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Gerald Parker "Gerald Parker" (Rouyn-Noranda, QC., Dominion of Canada)
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   

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Clandestinos [Import]
Clandestinos [Import]
DVD ~ Juan Luis Galiardo
Price: CDN$ 19.97
18 used & new from CDN$ 11.35

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Touching, Sometimes Suspenseful Depiction of Some Young Men Whose Naïveté Puts Them, Blissfully Unaware, into Grave Danger, June 13 2014
This review is from: Clandestinos [Import] (DVD)
Growing up on the streets (and, along the way, at a reform school for teenage males) of large urban centres in Spain, without parents' attentions, can lead young guys into a lot of trouble. That is just what happens to Xabi and his two friends in "Clandestinos" (the 2007 Spanish film of this title, not the 1987 Cuban film so titled) after they escape from their reform school and end up yet further on the wrong side of the law. Xabi (acted by Israel Rodríguez) is full of delusional ardour about just what being a militant activist, even amateur terrorist, means for himself and for other Basques. He is the only Basque of the three youths and the lad whose adventures the movie follows most closely. In his sweetly doglike devotion to Xabi, an Arab lad somewhat younger than Xabi, Driss (played by Mehroz Arif), falls in with Xabi's romanticised ideas and self-assumed role as a freelance terrorist for the Basque cause. The third guy, Joel (acted by Hugo Catalán), is from México, and is basically apolitical, more interested in girls (a taste for which his good looks assure easy success) than in any political struggle. Xabi and Driss undergo a roller-coaster ride in roughly "coming of age" through the activist and amourous adventures that befall them.

Driss, cavorting along with Joel, also finds a girlfriend, one who is chubby, rather bossy, and suspicious, but Driss remains true to his devotion to Xabi, who is gay, but Xabi is unassertive of that with Driss, treating the Arab lad as a kid brother and apprentice-associate in the Basque nationalist cause; needless to say, Xabi is only one slight, awkward step at a time ahead of Driss in developing their "radical-chic" skills!

When a much older Spaniard, Germán (the role taken by Juan Luis Galiardo) picks up Xabi at a shopping mall, where the boy is earning his way to some extent as a young hustler, making himself available, for a price, to interested men, Xabi goes home with the older man and, after having sex and slept awhile in the man's bed, Xabi furtively rises, takes the man's money and a gun, then escapes with Germán, now awake, in pursuit. Back at the apartment where the friends live without paying rent, Xabi passes along to Driss some basic knowledge of weaponry and explosives and the two lads start off on an intended spree of lawlessness for the Basque cause.

It is possible that one reason that Xabi does not seek to have a sexual relationship with Driss, is that Xabi yearns romantically to reunite soon with Iñaki (acted by Luis Hostalot) seeking to link back up with that older Basque terrorist for love and comradeship in the cause of Basque independence. Xabi does not realise that Iñaki does not share the same level of gay male love for Xabi that Xabi himself has for Iñaki (the older Basque, in any event, being bisexual) and that Iñaki certainly does not approve of Xabi's uncontrolled "do-it-yourself" loner terrorism, which is causing embarrassment and difficulties for the Basque cause. His own uncritical zeal ends up putting Xabi into grave danger from Iñaki.

To find out how Xabi is rescued from the dangers into which his bumbling nationalist militancy has led him, from Iñaki and from the police, and how Germán, just barely in time, comes to Xabi's rescue, the Amazon customer should obtain this entertaining and delightful DVD (T.L.A. Releasing TLAD-211 being the edition viewed, in Spanish with English subtitles) to watch it for himself. There is an extra incitement for gay men who fancy beautiful young males, for Xabi is an exceedingly attractive young dude, slender and lithely (but not heavily) muscled; the other two renegades from the reform school also are "easy on the eyes" to only somewhat lesser degree (but that depends, for sure, on other viewers' taste, which might rank differently these lads' respective degrees of allure). Xabi has several opportunities to appear full-frontally naked (genitals in plain sight) and Israel Rodríguez acting the part looks fine in any state of dress or of undress!

The acting of one and all is superbly professional (and, in the case of the younger members of the cast, remarkably assured for teenagers), engaging attention with never any flagging of interest. It is easy to understand how this movie became such a favourite with audiences in Spain.

Caine Mutiny Court-Martial [Import]
Caine Mutiny Court-Martial [Import]
DVD ~ Eric Bogosian
Offered by importcds__
Price: CDN$ 20.01
15 used & new from CDN$ 19.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Lesser Achievement & More Limited in Scope than the 1954 Motion Picture, but the 1988 Follow-up Film Has Some Specialist Worth, June 12 2014
Straight off the mark, there is no point in viewing this partial retelling, from 1988, of Herman Wouk's tale of the Navy ship, the Caine, unless one has read Wouk's novel or, at least, has seen the classic "The Caine Mutiny" Hollywood movie (1954) with Bogart, Ferrer, et alia. That earlier movie itself, though presenting less detail of the trial scene, did a magnificent job of cinematically recounting that along with all of the rest of the Caine saga that it ventured to put on the "silver screen". (The earliest and lattermost parts of the novel were not accounted for even in the 1954 film.) I have read the novel and seen both movies on DVD (the edition viewed of the 1988 film being Lions Gate Home Entertainment 15650-E), so I am in a good position to assess that.

The one thing most gratefully that the 1954 classic wisely avoided doing was to depict Lt. Greenwald's self-indulgent, vulgar wallowing in of his own and his dear mother's ethnically Jewish identity matters, one of the few blights (along with Greenwald's partially and groundlessly exculpatory comments about Queeg) on the novel's literary quality. When I saw the film, after having read the book, that self-restraint greatly gained my appreciation for the 1954 depiction of the court martial and the party afterwards. Since Wouk wrote the stage play and adapted it himself to movie form in 1988, it is Wouk who elected to display that side of Lt. Greenwald (as Eric Bogosian steels himself to the ordeal of playing Greenwald) to the full, definitely not at all to the better thereof -- Wouk himself be damned -- as a work of art!

It is startling that the film opens on the court martial as it takes place in a Navy base's gymnasium as its setting. There is nothing unrealistic about that, but the more posh interior sets of the film add to the dignity of the court martial proceedings, as weird as they become, that take place. Some of the actors in the 1988 film are less in keeping with the novel's own characterisation of them or than as the 1954 film presents them. This is especially true of squishily soft-looking Kevin J. O'Connor as Lt. Keefer (Fred MacMurray in 1954 not having been quite the ideal for the part, either, but much superior to O'Connor), Keefer being the real villain in both films and in the novel. Almost inevitably, it is Brad Davis as Lt. Cdr. Queeg, the odious captain of the Caine, despite doing really quite well in his own lesser way with the part, who who most suffers from comparisons with the earlier film's cast of actors, in Davis' case with the immortal Humphrey Bogart, who in the 1954 film is the ideal impersonation (probably for eternity!) of the ship's appointed commanding officer as both the novel and the 1954 film depict him, alike in physical type, actions, mannerisms, and in every other way.

It is Eric Bogosian (as Greenwald) who perhaps comes closest to matching the sheer acting quality of those who took their parts in the 1954 film (Bogosian's counterpart being the great José Ferrer), despite the relative artistic weakness in how the 1988 film-script at the end spoils the depiction of the Navy lawyer. As for Peter Gallagher, the 1988 film's "biggest name" of its cast, he does a fine, dignified, and very distinguished job in handling Lt. Cdr. Challee's part, faring better with that role than even E.G. Marshall had done in 1954.

I would recommend, albeit rather lukewarmly, "The Caine Mutiny Court Marshall", but only to truly devoted fans of Naval warfare motion pictures, in general, and of cinematic retellings of "The Caine Mutiny", in particular. It holds the viewer's attention admirably, but the 1988 film is a mere cinematic curiosity, really, and amounts to little more than that.

TEST
TEST
DVD ~ Matthew Risch, Kristoffer Cusick, Damon K. Sperber Scott Marlowe
Price: CDN$ 25.37
12 used & new from CDN$ 19.71

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "The Test" Is Delight to View, Choreographically and Cinematically Very Accomplished!, June 11 2014
This review is from: TEST (DVD)
This film was a long time a-coming, especially due to the need to raise funds for its production; that cannot have been an easy matter, for this is both dance and cinema, each of which has its respective expenses to cover. Anyway, the result is a triumph. This is one of Wolfe's videos or films that really works as cinema, not "feeling" like slightly glorified television. "The Test" (Wolfe WOL-5203-D) is an intimate film, to be sure, but it is not cramped and airless in the manner of so much TV.

The choreography (by the illustrious Sidra Bell), which the dancers of the film's small San Francisco modern dance company are seen rehearsing and performing at various times during its preparation and theatrical run, is superb, resulting in a showcase that displays really fine modern dance choreography and dancing at their best. Some of the dancers are better than others, but all function at a satisfyingly professional level or at more than that. The work danced is brief but very absorbing, feeling neither too short nor too extended, eminently well suited to its place in the movie. Most of the dancers are male, and it is they who hold the stage and the viewer's attention for most of the work, but there are some women among them, too.

There are no real costumes, as such, for the cast. (If the location were 21st century Montréal, instead of 1980s San Francisco, the dancers probably would appear nude in such an abstract work.) The lighting suffices for background and foreground, illuminating men with good-looking bodies, some of whom, like the main character, Frankie (Scott Marlowe's role), are exceptionally handsome, Marlowe himself being so in a leanly muscled, lithe, boyish way, having a dancer's ideal physique, if there can be said to be such. They dance shirtless and in full length, snugly-fitting pants (rather than in skin-tight leotards). Moments of the choreography, as depicted in rehearsal and in various performances, interweave throughout the movie, while a bonus feature presents, very welcomely, the entire choreography uninterrupted.

Frankie, Scott Marlowe's role, is an understudy who triumphs when it comes time for him to appear in the dance production. That is one sense in which he passes a professional "test". What gives "The Test" its title, however, are the HIV tests which he and two other of the film's characters take. The two dancers among them, after tense waiting, learn that they are "HIV negative". Alas, one of the men (the one of the three who is not a professional dancer), with whom Frankie already has fornicated homosexually, finds out that he has tested negative, only adding, of course, to the main character's edginess. While there is tension surrounding the condition, at a time (1985) where there still was so much uncertainty regarding so much of what HIV-AIDS is and what causes it (not even mention to mention the lack of a cure, or, for that matter, even of palliative prescription treatment at that time), this film, for a refreshing change, does not go into high weeping gear or quasi-tragic antics in the face of all of that, as so many other gay films do so! Thus, Marlowe's character passes the test regarding health as successfully as he fares in his feat of professional attainment.

This film is a triumph over all the adversities and obstacles that there had been to finance and to film it. I had waited impatiently for its appearance, now in 2014, and the project is a complete success!

The Scottish Book of Common Prayer together with the Psalter (1929)
The Scottish Book of Common Prayer together with the Psalter (1929)
by Anon
Edition: Hardcover

5.0 out of 5 stars The 1929 Scottish Prayer Book Is among the Great Liturgies of Christendom, Anglican or Otherwise, June 8 2014
Most informed traditionalist Anglicans (including some Scottish Episcopalians, some Protestant Episcopalians, and "Continuing Church" Anglicans among them) are aware that it is the Scottish Prayer Book (of the Scottish Episcopal Church), in its various manifestations and texts over the centuries, that has had as great an impact, or nearly so, as the Church of England's 1662 Book of Common Prayer upon the traditional Books of Common Prayer of the United States (1928) and of the Dominion of Canada (1959/1962). However, many Anglicans and Episcopalians may wonder just how the respective English and Scottish strains of Prayer Book development manifest themselves in their respective traditionalist (Cranmerian) Prayer Books. From having used all of the still-current (among traditionalist Anglicans, at least) Books of Common Prayer in public worship and/or in my private devotions, I hope that I can clarify these points in comparing salient aspects (without going into labourious detail) of the 1662 (England), 1928 (U.S.), 1929 (Scotland), and 1962 (Canada) Prayer Books. These comments largely derive from a review of a combined B.C.P./A.V. Bible publication that I have reviewed elsewhere.

Hopefully, customers in the U. S. of A., England, the Dominion of Canada, and perhaps even elsewhere may find that these comments encourage them to obtain a copy of the 1929 Scottish Prayer Book, whatever other B.C.P. variant they use for most purposes.

Although, of course, for public Anglican worship here in the Dominion of Canada, I would take along a copy of the Canadian 1959/1962 B.C.P. rather than the 1662 B.C.P., I tend normally to use the 1662 B.C.P. when I say devotions from the Prayer Book at home, primarily from a preference for the unaltered Coverdale Psalter of the 1662 B.C.P. over the slightly divergent texts of the Coverdale Psalter as revised for the Protestant Episcopal Church's 1928 B.C.P. or the yet more frequent divergences from Coverdale found in the 1962 Anglican Church of Canada's B.C.P. To some extent, I also have begun to use The Scottish Book of Common Prayer, of 1929, which evidences a greater and more explicitly "catholic" spirit (including a greater degree of influence from Eastern Orthodoxy, too) and presents many advantages, practical and spiritual. One small example of an improvement in the 1929 Scottish B.C.P., relating to the Psalter, is the greater guidance that it provides in the use and choice of Psalms, in its "A Table of Proper Psalms, for Sundays and [some] Other Days throughout the Year". In fact, I have "tipped in" a copy of this table into my Canadian and English Prayer Books to help me out when negotiating use of their own Psalters.

There are other reasons, too, for going back and forth from the 1662, 1929 Scottish, and the North American B.C.P. editions, among them, for example, the inclusion of the service of Compline within the Scottish and Canadian editions of the B.C.P. (omitted from both the U.S. 1928 and English 1662 Prayer Books). There is, by the way, much difference of detail and breadth of expression, also in respective senses of devotional flux and flow, in evidence between the Scottish and Canadian services of Compline.

Moving on briefly to what is more significant, the U.S. 1928 text of Evening Prayer is shorter than the fuller forms of "Evensong" (as this service alternatively and lovingly also is named) in both the English 1662 and 1962 Canadian Prayer Books. The Protestant Episcopal Church's various editions of the B.C.P. over the years, somewhat less prominently, also had tinkered a bit with the text of Morning Prayer (Mattins), shortening it and making other alterations within it, as well. Despite the truncations, the 1928 American B.C.P.'s Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer services flow nicely and one does not sense, abruptly during worship, how either of them has been shortened at certain points.

As for, most importantly of all, the Holy Communion service (Eucharist), both the 1928 U.S. and 1959/1962 Canadian Prayer Books follow precedents set in early Scottish Episcopal Church B.C.P. practice (and found in the more distinctly Scottish rite of the two forms of the Communion service found in the 1912 and 1929 Scottish Prayer Books, i.e. in their own "Scottish Liturgy", the 1929 book including, as the Eucharistic alternative therein, the 1928 form from the proposed English B.C.P. which the British Parliament never officially authorised); the alternative to the "Scottish Liturgy" in the 1912 Scottish B.C.P. had been the 1662 Holy Communion service. The "Scottish Liturgy", the more so from an "Anglo-Catholic" standpoint, is superior, in its own and in the American and Canadian adaptations of its primary Eucharistic Liturgy, to what one finds in the 1662 B.C.P. There is an irksome aspect of the 1962 Canadian book's Holy Communion service, however, in that its makes some slight internal and regrettable omissions in penitential phraseology (such phrasing being retained, fortunately, in the 1928 U.S. and in the Scottish Prayer Books of 1912 and 1929 and being found complete and unaltered, of course, in the 1662 B.C.P.).

A serious difference, indeed, is the 1928 U.S. Prayer Book's exclusion of the Athanasian Creed (which is included alike in the 1662 English, the 1912 and 1929 Scottish, and the 1962 Canadian Prayer Books). The Lutheran and some Reformed/Presbyterian churches, and the international Anglican Communion, long have acknowledged the place and importance of the Athanasian Creed in asserting and maintaining Trinitarian orthodoxy.

The much improved "Forms of Prayer To Be Used at Sea" in the Canadian B.C.P. (only sketchily presented in the 1662 B.C.P. and omitted altogether from the American 1928 B.C.P. and from the 1929 Scottish B.C.P., although it had been retained in the 1912 Scottish B.C.P.) is a service that, at least normally, would not be said in parish churches, but which I frequently like to say at home, as an alternative to Compline, when the time is lacking to pray the service of Evening Prayer.

The texts within the readings in the Lectionaries in all four of these traditional Cranmerian Prayer Books diverge somewhat. The 1662 B.C.P. hews exactly to the A.V., whereas there are various slight degrees of divergence here or there from the A.V.'s own wording in the U.S. 1928 and (especially) in the Canadian 1962 variants of the Book of Common Prayer. The 1929 Scottish B.C.P., for its part, was unwise in permitting greater or lesser use of the Revised Version (of 1881-1894) along with the A.V. Bible. The selection of which passages of Holy Scripture to read at worship diverges to various degrees between the four books, but that matter (and all the more due to what one finds in the Scottish Prayer Book in the main part of its "Tables of Lessons", as they apply to the provisions for Sundays regarding lections for Mattins, i.e. Morning Prayer, and for Evensong) is too complex to delve into here.

On a practical note, I would urge potential purchasers of one of the Cambridge University Press' (C.U.P.'s) own choice of editions in its array of Scottish Prayer Book products (the same applying to reprints thereof), at least from those which the C.U.P. itself printed in the receding past, to avoid ordering the Scottish B.C.P. in the tinier formats that C.U.P. issued. This is not due to print size of the text, per se, for all of the C.U.P. editions which I have seen, of whatever physical size, are printed with admirable clarity, even in the smallest bold typeface among them, but rather because of page format. For example, the edition which I own of the Scottish B.C.P. bound with (as issued) "The English Hymnal" (the latter presenting only the words of the hymns, without any musical notation), measuring 5 x 3 inches (12 x 8 cm.) is printed in double columns on each page. Visually, this lessens slightly the impact upon the eyes of the intended lineation, indentions, and so forth of the B.C.P.'s text and rubrics (although they remain clearly identifiable), making the text to look rather less inviting to the reader's sight. On the other hand, the still handily pocket-sized C.U.P. Scottish B.C.P. (without any hymnal included with it), which I also possess, measures 6 x 4 inches (15 x 9 cm.) has the Scottish B.C.P.'s text in a single column across each

page, more lovely to behold and more flowingly obvious to follow. (I evened off to the nearest inch or centimetre the measurements, at the original bindings, that I have just indicated.) For the still relatively small difference in size, the 6" volume is printed in considerably larger letters (and other characters) than what appears in the 5" one.

The traditional B.C.P. as used in the various Provinces of the Anglican Communion, as well as in, of course, the Continuing Church movement, thus all have their own distinguishing characteristics in several regards, and it is enriching to use a variety of them, as minor as the differences among them, for the most part, admittedly are. For those further interested, by the way, in how its 1912 and 1929 editions of the Scottish Prayer Book compare, I have written a review of the electronic print-out edition of the 1912 Scottish Prayer Book published by Filiquarian Publishing (a.k.a. "F.Q. Books") which compares to some extent these two variants of the Scottish Prayer Book.

Although the 1929 Scottish B.C.P. is not ideal in its every aspect, anyone who claims that the Scottish Prayer Book is the best of these various national Books of Common Prayer has plenty of good reasons to justify such a preference.

Scottish Book of Common Prayer - Offices for Holy Communion - together with Collects, Epistles, and Gospels and Prayers and Thanksgivings
Scottish Book of Common Prayer - Offices for Holy Communion - together with Collects, Epistles, and Gospels and Prayers and Thanksgivings
by Eipscopal Church in Scotland
Edition: Hardcover

5.0 out of 5 stars The Liturgical Heritage of the Scottish Prayer Book Is the Major Gift of the Scottish Episcopal Church to World Christianity, June 8 2014
Most informed traditionalist Anglicans (including some Scottish Episcopalians, some Protestant Episcopalians, and "Continuing Church" Anglicans among them) are aware that it is the Scottish Prayer Book (of the Scottish Episcopal Church), in its various manifestations and texts over the centuries, that has had as great an impact, or nearly so, as the Church of England's 1662 Book of Common Prayer upon the traditional Books of Common Prayer of the United States (1928) and of the Dominion of Canada (1959/1962). However, many Anglicans and Episcopalians may wonder just how the respective English and Scottish strains of Prayer Book development manifest themselves in their respective traditionalist (Cranmerian) Prayer Books. From having used all of the still-current (among traditionalist Anglicans, at least) Books of Common Prayer in public worship and/or in my private devotions, I hope that I can clarify these points in comparing salient aspects (without going into labourious detail) of the 1662 (England), 1928 (U.S.), 1929 (Scotland), and 1962 (Canada) Prayer Books. These comments largely derive from a review of a combined B.C.P./A.V. Bible publication that I have reviewed elsewhere.

Hopefully, customers in the U. S. of A., England, the Dominion of Canada, and perhaps even elsewhere may find that these comments encourage them to obtain a copy of the 1929 Scottish Prayer Book, whatever other B.C.P. variant they use for most purposes.

Although, of course, for public Anglican worship here in the Dominion of Canada, I would take along a copy of the Canadian 1959/1962 B.C.P. rather than the 1662 B.C.P., I tend normally to use the 1662 B.C.P. when I say devotions from the Prayer Book at home, primarily from a preference for the unaltered Coverdale Psalter of the 1662 B.C.P. over the slightly divergent texts of the Coverdale Psalter as revised for the Protestant Episcopal Church's 1928 B.C.P. or the yet more frequent divergences from Coverdale found in the 1962 Anglican Church of Canada's B.C.P. To some extent, I also have begun to use The Scottish Book of Common Prayer, of 1929, which evidences a greater and more explicitly "catholic" spirit (including a greater degree of influence from Eastern Orthodoxy, too) and presents many advantages, practical and spiritual. One small example of an improvement in the 1929 Scottish B.C.P., relating to the Psalter, is the greater guidance that it provides in the use and choice of Psalms, in its "A Table of Proper Psalms, for Sundays and [some] Other Days throughout the Year". In fact, I have "tipped in" a copy of this table into my Canadian and English Prayer Books to help me out when negotiating use of their own Psalters.

There are other reasons, too, for going back and forth from the 1662, 1929 Scottish, and the North American B.C.P. editions, among them, for example, the inclusion of the service of Compline within the Scottish and Canadian editions of the B.C.P. (omitted from both the U.S. 1928 and English 1662 Prayer Books). There is, by the way, much difference of detail and breadth of expression, also in respective senses of devotional flux and flow, in evidence between the Scottish and Canadian services of Compline.

Moving on briefly to what is more significant, the U.S. 1928 text of Evening Prayer is shorter than the fuller forms of "Evensong" (as this service alternatively and lovingly also is named) in both the English 1662 and 1962 Canadian Prayer Books. The Protestant Episcopal Church's various editions of the B.C.P. over the years, somewhat less prominently, also had tinkered a bit with the text of Morning Prayer (Mattins), shortening it and making other alterations within it, as well. Despite the truncations, the 1928 American B.C.P.'s Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer services flow nicely and one does not sense, abruptly during worship, how either of them has been shortened at certain points.

As for, most importantly of all, the Holy Communion service (Eucharist), both the 1928 U.S. and 1959/1962 Canadian Prayer Books follow precedents set in early Scottish Episcopal Church B.C.P. practice (and found in the more distinctly Scottish rite of the two forms of the Communion service found in the 1912 and 1929 Scottish Prayer Books, i.e. in their own "Scottish Liturgy", the 1929 book including, as the Eucharistic alternative therein, the 1928 form from the proposed English B.C.P. which the British Parliament never officially authorised); the alternative to the "Scottish Liturgy" in the 1912 Scottish B.C.P. had been the 1662 Holy Communion service. The "Scottish Liturgy", the more so from an "Anglo-Catholic" standpoint, is superior, in its own and in the American and Canadian adaptations of its primary Eucharistic Liturgy, to what one finds in the 1662 B.C.P. There is an irksome aspect of the 1962 Canadian book's Holy Communion service, however, in that its makes some slight internal and regrettable omissions in penitential phraseology (such phrasing being retained, fortunately, in the 1928 U.S. and in the Scottish Prayer Books of 1912 and 1929 and being found complete and unaltered, of course, in the 1662 B.C.P.).

A serious difference, indeed, is the 1928 U.S. Prayer Book's exclusion of the Athanasian Creed (which is included alike in the 1662 English, the 1912 and 1929 Scottish, and the 1962 Canadian Prayer Books). The Lutheran and some Reformed/Presbyterian churches, and the international Anglican Communion, long have acknowledged the place and importance of the Athanasian Creed in asserting and maintaining Trinitarian orthodoxy.

The much improved "Forms of Prayer To Be Used at Sea" in the Canadian B.C.P. (only sketchily presented in the 1662 B.C.P. and omitted altogether from the American 1928 B.C.P. and from the 1929 Scottish B.C.P., although it had been retained in the 1912 Scottish B.C.P.) is a service that, at least normally, would not be said in parish churches, but which I frequently like to say at home, as an alternative to Compline, when the time is lacking to pray the service of Evening Prayer.

The texts within the readings in the Lectionaries in all four of these traditional Cranmerian Prayer Books diverge somewhat. The 1662 B.C.P. hews exactly to the A.V., whereas there are various slight degrees of divergence here or there from the A.V.'s own wording in the U.S. 1928 and (especially) in the Canadian 1962 variants of the Book of Common Prayer. The 1929 Scottish B.C.P., for its part, was unwise in permitting greater or lesser use of the Revised Version (of 1881-1894) along with the A.V. Bible. The selection of which passages of Holy Scripture to read at worship diverges to various degrees between the four books, but that matter (and all the more due to what one finds in the Scottish Prayer Book in the main part of its "Tables of Lessons", as they apply to the provisions for Sundays regarding lections for Mattins, i.e. Morning Prayer, and for Evensong) is too complex to delve into here.

On a practical note, I would urge potential purchasers of one of the Cambridge University Press' (C.U.P.'s) own choice of editions in its array of Scottish Prayer Book products (the same applying to reprints thereof), at least from those which the C.U.P. itself printed in the receding past, to avoid ordering the Scottish B.C.P. in the tinier formats that C.U.P. issued. This is not due to print size of the text, per se, for all of the C.U.P. editions which I have seen, of whatever physical size, are printed with admirable clarity, even in the smallest bold typeface among them, but rather because of page format. For example, the edition which I own of the Scottish B.C.P. bound with (as issued) "The English Hymnal" (the latter presenting only the words of the hymns, without any musical notation), measuring 5 x 3 inches (12 x 8 cm.) is printed in double columns on each page. Visually, this lessens slightly the impact upon the eyes of the intended lineation, indentions, and so forth of the B.C.P.'s text and rubrics (although they remain clearly identifiable), making the text to look rather less inviting to the reader's sight. On the other hand, the still handily pocket-sized C.U.P. Scottish B.C.P. (without any hymnal included with it), which I also possess, measures 6 x 4 inches (15 x 9 cm.) has the Scottish B.C.P.'s text in a single column across each

page, more lovely to behold and more flowingly obvious to follow. (I evened off to the nearest inch or centimetre the measurements, at the original bindings, that I have just indicated.) For the still relatively small difference in size, the 6" volume is printed in considerably larger letters (and other characters) than what appears in the 5" one.

The traditional B.C.P. as used in the various Provinces of the Anglican Communion, as well as in, of course, the Continuing Church movement, thus all have their own distinguishing characteristics in several regards, and it is enriching to use a variety of them, as minor as the differences among them, for the most part, admittedly are. For those further interested, by the way, in how its 1912 and 1929 editions of the Scottish Prayer Book compare, I have written a review of the electronic print-out edition of the 1912 Scottish Prayer Book published by Filiquarian Publishing (a.k.a. "F.Q. Books") which compares to some extent these two variants of the Scottish Prayer Book.

Although the 1929 Scottish B.C.P. is not ideal in its every aspect, anyone who claims that the Scottish Prayer Book is the best of these various national Books of Common Prayer has plenty of good reasons to justify such a preference.

Scottish Book of Common Prayer Blue hardback,  NS650
Scottish Book of Common Prayer Blue hardback, NS650
by Prayer Book
Edition: Hardcover

5.0 out of 5 stars Scottish Episcopal Church's 1929 Prayer Book Stands Tall in the Company of Other Traditional Cranmerian Books of Common Prayer, June 6 2014
Most informed traditionalist Anglicans (including some Scottish Episcopalians, some Protestant Episcopalians, and "Continuing Church" Anglicans among them) are aware that it is the Scottish Prayer Book (of the Scottish Episcopal Church), in its various manifestations and texts over the centuries, that has had as great an impact, or nearly so, as the Church of England's 1662 Book of Common Prayer upon the traditional Books of Common Prayer of the United States (1928) and of the Dominion of Canada (1959/1962). However, many Anglicans and Episcopalians may wonder just how the respective English and Scottish strains of Prayer Book development manifest themselves in their respective traditionalist (Cranmerian) Prayer Books. From having used all of the still-current (among traditionalist Anglicans, at least) Books of Common Prayer in public worship and/or in my private devotions, I hope that I can clarify these points in comparing salient aspects (without going into labourious detail) of the 1662 (England), 1928 (U.S.), 1929 (Scotland), and 1962 (Canada) Prayer Books. These comments largely derive from a review of a combined B.C.P./A.V. Bible publication that I have reviewed elsewhere.

Hopefully, customers in the U. S. of A., England, the Dominion of Canada, and perhaps even elsewhere may find that these comments encourage them to obtain a copy of the 1929 Scottish Prayer Book, whatever other B.C.P. variant they use for most purposes.

Although, of course, for public Anglican worship here in the Dominion of Canada, I would take along a copy of the Canadian 1959/1962 B.C.P. rather than the 1662 B.C.P., I tend normally to use the 1662 B.C.P. when I say devotions from the Prayer Book at home, primarily from a preference for the unaltered Coverdale Psalter of the 1662 B.C.P. over the slightly divergent texts of the Coverdale Psalter as revised for the Protestant Episcopal Church's 1928 B.C.P. or the yet more frequent divergences from Coverdale found in the 1962 Anglican Church of Canada's B.C.P. To some extent, I also have begun to use The Scottish Book of Common Prayer, of 1929, which evidences a greater and more explicitly "catholic" spirit (including a greater degree of influence from Eastern Orthodoxy, too) and presents many advantages, practical and spiritual. One small example of an improvement in the 1929 Scottish B.C.P., relating to the Psalter, is the greater guidance that it provides in the use and choice of Psalms, in its "A Table of Proper Psalms, for Sundays and [some] Other Days throughout the Year". In fact, I have "tipped in" a copy of this table into my Canadian and English Prayer Books to help me out when negotiating use of their own Psalters.

There are other reasons, too, for going back and forth from the 1662, 1929 Scottish, and the North American B.C.P. editions, among them, for example, the inclusion of the service of Compline within the Scottish and Canadian editions of the B.C.P. (omitted from both the U.S. 1928 and English 1662 Prayer Books). There is, by the way, much difference of detail and breadth of expression, also in respective senses of devotional flux and flow, in evidence between the Scottish and Canadian services of Compline.

Moving on briefly to what is more significant, the U.S. 1928 text of Evening Prayer is shorter than the fuller forms of "Evensong" (as this service alternatively and lovingly also is named) in both the English 1662 and 1962 Canadian Prayer Books. The Protestant Episcopal Church's various editions of the B.C.P. over the years, somewhat less prominently, also had tinkered a bit with the text of Morning Prayer (Mattins), shortening it and making other alterations within it, as well. Despite the truncations, the 1928 American B.C.P.'s Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer services flow nicely and one does not sense, abruptly during worship, how either of them has been shortened at certain points.

As for, most importantly of all, the Holy Communion service (Eucharist), both the 1928 U.S. and 1959/1962 Canadian Prayer Books follow precedents set in early Scottish Episcopal Church B.C.P. practice (and found in the more distinctly Scottish rite of the two forms of the Communion service found in the 1912 and 1929 Scottish Prayer Books, i.e. in their own "Scottish Liturgy", the 1929 book including, as the Eucharistic alternative therein, the 1928 form from the proposed English B.C.P. which the British Parliament never officially authorised); the alternative to the "Scottish Liturgy" in the 1912 Scottish B.C.P. had been the 1662 Holy Communion service. The "Scottish Liturgy", the more so from an "Anglo-Catholic" standpoint, is superior, in its own and in the American and Canadian adaptations of its primary Eucharistic Liturgy, to what one finds in the 1662 B.C.P. There is an irksome aspect of the 1962 Canadian book's Holy Communion service, however, in that its makes some slight internal and regrettable omissions in penitential phraseology (such phrasing being retained, fortunately, in the 1928 U.S. and in the Scottish Prayer Books of 1912 and 1929 and being found complete and unaltered, of course, in the 1662 B.C.P.).

A serious difference, indeed, is the 1928 U.S. Prayer Book's exclusion of the Athanasian Creed (which is included alike in the 1662 English, the 1912 and 1929 Scottish, and the 1962 Canadian Prayer Books). The Lutheran and some Reformed/Presbyterian churches, and the international Anglican Communion, long have acknowledged the place and importance of the Athanasian Creed in asserting and maintaining Trinitarian orthodoxy.

The much improved "Forms of Prayer To Be Used at Sea" in the Canadian B.C.P. (only sketchily presented in the 1662 B.C.P. and omitted altogether from the American 1928 B.C.P. and from the 1929 Scottish B.C.P., although it had been retained in the 1912 Scottish B.C.P.) is a service that, at least normally, would not be said in parish churches, but which I frequently like to say at home, as an alternative to Compline, when the time is lacking to pray the service of Evening Prayer.

The texts within the readings in the Lectionaries in all four of these traditional Cranmerian Prayer Books diverge somewhat. The 1662 B.C.P. hews exactly to the A.V., whereas there are various slight degrees of divergence here or there from the A.V.'s own wording in the U.S. 1928 and (especially) in the Canadian 1962 variants of the Book of Common Prayer. The 1929 Scottish B.C.P., for its part, was unwise in permitting greater or lesser use of the Revised Version (of 1881-1894) along with the A.V. Bible. The selection of which passages of Holy Scripture to read at worship diverges to various degrees between the four books, but that matter (and all the more due to what one finds in the Scottish Prayer Book in the main part of its "Tables of Lessons", as they apply to the provisions for Sundays regarding lections for Mattins, i.e. Morning Prayer, and for Evensong) is too complex to delve into here.

On a practical note, I would urge potential purchasers of one of the Cambridge University Press' (C.U.P.'s) own choice of editions in its array of Scottish Prayer Book products (the same applying to reprints thereof), at least from those which the C.U.P. itself printed in the receding past, to avoid ordering the Scottish B.C.P. in the tinier formats that C.U.P. issued. This is not due to print size of the text, per se, for all of the C.U.P. editions which I have seen, of whatever physical size, are printed with admirable clarity, even in the smallest bold typeface among them, but rather because of page format. For example, the edition which I own of the Scottish B.C.P. bound with (as issued) "The English Hymnal" (the latter presenting only the words of the hymns, without any musical notation), measuring 5 x 3 inches (12 x 8 cm.) is printed in double columns on each page. Visually, this lessens slightly the impact upon the eyes of the intended lineation, indentions, and so forth of the B.C.P.'s text and rubrics (although they remain clearly identifiable), making the text to look rather less inviting to the reader's sight. On the other hand, the still handily pocket-sized C.U.P. Scottish B.C.P. (without any hymnal included with it), which I also possess, measures 6 x 4 inches (15 x 9 cm.) has the Scottish B.C.P.'s text in a single column across each

page, more lovely to behold and more flowingly obvious to follow. (I evened off to the nearest inch or centimetre the measurements, at the original bindings, that I have just indicated.) For the still relatively small difference in size, the 6" volume is printed in considerably larger letters (and other characters) than what appears in the 5" one.

The traditional B.C.P. as used in the various Provinces of the Anglican Communion, as well as in, of course, the Continuing Church movement, thus all have their own distinguishing characteristics in several regards, and it is enriching to use a variety of them, as minor as the differences among them, for the most part, admittedly are. For those further interested, by the way, in how its 1912 and 1929 editions of the Scottish Prayer Book compare, I have written a review of the electronic print-out edition of the 1912 Scottish Prayer Book published by Filiquarian Publishing (a.k.a. "F.Q. Books") which compares to some extent these two variants of the Scottish Prayer Book.

Although the 1929 Scottish B.C.P. is not ideal in its every aspect, anyone who claims that the Scottish Prayer Book is the best of these various national Books of Common Prayer has plenty of good reasons to justify such a preference.

Scottish Prayer Book, 1929
Scottish Prayer Book, 1929
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Scottish Prayer Book Holds Its Own against Claims as the Best One, along beside the Canadian and U.S. Books of Common Prayer, June 6 2014
Most informed traditionalist Anglicans (including some Scottish Episcopalians, some Protestant Episcopalians, and "Continuing Church" Anglicans among them) are aware that it is the Scottish Prayer Book (of the Scottish Episcopal Church), in its various manifestations and texts over the centuries, that has had as great an impact, or nearly so, as the Church of England's 1662 Book of Common Prayer upon the traditional Books of Common Prayer of the United States (1928) and of the Dominion of Canada (1959/1962). However, many Anglicans and Episcopalians may wonder just how the respective English and Scottish strains of Prayer Book development manifest themselves in their respective traditionalist (Cranmerian) Prayer Books. From having used all of the still-current (among traditionalist Anglicans, at least) Books of Common Prayer in public worship and/or in my private devotions, I hope that I can clarify these points in comparing salient aspects (without going into labourious detail) of the 1662 (England), 1928 (U.S.), 1929 (Scotland), and 1962 (Canada) Prayer Books. These comments largely derive from a review of a combined B.C.P./A.V. Bible publication that I have reviewed elsewhere.

Hopefully, customers in the U. S. of A., England, the Dominion of Canada, and perhaps even elsewhere may find that these comments encourage them to obtain a copy of the 1929 Scottish Prayer Book, whatever other B.C.P. variant they use for most purposes.

Although, of course, for public Anglican worship here in the Dominion of Canada, I would take along a copy of the Canadian 1959/1962 B.C.P. rather than the 1662 B.C.P., I tend normally to use the 1662 B.C.P. when I say devotions from the Prayer Book at home, primarily from a preference for the unaltered Coverdale Psalter of the 1662 B.C.P. over the slightly divergent texts of the Coverdale Psalter as revised for the Protestant Episcopal Church's 1928 B.C.P. or the yet more frequent divergences from Coverdale found in the 1962 Anglican Church of Canada's B.C.P. To some extent, I also have begun to use The Scottish Book of Common Prayer, of 1929, which evidences a greater and more explicitly "catholic" spirit (including a greater degree of influence from Eastern Orthodoxy, too) and presents many advantages, practical and spiritual. One small example of an improvement in the 1929 Scottish B.C.P., relating to the Psalter, is the greater guidance that it provides in the use and choice of Psalms, in its "A Table of Proper Psalms, for Sundays and [some] Other Days throughout the Year". In fact, I have "tipped in" a copy of this table into my Canadian and English Prayer Books to help me out when negotiating use of their own Psalters.

There are other reasons, too, for going back and forth from the 1662, 1929 Scottish, and the North American B.C.P. editions, among them, for example, the inclusion of the service of Compline within the Scottish and Canadian editions of the B.C.P. (omitted from both the U.S. 1928 and English 1662 Prayer Books). There is, by the way, much difference of detail and breadth of expression, also in respective senses of devotional flux and flow, in evidence between the Scottish and Canadian services of Compline.

Moving on briefly to what is more significant, the U.S. 1928 text of Evening Prayer is shorter than the fuller forms of "Evensong" (as this service alternatively and lovingly also is named) in both the English 1662 and 1962 Canadian Prayer Books. The Protestant Episcopal Church's various editions of the B.C.P. over the years, somewhat less prominently, also had tinkered a bit with the text of Morning Prayer (Mattins), shortening it and making other alterations within it, as well. Despite the truncations, the 1928 American B.C.P.'s Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer services flow nicely and one does not sense, abruptly during worship, how either of them has been shortened at certain points.

As for, most importantly of all, the Holy Communion service (Eucharist), both the 1928 U.S. and 1959/1962 Canadian Prayer Books follow precedents set in early Scottish Episcopal Church B.C.P. practice (and found in the more distinctly Scottish rite of the two forms of the Communion service found in the 1912 and 1929 Scottish Prayer Books, i.e. in their own "Scottish Liturgy", the 1929 book including, as the Eucharistic alternative therein, the 1928 form from the proposed English B.C.P. which the British Parliament never officially authorised); the alternative to the "Scottish Liturgy" in the 1912 Scottish B.C.P. had been the 1662 Holy Communion service. The "Scottish Liturgy", the more so from an "Anglo-Catholic" standpoint, is superior, in its own and in the American and Canadian adaptations of its primary Eucharistic Liturgy, to what one finds in the 1662 B.C.P. There is an irksome aspect of the 1962 Canadian book's Holy Communion service, however, in that its makes some slight internal and regrettable omissions in penitential phraseology (such phrasing being retained, fortunately, in the 1928 U.S. and in the Scottish Prayer Books of 1912 and 1929 and being found complete and unaltered, of course, in the 1662 B.C.P.).

A serious difference, indeed, is the 1928 U.S. Prayer Book's exclusion of the Athanasian Creed (which is included alike in the 1662 English, the 1912 and 1929 Scottish, and the 1962 Canadian Prayer Books). The Lutheran and some Reformed/Presbyterian churches, and the international Anglican Communion, long have acknowledged the place and importance of the Athanasian Creed in asserting and maintaining Trinitarian orthodoxy.

The much improved "Forms of Prayer To Be Used at Sea" in the Canadian B.C.P. (only sketchily presented in the 1662 B.C.P. and omitted altogether from the American 1928 B.C.P. and from the 1929 Scottish B.C.P., although it had been retained in the 1912 Scottish B.C.P.) is a service that, at least normally, would not be said in parish churches, but which I frequently like to say at home, as an alternative to Compline, when the time is lacking to pray the service of Evening Prayer.

The texts within the readings in the Lectionaries in all four of these traditional Cranmerian Prayer Books diverge somewhat. The 1662 B.C.P. hews exactly to the A.V., whereas there are various slight degrees of divergence here or there from the A.V.'s own wording in the U.S. 1928 and (especially) in the Canadian 1962 variants of the Book of Common Prayer. The 1929 Scottish B.C.P., for its part, was unwise in permitting greater or lesser use of the Revised Version (of 1881-1894) along with the A.V. Bible. The selection of which passages of Holy Scripture to read at worship diverges to various degrees between the four books, but that matter (and all the more due to what one finds in the Scottish Prayer Book in the main part of its "Tables of Lessons", as they apply to the provisions for Sundays regarding lections for Mattins, i.e. Morning Prayer, and for Evensong) is too complex to delve into here.

On a practical note, I would urge potential purchasers of one of the Cambridge University Press' (C.U.P.'s) own choice of editions in its array of Scottish Prayer Book products (the same applying to reprints thereof), at least from those which the C.U.P. itself printed in the receding past, to avoid ordering the Scottish B.C.P. in the tinier formats that C.U.P. issued. This is not due to print size of the text, per se, for all of the C.U.P. editions which I have seen, of whatever physical size, are printed with admirable clarity, even in the smallest bold typeface among them, but rather because of page format. For example, the edition which I own of the Scottish B.C.P. bound with (as issued) "The English Hymnal" (the latter presenting only the words of the hymns, without any musical notation), measuring 5 x 3 inches (12 x 8 cm.) is printed in double columns on each page. Visually, this lessens slightly the impact upon the eyes of the intended lineation, indentions, and so forth of the B.C.P.'s text and rubrics (although they remain clearly identifiable), making the text to look rather less inviting to the reader's sight. On the other hand, the still handily pocket-sized C.U.P. Scottish B.C.P. (without any hymnal included with it), which I also possess, measures 6 x 4 inches (15 x 9 cm.) has the Scottish B.C.P.'s text in a single column across each

page, more lovely to behold and more flowingly obvious to follow. (I evened off to the nearest inch or centimetre the measurements, at the original bindings, that I have just indicated.) For the still relatively small difference in size, the 6" volume is printed in considerably larger letters (and other characters) than what appears in the 5" one.

The traditional B.C.P. as used in the various Provinces of the Anglican Communion, as well as in, of course, the Continuing Church movement, thus all have their own distinguishing characteristics in several regards, and it is enriching to use a variety of them, as minor as the differences among them, for the most part, admittedly are. For those further interested, by the way, in how its 1912 and 1929 editions of the Scottish Prayer Book compare, I have written a review of the electronic print-out edition of the 1912 Scottish Prayer Book published by Filiquarian Publishing (a.k.a. "F.Q. Books") which compares to some extent these two variants of the Scottish Prayer Book.

Although the 1929 Scottish B.C.P. is not ideal in its every aspect, anyone who claims that the Scottish Prayer Book is the best of these various national Books of Common Prayer has plenty of good reasons to justify such a preference.

The story of the English prayer book;: Its origin and developments. With special chapters on the Scottish, Irish, American, and Canadian prayer books
The story of the English prayer book;: Its origin and developments. With special chapters on the Scottish, Irish, American, and Canadian prayer books

4.0 out of 5 stars Dyson's Intensely Low Church Evangelical Approach in Discussing the Book of Common Prayer Is Adamantly One-Sided, but Useful, June 5 2014
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The main consideration (although not Dyson Hague's own chief concern in writing his book) to impress upon the potential Canadian purchaser of this book is that where it writes of developments in Dominion of Canada, Hague's native homeland, it concerns NOT the 1959/1962 edition of Canada's "Book of Common Prayer", but rather the preceding edition of the Canadian B.C.P., that of 1918/1922. Actually, Dyson Hague's book mostly recounts the history of the Book of Common Prayer in England, in its editions between 1549 and 1662.

Here is a full ISBD-based citation of the work (which has been reprinted several times in recent years) for the original edition of it:

The Story of the English Prayer-Book : Its Origins and Developments, with Special Chapters on the Scottish, Irish, American, and Canadian Prayer Books / by Dyson Hague. -- London, Eng. : Longmans, Green, and Co., 1926. -- viii, 279 p.

There are later "editions" of Hague's book, including a "Third Edition" of 1949 and one preceding that in 1930, as well, of which each amounts to merely a reprint of the 1926 book with the useful addition of an index. Thus the later "editions", so-called, essentially are only later printings, apart from the matter of that index, of the 1926 edition's viii + 279 pages with the index (following blank p. [280]) which appears in the double columns of p. [281]-283 bringing the 1930 and 1949 volumes to 283 pages. One would think that Hague, still alive and active up to the time of his death in 1935, would have added comments to discuss some of the revisions of the Prayer Book published from the mid-1920s until 1930, but that is not the case.

What applies to the Prayer Book of Canada pertains to others as well, i.e. that it is the Scottish B.C.P. of 1912, not the 1929 revision of it, which Hague describes as the then-current and most recent edition; it is the 1892 B.C.P. of the U. S. of A., not the 1928 American B.C.P. (and most certainly not the 1979 roguish would-be B.C.P.!); and it is the 1878 (or, as Hague refers to it, the 1877) Church of Ireland B.C.P., not the 1926 (or any later Irish B.C.P.) of which Hague's book treats. Dyson, to varying degrees, mentions aspects of yet earlier Prayer Books in these same Anglican provinces and, in general, how the character of these lands' Anglican liturgies developed over time.

Dyson Hague was a Canadian clergyman of zealously Low Church Evangelical convictions, who himself worked on the 1918/1922 Canadian B.C.P. revision, which Adn. William James Armitage, whom Hague greatly esteemed, chaired. Hague was active, at various points of his career, in Halifax, Brockville, London (Ont.), and in Toronto of those days of yore.

Despite this review's emphasis upon sister Anglican liturgies rather that to England's great 1662 Book of Common Prayer and to its forerunners, Hague himself discusses in interesting detail, and at much greater length, the various English revisions of the Church of England's Prayer Book, i.e. those of 1549, 1552, 1559, 1604, all leading up to England's great and enduring 1662 Book of Common Prayer, as well as sundry attempts over the years at revision before and after 1662, which, fortunately, never were authorised for use. Needless to say, the 1928 Church of England proposed Book of Common Prayer, like some other revisions of the 1920s in the U. S. of A., in Scotland, and in Ireland, were authorised and published just a wee bit too much later for Hague to have been able to discuss them, although he does mention some revision processes then in progress which only shortly later would result in the publication and/or adoption of some important Anglican liturgies during that same decade.

For Hague, the Protestant and Anglo-Catholic respective poles of influence on liturgical revision hinge upon developments which most crucially were typified in the books of 1549, 1552 (England), and 1637 (Scotland). The dominant Protestant strain in the history of B.C.P., in England and elsewhere, has pivoted around the lasting heritage of the 1552 English B.C.P., the second one to appear during the reign of King Edward VI's reign. On the other hand, the explicitly or implicitly High Church and, ultimately, Anglo-Catholic tinged Prayer Books have derived from the 1549 Church of England's B.C.P., usually mediated through the 1637 B.C.P. Episcopal Church of Scotland's Prayer Book, which so clearly was based on the 1549 model.

As Hague sums up (on page 148 of his book), in his own words and manner, the differences, between the lingeringly Catholic first Prayer Book (of 1549) and the highly Protestantised Second Prayer Book (of 1552),

"[T]here were throughout the First Prayer Book [of 1549] generally, in all the services, expressions and practices which were clear indications of a lingering Romanism; in the first revision of the Prayer Book [i.e. in the B.C.P. of 1552], which occurred within three years, all these things were intentionally removed, and they are not now found in the Church of England."

Thus, as Hague sees things, it has been the Protestant element (i.e. Reformed rather than either Lutheran or Anglo-Catholic) in Prayer Books, among those deriving specifically from the 1552 B.C.P., which essentially came to dominate most revisions over the centuries. Even with all of the numerous liturgical variants and changes across the centuries, ultimately and most notably in the Church of England's 1662 B.C.P., as well as in the Church of Ireland's 1878 Prayer Book (among the national Prayer Book traditions upon which Hague chose to focus, and, of course, there are many others that exist), it is the 1552 Protestant-Reformed determinative element that is the most notable influence upon these later editions.

As for Canada, the Protestant-Reformed emphasis apparently still was to the forefront in its 1918/1922 B.C.P. However, after Hague's own lifetime (which ended with his death in 1935) the 1959/1962 Canadian Prayer Book would appear and would reflect the 1637 Scottish influence; largely thanks to the persistent endeavours of Fr. Roland F. Palmer, who was on its revision team, the 1962 Canadian B.C.P. would become as suited, even more so, to the liking of the Anglo-Catholic party in the Anglican Church of Canada than the 1928 American B.C.P. (and its previous revisions) endeared itself to the Anglo-Catholics in the U. S. of A. The American B.C.P.'s editions over the years had reflected some of the same Scottish Eucharistic preferences, although the structure of "The Scottish Liturgy" itself diverged, in a Catholic direction, even further from the Protestantised English models of 1552 onwards than either the 1928 American or 1962 Canadian Prayer Books did so. Nevertheless, it is "The Scottish Liturgy" (the indigenous Eucharistic rite, of the two included, within the Scottish B.C.P.) which has remained closest to the first Edwardine Prayer Book of 1549.

However much this makes Anglo-Catholics squirm with discomfort, it must be said that from 1559 onwards, when the Elizabethan Prayer Book confirmed the second Edwardine liturgy of 1552, the Lord's Supper in the successive English Prayer Books has been essentially a Protestant service of Holy Communion rather than a Catholic (or even Lutheran) form of the Holy Eucharist. That is the case, with little doubt, also with the Irish and first Canadian Prayer Books, as well. Only the 1549 English and 1637 Scottish Prayer Books are clearly Catholic-minded, in the natural understanding of what that implies, in their rites for the Eucharist. The 1892 and even the later 1928 American editions of the B.C.P. (the latter remaining unmentioned by Hague even in the 1930 "edition" of his book), and the 1962 Canadian Prayer Book too, do not veer from the 1552 model sufficiently to rule out a Protestant-Reformed conception of their provisions for the Eucharist, even if a Lutheran or an Anglo-Catholic understanding is justifiable with some "special pleading".

It is in the services of Morning Prayer (Mattins) and of Evening Prayer (Evensong) for which the 1552 B.C.P. provided the definitive model shaping these services in all subsequent Prayer Book revisions, the most Catholic as well as the most Protestant among them. The 1549 B.C.P.'s provisions for these worship services had been, by comparison, too incomplete to serve as an acceptable alternative, either for Catholic-minded or for more Protestant-leaning Anglicans.

Although this reviewer would agree, however reluctantly, with Dyson Hague's insistence that the Book of Common Prayer is an essentially Protestant document, one still can contest his insistence that it is so thoroughly Zwinglian in its provisions for the Holy Eucharist or that it is so Calvinistic regarding the other sacraments and the B.C.P.'s overall theological orientation. Despite Hague's dismissal of the influence of Martin Luther and of Martin Bucer, the Book of Common Prayer and Anglicanism's "39 Articles of Religion" clearly can be understood, without undue distortion, as reflecting much of those two Reformers' respective theologies, albeit obviously not entirely. Even Dyson Hague, in this book (but not necessarily in others of his writings, if memory is reliable about what they have to say about Baptism), at least tacitly therein, would seem to accept that the baptism rite in the Book of Common Prayer assumes the doctrine of baptismal regeneration, rather than the teaching of Zwingli and the other Zürich Reformers. It was Lutherans on the European Continent who, among Protestants, most clearly taught Baptismal Regeneration, little differing in anything essential from earlier Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox doctrine. Anglicanism did not veer away very significantly from such teaching about Baptism.

Martin Bucer, the Strasbourg Reformer, in fact, exerted a great influence over the Reformation in the Low Countries and in the British Isles. Bucer's teaching, regarding the Holy Communion, entailed what is called "Receptionism", a doctrinal stance that attempted to maintain the Real Presence without localising it too specifically in the consecrated elements of the Eucharist. In this regard, Bucer's teaching was at a midway point between Luther's teaching, i.e. of what most non-Lutheran theologians refer to as "consubstantiation", and Calvin's highly attenuated teaching about the sacramental efficacy of the Holy Communion despite the absence of some kind of "Real Presence". Even further to the radical side of the Reformation, Zwingli denied both the Real Presence, whether conceived as Rome, Luther, or Bucer formulated it, and even Calvin's conception of an objective sacramental efficacy operative, in a very attenuated sense, in the Reformed "Ordinance" of the Lord's Supper.

Dyson Hague, essentially, sided with Zwingli, as all too many (but not all) Low Church Anglicans did then and still do, so it is not surprising that Hague denounces the Lutheran teaching about the Eucharist and that his book casts aspersions upon Bucer's doctrine as well. Rather cagily (one even could say deviously), Dyson Hague limits himself to mentioning Bucer as little as possible, shortchanging Martin Bucer's great influence on Anglican, Presbyterian, and Dutch Reformed doctrine and on the Confessional and liturgical documents that embody them. Zwingli's position never totally claimed adherence among Anglican clergy, even if the 1552, 1559, 1604, and even the 1662 B.C.P., if truth be told, essentially represent that Zürich position "hook, line, and sinker" in the wording of the Holy Communion Service, thus departing from the quintessentially Lutheran stance so obviously in evidence in the 1549 Prayer Book and also, a bit later, in "The Scottish Liturgy" expressed, from 1637 onwards, in the Episcopal Church of Scotland's Prayer Books, as well to a certain, albeit lesser extent, as given voice in the American Prayer Books and in the 1959/1962 Canadian B.C.P., insofar as "The Scottish Liturgy" partially influenced them.

Thus, although the attitude towards, and the theology concerning, the Holy Eucharist and other sacraments, of Zwingli and the Zürich school of Protestantism came to be dominant in the Church of England's liturgy, Bucer's (and at times, even Luther's) sacramental theology always was evident also, to at least some degree, in how the various sacraments as formulated in the Book of Common Prayer, were understood. If there be any long-lasting trace of sacramental validity, and thus continuity with Medieval Catholic dogmatic heritage, in Anglicanism's history, it is due to the impact of Luther and Bucer upon the sacramental understanding (among at least a minority of bishops and other clergy in the Church of England and in its sister Anglican churches) of the Prayer Book's provisions for celebrating the rites within it. Dyson Hague himself exulted in what he regards as a clean break with the Catholic past in the Prayer Book from 1552 onwards, but many Anglicans, in his day, before that, and since his lifetime, would contest such an attitude.

Whatever one thinks of Dyson Hague's own rather extreme Protestantism (at least by Lutheran or even Anglican standards), "The Story of the English Prayer Book" provides much fascinating detail about the Book of Common Prayer and the context of the times and places in which its use has flourished. For more detail from Hague expressing his hyper-Protestant Anglican views, his book, "The Protestantism of the Prayer Book", very thoroughly covers his own views about the sacraments, which the more Calvinist and Low Church Arminian parties within Anglican churches have shared. That thoroughness of approach and detail, in both of these books (which alike are of such moderate length) renders Dyson Hague's studies valuable to readers of all theological persuasions.

Ravel, Prokofiev, Britten: Piano Works for the Left Hand
Ravel, Prokofiev, Britten: Piano Works for the Left Hand
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4.0 out of 5 stars Leon Fleischer, Left Alone or Both Hands, at Various Parts of His Career, Has Been One of the Keyboard Greats of His TImes!, May 17 2014
Leon Fleischer always has been an astute and highly virtuosic pianist. Fortunately, while he lacked the use of his right hand, he continued to record left hand works as he had the opportunity, such as the recordings on this CD (Sony Classical SK-47-188) from 1990 (the works by Ravel and Britten) and from 1991 (the concerto by Prokofiev on the CD). This has been a boon to the record catalogues, for Fleisher's piano left-hand work has been of extraordinary quality, possibly the best in such repertory. He had been one of the very greatest and most artistic, rigourously musical and intellectual keyboard players of the 20th century before fate made him turn to the repertory for left hand alone.

One might wonder if the loss of a leg some day may inspire a front-ranking organist to turn to organ music composed for left foot alone at the pedals, or even, perhaps, for left foot alone, no hands! Musically speaking, organ, left hand and left foot alone, failing away at their respective keyboards (the performer bracing himself in place with the unused right foot and leg, real or prosthetic, to avoid toppling over), might offer better results for listening and, further still, might astonish folks all the more. There must be some repertory here and there, if only technical studies before now not frequently (if ever) played in recital or concert. Of course, the same thing could be done on a piano fitted out with a pedal keyboard. Each of these phenomena certainly would be an innovation for most listeners! (Or would they? so much that is unanticipated, so many surprising stunts, have been perpetrated already!)

However, all kidding aside, it is possible at the piano to make great music with only one hand, and Fleisher has done that aplenty, with his left one, including in the works on this disc. He has recorded Ravel's left-hand concerto prior to this Sony outing, back in 1982 (Vanguard Classics ATM-CD-1814, as reissued on CD in "The Historical Series"), recorded with the insufficiently known but widely respected and very fine orchestra in Baltimore, to excellent result, under considerably better and more stylish conducting on Sergiu Comissiona's part, than the same music fares at the hands of Seiji Ozawa with the prestigious Boston Symphony Orchestra.

The impediment of having Ozawa at the podium, however, is not so bad for the works by Britten, or even for Prokofiev, if only because the recorded competition, especially for Britten's work, does not so seriously show up Ozawa's contribution as the mere hack-work that his conducting usually is on this and most other (but, thankfully, not quite all) of his variously live- and studio-recorded work at the helm of Boston's orchestra and of others elsewhere. Get the disc (and supplement it, by all means, with Fleisher's earlier recording of Ravel's concerto), sit back, and enjoy some great music.

Thus, to continue by starting with Ravel's left-hand concerto, there simply is no comparison with the 1982 Vanguard account of that work, which, despite the difference of eight years between them, is even better recorded than Sony's effort. Fleisher and Comissiona simply enchant the listener on their Vanguard recording of the concerto by Ravel, whereas the 1990 recording just lumbers along by comparison. The tempi are faster and tauter, to marvellously invigourating effect, on the 1982 recording, whereas the 1990 performance, trudging and plodding along like a musical pachyderm, never really quite gets fully into gear. The sound of both the orchestra and of the piano on the Sony recording seems like an insufficiently detailed blur, downright blowzy for the orchestra; as for the piano or, perhaps, the way that it was recorded, there is a vast difference between the clarity and tonally varied timbre of the piano which Fleisher used for the Vanguard recording, so completely suited to this quintessentially French music, and the rich but excessively rotund, monochromatic sound of the instrument which he plays on the Sony recording, one that probably is better suited to some German and English music than it is to French or Slavic repertory.

The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, for Vanguard, covers itself in glory as Sergiu Comissiona so skillfully leads it to such delectable effect. The orchestral sound there is clear, replete with seasoning as well as juice, and gloriously colourful. Compare Baltimore's exquisite results to what the Boston Symphony Orchestra delivers here under Ozawa's baton. Before Ozawa had succeeded, as he so egotistically desired and intended, to destroy the special character of that ensemble, considered widely as the best French orchestra in the world (even if, ironically, it was not not in a country of "La Francophonie"), that great Bostonian musical institution excelled in French and Russian repertoire, as the numerous recordings on which Sergei Koussevitzky, Pierre Monteux, Charles Munch, and Erich Leinsdorf conducted. Those great men brilliantly documented the Boston Symphony Orchestra for posterity, nearly always in exceedingly good sound for their respective times at the orchestra's helm and in R.C.A.'s recording studios. During those decades of glory, the Boston Symphony Orchestra was one of the very greatest orchestras ("French" or otherwise) in the entire world and generally was recognised as such. Seiji Ozawa's attempt to alter the sound, character, and balance of repertoire concentration of the Boston ensemble only succeeded (as it did so, regrettably) in "blanding-down" its musical character, resulting in it becoming "just another" generic-sounding musical formation of the kind. It is not "nice" to say this, but, reader, one could hope that Ozawa rots during a long stretch in Purgatory for having done what he so perversely intended and, sadly, accomplished in Boston.

So, if the Amazon buyer is above all seeking a recording of the Ravel concerto, the Vanguard CD is the one to have. Anyway, he should keep in mind that the couplings on Vanguard's disc which come with the Ravel left-hand piano concerto are not concerted works, but rather symphonic music by the same composer, namely Ravel's "Alborada del gracioso" and the "Rapsodie espagnole".

As for the Sony recording, of course, there is more on it than just the concerto by Ravel. Be forwarned, however, that an interpretive approach that works so well with French music almost always is the best one for Russian repertory, too: Prokofiev was Russian, in case the reader needs reminder of that fact, so Ozawa's part in the musical proceedings of Prokofiev's own concerto for piano, left-hand alone, with orchestra, at first thought would not seem to bode well, even if the redoubtable Leon Fleisher is the soloist; on the other hand, there is no studio-recorded competition, under the baton of another conductor but also with Fleisher's participation, available for the other works.

However, in Prokofiev's work things turn out well, anyway. This concerto by Prokofiev is one of his works more in the manner of his "internationalist", pan-European vein of the mild modernism of its time. Prokofiev composed it in 1931 before he returned to the U.S.S.R. to live, and thereupon to rethink his musical style, so the concerto is neither very overtly Russian nor Gallic in spirit and manner. The work thus is stylistically less elusive than Ravel's concerto, and, furthermore, tends to be more extroverted, being sophisticated compositionally but emotionally rather brittle, remaining friskily in the shallows for the most part. This well suits the limited capacities and drab sensibilities of a dullard like Ozawa, who is a musician of narrow range. The tempi in the Prokofiev recorded performance convince the listener more than they did in the Ravel, there being neither a sense of dragging (as there is in the tempi that the performers set for Ravel's concerto) nor of rush. One is able to admire Fleisher's playing without feeling that the conductor is "clipping the wings" of the soloist in the way that Ozawa does just that in Ravel's music. This time, incidentally, the instrument that Fleisher plays is thoroughly well suited to Prokofiev's work. One has to regret, getting back to the conductor, that Fleisher did not record Prokofiev's concerto earlier in Boston, when Erich Leinsdorf, one of the greatest exponents among conductors of Prokofiev's music, could have been on the podium, to draw more from Prokofiev's music than Ozawa (or all too many other conductors) ever could so much as comprehend to be there. Sigh! What a missed opportunity---.

The concluding work on Sony's CD is Benjamin Britten's "Diversions", op. 21. It is basically a musical romp for the pianist (left hand only playing, as in the other works on the disc), the work taking the form of a theme with variations that include a final Tarantella. Britten's talents as an orchestrator and as a cunning writer for piano, too (that composer himself having been quite a marvellous pianist, especially as an accompanist), come mostly to the fore. His melodic sense, as usual in his music (apart from his choral works), is rather bald and contrived, resorting too much to sequential writing ("riding the riffs" as a jazzman might put it) in an attempt to conceal the paucity of invention. However, the work is spirited and gives the pianist's left hand quite a frisky work-out. Leon Fleisher, needless to say, lacks nothing to make the most of that, so Britten's music concludes the disc, in high spirits, very honourably.

Tchaikovsky;Peter Ilyitch Swan
Tchaikovsky;Peter Ilyitch Swan
DVD ~ Gillian Murphy
Price: CDN$ 29.99
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderfully Satisfying, Virtuosic Performance (in All of the Roles, Principal and Secondary) of Tchaikowsky's Great "Swan Lake", May 13 2014
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Just as one finds a DVD or VHS of a production of a classical ballet that seems that it HAS TO BE definitive, along come other releases with perhaps equally sublime performances. How to choose, for example and for starters, among current and vintage male dancers such as Carlos Acosta, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Ángel Corella, Gus van Heerden, Roberto Bolle, Rudolf Nureyev, Erik Bruhn, Edward Vallella, Kevin Haigen, Sergei Polunin, and so, so many others whom it is an injustice not to enumerate, but who, indeed, fortunately for ballet audiences now and in decades past, are so numerous. (I would have listed, for example, in that short list, Yuri Soloviev, a titan among them, but there is, regrettably, too little commercial video documentation of his career; the same also applies, alas, to many other similarly unfortunate cases of great dancers whose work has lacked sufficient documention on film or video.)

The American Ballet Theatre's production, copyrighted 2005, which this DVD records, of Tchaikowsky's "Swan Lake" (Thirteen/WNET New York ID-1987-WNDVD), distributed by Image Entertainment) is a version of the tale and of its choreography (Kevin McKenzie having adapted a bit what Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov had devised for the long standard version) which concludes tragically (but transcendently) rather than have the mortally happy ending sometimes encountered. The slow introduction of Tchaikowsky's score, not the usual practice, is danced, in order to provide some of the backstory of the tale. The ballet as seen here is finely and beautifully costumed and staged, exhibiting NONE of the Neo-trash excesses that designers and their colleagues all too often devise nowadays to spoil their own, Tchaikowsky's, and Petipa's work.

The casting of the production is, indeed, particularly blessed on the male side. Herman Cornejo, as Price Siegfried's friend, Benno, is so spectacular in technic and easy grace, with amazing leaps and other feats of acrobatic skill, that he comes close at times to upstaging even Ángel Corella, one of the great male classical dancers of our day (writing this in 2014), who portrays the Prince. What a treat to have two such consummately superb dancers in the male contingent of this production! Then there is Marcelo Gomes as the human Rothbart (the demonic counterpart of von Rothbart's character being Isaac Stappas). Gomes only merits mention after the others because his role does not abound so many of the star turns that Corella and Cornejo have in so much greater profusion and possibilities, but Gomes, for his part, has an insolent intensity and voraciously pansexual stage presence that seize the viewer's attention when he is "front and centre".

As for Ángel Corella, in his vigourously youthful-looking mid-30s when this American Ballet Theatre "Swan Lake" was filmed on tour in, or on visit to, Washington, D.C., his dancing has a skill and smoothly lithe grace and lyricism of movement, even when lifting and hauling ballerinas without even the slightest trace of effort; when Corella raises the ballerina over his head, manoeuvring her into vertical position upside down above him, one has to admire the man's sheer strength, especially when not even a single muscular twitch, spasm, or tremor is evident, so gracefully does he accomplish this sort of thing (doing so as well, for that matter, as the more obviously ruggèd Carlos Acosta accomplishes such feats so phenomenally well in that dancer's own performances)! Beholding the sheer beauty of Corella's every motion is almost enough to make one weep for joy. Corella overwhelmingly merits his status as such a great star. He acts out the drama with sensitivity and emotion, too (even if by far the most convincing, and certainly most beguiling, moods of his virile stage presence are those of joy and romantic ardour).

Gillian Murphy, who plays the dual (and very contrasting) roles of Odette and Odile, is a ballerina of graceful strength, athletic prowess, and sensibility. She contrasts wonderfully the prevailingly elegiac spirit that pervades Odette's part, and, by contrast, she makes the most of Odile's manipulatively sensual and cynically brittle posing and dazzling virtuosity. It is quite an accomplishment to portray each side of female personae which contrast so starkly as this. The corps de ballet, all of its men and ladies alike, are a joy to behold and the orchestra's playing is admirable in every way.

I hope to acquire yet other DVDs of "Swan Lake" as well as to keep this American Ballet Theatre edition. I am not an expert or scholar of dance, but I am a fairly well informed fan, I think, with numerous dancers as friends over the years (and parents whose ballroom and folk dancing skills were of an high order) who have helped me to appreciate what such terpsichorean-type thespians do on stage. Being on the verge of my 71st birthday, now stiff and increasingly enfeebled by old age that is engulfing me, I all the more rejoice in the prowess and athletic exuberance of dance of any physically demanding kind (from jitterbug and break dance right up to classical ballet). Even if I never were to acquire another DVD of "Swan Lake", I would feel satisfactorily assured and totally content to have just this one.

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