The Book of Common Prayer is the universal title given to a number of prayer books in the Church of England and used all throughout the Anglican Communion. The very first volume, that came out in 1549, in the reign of Edward VI, was the creation and the result of the English Reformation which ensued with the breakup with Rome. Basically, the prayer books, not like the books of prayers, have in them the expressions and the terminology of ordered and well-thought out services of worship. What was produced in 1549 was the very first prayer book to include the forms of service for daily and Sunday worship in English and done in a single volume. It contained the morning prayer, evening prayer, the Litany and the Holy Communion. Likewise, the volume contained the other occasional services in full detail -- the orders for confirmation, baptism, marriage, prayers for the sick and the funeral service. Also, it established in full the Epistle and Gospel readings for the Sunday Communion Service and specified the Old Testament and New Testament readings for everyday prayers in tabular format (Careless 26).The 1549 book was swiftly followed by a further more reformed revision in 1552 under the same editorial hand, that of Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury. Essentially, it never came into full use because, on the death of Edward VI, Mary his half-sister, revitalized Catholic worship. On Mary's death, a vaguely customized version of the 1552 volume was published in 1559. In the turbulent events that ensued leading to and including the English Civil War, the last major revision was published in 1662.
[...] There is no indication as to this very significant and extremely important element of the marriage rite be omitted, after all, the Book of Common Prayer is supposedly a guide to all the religious service that must be conducted inside the Catholic Church. Surprisingly, it is not included in the older edition of the BCP. In like manner, the question that is supposed to be addressed to the congregation or to the assembly who are witnessing the ceremony is likewise omitted. [...]
[...] Yes, maybe the makers of the Books of Common Prayer know about this, however, those who instigated the 1928 BCP did not, for if they did, they wouldn't have omitted that significant element of a marriage the declaration of consent. Declaration of Consent in History Under Roman civil law, consent to marriage was the crucial requirement for validity, and the various rituals of betrothal, dowry, and procession of the bridal party to the groom's house, and the wedding feast served to make a public display of this consent. [...]
[...] The Fourth Lateran Council (1215) required publication of banns, but it was not until the 16th century Council of Trent that Roman Catholic marriage was held to be invalid unless performed in the presence of the parish priest, to whom at least one of the parties had to be known, and who blessed the couple and declared them married. The same has been true in England, by custom from before the Reformation and legally since the 18th century, when valid church marriage (with certain rare exceptions) was required to take place in the parish church after publication of banns. [...]
[...] But how could the promise be manifested when that component of declaring one's consent is not present and is not being said? It also cannot be said that the “promise” is already implied within the ceremony itself. It must be noted that a marriage rite is not like a business venture where it is OK to have some things implied and some things to be explicitly expressed. A marriage is a lifelong commitment, a vocation that calls for sacrifice, enduring devotion and relentless fidelity. [...]
[...] Marriage becomes the most intimate environment for the vows of the Covenant to be realized: to express by word and example the good news of God, to seek and serve Christ in another, loving this most intimate of neighbors as one's self, and to strive for justice and peace in this particular relationship. Marriage may be seen as the place from which the benefits of living in a God-centered covenanted community can be shared with others, beginning first at home and then spreading abroad into the extended community. The Book of Common Prayer understands marriage to be more than a biological and juridical union. The spirituality proper to marriage is a relational one, emphasizing love of neighbor, where the role of neighbor is taken by the spouse. [...]
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