New Spanish, French prayer book translations now available

New, certified Spanish and French translations of the 1979 Book of Common Prayer are available online. Printed copies will be available January 20, 2022.

The translations were prepared under the supervision of the Task Force for Liturgical Translations, a subcommittee of the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music. The new translations were called for by the 2018 General Convention through resolution A070 and included an opportunity for churchwide feedback last fall.

The Rev. Juan Oliver, who was the custodian of the prayer book when the new translations were being prepared, noted that the new translations were prepared by a team of professional translators with expertise in both literary translation as well as cultural sensitivity.

An additional translation into Haitian Creole is forthcoming.

“It has been clear for some years that new translations of the prayer book have been sorely needed,” said the Rt. Rev. J. Neil Alexander, who succeeded Oliver as prayer book custodian. “The current editions in Spanish and French were literal in their orientation, but effective liturgical texts require a level of fluidity, literary depth, and aural clarity. While no translation is ever perfect, these new texts provide a new level of richness to those in our church who pray common prayer in Spanish and French. I welcome their appearance and encourage their use as widely as possible.”

The translations were developed by professional literary translators and edited by teams of three editors, all native speakers. Team members were as follows:

  • French:
    • Florence LeSur, translator
    • Bishop Pierre Whalon, Helene Whalon, and the Rev. Luke DeVolder, editors
  • Spanish
    • Hugo Olaiz, translator
    • The Revs. Frederick Clarkson, Juan M.C. Oliver, and Susan Saucedo Sica, editors

– Link to El Libro de Oración Común (Spanish translation)
– Link to Le Livre de la Prière Commune (French translation)

Press release from the Office of Public Affairs of the Episcopal Church.

The Book of Common Prayer (BCP)

The Book of Common Prayer 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.

Anglican liturgical piety has been rooted in the Prayer Book tradition since the publication of the first English Prayer Book in 1549. The first American BCP was ratified by the first General Convention of the Episcopal Church in 1789. It was based on the Proposed Book of 1786, and the 1662 English Book of Common Prayer, as well as the Scottish eucharistic rite of 1764.

The BCP is ratified by General Convention, with alterations or additions requiring the approval of two successive General Conventions. The General Convention may also authorize services for trial use. The process of Prayer Book revision led to publication of editions of the BCP for the Episcopal Church in 1789, 1892, 1928, and 1979.

The BCP notes that “The Holy Eucharist, the principal act of Christian worship on the Lord’s Day and other major Feasts, and Daily Morning and Evening Prayer, as set forth in this Book, are the regular services appointed for public worship in this Church” (p. 13).

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
  • Episcopal Services [services lead by a bishop, including ordinations]

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 following:

  • 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
  • Lectionaries for the Holy Eucharist and the Daily Office
The Episcopal Church of the Redeemer: Worshiping God, living in community, reaching out to the world.

Church of the Redeemer

Church of the Redeemer: Worshiping God, living in community, and reaching out to the world around us. We are an Episcopal Church serving north King County and south Snohomish County, Washington. As you travel your road, go with friends walking the way of Jesus at Redeemer.

Church of the Redeemer is at 6210 Northeast 181st Street in Kenmore, Washington. The campus is a short distance north of Bothell Way, near the Burke-Gilman Trail. The entrance looks like a gravel driveway. The campus is larger on the inside than it is on the outside. And we managed to hide a large building on the side of a hill that is not easily seen from the street.

The Episcopal Church welcomes you.