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2012 marks the 350th anniversary of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer (BCP). The original BCP – the first vernacular full liturgy for the Church in England - was published in 1549. Its principal compiler, Archbishop Thomas Cranmer, wrote that ‘whereas heretofore there hath been great diversity in saying and singing in Churches within this Realm; ……now from henceforth all the whole Realm shall have but one use.’ This notion of a ‘single use’ and a comprehensive liturgical book containing material to resource the entire worshipping life of a national Church held sway until well into the 20th century, and despite a small number of changes in the 19th century, the BCP remains very much in its 1662 form. It continues to be authorized for liturgical use in the Church of England, and is one of the foundation documents for Anglican theology and polity. More important, though, is that the BCP has nourished many generations of faithful Anglican Christians and continues to do so, as well as being a great source of inspiration to composers of liturgical music.
The festival service is in 5 parts, and has three main sections, each reflecting on a particular part of the of Book of Common Prayer:
- ‘Into his courts with praise’ – Daily Prayer in the BCP .
- ‘Take this holy Sacrament to your comfort’ – Holy Communion in the BCP .
- ‘Make prayers and supplications’
Suggested hymns are drawn from the Anglican ‘prayer book tradition’ and include the one hymn text included within the Prayer Book, Bishop Cosin’s translation of Veni Creator Spiritus.
Includes pieces by:
- Peter Aston
- Benjamin Britten
- William Byrd
- Harold Darke
- Thomas Hewitt Jones
- John Ireland
- Grayston Ives
- Philip Moore
- Hubert Parry
- Henry Purcell