Thursday, July 19, 2012
The ACNA Prayer Book: A Prayer Book for All Conservative Anglicans in North America?
By Robin G. Jordan
From the taskforce’s reports and the articles and comments I have read on a number of websites I do not believe that the Prayer Book and Common Liturgy Taskforce, the advisers to the taskforce, and a substantial number of clergy in the ACNA are committed to the compilation of a Book of Common Prayer for the ACNA that would be comprehensive to the point where the broad spectrum of conservative Anglicans would be happy with it. The will to produce such a Prayer Book simply is not there.
Rather I discern the influence of the various expressions of the Catholic Revival of the past two hundred odd years—the nineteenth century Ritualist movement and the twentieth century Liturgical, ecumenical, and Worship Renewal movements. The Worship Renewal movement is also known as the Ancient-Future or Convergence movement.
The classical Anglican Prayer Book—The Book of Common Prayer of 1662—which is a formulary of the Church of England and a number of other Anglican provinces, and the long-recognized doctrinal standard of Anglicanism, alongside the Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion of 1571 and the Ordinal of 1661, is viewed as defective both in its doctrine and its liturgical usages. The rule of antiquity is given more weight than the rule of Scripture. The liturgies of the post-Apostolic Church and the Medieval Church, the semi-reformed 1549 Book of Common Prayer, the retrograde 1928 Book of Common Prayer, and the revisionist 1979 Book of Common Prayer are held up as models for the ACNA Prayer Book.
The ACNA governing documents already mandate the acceptance of a number of doctrines over which Anglicans historically have been divided. In doing so, they effectively prohibit the views of those who disagree with these doctrines. I am not talking about liberals or revisionists. I am talking about conservative Anglicans—Anglicans who are faithful to the teaching of the Bible and the Anglican formularies!
While claiming to embrace the "three streams" of Anglicanism, the folks of the Anglican Church in North America are actually very parochial, or narrow, in their views. This parochialism is quite evident in their ideas about a Prayer Book for the ACNA. If these ideas are implemented in a service book without provision for conservative Anglicans who do not share these views, the service book will be another major barrier, or obstacle, to the participation of these conservative Anglicans in the ACNA.
Posted by Robin G. Jordan at 5:49 PM