The Book Of Common Prayer (BCP)

Posted by David Neff, OblSB on

The Book of Common Prayer

Website:     www.CommonPrayer.Org

Commentary on Prayer                                                                                                               Bishop Stephen Scarlett, Bishop Ordinary of the Diocese of the Holy Trinity

In Anglican tradition, our life of prayer is governed by the Book of Common Prayer, which is the Rule of St. Benedict adapted to a parish setting. Our Rule is the way we train ourselves to live in the story of our redemption. Rule is rooted in the calendar. We do not live merely through annual cycles of bloom and decay until our own flower fades and we die—or through a yearly series of consumer sales events. Rather, we live through an annual cycle of the revelation of God in Christ that looks forward to our ultimate hope.

Commentary on BCP

Anyone familiar with the Breviary and the Rule of St. Benedict has an advantage in understanding the Book of Common Prayer. Anyone who understands how English village life had been organized for centuries around the monastery, also has an advantage. Knowing these things helps enormously, because it prevents the mistake of seeing the Book of Common Prayer as no more than a book of public services. Prayer tradition that has grown out of the Rule (Regula) looks to an ideal life of seven offices with a Mass every day. The average person cannot live this way, but can live with a simplified Rule for one's own life. That Rule of life is what the Book of Common Prayer gives to us.

 It is also a simplified Benedictine Rule for the common man, and this is the tradition of English prayer that has been made available to everyone through the Anglican Common Prayer tradition.