Friday, January 09, 2009

Poetry of the prayer book

A recent posting on Can Bass 1's Blog reminded me of the sheer poetry of the Book of Common Prayer. How about this for starters from Compline:

Brethren, be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: whom resist stedfast in the faith.

Doesn't that just conjure up the most fantastic image?

And how about this, the general confession from Evensong, a particular favourite of mine:

Almighty and most merciful father, we have erred and strayed from thy ways like lost sheep. We have followed too much the devices and desires of our own hearts. We have offended against thy holy laws. We have left undone those things which we ought to have done, and we have done those things which we ought not to have done, and there is no health in us.

But thou O Lord have mercy upon us, miserable offenders. Spare thou them, O God, which confess their faults. Restore thou them that are penitent. According to thy promises declared unto mankind in Christ Jesu our Lord: And grant O most merciful father, for his sake, that we may hereafter live a godly, righteous and sober life, to the glory of thy holy name. Amen.

Poetry, sheer poetry. And there are so many more examples from which to choose.

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