Ask Ambrose: What Do I Do with the Rubrics of the Book of Common Prayer?

Priest elevating the broken Bread at Eucharist

Q: Are there any resources that can help flesh out the rubrics of the Book of Common Prayer, especially with regard to ceremonial actions?
A: Yes! Two excellent and helpful sources are A Priest’s Handbook: The Ceremonies of the Church by Dennis Michno and Celebrating the Eucharist: A Practical Ceremonial Guide for Clergy and Other Liturgical Ministers by Patrick Malloy. Additionally, for the services of Lent, Holy Week, and Eastertide, you could consult Leonel Mitchell’s book Lent, Holy Week, Easter and the Great Fifty Days: A Ceremonial Guide. For the pastoral offices and other liturgies, Mitchell has a similar resource, Pastoral and Occasional Liturgies: A Ceremonial GuideThere is a wealth of freedom within the rubrics of the BCP, but it is always essential to know the rubrics first.