One of the biggest challenges we had when we first started attending the Anglican church was the prayer book. The prayer book, see in this case the Book of Alternative Service, cialis is THE book that is used in the service. It contains all the prayers and liturgy. And so for the first several months, Chuck and I would be madly scrambling through the green book trying to figure out where we were supposed to be. It helped that the church bulletin had the order of service printed in it, along with the page numbers where we were supposed to turn, but it was still a challenge. And then, add on top of that the hymnal and the pew Bible, and we ended up trying to balance three books open to different pages all at the same time.
I didn’t understand why we had to flip/skip through so many pages in the prayer book. Why were we starting on page 190 and then jumping ahead thirty pages? And then flip back to page 200, and so forth. The format didn’t make any sense. And so, finally, I took a BAS home and started reading from the beginning. I couldn’t believe how much stuff was in this little book!
I wish I had had this video when I was so confused over the prayer book. This is probably the clearest (and shortest) presentation of the contents of the prayer book. In this video, he’s talking about the Book of Common Prayer, but the content and structure is basically the same to the BAS.
As we became more familiar with the prayer book, three things happened: First we eventually stopped clumsily navigating the prayer book. We learned when we didn’t have to necessarily flip pages, that sometimes only the priest had to flip pages to say a collect (prayer), while we could stay on the page we were at. Second, we began to memorize parts of the liturgy, which allowed us to not open the prayer book at all in certain parts of the service. Third, it became a valuable resource that helped structure our family devotions.
I have written about our family devotions before, but to sum up, we’ve adapted the Evening Prayer service to become our family devotional time. We regularly say the Apostles’ Creed (or ‘Hear O Israel’ to change it up a little bit). We sing the Lord’s Prayer, and we follow the Daily Office Scripture readings. It has given our family devotion time structure and continuity, and it has been the longest lasting devotion time in our house. We’ve tried umpteen different devotional systems/books and none of them have lasted more than a few weeks. Not only has using the Prayer book stuck, it has also produced some amazing fruit. Here is just an example of the devotional fruit that has resulted from using the prayer book.
Do you use a prayer book like the BAS or Book of Common Prayer? What do you like about it?