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The Book of Alternative Services (BAS) is the contemporary, inclusive-language liturgical book used alongside the Book of Common Prayer (1962) (BCP) in most parishes of the Anglican Church of Canada. When first published, the BAS included the Common Lectionary, unlike the BCP; in printings since the publication of the Revised Common Lectionary, the latter has superseded the original lectionary.

The BAS was published in 1985, and was based on a number of experimental liturgical texts that had were developed throughout the 1960s and 1970s, as well as the American Book of Common Prayer of 1979. The book's theological and linguistic soundness has sparked controversy, with some concerned that the book deviates from biblical teachings, and others criticizing its less traditional language and service format. In response to the publishing of the BAS, the Prayer Book Society of Canada was formed in order to maintain awareness of the older book and increase awareness of the shortcomings of the BAS. The controversy has sometimes been called the "trad-rad" debate (i.e. "traditional" vs. "radical").

The BAS contains various contemporary settings of the Eucharist, as well as one more in line with the language of the 1962 Prayer Book. The latter text, developed at the Church of St. Mary Magdalene (Toronto), is sometimes known as the "Toronto Rite", although modifications to the service have been criticized.[1] There are also contemporary rite versions of Morning and Evening Prayer; these have not been widely used, in part because the service of Morning Prayer has in large part been supplanted by weekly Eucharist as the main Sunday service in most Anglican parishes. Contemporary-language wedding, funeral, and other pastoral rites, however, have been welcomed more widely.

Use of the BAS varies from parish to parish. In some congregations, the principal Sunday service is according to the BCP, while in others, the contemporary liturgy dominates. In most dioceses, however, the trend is increasingly toward the BAS.

Bishop Michael Ingham is the author of an apologia for the BAS, called Rites for a New Age.

External links


  1. ^ The Toronto Rite- Not a Substitute


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