Here continues the discussion of traditional Anglican liturgy in contemporary modern English–without the blandness one generally finds in contemporary English. As the preface says:
This book is intended for Anglicans regardless of ecclesial affiliation and churchmanship, yet it is the product of two converging paths. The first path is the desire of some for an Anglican liturgy that is truly traditional yet in a contemporary idiom, a liturgy largely for those to whom the Shakespearean style of English in worship is perceived to be a barrier. Several attempts along this path have been made by various groups, yet the products seem invariably unsatisfactory at best and inappropriate at worst to be an offering of praise and thanksgiving to the Most High. The second path is the desire of many for a liturgy that although expressing orthodox theology yet profits from the last century-plus of liturgical scholarship and stands squarely in the Anglican tradition.
In crafting this liturgy, it soon became apparent that both these paths could converge in one book as well as in one text. Following decades of precedent, the contemporary idiom employs, wherever possible, the texts of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy, specifically those corrected after the promulgation of Liturgiam Authenticam and intended for the third edition of the Roman Missal. In using these texts, the Church as a whole will be praying again (in English at least) with one voice. Thus this Anglican Book of Common Prayer does what liturgy at its best ought to do, it fosters unity horizontally, in space as it were, and expresses unity vertically, across the centuries of our tradition stretching back as far as the bringing of Christianity to the British Isles in the earliest days of the Church.
To address the first priority, that this book is intended for all Anglicans, the Eucharistic Liturgy offered the greater challenge, especially dealing with wide variations of churchmanship. In order to meet this challenge, the liturgy includes practices widely found yet makes liberal use of the permissive rubric (“may”) so that practices can be tailored to suit each location. The celebrant is free to use or omit many of the practices that in the past caused such strife and unnecessary division in the Church. In order to express the universal nature of Anglicanism, the first Eucharistic Prayer contains elements from Prayerbooks around the world, specifically the U.S.A. (1928), England (1928), Scotland (1970), Canada (1962), South Africa (1954), and the West Indies (1959). Two additional canons are provided, one from the historic source of all Anglican liturgy, the Sarum Missal, and the other from the first BCP, edited to eliminate reduplication of petitions and intercessions from the General Intercession. The Divine Office is taken from the original BCP, re-sourced, and finally conformed to the wider Church’s practice. Again, note the prevalence of the permissive rubrics; the Eucharist and Office can be as spare or as ornate as desired without violating rubrics.
The book may be examined here, (Anglican_BCP_2012b) and your comments are invited.