Why do some clergy preach a sermon at “the eight-o’clock” on Sunday mornings? Many of us want a short service of holy communion, be it from the Prayer Book or Common Worship. [Your answers, 5 October]
Your answers: Heeding the Common Worship notes is one thing, but Bishop Humphrey Southern is incautious about selective obedience to the rubrics of 1662, whose historical context affects their interpretation now. (Hence communicants do not now submit their names at least the day before, though they might have to if the Curate — i.e. the priest with the cure of souls — were consistently “obedient”.)
When the morning service was matins, litany, and holy communion, there was provision for one sermon, usually part of antecommunion (“Table Prayers”) only, as the sacrament was rarely celebrated. When the service was later divided, in a largely successful effort to remedy the neglect of the eucharist, the one sermon required naturally gravitated to the late-morning matins or sung celebration. Parliament frustrated the Bishops’ desire to amend the rubric accordingly in 1927-28. Bishop Southern interprets it with with the “more than Chinese exactness” for which the Tractarians were pilloried on a different point. Any argument from the 1662 rubric is really irrelevant to current pastoral considerations, which may argue both ways.
Your questions: Should the office of churchwarden be abolished? It’s a mug’s game, anyway.
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