too (it's a couple of years younger, I think).
  • demas wrote: »
    The 1993 BCW had a companion book setting out its rationale for its decisions which I remember as interesting reading- do you know if this revision has something similar?
    Not that I've heard, but there might one in the works. Bear in mind, though, that the Companion to the 1993 BCW wasn't published until 2003—ten years later.

    And it appears the 2018 BCW will itself include some of what was in the Companion. For example, the table of contents of the 2018 BCW shows commentaries on most liturgies throughout the book. And the Companion had additional instructions/suggestions on things like gestures to be used at various points in the liturgy. It looks like that kind of info will be in the 2018 BCW itself.

    I am aware that electronic and e-book editions of the 2018 BCW will be published in the fall.

    BTW, one other aspect of the new book that I think will be noteworthy: It will include, for the first time, a calendar of commemorations—saint's days and the like.
  • ComplineCompline Shipmate
    Has anyone gotten their hands on a copy of the revised Daily Prayer volume that accompanies the Presbyterian Book of Common Worship? I thought the original version from the '90s version was pretty well done — an office similiar to the Episcopal Church's Rite II, but I think the layout of the book itself was better.

    But I never used it much because all of the psalms were set for chanting in a way that was a bit annoying for silent or spoken use. I'm wondering if the new version omitted this.
  • ComplineCompline Shipmate
    edited October 2
    I didn't mean to post again but since I can't seem to delete this — has anyone even encountered chanting in Presbyterian services? I was a Presby years ago before becoming an Episcopalian and have never seen it.
  • Compline wrote: »
    I didn't mean to post again but since I can't seem to delete this — has anyone even encountered chanting in Presbyterian services? I was a Presby years ago before becoming an Episcopalian and have never seen it.

    Why would you chant when there are perfectly good metrical psalms. Or rather:

    Why chant psalms would you
    When metrical are there good?
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    @Arethosemyfeet wrong poetics.

    "Why would you want to chant the psalms,
    when you could chant in metre:
    What's guid enough for us was guid
    for Calvin, Paul and Peter."
  • Enoch wrote: »
    @Arethosemyfeet wrong poetics.

    "Why would you want to chant the psalms,
    when you could chant in metre:
    What's guid enough for us was guid
    for Calvin, Paul and Peter."

    Bravo!
  • Compline wrote: »
    Has anyone gotten their hands on a copy of the revised Daily Prayer volume that accompanies the Presbyterian Book of Common Worship? I thought the original version from the '90s version was pretty well done — an office similiar to the Episcopal Church's Rite II, but I think the layout of the book itself was better.
    I have it. The liturgies themselves are not too different from the '93 BCW; the liturgical revisions in the 2017 BCW were primarily elsewhere.

    The main difference between the '17 Daily Prayer edition of the BCW and the '93 Daily Prayer edition has to do with what I'll call ease of use. In the '93 edition, the orders for Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer were each laid out once. Within each order, options were given for variation during the week. Sometimes these were explicitly stated (such as the things to pray for in the intercessions each day of the week), while others were implicit (such as seven concluding collects for the intercessions to choose from). Then there was a separate section of seasonal variations for portions of Morning and Evening Prayer. The orders for Midday Prayer, Prayer at the Close of Day and the Vigil of the Resurrection had no seasonal variations.

    The new edition begins with orders for Saturday Evening Prayer, Saturday Night Prayer, Sunday Morning Prayer, Sunday Midday Prayer, Sunday Evening Prayer, etc., in Ordinary Time. Then there are sections with like day-by-day orders for Advent, Christmas (through Epiphany), Lent and Easter (through Pentecost), as well as for specific observances in Ordinary Time (Baptism of the Lord, Transfiguration, Trinity Sunday, All Saints and Christ the King). The means the orders don't have long rubrics for choices dependent on day of the week, and there's no need to flip back and forth between the basic order and seasonal variations. (It also means the book is 660 pages verses the 520 pages of the old edition.)

    The other notable difference is the inclusion of a calendar of commemorations (according to which today we commemorate Juana Inés de la Cruz (1648-1695)).

    But I never used it much because all of the psalms were set for chanting in a way that was a bit annoying for silent or spoken use. I'm wondering if the new version omitted this.
    There is a newer version of the psalms in the new BCW. The notes say it came from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, so I assume it's the version that appears in Evangelical Lutheran Worship, but I haven't compared.

    Tones are still provided for each psalm, as well as references to settings in the '93 Psalter and the two most recent denominations hymnals. The only notation for chanting within the psalms themselves is a thin red vertical line above the text at the point where the tone advances to the second measure. Psalms are also printed for responsive reading using bold text. Don't know if you'd find the new layout annoying or not.

    Compline wrote: »
    I didn't mean to post again but since I can't seem to delete this — has anyone even encountered chanting in Presbyterian services? I was a Presby years ago before becoming an Episcopalian and have never seen it.
    Yes. Maybe 15–20% of the time, we chant the psalm of the day at our place. But not using tones like in the BCW. Either a cantor or the choir chants, and the congregation periodically sings a refrain. But as has been suggested, metrical psalms are the norm for us when singing psalms in worship, whether as a hymn or as the psalm of the day.

    The only time I have encountered chanting by everyone of the psalms in daily prayer is in small groups of musically literate people.

    Hope this helps.

    And @Enoch and @Arethosemyfeet: :notworthy:

  • That Evangelical Lutheran Worship psalter is quite obnoxious. Any reference to God in the third person is changed to the second person to avoid using the pronoun "he."
  • ECraigRECraigR Shipmate
    Really? That’s rather absurd. Sola scriptura indeed.
  • That Evangelical Lutheran Worship psalter is quite obnoxious. Any reference to God in the third person is changed to the second person to avoid using the pronoun "he."
    Hmm. Maybe this is a different psalter from the one in ELW, then? I haven't done a comparison.

    Granted, on a quick look through the psalter in the BCW, I don't see many third person pronouns for God, but I also don't see changes to second person. I do see things like "for God's mercy endures forever" instead of "for his mercy endures forever."


  • Oh, yes, that's the other thing they do.

    And I'm not someone who thinks God is male or that there is some mysterious, necessary connection between God and male pronouns or that maleness is particularly divine. But don't torture ancient poetry to assuage some modern pet peeve. You can stand in culture and history, and transcend culture and history, without whitewashing them.
  • Oh, yes, that's the other thing they do.

    And I'm not someone who thinks God is male or that there is some mysterious, necessary connection between God and male pronouns or that maleness is particularly divine. But don't torture ancient poetry to assuage some modern pet peeve. You can stand in culture and history, and transcend culture and history, without whitewashing them.

    Is it torturing it though? If you're translating a language with grammatical gender to one that doesn't, at some point you have to decide how to deal with that. For good or ill English no longer treats "he" as gender neutral as it did a century ago.
  • Nick TamenNick Tamen Shipmate
    edited October 2
    Oh, yes, that's the other thing they do.

    And I'm not someone who thinks God is male or that there is some mysterious, necessary connection between God and male pronouns or that maleness is particularly divine. But don't torture ancient poetry to assuage some modern pet peeve. You can stand in culture and history, and transcend culture and history, without whitewashing them.
    I agree to a point. But we're dealing here with translations of ancient poetry, and I'm not sure I'd call it a pet peeve. I think it's a reflection of changes in language, and I can see the point that it's a problem if we hear nothing but masculine language about God, while at the same time asserting that God is without/beyond gender. I think particularly when we're translating, it's valid to ask questions about what different translation options will convey, or how they will be heard or read. Then there's a separate but related question of translation sounds like well-written English.

    I think the committee that put together our most recent hymnal tried to step back from automatic rewriting of any masculine language about God, resulting in a hymnal where "he" can be found in reference to God, but isn't ubiquitous. The Statement on Language for the hymnal states:
    The collection will draw from the full reservoir of biblical imagery for God and God’s gracious acts. The final product will include both metaphors that are comfortable in their familiarity and those that are enriching in their newness.
    The collection will emphasize that the God who meets us so graciously and intimately in salvation history is at the same time one who is wholly other and beyond gender. Therefore, texts will reflect a strong preference for avoiding the use of male pronouns for God. In evaluating each hymn or song, issues of tradition, theological integrity, poetic quality, and copyright will all be considered. The goal is a collection in which traditional hymns and songs are balanced with others that are more gender-neutral or expansive in their reference to God.
    The committee also specified that two masculine references to God would be preserved in the collection: "Lord" and "Father" (and "Son") in Trinitarian contexts.

    In that regard, I don't know about the psalter in ELW, but the psalter in the '17 BCW does preserve "father" in reference to God in Psalm 89.

  • Oh, yes, that's the other thing they do.

    And I'm not someone who thinks God is male or that there is some mysterious, necessary connection between God and male pronouns or that maleness is particularly divine. But don't torture ancient poetry to assuage some modern pet peeve. You can stand in culture and history, and transcend culture and history, without whitewashing them.

    Is it torturing it though? If you're translating a language with grammatical gender to one that doesn't, at some point you have to decide how to deal with that. For good or ill English no longer treats "he" as gender neutral as it did a century ago.

    I would argue that the Hebrew idea of the maleness of God went beyond grammatical. It's an attitude that can and should be balanced with other texts showing a different understanding. It shouldn't be erased. The Bible, in part, documents developing understandings of who God is- from tribal war deity to savior of the cosmos.

    It's true that "he" has largely obsolesced as a gender neutral pronoun, but we only use "they" when referring to unspecified persons (except in some rather remote corners of campus and internet wokedom).

  • Oh, yes, that's the other thing they do.

    And I'm not someone who thinks God is male or that there is some mysterious, necessary connection between God and male pronouns or that maleness is particularly divine. But don't torture ancient poetry to assuage some modern pet peeve. You can stand in culture and history, and transcend culture and history, without whitewashing them.

    Is it torturing it though? If you're translating a language with grammatical gender to one that doesn't, at some point you have to decide how to deal with that. For good or ill English no longer treats "he" as gender neutral as it did a century ago.

    I would argue that the Hebrew idea of the maleness of God went beyond grammatical. It's an attitude that can and should be balanced with other texts showing a different understanding. It shouldn't be erased. The Bible, in part, documents developing understandings of who God is- from tribal war deity to savior of the cosmos.

    It's true that "he" has largely obsolesced as a gender neutral pronoun, but we only use "they" when referring to unspecified persons (except in some rather remote corners of campus and internet wokedom).

    As to the last part, I would instead say that the use of the singular "they" has been substantially revived, excepting certain remote corners of Utah and the Youtube comments section.
  • SirPalomidesSirPalomides Shipmate
    edited October 2
    Singular "they" has been in widespread use for perhaps over a century. But again, we use it for an unspecified or hypothetical individual. If we are talking about a specific, known person it would generally be regarded as weird to refer to that person as "they."
  • Singular "they" has been in widespread use for perhaps over a century. But again, we use it for an unspecified or hypothetical individual. If we are talking about a specific, known person it would generally be regarded as weird to refer to that person as "they."

    I use it regularly online when I know the name but not the gender of a poster, though I will grant that the situation of knowing an individual but not their gender is one that is far more common than it used to be. It is, however, distinct from the matter of common politeness that is referring to people by their preferred pronouns even once you know their gender identity.
  • ComplineCompline Shipmate
    Nick Tamen wrote: »
    Hope this helps.

    This was very helpful. Thank you! I'd gone ahead and rolled the dice by ordering the book, but your comment has me looking forward to its arrival.
  • Compline wrote: »
    Nick Tamen wrote: »
    Hope this helps.

    This was very helpful. Thank you! I'd gone ahead and rolled the dice by ordering the book, but your comment has me looking forward to its arrival.
    Good. Let me know how you like it once it arrives.

  • PDRPDR Shipmate
    edited October 3
    My experience of Presbyterianism is that they are usually loosely liturgical (same could be said of a lot of Anglicans these days - sigh!) with the whole call to worship - general confession - etc., etc. in the same order every Sunday, but the actual words varying quite a bit. That may well be a local thing - western Virginia - but it also seemed to be the case when I lived our west. Not knowing the general direction of PCUSA, I have to ask is this book intended to tighten that up, or maintain the status quo but with an updated/expanded libretto? Also, is there still a tension in PCUSA between those who regard liturgy with suspicion and those who accept it heartily? They certainly seem to have come a long way since the book of rubric they published in the 1640s!

    The one liturgy with a Reformed pedigree that impressed me a lot was the old Evangelical and Reformed Church book of 1947, which was a descendent of the Mercersburg Liturgy (Reformed) which had been frightened by the Evangelical Synod's screwed up Lutheran liturgy somewhere along the line. Of the two, the former German Reformed Church in North America*/Reformed Church in the United States had the stronger liturgy!

  • PDR wrote: »
    My experience of Presbyterianism is that they are usually loosely liturgical (same could be said of a lot of Anglicans these days - sigh!) with the whole call to worship - general confession - etc., etc. in the same order every Sunday, but the actual words varying quite a bit. That may well be a local thing - western Virginia - but it also seemed to be the case when I lived our west. Not knowing the general direction of PCUSA, I have to ask is this book intended to tighten that up, or maintain the status quo but with an updated/expanded libretto?
    Closer to the latter. Liturgical books always have had "voluntary use" status in the PCUSA (or its predecessor American bodies). In some instances (baptism and weddings come to mind), ministers may stick more closely to the words in the books; for the weekly Service for the Lord's Day, they may stick to the order, but exercise more freedom with regard to words. The confession of sin, for example, is often going to vary from week to week, with what is used in any given week relating in some way to the readings and the focus of the sermon.

    The BCW (the earliest American one was published in 1906) was always intended primarily provide a structure or pattern, and secondarily to provide words to be used, or examples of words to be used. The Directory for Worship in the Book of Order remains the document that "governs" worship. It was revised within the last 10 years.

    The new BCW, like the '93 BCW, is published in 3 versions—the full BCW (1216 pages, lots of options, and most definitely not intended as a "pew book" for everyone to use), the Daily Prayer edition and the Pastoral edition (480 pages, with baptism, ordination, wedding, house blessing, hospital visit, wholeness services and funeral liturgies and prayers).

    The new hymnal also has liturgies in it—Service for the Lord's Day, baptism and reaffirmation of the baptismal covenant (confirmation), and daily prayer. Some details on that can be found here, which also provides some insight on the current approach to liturgy generally. The author of that article was also co-editor of the '18 BCW; he's one of the preeminent "liturgy people" in the PCUSA these days.

    Also, is there still a tension in PCUSA between those who regard liturgy with suspicion and those who accept it heartily? They certainly seem to have come a long way since the book of rubric they published in the 1640s!
    That tension can be seen here and there, but not nearly as much as 50+ plus years ago. There may also be regional differences, but around here that tension seems to be rare. I think the last 50 years have seen us figuring out how to "do liturgy" in a way that is comfortable and authentic in a Presbyterian context.

    The turning point seems to have been the publication of The Worshipbook in 1970, which was intended to be both a successor to the BCW and a hymnal—in other words a complete service book in the pews. It didn't really catch on as a hymnal so it was the somewhat rare church where it could be found in the pews and used liturgically by the entire congregation. But ministers had it, and the liturgical portions turned out to be very influential, particularly in how they moved the denomination as a whole toward the general Western liturgical pattern, in fuller observation of the liturgical year and perhaps most significantly, presenting a pattern where weekly celebration of the Eucharist is presumed as the norm. When The Worshipbook was published, quarterly communion was the norm. By the time the '93 BCW came out, monthly communion was the norm. (Monthly may be first Sunday of the month or, as at our place, determined by the liturgical calendar.) The number of places where weekly or at least more than once a month is slowly growing. In other words, when it comes to frequency of communion, we seem to be around where TEC was 50 years or so ago.

    My observation (I've not seen any studies on it), was that the '93 BCW led to even further observation of the liturgical year and had a significant influence on how the Eucharist is celebrated, particularly with regard to the Great Thanksgiving (Eucharistic Prayer).

    The result is that one can now expect to go in a PCUSA church anywhere and find more or less the same order, though maybe with local tweaks here and there, and greater congregational participation than there used to be, but not necessarily uniformity in the words used.

  • Nick Tamen wrote: »
    The turning point seems to have been the publication of The Worshipbook in 1970, which was intended to be both a successor to the BCW and a hymnal—in other words a complete service book in the pews.
    Sorry for the double post, but I realized should have said that the turning point was two-fold. The first part was significant revision and rewriting, for the first time since the Westminster Assembly, of the Directories for Worship of the predecessor bodies of the PCUSA in the early 60s. The second part, The Worshipbook, followed on the work done in rewriting the directories.

  • ComplineCompline Shipmate
    edited October 3
    PDR wrote: »

    The one liturgy with a Reformed pedigree that impressed me a lot was the old Evangelical and Reformed Church book of 1947, which was a descendent of the Mercersburg Liturgy (Reformed) which had been frightened by the Evangelical Synod's screwed up Lutheran liturgy somewhere along the line. Of the two, the former German Reformed Church in North America*/Reformed Church in the United States had the stronger liturgy!

    If you ever come across a copy of the PCUSA's 1947 edition of Common Worship, it's worth a look. Its various liturgies have a distinctly Anglican feel, with many prayers lightly adapted or taken directly from the classical BCPs. Although at nearly 400 pages without a Psalter it has a lot more options than any pre-1970s Anglican/Episcopal prayer book I've seen.

    I've been told that it came out when there were serious talks of intercommunion with the Episcopal Church, although that never manifested.
  • ComplineCompline Shipmate
    edited October 3
    Apologies for posting again, but I found a short Wikipedia entry that gives the correct year (it was 1946, not 1947), confirms that it was published during talks with ECUSA, and says that people complained that it was too Anglican!

    I'm out of which what mainline American Presbyterian liturgy is like today overall — beyond what others have shared in this thread — but I do appreciate their work on the daily office.
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    Enoch wrote: »
    @Arethosemyfeet wrong poetics.

    "Why would you want to chant the psalms,
    when you could chant in metre:
    What's guid enough for us was guid
    for Calvin, Paul and Peter."

    You may have a second shortbread biscuit with afternoon tea for that.
  • PDRPDR Shipmate
    Surely he gets a Tunnock's Tea Cake for that one. ;)
  • KayAreCeeKayAreCee Shipmate
    edited October 9
    Compline wrote: »
    Has anyone gotten their hands on a copy of the revised Daily Prayer volume that accompanies the Presbyterian Book of Common Worship?

    I've just ordered myself a copy. When it arrives, I'll be happy to share notes on it! (Particularly about the pointing of the psalter and the comparison of the texts of the psalms with my copy of ELW.)
  • ComplineCompline Shipmate
    edited October 13
    I received this and the Church of England book of the same name this past week. (The Presbyterians were using the name first as far as I can tell, as the original version came out in the 90s.)

    The structure of the 2018 edition of the PCUSA's Common Worship: Daily Prayer seems to be based heavily on the CofE book, at least for Morning and Evening Prayer, with variations of the offices for each day of the week in Ordinary Time as well as for the liturgical seasons.

    I think they both do a good job at providing a modern language office that works for their target audiences.
  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host
    The current Common Worship Daily Prayer draws heavily on the UK Franciscan Daily Office and its sister publication Celebrating Common Prayer which came out in the early 90s.
  • ComplineCompline Shipmate
    BroJames wrote: »
    The current Common Worship Daily Prayer draws heavily on the UK Franciscan Daily Office and its sister publication Celebrating Common Prayer which came out in the early 90s.

    I have the 2002 "pocket edition" of Celebrating Common Prayer. It's a handy little book!
  • Compline wrote: »
    I received this and the Church of England book of the same name this past week. (The Presbyterians were using the name first as far as I can tell, as the original version came out in the 90s.)
    Actually, the original version was published in 1906. Subsequent BCWs were published in 1932, 1946, 1993 and 2018. (The 1970 edition bore the name The Worshipbook.) The 1970 Worshipbook was the first edition to have daily prayer services.
    The structure of the 2018 edition of the PCUSA's Common Worship: Daily Prayer seems to be based heavily on the CofE book, at least for Morning and Evening Prayer, with variations of the offices for each day of the week in Ordinary Time as well as for the liturgical seasons.
    The structure of daily prayer in the 2018 BCW is almost identical to that in the 1993 BCW (and first appeared in a supplemental liturgical resource published in 1987), though as I noted above, the way it is laid out in the new edition to avoid too much page-turning for daily and seasonal variations is a change from ‘93 edition. The 1987/1993 version was based on a number of sources, including but not limited to TEC’s 1979 BCP and the Lutheran Book of Worship (1978).

    Common Worship: Daily Prayer wasn’t published until 2005, though I don’t know when trial liturgies were published. But as I said, the layout in the new BCW is a change from the 1993 edition (a welcome change in my mind) and may well have had its source in the layout of Common Worship: Daily Prayer. (Though I note that the weekly series of services in CW:DP starts with Sunday Morning Prayer, while the weekly series in the BCW starts with Saturday Evening Prayer.)

  • OblatusOblatus Shipmate
    Compline wrote: »
    BroJames wrote: »
    The current Common Worship Daily Prayer draws heavily on the UK Franciscan Daily Office and its sister publication Celebrating Common Prayer which came out in the early 90s.

    I have the 2002 "pocket edition" of Celebrating Common Prayer. It's a handy little book!

    It's really quite amazing to me how the scheme of having a theme per day of the week in ordinary time and then focusing on one of those themes throughout a season makes for a surprisingly substantial office in a single, fairly slim book.
  • angloidangloid Shipmate
    Nick Tamen wrote: »
    (Though I note that the weekly series of services in CW:DP starts with Sunday Morning Prayer, while the weekly series in the BCW starts with Saturday Evening Prayer.)

    As it should. Common Worship (C of E version) is rather ambivalent about the Saturday evening office. Apart from (somewhere I think) recommending the use of the following Sunday collect, it doesn't make much of the office as a preparation for the Sunday liturgy. Which is a pity.
  • ComplineCompline Shipmate
    angloid wrote: »

    As it should. Common Worship (C of E version) is rather ambivalent about the Saturday evening office. Apart from (somewhere I think) recommending the use of the following Sunday collect, it doesn't make much of the office as a preparation for the Sunday liturgy. Which is a pity.

    There is an option for a vigil office (starting on page 325) for Saturdays or the eve of major feasts.
  • angloidangloid Shipmate
    True. I was thinking of the online app which follows the rubrics to the letter and will do such things as celebrating the full office of a minor saint on the Eve of Christ the King or such like.
  • PDRPDR Shipmate
    edited October 17
    Compline wrote: »
    angloid wrote: »

    As it should. Common Worship (C of E version) is rather ambivalent about the Saturday evening office. Apart from (somewhere I think) recommending the use of the following Sunday collect, it doesn't make much of the office as a preparation for the Sunday liturgy. Which is a pity.

    There is an option for a vigil office (starting on page 325) for Saturdays or the eve of major feasts.

    Pity that as CW:DP is a huge step forward from the buggered messed up versions of the BCP we had in the ASB. I employ my usual exit strategy for problems like that and take a shuftie at the Roman Rite, and would revert to what I was taught rather too many years ago. It makes the most sense to me to treat Saturday EP as the 1st Vespers of Sunday, this only gets mildly complicated when there is a major holyday on a Saturday. What I tend to do then, because the Anglican directions are a bit imprecise is 1st Vespers of the Sunday with the commemoration of the feast because the modern Rite almost invariably treats Sundays as being first class Sundays. Needless to say, that 'orrible book "Ritual Notes" had a certain influence on the liturgics of the parish where I received my Potty Training.

    Brain is still reeling a bit from the idea of Presbyterians having the resources in place to do a liturgic Daily Office, but then things have change a bit since I waa' a lad, and it waa' five mile uphill both ways to an' from school...
  • If you knew where to look there were Presbyterian forms of Daily Prayer from the middle of the twentieth century at least.
  • PDRPDR Shipmate
    I have never had much involvement with Presbyterianism until I moved to Virginia a couple of years ago, but they now seem to be the denomination I have the most to do without outside of my own. Like most Englishmen I am dimly aware that there were a few Presbyterian congregations that opted out of the URC merger, and that they were not the sort to be overtly liturgical. In my neck of the woods the rural URC congregations were more likely to be ex-Congregation than ex-Presbyterian. There's also, I am sorry to say, the guilt by association thing in that most English Anglicans tend tar historical Presbyterianism with the same brush as Puritanism. That sort of background tends to predispose one to assume that Presbyterians are a bit wary of liturgy.

    After that it was the Kirk, and they have had a pretty robust (semi-)liturgical tradition for over a century - at least in what used to be called Moderate parishes. I was introduced to that tradition by a URC friend at college whose family were Scots who came south to work in the Northumbrian coalfields. He certainly helped me appreciate the Presbyterians side of the URC tradition, and also the liturgical tradition that had grown up in the Kirk from about 1870 onwards. On my occasional visits to Scotland I have tended to find the Kirk a bit more comfortable than that SEC for reasons I cannot quite fathom out.

    My main experience of the Reformed tradition tends to be either the various offspring of Dutch Reformed tradition that we have in the USA - RCA, CRC, etc., and UCC (ex E&R; ex RCUS) congregations that have remained consciously Reformed.
  • Well, when I was first worshipping with my current congregation I got asked how I coped with the pernickety attention to detail that happens in Anglo-Catholicism of the type the congregation is. The answer I gave was that at my previous congregation it was not unusual on Communion Sunday for the elders to synchronise watches! That was not the only detail they worried about.

    The Presbyterians in the URC, far more than former Congregationalist, worry about doing things right. Often this is to the extent that 'right' becomes the ability to tick boxes. They are also upper-middle class culturally in England, a church of middle managers, medical doctors and university professors.

    The Church of Scotland is rumoured to be the only body rising by the force of Gravity. However, the old austere highness remembered by older members has on the whole been toned down. However, you can still find traces that reflect the plainness sometimes encountered in Anglican monasticism.
  • PDRPDR Shipmate
    <Tangent alert>
    "Austere highness" is something I am familiar with in its weekday cathedral manifestation, and also through (RC) monasticism. I like plainness, so the more liturgical CofS places appeal to me in a way that the SEC doesn't. I have never been able to put my finger on it, but I have yet to have a happy experience with the SEC. The funny thing is it is more class/culture issues than churchmanship. The closest I came was an early service at St John's, Perth a few years ago; and even then I ended up being more edified at the other St John's later in the morning.

    I have not had much contact with the URC in England. The local churches were mainly Congregational, and I was not interested enough to venture to either of the local big towns to worship with the former Presbyterian folks as I was going through my Anglo-Catholic phase back then. I have been in the USA for the last 20 years apart from the annual visit home, so I have not had the chance to cure my invincible ignorance. I just know that East Hull Presbyterian is very proper but on the low side. More like the Free Kirk really.
  • Conversely, for me moving from the CofE to the SEC felt like coming home. It has all the best bits of the CofE and much less of the nonsense. The Kirk I find hard going, but then the liturgical movement seems to have largely passed by the parish here. More than a few times I've glanced longingly in the direction of Iona.
  • PDRPDR Shipmate
    edited October 19
    It is roughly 25 years since I was last seriously involved with the CofE. Even then I found the managerial style unappealing, and now I think it would be straightforward antipathy. Theoretically I should like the SEC as its generally mildly catholic style of worship should appeal to me, but I seem to be profoundly out of sync with it in others.
  • Jengie Jon wrote: »
    The Presbyterians in the URC, far more than former Congregationalist, worry about doing things right. . . .

    The Church of Scotland is rumoured to be the only body rising by the force of Gravity. However, the old austere highness remembered by older members has on the whole been toned down. However, you can still find traces that reflect the plainness sometimes encountered in Anglican monasticism.
    Back in the 70s and 80s, there was a meme that was often seen (and is still sometimes seen or heard) on tee-shirts, posters, buttons, etc., among those in what is now the PC(USA): “Presbyterians do it decently and in order.”

    We tend to invoke 1 Corinthians 14:40 a lot, both in matters of government (our equivalent of canon law is called the Book of Order) or worship. There has been quite a shift in liturgy in the PC(USA) since the mid-20th C, and among those changes is that things have gotten less austere and at time more relaxed. But I'd say that for the most part, our "decently and in order" mentality has remained constant. Even in those churches that have "contemporary services," there will be a structure and expectations of order and flow that I don't necessarily always see elsewhere.

  • PDRPDR Shipmate
    edited October 20
    @Nick Tamen - It is probably the "decently and in order" side of Presbyterianism that makes the Kirk comfortable for me. My Anglicanism is of the "High, Dry, and Protestant" variety, so that would make that side of the Kirk's personality appealing to me. I like churches which have a definite structure, the service has a sense of actually going somewhere, and I can predict with some certainty when we are actually going to arrive. Charismatic and Orthodox - a strange pairing if there was one - churches can be extremely uncomfortable for me.
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