Object Biography

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Pictured is one copy of the 1979 revision of the Book of Common Prayer. The book has a black leather binding with a gold colored cross on the front and gold writing that says “The Book of Common Prayer” on the spine. As well as the publishing logo for Churching Publishing Incorporated, the publishing arm of the Episcopal Church. The page ends are also gold colored. The book is worn in the front of the binding and text block, which along with crinkled pages suggested it was used regularly. The book was place on a shelf along with other versions of the Book of Common Prayer, Hymnals, Bibles, and other Anglican religious books. It appears not to have been carried based on its sized, except maybe in a large bag like a briefcase or suitcase. The book was mass produced in the United States from between 2016 and 2020 given the authorization note in the front dated 2016 and the reception of the book in 2020. As is evident was a personalized gift tag dated “4 Pentecost June 28, 2020” and belonged to one Mr. Kyle Munroe.

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This version of the Book of Common Prayer is the 1979 revision to Thomas Cranmer’s original 1549 Book of Common Prayer for the Church of England and builds on major revisions in 1662, 1789, and 1928. The book has widespread circulation in different versions and languages. The 1979 version could be found in almost every Episcopal Church in America, with the 1928 in others, and the 1662 being in every Anglican church around the world. However, this version is a personal one, small enough to find in a bag for travel if desired. Indicating that idea was for the owner to take it with them in travel or even daily life to use. Additionally, the book is not common to the South, as most Southerners at the time were Baptists or Methodists, who did not regularly use the Book of Common Prayer.

Based on the wearing of certain pages Mr. Munroe used the book every morning and evening for a set of prayers and readings known as the daily office. The daily office goes through the Psalter every month and the entire Bible over a two-year cycle. Below is an example of the page with the psalms divided morning and evening with the readings below. Everyday is a reading from the Old Testament/Apocrypha, Epistles, and Gospels. It is believed that this book was used by an individual like Mr. Munroe in attempts at finding greater peace and meaning in their lives. Mr. Munroe was a good decade older than most confirmands, and is believed he was not a member of any church prior to 2020. The Book of Common Prayer has significance not only to Mr. Munroe but to most all Episcopalians, it’s the secondary key text of the denomination after only the Bible. Contained within is the directions for how to perform all necessary sacraments for the running of a church, and contains the liturgies for services.

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