Targoff 2001

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Targoff, Ramie. Common Prayer: The Language of Public Devotion in Early Modern England. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2001.

Francis Bacon, the queen did not "make windows into men's hearts and secret thoughts" -- this is "the dominant model for understanding the relationship between external practice and internal belief in the Elizabethan church" for most historians (2)

"There were not absolute divisions between sincerity and theatricality, inwardness and outwardness within the early modern English church. Although established churchmen recognized the potential for externally convincing but internally empty acts of devotion, they tended to minimize the threat that such dissembling posed either to the dissemblers themselves or to the congregation of eye-witnesses." (4)

"habitual practice" -- "helps explain how the religious establishment could simultaneously seem uninterested in private belief and yet demonstrate repeatedly its desire to subsume private devotion within the public liturgy of the church. Indeed, what appears to be a simple request for an untaxing and potentially unmeaningful participation in a weekly service turns out to be a strategy to transform the worshippers soul." (4)

"English emerges as a sacred tongue deemed worthy of communicating formal petitions to God. The particular properties of common prayer -- its emphasis upon premeditation rather than spontaneity; its insistence upon the interchangeability of first-person singular and plural pronouns; its preference for simultaneously eloquent and reiterable texts over complex and difficult models of language -- played an important role, I argue, in determining the poetic forms that seemed most effective for acts of personal as well as collective expression." (5-6)
"Faced with this notion of external devotion as at best an opaque, at worst a misdirected or fraudulent performance, English Protestants were challenged to construct a theological justification for the efficacy of public worship." (7)

Tyndale -- "insistence on the bodily pleasure of true prayer" (8)

Andrewes -- "words alone are insufficient in the service of God" (9); must involve the body in the act of prayer

"Andrewes's belief in the efficacy of external labor as a crucial tool for exercising our devotion represents a seventeenth-century High Church response to prevalent theological concerns of many Tudor Protestants." (9)

Common Prayer

"Whereas Protestants sought to break down the auricular barriers between the clergy and the congregation, Catholics insisted that these barriers were actually conducive to a genuine devotional practice. For sixteenth-century Catholics, the challenge of public devotion was not to promote a shared and collective liturgical language, but instead to encourage the worshippers to perform their own private devotions during the priest's service." (14)
"This distinction between hearing and praying lies at the very heart of the Catholics' argument: the English-language service promotes the worshippers' ability to listen, while the Latin service promotes their ability to 'occupy themselves' in private worship." (15)
"In this Protestant formulation, the church liturgy becomes the best mechanism to subsume personal and idiosyncratic worship within a collective devotional performance." (16)

Cranmer, wanting to replace the confusion of diverse service books

"the Prayer Book that was issued in 1549 tempered its innovative changes to public worship by incorporating traditional forms and prayers. Although in this respect the Prayer Book was liturgically conservative, its alterations to the ways in which prayers were performed represented a radical transformation of the language of public worship." (17)
"As this chapter seeks to establish, the invention of common prayer was not strictly part of a political strategy for creating obedient subjects; nor did it radically deplete the rich communal layers of the laity's devotional life. Instead, the new conditions of public worship -- the wide availability of the Prayer Book as a material text; the audibility of the priest's words to all listeners; the emphasis upon the laity's comprehension of an engagement with the service -- reconceived the relations between the language of personal and liturgical prayer, and between individual and collective devotion. What emerges from the texts and instructions of the Book of Common Prayer is not the triumphant celebration of religious interiority that we so often associate with the Reformation -- as I ahve already briefly observed, this commitment to individualized worship would more accurately characterize the Catholic Church, not the Protestant. Instead, behind the introduction of a liturgy emphasizing the worshippers' active participation and consent lies the establishment's overarching desire to shape personal faith through public and standardized forms." (18)
"At the heart of the liturgical changes introduced during the Reformation was the shift of emphasis from a visual to an auditory register. In place of the Latin Mass, whose crucial moment of collective experience was the sight of the elevation of the Host, the Reformed English service was designed specifically to be heard." (22)
"Unlike the Latin service, which, Cranmer contends, at best filles the worshipper's ears, but fails to penetrate within, the English liturgy was designed to connect the faculty of hearing to its cognitive and spiritual counterparts." (23)
"At its very core, the petitions of the Common prayer Book represent Cranmer's attempt to expand the role of congregation from one of intoning passive if comprehending amens to one of active participation." (28)
"Comparison of the 1552 text with its 1549 predecessor reveals Cranmer's rapidly evolving comitmen both to dismantling the divisions between clerical and lay worship, and to creating and increasingly collective model of public prayer. Thus the 1549 Prayer Book tentatively begins what the 1552 edition more fully achieves: the transformation of the liturgy from one based on private reading and silent prayers to a practice built upon shared or responsive texts read aloud by minister and congregation." (28)

1552 version adopts the collective "we"

"By the time the second edition of the Prayer Book was published in 1552, Cranmer had fully transformed the practice of pre-Communion confession from a personal exchange between priest annd penitent to a standardized utterance performed by the entire congregation." (30)
"Cranmer's liturgical aim: to restructure corporate worship so that it is entirely compatible with as well as conducive to the practice of personal devotion." (35)

Reading Prayer: Spontaneity and Conformity

"For Milton, the 'perfect Gift' of God lies in the unpremeditated devotional voice, the 'freedom of speech' thta each individual ought by right to possess. to worship according to the 'outward dictates of men' instead of the inward 'sanctifying spirit' means to prefer humanly authored texts to divine ordination -- to commit the act of idolatry." (37)
"No longer did the questions surrounding liturgical practice turn on the use of English versus Latin, or the worshipper's private versus public prayer during the church service -- these issues had been adequately addressed, if not entirely settled, by the time Elizabeth I ascended the throne. In their place came a new series of challenges to public devotion, challenges that arose from within Protestant, not Catholic circles, and focused attention on a feature of the English service whose efficacy Thomas Cranmer seems to have taken for granted: the minister's reliance upon reading aloud )as the crucial vehicle for edifying the congregation." (37)

Richard Hooker, Lawes of Ecclesiastical Politie -- "most thorough and complex account of the establishment's practice that the church had yet to offer" (37)

Prayer and Poetry: Rhyme in the English Church

George Herbert and the Devotional Lyric

The Bay Psalm Book: From Common Prayer to Common Poems