Friday, March 11, 2011


You know, one of the things that bugs me about the 1979 Book of Common Prayer is that it came out when folks were in the thrall of "creation-based theology" - there are happy prayers galore about the goodness of flora, fauna and all things natural, but the older BCP prayers about "calamity," "intemperate rains" and such are gone.

But the Great Litany remains, and so I offer this petition for the people of Japan,

From lightning and tempest; from earthquake, fire, and
flood; from plague, pestilence, and famine,
Good Lord, deliver us.

And this from the 1928 BCP:

O GOD, merciful and compassionate, who art ever ready to hear the prayers of those who put their trust in thee; Graciously hearken to us who call upon thee, and grant us thy help in this our need; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


The Archer of the Forest said...
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The Archer of the Forest said...

I miss the "Prayers to be Used at Sea" from the 1662 BCP. I've used that more than once in sermons dealing with natural disasters.

The Archer of the Forest said...

I mean, what's not to love about:

"O MOST powerful and glorious Lord God, at whose command the winds blow, and lift up the waves of the sea, and who stillest the rage thereof. We thy creatures, but miserable sinners, do in this our great distress cry unto thee for help: Save, Lord, or else we perish. We confess, when we have been safe, and seen all things quiet about us, we have forgot thee our God, and refused to hearken to the still voice of thy word, and to obey thy commandments: But now we see, how terrible thou art in all thy works of wonder; the great God to be feared above all: And therefore we adore thy Divine Majesty, acknowledging thy power, and imploring thy goodness. Help, Lord, and save us for thy mercy's sake in Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord. Amen.

TLF+ said...

So right, Archer. We are part of a creation that God loves, but that is fallen and corrupted. Just as humans, made in the image of God, do terrible things, so the other lovely creations will do things that are deadly and destructive. We need prayers responsive to that reality.

I'm not a total foe of the '79 BCP like some, but on this point (the unqualified "goodness" of creation), the book is in denial.