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The Service Of Prayer

If we have understood the Method of Praise which, in these Services,
uses ancient forms in an ordered variety, we shall be prepared to find
similar order, and similar use of variety, in the Prayers. The Map of
the Services on p. 28 should be examined afresh, in order that we may
grasp the unity of the Prayers, as well as the unity of the Praises.

There is the Lord's Prayer set for prayer (see p. 16), at the
beginning of the Prayers, to strike the keynote. Verses and Responds
follow next, asking for such things as will be again asked for, in the
Collects which are to come after them. The Collects may be divided
into two classes, viz.,

1. Those for spiritual needs--First, Second, and Third Collects.

2. Those for physical needs, and earthly relations.

Worship-Forms used in the Prayer Service.

See Table of Worship-Forms .

The Preces are Interjectional. The Collects are of the Amen form. The
Anthem should be {128} Antiphonal. The Litany, when used, contains
examples of four of the Worship-forms. Thus, the attention of
worshippers is arrested, and their unity of heart and voice maintained.

Another purpose is served by the mutual relation in which these forms
stand to one another. We shall show, in the Chapter on the Litany,
that a Collect may be preceded by a Verse and Respond, which anticipate
briefly the prayer of the Collect. Thus the Verse and Respond, which
are Interjectional, belong to the Collect. This tie between
Interjectional prayers and Amen prayers is very remarkable in the
Morning and Evening Services. Six couplets of Interjected prayers,
which for the sake of distinction are called Preces, anticipate the
petitions of the six (or more) Collects which follow. They correspond
Couplet and Collect, Couplet and Collect; and, being grouped so that
all the couplets come first, the whole prayer Service is made one.

The Anthem is used to strengthen this unity. Unfortunately the
Revisers stopped short of making an Antiphoner, or Anthem-book; but we
may suppose that the provision made here for Anthems was intended as a
promise of such a book. Our Hymn Books, which were recognised, when,
in 1879, shortened Services were permitted, contain a good number of
suitable hymns admitting antiphonal arrangement. They should supply
some grave thought of God's help, or Christ's mediation, or our
dependence on Him. The Anthem is a bond of union, not a musical
interruption. (See Chap. xiv.)

Next: The Prayer Service

Previous: The Creed Of Saint Athanasius

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