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Vol I No. 7

Neither Orthodoxy Nor a Formulary: The 1979 Prayer Book of ECUSA


This essay was written by two priests who have been studying liturgy, doctrine and the language of prayer for a long time, and who have cooperated in the writing of several books.

The Rev’d Dr. Louis R. Tarsitano, who is a professor of English and a rector of an Anglican church in Savannah, Georgia; and
The Rev’d Dr. Peter Toon, who is a retired professor of theology and the rector of two village parishes in the Church of England.

In their limited-print volume, the authors explain the necessity of Formularies for the public profession of Christianity and show what are the Anglican Formularies. Then they examine the major aspects and parts of the 1979 Prayer Book to see whether they rise to the level required to be an orthodox formulary. In particular they look at the Catechism, the Eucharist, Baptism, Ordination and doctrine through language. Further, the authors explain what has been understood to be Common Prayer through the centuries and demonstrate clearly that the 1979 Book belongs to the modern type of prayer book known as “A Book of Alternative Services.”

Many Episcopalians will not like the conclusion of this Book; but, all serious-minded clergy and lay leaders ought to read it if they are truly concerned with the reform, renewal and regeneration of the Anglican Way in the U.S.A. Reform must be based upon Truth.