Some Episcopal Church beliefs and rituals include praying from the Book of Common Prayer, belief in the Sacraments, drinking Communion from a common cup of fortified wine and the Archbishop of Canterbury as the head of the global Anglican Communion. Within that Communion, the 40 different churches have much diversity in practice and belief.
The Episcopal Church in the United States is part of the Anglican Communion made up of 40 different churches. The roots of Anglicanism lie somewhere between the Protestant Reformation and the organization of the Catholic Church. The Anglican structure allows for individual churches to have much variation in beliefs and practices.
Some of this diversity strains the authority of the church. For example, the majority of Anglican churches do not agree with the ordination of an American practicing homosexual bishop. The Anglican churches also do not agree on the ordination of women, even though the Episcopal Church of the United States began doing so in 1976.
The Book of Common Prayer collects both ancient and modern prayers for worship and devotion. Despite being compiled in the 16th century, a variety of different books have been issued to reflect the diversity of belief among different Anglican churches. Some Anglican and Episcopal churches lean more towards Catholic doctrine, while others lean towards Protestant.