The Book of Common Prayer
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    The Book of Common Prayer
Church of England


The major revisions:

The 1662 Book of Common Prayer
The current official Prayer Book of the Church of England.

1559 Book of Common Prayer
The Elizabethan Book

1552 Book of Common Prayer
The second Prayer Book of Edward VI

1549 Book of Common Prayer
The first Book of Common Prayer

Common Worship: This replaces the Alternative Service Book and has become the most commonly used Prayer Book in the Church of England. Morning Prayer, Evening Prayer, and Night Prayer from Common Worship with with today's readings are also available from the Church of England

Alternative Service Book (ASB): several sections available in RTF format; other Church of England liturgical resources are available here as well.

Holy Communion, First Series (1967): The first steps leading up to the Alternative Service Book.

News of Liturgy archive: All issues of the newsletter, which primarily focussed on Church of Englad liturgy, and was published from 1975-2003.

Portions of the Book of Common Prayer in Cornish (1980)

Anglo-Catholic Liturgies: From the early to mid-1900's a number of unofficial Communion Liturgies were published, primarily for use by Anglo-Catholic parishes. These include:

A New Mass Book for the Laity (1965)
The Interim Rite (c. 1958)
A Parish Communion Book (1940).
The Communion Service As It Might Be (1935). An Anglo-Catholic adaptation of the 1928 service
An Anglican Use (1930), by Horace Spance. A guide to (mostly) Anglo-Catholic ceremonial.
A Mass Book according to the Western Rite (c. 1930).
A Simple Mass Book (1920)
Little Missal for the Laity (1916)

The Shorter Prayer Book (1946)

The Churchpeople's Prayer Book (1935) From Wales, but also used in England.

Common Prayer for Children (1931)

The [1662] Holy Communion rearranged to follow the Order of Communion 1548 and the 1549 BCP, by Edward C. Ratcliff (1931).

1928 Proposed Book of Common Prayer. Approved by the Church, but rejected by Parliament.

1923 Draft Book of Common Prayer. The initial attempt at revision, leading up to the 1928 Proposed Book.

A Survey of Proposals for the Alternative Prayer Book. A response to the 1923 Draft from the Alcuin Club.

The "Green Book". A response to the 1923 Draft from the English Church Union.

The "Grey Book". Another response to the 1923 Draft, from a liberal group.

The New Prayer Book Explained. An SPCK pamphlet on the Proposed Prayer Book

The New Prayer Book. A defense of the Proposed Prayer book from the Bishop of Gloucester, Arthur C. Headlam.

The New Prayer Book: A collection of eight lectures (including one by Evelyn Underhill) in support of the proposed Prayer Book, edited by H. Maurice Relton.

The Book of Common Prayer, containing proposals and suggestions (1920), by John Neale Dalton. A proposal along Anglo-Catholic lines.     new!

A Prayer Book Revised, a proposed revision from 1913, said to be by Percy Dearmer, also along Anglo-Catholic lines. (from the Internet Archive)

The English Rite, by FE Brightman (1915): A four-column comparison of the 1549, 1552 and 1662 BCP's and their original sources, plus an extensive introduction. A classic study of the Engoish BCP.

Abridgement of the Book of Common Prayer (1773): A proposal from Benjamin Franklin & Sir Francis Dashwood.

Liturgies of the Nonjurors: The Communion office, a BCP, and descriptions of these 18th-century liturgies.

1689 Proposed Book of Common Prayer: The "Liturgy of Comprehension" - an unsuccessful attempt to create a prayer book which could be accepted by a wide spectrum of Anglican and Protestant Christians.

Forms for the Consecration of Churches and Churchyards, by Lancelot Andrewes (1620), and as passed by Convocation (1712).

Jeremy Taylor's Communion Office (1658)
For use during the Commonwealth

Merbeke's Book of Common Prayer Noted (1550)   
The Book of Common Prayer put to music

The Order for the Communion 1548 
The first communion service in English.

The Two Books of Homilies (1547 & 1563)
Sermons for priests to read out to their congregations

Exhortation & Litany (1544)
The first liturgy in English

The Sarum Missal: The Communion service commonly used in the English Church before the Book of Common Prayer; in Latin and English translation.

The Directory for the Public Worship of God, which replaced the Book of Common Prayer between 1645 and 1660, is more of an outline of worship than a fixed liturgy, in keeping with its Puritan background. It is available online, from (not surprisingly) two conservative Presbyterian groups, the Reformed Presbyterian Church, and the Evangelical Presbyterian Church. Google Books has an original 1645 printing online, in PDF graphics.


 The Church of England is, of course, the "mother church" of all the churches in the Anglican Communion. We have here the texts (or links to the texts) of all Church of England Books of Common Prayer dating back to the first, in 1549 - plus quite a bit of other related material. Everything is presented here more or less chronologically, starting with the newest.

Links in bold are on this site.

1662 Book of Common Prayer
Title page of the 1662 BCP, as currently printed

Title page of the first Book of Common Prayer
Title page of the first Book of Common Prayer, 1549

"Griffiths" refers to books listed in David Griffiths' Bibliography of the Book of Common Prayer.


Last Updated: 1 October 2022

Web author: Charles Wohlers U. S. EnglandScotlandIrelandWalesCanadaWorld