The Book of Common Prayer has a distinguished place in the history of the English language. While first published in 1662, it reflects the influence of Thomas Cranmer’s first and second Prayer Books of 1549 and 1552 with their rhythmic cadences, rich biblical vocabulary and memorable words and phrases which made the first Prayer Books in the English language such masterpieces of liturgical prose.
While there have been changes over the last 350 years in the way in which English is both written and spoken, the substance of the prayers which stem from the English Reformation continue to inform our minds, warm our hearts and strengthen our wills so that, in the words of the opening Collect for the Holy Communion, ‘we may perfectly love thee, and worthily magnify the holy Name, through Jesus Christ our Lord.’
I heartily commend this website of the Prayer Book Society in Australia. May it provide a rich resource for renewed interest in our liturgical heritage so that we might approach the throne of grace in our public worship, with biblically based language, theologically grounded prayers and Christ-honoring praises to the glory of God.
The Most Rev Dr Glenn N Davies
Archbishop of Sydney
The Archbishop is also the Patron of the Prayer Book Society.