Where Book of Prayer? part two

After the earlier question I got about where one might get a copy of the Book of Prayer, I noticed that the services in the 1917 Universalist hymnals Hymns of the Church looked awfully familiar. In fact, they are drawn from the Book of Prayer, as the hymnal’s editor noted, “not only because the services therein are intrinsically excellent but because the congregations in our constituency that employ liturgical worship are accustomed to these.” (pp. v-vi.)

I mention this because, though the Hymns of the Church was never as popular as the earlier Church Harmonies, it is nevertheless an easier book to find than the Book of Prayer. The latter is online, but a print copy is easier to work with, and besides, this gives you other services and a fine source of hymns. If you are in or near a Universalist church that was founded before 1930 or so, you might be able to scrounge (not steal!) one up. Or, do as I did, and get one from Ebay. They turn up from time to time.

The service that matches Morning Prayer in the Book of Prayer is service two, but note that there are differences. First service two does double duty as a morning and evening prayer service, though here is an internal bias, as reflected in the choice of psalm and prayers, for morning use. Capitalizations and rubrics (directions) also have slight variations.

The major differences are:

  • in the use of the exhortation from Evening Prayer in the place of the one appointed for Morning Prayer (which is probably a good idea; it is a better prayer)
  • an alternate is given for the Gloria Patri (“Glory be to the Father . . .”), namely “Glory be to God the Father, maker of heaven and earth. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.”
  • the alternate canticle, the Benedictus and the ancient hymn Gloria in excelsisfor Communion Sundays are missing
  • the “Five Principles” are printed in full, suggesting they be used in place of the Winchester Profession. The matter is open for interpretation in the Book of Prayer
  • the collect “for the President and Civil Authorities” is missing
  • The order becomes hymn, sermon, announcements, and offertory. The position of announcements is not mentioned in the Book of Prayer
  • sentences and a receiving prayer are included for the offering
  • the text of the doxology is omitted

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