Anglicans: Changing a Way of Worship

That masterly compendium of Anglicanism's faith and worship, the Book of Common Prayer, has long been one of the glories of the English language. Last week Queen Elizabeth II gave her royal assent to use of a new Psalter in church worship—one step in the first major revision of the Prayer Book in 300 years.

Revision has been long overdue. First compiled in 1549 by Thomas Cranmer, Edward VI's Archbishop of Canterbury, the Prayer Book was an attempt to combine and simplify the services of the English church in a language understood by the people. Today, however, pastors frequently complain...