Prayer Book

A 'prayer book' is a book containing prayers and perhaps devotional readings, for private or communal use, or in some cases, outlining the liturgy of religious services. Strictly speaking books containing mainly orders of religious services, or readings for them are "service books" or "liturgical books" not prayer-books, but the term is often used very loosely. Prayer books may be Holy books, as well.

The following are among the many books to which the term may loosely refer in various churches or religions, although in strict usage a prayer book is likely to mean a miscellaneous book of prayers as opposed to the standard service books as listed in the second group below:

Actual prayer books:

  • Saint Augustine's Prayer Book, in the Episcopal Church
  • Vatican Croatian Prayer Book, a Croatian vernacular prayer book
  • Book of Common Prayer (BCP), first published in 1549 for the Church of England
  • Siddur, in Judaism

Service & liturgical books:

  • Breviary or Missal, in Roman Catholicism
  • Agenda (liturgy), in Lutheranism
  • Common Worship, in Anglicanism
  • Alternative Service Book (adopted in 1980), in the Church of England
  • Directory of Public Worship, adopted in certain areas of the Church of England in the 17th century
  • Book of Hours

Famous quotes containing the words prayer book, prayer and/or book:

    ... it was religion that saved me. Our ugly church and parochial school provided me with my only aesthetic outlet, in the words of the Mass and the litanies and the old Latin hymns, in the Easter lilies around the altar, rosaries, ornamented prayer books, votive lamps, holy cards stamped in gold and decorated with flower wreaths and a saint’s picture.
    Mary McCarthy (1912–1989)

    Now stamp the Lord’s Prayer on a grain of rice,
    A Bible-leaved of all the written woods
    Strip to this tree: a rocking alphabet,
    Genesis in the root, the scarecrow word,
    And one light’s language in the book of trees.
    Dylan Thomas (1914–1953)

    What good is a book that does not even transport us beyond all books?
    Friedrich Nietzsche (1844–1900)