Saint John the Evangelist (Lockport, IL)

Monday, March 07, 2005

A Random Thought on Prayer Books

This week's essay at Anglicans Online web page made me stop for a moment and reflect on books, and the use of prayer books in worship in particular. I prefer to hold a prayer book during our services, not one of the service booklets. Note that I have nothing against the booklets: they are handy, the whole service is easily accessable to guests and parishioners alike. There is no embarassing fumbling between hymnal and prayer book, no finding Eucharistic Prayer C and then finding the final concluding prayer at the end of the service for those uninitiated to the mysteries of the prayer book. But I still like to hold and use the prayer book. A few months ago a faculty member of the University of Chicago used a phrase that explained this for me. He said that the Episcopal Prayer Book, when held, conveyed the (metaphorical) weight of the thought and experiences of those who made it and use it; it and its predecessors.


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