16 January 2006

The Garden of the Soul


Because I was in Portsmouth over the weekend, I went to the Episcopal church down the street on Sunday. One of the things that I must say I will miss tremendously once I have finished converting to Roman Catholicism is Rite I in the Book of Common Prayer. The fact that, as far as I know, there doesn't seem to be anything really equivalent to it in the Catholic church has always been a bit of a mystery to me and a source of aggravation, since the BCP is both an exceptional piece of literature and a convenient devotional guide.

Anyway, all that has changed now. One of the other reasons that I go to this particular Episcopal church when I am in town is that one of my very good friends attends there as well: George Tussing. George is without doubt one of the most important and influential people in my life. If there is anyone I have to thank (or to blame) for my decision to go in for art history, it is him, since he was my very first art history teacher and one of the few who really understands and cares about art (and is himself an artist). So when I saw George at church on Sunday we got to talking about the Episcopal church and my conversion and he told me that he had this book he wanted to give me.

The book, as it turns out, is this book, The Garden of the Soul, by an English bishop named Challoner and originally published in America in 1776. It's a very beautiful book, with morning and evening devotions, prayers, supplications, hymns, the ordinary of the mass and a bunch of other stuff. It's even illustrated with woodcuts (take that, BCP!) Needless to say, I am extremely excited about it. I'll have to put it next to my bed, so that I don't forget to use it.

2 comments:

Bernard Brandt said...

Dear Garland:

I cannot bear to think that you may be unaware of the Anglican Use in the Roman Catholic Church. May I suggest that you look here: http://www.pastoralprovision.org

I am given to understand that they also have an Anglican Use Missal. They've just finished publishing it, and so the pdf files of the full text have been removed temporarily, but I recall that it is basically BCP Rite I, with appropriate readings from the Authorized Version (or KJV) to adapt to the three year cycle of readings of the Novus Ordo. You can find the webpage here: http://www.bookofdivineworship.com/

On the other hand, an Anglican Use musician has done a wonderful job of continuing the process of Anglicizing Gregorian Chant, and these propers have seen use in Anglican Use churches. You may find a copy of that Gradual in pdf here: http://anglicanhistory.org/music/gradual/gradual.pdf

And by the bye, Garland, you are entirely off the mark with your explication of my wretched little poem, which the Pontificator was kind enough to publish on his weblog. I won't hold that against you, however.

Garland said...

Mr Brandt:

Thank you for you comment. I am indeed aware of the Anglican Use, and if there was an Anglican Use parish in my vicinity you'd bet that I'd go there. As far as I know, they are all in Texas.

Thanks also for the links. I'll follow up on them as I have more time. And I apologize that my comment about your poem was out of line, but I'll go into that elsewhere.

I hope you come back soon.