Book of Common Prayer

Book of Common Prayer

Prayer, Book of Common: see Book of Common Prayer.
Book of Common Prayer, title given to the service book used in the Church of England and in other churches of the Anglican Communion. The first complete English Book of Common Prayer was produced, mainly by Thomas Cranmer, in 1549 under Edward VI. Essentially it was a selection and translation from the breviary and the missal, with some additions from other sources. It was made compulsory by the Act of Uniformity (1549). Revision, undertaken by Cranmer, resulted in the Prayer Book of 1552, which showed the influence of foreign reformers then resident in England, for it made possible a wide diversity of views regarding the Eucharist, all justified by this official service book. The prayer book was in use only about eight months before Queen Mary's repeal legislation restored Roman Catholicism in England. In 1559, under Elizabeth I, the Prayer Book of 1552 was restored in a slightly altered version. From 1645 to 1660, under the Commonwealth and Protectorate, the prayer book was suppressed. In a new revision after the Restoration, it was again declared the only legal service book for use in England by an Act of Uniformity (1662). Alterations in the 1662 revision were largely those making for liturgical improvement. In 1927 a revised form was submitted to Parliament, whose approval was (and is) still required, and passed by the House of Lords but rejected by the Commons; it was resubmitted (with certain modifications) in 1928 and again rejected. Nonetheless, the revised prayer book was quite widely adopted in the Church of England with episcopal approval. This situation was finally legalized by the Prayer Book Measure, passed by Parliament in 1965. In addition to authorizing revisions already in use, the act approved the experimental use of new forms of worship drawn up by a liturgical commission; the Alternative Service Book (ASB) was adopted in 1980 and authorized for use alongside the Book of Common Prayer until the end of 2000. Revision of ASB is underway and under the general title Common Worship some revisions have already been authorized and published. In 1789, when the first General Convention of the Episcopal Church in the United States met, a revised version of the Book of Common Prayer was adopted; it embodied such changes as were required by the new conditions. In the U.S. Episcopal Church, as in other churches of the Anglican Communion over which the British Parliament has no control, there has been greater freedom in liturgical revision; the last U.S. revision of the Book of Common Prayer was in 1979.

See histories of the prayer book by J. H. Blunt (1868), F. E. Brightman (2d ed. 1921, repr. 1970), J. W. Suter and G. J. Cleaveland, The American Book of Common Prayer (1949); M. H. Shepherd, The Oxford American Prayer Book Commentary (1950); G. Cuming, A History of Anglican Liturgy (1969, repr. 1980).

The PEN/Book-of-the-Month Club Translation Prize is an annual award given to outstanding translations into the English language. It has been presented annually by PEN American Center and the Book of the Month Club since 1963.

The distinction comes with a cash prize of USD $3,000. Any book-length English translation published in the United States during the year in question is eligible, irrespective of the residence or nationality of either the translator or the original author.

The award is separate from the similar PEN Award for Poetry in Translation.


Year Translator Book and author Language

Sandra Smith Suite Française by Irène Némirovsky French

Philip Gabriel Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami Japanese

Tim Wilkinson Fatelessness by Imre Kertész Hungarian

Margaret Sayers Peden Sepharad by Antonio Muñoz Molina Spanish

R.W. Flint The Moon and the Bonfires by Cesare Pavese Italian

Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy Russian

Tiina Nunnally The Cross by Sigrid Undset Norwegian

Richard Sieburth Selected Writings by Gérard de Nerval French

Michael Hofmann The String of Pearls by Joseph Roth German

Peter Constantine Six Early Stories by Thomas Mann German

Arnold Pomerans The Letters of Vincent Van Gogh Dutch

Stanislaw Baranczak and Clare Cavanagh View With a Grain of Sand by Wisława Szymborska Polish

Burton Watson Selected Poems of Su Tung-p'o Chinese

Bill Zavatsky and Zack Rogow Earthlight by André Breton French

Thomas Hoisington The Adventures of Mr. Nicholas Wisdom by Ignacy Krasicki Polish

David Rosenberg The Poet's Bible Hebrew

Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky Russian

William Weaver Foucault's Pendulum by Umberto Eco Italian

Matthew Ward The Stranger by Albert Camus French

Madeline Levine and Francine Prose A Scrap of Time by Ida Fink Polish

John E. Woods Perfume: The Story of a Murderer by Patrick Süskind German

Barbara Bray The Lover by Marguerite Duras French

Dennis Tedlock Popul Vuh: The Mayan Book of the Dawn of Life Quiché

Helen R. Lane The War at the End of the World by Mario Vargas Llosa Spanish

Seamus Heaney Sweeney Astray Irish

William Weaver The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco Italian

Richard Wilbur Four Comedies: The Misanthrope, Tartuffe, The Learned Ladies, The School for Wives by Molière French

Hiroaki Sato and Burton Watson From the Country of Eight Islands: An Anthology of Japanese Poetry Japanese

John E. Woods Evening Edged in Gold by Arno Schmidt German

Charles Simic Homage to the Lame Wolf by Vasco Popa

Charles Wright The Storm and Other Poems by Eugenio Montale Italian

Adrienne Foulke One Way or Another by Leonardo Sciascia Italian

Gregory Rabassa The Autumn of the Patriarch by Gabriel García Márquez Spanish

Richard Howard A Short History of Decay by E. M. Cioran French

Helen R. Lane Count Julian by Juan Goytisolo Spanish

Hardie St. Martin and Leonard Mades The Obscene Bird of Night by José Donoso Spanish

J. P. McCullough The Poems of Sextus Propertius Latin

Richard Winston and Clara Winston Letters of Thomas Mann German

Max Hayward Hope Against Hope by Nadezhda Mandelstam Russian

Sidney Alexander The History of Italy by Francesco Guicciardini Italian

W. S. Merwin Selected Translations 1948-1968 Various

Vladimir Markov and Merrill Sparks (eds.) Modern Russian Poetry Russian

Harriet de Onis Sagarana by João Guimarães Rosa Portuguese

Geoffrey Skelton and Adrian Mitchell Marat/Sade by Peter Weiss German

Joseph Barnes The Story of a Life by Konstantin Paustovsky Russian

Ralph Manheim The Tin Drum by Günter Grass German

Archibald Colquhoun The Viceroys by Federico de Roberto Italian

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