Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Reflecting on D.W. Whittle and BCP

If one is well versed in the work of D.W. Whittle, one might have noticed that I've been using his guide as to the New Testament passage of the day. Now that I have a copy of the Book of Common Prayer, I will begin using this. I'm going to finish out the Whittle guide, up until the book of Revelation, which will be in Advent. After that time, I'll post from the BCP. This has been my plan for a few weeks now, but I didn't mention it, not knowing when I would buy a BCP. I have used an online Book of Common Prayer for my own use until now. Praying in my normal place in the home is more reverential to me than praying in front of the computer. I look forward to the progress of this Trinity season.

I have the guide from D. W. Whittle from the back of my maternal grandfather's Bible. He left a marker in the back, at the guide to reading the Bible in one year. I am so happy that I can share this journey that he made years ago. While this may be the only year that I follow along as he did, I'm glad that I've done this once. His old Bible is worn, and it is not wise to continue with it for daily use. He might very well have been horrified to learn that I was leaving off this plan, to transition into a "high church" style of Bible study. I hope that he might look down from heaven and see my devotion, rather than my variance from the methods that he preferred. Interestingly, it was my investigation on D. W. Whittle that led me, albeit circuitously, to the online version of the 1928 BCP. Once I really thought about it, I knew that I could not continue Mr. Whittle's plan past this reading. I prefer to join the 70 million in the Anglican communion, and follow another method. While we may or may not ultimately join the Anglican faith, I cannot see us continuing with the low church wanderings, if you will. I suspect that he never really thought about how Mr. Whittle came about his plan, but just accepted it with reverence because it was in the Bible that he owned. I doubt he knew anything about Mr. Whittle, or his faith. I doubt he ever stopped to realize that Mr. Whittle wasn't part of the original Bible, just an inclusion by the publisher of his particular version. I would imagine that he had a similar longing, as I do, for a systematic daily reading of the bible, but his low church faith so strongly forbade him from ever searching from amongst Church history for one. I suppose that I might never have pondered this subject, if it were not for this Bible and guide. For that alone, I'm thankful for this Trinity season and this guide and his Bible.

I have so much to learn. While I do wish that I had had a better religious education as a child, I'm glad that I've come to this while my children are young. It is much better to grieve one's own failings and shortcomings, than to grieve how one has failed one's children. I never knew the Lord's Prayer until I taught myself at thirteen. My own children will never know not knowing it. The religion of my youth was so impoverished and cartoonish compared to what we will show the children. By that, I mean literally. I had a comic-book rendition of the Bible as a child. The only hymn that I was ever taught to memorize was "Onward Christian Soldiers," and that without melody. My own parents only gave me what they knew, until they abandoned it after their divorce. It was only years later that they repented leaving off attending worship when I was a teenager. Their parents knew nothing of Church history, and believed that ignorance to be noble. They had no other perspective to pass to my parents, and so forth. I am not alone in this position; there are millions who have similar stories over the past thirty years. We have lived through a dark time. I pray for not just our family but for millions like it to come home to the Light and Love of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

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