The Book of Common Prayer
United States England Scotland Ireland Wales Canada World

    The Book of Common Prayer
among the Nations of the World


One of the founding principles of the Church of England when it originally broke with Rome was that church services should be “understanded of the people” (as it is stated in the Articles of Religion) so that everyone present might be able to follow the liturgy and know what is going on. Accordingly, once the Book of Common Prayer was created in English, it was therefore subsequently translated into many languages, as needed. David Griffiths, in his Bibliography of the Book of Common Prayer, records translations and original BCP's in 199 languages other than English. The Book of Common Prayer among the Nations of the World, published in 1913, seeks to describe all of these translations, both of the Church of England and of the American Episcopal Church, as they were at that time.

The author, Dr. William Muss-Arnolt, was a linguist at the Boston Public Library. The book's primary (but by no means only) source was the Common Prayer Book collection of J. H. Benton; this collection is now at the Boston Public Library and its catalogue is available from the Internet Archive.

The complete text of the book is presented here, as it was in the original, to the extent that HTML will allow. Additionally, the individual BCP's discussed are identified by their reference number from Griffiths’ Bibliography of the BCP. Also, scans are included of a number of title pages of the BCP translations. Nearly all of these are from the web author’s collection. We also have the entire book available as PDF graphics - see link below at right. This file includes bookmarks and extractable text, although the text has not been proofread and so contains errors.

Some background material may be found from the book, A Century of Achievement : The History of the New York Bible and Common Prayer Book Society, available from the Internet Archive as Vol. 1 and Vol. 2.

Finally, please note that the spelling of languages and place names may be different in this book from what is now accepted. Also, while we have attempted to record the various BCP titles and such exactly as they appeared in this book, there were a good number of instances where a required diacritical marks were not part of Unicode, and therefore could not be rendered into HTML. In such cases the diacritical marks were ignored or, if there were many of them, the text was rendered as a graphic.




title page of "The BCP among the Nations of the World"




I.—A General Survey; The Work of Three Great English Societies — The Several Groups of Translations

II.—The Linguistic Training of the Missionary: Highly Important and Vital, but often Overlooked and Neglected — A Voice from the Dead, George Lawrence Pilkington — A Possible Way out of the Difficulty — The Example of Germany and of France — Better Translations of the Liturgy

III.—The Layman's Estimate of Missionary Work and Influence; Sir William MacGregor — Sir Harry Hamilton Johnston — E. Way Elkington — James Mooney — Hiram Alfred Cody — C. D. Mackellar, and others

Appendix:   General Bibliography and Authorities Consulted

Download the entire book as PDF graphics (size=56MB)


IV. — From 1550/1 - 1638: Aless — Sir John Cheke — Walter Haddon and his Revisers — Elias Petley and the First Greek Version of the Liturgy — His Predecessor, William Whitaker

V. — From the Caroline Revision to the Present Day; James Duport's Greek Version — Jean Durel's Latin Translation and his Writings in Defense of the Liturgy — The Seven Editions of his Translation — Thomas Parsell — Edward Harwood — William Nichols — Bright and Medd — The Forthcoming Ecclesiastical Greek Translation

Appendix:   Bibliography and Authorities Consulted



VI. — French Versions for the Channel Islands, etc.: Francoys Philippe and the Translation of 1553 — Pierre de Laune's Version of the Hampton Court Book, 1616 — Jean Durel's Translation of the Caroline Book of 1662, 1st Edition, 1665 — Later Editions of Same — French and English Editions — Later Revisions by Wanostrocht, Abauzit and Jean Mudry — The First Edition, 1803, of the French Translation for the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States, by Pierre Antoine Samuel Albert — Antoine Verren's Translation, 1831 — Later Revisions by Ch. H. Williamson, 1846, and Alfred Victor Wittmeyer, 1897

VII. — Richard Davies and the Welsh Translations: The Translation. of 1567 — William Sale(i)sbury — Later Editions — The Revision of 1621 — Edmund Prys — The Edition of 1664 — Ellis Wynne's Translation — Later Editions — The English-Welsh Edition of 1823

VIII. — Bishop Phillips and the Translations into Manx: Its Ill-fortune and very Recent Publication — The 1765 Translation — Mark Hildesley — Subsequent Editions of the “New Version,” by the S. P. C. K.

IX. — The Irish Translation of Archbishop Daniell, and its Successors: The Book of 1608 and its Translators — The Translation of the Revised Liturgy of 1662, by John Richardson, 1712

X. — Scottish-Gaelic Translations: Patrick Stewart's Translation of I794 — The Rendering of 1818 — The 1895/96 Edition — English and Gaelic,1877

XI. — The Spanish Translations: Archbishop Williams of York and the First Translation by Texeda — Felix Anthony de Alvarado's Translation of the Caroline Liturgy, 1707, 1715, etc. — Lorenzo Lucena's Revision, 1839 — Juan Calderon's Revision, 1852 — Blanco White's New Translation — The Service Book of the Lusitanian Church and of the Spanish Episcopal Church — The Efforts of Archbishop Plunket and the Rev. T. G. P. Pope — Spanish Translations of the American Liturgy, 1863, 1905 — Service Books for the Mexican Church of Jesus

XII. — Bishop William Bedell and the First Italian Translation: Edward Browne and G. B. Capello, 1685 — Revision, 1733, by Alexander Gordon — New Translation, 1796, by Montucci and Valetti: — Revision by G. B. Rolandi, 1820 — New Translation, 1831, by Geo. Fred Nott — Revision by D. Canilleri, 1860 — Translations of the American Liturgy, 1868, by Bianciardi and Langdon; 1874, by C. Stauder; 1886, by F. P. Nash; 1904, by M. Zara

XIII. — Portuguese Translations: First Translation, 1695. by B. Woodroffe and Isaac Abendana — Its Insufficiency for Colonial Use — Later Editions, 1783, etc. — The Ceylon Portuguese Translation, 1820, by Robert Newstead; and again in 1826 — Portuguese Versions of the American Liturgy, 1860 and 1898

XIV. — Archbishop William Laud and the Dutch Translations: Editio princeps, 1645 — Revision by A. Duez and B. Hoefnagel, 1704 — Kort Formulier der gemeene Gebeden, of 1710 — The English and Dutch, 1711, etc. — The Reconstructed Edition of 1718 and Later Outputs — Joseph Bosworth’s New Rendering, 1838 — The Cape Town Dutch Edition of Bishop Bousfield, Clulee and others

XV. — Archbishop John Sharp and the German Translations: Jablonski — The Editions of 1704 and 1707 — The Neuchâtel Church and Osterwald — German and English Edition of 1710 — Later Editions of the Liturgy in German; J. J. Cæsar and Bishop John Robinson; Copies for the American Colonies — Revisions .by J. H. W. Kueper, 1821; Gaebler, 1843; Schwabe, 1845 — New Translation by J. A. Jetter — Kitchin’s Selections — German Versions of the American Liturgy, 1837, 1847 — Siegmund's Translations of Selected Offices — Oppen's Rendering, 1882 — The Latest Translation, by the Rev. August Ulmann

XVI. — Scandinavian Translations: Danish Rendering of T. G. Repp, 1849; Revised by Bulow, 1860; Editions of 1875, 1896 — Swedish and Norwegian Translations of the American Liturgy

XVII. — The Bagster Polyglot Edition

Appendix:   Bibliography and Authorities Consulted



XVIII. — Translations into Eastern European Languages: Modern Greek — Bohemian — Polish — Russian — Hungarian

XIX. — Pococke and the Arabic Translations: The Value of his Work — First Complete Version by W. H. Mill and others, 1837 — The New Translation by Fāris ash-Shidyāk, 1840 — Revision by F. A. Klein, 1884 — New Translation by A. Tien, 1886 — The Maltese Version, by C. F. Schlienz, 1845

XX. — Hebrew, Judæo-German and Judæo-Spanish Translations, made for the Conversion of the Modern Jew among the Nations: Abraham Bar Jacob, 1717 — Bialloblotzky and Czerskier — John Baptist Cohen

XXI. — Arabo-Turkish and Armeno-Turkish Versions: Fjellstedt‘s Turkish Translation, 1842 — Revision by A. Tien, 1864 — Koelle‘s Great Edition of 1883 — Mëgërdich Shahanian‘s Armeno-Turkish Translation, 1880

XXII. — The Armenian Translation: Johannes Ardall, 1827 — Bishop Southgate’s Edition of 1847 — Revision by C. Rieu, 1854 and 1867 — Abraham Yohannan‘s Translation of Portions of the American Liturgy — The same Translator‘s Syriac Rendering of Portions of the same Liturgy

XXIII. — The Amharic Translation and Notes on the Abyssinian Mission : Isenberg‘s Edition of 1842

XXIV. — Persian Translations: Samuel Lee and Mirza Muhammad Ibrahim, 1828 — Ernst Trumpp, 1866 — Canon George Ledgard‘s Translation, 1874 — The latest, that of Canon Robert Bruce, 18S2 and later

XXV. — Jukes’ Pashtu Translation

Appendix:   Bibliography and Authorities Consulted



XXVI. — Introductory: A General Survey — Linguistic Survey of India

XXVII. — Hindi Translations: J. C. Whitley’s, 1870-73 — Arthur Logsdail’s Edition in Roman Hindi — William Hooper’s Revision, 1898, etc. — The Manual of Prayers, by F. P. L. Josa, 1881, for the Hindi Immigrants in British Guiana

XXVIII. — Hindustani or Urdu Versions: Henry Martyn’s Posthumous Compendium of the Book of Common Prayer, 1814 — Re-edited, in 1818, by Daniel Corrie, and in 1829 — Later Translation by WIlham Smith and Samuel Slater — The 1886 Edition and its Recent Issues

XXIX. — Bengali and Assamese Translations: William Morton — The Bishop’s College Edition of 1840 and of 1846 — C. H. Hesselmeyer’s Assamese Version

XXX. — Marathi Translations: J. B. Dickson, 1835 — The Revision of 1868, Dr. J. S. S. Robertson and Canon James Taylor — The Latest Revision of 1900, by Canon Taylor, C. S. Rivington, C. King, A. Darby, and others

XXXI. — Lesser Indo-Aryan Languages: Gujarati Translation of Vaupel, 1842; Revision by G. L. Allen, 1846 — Kashmiri Version by T. R. Wade, 1884 — Sindhi Translation of George Shirt — The Brahman’s Prayer Book, in Sanskrit and English, by J. Williams, 1894, and 1897

XXXII. — Translations into Dravidian Languages, I. : The Tamil Prayer Book of 1818, by Christian David, and Later Editions — J. P. Rottler’s New Translation, 1828 — Later Editions and Revisions — Bishop Caldwell’s Great Linguistic Productions — The Lady’s Tamil Book, by Elijah Hoole — Telugu Translation by William Howell — The “Teloogoo” Translation of P. R. Hunt — The Edition of 1880, by the Rev. John Clay and others

XXXIII. — Translations into Dravidian Languages, II.: The Kanarese Version by H. V. Conolly, 1838 — The New Version of 1891 — Its Chief Translators — Benjamin Bailey’s Malayalam Liturgy, 1830 [1838] — The 1898 Edition — The Malto Version of the Prayer Book — Ernst Droese

XXXIV. — The Kolarian Group of Translations : Whitley’s Mundari Prayer Book — Later Editions — The Larka Kols and their Prayer Book, Translated by F. Kroger — Later Translations by Daud Singh and Abraham Bodra — Puxley’s Santali Version of Portions of the Liturgy

XXXV. — The Sinhalese Prayer Book: The Edition of 1820; its Probable Author — Lambrick’s Common Prayer in “Familiar Singhalese,” 1827, 1831; James Selkirk his Main Collaborator — Revised Editions of 1837 and 1839, by Selkirk — The 1869 Translation of S. W. Dras — The New Version of 1908

XXXVI. — Burma, I.: The Work of the S. P. G. among the Burmans — The First Burmese Translation, by Cockey, Shears and Marks — Dr. Marks’ Remarkable Work at Moulmein — The r876 Revision — The Editors and Revisers — The Tentative Edition of 1894 — The Latest Revision of 1910.

XXXVII. — Burma, II., The Karens: The Sgau Karen Order for Morning Prayer, Translated by C. Warren — Translations by Windley, 1877-79 — Revision by W. E. Jones, 1883 — The 1892 Edition, by A. Salmon — The New Revision, 1909 — Pwo Karen Translation by Jones — Karenni Portions of the Prayer Book, by Shah Poh

XXXVIII. — Borneo, I., The Malay Version: The S. P. G Mission — The Earliest Translation of Portions of the Liturgy, 1836, 1837 — Bishop McDougall’s Great Missionary and Literary Activity — His Faithful Assistants Zehnder and Gomes — Their Translational Work — The 1895 Revision by Bishop Hose and Zehnder

XXXIX. — Borneo, II., The Sea-Dyaks and the Land-Dyaks. The Nicobar Mission: The Pioneer Work of Bishop McDougall and Walter Chambers — John Perham, the Scholar among the Missionaries — Editions of the Dyak Prayer Book, from 1865 to 1892 — Chalmers’ and Glover’s Translations for the Land-Dyaks, 1860 — F. W. Abé’s Version of 1865 — Its Revision by C. W. Fowler, 1885-6 — The Faithful Work of the Tamil Catechist Solomon on Car Nicobar.

XL. — China and Corea: Robert Morrison, the Father of Protestant Missions in China — His Translations of the Liturgy — The Work of the American Church in China — Bishop Boone — His Translations into the Shanghai Colloquial, 1849 — The Hongkong Version, of Dr. Medhurst — The Foochow Translation — Cobbold’s Draft of the Ningpo Prayer Book — The Romanized System of Transliteration — The Ningpo Translation of W. A. Russell — Bishops’ Burdon and Schereschewski Version into the Language of the Court and the literati — The latter’s Translation into Wen-li — The Cantonese Prayer Book of A. B. Hutchinson, 1878 — Bishop Moule’s Translation into the Hangchow Colloquial, 1874 and 1877 — The Crowning Work of the Literary Career of Gomes, his Translation of the Liturgy into Hokien Colloquial for the Chinese of the Straits Settlements, assisted by L. C. Biggs — Bishop Corfe’s Core an Translation of Portions of the Prayer Book, assisted by M. N. Trollope

XLI. — Japan and the Ainu: Harmonious Work of the English and the American Church — The First Japanese Prayer Book, 1878-83; Bishop C. M. Williams and others — The Revised Version of 1895, the Work of Bishop Bickersteth and his Committee — The Hawaiian Japanese Book of W. H. Barnes — John Batchelor, the Apostle to the Ainu, and the Ainu Translation

Appendix:   Bibliography and Authorities Consulted



XLII. — Introductory — Australia: The Languages of the Ocean Family — The Aborigines of Australia Sadly Neglected — The Work of James Guenther at Wellington Valley — Hopes for the Future

XLIII. — The Philippine Islands: The Bontoc Igórot Translation of Portions of the American Liturgy, by W. C. Clapp, 1910 — The Tagalog Communion Office, by G. C. Bartter, 1906

XLIV. — The New Guinea Mission: Sir William MacGregor on the Early .Work of the late Rev. A. MacLaren — Copland King translates Book of Common Prayer into Wedau — Chignell’s Forthcoming Ubir Translation — Samuel Tomlinson’s Translation of the Prayer Book into Mukawa

XLV. — The Melanesian Mission, I.: George Augustus Selwyn and the Beginning of the Mission — Bishop Patteson’s Linguistic Work, assisted by Lonsdale Pritt and John Palmer — Mota Translation of the Prayer Book, R. H. Codrington and J. Palmer — Bice’s Version of Portions of the Prayer Book into the Walurigi Dialect of Oba — Translation of the Liturgy into Maewo and. Arag, the latter by Thomas Ulgau, a Native of Mota — Revision by Brittain and Edgell.

XLVI. — The Melanesian Mission, II.: The Solomon Islands and the Languages spoken there — Wano Translations, 1884, 1901 — The Ulawa Prayer Book — Mala Saa portions of the Prayer Book — Mala Fiu Prayer Book — Mala Lau Translation — Williams’ Translation into the Vaturanga Dialect of Guadalcanal — Penny’s Florida Translation, 1882 — Revision and Enlargement, 1906 — Editions of the Prayer Book in the Bugotu Language of Ysabel, by Henry Welchman and Alfred Penny — Portions of the Liturgy in the Santa Cruz Language — Robin’s Translation into the Lo Dialect of the Torres Group

XLVII. — The Maori of New Zealand: Samuel Marsden, the Apostle of New Zealand — The Translations of Bishop Williams, assisted by Robert Mounsell and others — Bishop Selwyn and the Work of his Committee on Revision — Later Editions

XLVIII. — The Hawaiian Islands: The Translation of King Kamehameha IV. — Revisions by Hoapili and Ibbotson; and by Bishop Willis

Appendix:   Bibliography and Authorities Consulted



XLIX. — Introductory; General Survey of the Work of the S. P. G. and other Missions — The Results of the Opening up of the “Dark Continent “ — The Linguistic Division of the Land — Bishop Gray and South Africa — The Bantu Languages — Nigeria

L. — Madagascar: The People and their Language — The 1864 Translation of Portions of the Liturgy, by Baker — Hey and Holding’s Translation of 1865-67 — The First Complete Malagasy Prayer Book, by Alfred Chiswell, 1877 — Later Revisions by F. A. Gregory and A. Smith

LI. — Bantu Languages, I., Uganda and Unyoro; The Lunyoro Rendering by H. E. Maddox, 1902 and 1909 — Luganda Portions of the Prayer Book, by Ashe, Mackay, and O’Flaherty, 1887 — Later Revisions and Enlarged Editions by Pilkington and others — Crabtree’s Kavirondo and Lusoga Translations

LII. — Bantu Languages, II., Swahili and Related Dialects; The Zanzibar and Mombasa Dialects — The Great Work of Bishop Steere and of Dr. Krapf — Their Literary Successors — Bondei Portions of the Prayer Book

LIII. — Bantu Languages, III.: Wray’s Sagalla Translations — A. N. Wood’s Portions of the Book of Common Prayer in the Kaguru Language — The Cigogo Book of Common Prayer — The Girlama Translation — portions of the Book of Common Prayer in the Langauge of Taveta, translated by Steggall — The Taita Translation of Several Offices

LIV. — Bantu Languages, IV.: Kisukuma Portions of the Book of Common Prayer — Glossop’s Chinyanja Version — The Chizwina Translations of 1898 and 1911 — Chopi, Gi-Tonga, and Ronga Translations of Services — Yao Portions of the Book of Common Prayer

LV. — Bantu Languages, V.: Serolong Version of Mitchell, Crisp and Others — The Sesutho Prayer Book; Canons Beckett and Widdicombe

LVI. — Bantu Languages, VI.; Zulu-Kafir Translation of 1856 — Bishop Callaway’s Great Work — The Later Revisions of the Zulu Translations — The Xosa-Kafir Rendering of Canon Woodrooffe and Associates

LVII. — Nigerian Languages, I.: The Addo, Idzo, and Brass Translations

LVIII. — Nigerian Languages, II. ; The Grebo Renderings of the American Book, by Bishop Payne and Bishop Auer

LIX. — Nigerian Languages, III.: The Hausa Mission, Robinson and Brooke — The Hausa Prayer Book of 1908 — The Ibo and the Isuama Ibo Renderings of the Liturgy — Schoen and John Christopher Taylor

LX. — Nigerian Languages, IV. : The Nupé Prayer Book; the Brothers Henry and James Johnson — Shekiri Portions of the Book of Common Prayer — The West Indian Mission to the Susu — The Translations of Duport and of Douglin

LXI. — Nigerian Languages, V. : The Sherbro and Tem(ne) Service Books — The Work of C. F. Schlenker, and of J. A. Alley — The Yoruba Mission, Townsend, Gollmer and Samuel Adjai Crowther — Translations of the Liturgy, by King, Crowther, etc.

Appendix:   Bibliography and Authorities Consulted



LXII. — Introductory; The Beginning of Indian Missions — The Work of the Church Missionary Society

LXIII. — The Iroquoian Family, I.: The Mohawk Prayer Book, 1st and 2nd Editions — The 1st Edition, 1715 — Dominie Bernardus Free(r)man and Lawrence Clæsse — The 2nd Edition, 1769 — Henry Barclay and John Ogilvie

LXIV. — The Iroquoian Family, II.: The Mohawk Prayer Book, 3rd and 4th Editions, 1780, 1787 — Colonel Daniel Claus — The Rev. John Stuart — Captain Brant’s Share in the 4th Edition

LXV. — The Iroquoian Family, III.: The Mohawk Prayer Book, 5th Edition, 1842 — Archdeacon Abraham Nelles — John Hill — Translations of the American Liturgy — Eleazer Williams — Solomon Davis

LXVI. — The Siouan Family: The Dakota Prayer Book — W. A. Burman — Translations of the American Liturgy — S. D. Hinman and Associates

LXVII. — The Algonquian Family, I.: The Chippewa Prayer Book — Dr. O’Meara’s Translations, 1846 and 1853 — The 1880 Edition of Bishop Horden and the Rev. J. Sanders — Editions of the American Liturgy, 1875, by the Rev. J. A. Gilfillan, and Revision of 1895 — The 1911 Translation by the Rev. E. C. Kah-O-Sed

LXVIII. — The Algonquian Family, II. : The Cree Indian Prayer Book — Early Missions — Archdeacon James Hunter and his Wife Jean, née Ross — His Several Editions of the Liturgy — John Horden, the Apostle of the Hudson Shore — His Translations of the Liturgy.

LXIX. — The Algonquian Family, III. : Micmac — Munsee or Delaware — Cheyenne — Arapahoe and Ottaway Service Books

LXX. — The Wakashan and Salishan Families: Kwagutl Version of Portions of the Book of Common Prayer, by A. J. Hall — The Rev. J. B. Good and the Liturgy for the Lytton Thompson Indians — Bishop Garrett’s Translation into the Chinookan jargon

LXXI. — The Athapascan Family, I.: The Slave or Tinné, the Tukudh, Chipewyan and Beaver Indians — Archdeacon Robert McDonald — His Various Tukudh Publications — Archdeacon Kirkby and the Saintly Bishop Bompas — The Beaver Indian Translations of A. C. Garrioch

LXXII. — The Athapascan Family, II.: Translations of the American Book for the Indians of Alaska — The Tanana Service Book of J. L. Prevost — The Ingilik Morning Prayer

LXXIII. — The Tsimshian Family: Bishop Ridley’s Tsimshian Liturgy — The Nishga Service Book of J. B. McCullagh — Haida Translation of Portions of the Prayer Book by J. H. Keen

LXXIV. — Eskimo Translations: The Early Greenland Missions — Edmund James Peck and his Translations for the Hudson’s Bay Eskimo

LXXV. — The South American Indians: British Guiana and John Henry Brett, the Apostle of the Indians of Guiana — His Literary Work and his Successors — The Lengua Indians of the Paraguayan Chaco — The Yahgan Indians of Tierra del Fuego

Appendix:   Bibliography and Authorities Consulted

Chronological Tables

Index of Names and Subjects




Web author: Charles Wohlers U. S. EnglandScotlandIrelandWalesCanadaWorld