By Robin G. Jordan
A fourth important way of promoting the renewal of biblical Anglicanism in North America is the compilation of new Prayer Book. Among the functions of a Prayer Book is to teach and reinforce biblical doctrine.
A Prayer Book sets the tone of worship in a particular jurisdiction. A Prayer Book establishes what texts may be used in a congregation’s Sunday gatherings, what liturgical usages may be adopted, and what worship practices should be avoid.
A Prayer Book may also be misused to teach and reinforce “strange and erroneous doctrine contrary to the Word of God.” For this reasons careful attention to what texts are used in a Prayer Book, where they are used, and how they are used must be given in its compilation. Similar attention must also be given to what ceremonies are used, where they are used, and how they are used. Everything that goes into a Prayer Book has the potential to affect the doctrine of the Prayer Book.
The compilation of a new Prayer Book provides an opportunity to reverse the trajectory of liturgical revision toward pre-Reformation embellishment and the Roman Canon and to return the liturgy to the reformed simplicity of the 1552 Prayer Book and its Prayer of Consecration.
A new Prayer Book would need to be distributed in both electronic and print format. The reasons are largely practical. Hand-held devices and multimedia projectors require a power source. A low battery or a power outage can render them useless. Printed books require only a light source. Printed books can also be used in variety of non-tradition worship settings by small communities of worshipers whose circumstances preclude the use of a multimedia projector and projection screen. Older people may have difficult reading the words on a screen.
A new province, an independent renewal movement, a new Catechism, and a new Prayer Book—all would help to promote the renewal of biblical Anglicanism in North America.