Original Research

Prayer Book Catechism: Past its sell-by date?

Raymond Potgieter
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 70, No 3 | a1993 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v70i3.1993 | © 2014 Raymond Potgieter | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 18 April 2013 | Published: 17 April 2014

About the author(s)

Raymond Potgieter, Department of Theology, North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus, South Africa


The Book of Common Prayer (BCP) is the first introduction to Anglican belief and liturgy for many. More specifically, the Book of Common Prayer of 1662 contains the traditional catechism of the Church of England, enjoining catechumens to receive training and instruction in basic doctrines and Christian living. This takes place in the contexts of the liturgy and the more comprehensive doctrinal statements of the 39 Articles of Religion. Anglican religion traditionally allowed its members to verbalise their faith in both ritual and confession, thus serving the church and not so much life in the world. A revisit of the intentions of the catechism within its historical and prayer book contexts will show that it essentially expresses lasting truths of the Christian faith. In a world increasingly divorced from particular Christian expressions, the Anglican Church needs to rethink its particular use of the catechism for its continued relevance in meeting the questions and challenges Anglicans face daily.


Catechism; Anglican; English Reformation; worship


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