Thursday, April 26, 2012
The Book of Common Prayer, 1662
My copy of the Church of England's Book of Common Prayer, 1662 arrived via UPS today. It is a lot smaller than I thought, about half the size of my Episcopalian Book of Common Prayer, 1979. When opening the package, I was thinking: "Will I need a magnifying glass to read this?" It was with much joy and surprise that the little red book has very readable print! It is listed as a 9 point Lexicon No. 1A (Enschede FF) font script that I had never heard of before, but it is comparable to a 12 font Garamond or Times New Roman script. All this for $15 dollars from Cokesbury of all places. I commend Cokesbury for the expedited shipping as I placed this order online this past Monday (four days ago).
Not that I needed this edition of The Book of Common Prayer. I already have the 1549 and 1662 editions via free .pdf files. There is something, however, to actually holding a book in your hands. An iPad comes close to this, but an iPad is still not the same as reading a real text book with all its attending texture for the fingers and the scent of the paper. My copy of the American Lutheran Church's A Service Book and Hymnal has a very unique paper smell that brings back childhood memories to this day, and I have had this hymnal for about ten years.
I actually like the copy of TBoCP I received today. It about a square inch smaller than my SELK and Bavarian Lutheran hymnals (both of which fit comfortably in one's hands) and this copy of TBoCP also fits well in my hands. For some reason, American hymnals are larger and more cumbersome to hold. The European textbook style lends itself to a more nature fit in the hands.
So, I am an avid collector of hymnals (mostly Lutheran), and the Book of Common Prayer ranks up there with the King James Bible as a masterpiece of English literature. The Anglicans produce very regal liturgies and hymns, and the 1662 Book of Common Prayer is a welcome addition to my library.