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

    The 1979 U. S. Book of Common Prayer: Formatted


We present here the Book of Common Prayer in electronic form, formatted as the original. That is, it is intended to be as identical as possible to the U. S. BCP in appearance. It is hoped that parishes might find this useful, for example, in preparing special service booklets where unnecessary sections may be omitted, parts may be rearranged as needed so as to follow the actual order of service, or actual names (as in baptism or marriage) could be inserted. The text is in three word processing formats, RTF (Rich Text Format), which is recognizable by nearly all word processors, MSWord for Windows 97, and WordPerfect 6.0. The text is also available in Adobe Acrobat (PDF) files, which look more like the original, but are not generally editable.
    If you have Firefox, Internet Explorer, or a similar browser, clicking on one of the RTF or MSWord links below will either call up a "helper program" (WordPad if you have Windows) or give a message box. Just click on "Save to disk" (or something similar) in the message box or helper program, and the file will be saved onto your hard drive. For the PDF files, you will need the free Adobe Acrobat Reader. Once this is installed, clicking on a PDF file will automatically call up the Reader and you will be able to read the file, and save it onto your hard drive if you wish. If any errors are found please let us know. Suggestions for improvements are always welcome.

On 2 December 2007 the Episcopal Church officially began using the Revised Common Lectionary (with slight modifications) for Sunday Services. The Episcopal Church's Office for Liturgy and Music has produced replacement BCP pages containing the new readings.

Which files should I download? Basically, if you want to edit the text in any way, you should use the Word Processor (RTF, MSWord, or WordPerfect) files. This would be the case, for example, if you wish to make service booklets where the text actually follows the order of service, or if you wish to substitute actual names in the services of Baptism, Marriage, etc. If, however, you want an exact (printable) copy of part of the BCP, you should choose the Adobe Acrobat (PDF) files.

Fonts now available for these files!  Highly recommended for use with the Word Processor files.

1979 BCP title page


Table of Contents

[see below for single-file downloads]

The Ratification of the Book of Common Prayer    8  
The Preface   9  
Concerning the Service of the Church   13  
The Calendar of the Church Year   15 
  MSWord (size = 130 KBytes) PDF (size = 180 KBytes)
The Calendar is also available on our Lectionary site, with links to bios and lectionary texts.
The Daily Office 
Daily Morning Prayer: Rite One   37 
RTF, (size = 115 Kbytes) MSWord (110K) PDF (185K)
Daily Evening Prayer: Rite One   61  RTF (60K) MSWord (70K) PDF (135K)
Daily Morning Prayer: Rite Two   75  RTF (125K) MSWord (130K) PDF (180K)
Noonday Prayer   103  RTF (45K) MSWord (47K) PDF (130K)
Order of Worship for the Evening   108  RTF (30K) MSWord (45K)
Daily Evening Prayer: Rite Two   115  RTF (65K) MSWord (70K) PDF (115K)
Compline   127  RTF (65K) MSWord (60K) PDF (200K)
Daily Devotions for Individuals and Families    137  
Table of Suggested Canticles   144
RTF (45K) MSWord (70K)
The Great Litany   148  RTF (35K) MSWord (52K) PDF (97K)
The Collects: Traditional  
Seasons of the Year   159  
Holy Days   185  
Common of Saints   195  
Various Occasions   199 
RTF (160K) MSWord (230K) PDF (240K)
The Collects: Contemporary 
Seasons of the Year   211  
Holy Days   237  
Common of Saints   246  
Various Occasions   251 
RTF (160K) MSWord (210K) PDF (270K)
Proper Liturgies for Special Days 
Ash Wednesday   264 
RTF (45K) MSWord (150K) PDF (150K)
Palm Sunday   270  
Maundy Thursday   274  
Good Friday   276  
Holy Saturday   283 
RTF (60 K)
The Great Vigil of Easter   285  RTF (60K)
Holy Baptism   299  RTF (100K) MSWord (90K) PDF (155K)
The Holy Eucharist 
An Exhortation   316  
A Penitential Order: Rite One   319  
The Holy Eucharist: Rite One   323 
RTF (155K) MSWord (150K) PDF (155K)
A Penitential Order: Rite Two   351  
The Holy Eucharist: Rite Two   355  
Prayers of the People   383  
Communion under Special Circumstances   396 
RTF (235K) MSWord (210K) PDF (210K)
An Order for Celebrating the Holy Eucharist 400  RTF (35K) MSWord (60K) PDF (110K)
Pastoral Offices 
Confirmation   413  
A Form of Commitment to Christian Service   420 
RTF (45K) MSWord (55K) PDF (120K)
Celebration and Blessing of a Marriage   423  
The Blessing of a Civil Marriage   433  
An Order for Marriage   435
RTF (80K) MSWord (82K) PDF (125K)
Thanksgiving for the Birth or Adoption of a Child   439  RTF (35K) MSWord (50K) PDF (150K)
Reconciliation of a Penitent    447  RTF (30K) MSWord (45K)
Ministration to the Sick    453  RTF (30K) MSWord (77K)
Ministration at the Time of Death   462  RTF (30K)
Burial of the Dead: Rite One    469  RTF (120K) MSWord (100K) PDF (160K)
Burial of the Dead: Rite Two    491 
An Order for Burial   506
RTF (80K) MSWord (85K) PDF (130K)
Episcopal Services 
Ordination of a Bishop   511 
RTF (85K) MSWord (80K) PDF (170K)
Ordination of a Priest    525  RTF (80K) MSWord (70K)
Ordination of a Deacon    537  RTF (75K) MSWord (65K)
Litany for Ordinations   548  RTF (50K) MSWord (50K)
Celebration of a New Ministry   557  RTF (55K) MSWord (60K) PDF (89K)
Consecration of a Church or Chapel   567  RTF (80K) MSWord (75K)
The Psalter, or Psalms of David  585       
   Psalms 1 - 75 RTF (1200K) MSWord (420K) PDF (585K)
   Psalms 76 - 150 RTF (1300K) MSWord (445K)
Prayers and Thanksgivings   810  RTF (100K) MSWord (140K) PDF (160K)
An Outline of the Faith, or Catechism    845  RTF (145K) MSWord (90K) PDF (150K)
Historical Documents of the Church   864 
(including the Articles of Religion)  

Tables for Finding the Date of Easter and other Holy Days   880 

RTF (140K) MSWord (150K) PDF (210K)
The Lectionary   888  
Year A   889  
Year B   900  
Year C   911  
Holy Days   921  
Common of Saints   925  
Various Occasions   927  

Daily Office Lectionary   934  
Seasons of the Year   936  
Holy Days   996  
Special Occasions   1000 

  Current Sunday and Daily Lectionary readings may be found at The Lectionary web site PDF (400K)
RCL Sunday Lectionary (400K)


All the above files, ZIP compressed:

For the ZIP files, just click on the file you want and then choose "Save to disk" (or similar), and the file will be downloaded to your computer. You will then need to uncompress it using PKUNZIP, Winzip (if you have Windows), Stuffit, or a similar utility.

The entire Book of Common Prayer is also available as a single PDF file (rather than the many files you see above); size is about 4.5MB. It is also available as a single PDF from the Episcopal Church Center (size also 4.5MB).     updated!

All the above files are also available in Adobe InDesign (.indd) format; contact me if interested.

Fonts: In order to minimize reformatting when using the RTF or WordPerfect files in a Word Processor, you will need to use the same font as was used in creating them. We have available for downloading a Garamond font for Windows which is both free (an important consideration!) and quite close in appearance to the font used in the U. S. Book of Common Prayer. It is a ZIP compressed file of four fonts of the Garamond family: normal, italic, bold, and bold italic. After downloading, you will need to uncompress it, and then install the files just as you would any other true-type font.
Note: the MSWord files use the same Garamond font which is part of the standard MSWord/MSOffice installation.

Download fonts (size=118K)

Sources / acknowledgements:

    The original text for these files was taken from ASCII text files produced by John Goodwin, Michael Bushnell, and others, in 1993. Typos present in the original files have been corrected as they have been found. Should you find any, please let me know so I can fix them.
    Thanks to Jay McWhirter for formatting the MSWord files.


Web author: Charles Wohlers U. S. EnglandScotlandIrelandWalesCanadaWorld