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To secure its communication, contents are certified on the blockchain using Wiztrust. In the Morning Service for November 1 st , his prayer underlines the specific contribution of the Protestant Reformation:. O Lord, you have been our Deliverer, we celebrate this day remembering your mercies. Unworthy to dwell with you, we were incapable by ourselves to merit your forgiveness. Yet, you have revealed to us your saving grace and granted us access by faith; you have freed us from all fear placing in our hearts the Spirit of adoption by whom we can call upon you as a Father.
Bersier gave birth to a French Prayer Book that encompasses regular services and rites of passage. As such, its scope is comparable to that of the Book of Common Prayer. At this juncture, we mention two features in particular that did not pass unnoticed.
His Liturgy prescribes kneeling at several points. This was supposed to conform to Huguenot practise. Sung liturgical responses, imitating Anglican cathedral style, were introduced with a simple musical setting by his sister-in-law Henriette Hollard. Bersier produced a full scale service book with a lengthy theoretical and historical introduction to French-speaking Reformed worship and extensive ongoing critical commentary.
It was to be submitted to the Reformed Synod and had been prepared at their request. Lord, we give you thanks for you have called us to the knowledge of salvation through faith in Jesus-Christ, our Redeemer. Keep us holding the truth that we possess, so that, being subject to the teachings of the Holy Scriptures, each of us might freely confess his faith and say in communion with the universal church In this he was inspired by the resurgence of hymnody in Victorian England. One should also mention his friendship with A. He provides no liturgical commentary.
Bersier opposed, on exegetical and historical grounds, the return to overtly catholic devotions promoted by this High Church party. His French liberal Reformed opponents accused him of ritualism, though stopping short of calling him an Anglo-Catholic.
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They did however scent the Anglican influence on his liturgy:. His congregation were artistic and sentimental; he thought he was doing art by introducing erudite responses and paid choirs, painted stained-glass windows and prayers to order. His parishioners were for the most part Anglicans, so he served them with a pastiche of their liturgy. This ordering has become common in French-speaking Reformed churches.
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This alone exemplifies the new emphasis on frequent Communion, praise and worship as the prime focus in Sunday services and the less central place given to preaching. All these are hallmarks of Anglican liturgical worship. This leads to a fine tribute from Bernard Reymond, a contemporary authority in practical theology. Lord, you do not despise a broken and contrite heart.
Even though you are the Most High and supremely the Holy One you deign to dwell with the humble Humble us then, O God, kindly draw near to bless us. May we sense your presence and hear your voice, so that in stillness and silence our souls may contemplate your worshipful face.
This embodies the numinous in worship and the sense of a transcendent presence that exudes from Anglican worship, almost unconsciously. Thus, Bersier asserts the need for every worshipper to have his liturgical book:. It furnishes them with all the essential elements of worship when they are deprived of preaching.
We might add that it also serves to limit the power of any minister by giving the congregation a greater role in worship. Both place at their head a calendar of Bible readings lectionary. The opening services are those for Morning and Evening Prayer. The Te Deum is printed for congregational use. These are all features peculiar to the Prayer-Book. The Church of Scotland liturgist William D.
Maxwell observes:. It was compiled by Mr. Bersier for use in his own congregation in Paris, in it the influence of Morning Prayer in the Anglican Book of Common Prayer is marked, and the book itself has had a wide influence on the worship of the French Reformed Church.
Here then is a list of the main features that Bersier borrowed from the Anglican service:. The suffrages Preces. The use of responses sung in the manner of English cathedrals. The use of a litany in the intercessory prayers and some of its contents.
The collects for festivals. The prayer at the opening of the Parliamentary session. The Te Deum is printed out in full to be recited by the congregation on a regular basis. These titles break with usual practise in most French Protestant Churches; the term "communion" is that of the Prayer-Book. Furthermore, Bersier, breaking with Reformed usage on two counts, imitates two features introduced into the Prayer Book.
And here we offer and present unto thee, O Lord, ourselves, our souls and bodies, to be a reasonable, holy, and lively sacrifice unto thee; … And although we be unworthy, through our manifold sins, to offer unto thee any sacrifice, yet we beseech thee to accept this our bounden duty and service; not weighing our merits, but pardoning our offences, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Acknowledging Thee to be our God, and ourselves Thy servants, as we are most bound, so we present to Thee ourselves, our souls and bodies, and dedicate ourselves unto Thy service, engaging henceforth to obey Thy holy will and commandments, and utterly to eschew all that Thou abhorrest.
O God, Thou knowest our weakness, and our frailty is not hid from Thee; have mercy upon us, and fulfil our vows in us … that we may henceforth yield ourselves to Thee a living sacrifice, holy, and acceptable, which is our reasonable service. However, Bersier, whilst using Cardale and Romans can improve the style and stress his own theology as the additions in bold type show:. We are unworthy to offer anything in return for such a great sacrifice. Whilst acknowledging Thee to be our God, and ourselves Thy servants, we present to Thee, our souls and bodies that you have redeemed and dedicate ourselves unto Thy service.
And we make the commitment to follow Thy holy will, to do what Thou commandest and to flee completely that which Thou abhorrest. O God, Thou knowest our weakness, and our faults are not hidden from Thee; have mercy upon us, and fulfil these vows in us, so that we may in future offer ourselves to Thee a living sacrifice, holy, and acceptable, which is our reasonable service. The similarities with the Roman Mass show further usage of Cardale.
Calvin is the source for the exhortation. These multiple sources should not however prevent us from acknowledging some influence from the Book of Common Prayer. Bersier is a virtual pioneer in this area for French Reformed worship. In , he even introduced an Order of Service for the Burial of a Child. Both these psalms were introduced into the burial service in the Book of Common Prayer. He uses excerpts from 1 Corinthians 15, the Prayer-Book epistle for a funeral communion, printed in full since These details take on greater significance when one recalls that funeral liturgies were absent from most Reformed service-books.
The whole service reflects Anglican structure and style. It uses a single response, like a litany of thanksgiving. This Prayer-Book Office includes a form of absolution that ends in a traditional formula using the first person:. Our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath left power to his Church to absolve all sinners, who truly repent, and believe in him, of his great mercy forgive thee thine offences; And by his Authority committed to me, I absolve thee from all thy sins, In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.
So Bersier avoids the Prayer Book text:. Almighty God who hath given His Son Jesus-Christ to be the Sacrifice and Propitiation for the sins of the whole world; Grant unto you for His sake full remission and forgiveness; Absolve you from all your sins. Nevertheless, Bersier modifies the ending to avoid the traditional terminology that harks back to the Book of Common Prayer and beyond that to the Roman Catholic absolution formula. The preface by Bishop Robert Sanderson justifies this:.