Monday, March 7, 2011

One Prayer Short

As most pastors who follow the lectionary know, this year Lent, and thus, Easter, is as late as it gets.  That means that, for some, over the last couple of weeks prior to Transfiguration Sunday, they have preached from lectionary passages that they have never preached from before.

Though I tend to be a lectionary preacher, I have also preached for Sunday night as well as Sunday morning services for the majority of my 17 years in full time pastoral ministry (as well as having taught/gave devotions on Wednesday evenings, during most of that time).  So, that was not really an issue for me.

However, as I was praying Morning Prayer last week, I did discover something, which, while not profoundly important, nevertheless was somewhat interesting.  Last week, I began to wonder if we were going to "run out of" prayers before Lent.  For those who are used to the Book of Common Prayer, you know that there is a Collect (or short prayer) for each of the Sundays in the year.  In John Wesley's version of the Book of Common Prayer, which he titled, The Sunday Service of the Methodists in North America, he numbers them according to the Sundays "after Christmas," until you get to "The Sunday Next Before Easter."

Anyway, the wondering got the best of me, so I counted them out.  Sure enough, Wesley is one prayer short this year.  I would guess that, perhaps the 1662 BCP, which Wesley would have used (if not some other versions of the BCP), may be short, as well.  (As I write this, I'm not in my study, so I do not have access to my other Prayer Books to check.)

Not only, so, but it became apparent that this past Sunday (viz. Transfiguration, or the Sunday leading up to Transfiguration) is where we are missing the prayer.  That is to say, the collect for "The Eleventh Sunday after Christmas" should obviously be prayed on the First Sunday in Lent.

That, of course, means that those using Wesley's The Sunday Service will need to pray the collect for "The Tenth Sunday after Christmas" for two weeks this year, rather than just one.  Or, if you already moved ahead, this past Sunday, you should pray that prayer (which speaks of the Lord fasting for forty days and forty nights) for next Sunday, the First Sunday in Lent, as well. 

It also means that those who use The Sunday Service should be aware that whenever Lent begins in other years, they ought to skip ahead to "The Eleventh Sunday after Christmas" for the First Sunday in Lent, and continue on from there until Easter.

As I said, it's nothing profoundly important, but I did find it interesting.  So, I thought I would share!


Larry said...

I just use the collect from the 1979 Book.
I have downloaded the epub version of "The Sunday Service" for free. I have it on my Nook. I just can't get that old english translated to today's english for my congregation to understand.

Todd Stepp said...

So, Larry, you prefer the Nook to the Kindle?

I'm thinking of getting one. Tell me, what are the benefits to the Nook over the Kindle?

Larry said...

I chose the Nook because we have a BN store here in our town. Plus, I liked the idea of downloading ebooks from a variety of sources. There are also many public libraries who loan out ebooks, but they can only be read on an epub type device like the Nook or Sony Reader, etc.
But, what I don't like about the Nook is the fact that many Christian publishers only offer their ebooks for the Kindle. Example of some books that can only be downloaded on the Kindle:
1. All books from Alban Institute.
2. Big Book of Christian Mysticism, and all books from this publishing company.
3. Tribal Church - one of my favorites.
I have also run into many more, which is very frustrating. But most of the books not offered on the Nook were published before the Nook came out.
It all depends on what you want it for. I would probably buy a Kindle if I were to make a purchase today.

Larry said...

The fact that I would buy a Kindle today has nothing to do with the quality of the Nook. In my opinion, the Nook is a superior device compared to the Kindle.
What makes the difference is the fact that many publishers sign exclusive agreements with Amazon. But beware: if you buy a Kindle, you must buy all your ebooks from Amazon. I will probably buy a Kindle soon and will have one of each. Wife and I can share.

Todd Stepp said...

I decided to go ahead and use the Eleventh Sunday prayer for the Daily Office starting yesterday (i.e., Ash Wednesday). I'll continue with it through next week.

Dr.D said...

I think I can fill you in on this (I am an Anglican priest). Back at the time of the BCP 1662, the BCP only provided for 5 Sundays in Epiphany, with the rubric that if there was a 6th Sunday, the propers from the 5th Sunday were simply to be repeated on the 6th Sunday.

The BCP 1928 which I use provides unique propers for all six possible Sundays in Epiphany, the last one being primarily due to Bp. Cousin (of Durham, I think?).

When Easter is early, the propers that have been omitted from the Epiphany cycle are inserted at the end of the Trinitytide cycle. This is particularly fitting as they have a rather eschatological tone.

Fr. Sam+

Todd Stepp said...

Fr. Sam+,

Thank you for that information! - That's one of the things that I like about this kind of online format; people from all over can chime in with information.