A Prayer Book Lent at St. Paul's

"lex orandi, lex credendi"

Welcome to Lent at St. Paul's!

This year, in keeping with our year-long theme of "Back To Basics", we will be offering an immersion in the very ground of what it means to be an Episcopalian: The Book of Common Prayer. Through worship, study and fellowship, we will explore the rich history, theology and resources of this definitive work of Anglican genius.

If your Latin is a little rusty, "lex orandi. lex credendi" is a phrase from a 5th century theologian, Prosper of Aquitaine, that means "the law of prayer establishes the law of belief". In other words, what and how we pray defines what and how we believe.

That is Anglicanism in a nutshell. Or, to describe it more fully, consider these words by the Rev. Jeffrey Lee in his work, Opening The Prayer Book:

The prayer book does not offer precise doctrinal formulations that must be adhered to; rather, it provides the forms that outline our practice of the Christian faith, shaped principally by worship. If you ask an Anglican what it means to belong to the church, the answer might well be, "Come and worship with us." Being an Anglican means doing what the church does – and what the church does, first and foremost, is worship the living God. It is out of our common worship that our understanding of God proceeds and our ethical and moral decision-making takes shape.

To renew our awareness of ourselves as Anglicans, we will renew our familiarity with the Book of Common Prayer. We will study it, use it, and reflect on it as our shared Lenten discipline. We will rejoice in its ancient heritage, while enjoying how it speaks to us today with language of grace and words of meaning.

So get out your Prayer Book! Start carrying it to church! A journey is about to begin and you will need your guide book to find your way through its landscape of faith and wonders!