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Customer Review

4.0 out of 5 stars Bedrock Works of English Protestant Liturgy, Scripture, and Doctrine, in Their Classic Anglican Expressions, within One Volume, 21 April 2014
This review is from: By Book Prayer - Heritage Edition Prayer Book and Bible CPKJ424 Purple Calf Split Leather (Heritage ed) (Leather Bound)
I had hesitated long to order this useful combined single-volume Book of Common Prayer (B.C.P., 1662, Church of England) with the Authorised "King James" Version Bible (A.V.), out of uncertainty that it would meet my needs for praying the Prayer Book at home. (There being, alas, no longer any Anglican or Lutheran local church presence in the entire Abitibi region of Québec, where I now live, I use the B.C.P. solely in my personal devotions.) As I had feared might be the case, Cambridge University Press' B.C.P./A.V. combo-volume, in fact, omits the Apocrypha from the A.V. Bible text within the book. That occasionally is something of a nuisance, since the Anglican liturgies include readings at various times (as indicated in the tables of the Church Calendar's appointed lessons and readings) which are passages from the books of the Old Testament Apocrypha. However, there are numerous quite slim editions of the A.V. Apocrypha, separately printed, which the user can take along to church and shelve at home alongside this volume for when those occasions arise.

Although, of course, for public Anglican worship here in the Dominion of Canada, I would take along a copy of the Canadian 1959/1962 B.C.P. rather than the 1662 B.C.P., I tend normally to use the 1662 B.C.P. when I say devotions from the Prayer Book at home, primarily from a preference for the unaltered Coverdale Psalter of the 1662 B.C.P. over the slightly divergent texts of the Coverdale Psalter as revised for the Protestant Episcopal Church's 1928 B.C.P. or the yet more frequent divergences from Coverdale found in the 1959/1962 Anglican Church of Canada's B.C.P. To some extent, I also have begun to use The Scottish Book of Common Prayer, of 1929, which evidences a greater and more explicitly "catholic" spirit (including a greater degree of influence from Eastern Orthodoxy, too) and presents many advantages, practical and spiritual. One small example of an improvement in the 1929 Scottish B.C.P., relating to the Psalter, is the greater guidance that it provides in the use and choice of Psalms, in its "A Table of Proper Psalms, for Sundays and [some] Other Days throughout the Year". In fact, I have "tipped in" a copy of this table into my Canadian and English Prayer Books to help me out when negotiating use of their own Psalters.

There are other reasons, too, for going back and forth from the 1662, 1929 Scottish, and the North American B.C.P. editions, among them, for example, the inclusion of the service of Compline within the Scottish and Canadian editions of the B.C.P. (omitted from both the U.S. 1928 and English 1662 Prayer Books). There is, by the way, much difference of detail and breadth of expression, also in respective senses of devotional flux and flow, in evidence between the Scottish and Canadian services of Compline.

Moving on to what is more significant, the U.S. 1928 text of Evening Prayer is shorter than the fuller forms of "Evensong" (as this service alternatively and lovingly also is named) in both the English 1662 and 1959/1962 Canadian Prayer Books. The Protestant Episcopal Church's various editions of the B.C.P. over the years, somewhat less prominently, have tinkered a bit with, and made truncations and other alterations within, the text of Morning Prayer (Mattins), as well.

As for, most importantly of all, the Holy Communion service (Eucharist), both the 1928 U.S. and 1959/1962 Canadian Prayer Books follow precedents set in early Scottish Episcopal Church B.C.P. practice (and found in the more distinctly Scottish rite of the two forms of the Communion service found in the 1929 Scottish B.C.P., i.e. in its own "Scottish Liturgy", that book also including the 1928 form from the proposed English B.C.P. which the British Parliament never officially authorised). The "Scottish Liturgy", especially from an "Anglo-Catholic" standpoint, is superior, in its own and in the American and Canadian adaptations of its primary Eucharistic Liturgy, to what one finds in the 1662 B.C.P. There is an irksome aspect of the Canadian book's Holy Communion service, however, in that its make some slight internal and regrettable omissions in penitential phraseology (such phrasing being retained, fortunately, in the 1928 U.S. and 1929 Scottish Prayer Books and being found complete and unaltered, of course, in the 1662 B.C.P.). A serious difference, indeed, is the 1928 U.S. Prayer Book's exclusion of the Athanasian Creed (which is included alike in the 1662 English, 1929 Scottish, and 1959/1962 Canadian Prayer Books).

The much improved "Forms of Prayer To Be Used at Sea" in the Canadian B.C.P. (only sketchily presented in the 1662 B.C.P. and omitted altogether from the American 1928 B.C.P. and from the 1929 Scottish B.C.P., although the 1912 Scottish B.C.P. had included this) is a service not often said in parish churches, but which I frequently like to say at home, as an alternative to Compline, when the time is lacking to pray the service of Evening Prayer.

The texts within the readings in the Lectionaries in all four of these traditional Cranmerian Prayer Books diverge somewhat. The 1662 B.C.P. hews exactly to the A.V., whereas there are various slight degrees of divergence here or there from the A.V.'s own wording in the U.S. 1928 and especially in the Canadian 1959/1962 Books of Common Prayer. The 1929 Scottish B.C.P., for its part, was unwise in permitting greater or lesser use of the Revised Version (of 1881-1894) along with the A.V. Bible. The selection of which passages of Holy Scripture to read at worship diverges to various degrees between the four books, but that matter (and all the more due to what one finds in the Scottish Prayer Book in the main part of its "Tables of Lessons", as they apply to the provisions for Sundays concerning lections for Mattins, i.e. Morning Prayer, and for Evensong) is too complex to delve into here.

The traditional B.C.P. in the various Provinces of the Anglican Communion (and, of course, also in the "Continuing Church" movement) thus all have their own distinguishing characteristics in several regards. It is enriching to use a variety of them, as minor as the differences among them, for the most part, admittedly are.

In regard specifically to the Scottish Prayer Book, for those interested in how its 1912 and 1929 editions compare, I have written an Amazon review of the electronic print-out edition of the 1912 Scottish Prayer Book published by Filiquarian Publishing (a.k.a. "F.Q. Books") which compares to some extent those two variants of the Scottish Prayer Book.

There have been, over the years, single-volume combinations of the Canadian Prayer Book with Bible over the years, harnessing the 1959/1962 B.C.P. with either the A.V. or New English Bible (with the Apocrypha, thankfully, included); however, a few decades have passed since any new copies of those Canadian combo-editions have been published. On the other hand, there still is available for purchase the 1928 U.S.'s B.C.P. with the complete A.V. Bible (i.e., with the Apocrypha included along with the rest of the Biblical text), which the Preservation Press reprinted, an excellent and elegant (and pricey) alternative to Cambridge University Press combination volume of the 1662 B.C.P. with the A.V. shorn of its Apocrypha. Currently (writing this in early 2014), Anglican Parishes Association Publications (A.P.A.), after having exhausted its stock of the Preservation Press edition, now perpetuates that reprint under its own imprint, making it readily available from A.P.A.'s own WWW site. The Preservation Press/A.P.A.'s more expensive (and better printed and bound) publication is especially apt for those who use the U.S. 1928 B.C.P. more regularly than I, for example, use that excellent variant of the Prayer Book. Besides the advantage of having the Apocrypha along with the rest of the Bible in the Preservation Press/A.PA. edition, the print size of the A.V. portion of it is larger and therefore easier to read. (The B.C.P. portion of Cambridge University Press' combo-volume is in more legibly large print than its Bible section is.) I have both the Cambridge U.P. (1662 B.C.P. with A.V.) and the Preservation Press (U.S. 1928 B.C.P. with A.V.) editions and I am glad of that. Which the Amazon buyer prefers to order and then to use is up to him or to her!
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Review Details



Location: Rouyn-Noranda, QC., Dominion of Canada

Top Reviewer Ranking: 5,305