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The Book of Common Prayer

The Book of Common Prayer

Throughout the history of Anglicanism, the Book of Common Prayer (BCP) has been central to our life and worship. There was a period of time in England in the 17th century where the monarchy was overthrown and a Puritan commonwealth was established that made Anglican worship illegal. Those who were faithful Anglicans kept the BCP hidden in their homes, and it was during that time that the true potential of the prayer book was allowed to flourish, as people utilized the daily offices for personal and family prayer even as they were prevented from gathering in public worship. Our current situation, where public worship is made impossible, is very similar and we have this incredible tool at our disposal. Perhaps this can be a time for our prayer lives to flourish through its use again!

Using the Book of Common Prayer

If you’d like to read through a primer on the 2019 BCP, visit Rookie Anglican’s Guide to the BCP.

Once you’re ready to use the BCP, a helpfully bookmarked PDF version allows you to easily navigate to whatever section you’d like. The individual sections are also available online for download. Order your own copy of the ACNA’s 2019 Book of Common Prayer here.

The Daily Office

The heart of the BCP for personal use is the Daily Office, which includes Morning Prayer, Noonday Prayer, Evening Prayer, and Compline. These can be a really valuable tool for structuring a daily prayer routine, no matter how you choose to use it. One especially helpful resource is dailyoffice2019.com (made by a fellow Pittsburgher!) which automatically updates each day and by the hour according to what office should be prayed. All of the prayers and the readings for the day are listed in-line, so you don’t need to flip to other pages or have an extra Bible on hand like you would for a physical prayer book. For those families trying to kick off a common prayer life together for the first time, a separate page for Family Devotions, a portion of the BCP which is shorter and more suitable for families with children, is also available.