Prayers form a central feature of Episcopal worship.

Rather than uniting around complete agreement on doctrines, Episcopalians and others in the Anglican Communion unite around the shared practice of prayer.

The title of the Book of Common Prayer captures this idea of worshiping together, praying together. “Common” prayer means that prayer is something we have in common – something we do together. Regardless of all the differences among us, we turn to God together in prayer.

Types of Prayer

The prayer book includes various types of prayer, classified by their format or their purpose. For example, a longer back-and-forth style is called a ‘litany.’ A frequently used style offering a succint summary is called a ‘collect’ because it collects together several ideas in one prayer. Those leading worship can choose from several forms of the Eucharistic prayer and several options for the “Prayers of the People.” Some prayers in the book are for the whole community gathered together, and some are for people to use individually or as a family or small group at home, at work, and in daily life.

Why Written Prayers?

Writing a particular prayer down makes it possible for everyone to pray together. Written prayers also give a starting point when a person doesn’t know how to pray, in the middle of a difficult situation. The prayer book offers the collected experience of generations of people facing similar situations in their lives, such as sickness, grief, joy, and gratitude.

The prayer book offers guidelines on how to pray. People using them can expand on the framework and offer completely unique prayers as well.

photo of Byron Rushing

Independence Day – Collects for ALL in our nation

Every year, Byron Rushing, vice-president of The Episcopal Church’s House of Deputies, shares this about the prayers our Church and people pray on Independence Day. We offer it as a wider perspective on history and as an encouragement to think more critically about the long, hard road to freedom that many in our country have faced. Rushing writes: “July 4 lands on a Wednesday this year; I write this for those who will be commemorating Independence Day then or on Sunday, July 1. “Let me take this…

Prayer Formats: the Collect

The prayer format perhaps most characteristic of the Book of Common Prayer is the collect. A collect is a brief prayer that brings together several ideas succinctly. Though not a common word now, it’s just the noun version of the verb “to collect.” A collect often follows a format something like this: Address – the prayer begins with a name for God and often a description of God’s character or actions. Petition & Purpose – this section asks for something and…

A Prayer for Fridays

Lord Jesus Christ, by your death you took away the sting of death: Grant to us your servants so to follow in faith where you have led the way, that we may at length fall asleep peacefully in you and wake up in your likeness; for your tender mercies’ sake. Amen.

Prayers at the blessing of a marriage

When two people desire to form a lasting, lifelong partnership with each other in God’s love, they make their vows before God and the gathered community of family, friends and the Church. They in turn receive the grace and blessing of God to help them fulfill those vows. These are some of the prayers that The Episcopal Church uses in the blessing of a marriage: O God, you have so consecrated the covenant of marriage that in it is represented…

Prayers for the Royal Wedding

A prayer from the Church of England  God of love, send your blessing upon Harry and Meghan, and all who are joined in marriage, that, rejoicing in your will and continuing under your protection, they may both live and grow in your love all their days, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen Marriage prayers in The Episcopal Church When two people desire to form a lasting, lifelong partnership with each other in God’s love, they make their vows before God and…

Prayer Cycle – 2018

The churches and people of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth pray continuously for each other, for our brothers and sisters throughout the Anglican Communion, and for those who have separated from us. Download Prayer Cycles The diocesan prayer cycle offers two PDF documents for the entire calendar year. One is for Sundays and one for weekdays (Monday-Saturday). EDFW Prayer Cycle – 2018 – Sundays (PDF) EDFW Prayer Cycle – 2018 – Weekdays (PDF) Throughout the worldwide Anglican Communion, daily prayer for provinces, dioceses,…