The appropriate use of the BCP
If an Anglican Church wants to make sure that it believes, teaches and confesses right doctrine it will do well to use The Book of Common Prayer (1662 or another classic edition - e.g. the American 1928) regularly. For in this book is that form of sound teaching that is known as The Reformed Catholic Faith and this teaching permeates each of the services. And this Anglican Form of Doctrine is solidly based upon Scripture as this inspired Canon of Two Testaments has been received and interpreted in the Church, especially in the Early Church during the period of the first four (and even) seven ecumenical councils.
No such clarity of doctrine is to be found in any of the modern "Books of Alternative Services", including either the 1979 ECUSA Prayer Book or the Common Worship (2000) of the Church of England. In fact for them to be truly useful for right doctrine and godliness, they need to be used in the light of the doctrinal standards found in the historic BCP.
But to have right theology and to confess sound doctrine is not enough, in fact it is only part of the beginning of what The Book of Common Prayer is all about. This classic collection of set texts for corporate prayer exists to bring God's people in penitence and faith through Jesus Christ, the Mediator, and by the Holy Ghost, to the Father, as his faithful, adoring children. It exists to enable repentant, believing sinners to worship the Holy Trinity in the beauty of holiness, separated from the world, as they look unto Jesus, the author and the finisher of their salvation.
Further, it exists to provide a daily discipline of praise and thanksgiving, confession and petition, intercession and supplication so that God's people remain in communion with their Lord as they go about their daily lives. And the fact that this historic Prayer Book is written in the classic language of prayer and public worship makes it the more useful for the vocation of drawing away from the world and near unto the Lord to seek his face and know his will.
To use The Book of Common Prayer because it seems to confirm & express social conservatism (be it the Tory kind in the UK or the Republican kind in the USA) is really to miss the point of the Book, its content and its use. It exists to make people holy, to bring a people in worship unto the heavenly kingdom where they shall be lost in wonder, love and praise as they enjoy the Beatific Vision. It exists for the full and final salvation of the elect of God.
The Rev'd Dr. Peter Toon M.A., D.Phil. (Oxon.)