Sunday, November 4, 2012

The number and hardness of the rules called the Pie

...to turn the book only was so hard and intricate a matter, that many times there was more business to find out what should be read, than to read it when it was found out.
— 1662 BCP, Concerning the Service of the Church

First, I set up the three ribbons in my new Customary of Our Lady of Walsingham, in readiness to say Evensong of the 22nd Sunday after Trinity (one less than the 23rd Sunday after Pentecost, the Mass of which I M.C.'d to-day): the red one at Evening Prayer (page 100); the blue, at the post-Biblical reading for the 22nd after Trinity, from William Beveridge (page 434); the white, at the Office Lectionary (page 300), since the readings must be selected from those cited for Sunday 31 per annum (following the modern Roman Calendar, Ordinary Form - thankfully I have a wall calendar indicating what Sunday this Sunday is).

I have marked the reading from Beveridge because, according to page 26, such a passage, "having the character of a homily", may be used "in place of a sermon"; of the positions for such suggested on pages 26 and 111, I choose to read it after the Third Collect.

Next, I choose between the three Old Testament readings suggested; I pick Wisdom 8:1-21. Taking up my RSV Bible, I put markers in for this and for the New Testament reading (1 Peter 1:3-9). I note that Wisdom 8:21 ends with the words "and with my whole heart I said:" – but that I will not have a chance to find out what until to-morrow evening, when Wisdom 9:1-18 is an allowable lection.

Having set the readings, now to the psalms: according to page 841 (where I have put a holy card as marker), Sundays per annum have various allowable combinations of proper psalms; being a Traditionalist, I opt (!) for Pss 110-115, as allowed according to footnote 3.  I put a holy card, therefore, on page 801, against Ps 110, Dixit Dominus.

Furthermore, yet another holy card marks the Collect of the 22nd Sunday after Trinity (on page 441). I am glad that I will not be singing, and so have no need to mark the hymn so thoughtfully provided on page 392 (Lucis creator optime, as translated by Neale) - but, since I have decided to start with the seasonal Sentence of Scripture and Penitential Act, I must put another marker on page 388, where "God is Spirit: and they that worship him..." is printed as the relevant Sentence.

As provided on page 23, I prefer to say "Holy Ghost" rather than "Holy Spirit" throughout the Daily Office; and, to be ever so Anglicanesque, I even take advantage of the permission on the same page to say "which art", "in earth" and "them that" in the Lord's Prayer. I decide not to use the optional Lucernaria on pages 102-3, and am glad not to be singing the Office, else I would need to have a marker set for pages 124 and so forth.

Similarly, I prefer not to say, as one may, "The Word of the Lord" (with response) after each Lesson; as there is no provision explaining how to read the title of each, I decide to do it the way the 1662 prescribes, by saying "Here beginneth the eighth chapter of the Book of Wisdom" and "Here beginneth the third verse of the first chapter of the First Epistle of St Peter"; it is not clear to me if to say "Here endeth the First/Second Lesson" is forbidden by reason of being unmentioned or not.

Since I will not be reading Compline later (having wasted so much time already), I will not need to replace the Nunc dimittis on page 106 with an alternative New Testament canticle, as listed on page 116 onwards. I choose to use Suffrages A1, the traditional 1662 set, rather than A2 or B (from the American BCP via the BDW, A2 being an adapted set of versicles and responses, while B is of Byzantine origin).

According to the rubric on page 111, after the Third Collect,
The order for the end of the service may include:
a. Hymns or anthems
b. A sermon
c. Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament
d. Further Prayers (including the Prayers below)
I will not be singing, nor have authority to reserve, carry about and lift up about the Sanctissimum (cf. Article XXVIII – though I do worship It), so decide to run with a. and d.  The Further Prayers are: the General Thanksgiving (1662), A Prayer for the Pope (translated from the Missale Romanum), A Prayer for the Clergy and People (1662, replacing "Curates" with "Clergy"), A Prayer for the Queen and Royal Family (again, from the old Roman Missal, albeit ending Qui vivis, and not taken from 1662), and A Prayer of St Chrysostom (1662).  I choose to end with "The grace" on page 115 rather than the alternative provided.

A final rubric directs me to the Anthem to the Blessed Virgin Mary, to be said or sung after the last Office of the day: so I will conclude Evensong with the "Hail Holy Queen", plus versicle, collect and final versicle, on page 154 (where I insert yet another holy card, the fifth in fact, to mark the spot).

Simple direct worship...

Now, almost time to begin, but first to double-check: holy card for the Sentence, then red ribbon (moving it along as I go), then Psalms (as marked), then First Lesson (from Bible, as marked), then red ribbon for Mag., then Second Lesson (from Bible, as marked), then red ribbon for Nunc and so forth, then Collect of the Day (as marked), then back to the Second and Third Collects (red ribbon), then blue ribbon for post-Biblical reading (in place of sermon), then red ribbon again for Further Prayers down to "The grace"; and finally another holy card marks the Salve Regina.

Ah, "the number and hardness of the rules called the Pie, and the manifold changings of the service" – well said, O Cranmer...

2 comments:

Jason said...

This is what has always stopped me from praying the Customary. Sheesh!

John Thompson-Vear said...

Is this a dead horse now or can I get in - my copy's coming tomorrow...