NEW YORK, N. Y. -- After eight years of trial use and revision, the Draft Proposed Book of Common Prayer will be published for study in the parishes of the Episcopal Church on the Feast of the Presentation of Christ in the Temple, February 2, 1976. The Draft Proposed Book is the text to be submitted by the Standing Liturgical Commission (SLC) to the General Convention of the Episcopal Church in 1976. The book will include all the services, rites, prayers, and other materials recommended by the SLC for inclusion in a revised Book of Common Prayer. Published by the Church Hymnal Corporation at $3.50 per copy, this quality paperbound book in a newly designed Prayer Book format will be available through the Church Hymnal Corporation and through The Seabury Press.
The Draft Proposed Book is subject to change by Bishops and Deputies to the General Convention before a first constitutional vote on its adoption or rejection. If the Draft Book receives a positive vote in 1976, any changes made in the text will be incorporated before it is published as the Proposed Book of Common Prayer. The Proposed Book must then be approved by the General Convention of 1979 before it becomes the new Standard Book of Common Prayer of the Episcopal Church.
During the eight-month period between February 2 and the meeting of the Minnesota General Convention in September 1976, clergy and laity in Episcopal parishes will want to acquaint themselves with the Draft Book, study its contents, and review the history which brought the Church to this revision.
Comprehensive study resources on liturgical change have been prepared in recent years, including the Standing Liturgical Commission's Prayer Book Studies, The Celebration of Life by David Babin, The Future Present by Marianne Micks, and Language in Worship by Daniel Stevick. The most current and highly recommended Liturgical Change: How Much Do We Need? by Leonel Mitchell offers a concise study course for parish use; and Laity and Liturgy: A Handbook for Parish Worship by William S. Pregnall will be published by The Seabury Press in early autumn.
Also in preparation for fall are several resources planned by an Education and Communication Subcommittee of the Standing Liturgical Commission, working in cooperation with the Church Center staff.
Two brief printed pieces, aimed at answering the most frequently asked questions of the laity and clergy about liturgical revision, will be available to parishes in quantities and free of charge.
A "liturgy education packet, " which will include audio-visual aids and extensive study and resource guides, will also be available at moderate cost. The packet will review the history of Christian liturgical worship and music in the West, and will establish guidelines for "doing" the new services in a variety of liturgical and musical settings.
The materials are being prepared by the Executive Council's Communication and Program offices, in cooperation with the Episcopal Radio-TV Foundation, for publication by The Seabury Press.