1949 Vernacular Chinese Prayerbook

A Chinese BCP from 1949 (Part 1, Part 2), rendered in vernacular Chinese, not classical Chinese (unlike Hong Kong’s 1965 experimental Order for Holy Communion), without the kind of squishy liberal theology that annoys me to no end (‘So Far and Yet So Near’, The Tablet):

Like their Roman Catholic counterparts, many liberal Anglicans base their attitudes on a well-intentioned but soggy impulse to be ‘inclusive’, rather than on firm theological foundations. By contrast, Rowan Williams has laid constant stress on the idea that fresh conclusions can be reached via orthodox paths, rather than by borrowing from secular categories.

Unlike the 1979 American travesty, which suppresses the words ‘and there is no health in us’ and ‘miserable offenders’, striking what’s true and constant from the confession of sin in the offices of Morning and Evening Prayer, this Fujian prayerbook preserves the 1662 wording:

全能最慈悲的天父,我們離主正道,走錯了路,像羊失群一樣,放縱自己心里的意思情欲,犯主至聖的律法,不做應當做的事,反做不應當做的事;我們實是軟弱, 無力行善,所以求主憐憫我們犯重罪的人。認罪的求上帝饒恕,悔改的求上帝悅納,照主因我主耶穌基督,所應許世人的話。又求最慈悲的天父,因耶穌的名,使我們從今以后敬虔、公義、廉潔,歸榮耀于主的聖名。 阿們。

I haven’t yet looked at the Order for Holy Communion to see whether its source is 1662 or 1928 – although a look at ‘Venite, exultemus Domino’ in the Office of Morning Prayer reveals similarity to 1928 – but maybe this document, already written in vernacular Chinese in a workable form, could form the basis of an orthodox Chinese prayerbook revision.


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