A Companion to the Book of Common Prayer

By Gerald Bray

A comprehensive analysis of the Book of Common Prayer’s historical development, theological background and continued liturgical significance.



The Book of Common Prayer stands as one of the greatest achievements of the English Reformation. Although increasingly replaced by more modern forms, it remains the foundation of Anglican worship and a succinct expression of Anglican doctrine as received by its sixteenth and seventeenth-century authors. It is therefore a text to be treasured and used, both for its historical insight into the Church of England’s theological origins, and for its continued value as an enriching liturgical resource.

In this Companion, Gerald Bray provides a practical guide to the 1662 text and its underlying doctrinal basis. Outlining its development from the first version of the prayer book in 1549, through the Elizabethan settlement and the upheaval of the civil war and protectorate, he shows that many of the liturgical controversies and debates we see today are nothing new. With the inclusion of a summary of the history of the text, and an extensive bibliography for further reading, A Companion to the Book of Common Prayer will unlock this seminal text for a fresh generation of worshippers.

Additional information

Dimensions 234 × 156 mm
Pages 522


Trade Information JPOD

About the Author

Reverend Dr Gerald Bray gained his doctorate from Paris-Sorbonne. He worked as Anglican Professor of Divinity at Beeson Divinity School, and is now a Research Professor at the same institution. He is also Director of Research at the Latimer Trust. His previous publications with James Clarke & Co. include The Books of Homilies: A Critical Edition (2016), The Institution of a Christian Man (2018) and Documents of the English Reformation (third edition 2020).