Life

The Book of Common Prayer

How did the Book of Common Prayer come about?

BIBLE-BOCP

From the seventh century until the sixteenth, the only accepted church in England was the Roman Catholic church. King Henry VIII was very worried because he had no son. He thought it was because he had married a woman who had previously been married to his brother before she became a widow. He wanted to divorce her and asked the Pope for a divorce so he could marry Ann Boleyn . The Pope refused. Henry decided that he would proclaim himself head of the church and separate from Rome.

The Archbishop of Canterbury at this time was Thomas Cranmer. He had heard about the new ideas of the Reformation on the continent and he used the opportunity of Henry’s divorce to change the Church of England to a protestant church. When Henry’s son, Edward VI, succeeded his father, Cranmer brought out a new prayer book in English which has influenced the Church of England from that time on. The “1662 Book of Common Prayer” is still used today in many churches, and almost all the prayers in it come from Cranmer’s prayer book.

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