Who Are Episcopalians and Anglicans?
Episcopalians and Anglicans trace their Christian roots to the early Church, and their Anglican identity to the Church of England. The name "Anglican" means "of England", but the Anglican church exists worldwide, known in some countries as the Episcopal church (including in the USA). Originally part of the Roman Catholic church, the split came during the time of King Henry VIII of England. He dissolved the monasteries and abbeys in 1536. The newly-separated Anglican church was given formal structure in 1562 during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. That structure is not based on administration but rather on shared tradition and shared belief.
Our belief is written down in the Holy Bible and the Articles of Religion; our tradition is in part embodied in our Book of Common Prayer. The first Book of Common Prayer was produced in 1549, and instead of being in Latin, the liturgy was translated into English. It has been revised numerous times since then, the most famous being the 1662 English Book of Common Prayer which forms the historical basis for most Anglican liturgy around the world. While several countries have their own prayer books (including the USA), all borrow heavily from the English tradition.