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YOUNG ROYALS’ CHOICE OF BOOK OF COMMON PRAYER IS FURTHER ENDORSEMENT OF ITS GROWING POPULARITY image

YOUNG ROYALS’ CHOICE OF BOOK OF COMMON PRAYER IS FURTHER ENDORSEMENT OF ITS GROWING POPULARITY

16th October 2018

The wedding of Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank at St George’s Chapel, Windsor,
provided further proof of the growing popularity of traditional church services among young
people, reports the Prayer Book Society (PBS) which encourages rediscovery and use of the
majesty and spiritual depth of The Book of Common Prayer at the heart of the Church of
England’s worship.


Like the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, the couple opted for a version of the wedding
service from 1928, which was adapted from Thomas Cranmer’s 1662 Book of Common
Prayer. Formally entitled A Form of Solemnization of Matrimony (Alternative Services: Series
One), this service is officially authorised for use in churches across the country.


Commenting, PBS chairman Prudence Dailey said: ‘We welcome the fact that Princess
Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank chose for their wedding a traditional service based on the
Book of Common Prayer.


‘I hope this will encourage other couples planning their own church weddings to select this
regal form of service. Some vicars don’t always mention that there is a traditional alternative
to the modern language version, so couples should be prepared to ask.’


Prudence, who points to growing interest in the society’s activities among those in their
twenties and thirties, added: ‘The Prayer Book is as relevant today as it ever was and its
recent use by two members of the Royal Family and their spouses underlines the way in
which increasingly it is being appreciated by young adults.’


The PBS reports that growing numbers of school pupils are competing in the Cranmer
Awards, an annual national contest in which hundreds of 11 to 18-year-olds across the
country memorise prayers and readings from the BCP and then speak them in front of an
invited audience in a bid to win a prize.


Work by the PBS among ordinands suggests that many in the new generation of young
clergy are enthusiastic about using the BCP for services.


‘It is more than just the beauty of the language of the Prayer Book which appeals to me,’
said one ordinand. ‘I like the fact that it is quite literally a book of common prayer which not
only belongs to all people but contains prayers for every stage in their journey through life.’


Another commented: ‘I was struck by the beauty and depth of the poetic Prayer Book
language which provides a quiet, calm base for worship. I felt that it tied me to all the
previous generations worshipping in my church since the twelfth century.’


A third said: ‘‘I believe that the growing popularity of The Book of Common Prayer makes it a
catalyst for unity, bringing together those formerly separated by the partisanship of the past
60 years. Today it is being used in a wide range of Anglican churches, from evangelical to
Anglo-Catholic.’

The words of the wedding service chosen by Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank are
available on the Church of England website at
https://www.churchofengland.org/prayer-and-worship/worship-texts-and-
resources/common-worship/marriage/form-solemnization-matrimony

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