The Bishop in Liturgy

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Joint Liturgical Study 6

An Anglican Symposium on the role and task of the Bishop in the field of Liturgy

A publication with the title of this one is rare. The famous landmark in Anglican publishing of this genre was the redoubtable The Bishop in Church (SPCK, 1961)
by Patrick Ferguson- Davie, ceremonial adviser to the then Bishop of Exeter. That particular book was ‘based upon the counter-reformed Roman use as laid down in the ‘Caeremoniale Episcoporum’. It has thus become a stranded whale on the beach of liturgical history – very weighty, a cause for admiration, but totally non viable. It is perhaps a comment on trends in Anglican theology also that the S.P.C.K., such a mainstream publisher, should less than thirty years ago have produced such a tome (it has well over 200 pages, and is in hardback) for what must surely have been a limited market. For to the reader to-day the ‘stranded whale’ effect comes from the following dated features: firstly, from the calm assumption of the author that contemporary Roman Catholic usage is the prime authority, secondly, from the extraordinary detail with which he thenĀ  implements his programme; and, thirdly, from the inevitable unawareness of the author at the time of writing of the then imminently impending changes in the Roman Catholic Church itself.

Colin Buchanan (editor)