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Texts For Common Prayer: Together With The Ordinal of the Anglican Church in North America Paperback – Unabridged, February 10, 2014
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About the Author
Texts For Common Prayer is the work of the Liturgy and Common Worship Task Force of the Anglican Church in North America under the Chairmanship of The Rt. Rev. William Thompson. The task force includes J.I. Packer, General Editor of the English Standard Version of the Bible and Theological Editor of the ESV Study Bible.
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The textual missteps are few and far between; for example, I do not think that substituting "deceits" for "devices" (as in "devices and desires of our own hearts") in the Confession of Sin for the Daily Office is much of an improvement, nor do I think the words are really synonyms. I also do not think that the word "devices" was so unclear as to require replacement - three of the five definitions for the word on Dictionary.com indicate a plan, scheme, or trick. "Devices" is also used in a number of classic texts in the KJV of the Old Testament, particularly in Job and the Prophets, to denote plans in a bad sense. It is a good maxim that if it isn't broke, don't fix it.
And as might be expected with a first effort, there are some typos in the text.
There are some structural issues, as well. I do not think that putting the opening sentences after the daily services is user friendly, and there are two sets of apparently identical prefaces for the Eucharistic rites. As a general matter, much of the Offices are textually redundant with one another, and a better use of space in a second edition might be to consolidate the rites as in "An English Prayer Book" (published by the Church Society and available on their web site) with morning and evening distinctives identified right in the text.
But it is the omissions in this volume that prevent me from giving it five stars, though. The book has no Psalter, no lectionaries, no weekly collects, no Great Litany, and no prayer for the Church Expectant during the Eucharist. These omissions require the reader to turn to another Book of Common Prayer (or go online) for those texts or schedules. One of the original points behind the Book of Common Prayer was to eliminate the need for multiple books associated with liturgical observances, and for those of us who actually pray the Daily Office, these omissions make it very inconvenient to try to use this text for our devotions without requiring other resources. I understand the difficulty of reproducing a modern version of the Psalms without copyright complications, but the historic collects and lectionaries are likely in the public domain and could have been included in this volume. I also understand the rush to put this out for public use and comment, but I hope the next edition is more complete in this regard (especially at $7 a copy - if it isn't complete, perhaps it was not yet appropriate to start selling it to people).
Notwithstanding these concerns, I highly recommend this book for all Anglicans and those wishing to learn more about the Anglican tradition of common prayer.