Books about
Book of Common Prayer

(and other books related to the Episcopal Church and its liturgy)



Prayer_Book_Parallels.gif (2776 bytes) Prayer Book Parallels, Vol. 1 and Vol. 2:

By Paul V. Marshall
Lays out in parallel columns all of the editions of the Book of Common Prayer in use in the United States from Colonial days until the present: the 1662 English Book, the 1786 Proposed Book, and the 1789, 1892, 1928, and 1979 editions. In these two books you have the texts of all the Prayer Books used in the United States from 1662 until the present. An indispensible tool for studying how the Prayer Book and liturgy changed in the Episcopal Church over the years. Volume 1 (701 pp.) is the more useful of the two, containing nearly all the liturgies of the Episcopal Church. Volume 2 (576 pp.) has the Psalter and Collects, but does not appear to be currently available.
$46.00, publ. Church Publishing 1990

The Oxford Guide to The Book of Common Prayer : A Worldwide Survey

Oxford Guide to the BCPEd. by Charles Hefling & Cynthia Shattuck.
An instant classic. A superb and thorough guide to to the Book of Common Prayer. Covers the history of the BCP, its many versions throughout the world today, interractions and influences with society and other denominations, and the services themselves. Contains much information simply not available anywhere else. Highly recommended for anyone seriously interested in the Book of Common Prayer.
Hardcover, publ. Oxford Univ. Press 2006
$28.35 (37% off list)

Commentary on the American Prayer Book:

Book cover

By Marion J. Hatchett
A true classic - the standard commentary on the 1979 U. S. Book of Common Prayer. Essential for all clergy and anyone interested in serious study of the Prayer Book. Gives detailed descriptions of all the rites, their history and origins.
$33.00 (list), publ. Harper 1995 (prev. publ. by Seabury)



Welcome to Sunday: An Introduction to Worship in the Episcopal Church   

Welcome to Sunday

An introduction to the background and meaning of the Episcopal Church's liturgy. Great for new members, inquirer's classes, etc. Paperback.
$9.97 (23% off), publ. Morehouse 2002


Bok coverPraying Shapes Believing: A Theological Commentary on the Book of Common Prayer

by Leonel L. Mitchell
Paperback, 358 pp.
$13.96 (30% off list); publ. Morehouse 1991

Book coverPriest's Handbook: the Ceremonies of the Church (3rd Ed.)

by Dennis Michno
The definitive work on how to do liturgy - a must for every Episcopal clergyperson!
Hardcover, 304pp.; publ. Morehouse 1998
$22.05 (37% off list)

Ceremonies of the Eucharist: A Guide to Celebration

Book coverby Howard E. Galley
A guide to Eucharistic liturgy in the Episcopal Church. First book in a series from Cowley; the other two are immediately below.
Paperback, 240 pp.; publ. Cowley, 1989
$14.92 (35% off list)


Deacons in the Liturgy

Deacons in the Liturgyby Ormande Plater
Just what the title says: a short, practical description of the role of deacons in Episcopal liturgy.
Paperback, 79 pages, publ. Morehouse 1992
$9.95 (list)


Lent, Holy Week, Easter, and the Great Fifty Days : A Ceremonial Guide

by Leonel L. Mitchell
A guide to the liturgical practices of these seasons, including Ash Wednesday, Palm Sunday, Tenebrae, the Great Vigil, etc. With sections especially for small congregations.
Paper, 126 pp,; publ. Cowley 1996
$10.74 (23% off list)

Pastoral and Occasional Liturgies : A Ceremonial Guide

by Leonel L. Mitchell
In this third and final volume in a series of ceremonial guides to worship in the Episcopal Church according to The Book of Common Prayer, Mitchell focuses on the pastoral and occasional liturgies. Beginning with the celebration of the Daily Office, he goes on to discuss the seasonal liturgies beyond the Lent-Easter cycle, including Advent Lessons and Carols, Candlemas, and Rogation processions. The pastoral offices include baptism, marriage, the blessing of homes, reconciliation, ministry to the sick, and burial. Mitchell concludes with services involving bishops, including celebrations of new ministries, consecrations of churches, and ordination rites.    - from the publisher
Paper, 130 pp.; publ. Cowley 1998
$10.17 (32% off)

Welcome to the Episcopal Church : An Introduction to Its History, Faith, and Worship

by Christopher L. Webber
The perfect book for inquirers and new members, Welcome to the Episcopal Church is also a book for current Church members who may be unfamiliar with some of the Church's history, beliefs, and practices. This brand new introduction to the history, polity, spirituality, worship, and outreach of the Episcopal Church is written in an easy-to-read conversational tone, and includes study questions at the end of each chapter, making it an excellent resource for adult parish study. - from the publisher
Paper, 144 pp,; publ. Morehouse 1999
$9.97 (23% off)

A Dictionary for Episcopalians

by John N. Wall
This illustrated dictionary for the Episcopal Church is an essential reference to its terminology, worship, structure, and polity. Originally intended as a resource for new members and confirmands in the Episcopal Church, since it was first published in 1985 the dictionary has become increasingly popular with clergy, vestries, and other lay ministers and leaders. This entirely new edition has been expanded, revised, and updated to include new terms that have come into use since it was first published.   - from the publisher
Paper, 160 pp., Cowley 2000
$10.37 (35% off)

An Essential Unity : A Contemporary Look at Lutheran and Episcopal Liturgies

Book coverBy David. L. Veal
In anticipation of the Episcopal and Lutheran Churches’ movement toward unity, An Essential Unity offers a review and commentary of the liturgies of Baptism and Holy Communion as celebrated in the two churches. Clergy, laity, seminarians, and study groups in both denominations will find it a useful way to explore each other’s rich heritage as they become familiar with the way each prays in corporate worship. Throughout the book, a page of commentary faces a page of side-by-side liturgical text from the 1979 Book of Common Prayer and the Lutheran Book of Worship. It outlines the similarities and commonalities between the two while offering fascinating liturgical and historical insights. The commentary is framed by an introduction and conclusion. (from the publisher)

72 pp.
$8.95 (list), publ. Morehouse 1997

Leaps and Boundaries : The Prayer Book in the 21st Century:

Book coverPaul V. Marshall & Lesley Northrup, eds.
Ten experts in various areas of worship and liturgical reform offer their vision of the Book of Common Prayer as it might look in the next century. Co-editors Dr. Paul V. Marshall and Dr. Lesley Northup note that "liturgy never remains static, nor should it. To the extent that it does, so do we." This small volume throws down a preliminary gauntlet to those discussing liturgical revision: Are we, it asks, prepared to change the liturgy and let it change us?  (from the publisher)
200 pp
$4.99, publ. Morehouse 1997

A Year of Days with the Book of Common Prayer

Year of Days book coverby Edmond Lee Browning
Edmond Lee Browning, [former] presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, has poured the experience, wisdom, and love of a lifetime into meditations that explore our spirit, heal our hurt, and renew our spirituality. In a world of uncertainty, Bishop Browning offers a voice of clarity--and above all, of hope. Inspired by the Book of Common Prayer, and filled with companionship, grace, and blessing, this daybook is one to be cherished every day of the year. (from the publisher)
A good devotional aid - recommended.
384 pp. Paperback
$10.36 (20% off list); publ. Ballantine, 1997

Readings for the Daily Office from the Early Church

J. Robert Wright, ed.
A collection of additional materials to use in the Daily Office
536 pp. cloth
(out of print, but available used); publ. Church Publ.  1991

They Still Speak: Readings for the Lesser Feasts

J. Robert Wright, ed.
Additional Materials to use for readings in celebrations of the Lesser Feasts
256 pp. cloth
$19.53 (37% off list), publ. Church Publ.  1993

Brightest and Best : A Companion to the Lesser Feasts and Fasts

book coverSam Anthony Portaro
In these meditations on the lesser feasts and fasts of the church calendar Sam Portaro asks the question, "What do these saints and commemorations have to say to Christians today?" His answers are often surprising and always thought-provoking, with fresh insights into the lives and teachings of those who have gone before us in the Christian faith. The cycle of the year begins in Advent with St. Andrew and ends in late November with Kamehaneha and Emma of Hawaii. Each reflection looks at the scripture readings for the day and focuses on a distinctive attribute of the saint or feast in the light of contemporary questions of faith, mission, and community. (from the publisher)

226 pp. paper
$10.37 (37% off list); Cowley 1997

Opening the Prayer Book

(Vol. 7 in the New Church's Teaching Series)

by Jeffrey Lee
Opening the Prayer Book introduces us to the history and liturgies of The Book of Common Prayer, and helps us understand why the prayer book is such an important aspect of Anglican self-understanding. Lee begins with the fundamental question, "What is common prayer?" He explores some of the ways in which our worship according to The Book of Common Prayer affects who we are as a church, and the way it shapes our lives of faith. (from the publisher)

A good introduction to the U. S. Book of Common Prayer, particularly suited for the average Episcopal layperson. It is part of the excellent New Church's Teaching Series, which also includes:

The Anglican Vision Opening the Bible
Engaging the Word The Practice of Prayer
Living With History Early Christian Traditians
Mysteries of Faith Ethics after Easter
Christian Social Witness

195 pages, paper
$9.56 (20% off); Cowley, 1999.

Liturgy for Living

Louis Weill & Charles P. Price
"First written in 1979, and out of print for many years, Liturgy For Living remains a classic text in the field of Anglican/Episcopal liturgy. This highly-readable overview explores the meaning of worship from a theological, historical, and spiritual perspective. It then examines the history, theology, and meaning of specific Anglican liturgies including: Holy Baptism, Confirmation, the Daily Office, the Holy Eucharist, and the various pastoral offices. An extensive bibliography, and a glossary of liturgical terms are included."

- from the publisher

$14.28 (32% off), Morehouse, 2nd ed., 2000.

Manual for Acolytes : The Duties of the Server at Liturgical Celebrations

by Dennis G. Michno
Just what the title says: a Manual for Acolytes. Includes illustrations explaining the acolyte's duties in both communioin and other services.
Paper, 96 pp., Morehouse, 1981
$9.95 (list)

A Manual for Lay Eucharistic Ministers in the Episcopal Church

by Beth Wickenberg Ely
A manual for "LEM-B's" - those lay people who take the eucharist to shut-ins. Covers all the whys and hows of visiting the ill and shut-ins.
Paper, 92 pp.; Morehouse, 1992
(out of print, but available used)

Intercession: A Theological and Practical Guide

by Ormande Plater
"Intercession is an essential element of both public and private prayer. Using the Book of Common Prayer and the major elements of the Prayers of the People, Plater explains the construction of everyday litanies, collects, and petitionary prayers, as well as the composition of intercessions for church seasons, holy days, and special occasions."    (from the publisher)

Paper, 160pp.; Cowley, 1995
$9.20 (23% off)


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A note on the prices: All prices are current as of the last update of this page. Every so often, publishers change their prices (almost always upwards) or policies, and in turn changes its prices. Unfortunately, they don't tell me when that happens. So for that reason, prices on this page may occasionally be different than the prices on's site. Should you find the price different than quoted here, (or a book no longer in print, or any other discrepancies) please let me know so I can fix it.

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Last updated: 27 June 2006