The Book of Common Prayer

The Book of Common Prayer (1662) is the foundational source of worship for the Church of England and many Anglican Churches throughout the world. Any other form of worship is authorised alongside the BCP and, if a PCC cannot decide what format to use, the church goes back to the 1662 book.

There have been many attempts to reform it - 1928 was the most successful, although never authorised by Parliament. Series 1, 2 and 3 that some of you may remember from the 1970s was the first big process of reform and resulted in the Alternative Service Book -services in series 2 and three were in modern English and altered the order of section in line with liturgical studies and the ecumenical movement. The main Common Worship volume came into being in 2000 and is what we use at most of our mid-morning weekend services.

Although we don't use the BCP as much as we did, and only rarely for morning and evening prayer, it is full of phrases that are familiar in everyday English - particularly perhaps from the prayers for each week - the Collects and from the titles of PD James books!

Here are a couple of resources to help you navigate your way through our Trinity Sunday service.

A 'how to' video from the Prayer Book Society