Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Comparison of the BCP 1928 and the “BCP” 1979 in ten statements.

1a. 1928 is a gentle revision of the editions of the American Prayer Book of 1789 & 1892, and these are a revision for American use of the English BCP 1662.
1b. 1979 is new kind of Prayer Book usually called “A Book of Alternative Services” because of the variety in Rites, and is like the Canadian BAS 1985/English ASB 1980.

2a. 1928 is in one form and style of language, the traditional English language of prayer.
2b. 1979 has texts in both traditional and modern English.

3a. 1928, along with The Ordinal and The Thirty-Nine Articles, is a Formulary or Standard of Faith of the Anglican Way.
3b. 1979 alone is the new Formulary of the Episcopal Way of ECUSA and is seen as a replacement for the traditional three Formularies.

4a. 1928 has one only text/rite for MP, EP, Holy Communion etc.
4b. 1979 has choices between texts for MP & EP & Holy Communion.

5a. 1928 is consistent in doctrine throughout its services and this doctrine is in line with that in The Thirty-Nine Articles and is called Reformed Catholicism.
5b. 1979 has a variety of doctrines with no consistency in theological proclamation.

6a. 1928 presents Baptism as the sacrament of regeneration, to be followed by Catechizing, Confirmation and First Communion.
6b 1979 presents Baptism as “complete initiation” with Confirmation of no sacramental character as optional.

7a. 1928 expects young persons to begin to receive Holy Communion regularly after their Confirmation by the Bishop.
7b. 1979 expects infants to receive Holy Communion after Baptism.

8a. 1928 sees Baptism as being placed by God within His covenant of grace on conditions that He alone has set and requires and which are not negotiable by us.
8b. 1979 sees Baptism as being received by God into his family and freely entering into a covenant with Him (where he is the Senior partner) with commitment by us to bring peace and justice into the world.

9a. 1928 is committed to the doctrine of generous and gracious male headship, as is also the Ordinal. Thus no women as clergy.
9b. 1979 is committed to equality in all things between the sexes and so promotes female ordination and a marriage service that is minimal in requirements before God.

10a. 1928 has no inclusive language for human beings and uses “man” of both male and female.
10b. 1979 has much inclusive language for human beings and presents it in the Rites and in the Psalter.

Conclusion. The BCP edition of 1928 and the so-called BCP of 1979 are very different because the latter is truly “An Alternative Service Book” and should have been authorized as existing alongside the classic BCP not replacing it.

The Revd Dr Peter Toon Advent 2006

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