"Written by one of the Church's leading experts on the history of the Book of Common Prayer, this `Commentary' is designed as a companion to the American Prayer Book of 1979. Dr. Hatchett traces and comments upon the sources, history and development of each of the rites and formularies of the 1979 Book from the earliest known forms until the present day". -- inside front jacket blurb.
Contents divided into sections: Foreword / Chilton Powell -- Preface -- Introduction -- The Title Page -- The Certificate -- The Table of Contents -- The Ratification of the Book of Common Prayer -- The Preface -- Concerning the Service of the Church -- The Calendar of the Church Year -- The Daily Office -- The Great Litany -- The Collects for the Church Year -- Proper Liturgies for Special Days -- Holy Baptism -- The Holy Eucharist -- Pastoral Offices -- Episcopal Services -- The Psalter, or Psalms of David -- Prayers and Thanksgivings -- An Outline of the Faith or Catechism -- Historical Documents of the Church -- Tables for Finding the Date of Easter and other Holy Days -- The Lectionary -- Daily Office Lectionary -- Selected Bibliography -- General Index -- Index of Scripture Citations.
Section on Pastoral Offices further divided into sub-sections: Confirmation -- A Form of Commitment to Christian Service -- Celebration and Blessing of a Marriage -- Thanksgiving for the Birth or Adoption of a Child -- Reconciliation of a Penitent -- Ministration to the Sick -- Ministration at the Time of Death -- The Burial of the Dead.
Section on Episcopal Services further divided into sub-sections: Ordination of a Bishop, of a Priest, of a Deacon -- Celebration of a New Ministry -- Dedication and Consecration of a Church.