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The Book of Common Prayer: A Guide$
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Charles Hefling

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9780190689681

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190689681.001.0001

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(p.89) Five Beginnings
The Book of Common Prayer: A Guide

Charles Hefling

Oxford University Press

The 1662 Book of Common Prayer is a revised recension of a liturgical text, first issued in 1549, which was at once an engine and a product of the English Reformation. This chapter situates the original Prayer Book in that context, and offers a detailed examination of its most contested text: the Supper of the Lord and the Holy Communion. This service was heavily revised in 1552, and the revisions shed light on the intentions of the revisers and the meaning of the revised text, which remains largely the same in the final revision of 1662. Among the theological issues involved were justification by faith, the presence of Christ, the nature of a sacrament, and the purpose of the eucharistic liturgy in a reformed church. This chapter also considers, more briefly, the revisions of other services that were made in 1552.

Keywords:   Eucharist, Holy Communion, Reformation, justification by faith, consecration

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