Book of Common Prayer

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Recent printing of the Episcopal Church 1928 Book of Common Prayer

The Book of Common Prayer (BCP) is the principal book of worship used by the Anglican churches of the world, including the Church of England and the Episcopal Church in the United States. Each country's Anglican church will generally publish its own Book of Common Prayer, which typically includes both prayers and hymns.

The Church of England issued its first Book of Common Prayer in 1549. A major revision occurred in 1552 and another in 1662. The 1662 book has been reissued many times and translated into several languages.

The first version specifically for the Episcopal Church in the USA was published in 1789. (Prior to the American Revolution, the Church of England's prayer book was used.) Revised versions were issued in 1892 and 1928. A more substantial revision was made in 1979, which proved to be controversial because of the toning down of language regarding sin, and also because of the introduction of a choice of two different Eucharistic rites, one of them in modernized language. Rite 1 is the more traditional rite, while Rite 2 is modern. Many parishes that offer a Rite 1 service do so early in the morning (7 or 8 AM) typically without a choir or instrumentation, and a Rite 2 service later in the morning with full choir and instrumentation. It remains the standard book in that church. The 1928 version remains in print and is used by most of the Continuing Anglican churches in the United States. The Anglican Church in North America uses the 1662 BCP.

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