Introduction for Episcopal Book of Common Prayer Classes

Background and Purpose of Class

Adult Sunday School

Are you swept away by the resonant chants, the rhythmic prayers, and the profound sense of peace in an Episcopal church service? Have you ever wondered about the source of this powerful liturgy, the words that bind generations of faithful together? If so, then this class on the Episcopal Book of Common Prayer (BCP) is for you.

Over a six-week period, we’ll review the development and evolution of this text, its history, the conditions leading to its creation, and its application in our daily lives. We’ll consider the issues faced by its authors, religious and secular.

 The Book of Common Prayer is more than just a collection of prayers and rituals. It’s a living testament to the Anglican tradition, a bridge between the rich tapestry of Catholic tradition and the fresh perspectives of the Reformation. Its words, honed over centuries, resonate with both timeless truths and contemporary concerns.

From its 16th-century roots under King Henry VIII to its 20th-century revisions reflecting a changing world, the Book of Common Prayer is a chronicle of religious faith and practical guidance for daily living. Its rituals guide our worship and declare our faith’s religious themes of grace, forgiveness, and love.

Class Schedule

January 7 –Pre-Reformation Environment in England: Social, Institutional, and Religious

January 14Early Reformation in England (Henry VIII and Thomas Cranmer)

January 21 – Church of England Book of Common Prayer (1549) with Revisions

January 28 –Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America (BCP)

February 4 –Revisions to the Episcopal Church BCP

February 11 – The Episcopal Book of Common Prayer (Currently in Use)