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New glossary to help with traditional words in Book of Common Prayer

Thu 14 Sep 2017
By Premier Journalist

Students starting theological school this year will receive a glossary alongside their Book of Common Prayer.

The Prayer Book Society has decided that alongside providing a copy of the Book of a Common prayer to all new theology school students they will provide an explanation of the more old-fashioned language or words which now have a different meaning.

Fergus Butler-Gallie, an ordinand training at Westcott House, was asked to research and draft the list after Tim Stanley, the press officer for the Prayer Book Society came up with the idea.

Butler-Gallie told Premier the glossary is needed because of criticism that "it's not comprehensible to people". He said the goal was to "attempt to override some of that criticism".

"We've seen an increase in membership among younger clergy and younger ordinands and a lot of them, myself included, don't come from a church background," he added.

"So the glossary is way of introducing some of those terms in a way that will spark discussion in the theological colleges and a re-appreciation of the theology behind the beauty in some of those words."

When asked how the glossary will help he said: "People will sometimes have particular words they struggle with but on the whole this will be a helpful school in parishes and sometimes with clergy as well but it's part of the wider training to enable people to use this liturgical tool and explore the riches of the prayer book going forward."

Butler-Gallie said an example of one of the words in the glossary is "miserable".

"In the general confession we talk about being miserable offenders - this is a criticism I've often heard," he said.

"Miserable in this case means worthy of pity. This is a statement by us as we confess together of our mutual failing, our need to have mercy from God as opposed to whether we are happy or not."

Listen to Fergus Butler-Gallie speaking with Premier's Tola Mbakwe:

Prudence Dailey, Chairman of the Prayer Book Society spoke to Premier’s Cara Bentley:

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