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Prayer Book Preface 

The Preface printed in every edition of the American BCP is an abbreviated form of the Preface prepared for the Proposed BCP of 1786 by the Rev. Dr. William Smith, then rector at Chestertown, Maryland, and founder of Washington College in that town. The second and third paragraphs and a portion of the fourth are largely a paraphrase of the Preface to the English revision of 1662. The Preface to the American BCP is heavily dependent upon an anonymous volume arguing for Prayer Book revision, Free and Candid Disquisitions, which was published in London in 1749. The Preface states the principle that the worship of the church may be altered for the edification of the people and sets forth the aims of Prayer Book revision: preservation of peace and unity in the church, procuring of reverence, exciting of piety and devotion, and elimination of elements which provide occasion for "cavil or quarrel" against the Prayer Book liturgy. 

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from "An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians," Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.
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