Nancy Von Klemperer
Nancy Church Logan Von Klemperer of Doylestown, Pennsylvania, formerly a longtime resident of Mill Neck, New York, died September 12, 2013. She was 95.
She was founder of Episcopalians for Traditional Faith (ETF) and a leader in support of the traditional Episcopal liturgy. Her strong faith, high standards, spirited intelligence, and lifelong interest in sports informed her determination to stay in her Church despite its departure, beginning five decades ago, from its historic Christian roots. While others left for other denominations or simply stayed home, she declared, "You can't win if you leave the playing field!"
Nancy led the grass-roots campaign to perpetuate the faith within the Episcopal Church through its classic 1928 Book of Common Prayer - widely considered one of the greatest works in the English language: "Great words for great occasions," according to her longtime friend and colleague The Rev. Jerome F. Politzer.
Nancy's appreciation of the English language developed in her early study of Latin at Buckley Country Day School (Class of '32). She and her sister Jeanne commuted to Buckley from their home in nearby Flower Hill. An article in Spotlight, the Roslyn, Long Island preparatory school's magazine, notes that Nancy credited her Latin and ancient history teacher Ruth Farnham with encouraging her interest in the language that forms the basis for our own.
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The New Yorker Magazine
On the Book of Common Prayer
Archbishop Thomas Cranmer's phrases echo through English literature and popular culture. Literary critic James Wood writes in The New Yorker on the significance of this liturgy today, on the 350th anniversary of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer, used in the Church of England and throughout the global Anglican Communion. Wood's words could apply just as well to the 1928 Book of Common Prayer, the 1662's close relative, both direct descendants of the liturgy Cranmer introduced in 1549.
October 22, 2012 -- Suppose you find yourself, in the late afternoon, in one of the English cathedral towns—Durham, say, or York, or Salisbury, or Wells, or Norwich—or in one of the great university cities, like Oxford or Cambridge. The shadows are thickening, and you are mysteriously drawn to the enormous, ancient stone structure at the center of the city. You walk inside, and find that a service is just beginning. Through the stained glass, the violet light outside is turning to black. Inside, candles are lit; the flickering flames dance and rest, dance and rest. A precentor chants, "O Lord, open thou our lips." A choir breaks into song: "And our mouth shall shew forth thy praise." The precentor continues, "O God, make speed to save us." And the choir replies, musically, "O Lord, make haste to help us."
Salisbury Cathedral, in painting by John Constable, c. 1825, is one of the finest medieval cathedrals in England. The traditional liturgy is used here, along with some contemporary rites.
The visitor has stumbled upon a service, Evensong, whose roots stretch back at least to the tenth century, and whose liturgy has been in almost continuous use since 1549, the date of the first Book of Common Prayer, which was revised in 1552, and lightly amended in 1662, three hundred and fifty years ago.
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