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186 of 188 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Utilitarian BCP
This is a complete and unabridged version of the Episcopal Church's Book of Common Prayer. It differs from the pew version only in size and the color of its binding (black with gold cross).
The advantages of this volume are its size and inexpensiveness.
This BCP's compact size makes it easy to drop into a briefcase, desk drawer, backpack or duffle bag - making...
Published on December 25, 2002 by Oren A Starks III

versus
63 of 69 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not an American Prayer Book
Note that this prayer book is authorized by the Episcopal Church of Scotland. It is not The Book of Common Prayer used by the Episcopal Church in the United States.
Published on February 10, 2011 by NelsonT


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186 of 188 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Utilitarian BCP, December 25, 2002
By 
Oren A Starks III "strongtree" (Nashville, Tennessee United States) - See all my reviews
This is a complete and unabridged version of the Episcopal Church's Book of Common Prayer. It differs from the pew version only in size and the color of its binding (black with gold cross).
The advantages of this volume are its size and inexpensiveness.
This BCP's compact size makes it easy to drop into a briefcase, desk drawer, backpack or duffle bag - making it perfect for daily devotions when away from home. Legibility is not affected by the size. If you have no problem reading the full-size version, you should have no problem with this one.
"Inexpensive" in this case does not mean "cheap." The imitation leather binding is well-done and handsome. The paper is the familiar thin "onion-skin Bible" paper. The pages are not gold-edged.
A presentation page and pages to record baptism, confirmation and marriage represent the only "frills" in this book. Because of this plainness, you might want to pass this one by if you're looking for a presentation or gift BCP.
On the other hand, if you want a BCP that you can use every day, travels well, and is easy to carry or pack, this book's for you.
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100 of 107 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars With all my heart, and soul, and strength, October 3, 2005
The Book of Common Prayer (1979) is the latest, complete BCP used by the American branch of the Anglicans, the Episcopal church. There have been many books that have had the title 'Book of Common Prayer' since the first one appeared in 1549; it has been used continuously in one edition or another in the Anglican tradition since 1559; the 'main' edition remains the 1662 edition. The American church modified the Book of Common Prayer for its own use beginning shortly after the Revolutionary War -- this book is the successor of a long and worthy tradition.

A bishop in the Episcopal church once said to me, 'We don't have a theology that we have to believe -- what we have is the prayerbook.' Please forgive the absence of context for this phrase -- while he would say that this statement in isolation is an exaggeration, and I would agree, nonetheless his statement serves to highlight both the importance of and the strength of the Book of Common Prayer.

To be an Anglican (in the United States, read Episcopalian for the same in the context of this article), one does not have to subscribe to any particular systematic theological framework. One does not have to practice a particular brand of liturgical style. One does not have to have an approved politico-theological viewpoint. One can be a conservative, liberal or moderate; one can be high church, low church, or broad; one can be charismatic, evangelical, or mainline traditional -- one can be any number of things in a rich diversity of choices, and the Book of Common Prayer can still be the book upon which spirituality and worship is centred.

The Book of Common Prayer is not, in fact, a book that changed my life. It is a book that changes my life. Even though it is not the primary book of my own church, it continues to provide for spiritual insight and development; it continues to guide my worship and my theology. It continues to help me grow. The words are part of a liturgy now shared by Catholic, Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian and other liturgical churches, in different combination and priority.

Gerry Janzen, an Anglican professor at my seminary, said to me recently as we were lunching and having a fascinating and wide-ranging conversation (in a unique way that only Gerry Janzen is capable of doing) that he strives for that kind of memory and understanding that is so complete that one forgets what one has learned. He recounted to me his experience of working with his book on Job -- he had done a lot of research, development of ideas, writing, and organisation, and then set it aside for a time. When he picked up the topic later, he decided to begin by writing, and then go back to the research, other notes and writings he had done earlier. He was surprised to see, in comparing the work, that he had in fact duplicated much of the material -- he had internalised the information, incorporated it so well into his thinking and being, that it came forward without effort. It is this kind of relationship I feel I have developed with the Book of Common Prayer.

To be sure, there are pages of information that I don't know. I haven't memorised the historical documents; I still consult the calendars; I haven't learned all of the collects by heart. But it has become a part of me. When was asked to put together a liturgy for a houseblessing for Episcopalian friends, there were rooms that called for collects that had not been written -- I wrote new collects and inserted them into the liturgy.

'Can you do that?' the householder asked, worried about the flow and the approval of the priest doing the blessing.

'I trust Kurt to write collects -- his probably belong in the BCP,' the priest said in response, and I appreciated her vote of confidence. That was perhaps the first confirmation to me of this sense of incorporation of the book into my life.

From his first edition, Cranmer distinguished in his terminology the words minister and priest, and the two should not be viewed as interchangeable. A priest is a minister, but a minister need not be a priest. This become part of the early development of the idea of all people being ministers to each other, which is also a concept that has varying acceptance and fulfillment in actual practice over the history of Anglicanism.

One of my favourite prayers derives from this book, part of the English prayer book from the very first one in 1549:

Almighty God, who hast given us grace at this time with one accord to make our common supplication unto thee, and hast promised through thy well-beloved Son that when two or three are gathered together in his name, thou wilt be in the midst of them: Fulfill now, O Lord, the desires and petitions of thy servants, as may be best for us, granting us in this world knowledge of thy truth, and in the world to come, life everlasting. Amen.

This prayer, like many things in the BCP, has moved to a new location from the first edition, but nonetheless the spirit of the BCP shows a circuitous but continuous development from this first English Prayer Book to the current varieties. Likewise, other denominations have gleaned insights, prayers and structures from this and other versions of the BCP.

The current Book of Common Prayer is not copyrighted material. The purpose for leaving the BCP out of copyright is to permit free and easy duplication and incorporation into worship materials; however, it also serves the purpose (deliberately intended) of permitting people, Anglicans or not, to use portions of the BCP as inspiration and material for their own worship. The Book of Common Prayer is an Anglican gift to the world.
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37 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not Leather But Nice, August 14, 2004
By 
Ralph Joyce (Diocese of Bethlehem) - See all my reviews
For clarification, this book is a hardcover. It's not leather or bonded leather. I had figured this out from shopping around before purchasing it here, and bought it anyway. It has a thin hardcover which is wrapped with imitation leather. That said, it is still a very nice book and certainly the best value of them all. I'm keeping mine and I like it.
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63 of 69 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not an American Prayer Book, February 10, 2011
By 
This review is from: The Book of Common Prayer (Paperback)
Note that this prayer book is authorized by the Episcopal Church of Scotland. It is not The Book of Common Prayer used by the Episcopal Church in the United States.
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62 of 70 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars With all my heart, soul, mind and strength..., July 27, 2004
The Book of Common Prayer (1979) is the latest, complete BCP used by the American branch of the Anglicans, the Episcopal church. There have been many books that have had the title 'Book of Common Prayer' since the first one appeared in 1549; it has been used continuously in one edition or another in the Anglican tradition since 1559; the 'main' edition remains the 1662 edition. The American church modified the Book of Common Prayer for its own use beginning shortly after the Revolutionary War -- this book is the successor of a long and worthy tradition.

A bishop in the Episcopal church once said to me, 'We don't have a theology that we have to believe -- what we have is the prayerbook.' Please forgive the absence of context for this phrase -- while he would say that this statement in isolation is an exaggeration, and I would agree, nonetheless his statement serves to highlight both the importance of and the strength of the Book of Common Prayer.

To be an Anglican (in the United States, read Episcopalian for the same in the context of this article), one does not have to subscribe to any particular systematic theological framework. One does not have to practice a particular brand of liturgical style. One does not have to have an approved politico-theological viewpoint. One can be a conservative, liberal or moderate; one can be high church, low church, or broad; one can be charismatic, evangelical, or mainline traditional -- one can be any number of things in a rich diversity of choices, and the Book of Common Prayer can still be the book upon which spirituality and worship is centred.

The Book of Common Prayer is not, in fact, a book that changed my life. It is a book that changes my life. Even though it is not the primary book of my own church, it continues to provide for spiritual insight and development; it continues to guide my worship and my theology. It continues to help me grow. The words are part of a liturgy now shared by Catholic, Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian and other liturgical churches, in different combination and priority.

Gerry Janzen, an Anglican professor at my seminary, said to me recently as we were lunching and having a fascinating and wide-ranging conversation (in a unique way that only Gerry Janzen is capable of doing) that he strives for that kind of memory and understanding that is so complete that one forgets what one has learned. He recounted to me his experience of working with his book on Job -- he had done a lot of research, development of ideas, writing, and organisation, and then set it aside for a time. When he picked up the topic later, he decided to begin by writing, and then go back to the research, other notes and writings he had done earlier. He was surprised to see, in comparing the work, that he had in fact duplicated much of the material -- he had internalised the information, incorporated it so well into his thinking and being, that it came forward without effort. It is this kind of relationship I feel I have developed with the Book of Common Prayer.

To be sure, there are pages of information that I don't know. I haven't memorised the historical documents; I still consult the calendars; I haven't learned all of the collects by heart. But it has become a part of me. When was asked to put together a liturgy for a houseblessing for Episcopalian friends, there were rooms that called for collects that had not been written -- I wrote new collects and inserted them into the liturgy.

'Can you do that?' the householder asked, worried about the flow and the approval of the priest doing the blessing.

'I trust Kurt to write collects -- his probably belong in the BCP,' the priest said in response, and I appreciated her vote of confidence. That was perhaps the first confirmation to me of this sense of incorporation of the book into my life.

From his first edition, Cranmer distinguished in his terminology the words minister and priest, and the two should not be viewed as interchangeable. A priest is a minister, but a minister need not be a priest. This become part of the early development of the idea of all people being ministers to each other, which is also a concept that has varying acceptance and fulfillment in actual practice over the history of Anglicanism.

One of my favourite prayers derives from this book, part of the English prayer book from the very first one in 1549:

Almighty God, who hast given us grace at this time with one accord to make our common supplication unto thee, and hast promised through thy well-beloved Son that when two or three are gathered together in his name, thou wilt be in the midst of them: Fulfill now, O Lord, the desires and petitions of thy servants, as may be best for us, granting us in this world knowledge of thy truth, and in the world to come, life everlasting. Amen.

This prayer, like many things in the BCP, has moved to a new location from the first edition, but nonetheless the spirit of the BCP shows a circuitous but continuous development from this first English Prayer Book to the current varieties. Likewise, other denominations have gleaned insights, prayers and structures from this and other versions of the BCP.

The current Book of Common Prayer is not copyrighted material. The purpose for leaving the BCP out of copyright is to permit free and easy duplication and incorporation into worship materials; however, it also serves the purpose (deliberately intended) of permitting people, Anglicans or not, to use portions of the BCP as inspiration and material for their own worship. The Book of Common Prayer is an Anglican gift to the world.
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33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Text is not formatted, July 21, 2010
By 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This Kindle version of the BCP is very basic -- only text, no formatting, no links... Wasted money.
For example, table of content is just <Table of Contents> -- that's it. Publisher should have more serious attitude before publishing unformatted book.
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35 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Concise and beautiful, May 11, 2002
This is the prayer book used by the American Episcopal Church and the language is rich, powerful, inspiring, forgiving and just plain beautiful. It is gorgeous in its simplicity. As Red Barber said in praising the BCP(and I am quoting from Bob Edwards' great book Fridays with Red) "the beauty and conciseness of the English language, the fact that everything the Episcopal Church stood for was right there between the two covers, and the inclusion of the entire book of Psalms"
Other Episcopalians will criticize me for "commonizing" their book but his review was right on the money.
Both Barber and former president Bush include the BCP in their list of "must read" books.
Its beauty is in its simplicity and grace.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Godsend to both Anglicans and other Christians!, February 21, 2011
By 
Fr. Charles Erlandson (Tyler, Texas United States) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
It's wonderful that the 1928 Book of Common Prayer is back in print and available - hopefully to stay. It's remarkable that a book that is so widely loved and used has had a recent history of not being in print or readily available. Now, I can take it with me on my Kindle as well.

The 1928 Prayer Book is the American version of the Book of Common Prayer, descended from the first Prayer Book composed by Archbishop Thomas Cranmer in 1549. It is very close to the most classic form of the Prayer Book, the 1662 Prayer Book, which is still the official book for the Church of England and much of the Anglican Communion, as well as the theological standard for the new province, the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA). The 1928 Prayer Book is used by the continuing Anglican churches, the Reformed Episcopal Church, and many churches in the ACNA.

Not only is it good to see this Prayer Book back in print but to see it in a reasonably priced hardcover edition. So many churches and individuals I know who want a 1928 Prayer Book have had to resort to using beat up old versions that are in disrepair.

To traditional Anglicans, this reprinting of the Prayer Book is a Godsend. But what most people don't know is that the Book of Common Prayer is a profound and beautiful resource for the prayer and devotional life of any Christian. The Prayer Book expresses an orthodox and comprehensive theology and spirituality for all of life, and it helps the individual Christian order his life around prayer, the Bible, and the Church.

So many Christians I meet are floundering in their devotional life with the Lord or find that their prayer life is dull and dry. Using the Prayer Book has given a structure and words to the hearts of many Christians. There are Morning and Evening Prayer services that can be adapted for personal use, and the daily lectionary (system for reading Scripture on a daily basis) guides the Christian in knowing what to read each day. By following the Church year in the Prayer Book, all of time can be sanctified and lived in a more prayerful way.

There are also some short forms of Family Prayer if a family wants to use the prayers and keep things simple. In my home we use the Prayer Book each evening after meal to have a short Evening Prayer service, something that fewer and fewer families are doing. If you're Christian parents wanting to have a family devotional time, why not look into the Prayer Book?

There are also many wonderful, historic prayers for all occasions and situations. What intrigues me is how traditional weddings all use the words from the Book of Common Prayer "Order for Holy Matrimony" because of the beauty, depth, and godliness of the words. At funerals, too, the service from the Prayer Book is often used in part, for the same reasons.

Essentially, the Prayer Book is a comprehensive guide to the Christian life, especially if used with the Bible and in the life of the larger church.

While the Oxford edition of the 1928 Book of Common Prayer will be most welcome to Anglicans, many other Christians would benefit from picking up a copy, regardless of their church tradition.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Most Valuable Resource!, July 22, 2000
By 
Stephen (Buda, TX USA) - See all my reviews
This is the most comprehensive, Bible-based prayer book I know of. I recommend it for daily, personal devotional and for weekly, corporate worship.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not worth the price!, November 6, 2010
By 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Very hard to navigate, the most often used Sunday service start on paper text page 355, but it is very difficult with a Kindle to get there. Also I think many of the psalter pslams were omitted.
Suggest purchasing a cheap paperback edition, this Kindle download is hardly usable.
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The Book of Common Prayer
The Book of Common Prayer by The Episcopal Church (Paperback - July 25, 2010)
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