Brazil’s Hefty New BCP

The Rev. Canon Mark Harris writes about the 2015 edition of Livro de Oração Comum, the Book of Common Prayer published by the Anglican Episcopal Church of Brazil:

There are some really fine new liturgies. For example, there is a liturgy of the passion and one for the seven last words. There are a wide range of Eucharistic prayers — a Rite I liturgy and Rite II, with seven Eucharistic prayers.

Each section of the BCP is introduced with a short commentary on the rites included. Even with bad Portuguese I get the meat of these commentaries. They are a fine addition.

The IEAB BCP is a great “cook book” of liturgical material. But like the TEC BCP it pushes the limits of being a manual — that is a book held in the hand of the believer.

The TEC BCP is of manageable size only because it is printed on thin paper. But the BCP in Brazil is on heaver paper and hefty. Too hefty to be really handheld. In the TEC BCP the careful observer will note that the spine gets broken and the pages pushed forward on those sections everyone uses, and the rest remain mostly unread and unused. I suspect the same will happen with the IEAB BCP.

The question then is this: Is it time both in the US and in other churches that derive their liturgical material from TEC to consider a smaller set of texts as the core, to be published in one volume, and a second body of material that includes materials used only occasionally. They could both be considered part of the BCP. Part II would not be a supplement, but rather a “volume 2” of the official liturgies of the Church.

Read the rest.

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