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On the need for revision of liturgical texts

"Nevertheless, while writing this book, I happened at one point to be reading a compilation of a few [Thomas] Cranmer collects. On the very first page of the first collect, the editor—a well-known, current writer in his own right—felt the need to explain the meaning (with several words constituting a parenthetical phrase for that purpose) of a rather archaic word, which Cranmer had utilized for a particular prayer book collect. This moment confirmed again the reason I had suspected for many years that neither "original" Cranmer nor "original" [Myles] Coverdale would work in the sanctuaries of most churches today. Good, if not superb, though ancient, writing, of course, serves the needs of some, but clearly not all, especially those who know more about Facebook than they do about the Book of Common Prayer. Any words that require further explanation simply add one more opaque layer through which language must travel to penetrate the hearts and minds of those sea…

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