In composing his Book of Common Prayer, Thomas Cranmer, archbishop of Canterbury, essentially translated five medieval liturgical tomes and reduced them into the single English volume. This liturgy is still used by the Anglican church today, nearly 450 years later. However, the U.S. Episcopal Church’s most recent 1979 version of the Book of Common Prayer contains more substantial revisions from Cranmer’s original work.

At first, Anglicanism flourished only in England and its English-speaking colonies (including the Episcopal church in the U.S.). However, while the United Kingdom still has over half of the world’s 51 million Anglicans, today more Anglicans worship in Africa than in the U.S., Canada, and Australia combined.

On this day…

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