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Book of Common Prayer

Book of Common Prayer, title given to the service book used in the Church of England and in other churches of the Anglican Communion. The first complete English Book of Common Prayer was produced, mainly by Thomas Cranmer, in 1549 under Edward VI. Essentially it was a selection and translation from the breviary and the missal, with some additions from other sources. It was made compulsory by the Act of Uniformity (1549). Revision, undertaken by Cranmer, resulted in the Prayer Book of 1552, which showed the influence of foreign reformers then resident in England, for it made possible a wide diversity of views regarding the Eucharist, all justified by this official service book. The prayer book was in use only about eight months before Queen Mary's repeal legislation restored Roman Catholicism in England. In 1559, under Elizabeth I, the Prayer Book of 1552 was restored in a slightly altered version. From 1645 to 1660, under the Commonwealth and Protectorate, the prayer book was suppressed. In a new revision after the Restoration, it was again declared the only legal service book for use in England by an Act of Uniformity (1662). Alterations in the 1662 revision were largely those making for liturgical improvement. In 1927 a revised form was submitted to Parliament, whose approval was (and is) still required, and passed by the House of Lords but rejected by the Commons; it was resubmitted (with certain modifications) in 1928 and again rejected. Nonetheless, the revised prayer book was quite widely adopted in the Church of England with episcopal approval. This situation was finally legalized by the Prayer Book Measure, passed by Parliament in 1965. In addition to authorizing revisions already in use, the act approved the experimental use of new forms of worship drawn up by a liturgical commission; the Alternative Service Book (ASB) was adopted in 1980 and authorized for use alongside the Book of Common Prayer until the end of 2000. Revision of ASB is underway and under the general title Common Worship some revisions have already been authorized and published. In 1789, when the first General Convention of the Episcopal Church in the United States met, a revised version of the Book of Common Prayer was adopted; it embodied such changes as were required by the new conditions. In the U.S. Episcopal Church, as in other churches of the Anglican Communion over which the British Parliament has no control, there has been greater freedom in liturgical revision; the last U.S. revision of the Book of Common Prayer was in 1979.

See histories of the prayer book by J. H. Blunt (1868) and F. E. Brightman (2d ed. 1921, repr. 1970); J. W. Suter and G. J. Cleaveland, The American Book of Common Prayer (1949); M. H. Shepherd, The Oxford American Prayer Book Commentary (1950); G. Cuming, A History of Anglican Liturgy (1969, repr. 1980); B. Cummings, ed., The Book of Common Prayer (2011); D. Swift, Shakespeare's Common Prayers (2012); A. Jacobs, The Book of Common Prayer (2013).

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"Book of Common Prayer." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 25 Jun. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Book of Common Prayer." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (June 25, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/book-common-prayer

"Book of Common Prayer." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved June 25, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/book-common-prayer

Book of Common Prayer

Book of Common Prayer. By a proclamation of 23 September 1548, Edward VI set up a commission of twelve bishops and clergy to oversee the preparation of ‘one uniform order [of service] throughout the kingdom’. This ‘Windsor Commission’ (so-called from its meeting-place) seems to have refined and emended a draft prayer book prepared by Archbishop Thomas Cranmer, for the bench of bishops approved its work only a month later. The Act of Uniformity (March 1549) ordered the exclusive use of the new Book of Common Prayer from Whitsunday (9 June) that year. The Prayer Book contained morning and evening offices, and forms for the administration of the sacraments (e.g. baptism and the eucharist) as well as the psalter. It was a response to the desire of Cranmer and other reformers for a single, convenient provision for the public worship of the church in the vernacular. It drew heavily upon the work of the continental reformers as well as upon existing Latin service books.

After 1549, reformed ideas, particularly from Germany and Switzerland, rapidly gained ground among English scholars, and these were reflected in the Second Prayer Book, issued in 1552. This book was probably little used, as the accession of Mary I saw a temporary return to the older Latin services.

In 1559 a modified 1552 Prayer Book came into use under Elizabeth I, and this in its turn formed the basis of the 1662 book, which remained the norm of Anglican worship until the 20th cent. Attempts to revise the Prayer Book in 1928 were frustrated by Parliament, but since 1980 there has been an authorized Alternative Service Book in England.

Revd Dr John R. Guy

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"Book of Common Prayer." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Encyclopedia.com. 25 Jun. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"Book of Common Prayer." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Retrieved June 25, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/book-common-prayer

BOOK OF COMMON PRAYER

BOOK OF COMMON PRAYER, short form BCP. The book used for public worship by Anglican Christians for over 400 years, and regarded as authoritative for doctrine. It originated with the First and Second Prayer Books of King Edward VI (1549, 1552), was mainly compiled by Thomas Cranmer, and drew on Latin, Orthodox, German, and Spanish liturgies. It underwent revisions, notably in 1662 when restored to use after being banned during the Commonwealth, but is recognizably Cranmer's original. A further revision in 1928, though not officially authorized, is in use in some places. BCP is the earliest source for many common words and phrases, such as all one's worldly goods, at death's door, to have and to hold, in sickness and in health, land of the living, like lost sheep, tender mercy, to lead a new life. Complex sentence structure with long subordinate clauses is a feature widely assimilated into the language: ‘Almighty God, unto whom all hearts be open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hid; Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of thy Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love thee, and worthily magnify thy holy Name’ (Collect at commencement of Holy Communion). BCP contains many pairs of synonyms, such as praise and magnify, erred and strayed, prisoners and captives, prepare and make ready, usually one word from Latin, the other Anglo-Saxon, the aim of which was comprehensibility among all levels of society. Because for 400 years a high degree of uniformity in worship was imposed by law, BCP has influenced vocabulary and syntax to an extent comparable to the BIBLE and SHAKESPEARE.

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Common Prayer, Book of

Common Prayer, Book of Official liturgy of the Church of England. Originally prepared as a reformed version of the old Roman Catholic liturgy for Henry VIII by Thomas Cranmer in 1549. Three years later it underwent revision under the Protestant government of Edward VI. The final version (1559), a combination of the two, was produced by Elizabeth I's Archbishop of Canterbury, Matthew Parker. The Prayer Book was further revised in 1662 after the Restoration of Charles II.

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"Common Prayer, Book of." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 25 Jun. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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Book of Common Prayer

Book of Common Prayer (often BCP). The major prayer book of the Anglican Church, and official service book of the Church of England. Its centrality and continuing use is advocated by the Prayer Book Society.

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"Book of Common Prayer." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Retrieved June 25, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/book-common-prayer

Prayer, Book of Common

Book of Common Prayer: see Book of Common Prayer.

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Common Prayer, Book of

Common Prayer, Book of: see Book of Common Prayer.

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"Common Prayer, Book of." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Retrieved June 25, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/common-prayer-book

Book of Common Prayer

Book of Common Prayer See Common Prayer

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