Sunday pt 1: the wonder of BCP? (did i say that??!)

Yesterday I experienced some of the extremities of my role as a pioneer curate, charged with developing a new way of being church, while based at a cathedral which by many is seen as very traditional in its out look and practice.

My Sunday started at 8.00am as it was my turn to preside at the 1662 Book of Common Prayer service of Eucharist. I do find the language of this service quite a challenge to me but there are some parts where God causes me to think. I particularly like the BCP language after we have shared bread and wine which seems to capture more of the mystery and responsibility of the meal than the Common Worship text does.

In the BCP yesterday we read at the end of the service:
Almighty and everliving God, we most heartily thank thee, for that thou dost vouchsafe to feed us, who have duly received these holy mysteries, with the spiritual food of the most precious Body and Blood of thy Son our Saviour Jesus Christ; and dost assure us thereby of thy favour and goodness towards us; and that we are very members incorporate in the mystical body of thy Son, which is the blessed company of all faithful people; and are also heirs through hope of thy everlasting kingdom, by the merits of the most precious death and passion of thy dear Son.And we most humbly beseech thee , O heavenly Father, so to assist us with thy grace, that we may continue in that holy fellowship, and do all such good works as thou hast prepared for us to walk in; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with thee and the Holy Ghost, be all honour and glory, world without end. Amen.

whereas in CW we say:
Almighty God, we thank you for deeding us with the body and blood of your son Jesus Christ. through him we offer you our souls and bodies to be a living sacrifice. Send us out in the power of your spirit to  live and work to your praise and glory. Amen
CW seems to go down the power line with the image of being sent out for mission quite aggressively. The language seems quite dry compared to the BCP which is quite artistic in its language here as it calls to mind our mission responsibility by reminding us that the mission we are called to has already been prepared by God. With this language it seems to me that is easier to remember that I am called to see what God is already doing and join in. BCP language reminds me that we are called by God, to work with God, and incorporated by God in some mysterious way into the Body of Christ. 
I believe that it should be quite hard to leave a BCP service without having eyes reopened to what God has already started and is calling us to do in partnership with him. I guess, for that reason, it is a shame that we have lost this language from our Eucharists for the majority of those in church. Maybe we, as the gathering, should be looking at BCP language as as well as CW language as we share eucharist together.?

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