As a traditional Anglican parish, St Stephen’s uses the Authorised Version (the King James Version) of the Bible. And in principle, we use the 1928 Book of Common Prayer. But as noted on the About Us page, we occasionally use the 1662 Book of Common Prayer. Additionally, we use the Coverdale translation of the psalms (as found in the 1662 Book, and not the edited version found in the 1928 Book) at the Choral Offices of Mattins and Evensong. So we thought we should provide an explanation for our choices—since they are traditional choices, but not hidebound.
- Why we use the 1662 Prayer Book. We have been using the 1662 Book of Common Prayer for Holy Communion for several years now. We also use the 1662 version of the Offices for Mattins and Evensong (i.e., when the choir sings the office), but that’s true for just about any parish which still offers Evensong, because that’s how church composers generally set the Preces and Responses. We are perhaps unusual (at least in the U.S.) in doing the anthem after the third collect, as directed by the rubric: “In quires and places where they sing, here followeth the anthem.”
- Confronting the 1662’s Critics. The previous essay addresses some purely practical reasons for using the 1662 Communion Service. This essay addresses some political and theological questions which come up when people learn we’re using the 1662 Book.