Celebration and thanksgiving
When someone gives you a gift - especially when it is something you love, something that has deep historical significance, and something that can help in cultivating your relationship with God by enhancing times of worship, it's a good reason to celebrate. And that's just what happened in the Wycliffe chapel on Wednesday, January 15, 2020, as our community came together for a service of celebration and thanksgiving when 60 brand new copies of the Book of Common Prayer - a gift from the Prayer Book Society of Canada - were dedicated.
Compiled by Thomas Cranmer in 1549, he intended the Book of Common Prayer to be "a book of worship that would reflect more clearly the Christianity of the Bible and the early Church," according to the Society. Loved the world over for its poetic language, it has been used in Anglican worship services for countless generations. The Book of Common Prayer (1962) remains the official liturgy of the Anglican Church of Canada and is used regularly in Wycliffe's chapel services, along with the Book of Alternative Services (1985).
"There is much to be said for an unvarying repetition of set words, especially if these words have been shaping Christian souls for the past 350 years," Wycliffe's Principal, Stephen Andrews has written. Noting that fewer than 50 per cent of Wycliffe's students are Anglican, he added, "We hope that those who attend the Daily Office, offered at 8:30 am and 5:30 pm, Monday through Friday during term, will not find the liturgy an impediment, but rather see it as useful in ordering their own devotional lives."