John McIntyre, whom James Wolcott calls "the Dave Brubeck of the art and craft of copy editing," writes on language, editing, journalism, and other manifestations of human frailty. Comments welcome. Identifying his errors relieves him of the burden of omniscience. Write to email@example.com, befriend at Facebook, or follow at Twitter: @johnemcintyre. Back 2009-2012 at the original site, http://weblogs.baltimoresun.com/news/mcintyre/blog/ and now at www.baltimoresun.com/news/language-blog/.
Monday, August 31, 2009
Farewell to Professor Hatchett
He not only participated in the revision of the Book of Common Prayer of 1979 but also wrote the learned and lucid Commentary on the American Prayer Book (the Big Hatchett) and A Manual of Ceremonial for the New Prayer Book (the Little Hatchett), both of which hold honored places on my shelves.
He understood — and said — that public worship in the Episcopal Church could maintain a continuity with its historical origins without becoming a museum liturgy, and he wrote with authority, grace, and humanity.
Whenever I endure some service of mechanical liturgy, mediocre music, and tedious homiletics, as is the fate of many churchgoers, I recall that Professor Hatchett showed us that it does not have to be that bad. He thought that we could achieve a higher standard, and now that he has gone to glory, we would do well to remember his example.