We will be sharing prayers live at noon on our St John's Facebook Page as Alastair leads us in an amended (shortened!) version of Morning Prayer from the Book of Common Prayer (1662, revised 1957) of the Anglican Church.
This ancient service is beautiful in it's poetic and melodic use of what was an emerging form of the English Language. Elizabethan English is, as has been described, 'the Language of Shakespeare, the King James Bible, and the Book of Common Prayer'. It's cadence and choice of phrase as it created a dynamic liturgy in the vernacular for the first time in England has stood the text of time and continues to be used all over the Anglican Communion.
The language is, though, of another era, and reflects the world-views of that era in it's use of Scripture and choice of phrase. Alongside the beauty of the words we also hear God referred to in exclusively masculine terms, and there is inherent a thelogy of 'Original Sin' which many of us who would describe ourselves as Progressive Christians recognise only as one way of viewing the world by taking the stories of Scripture in a particular way. In other words, join with us, enjoy the cadence and feel of the words, but keep and open mind and heart in response to what are sometimes jarring words and concepts to our contemporary ears.
The order of service is downloadable below, if you've never experienced such a service before you are warmly encouraged to join Alastair in our midday prayers.