I have recently grown very fond of prayer books. In my Reformed Christian circle and Puritan-reading group of friends, there are two most-read and highly-recommended prayer books — The Valley of Vision and Piercing Heaven. These two books feature Puritan prayers and have become a huge help in my prayer life and daily worship and devotion. They are very edifying, affirming, and even rebuking.
For some time now, I have my eyes set on another prayer book, the 1662 Book of Common Prayer. Unlike the two aforementioned books, the 1662 BCP is not widely available in the market, at least here in the Philippines. Then I heard that InterVarsity Press has released a new edition of it. I reached out to them for a review copy and they graciously sent me one in exchange for my honest review.
The Book of Common Prayer is one of the most beloved liturgical texts in the Christian Church, especially for Anglicans. The prayer book of 1662, with minor changes, has continued as the standard liturgy of most Anglican churches of the British Commonwealth. Outside the Commonwealth most churches of the Anglican Communion possess their own variants of the English prayer book. The Book of Common Prayer has also influenced or enriched the liturgical language of most English-speaking Protestant churches.
The 1662 Book of Common Prayer: International Edition features minor revisions of the text for contemporary use. State prayers of England have been replaced with prayers that can be used regardless of nation or polity. Obscure words and phrases have also been modestly revised. Additionally, a selection of treasured prayers from later Anglican tradition has been appended. All of these changes make this edition not only accessible but also a great starter for people like me who are new to this prayer book and will be using it for the first time. It helps the reader enjoy the Book of Common Prayer for all its worth.
What I love most about this edition published by IVP is its size. I didn’t expect it to be this small and handy! It measures only 4.25 x 6.25 x 1.75”, which makes it really portable. You can literally bring it anywhere. I would highly recommend this to people who are always on-the-go. The book construction is also worth-mentioning. It is clothbound and the text block is smyth-sewn which makes it very durable. It also has a red double-sided satin ribbon marker which adds beauty to the book.
All in all, InterVarsity Press’ 1662 Book of Common Prayer: International Edition is a priceless treasure. Whatever your theological conviction is, you will surely benefit from and appreciate the beauty of this classic gem gently updated for our modern time.