The Book of Common Prayer: A Biography
This year our Wednesday night Lenten program will focus on the Book of Common Prayer. Our discussions will be based on the book, The Book of Common Prayer: A Biography by Alan Jacobs (Princeton University Press, 2013.) This book comprises one volume of the series on the “Lives of Great Religious Books.”
The King James Version of the Bible and the Book of Common Prayer are among the most important and influential books in the English language. In this fascinating “biography” of the BCP the author traces its history from Archbishop Thomas Cramner’s study in the early 1530’s to modern versions adapted from it and their use in churches in the Anglican Communion, including our own Episcopal Church. The goal of these versions he maintains “is to be living words in the mouths of those who have a living faith.”
Those attending will need to purchase the book. At the moment the book is available in hardcover (not yet in paperback) at a list price of $24.95. It can be purchased for around $20 online.
We will meet on five successive Wednesday nights. If you plan to take part in the program, you will be asked to read a chapter or two (as assigned below) in advance of the session. Fr. Craig will provide supplemental handouts and other resources so that we can delve more deeply into what we have read with greater understanding. He will also serve as a resource to our discussions.
March 13 — Introduction and Chapter 1 (pp. 1-43)
March 20 — Chapters 2 & 3 (pp. 45-89)
March 27 — Chapters 4 & 5 (pp. 91-147)
April 3 — Chapter 6 (pp. 149-179)
April 10 —Chapter 7 and Appendix (pp.181-200)
We will meet in the parish hall, beginning at 6:30PM with a simple dinner of bread and soup. The program will begin at 7:00 and end at 8:00 at which time we will join the choir in the nave of the church for an abridged version of Evensong. We should be done by 8:15PM.