The Book of Common Prayer

The Book of Common Prayer—perhaps not as “commonly” known as it deserves!

It was Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury, who combined church tradition with new Protestant ideas to create a new prayer book in English.

In an interview, Dr. Alan Jacobs, distinguished professor of Humanities at Baylor University, talking about his book, "The Book of Common Prayer: A Biography," said, “Thomas Cranmer wanted the Church of England’s worship to be in understandable English and to be derived as closely as possible, from the Bible.”

And from its rich language, modern culture has, indeed, adopted many phrases from the Book of Common Prayer. Immediately recognizable to mostmost are: To have and to hold, from this day forward; Give peace in our time, Lord; Ashes to ashes, dust to dust; and others, all echoing biblical themes.

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