Church of England Diocese of Bath & Wells Stogumber

Book of Common Prayer

We use the Book of Common Prayer for most but not all services - see calendar

The Book of Common Prayer was first published in 1549 (and revised in 1662) so not surprisingly it sounds a bit like Shakespeare, but is actually a lot easier to understand!   

On first hearing, the phrasing is strange and certainly not the stuff of everyday speech. But we get a lot of everydayness every day, and once we become familiar with the prayer book, the language ceases to be an obstacle and becomes an attraction. 

An hour of something that is different from everyday is as refreshing to the mind as it is to the soul, and the meaning is eternal. 

Some people make a cult of the Book of Common Prayer, but that is not necessary. In Stogumber we use the Book of Common Prayer simply because its beauty lifts our minds out of ordinariness, and helps us to recognise unchanging truths.

Almighty and most merciful Father, We have erred, and strayed from thy ways like lost sheep, We have followed too much the devices and desires of our own hearts, We have offended against thy holy laws, We have left undone those things which we ought to have done, And we have done those things which we ought not to have done, And there is no health in us: But thou, O Lord, have mercy upon us miserable offenders; Spare thou them, O God, which confess their faults, Restore thou them that are penitent, According to thy promises declared unto mankind in Christ Jesu our Lord: And grant, O most merciful Father, for his sake, That we may hereafter live a godly, righteous, and sober life, To the glory of thy holy Name. Amen.