The Book of Common Prayer


The General Convention this year considered several resolutions concerning The Book of Common Prayer; the one drawing the most attention was the call to undertake an entirely new revision to be completed and approved by 2030. The General Convention did not vote for a new Prayer Book but instead called upon the church to examine and study the one we currently have. (This is the shortest explanation of what happened; the full version would take far too long to discuss here.)

First published in 1549, The Book of Common Prayer is far more than just a collection of services that Anglicans follow; it lays out the rhythm of daily, weekly, and yearly prayer cycles; sets forth what we believe and why; and, if we will allow it, helps to pattern our life as faithful and effective disciples of Jesus. The current revision, approved in 1979 and now in use for some 40 years, retains much of the first version but obviously with significant changes.

I am delighted and comforted by the wisdom of The General Convention's decision, and I want us to respond to their call to move more deeply into the richness of our Prayer Book. To that end, we are studying it in our Rector's Forum every Sunday morning at 9:30. We started a couple of weeks ago with the simple question, "What are some of your favorite parts or passages of the Prayer Book?" I hope you'll come be part of that discussion and share with us your favorite parts of The Book of Common Prayer.