The year 2012 is not just about London hosting the Olympics or our Sovereign marking her Diamond Jubilee as Queen – it will see the 350th anniversary of the Book of Common Prayer, the heart of our national church’s worship.
The 1662 Prayer Book has been familiar to generations of men and women: for worship, baptisms, marriages and deaths. It is loved for its theology as much as for its wonderful language.
Phrases from it have come into everyday use and have been quoted in literature: ’till death us do part’, ‘read, mark, learn and inwardly digest’, ‘peace in our time’, ‘ashes to ashes…’.
Together with the Authorised Version of the Bible, the Book of Common Prayer has shaped the English language and inspired musical settings from some of the best church composers.
Still officially acknowledged as the standard of doctrine and worship in the Church of England, the Prayer Book has been under threat of being sidelined by contemporary alternatives; yet its services continue to be enjoyed daily in most of our cathedrals, and weekly in many of our parish churches.
The Prayer Book Society plans to make 2012 a year of celebration for Archbishop Thomas Cranmer’s magnificent volume.
Further details here