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The Book of Common Prayer

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"The new prayer book was in English … not the Latin of the medieval Mass. It took the best of Augustinian medieval piety … and fed it into the spiritual diet of ordinary parishioners, strengthened by the renewed emphases of the Reformers on salvation by grace alone, through faith alone."

The Anglican Book of Common Prayer is a key text for understanding the Reformation in England. For centuries it formed the backbone of the spiritual diet of English-speaking peoples all over the world, alongside the King James Bible. With John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress and Matthew Foxe's Book of Martyrs, Thomas Cranmer's Book of Common Prayer (BCP) has been one of the most formative influences in English piety and spirituality.

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Lee Gatiss is editor of Theologian: The Internet Journal for Integrated Theology ( and editor/author of several books, including Pilgrims, Warriors, and Servants: Puritan Wisdom for Today's Church (Latimer Trust, 2010). He lives in Cambridge, England, where he is researching seventeenth-century biblical interpretation.

Issue: "Spiritual (Re)formation" July/August 2013 Vol. 22 No. 4 Page number(s): 44-47

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