If the first Christians were Catholic, it was because of their threefold prayer life (Acts 2:42) seen as the total, systematic means for repentence and baptismal reality taught by Saint Peter and the Apostles. That is the template, or Regula (Rule), of Catholic life; the threefold Regula orders the repeatable dimensions of Baptism by which we repent. The Book of Common Prayer, being a Regula inherited primarily from the tradition of Saint Benedict, also orders in a unique way such a comprehensive corporate response, with emphases of its own yet leaving nothing fundamental out. Therefore Catholic renewal within Anglican parochial tradition, that is, Catholic Anglican vitality, demands a more profound embrace of the total life of obedience ordered by Prayer Book heritage. Veni, Creator Spiritus!
“So it is that the Benedictine Way really underlies the Book of Common Prayer, where the same trinity of liturgy, office and personal prayer is found for the joy of us all.”
—Archbishop Michael Ramsey (15 July 1965 at Nashdom Abbey)
“The Prayer Book system embodies the ethos of our Church which is founded on scripture, interpreted by tradition, which is not only articulated by the catholic creeds (perhaps more commonly used in the Prayer Book liturgies than in any other liturgical regime) but which is also expressed by the spirit-filled continuity of life in the Church and the ways in which we have sought together to respond to the demands of successive generations.”
(Bishop Richard Chartres from “Afterword” in The Book of Common Prayer: Past, Present, and Future, edited by Prudence Dailey. London: Continuum, 2011.)
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See also: What does Regula mean?
Icon by the hand of Monica Thornton.