1. Sound teaching
If you want to know what the Church of England teaches, the BCP is your one-stop place to find it. Yes, some of the teaching has been updated and reinterpreted since 1662, but the Prayer Book is still the second authority for the English Church after the Bible, and the best place to start understanding the Anglican way.
2. Ease of use
The BCP and the Bible are you need for every service, from Holy Communion and Daily Prayer through to weddings and funerals. No libraries of texts or sprawling websites needed.
3. Beautiful language
Archbishop Cranmer had a good ear for the rhythms of the English language, which is why the words of the Prayer Book are so memorable. The poetic beauty of the texts helps to lift the soul to God. It may be old language, but if Muslims can learn Arabic and Jews can learn Hebrew, then English Christians should manage Elizabethan English!
4. Literary heritage
After the King James Bible and Shakespeare, there is no greater influence on English literature than the Book of Common Prayer. If you don’t know your Prayer Book, your understanding of centuries of English language philosophy, poetry, plays and novels will be very limited.
5. English tradition
This is the book used by our grandparents, their parents, their parents’ parents and so on, all the way back to the 16th century — and it is built on the even older Catholic tradition of the pre-Reformation Church. The Prayer Book connects us with our ancestors in the faith.