The Book of Common Prayer
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    The Proposed Revision
of the Book of Common Prayer (1925)

 

The 1928 revision of the Book of Common Prayer was, like all revisions, a long time in the making, having been started some 15 years earlier, in 1913. This was only about twenty years after the previous version (that of 1892) had been adopted, which is perhaps a testimony to the conservative and limited extent of that revision. In 1913, a Commission was appointed and charged with a revision provided that "no proposition involving the Faith and Doctrine of the Church be considered or reported". Fortunately, the commission took this charge rather loosely, and made quite a number of significant changes in the Prayer Book - for example, removing the suggestion in a number of prayers that our misfortunes were the direct result of our sins, adding prayers for the dead in the Burial Service, dropping entire services, combining the three Baptismal services into one, and a great number of other similar changes. The commission reported back at several General Conventions, with its work being substantially complete by 1922, and resulting in this interim Proposed Book in 1925. Reports of the Commission are available online: First Report (1916); Second Report (1919); and Third Report (1922). These are all in PDF graphics; the first two are from the Internet Archive, and the last from Google Books. A similar book containing proposed changes in the Psalter from 1921 is also available from the Internet Archive.

The book is presented here as a comparison with the final 1928 revision, so that changes made between the two books may be readily seen. These changes were generally not of great significance, the major ones being changes in several of the prayers (mostly along the lines mentioned above), further revisions of the Baptism Service, and addition of a section for Unction of the Sick. The main text given is that from the Proposed Book; small differences such as typography and minor word changes are usually ignored. Note that one such change was to replace the musical colon in the middle of each verse of the Psalms (as it had been in 1892) with an asterisk. It is hoped that this presentation will give readers an sense of which of the many changes appearing in the 1928 revision were made early in the process, and which at the very end.

This book appeared in print in (as far as we know) three different versions. The first is the complete version, marked "Edition A | Complete" on the cover and which is given in the HTML pages linked below; this is 1925/4 in David Griffiths' Bibliography of the Book of Common Prayer. This book contained both Part I, which was authorized for use in churches, having been approved at both the 1922 and 1925 General Conventions, and Part II, which was not so authorized, as that material had been approved in 1925 only.

The second, marked "Edition B | The Chancel Book" on the cover, is completely identical to the first, but contains Part I only.

The third was also a smaller (14cm tall) book containing just Part I, and omitting those parts of the Ordinal which were unchanged from the 1892 edition. This book seems to be intended for use by the congregation. Neither the second nor the third books are listed by Griffiths.

In addition to the HTML pages below, we also have all three books available as PDF graphics. The PDF files have bookmarks plus extractable text, although this text hasn't been proofread and undoubtedly contains errors. See below for links.

 

Title page, Proposed Revision of the BCP

Front Matter (Certificate, authorizing resolutions, etc.)

Part I (Services authorized for use in churches)
Morning Prayer
Evening Prayer
Prayers and Thanksgivings
Collects
Concerning the Service of the Church
(Tables of Psalms)

Part II (Services not authorized for use in churches)
Additional Prayers & Thanksgivings
Collects, Epistles and Gospels
Holy Communion
Baptism
Confirmation
Matrimony  (essentially identical to 1928 final version)
Visitation of the Sick
Burial of the Dead
Burial of a Child
Thanksgiving of Women after Childbirth
The Ordinal

Download this book (Edition A) as PDF graphics (size = 24MB)
Download Part I only (Edition B) as PDF graphics (size = 17MB)
Download the smaller book for congregations (just Part I) as PDF graphics (
size = 8MB)

 

Return to the 1928 Book of Common Prayer

Web author: Charles Wohlers U. S. EnglandScotlandIrelandWalesCanadaWorld