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.
Scottish Episcopal Church was thus the first of the many Churches
in the Anglican Communion to be independent of the Church of England.
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.
present here the first Scottish Book of Common Prayer, as adopted
in 1912. As noted below, this book is essentially the English 1662
BCP with the addition of the Scottish Communion Office, along with
certain other relatively minor additions and perrmissible deviations.
It was replaced by a more extensive revision in 1929.
to this time, the individual Scottish parishes would generally use
the English 1662 BCP, along with the Scottish Communion Service, if desired. Books of Common Prayer
printed in Scotland prior to this time were identical to those printed
in England (see below).
This text is also available from
the Internet Archive in PDF and
plain text formats.