The 1927-28 Prayer Book Crisis. Joint Liturgical Studies No. 60: Ritual, Royal Commissions, and Reply to the Royal Letters of Business. By Donald Gray. (London: The Alcuin Club and The Group for Renewal of Worship, 2005, Pp. 48. Paper, £5.95.)
The 1927-28 Prayer Book Crisis. Joint Liturgical Studies No. 61: The Cul-de-Sac of the 'Deposited Book' . . . until Further Order Be Taken. By Donald Gray. (London: The Alcuin Club and The Group for Renewal of Worship, 2006, Pp. 51. Paper, £5.95.)
Concurrent with the upsurge of interest in the study of liturgy at the end of the nineteenth century-the result of the influence of the Romantic Movement and its subsidiary, the Cambridge Movement; the discovery of palimpsest liturgical materials from early centuries; and a series of remarkable scholars-the Alcuin Club, established in 1897, arose with a mission to promote adherence to the prayer book and to defend fin-de-siecle Anglican orthodoxy. When, in the early years of the new century, the Church of England muddled through its first attempt at liturgical revision since the days of the first Queen Elizabeth, the Club was there to rally academics and clerics, and to lend its considerable expertise to the project.
Over time, the Club's raison d'etre shifted. Since mid-century, when Dom Gregory Dix elaborated a pedigreed pattern that overlay the chaos of liturgical studies and resulted in near-universal agreement on the shape of the liturgy, the Club has turned from promoting prayer book conformity to elucidating the processes by which liturgical revision progressed. Among its scholarly work is the series Joint Liturgical Studies, undertaken as a collaborative effort with the Group for Renewal of Worship, founded in 1976 to do just what the early Club detested-encourage the adoption of reinvigorated liturgical materials. With over sixty "studies," the series has illuminated everything from the earliest sources on Christian liturgy to ritual kisses, liturgical globalization, and Anglican missals.
While the year 1928 represents the culmination of a relatively successful process of liturgical revision in the Episcopal Church, it is a date of more dubious implications in the Church of England. …