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.”