Archive for February, 2011

Ash Wednesday?

A very good article on the liturgical practices during Ash Wednesday: http://archive.thecatholicspirit.com/content/view/1223/430/

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I am very interested in being ordained and planting a church in the Anglican Church (Most likely in the ACNA/REC). One of the many things I love about the AC is the Prayer Book liturgy, and that a congregation could literally meet multiple times a day for Communion, Litany, and of course the Daily Office (Morning and Evening Prayer, and in some places Compline or Night Prayer). If I get to plant a church, I want us to be a living and vibrant community of worship meeting multiple times a week for whoever can make it. Here is a layout for the weekly services I would like the church to participate in (I am using the 1962 Canadian Book of Common Prayer and the 1940 Hymnal as the basis of worship in my “fantasy” church):

Weekly Services in Ordinary Time (all services come from the Canadian 1962BCP unless noted)

Sunday 8AM Morning Prayer (Choral)

9AM Family Discipleship and Catechism

10AM Holy Eucharist and the Litany (Solemn)

6PM Choral Evensong and Holy Eucharist

Monday  7AM Morning Prayer (Spoken)

Tuesday  Noon Prayers at Mid-Day: A Penitential Office

Wednesday  6PM Evening Prayer and Holy Eucharist (With the Litany)

Friday 7AM Morning Prayer and the Litany (Chanted)

Saturday 8PM Compline by Candlelight

With this schedule employed, it lets the church participate in Morning Prayer thrice a week, a combined Eucharist and Evening Prayer twice, the Holy Eucharist as a separate and principle morning worship service on Sunday mornings, allows the Litany to be said on the proper days of the week, and also uses the special services A Penitential Office and Compline once weekly.

With a schedule like this, there is a time when everyone can make it to church at least once a week. It also lets the people become more familiar with the Prayer Book, rather the just having Holy Communion or Morning Prayer as some churches do…the congregation will get to experience a wide range of liturgy weekly: Eucharist, Evensong, Morning Prayer, Compline, Litany, and the beautiful Penitential Office that typically only sees the light of day on Ash Wednesday, though it can be used year round.

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I came across a beautiful hymn somewhat recently, possibly one of the oldest hymns in the church: the Phos Hilaron. It was originally written in Koine and has been used in Vespers (Evening Prayer) for probably 1850 years. Phos Hilaron is widely sung in the Orthodox, Catholic, Anglican, and Lutheran church. The Hymn was sung during the lamp lighting in the tomb of Christ in Jerusalem (The light shining showed that He was alive) and later became a song for the lighting of candles, among various other liturgical practices in the church.

Φῶς Ἱλαρόν

Φῶς ἱλαρὸν ἁγίας δόξης ἀθανάτου Πατρός,

οὐρανίου, ἁγίου, μάκαρος, Ἰησοῦ Χριστέ,
ἐλθόντες ἐπὶ τὴν ἡλίου δύσιν, ἰδόντες φῶς ἑσπερινόν,
ὑμνοῦμεν Πατέρα, Υἱόν, καὶ ἅγιον Πνεῦμα, Θεόν.
Ἄξιόν σε ἐν πᾶσι καιροῖς ὑμνεῖσθαι φωναῖς αἰσίαις,
Υἱὲ Θεοῦ, ζωὴν ὁ διδούς· διὸ ὁ κόσμος σὲ δοξάζει.

And the English version “O gracious Light” (BCP1979):

O gracious Light,
pure brightness of the everliving Father in heaven,
O Jesus Christ, holy and blessed!

Now as we come to the setting of the sun,
and our eyes behold the vesper light,
we sing your praises, O God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

You are worthy at all times to be praised by happy voices,
O Son of God, O Giver of life,
and to be glorified through all the worlds.

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Liturgy is one of the most beautiful things that has been handed down to us from the Ancients. It lets the people interact with God on a level that cannot be found outside of the church, and it is truly sad that many have thrown it aside for modern, yet theological and tradition stripped services.

In the Liturgy the common man, woman, and child join together with the clergy to participate in the worship of Jesus. There is doxology, scripture, creed, repentance, absolution, prayer, the homily, Eucharist (etc.) practiced together in unison for the Lord’s pleasure.

Below are some very good liturgical sources for those who are interested in the Anglican liturgy:


True highlightes are the:

Morning Prayer (Matins) 1662


Evening Prayer (Vespers) 1662/1928


Night Prayers (Compline) 1917


The Great Litany 1662


Holy Eucharist 1662


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