Korean Prayer Book Printed, a Translator Elected Bishop

Episcopal News Service. May 21, 1987 [87116]

NEW YORK (DPS, May 21) -- Two recent events are giving the Korean community within the Episcopal Church reason to celebrate: the publication of a Korean translation of the Book of Common Prayer and the election of one of the key figures in the translation project, the Rev. Paul Hwan Yoon, vicar of the Church of the Annunciation, Anaheim, Calif., as Bishop of the Diocese of Taejon in the Anglican Church of Korea.

The translated prayer book, which will be available in mid-June according to an announcement from the Office of the Episcopal Asiamerica Ministry, had its seeds in informal work done in the early 1970's, when new Korean congregations in the Episcopal Church were beginning to be established. A few of the Korean clergy began translating portions of the Episcopal Church's proposed Book of Common Prayer for their congregations, using these as an alternative to the Anglican Church of Korea's prayer book.

In 1979, the Korean Convocation of the Episcopal Asiamerica Ministry formed a committee to begin the systematic translation of the newly adopted Book of Common Prayer into Korean. The Rev. Matthew Ahn of St. Nicholas Church in the Diocese of Los Angeles coordinated that effort, which involved several clergy and lay people from Korean congregations throughout the Episcopal Church as well as consultants from the Anglican Church in Korea.

Within a year, the committee had completed translation of Rite II of the Eucharist. In a booklet with English and Korean on facing pages, this was circulated to all Korean congregations in the Episcopal Church for a period of trial use. The translation project began to move ahead more rapidly in 1983 after Yoon, former dean of the Anglican seminary in Korea, arrived in Los Angeles to help start a second Korean congregation in that diocese.

Trial use of the newly revised translation of Rite II began in 1984, along with translations of the other sections of the Book of Common Prayer. Texts of the translations were also sent to consultants in the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church in Korea. Following theperiod of trial use and additional revisions, the book was certified by the Rev. Canon Charles Guilbert, Custodian of the Standard Book of Common Prayer of the Episcopal Church, and the translations were sent to a printer in Korea recommended by the American Bible Society.

The completed English/Korean Book of Common Prayer contains 1,650 pages of facing English and Korean texts. With the exception of Rite I sections, it contains the entire Book of Common Prayer. A number of special Korean festival collects and prefaces have been included in an appendix. The book measures approximately 6 ½ by 8 ½ inches, with a thickness of nearly 2 inches and is available in both a blue cloth bound hard cover for $20 or a black leather version for $60. Books may be ordered through Episcopal Parish Supplies, Episcopal Church Center, 815 Second Avenue, New York, NY 10017.

During his work on the translation, Yoon also built the Church of the Annunciation into a viable congregation, which not only serves Korean Episcopalians but also offers ministry to Korean newcomers in the Los Angeles area.

A graduate of Seoul University with a B.A. in Law (1962) and of St. Michael's Seminary (1966), Yoon was ordained to the diaconate in 1966 and to the priesthood a year later by the Rt. Rev. John C. S. Daly, then Bishop of Taejon. After serving as curate of Chunan Holy Cross Church, Yoon studied Art at Richmond College in London before returning to St. Michael's as a teacher in 1974. He was named dean in 1979.

With his close ties to the Episcopal Church in the United States, Yoon sees closer ties being forged between the two churches. He is expected to leave for Korea and his consecration by summer of this year. Yoon is married and the father of three.