The Book of Common Prayer
Worship services at Christ’s Church — as at every Episcopal church — are drawn from the Book of Common Prayer (and other authorized liturgies). The Book of Common Prayer (BCP) is a resource originally developed during the English Reformation and first published in 1549. The first edition of the American version was ratified and published in 1789. It has since gone through three revisions, the most recent published in 1979. A fourth revision is currently in the works.
The BCP contains orders of service (liturgies) for Sunday and daily worship services, as well as resources for personal devotion and a myriad of other religious occasions. It provides traditional- and contemporary-language versions of the Eucharist, our principal form of worship, and the service we call “Morning Prayer,” which does not include communion. In addition, the book includes liturgies for the other sacraments and pastoral offices of the Episcopal Church.
As a guide for personal devotion, the BCP offers a wealth of resources, including suggestions for prayer in the morning, at noon, in the early evening, and at the close of day. You’ll also find the Book of Psalms (the Psalter), prayers and thanksgivings appropriate for many occasions, a catechism, and much more.
“The Book of Common Prayer is a treasure chest full of devotional and teaching resources for individuals and congregations, but it is also the primary symbol of our unity … We, who are many and diverse, come together in Christ through our worship, our common prayer. The prayer book … contains our liturgies, our prayers, our theological documents, and much, much more.”