On Saturday, July 7, 2018 the House of Deputies passed the following resolution:
Resolution A068 (Amended)
Resolved, the House of Bishops concurring, that the 79th General Convention authorize the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music to undertake comprehensive revision of The Book of Common Prayer 1979; and be it further
Resolved, that such revision will continue in faithful adherence to the historic rites of the Church Universal as they have been received and interpreted within the Anglican tradition of Common Prayer while also providing space for, encouraging the submission of, and facilitating the perfection of rites that will arise from the continual movement of the Holy Spirit among us and growing insights of our Church; and be it further
Resolved, that such revision utilize the riches of Holy Scripture and our Church’s liturgical, cultural, racial, generational, linguistic, gender and ethnic diversity in order to share common worship; and be it further
Resolved, that such revision utilize inclusive and expansive language and imagery for humanity and divinity; and be it further
Resolved, that such revision shall incorporate and express understanding, appreciation, and care of God’s creation; and be it further
Resolved, that such revision take into consideration the use of current technologies which provide access to a broad range of liturgical resources; and be it further
Resolved, that the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music follow the “Guiding Assumptions” and “Plan for the revision of the Book of Common Prayer 1979” from the SCLM Blue Book Report to the 79th General Convention; and be it further
Resolved, that the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music shall report to the 80th General Convention; and be it further
Resolved, that the sum of $1,917,025 be appropriated to the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music for the 2019-2021 Triennium for this process.
Approved by House of Deputies on July 7, 2018
The results were:
* Lay: 63 yes, 30 no, 17 divided (the deputies were split 50-50)
* Clergy: 69 yes, 26 no, 15 divided.
If approved by House of Bishops, without major revision…
Between Summer 2018 and Summer 2021: The Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music will: “gather data about how the current 1979 prayer book is being used in congregations across the Episcopal Church, with a focus group meeting in every diocese and a variety of consultations.” The point of that work is to BEGIN the process which would eventually result in a new version of the Book of Common Prayer.
After that… here is the fastest timeline possible…
General Convention 2021 – Accepts work of The Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music and approves creation of draft revision of Book of Common Prayer
General Convention 2024 – Craft/accept draft revision of Book of Common Prayer
General Convention 2027 – Initial approval of revision of Book of Common Prayer and maybe approves trial use?
General Convention 2030 – Second required approval of revision of Book of Common Prayer (51 years after last revision)
Q: How did we get the Book of Common Prayer 1979?
A: Churchy term of the moment – Proposed Book of Common Prayer
Proposals for revision of the 1928 BCP were first published by the Standing Liturgical Commission in a series of Prayer Book Studies, the first of which was published in 1950. When trial use of a revision of the eucharistic rite was authorized by the 1967 General Convention, pew copies were printed in a book titled The Liturgy of the Lord’s Supper. A revision of the eucharistic rite, a new eucharistic lectionary, and revisions of the Daily Office, the pastoral offices, and the ordination rites were authorized for trial use by the 1970 General Convention and published in Services for Trial Use. It was known as the “Green Book” because of its green cover. Additional changes authorized in 1973 were published in Authorized Services 1973, known as the “Zebra Book” because of its striped cover. Further revisions were incorporated in a complete Prayer Book, The Draft Proposed Book of Common Prayer, which was essentially a workbook for the use of bishops and deputies to the 1976 General Convention. The book authorized by that convention was published as the Proposed Book of Common Prayer. That Prayer Book was ratified by the 1979 General Convention, making it the authorized BCP of the Episcopal Church.
Adapted from Don S. Armentrout’s An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church: A User-Friendly Reference for Episcopalians Church Publishing Inc., 2000.