Religion: Which Miserable Offenders?

Petitions and hot words over England's modernized prayer book

"Many believers fear that it amounts to the most willful act of puritanical vandalism since Cromwell's Roundheads defaced the statues and shattered the stained glass," an editorial in the London Daily Mail thundered last week. What was enraging the editors? It turned out to be the publication of the Church of England's new Alternative Service Book. The book will henceforth be used in liturgy as a modernized alternative to the version of the Book of Common Prayer issued in the 17th century, just after the Roundheads lost power.

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