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The Book of Common Prayer

This online version of the Book of Common Prayer can be found at


The Episcopal Church separated itself from the Church of England in 1789, with the first church in the USA having been founded in 1607.  Its prayer book, published in 1790, had as its sources the 1662 English book and the 1764 Scottish Liturgy (see above) which Bishop Seabury of Connecticut had brought over following his consecration in Aberdeen in 1784. 


The compilers used materials derived from ancient liturgies especially Eastern Orthodox ones such as the Liturgy of St. James. Overall, the book was modeled on the English Prayer Book, the Convention having resisted attempts at deletion and revision. The 1789 American BCP reintroduced explicit sacrificial language in the Prayer of Consecration by adding the words "which we now offer unto Thee", after "with these thy holy gifts" from the 1549 BCP.  Further revisions occurred in 1892 and 1928, in which minor changes were made, removing, for instance, some of Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Cranmer's Exhortations and introducing such innovations as prayers for the dead.


In 1979, a more substantial revision was made and it is this version that is used at Calvary. There were now two rites for the most common services, the first that kept most of the language of 1928, and the second using only contemporary language (some of it newly composed, and some adapted from the older language). Many changes were made in the rubrics and the shapes of the services, which were generally made for both the traditional and contemporary language versions. 

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