Saturday, January 20, 2007

AMiA Trial Liturgy

Matt Kennedy over at Standfirm has just gleefully announced the publication of the AMiA's new trial Book of Common Prayer in contemporary language, a work in which Peter Toon had an overseeing hand. The Eucharistic liturgy can be seen HERE. A few months ago, a friend of mine in the AMiA sent me a copy of the trial liturgy (the "Green Book"). So I've had some time to look at it, though admittedly it has been a bit of a chore to get through.

My intial reaction to this was amazement that Dr. Toon would have anything to do with a project to contemporize Cranmer's liturgy. Could it be that Toon has succumbed to the theory that the only way to preserve a literary classic is to alter its idiom? (which sort of defeats the purpose, no?)

I can only account for this by supposing that (1) Toon has ever so quietly conceded defeat in the contemporary language debate, and (2) he has let his hatred of the 1979 BCP blind himself to the fact that he will now be rememberd as the progenitor of a banal and hackneyed "translation" (the most apt term here) of Cranmer's once majestic liturgy. Oh well.


Marshall said...

One wonders what this will add to the difficulties dividing the "orthodox Anglicans." If this is accepted by AMiA, it will only add to differences among those who worship between 1979, and it's two services; 1928; and this.

We once thought we shared one Prayer Book, or at least one Prayer Book tradition. This will make reconciliation more difficult, because it will offer new issues to divide us if we even try to come to the table together.

lexorandi2 said...

The book is of fairly poor quality, and it has many idiosyncracies, like, for instance, the inclusion of the "epiclesis" paragraph of the Canadian canon as an alternative. Why would this be included an AMERICAN (i.e. US) book? Those who love the 1928 Book won't be impressed with this one.

I predict that, after the initial excitement is over, the Toon's book will fade away like other attempts to contemporize Cranmer before it.

Thomas said...

Are you sure your objection isn't essentially to the absence of "qui ex Patre per Filio procedit" or something even more heinous? :-o

lexorandi2 said...

Very funny, young Padawan. But, seriously, do you expect the "Reformed Catholic" guys who put this liturgy together would ever leave out the Filioque?

FTR- I'd remove it in a heart beat.

Mark said...

Tacking on the Canadian "epiclesis" paragraph to a flat, modern-language rendition of the '62 Prayer of Consecration has a jarring effect ( Why didn't Toon and his editors simply go with the '28 canon and make the epiclesis-which is far superior to the Canadian version-optional )?

The ante-communion is almost tolerable, I suppose, but once we reach the pathetically dull, anemic-sounding travesty that supplants "The Prayer for the Whole State of Christ's Church" the liturgy starts to unravel badly.

(The introduction sounds like Toon's style of writing, don't you think )?

Yeah, it's a real non-starter of a liturgy.

lexorandi2 said...

Yes, it's Toon's style. A dead give-away is the placement of punctuation after quotation marks. That's a British convention. They should have hired an American editor to catch the occasional "British-ism."