Think of it what you will, the Anglican Book of Common prayer has had a lot of influence in the Western church. Although as a Reformed Baptist, to me there are a number of points that I would find objectionable, I can’t deny that there are a lot of good parts in it and that it has been helpful in a number of ways. It’s become a part of the Western landscape.
For instance, when I married Jenn, our wedding ceremony followed the form for weddings found in the Book of Common Prayer for the most part.
Also, if the following expressions are familiar to you, you may be more familiar with he Book of Common Prayer than you may have originally thought:
- “Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.”
- “All the deceits of the world, the flesh and the devil.”
- “Read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest.”
Since yesterday was the 350th anniversary of the Anglican Book of Common Prayer, I thought I’d share a few interesting excerpts from the articles of religion contained in the original 1662 edition.
- I. “There is but one living and true God, ever- lasting, without body, parts, or passions; of infinite power, wisdom, and goodness; the Maker, and Preserver of all things both visible and invisible. And in unity of this Godhead there be three Persons, of one substance, power, and eternity; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.”
- XI. “We are accounted righteous before God, only for the merit of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ by Faith, and not for our own works or deservings…”
- XII. “Albeit that Good Works, which are the fruits of Faith, and follow after Justification, cannot put away our sins, and endure the severity of God’s Judgement; yet are they pleasing and acceptable to God in Christ, and do spring out necessarily of a true and lively Faith; insomuch that by them a lively Faith may be as evidently known as a tree discerned by the fruit.”
- XVII “Predestination to Life is the everlasting purpose of God, whereby (before the foundations of the world were laid) he hath constantly decreed by his counsel secret to us, to deliver from curse and damnation those whom he hath chosen in Christ out of mankind, and to bring them by Christ to everlasting salvation, as vessels made to honour. Wherefore, they which be endued with so excellent a benefit of God be called according to God’s purpose by his Spirit working in due season: they through Grace obey the calling: they be justified freely: they be made sons of God by adoption: they be made like the image of his only-begotten Son Jesus Christ: they walk religiously in good works, and at length, by God’s mercy, they attain to everlasting felicity….”
- XXII “The Romish Doctrine concerning Purgatory, Pardons, Worshipping, and Adoration, as well of Images as of Reliques, and also invocation of Saints, is a fond thing vainly invented, and grounded upon no warranty of Scripture, but rather repugnant to the Word of God.”