Through a fortuitous and circuitous chain of events, I have learned that the Church of England has Common Worship: Services and Prayers for the Church of England available for download, free of charge, in PDF format. And for those who aren’t all up-ons with their Anglican lectionaries, Common Worship is an update of the Alternate Service Book of 1980, and is a companion of the CoE’s 1662 _Book of Common Prayer_.
Our home church (hX) has started using the Phos Hilaron (AKA O Respledent Light or Hail Gladdening Light) to start out our time of worship. Each week the light-bearer bringing in a lantern, offers reflection on a passage of scripture, and then we recite the Phos Hilaron in unison. (Reflection, get it? Bwah hah hah.) Anyway, next week it is Sunam’s and my turn to be the bearers of light, so I have been researching the Phos for the last few days.
One of the things I learned was that it had become a fixed part of the liturgy for the Anglican service of evening prayer. Good to know, and I sort of filed it away in the mental archives. Then today, on Edward Tufte’s site, someone posted a link to an essay on the making of Common Worship. This was in reference to a discussion of Gill Sans. The article by John Morgan is a fascinating record of the monumental process involved in the typographic design of Common Worship. It is an excellent essay, and I highly recommend reading it. But right away something caught my attention, when Morgan said,
The full title Common Worship: Services and Prayers for the Church of England, tells us this much: first, it is more than one main service book, it is a collection of resources published in books, booklets, cards, on computer disks and available free on the internet;
For free on the internet? So a little more digging lead me to the Church of England Web site, where sure enough, they had it all there for download. And it is beautiful. They did a great job on the design, and it is a massive resource of liturgical goodness. Far more than I can pour over before our next hX, but I hope to use a little something from it. Check it out at: http://www.cofe.anglican.org/worship/liturgy/commonworship/resources/downloads/