14 November 2000
Her Majesty The Queen, today, Tuesday, November 14, received a presentation volume of Common Worship: Services and Prayers for the Church of England. The volume was presented by the Archbishop of York, Dr David Hope, after Her Majesty, welcomed by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr George Carey, officially opened the seventh General Synod of the Church of England.
Common Worship: Services and Prayers for the Church of England replaces the Alternative Service Book, which was first authorised for use in 1980. When its authorisation begins on Advent Sunday, December 3, Common Worship will stand alongside The Book of Common Prayer to form the Church's liturgy for the new millennium.
Common Worship brings together both traditional and contemporary liturgy, allowing local flexibility in worship within a common framework for the whole Church. It connects the Church's inheritance with its future; and reflects the fact that local church leaders know which forms of worship are most appropriate in their churches.
Introduction of the Alternative Service Book in 1980 led some to feel that traditional services in The Book of Common Prayer were being undervalued and that the Church was in danger of losing a vital part of its heritage. Common Worship signals an end to any sense that the old and the new are at odds, showing that both Prayer Book and modern services have a valued place in the Church today and are part of the Church's future, not just its past.
The main volume of Common Worship contains both modern services and services based on the Prayer Book of 1662, including forms of Holy Communion and Morning and Evening Prayer. All key texts (such as the Creeds, the Lord's Prayer, Gloria in Excelsis, the Prayer of Humble Access, Canticles, the Litany etc.) are available in both modern and traditional language forms.
Common Worship is the biggest project ever undertaken by Church House Publishing. More than half a million information leaflets and booklets have been sent to the parishes. Half the print run of the main Common Worship book (300,000) have already been sold. It is being stocked by all branches of W H Smith and Waterstones, as well as internet retailers like amazon.co.uk. It is impossible to know how many parish service booklets have already been printed using material downloaded, free, from the Common Worship website:- http://www.cofe.anglican.org/commonworship.