Date of Completion


Embargo Period



Liturgy, Anglicanism, Ritual, Politics

Major Advisor

Brendan Kane

Associate Advisor

Cornelia Dayton

Associate Advisor

Judith Meyer

Field of Study



Doctor of Philosophy

Open Access

Open Access


This dissertation examines alternative liturgies written by Church of England loyalists to replace the Book of Common Prayer during its proscription from 1645-1660. The Prayer Book had provided the foundation of English worship for almost a century when the Long Parliament banned it as part of its religious reforms in the 1640s. The replacement Directory for the Publique Worship of God consisted of suggestions for the minister’s extemporaneous prayers, not the pre-written prayers of the Prayer Book. While those who preferred the Directory believed extemporaneous prayer was most likely to be heeded by God and did not “stifle” the work of the Holy Spirit, church loyalists argued that such prayer introduced heresy and disorder into the church. The Prayer Book, they countered, was apostolical, historical, scriptural, and upheld order within the church and the society at large.

As a means of dissenting from the Directory and the attendant political and religious disorder it introduced, four church loyalists—John Cosin, Owen Felltham, Robert Sanderson, and Jeremy Taylor—composed alternative liturgies to be used in its stead. While devotional writing within the Church of England was itself nothing new, these liturgies are remarkable because they closely follow the structure of the Prayer Book liturgies and borrow freely from its prayers. Through an in-depth analysis of the liturgies and the ways the authors use the Prayer Book, this project demonstrates how liturgy could be harnessed creatively by those wishing to intervene in the affairs of the state.

Available for download on Monday, April 23, 2029