The Book of Common Prayer 2011 is now available! You may read more about this new edition (and place orders for copies) at Book of Common Prayer 2011.
This new edition uses the English Standard Version Scriptures and hearkens back to the original Cranmer prayer book of the late 1540s, but is presented in modern, accessible language. Retaining historical and doctrinal accuracy, our prayer for this edition of the Book of Common Prayer is that it will introduce many people to the Biblical Anglican Church, allowing them to experience the prayer book for the first time.
The title page reads:
“This Book is for trial use by the Reformed Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church in North America for liturgical review. This Trial version has not been authorized, at present, for general use except as permitted by the ordinary of each diocese.”
So it is our wish and our prayer that this new trial edition of the Book of Common Prayer will be a valuable tool for understanding the Anglican mode of praying the Scriptures for those outside of the Church of England tradition and that it may be a viable alternative for those using the 1979 edition for readability yet not appreciating some of the compromises made in that Book.
I am so blessed to be part of this project. Father Keith Acker of Alpine Anglican Church of the Blessed Trinity in eastern San Diego County, who revised this Book of Common Prayer under the direction of Bishop Richard Boyce, asked me to help him edit this project. What seemed to be some quick proofreading soon evolved into intense editorial sessions lasting over nine months. As I am not a member of the Anglican Church, much of the theology and content was new to me, and my ignorance and many questions became quite helpful in fleshing out explanations of aspects of the Anglican tradition and practice. I have been attending weekday prayer and Communion services with Fr. Acker since 2004, but my church membership resides within the Evangelical Free Church.
I started praying with the Book of Common Prayer over ten years ago, using a 1662 edition illustrated with illuminated manuscripts. Then when I discovered a nearby Anglican Church, I was introduced to the 1979 book, and then to the 1928 which I have used for the last six years exclusively until this new 2011 edition. As a scholar of medieval literature, I adore the beauty of language in the 1928, but its main obstacle was its inaccessibility to a modern audience that was not made up of medievalists.
We pray that the Book of Common Prayer 2011 will be a blessing to many, both within and outside of the Church of England, who desire to pray the Scriptures and the historic prayers of the Anglican tradition.