We deny to claim "any Superiority to ourself
to defyne, decyde, or determyn any Article or Poynt
of the Christian Fayth and Relligion,
or to chang any Ancient Ceremony of the Church
from the Forme before received and observed
by the Catholick and Apostolick Church."

Norman Simplicity

Norman Simplicity
Click image for original | © Vitrearum (Allan Barton)

Saturday, July 19, 2014

"He giveth goodly words"

Read the whole thing,
i.e., click on the hyperlink.

Within the Church itself, many people, particularly the older clergy, harbour a residual antagonism to Morning Prayer, which was long viewed as an obstacle to recovering the Eucharist as the principal service of the week. In some circles Morning Prayer is still quite unfairly looked upon as a reactionary excess of the Reformation, the sooner buried the better.

Moreover, Sung Mattins came to be regarded as a symbol of the spiritual deadness of the Anglican Church, an aesthetic exercise in nostalgia for half-Christian members of the establishment. In the last ten years, the offices, with the rest of the Prayer Book, have come under fire by feminists for their language and association with patriarchy.

Moreover, in Canada, the spiritual disciplines of the Anglican Church, like Western Christianity generally, suffers from familiarity. People who have had some peripheral contact with the church imagine that they have examined it and found it wanting. In fact, they have yet to examine it. Evensong has, except on special occasions, disappeared as a public office in most of our churches, and Mattins is on the endangered list, often a fifth Sunday crumb tossed to Prayer Book supporters who are increasingly disposed to be grateful for small mercies.

(Give Me That) Old-Time Religion

1 comment:

  1. I agree entirely with the sentiments expressed here. If you look at the Eastern Orthodox Church, Matins is the longest, most complicated and most variable service offered; celebrated in full it can take four hours, twice as long as the Liturgy itself. For my part, I view Morning Prayer as the ideal venue for preaching; the homily in the Eucharist should be exceedingly brief, and a mystical, contemplative atmosphere should prevail; Morning Prayer is the overture to the worship morning, and the Eucharist is the conclusion, for those baptized into the church. Within the Byzantine tradition, since Matins are often celebrated at night after Vespers as part of All Night Vigils, I am advocating for the use of Terce and Sext as a preaching office to precede the liturgy; presently they are rather hurridly chanted, and almost serve no purpose other than to warm the choir up and mask the sounds of people making their confession in a smaller church. I find that regrettable, given the huge opportunity to make them the main preaching service, with the eucharist a separate service to follow. Those exploring the faith might be encouraged to attend the preaching service, so as to avoid hurt feelings at being denied communion (for their own safety) at the Eucharist, without by any means making the Eucharist a closed service (but there might be some wisdom in encouraging catechumens to depart, and perhaps attend a sunday school type of affair in lieu of the anaphora).