The words ‘to propagate the worship of God in the English tongue’ became the motto of the British Empire in the 19th century. Their first appearance, however, came in a proclamation accompanying the first edition made outside of England—in Dublin, 1551. ‘Empire and prayer book’ describes the history of new editions of the Book of Common Prayer first in Ireland and in North America after English settlement in 1607. It also outlines the publication of the American Book of Common Prayer after independence. From the middle of the 19th century, the Book of Common Prayer took on the mantle of colonial acculturation. Versions were published in Chinese, Tamil, Urdu, Bengali, Malay, Maori, and Swahili.