The Draft of the ACNA Altar Book is out, and some are raising a high stink about it, to which the editor gave a great reply (below):
PDF is here, in case the High Stink--or Low Stink--results in scrapping of these good ideas.1
Dear Robert —
As the Editor of the Altar Book, I’d like to offer a few points:
1) This is a draft — and may be changed resulting from feedback. Thank you for this feedback.
2) All text not authorized by the BCP 2019 is in Red or has a red initial-capital, to distinguish it from authorized theological text
3) An Altar book is only seen by the Altar Party — it is not likely to confuse the people of God
4) The added-prayers are for the edification of the priest. All of them would be said in private (in the sacristy, while the offering is being received, etc) — and so are not presented to the people
5) In adapting/translating the various prayers from Sarum and Roman missals of the past, I was very careful to conform the theology that was included to be Anglican. Compare the exact language of the vesting prayers or the offertory prayers with their standard translations, and note the difference: All misleading language about “winning grace” “earning X” etc etc has been altered to comport with Anglican-Formulary theology.
6) The one exception to this is an error: the prayer after Communion “Blessed, praised, hallowed…” was NOT included in the final draft I sent the music task force — I removed it before publication BECAUSE it is not Anglican-Formulary theology. I am sorry for the accidental scandal this has caused.
7) Because of the wide array of Churchmanships — the widest possible ritual language was used, such as “reverence” — as explained in the preface.
8) Because the “low-church” will usually say and not sing the Eucharist — the “said” service includes ZERO ritual instructions — so that parishes that do not use any (beyond those in the authorized text: Sit, stand, etc) ritual are not given any scandal
9) Since many are exploring our catholic heritage, and yet might not be formed in a robust Anglo-Catholic way — these directions were given to help suggest what anglo-catholic piety in the 21st century can look like — that is neither copycat Roman nor too fussy, but is continuous with the 19th century retrieval of pre-Reformation ceremony, so ubiquitous across America now, for better or worse. If you go to many of the Cardinal parishes in the county (Ascension, Pittsburgh; St. Peter’s Tallahassee; Christchurch, Plano, etc etc) — you will see a ceremonial that is close to the ritual suggestions — and so they have been here codified to help with Anglican UNITY, rather than every priest doing his own interpretation. That was the intent…
Strange changes were slipped into the 2019 ACNA book in the 2018 revision, about which many bishops that 'approved' the liturgy in 2013-2017 were not informed; since such things were hammered through there, with a last-minute compromise at the Provincial Council, who knows what will happen with this. ↩