Book of Common Prayer & Daily Office

The Book of Common Prayer

The Book of Common Prayer (BCP) is the official book of worship of the Episcopal Church. The BCP provides liturgical forms, prayers, and instructions so that all members and orders of the Episcopal Church may appropriately share in common worship. The BCP includes the calendar of the church year, and it provides forms for the Daily Office, the Great Litany, the Collects, Proper Liturgies for Special Days, Holy Baptism, the Holy Eucharist, Pastoral Offices, and Episcopal Services. In addition to many forms for corporate worship, the BCP also provides forms for Daily Devotions for Individuals and Families (pp. 136-140). The BCP includes both contemporary language (Rite 2) and traditional language (Rite 1) versions of the forms for Morning and Evening Prayer, the Collects, the Eucharist, and the Burial of the Dead. The BCP also includes the Psalter, or Psalms of David; Prayers and Thanksgivings; An Outline of the Faith, or Catechism; Historical Documents of the Church (including the Articles of Religion); Tables for Finding the Date of Easter and other Holy Days; and lectionaries for the Holy Eucharist and the Daily Office. 
You can find an online version of the Book of Common Prayer at

The Daily Office

The Book of Common Prayer (BCP) contains a section called "The Daily Office," which provides an outline for prayer at different  times throughout the day. Some of the services are available in Rite I (more formal) and Rite II (more current language). The Daily Devotions for Individuals and Families has a options for throughout the day that include a portion of a Psalm, a Scripture reading, the Lord's Prayer, and a collect (prayer). You can find the Daily Office by going to the Book of Common Prayer at and selecting The Daily Office (on left sidebar)

The history of the Daily Office from 
The use of daily prayers to mark the times of the day and to express the traditions of the praying community is traditional in Judaism and in Christianity. The third, sixth, and ninth hours (9 a.m., 12 noon, and 3 p.m.) were times of private prayer in Judaism. The congregational or cathedral form of office developed in Christianity under Constantine (274 or 288-337) with the principal morning and evening services of lauds and vespers. The people participated in the cathedral form of office. The monastic form of office also developed at this time. In addition to lauds and vespers, the monastic form included matins (at midnight or cockcrow), prime (the first hour), terce (the third hour), sext (the sixth hour), none (the ninth hour), and compline (at bedtime). By the late middle ages, the Daily Office was seen as the responsibility of the monks and clergy rather than an occasion for participation by all in the prayers of the community throughout the day. 
After the Anglican Reformation, Archbishop Thomas Cranmer (1489-1556) reduced the eight monastic offices to the two services of Morning and Evening Prayer. These services were printed in vernacular English and intended for use by all members of the church. Participation in the Daily Office is at the heart of Anglican spirituality. It is the proper form of daily public worship in the church. In addition to forms for Daily Morning Prayer and Daily Evening Prayer in contemporary and traditional language, the BCP section for the Daily Office includes forms for Noonday Prayer, Order of Worship for the Evening, Compline, and Daily Devotions for Individuals and Families. These offices include prayers, a selection from the Psalter, readings from the Holy Scriptures, one or more canticles, and the Lord's Prayer. Forms for Morning and Evening Prayer include an optional confession of sin. The BCP provides a Daily Office Lectionary that identifies readings and psalm choices for Morning and Evening Prayer (pp. 936-1001), and a Table of Canticles with suggested canticles for use at Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer (pp. 144-145). The officiant in the Daily Office may be a member of the clergy or a lay person.