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    A Melanesian English Prayer Book


Logo of Melanesian Chruch

Flrag of the Solomon Islands
Flag of Vanuatu

The Anglican Church came to Melanesia in the 1840's, brought by Bishop George Augustus Selwyn, followed by Bishop John Patteson, who was martyred there. Missionary work in the South Pacific in this time was carried out, at least by British missionaries, in the spirit of comity - a tacit agreement that denominations were not to compete for converts. For this reason, natives of each island or group of islands tended to all become members of a single denomination. Thus the people of much of Melanesia - the Solomon Islands and the northern islands of Vanuatu (formerly the New Hebrides) - became Anglican, and they largely remain so today.

The Province of Melanesia has about 250,000 members in eight dioceses - two in Vanuatu, and the others in the Solomon Islands. It is a very vibrant Church, with many, if not most, Anglicans attending Morning Payer and Evensong daily. It is the home of the largest religious order in the Anglican Communion, the Melanesian Brotherhood.

The Melanesian English Prayer Book was first published in 1965, and has gone through several editions and revisions since then. (The edition used here is the tenth, published in 1985.) It is printed locally, and the production is fairly simple; what you see in the pages following is a fair representation of the actual book. The language is quite simple (intended at least partially to aid translation into the native languages and dialects), but the liturgies nevertheless rich. The wording of nearly every prayer here is a little different than that in other Prayer Books. While it is in keeping with the Anglican tradition in many ways, this book is unlike other Prayer Books, and well worth your perusal.


1. Prime 1
2. Morning Prayer 6
3. The Litany 13
4. The Collects, with References for Epistles & Gospels 19
5. A Preparation for Holy Communion (1) 45
6. A Preparation for Holy Communion (2) 48
7. A Preparation for Holy Communion (3) 51
8. The Liturgy (The Holy Communion) 53
9. Evening Prayer 65
10. Compline 73
11. The Psalms 79
12. Prayers and Giving Thanks 230
13. Baptism of a Baby 246
14. A Short Catechism 251
15. Confirmation 256
16. Marriage 260
17. Giving Thanks after Child Birth 266
18. The Sacrament of Penance 268
19. The Laying on of hands on the sick 269
20. Holy Anointing 271
21. Burial 273
22. Litany of Thanksgiving 281
23. The Litany of the Sufferings 284
24. Litany for Missions to the Heathen 287
25. Litany for Ember Days 291
26. Rogation Procession 297
27. The Chaplet 303
28. Supplement: The Angelus 306
29. Supplement: Alternative form of Mattins 309


Web author: Charles Wohlers U. S. EnglandScotlandIrelandWalesCanadaWorld