The Everyday BCP

The Book of Common Prayer (BCP) is more than a guide to worship; it is a wealth of opportunities to encounter the living God in words that echo down to us through the ages. First compiled by Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury, it was published in 1549 and has gone through several revisions, most recently in 1979.

Those who are familiar with the BCP only for its use on Sunday morning will be surprised and delighted to find the many ways it can be used as a resource for daily personal and family prayer.

Daily Morning Prayer, Noonday Prayers, Daily Evening Prayer, Compline:

Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer are part of the Daily Office, found in the Book of Common Prayer. With the Eucharist, they are the regular services appointed for public worship, but are suitable for individual prayers as well. They are the bookends to your prayer life.

Noonday Prayers offer us a few moments in the middle of the day to stop and reflect on the blessings and challenges we meet each day.

Compline is a brief and beautiful service for the close of day. Another option is An Order of Worship for the Evening.

Find these service as well as Devotions for Individuals and Families at


The Daily Office lectionary

The prescribed scripture readings for Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer are in a two-year cycle; we are currently in Year Two. The lectionary is found on page 934 of the Book of Common Prayer; for The Daily Office online,


Lectionary readings:

The Episcopal Church prescribes specific scripture readings for Sundays and Holy Days. We use the Revised Common Lectionary (RCL) in tandem with several other denominations. The readings are in a three-year cycle; we are currently in Year B. The church year begins on the first Sunday of Advent (in this cycle, November 27, 2011) and ends on the last Sunday of the Season After Pentecost (December 1, 2012.) The list of readings is found in the Book of Common Prayer, page 889, or online at  or  Note that the lists in the BCP and online may not agree because The Episcopal Church has adopted the RCL since the last printing of the Book of Common Prayer. The online references are more accurate.


Prayers and Thanksgivings for individuals and families:

“Almighty God, we entrust all who are dear to us to your never-failing care and love . . .” begins a prayer For those we love, one of more than 80 prayers and thanksgivings found in the back of the Book of Common Prayer (pgs 814-841).

These prayers are inspiring, comforting, and grace-filled. Find them online at

Read the Spring/Summer 2012 issue of Reflections magazine on the topic of “Teach us to Pray” here

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From The Episcopal Diocese of West Texas

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