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Alan Titchmarsh recommends listening to 'magical language' of traditional Anglican prayer book

Fri 12 Jan 2018
By Eno Adeogun

TV gardening expert Alan Titchmarsh has opened up about his love of the language used in the traditional Anglican prayer book.

The television presenter and novelist said singing as a chorister at All Saints Parish Church in Ilkley, Yorkshire from the age of eight instilled in him a deep knowledge and appreciation of The Book of Common Prayer.

Speaking to The Prayer Book Society (PBS), he listed some of his favourites words used during a Baptism service.

He quoted: "The Lord bless you, and keep you: the Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious unto you: the Lord lift up the light of his countenance upon you."

He added: "Also lovely are the words of the Nunc Dimittis sung at Evensong, 'Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace'."

Dismissing criticisms that the key source for the Church of England's doctrine contains old-fashioned language which is hard to understand, Titchmarsh said: "In our day-to- day conversations, words account for only ten per cent of the our communication; the rest is body language.

"Similarly, there is more to the Prayer Book than the words on the page. Much of its effect derives from its atmosphere, euphony, musicality, rhythm and pace.

"In my view it is vital that people are given the opportunity to hear the magical language of The Book of Common Prayer in church.

"It has a musicality not offered by modern liturgies, but it is important that clergy who use it are able to read it effectively, giving its words significant impact."

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