No bread pudding was involved.

Peter Hitchens, in a recent interview about why he is still a “traditional Anglican” Christian,
on the Prayer Book:

“The Prayer Book is written in a language which repeatedly acknowledges the existence of the eternal, as not just a rival to the temporal, but as a superior and more important thing. I’d go further. Music, as we know, expresses what is inexpressible through words alone. Poetry, which much of the Prayer Book aims at, allows words to say more than prose does. By poetry here I don’t mean rhyming and scanning verse, but language consciously crafted to be as beautiful an expression of its meaning as possible.

“Our forebears were simply better at this than we are, because of the age they lived in. This has much to do with the fact that it was written to be spoken aloud and I do not doubt that its authors did speak it aloud many times as they perfected it. This is something few writers of modern prose do, which is why the result so often looks and sounds as if it has been created by using the blunt end of a bread pudding.”

Above: Book of Common Prayer open to the selection for
“The Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary.”

8 thoughts on “No bread pudding was involved.

  1. What a great definition of poetry – “language consciously crafted to be as beautiful an expression of its meaning as possible.” I love reading the prayers of Christ-followers throughout the ages.

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  2. I love the expression “using the blunt end of a bread pudding.” He is right about the effectiveness of creating words to be read aloud – hearing the words forming, the rise and pitch, the ebb and flow of words in different cadences enlivens their meaning. I would love to read my novels aloud, especially if they have been well written, yet rush through them as my eyes pick up a word and flows through the rest. That is why poetry is so effective. I don’t know about you, but I feel poems need to be given a voice in order to appreciate the message.

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    1. I heard an elderly priest saying recently that as the Psalms are poetry, we should read them as such: read them aloud, and commit them to memory, too. I’m trying to memorize a few, but if I didn’t learn them as a child or young person, it is hard to make them stick!

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  3. It definitely is harder to memorize something as we get older.
    I have always preferred the Book of Common Prayer to the new Alternative Services.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I have a copy of the Book of Common Prayer sitting on my bookshelf. I need to dust it off and start spending more time in it. Thanks for the encouragement, my friend!

    Like

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