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    The Book of Common Prayer - 1552





TO the ende that Confirmacion maye be ministred to the more edifying of such as shal receyve it (according unto saincte Paules doctrine, who teaches that al thinges should be done in the Churche to the edificacion of the same) it is thought good that none hereafter shalbe confirmed, but such as can say in their mother tongue the articles of the fayth, the Lord's prayer, and the x commaundements; And can also answere to suche questions of this short Catechism, as the Bisshop (or such as he shal appointe) shal by his discrecion appose [=examine] them in. And this ordre is most conveniente to be observed for dyvers consideracions.

    First, because that when children come to the yeres of discrecion, and have learned what their godfathers and godmothers promised for them in baptisme, they may then themselves with their own mouth, and with their own consent, openly before the Churche, ratifie and confirme the same: and also promise that by the grace of god they wil evermore endevoure themselfes faithfully to observe and kepe suche thynges, as they by their owne mouth and confession have assented unto.

    Secondly, forasmuche as Confirmacion is ministred to them that be Baptized, that by imposicion of handes and Prayer they maye receyne strength and defence againste all temptacions to sinne and the assaultes of the worlde, and the Devyll: it is most mete to be ministred when children come to that age, that partly by the frailtie of their own flesh, partly by the assaultes of the world and the Devil, they begyn to be in daunger to fall into sondry kindes of synne.

    Thirdly, for that it is agreable with the usage of the Churche in times past, whereby it was ordeined that Confirmacion should be ministred to them that were of perfect age [i. e., adults], that thei being instructed in Christes religion, shoulde openly Professe their owne fayth, and promise to be obedyent unto the wyll of God.

    And that noman shal think that any detriment shall come to children by deferryng of their Confirmacion; he shal knowe for truth, that it is certeyne by Goddes woord, that children beyng baptysed, have al thynges necessary for their salvacion, and be undoubtedly saved.






    Question. What is your name?
    Aunswere. N. or M.
Who gave you thys name?
    Aunswere. My Godfathers and Godmothers in my baptisme, wherein I was made a member of Christe, the childe of god, and an inheritour of the kingdome of heaven.
    Question. What dyd your godfathers and godmothers then for you?
    Aunswere. They did promise and vowe three thinges in my name. First, that I should forsake the devil and all his woorks and pompes, the vanities of the wycked woride, and all the synfull lustes of the fleshe. Secondly, that I shoulde believe al the articles of the christen fayth. And thirdly, that I shoulde kepe Goddes holy wyll and commaundements, and walke in the same all the dayes of my lyfe.
    Question. Doest thou not thinke that thou art bounde to beleve and to doe as they have promised for thee?
    Aunswere. Yes verely. And by Gods helpe so I wyl. And I hertely thank our heavenly father, that he hath called me to thys state of salvacion, through Jesus Christe our saviour. And I pray god to geve me his grace, that I may continue in the same unto my lyves ende.
    Question. Rehearse the articles of thy beliefe.
    Aunswere. I beleve in god the father almightie, maker of heaven and of earth. And in Jesus Chryst hys onely sonne our lord. Which was conceyved of the holy gost, borne of the vyrgin Mary. Suffred under Ponce Pilate, was crucyfyed, dead and buried, he descended into hel. The thirde day he rose againe from the dead. He ascended into heaven, and sitteth at the right hande of God the father almightie. From thence he shall come to judge the quicke and the dead. I beleve in the holy gost. The holy Catholyke Churche. The communion of Sainctes. The forgiveness of synnes. The resurreccion of the bodye. And the lyfe everlastyng. Amen.
    Question. What doest thou chiefely learne in these articles of thy beliefe?
    Aunswere. Firste I learne to beleve in God the father, who hath made me and al the worlde.
    Secondly, in god the sonne who hath redemed me and all mankynde.
    Thirdly, in god the holy gost, who sanctifieth me and all the electe people of God.
    Question. You sayed that your godfathers and godmothers dyd promise for you that you should kepe goddes commaundementes. Tel me how many there be.
    Aunswere. Tenne.
    Question. Whiche be they?
    Aunswere. The same whiche God spake in the xx. Chapter of Exodus, saying: I am the lord thy god which have brought thee out of the lande of Egipte, out of the house of bondage.
    I. Thou shalt have none other goddes but me.
    II. Thou shalt not make to thyself any graven ymage, nor the likeness of any thyng that is in heaven above, or in the earth beneath, nor in the water under the yearth: thou shalte not bowe downe to them, nor woorshippe them. For I the Lorde thy God am a gelous God, and visite the synnes of the fathers upon the children, unto the thirde and fourth generacion of them that hate me, and shew mercy unto thousandes in them that love me, and kepe my commaundementes.
    III. Thou shalt not take the name of the lord thy god in vayne: for the Lard will not holde hym giltlesse that taketh hys name in vayne.
    IV. Remembre thou kepe holy the Sabboth daye. Sixe dayes shalte thou laboure and doe all that thou hast to doe: but the seventh daye is the Sabbath of the lorde thy God. In it thou shalte doe no maner of worke, thou, and thy sonne and thy daughter, thy man servaunt, and thy maide servaunt, thy catell, and the straunger that is within thy gates: for in sixe dayes the Lorde made heaven and earth, the Sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh daye. Wherefore the lord blessed the seventh daye and halowed it.
    V. Honour thy father and thy mother, that thy dayes may be long in the lande which the lord thy god geveth thee.
    VI. Thou shalt doe no murthur.
    VII. Thou shalt not commit adulterye.
    VIII. Thou shalt not steale.
    IX. Thou shalt not bear false witnesse agaynste thy neighbour.
    X. Thou shalt not covite thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covite thy neighbour's wife, nor his servaunt, nor his maide, nor his oxe, nor hys asse, nor any thyng that is hys.
    Question. What doest thou chieflye learne by these commaundementes?
    Aunswere. I learne two thinges: My duetie towardes God, and my duetie towardes my neighbour.
    Question. What is thy duetie towards god?
    Answer. My duetie towards god is, to beleve in hym, to feare [=revere] hym, and to love hym with all my hearte, with all my mynde, with al my soule, and with all my strength. To worship him. To geve him thankes. To put my whole truste in him. To call upon him. To honoure his holy name and his word, and to serve hym truely all the daies of my lyfe.
    Question. What is thy duetie towardes thy neyghbour?
    Answer. My duetie towards my neighboure is, to love hym as myself. And to doe to al men as I would they should do unto me. To love, honour and succour my father and mother. To honour and obey the kyng and hys ministers. To submit my self to all my governours, teachers, spiritual Pastours, and maisters. To ordre myself lowly and reverently to al my betters. To hurte no body by worde nor dede. To be true and juste in al my dealynge. To beare no malice nor hatred in my heart. To kepe my handes from pickyng and stealing, and my tongue from evil speaking, lying, and slaunderyng. To kepe my body in temperaunce, soberness, and chastitie. Not to covet nor desyre other men's goodes. But learne and labour truly to geat myne owne living, and to do my duetie in that state of lyfe, unto which it shall please god to call me.
    Question. My good chylde, knowe this, that thou art not able to doe these thyngs of thy selfe, nor to walke in the commaundementes of god, and to serve him, without hys speciall grace, which thou must learne at all tymes to cal for by diligent praier. Let me heare therefore if thou canst say the Lordes prayer.
    Aunswere. Our father, which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kyngdome come. Thy wyll be doen in earth as it is in heaven. Geve us thys daye our dayly bread. And forgeve us oure trespasses, as we forgeve them that trespasse against us. And leade us not into temptacyon. But delyver us from evill. Amen.
    Question. What desirest thou of god in thys prayer?
    Aunswere. I desire my Lord God oure heavenly father, who is the gever of all goodnes, to send hys grace unto me and to al people, that we may worshyp him, serve hym, and obey hym as we ought to doe. And I praye unto God, that he wyll sende us all thynges that be nedeful both for our soules and bodyes: And that he will be mercyful unto us, and forgeve us oure synnes: and that it wyll please him to save and defende us in all daungers gostly [=spiritually] and bodyly. And that he will kepe us from all synne and wyckednes, and from our gostly enemye, and from everlasting death. And thys I truste he wyll doe of hys mercy and goadnes, through our lord Jesus Christ. And therefore I saye, Amen. So be it.

So sone as the children can say in theyr mother tongue the artycles of the fayth, the Lordes prayer, the x Commaundementes: and also can answer to such questions of this shorte Catechisme, as the Bisshop (or such as he shal appoynt) shall by his discrecion appose [=examine] them in: then shall they be broughte to the Bisshop by one that shalbe hys Godfather, or Godmother, that every childe maye have a witnes of his con firmacion.

And the Bisshop shall confyrm them on this wise.

 Page from the 1552 Confirmation Service



    Our helpe is in the name of the Lard.
    Aunswere. Which hath made both heaven and earth.
    Minister. Blessed is the name of the Lard.
    Aunswere. Hencefurth world without ende.
    Minister. Lord heare our prayer.
    Aunswere. And let out crye come to thee.

Let us praye.

ALMIGHTIE and everlivinge God, who haste vouchesafed to regenerate these thy servaunts by water and the holy gost, and hast geven unto them forgyvenes of all theyr synnes: strengthen them, we beseche thee, (O Lord,) with the holy gost the comforter, and daily encrease in them thy manifold giftes of grace, the spirite of wisdome and understanding; the spirite of counsel and gostly strength, the spirite of knowledge and true godlynes: and fulfil them, (O lord,) with the spirit of thy holy feare. Amen.

Then the Bisshoppe shal laye hys hande upon every chylde severally, saying,

DEFENDE, O lord, this child with thy heavenly grace, that he may continue thine for ever, and dayly encrease in thy holy spirite more and more, until he come unto thy everlastyng kyngdom. Amen.



First Page of the 1552 Confirmation Service

Then shall the Bisshoppe saye.

Let us pray.

ALMIGHTIE everliving God, whiche makeste us both to will and to doe those thyngs that be good and acceptable unto thy Maiestie: we make oure humble supplycacyons unto thee for these children, upon whom (after the example of thy holy Apostles) we have layed our handes, to certifie them (by thys sygne) of thy favoure and gracious goodnes towarde them: lette thy fatherly hande we beseche thee ever be over them, let thy holy spirite ever be with them, and so leade them in the know ledge and obedience of thy woord, that in the ende they may obteine the everlastyng lyfe, through our Lord Jesus Chryst, who with thee and the holy goste, lyveth and reygneth one god, world without ende. Amen.

Then the Bisshoppe shall bless the children, thus saying.

THE blessyng of god Almightie, the father, the sonne, and the holy goste, be upon you, and remayne with you for ever. Amen.

    The Curate of every Parishe, or some other at his appoynctmente, shall diligently upon Sundaies, and holy doies halfe an hour before Evensong, openly in the Churche instruct and examine so many children of his parishe sente unto him, as the time wil serve, and as he shal thinke convenient, in some parte of this Catechisme

    And all Fathers, Mothers, Maisters, and Dames. shall cause theyr chyldren, servaunts, and prentises (whiche hane not learned theyr Catechisme), to come to the church at the time appoynted, and obediently to heare and be ordered by the Curate, until such time as they have learned all that is here appointed for them to learne. And whensoever the Bisshop shall geve knowledge for children to be brought afore him to any convenient place, for theyr confirmacion: Then shall the Curate of every parish either bryng, or send in writing, the names of al those children of his parishe which can say the Articles of their fayth, the Lordes praier, and the x commaundementes: and also howe many of them can aunswere to thother questions conteined in this Catechisme.

    And there shal none be admitted to the holy Communion, until suche tyme as he can saye the Catechisme, and bee confirmed.


Let us pray omitted in some printings


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