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A Short History of the Book of Common Prayer


William Reed Huntington compiles a number of essays on the history of the Book of Common Prayer, covering its origins and vicissitudes, as well as revision of the American Common Prayer, and “The Book Annexed: Its Critics and Its Prospects.” An appendix contains three extra sections on the prayer book and the revisions made to it: “Permanent and Variable Characteristics of the Prayer Book—A Sermon before Revision, 1878,” “The Outcome of Revision, 1892,” and “Tabular View of Additions Made at the Successive Revisions, 1552–1892.”

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About William Reed Huntington

William Reed Huntington (1838–1909) was an Episcopal priest. Born in Lowell, Massachusetts, he was educated at Harvard and taught chemistry there from 1859 to 1860. He was ordained in 1862, and served as the parish priest of All Saints Church in Worcester, Massachusetts and then of Grace Church in New York from 1883 to 1909. A major voice for the revision of the Book of Common Prayer and deeply involved in seeking Church unity, Huntington was secretary of the Prayer-Book Revisions Committee and coeditor of the Standard Prayer-Book of 1892. His The Church Idea, an Essay toward Unity formed the basis for the Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral.