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

    Chuo cha Sala ya Umoja (1662)
The 1662 Book of Common Prayer in Swahili


Swahili is one of the most widely spoken languages in Africa. Although it is spoken as a first language by only about 2 million people (estimates vary widely), mostly along the coast of Kenya and Tanzania, it is a second language for the great majority of people in East Africa. It is an official language in Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda, and is also very widely spoken in the eastern Congo.

The Book of Common Prayer was first translated into Swahili in 1876, and has seen well over a dozen editions and printings down to the present day. The British, who ruled most all of East Africa following WW I, encouraged the use of Swahili as a way to unify their colonies and thus help facilitate their rule over them. Thus it became a lingua franca for much of East Africa.

The Book of Common Prayer has been printed in the two major dialects of Swahili, the Kiunjuga, or Southern, or Zanzibar dialect, and the Kimvita, or Central, or Mombasa dialect. Since 1935 it has also been printed in Standardized Swahili. All of these are fairly similar and mutually intelligible. This present text is a translation of nearly the entire 1662 BCP, with some additions. It is in the Kimvita dialect, which is spoken primarily on the Kenyan coast, and is listed in David Griffiths' Bibliography of the Book of Common Prayer as 165:4. It was translated by CMS missionaries in the Mombasa Diocese and published in 1943.

As I do not know Swahili, the English translations of titles of the Services below, and of the various subsections within them, particularly for those parts not found in the 1662 BCP, were arrived at by use of a Swahili-English dictionary. The text has been spell-checked, but some errors likely still remain. Any corrections and/or clarifications would be welcome.

Besides the HTML files below, we also have the entire book available as PDF graphics. It includes extractable text, but this text has not been checked and undoubtedly contains errors. See link at right. 



Title Page

Download the entire book as PDF graphics (size = 45MB)

Table of Contents

1. Zaburi Zilizokhusika na siku kuu
    Psalms for Holy Days
2. Taratibu ya Sala ya Asubuhi
    Morning Prayer
3. Taratibu ya Sala ya Jioni
    Evening Prayer
4. Wakati wa Sala ya Asubuhi
    At Morning Prayer (Athanasian Creed)
5. Litania
6. Sala na Shukrani
    Prayers & Thanksgivings
7. Shukrani
8. Sala na Shukrani kadhawakadha
    Additional Prayers & Thanksgivings
9. Sala na Nyaraka na Injili vya Mwaka Mzima
    Collects, Epistles & Gospels
10. Taratibu ya Kusongeza Karamu ya Bwana; au, Ushirika Mtakatifu
    Holy Communion
11. Taratibu ya Kuwabatiza Watoto mbele ya Watu
    Public Baptism of Infants
12. Ubatizo wa Faragha Kuwasongezea Watoto Wachanga Nyumbani
    Private Baptism of Infants
13. Taratibu ya Kubatiza Watu Wazima
    Adult Baptism
14. Majibizano (au Katekisimo)
15. Taratibu ya Kuthubutisha
16. Taratibu ya Ndoa
17. Taratibu ya Kuwaangalia Wagonjwa
    Visitation of the Sick
18. Walio hawawezi Kuwasongezea Ushirika
    Communion of the Sick
19. Taratibu ya Kuzika Maiti
    Burial of the Dead
20. Shukrani za Wanawake baada ya Kwisha Kuzaa
    Churching of Women
21. Maonyo ya Ghadhabu zake Mwenyezi Mungu
22. Zaburi za Daudi
23. Taratibu na Jinsi ya Kufanya, na Kuamuru, na Kuwekwa Wawe
24. Sharti Thelathini na Kenda za Dini
    Articles of Religion
25. Taratibu ya Kuonyesha Uzazi
    Table of Kindred & Affinity
26. Taratibu Iwezayo Kutumiwa kwa Kuzika Mtoto
    Order for the Burial of a Child
27. Taratibu ya Kuwatia Wasikizi Katiki Kundi la Watafiti.
    Order for the Instruction of Catechumens (?)
28. Taratibu ya Kuwakubali Watafiti wawe Wasomaji
    Order for the Commissioning of Instructors of Catechumens (?)
29. Taratibu ya Ndoa.
    Order for Marriage (for those not yet Baptized)
30. Kuweka wakf Msikiti
    Consecration of a Church
31. Taratibu ya Kuweka Jiwe la Msingi wa Msikiti
    Order for Laying the Cornerstone of a Church



Web author: Charles Wohlers U. S. EnglandScotlandIrelandWalesCanadaWorld