The Episcopal Church has often been described as a "pragmatic" church...Anglicanism offers a practice of common worship...[The prayer book] provides the forms that outline our practice of the Christian faith, shaped principally by worship.
Opening the Prayer Book by Jeffery Lee, page 7,Cowley Publications 1999.
1. We have Christ's teaching and example in the Lord's Prayer, and in the temple and synagogue worship in which He participated.
2. The church, from the beginning, has used such forms of prayer and worship, not only the Lord's Prayer, but also psalms, hymns, the Aaronic blessing (Numbers 6:22-26), and others which were used by the Jews. Traces of early liturgies are found in the New Testament (Romans: 10:9; 1 Corinthians 11:23-27; Ephesians 5:14; 1 Timothy 3:16; 2 Timothy 2: 11-13).
3. We believe the Holy Spirit inspired the church to create forms which are universal, true in faith, expressing the wisdom of the ages far more perfectly than any individual could invent.
4. By using written prayers, the whole congregation can pray together, and not rely on impromptu prayers offered by the minister, who may not always be inspired to find adequate words to express the prayers of the people.
5. These prayers create a unity and fellowship with other Christians in all places and ages who have used them in their worship.
The Episcopal Church is a pragmatic Church...it emphasizes the behaviors, the habits, the practices that make up Christian living. The Episcopal church is a pragmatic church with a mystical edge. To be a member of the church you do the perfectly ordinary things the church does...
To do these ordinary things, however, is to invite and risk being grasped by the living God. The Book of Common Prayer is an outline for what the church does to become itself, to become what it is by grace, the body of Christ.
From Opening the Prayer Book by Jeffery Lee page 124, Cowley Publications 1999.
The Book of Common Prayer is the book members of our faith use to worship, both together and in private devotion. It contains prayers, praises, and selections from the Bible to be used at different times and occasions. It offers us services for daily use, such as Morning and Evening Prayer, with a section that provides us with daily lessons so that, by following them, we may read almost the entire Bible in an orderly sequence during a two-year cycle as well as services for Sundays with a section indicating the Sunday lessons in a three-year cycle so that we may read almost all the Bible by following it.(Book of Common Prayer pages 37-126; 934-995).
There are services for communion, and to mark every major event of our lives: birth, growth, marriage, children, work, sickness, thanksgiving, sin, and death. The Prayer Book is based on the biblical and historical faith of the church, and it meets our needs as children of God, living in today's world, with all its joys and problems.
based on Questions On the Way, pages 75-76, Beverly D. Tucker and William H. Swatos,Jr.
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