Role of the Book of Common Prayer in the Formation of Modern Anglican Church Identity: A Study of English Parochial Worship, 1750-1850

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This research draws on a broad range of original sources, many neglected in existing studies, to offer a re-assessment of the role of the Book of Common Prayer in defining the identity of the Church of England and its worship from the mid-eighteenth to the mid-nineteenth century. Contrary to conventional accounts, this book argues that the decades after 1750 were also a time of significant renewal and reform.


“. . . Andrew Braddock reveals that, even in an apparent time of stagnation, or even decline, there are areas of growth and renewal and people of imagination and passion.”
– The Bishop of Gloucester, The Rt Revd Michael Perham

“The cumulative effect of [the author’s] detailed research is that we have to revise any lingering notion that parochial worship in the eighteenth century was consistently dull, tedious and unchanging.”
– The Bishop of Norwich, The Rt Revd Graham James

"In short, Braddock's well-researched monograph bolsters the revisionist position on the eighteenth-century Church of England by demonstrating the period's spiritual vitiality and throwing light on the way the BCP actually affected Georgian church life in everything from lay devotion to the provision of more reverent church furnishings." -- Prof. Bethany Kilcrease, Aquinas College

Table of Contents

Introduction: Patterns of Worship in the Eighteenth-century Church
Interpreting the Eighteenth-Century Church
The Provision of Sunday Services
Church Attendance
Holy Communion
Weekday Worship and the Liturgical Year

Chapter 1: The Prayer Book and Anglican Identity
‘The Form of Soundest Words’: Defending the Prayer Book
The Development of Prayer Book Defence
The Prayer Book, Scripture and Tradition
The Idea of a National Liturgy
The Prayer Book and Theology

Chapter 2: The Prayer Book and Church Reform
The Prayer Book and Nonconformist Worship
Anglican Criticism of the Prayer Book
Prayer Book Revision and Church Defence
Prayer Book Defence Remoulded

Chapter 3: The Prayer Book and the Laity
Domestic Devotion
Preparation for Worship
The Performance of Worship
The Renewal of the Performance of Worship
Church Furnishings and Lay Devotion

Chapter 4: The Prayer Book and the Clergy
The Performance of Worship
The Promotion of Reform
The Prayer Book and Ritual Controversy

Chapter 5: The Music of Parochial Worship
The Inherited Patterns of Parochial Music
Criticism of Parochial Music
The Reform of Parochial Music

Conclusion: A Decent Order and Godly Discipline

Other Religion-Protestant: Anglican & Episcopalian Books