Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Sarum Lent

Lately, I’ve been perusing Pearson’s The Sarum Missal in English. And I’m impressed that the Sarum Rite had propers, graduals, etc. for each and every day in Lent. I intend to use that for my Lent daily offices next year.

I should add that I will use the Sarum Rite selectively. For while Sarum is a wonderful source of our Book of Common Prayer, it was also in great need of reform.

For example, today’s collect for Wednesday in Passion Week is excellent:

Enlighten, O God of mercy, the hearts of Thy faithful people by this holy fast; and, seeing Thou hast given them an hearty desire to pray, graciously give ear unto their supplications. Through etc.

But before that came yesterday’s:

May our fast, O Lord, we beseech Thee, be acceptable to Thee; that purifying us from sin it may make us worthy of Thy grace, and procure us everlasting recovery. Through etc.

Sorry, Sarum, but nothing we can do can make us worthy of God’s grace. And to pray so practically contradicts what grace is, God’s unmerited love and favor, not to mention it is incredibly presumptuous. And to pray that fasting can somehow “procure us everlasting recovery”?

Like I said, reform was needful.

But there are still treasures in Sarum useful for Lent. Just don’t think a holy Lent can procure everlasting life.

It is Good Friday and Easter that does that.

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