General Remarks on using the Ordo for the BAS

The primary purpose of this ordo, since Fr. McCausland’s time, has been to assist liturgical planners by reporting in a clear format the data (including the rubrics) of approved Canadian liturgies for every day of the year and offering practical liturgical advice on how to use it. Most of this material can be found in The Book of Alternative Services on pages 14–33 and 261–523. It is assumed the reader is familiar with these, and with the material found in these General Remarks, and in Stephen Reynolds’ For All the Saints (revised 2007). For this reason, editorial explanations for choices made in the ordo are kept to a minimum, except where the official sources are unclear or silent about certain matters. Sometimes the ordo provides material not found in approved Canadian liturgies. McCausland’s Order of Divine Service is not an official liturgical publication of the Anglican Church of Canada and readers should always consult original sources when in doubt about any aspect of the church’s liturgy. 

In response to a directive from the House of Bishops, the ordo now gives the Sunday and Saints’ Day eucharistic readings from the Revised Common Lectionary only. The eucharistic lectionary published in the BAS was taken from an earlier recension of the Common Lectionary, and has now been superseded. The most recent printing of the BAS has been revised to include the Revised Common Lectionary. Readings for Sundays and Holy Days are taken from the three-year Revised Common Lectionary. The readings for weekday eucharists are taken from the two-year Weekday Eucharistic Lectionary. The daily office readings are taken from the two-year Daily Office Lectionary. 

Even in dioceses with liturgical officers, the bishop is always the chief liturgical officer and no services are automatically authorized for use in a diocese without their permission except the Book of Common Prayer. When the BAS is authorized by the Bishop for use in the diocese, its rubrics dictate its normative use. There are many liturgical suggestions and options found in this ordo, often utilising materials from sister provinces. One should check with the liturgical officer or the bishop for permission to use them if no liturgical directive has already been issued. 

Every local community is expected to inculturate the calendar for its own use. Annual decisions need to be taken as to whether Principal Feasts with the option to anticipate or transfer are to be kept on the day or on the Sunday (Epiphany, Ascension, All Saints); whether the Feast of Dedication and the Patronal Festival or Feast of Title are to be kept; whether Harvest Thanksgiving or Remembrance Sunday are to be kept.