The first Book of Common Prayer, the 1549, was commissioned under the reign of Henry VIII, King of England, and published during the reign of his son, Edward VI. The Prayer Book has now become critical to the character of the Church of England and the entire Anglican Communion, making it known throughout the world as "The Prayer Book Church." If Rome expresses her doctrine through the pronouncements of the Pope, and Lutheranism pronounces its doctrine through the Confessions of Luther, the doctrine of the Anglican Communion has been pronounced by the creation and revision of the Book of Common Prayer. The 1549 Book of Common Prayer eventually won itself into the hearts and minds of Anglican worshippers and even became their private devotional manual.
As the Anglican Church developed into a world wide communion, each province of the church prepared its own Book of Common Prayer. The 1979 Book of Common Prayer is the latest iteration of the Book of Common Prayer for The Episcopal Church, the province of the Anglican Communion for the United States.
Like its ancestor, the 1549 Book of Common Prayer, the 1979 Book of Common Prayer has won itself into the hearts and minds of Episcopalian worshipers, and has become their private devotional manual.
The purpose of this new series, "Book of Common Prayer as a Book of Daily Devotions" is to illustrate and teach the abundant resources that our Book of Common Prayer provides us for daily devotions for all aspects of our lives: religious, secular, public, and private.
Each month, this column will feature a prayer from the 1979 Book of Common Prayer, and a brief explanation of how to find it, and how to use the Book of Common Prayer as a daily resource for our prayer life.