TO THE CANADIAN REVISION OF 1918
ALTERED IN 1959
THE Book of Common Prayer is a priceless possession of our Church. By its intrinsic merits, as a book designed for the reverent and seemly worship of Almighty God, it has endeared itself to generation after generation of devout Christians throughout the world. None would desire or advocate any change therein which would impair or lessen this deep-seated affection.
But through the lapse of some three hundred years many changes have taken place in the life of the Church and in its outlook upon the world. In the judgement of the General Synod of 1911 these changes warranted adaptation and enrichment of the Book in order that it might meet more fully the needs of the Church in this land.
Yet the revisers of some forty years ago bequeathed to their successors an uncompleted task. They were agreed that no major alterations should be made at that time to the Service of Holy Communion. Any changes which were made elsewhere in the Book were designed to render the Services more readily understood by the people, or to provide such additional Services as were needed in the growing life of the Church.
By order of the General Synod of 1943 the work of revision was taken up again. In the years of preparation and study, the principles which governed those who first gave to the Church its Book of Common Prayer have been constantly borne in mind. The aim throughout has been to set forth an order which the people may use with understanding and which is agreeable with Holy Scripture and with the usage of the primitive Church. And always there has been the understanding that no alterations should be made which would involve or imply any change of doctrine of the Church as set forth in the Book of Common Prayer, or any other alteration not in accord with the 27th Resolution of the Lambeth Conference of 1908 and the 78th Resolution of the Lambeth Conference of 1948.
When the Bishops, Clergy, and Laity of the Church in Canada assembled for the first General Synod in 1893, they made a Solemn Declaration of the faith in which they met together. It is in that faith that this Book of Common Prayer is offered to the Church, with the hope that those who use it may become more truly what they already are: the People of God, that New Creation in Christ which finds its joy in adoration of the Creator and Redeemer of all.