A Monthly BCP Service

Once a Month At St. John's We Have a Book of Common Prayer Service

Our next BCP service will be Sunday, January 21

A History of the BCP From Wikipedia

The Book of Common Prayer (BCP) is the name given to a number of related prayer books used in the Anglican Communion and by other Christian churches historically related to Anglicanism. The first prayer book, published in 1549 in the reign of King Edward VI of England, was a product of the English Reformation following the break with Rome. The work of 1549 was the first prayer book to include the complete forms of service for daily and Sunday worship in English. It contained Morning PrayerEvening Prayer, the Litany, and Holy Communion and also the occasional services in full: the orders for BaptismConfirmationMarriage, "prayers to be said with the sick", and a funeral service. It also set out in full the "propers" (that is the parts of the service which varied week by week or, at times, daily throughout the Church's Year): the introitscollects, and epistle and gospel readings for the Sunday service of Holy Communion. Old Testament and New Testament readings for daily prayer were specified in tabular format as were the Psalms and canticles, mostly biblical, that were provided to be said or sung between the readings.[1]

The 1549 book was soon succeeded by a 1552 revision which was more Reformed but from the same editorial hand, that of Thomas CranmerArchbishop of Canterbury. It was used only for a few months, as after Edward VI's death in 1553, his half-sister Mary I restored Roman Catholic worship. Mary died in 1558 and, in 1559, Elizabeth I's first Parliament authorised the 1559 prayer book, which effectively reintroduced the 1552 book with modifications to make it acceptable to more traditionally minded worshippers and clergy.

In 1604, James I ordered some further changes, the most significant being the addition to the Catechism of a section on the Sacraments; this resulted in the 1604 Book of Common Prayer. Following the tumultuous events surrounding the English Civil War, when the Prayer Book was again abolished, another revision was published as the 1662 prayer book.[2] That edition remains the official prayer book of the Church of England, although throughout the later twentieth century, alternative forms which were technically supplements have largely displaced the Book of Common Prayer for the main Sunday worship of most English parish churches.

Various permutations of the Book of Common Prayer with local variations are used in churches within and exterior to the Anglican Communion in over 50 countries and over 150 different languages.[3] In many of these churches, the 1662 prayer book remains authoritative even if other books or patterns have replaced it in regular worship.