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Scottish Episcopal Church


A number of current services are online at the Scottish Episcopal Church's web site. These include the 1970 and 1982 Communion Offices, Daily Prayer, Baptism, Marriage, Burial, Ordination services, etc.. These are available in several different formats.

The 1970 and 1982 Communion Offices, in Scots Gaelic

The 1977 Experimental Liturgy

The Scottish Prayer Book - the 1929 Scottish Book of Common Prayer

The Scottish Book of Common Prayer of 1912

The Book of Common Prayer in Scots Gaelic: the 1662 BCP, including the Scottish Communion Office

Bishop Torry's 1849 Book of Common Prayer

The 'Wee Bookies': a series of pamphlets issued in the 18th & 19th centuries, containing the Communion Service, based on the 1637 Book of Common Prayer.   new!

The 1637 Scottish Book of Common Prayer ("Laud's Book")  

The Scottish Book of Common Prayer 1929, by Alan Campbell Don: In spite of its name, this is a short illustrated general history of the Book of Common Prayer in Scotland. (PDF file)   new!

Scottish Liturgies of the Reign of James VI: A draft of the 1637 Book along with an extensive historical introduction and commentary.

The Scottish Liturgy: Its Value in History (1922), a book by W. Perry, is online at the Internet Archive.

The Annotated Scottish Communion Office (1884), reprints and discussion of the 1637 and 1764 offices, by John Dowden, is also online thanks to the Internet Archive.


The Scottish Episcopal Church is the representative of the Anglican Communion in Scotland. It is the result of a history in the Scottish Church of struggles throughout the 16th and 17th centuries between congregational and episcopal forms of liturgy and government. When the dust finally settled, in 1689, Scotland was left with an established church, the Church of Scotland, which is Presbyterian and has no bishops, and an unestablished, independent, Scottish Episcopal Church, which retained the traditional episcopal (meaning, with bishops) forms, and the traditional liturgy. This Church, while closely related to the Church of England in liturgical, structural, and many other ways, nevertheless was often at odds with the English government, as may be seen in the history of one of its parishes, Old St. Paul's in Edinburgh.

The Scottish Episcopal Church was thus the first of the many Churches in the Anglican Communion to be independent of the Church of England.

The Scottish Episcopal Church is important to the history of the Episcopal Church in the U. S., as its independent nature allowed the consecration of the first Episcopal bishop, Samuel Seabury, in 1784, without his having to swear allegiance to the British crown. As a result, the Communion rite adopted by the Episcopal Church in 1790 was closely based on the Scottish liturgy, rather than the English.

Last updated: 12 Feb. 2019

Web author: Charles Wohlers U. S.EnglandScotlandIrelandWalesCanadaWorld