Resources in the Episcopal Church
The Book of Common Prayer is a treasure chest full of devotional and teaching resources for individuals and congregations, but it is also the primary symbol of our unity. As Armentrout and Slocum note in their Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, that “Anglican liturgical piety has been rooted in the Prayer Book tradition since the publication of the first English Prayer Book in 1549.”
We, who are many and diverse, come together in Christ through our worship, our common prayer. The prayer book, most recently revised in 1979, contains our liturgies, our prayers, our theological documents, and much, much more.
From the Book of Common Prayer on the Book of Common Prayer:
"It is the most invaluable part of that blessed liberty wherewith Christ has made us free,' That in his worship different forms and usages may without offence be allowed, provided the substance of the faith be kept entire"
An ordered system for reading the Holy Scriptures at the eucharist and the Daily Offices. It is usually presented in the form of a table of references for the psalms and readings for the various days of the liturgical year, although it may be a separate book containing the actual texts of the readings. The BCP contains two lectionaries: The eucharistic lectionary (BCP, pp. 887-931), and the Daily Office lectionary (BCP, pp. 933-1001). Lesser Feasts and Fasts contains a lectionary for weekdays in Advent, Christmastide, Lent, and Easter; and for lesser feasts during the church year. The Prayer Book lectionary is based on the lectionary developed in the Roman Catholic Church following Vatican Council II.
A collection of proper collects, lessons, and psalms for the eucharist on each of the weekdays of Lent, weekdays of Easter season, and each of the lesser feasts of the church year. It also includes a biographical or historical sketch for the lesser feasts and fixed holy days. The General Convention of the Episcopal Church may amend the calendar of the church year by adding or deleting lesser feasts from the calendar.
The Guidelines identify qualities or traits that will be sought with respect to those who may be added to the list of commemorations in the calendar. Personal qualities or traits include heroic faith, love, goodness of life, joyousness, service to others for Christ's sake, and devotion. The Guidelines also call for recognition by the faithful at local and regional levels; and widespread support for the person's inclusion over a reasonable period of time (“historical perspective”), generally two generations or 50 years.
The Episcopal Church is part of the larger Anglican Communion which consists of over 80 million people across the globe. The Episcopal Church in America was previously the Church of England in America until the Revolutionary War. Anglicans in the Colonies needed to reform themselves to be faithful to their revolution and no longer support the Monarchy in any way, thus, the Episcopal Church. Since then, the Episcopal Church and the Church of England have come into communion. We look to the Archbishop of Canterbury as our "first among equals".
It is often confusing to an outsider when we say titles such as Anglican or Episcopalian. Which one is it? The Episcopal Church is the Anglican Church in America through its deep seeded tradition and history where through our common prayer we proclaim Christ and Christ crucified.
Episcopal News Service (ENS) is the official news service of the Episcopal Church. Click here
The Living Church is a magazine based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, providing commentary and news on the Episcopal Church and the wider Anglican Communion. Click here
Church Publishing Inc. is a publishing house of for the Episcopal Church. You can find hymnals, prayer books and other devotional material there. Click here
Province V News: you can find the newsletter to our province by clicking here and signing up.
The Saint Augustine Prayer Book is a popular and widely used publication within the Episcopal Church. There is a more recent 2014 edition with updated and modern language and a older 1967 edition with tradition language. This is a beautiful devotional item of the Episcopal Church. Click here
The Angelus - Devotion in honor of the Incarnation, traditionally done three times a day and accompanied by the ringing of a bell, especially suitable for noonday. The devotion typically includes repetition of scriptural verses concerning the Incarnation, followed by the prayer “Hail Mary” (Ave), and concluding with the collect of the Annunciation from the BCP (p. 240). Click here for a PDF
The Jesus Prayer - Repetitive prayer, often in the form “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, have mercy on me, a sinner,” or variations of that form (can be used with or without prayer beads). It is associated with the spirituality of the eastern church. Early ascetics prayed the name “Jesus” and added to it the prayer of the publican, “God be merciful to me, a sinner” (Lk 18:13). The fourteenth-century hesychasts of Mt. Athos sought to follow literally St. Paul's injunction to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thes 5:17), praying the Jesus Prayer continuously. These monks developed the use of the Jesus Prayer as we know it.
The Rosary - A Marian devotion that leads to Jesus. It combines repetitions of familiar prayers with meditation on fifteen mysteries of faith. Meditation on each mystery is accompanied by recitation of the Lord's Prayer, ten (a “decade”) Hail Marys, and the Gloria Patri. The mysteries are divided into three sets of five, which are known as chaplets. Each chaplet or third of the rosary may be done separately. The terms “rosary” and “chaplet” may also be applied to the string of beads that is often used to aid the memory and count the prayers of this devotion. The three chaplets are the joyful mysteries which focus on the Incarnation, the sorrowful mysteries which focus on Christ's sufferings, and the glorious mysteries which focus on Christ's glorification.