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Orders of Service 1974

History NZ Daily Prayer

Orders of Service 1974It is fifty years this year since NZ’s General Synod set in motion revision of the Prayer Book. The first service it authorised was the 1966 Order of Holy Communion. You can read my history of The Anglican Eucharist in New Zealand 1814-1989. The initial idea was that the 1966 ante-communion (the Liturgy of the Word) could be used as a stand-alone service instead of Matins or Evensong. “For occasions when it is not desired or possible to celebrate the Holy Communion, the first part of the Liturgy to the end of the Intercession provides for an order of worship complete in itself. This service does not require the presence of a priest.”

Using the ante-communion as a non-eucharistic service did not get much uptake. So in 1968 the Commission on Prayer Book Revision produced Orders of Service which had Sunday Worship, Daily Worship, and Family Prayer. General Synod authorised this, but it was met with little enthusiasm.

Drawing on the revisions of the Church of England and The Episcopal Church, NZ produced a revised Orders of Service with greater variety and flexibility.

Common Worship 1974 retained the structure of Matins and Evensong (1662).

Furthermore, the structure of the daily office was:


Sentence or Versicles and Responses
Song of Praise
[Mon: Te Deum; Tue: Benedicite; Wed: Benedictus; Thur: Beatitudes; Fri: Salvator Mundi; Sat: Worthy art thou]
Apostles’ Creed
Versicles and Responses
Lord’s Prayer


Act of Recollection and Penitence
Reading (solely NT)
Song of Praise
[Mon: Magnificat; Tue: Benedctus es; Wed: Nunc Dimittis; Thur: Phos Hilaron; Fri: Great and Wonderful; Sat: Easter Anthems]
Collect for Evening

The booklet came with 20 locally-produced psalm translations – essentially a reworking of the Revised Psalter of 1964 using contemporary psalm translations especially the New English Bible.

To be continued…

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3 thoughts on “History NZ Daily Prayer”

  1. I am no great lover of Mr Cranmer or much of his work, with the exception of Matins and Evensong. The flow from the Old Testament into the New through psalms readings and canticles was a piece of mastery; both the progression and the balance. Most modern Anglican Offices suggest that either this distinctly Anglican pattern is now to be deliberately trampled over, or that their compilers are simply ignorant or unappreciative of it.

    1. Thanks, Richard. I don’t think there is a “distinctly Anglican pattern” in Cranmer’s offices. His pattern is simply that of Sarum and late medieval breviaries with an eye on German Church Orders and the work of Cardinal Francisco de Quiñones. Now when it comes to his translation of the collects I think we are more firmly on a distinct contribution. Advent blessings.

  2. I agree so much with what Richard Lacey says here.

    In fact, BCP 1662 evensong and mattins are so similar to the asmatic Constantinopolitan evensong and mattins.

    IMO, the only things that the BCP lacked was an antiphon for the Magnificat, Benedictus, and Nunc dimittis. They would have been able to set the “Salva nos” always for the Nunc dimittis, and one antipohon for each weekday. Without antiphons, the Magnificat and Benedictus are boring.

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