If you’re interested in the Book of Common Prayer, you should get yourself a copy of the “new” 1662 Book of Common Prayer International Edition.
The editors of this new edition of the classic Anglican Prayer Book (Samuel Bray and Drew Keane) have done a wonderful job of
- making the 1662 BCP more accessible to a wider audience, while
- preserving the content of the original work.
In fact, unlike some other editions of the 1662, the International Edition from IVP includes the original 1662 Daily Office Lectionary (instead of the revised Daily Office Lectionary from 1871).
To make this edition, Bray and Keane have lightly updated the spelling, pronunciation, and a bit of the vocabulary. They’ve also moved prayers for the Queen (of England) and royal family, including more general prayers for state/rulers from later Prayer Books instead.
Other notable features include:
- A letter from the editors to the reader, in which they explain their edits and rationale
- “A Sermon of the Salvation of Mankind by Only Christ Our Saviour from Sin & Death Everlasting (1547),” AKA “The Homily of Justification,” which is mentioned in Article 11 of the 39 Articles of Religion
- Several additional prayers and thanksgivings, taken from later Anglican Prayer Books
- Additional rubrics (instructions) for the various liturgical services, taken from later Prayer Books
- The Church of England’s alternative Daily Office Lectionary, published in 1961, which follows the Church year (as opposed to the civil calendar)
- A Prayer Book glossary, which is quite possibly worth the price of the book on its own if you want to understand how the 1662 BCP uses terms like “miserable,” “quick,” “vouchsafe,” and “unicorn”!
So, what are you waiting for? Pick up a copy of this new edition of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer today, and start using it for Morning and Evening Prayer! (See the brief yet very helpful “How to follow the services” instructions on page 767!)
~ Josh Steele, Managing Editor of Anglican Compass
P.S. Want to learn a lot more about the Book of Common Prayer?
- Read the very thorough FAQ page about the 1662 BCP International Edition if you want more details about the new edition.
- Check out our Rookie Anglican Guide to the Book of Common Prayer.
- Read Alan Jacobs’s “Biography” of the Book of Common Prayer.
- Buy the Oxford World Classics edition of the 1549, 1559, and 1662 Book of Common Prayer.
- Get the Oxford Guide to the Book of Common Prayer: A Worldwide Survey.
- Check out one of the many old commentaries on the 1662 BCP, like The Annotated Book of Common Prayer by John Henry Blunt, published in 1872.
Thanks for reading!
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(Originally published as The Curate newsletter on April 16, 2021.)