1/21/2008

Archbishop Akinola and Prayer Book Revision.

In the midst of all the carping and snit-fits in Anglican Land there are still reasons to take delight in the wonderfully autonomous way Provinces (that is to say actual CHURCHES) in the Anglican Communion work out their lives.

The Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) is going about the business of Prayer Book revision and reform. Good for them.

The article on this, to be found HERE on the Church of Nigeria web pages reports,

"The book, first published in 1549, is the common title of a number of prayer books of the Church of England and used throughout the Anglican Communion.

Overtime new generation of Anglicans particularly young people had complained of the liturgy being cold and lifeless, since it was originally fashioned for a western setting.

The Primate encouraged adherents to “prepare prayerfully so that the liturgy does not become a cold and lifeless aspect of our worship life, but a vibrant, inspiring and liberating encounter with our self-revealing God.

“The chief concern of this revised edition is to help us to worship God meaningfully and relevantly in our setting and many situations."

Sounds like home to me.

Now a question... what ever happened to the 1662 Book of Common Prayer, the standard etc for our faith? You know, the one that the Draft Anglican Covenant proposes as central to who we are as Anglicans? Well, perhaps as a historical document, perhaps, but Nigeria seems to consider it "cold and lifeless, fashioned in a western setting, and less than relevant.

What is going on here? There is indeed common ground to work from. Strangely it is called Prayer.

Oh, wait a minute... things are back to normal. The article also said,

"Archbishop Akinola also spoke about the protracted controversies with the liberals in the Church in the Provinces in America, Canada, and even England over the authority of the Bible.

At the retreat, the primate said Nigeria with other like minded Anglicans from around the world had planned a conference tagged Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) for June in Jerusalem. According to him, the conference will chart the future of the Anglican Church, which has been bedeviled by the homosexual controversy."

What a relief.

8 comments:

  1. Ah, nothing like a good round of Prayer Book revision to bring Anglicans together.

    I wonder if any of the new CANA folks are going to form a Nigerian chapter of the Prayer Book Society to defend against these loathsome revisionists seeking to destroy the church's heritage.

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  2. I think the good archbishop is starting to stray from the "faith once delivered to the saints". Didn't God write the 1662 BCP?
    :)

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  3. I'll give him a little "lively and inspiring" western worshipping SOUL FILLED reaching out if he wants it...I'd love to give a homily (that he may not forget regarding the "non-hooligan" aspects of LGBT Christian children/etc.)in down/anytown Nigeria (do they pass through metal detectors on the way in?)...I'm certain Davis Mac-Iyalla could HELP with some REALISTIC energizing of BOTH Akinolas (despotic behavior) and The Anglican Church of Nigerias (discriminating/persecuting of fellow Christians)! The Anglican Church of Nigeria needs a Selective Scriptural THINKING revision before they do anything else!

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  4. Interestingly, the current prayer book the Church of Nigeria uses is from 1996 and is indeed titled The Book of Common Prayer as ours is. I wouldn't be surprised, though, if this time they state that 1662 is THE BCP for Nigeria but that the new revision is an adapted "alternative" to it but full in accord with the theology presented out in it.

    Mind you, the 1662 BCP is still considered the official prayer book, or at least theological standard, for several Anglican churches, such as Australia, New Zealand, and of course England.

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  5. paul (a.): A good question. However, 3(2) states, (2) In the interpretation of the aforementioned formularies and in all questions of Faith, Doctrine and Discipline, the decisions of the Ecclesiastical tribunals of the Church of Nigeria shall be final.

    Now, if only they'd respect the same authority in the "Ecclesiastical tribunals" of the Episcopal Church - that is, the General Convention....

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  6. “The chief concern of this revised edition is to help us to worship God meaningfully and relevantly in our setting and many situations."

    Um . . . wait . . . Does this mean that they are taking the local social context into consideration?

    Just checking ...

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  7. I've been reading about the process of revisions for the Nigerian BCP, but I can't find an online version of the existing (1996) BCP. Do you know where the Nigerian BCP is available?

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