Monday, November 21, 2005

Last night, we attended our little community's Thanksgiving service that has been held here for about 40 years. This year, the Episcopal church hosted. This little church is beautifully set on a knoll that oversees a small valley which is shadowed by the Blue Ridge Mountains. Very idyllic and pastoral. On a clear, sunny day, you might think you are in Scotland.

Though the Episopal church hosted, the Baptist church preached. Talk about differences in style. One is very quiet, reverential; very methodical. The other, louder and, what should I say...seeking lots of "Amens" after most statements. It was interesting.

While waiting for the service to begin, I browsed their Book of Common Prayer that was in the hymnbook rack. Since I am finishing the last Mitford book, I could just hear Father Tim and Cynthia reading together, maybe the Morning Office or a collect.

I like the structure that a lectionary provides. I like the fact that the prayers are often only Scripture. There is safety in praying the Scriptures. So often it seems that the Scripture is used in an obligatory way--it is read at the usual time in the service, then little more than a nod, and sometimes not that, is given to it. Often the sermon is hardly related to the Scripture just read.

I'm curious about you readers of Seasonal Soundings----does your church use the Book of Common Prayer or provide a lectionary for personal or family use? What are your experiences with using these more Anglican forms? If you are Anglican or Episcopal, do you have any pro or con experiences to share?

6 comments:

Carol in Oregon said...

Janie,

We don't use BOCP in our church service but I have one at home. I just dip into it occasionally.

Emily's coming home! I'm thrilled. Saturday we went to an open house for a neighborhood boy that my kids played with. Danny's on leave from Afghanistan. It was so lovely to be able to hug him, shake his hand, look him in the eye, and say, "Thank you for your service to our country."

I finished "Light from Heaven" Saturday morning. The last sentence undid me. Totally. Undid. Me. I would like to go back and read them all again.

Circle of Quiet said...

Janie,

I am a closet Episcopalian. I have a BOCP in my bathroom (-: I read it daily. John and I both come from Episcopalian stock; my mom still is regularly involved with the church here (when we moved her, she had worshipped at the same parish for 43 years. Painful to leave!) Her current rector describes himself as a closet Calvinist, and I love his homilies. But, we attend a Reformed Baptist church. I read the BOCP to get my liturgy fix, and for the prayers.

Carol, I couldn't agree more. Undone indeed! I loved this Mitford book.

Have a great Monday, ladies. Know that Emily is on my Thanksgiving list this year. I can't tell you how happy I am that she is on her way home to the states.

Love,
Diane

Seasonal Soundings said...

Oh, wow, you two!
I've only got about 10 pages left. Tried to finish it last night but fell asleep.

It is going to be a terrible struggle for the curious soul not to pick that book up and look at that last sentence before I settle in bed tonight.

oooo, I'm already struggling.......will report back tomorrow!

And we should have a good discussion about BOCP asap! What version (year) do you all use?

Gotta scoot,
Janie

Patty in WA said...

I don't use the BoCP, but I do use a lectionary-based daily devotional/prayer guide. On occasion, I use the BoCP. I got the 1928 version on recommendation of a Reformed Episcopalian pastor friend of mine (that's the church Circle of Quiet needs...). I've never been Episcopal, so it is hard to figure out how to use it. My devotional walks me throught Morning, Noon, Evening and Night prayers, using the liturgy. And it is *wonderful*. It has done more for my prayer life than anything else in my entire life.

Ann said...

I am Episcopalian and treasure my Book of Common Prayer. The prayers never fail to inspire me.
I especially love the season we are about to enter-- Advent.
Advent is a solemn prayerful time in the Episcopal Church, and it begins with The Great Litany (p. 148) chanted as the choir and clergy process in a slow figure-eight around the church.

"That it may please thee to send forth laborers into thy harvest, and to draw all mankind into thy kingdom."
"We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord."
It goes on and on for some minutes.
Beautiful.
Powerful.

I really enjoy your blog. You are such an encouragement to me.

A.

Carol in Oregon said...

Janie,

You have to tell us when you finished it. I tried to finish Friday night and was about 10 pages short myself. I woke up Saturday morning and read it in bed before anything else - yikes! Then I cried for 15 minutes. Happy, soulful tears.