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    The Book of Common Prayer - 1552






The Priest entering into the sicke person's house, shall saye,

Peace be in this house, and to all that dwell in it.

When he cometh into the sick man's presence, he shall saye, kneling downe.

REMEMBRE not, Lorde, oure iniquities, nor the iniquities of our forefathers. Spare us, good Lord, spare thy people, whom thou hast redemed with thy most precious bloud, and be not angry with us for ever.

    Lorde, have mercy upon us.
    Christ, have mercy upon us.
    Lorde, have mercy upon us.
    Our father, which art in heaven, &c.
    And leade us not into temptacion.
    Aunswere. But delyver us from evyll. Amen.
    Minister. O Lord, save thy servaunt.
    Aunswere. Which putteth his trust in thee.
    Minister. Sende him helpe from thy holy place.
   Aunswere. And evermore mightely defende him.
    Minister. Let the enemie have none advauntage of him.
    Aunswere. Nor the wicked approche to hurte him.
    Minister. Be unto him, O Lord, a stronge towre.
    Aunswere. From the face of his enemie.
    Minister. Lorde, heare oure prayers.
    Aunswere. And let our crye come unto thee.


O LORD, loke downe from heaven, behold, visite, and releve this thy servaunt: Looke upon him with the eyes of thy mercy, geve him comforte, and sure confidence in thee: Defende him from the daunger of the enemye, and keepe him in perpetuall peace, and safetie: through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

    Heare us, almightie and most mercyful God and saviour. Extend thy accustomed goodnes to this thy servaunt, which is grieved with sicknes: Visite him, O Lorde, as thou diddeste visite Peter's wyve's mother and the Captayne's [centurion's] servaunt. So visite and restore unto this sycke person his former health, (yf it bee thy wyl) or els geve him grace so to take thy vysitacion, that after this paynfull lyfe ended, he maye dwell with thee in lyfe everlasting. Amen.

Then shall the Minister exhorte the sicke person after this fourme or other lyke.

DERELY beloved, know this: that almightie God is the Lord of lyfe and death, and over all thinges to them perteyning, as youth, strength, health, age, weakenes, and sickenesse. Wherfore, whatsoever your sickenesse is, know you certaynlye that it is god's visitacion. And for what cause soever this sickenesse is sente unto you: whether it be to trie youre pacience for the example of other, and that your fayth may be found in the day of the lord laudable, glorious, and honorable, to the encrease of glory, and endlesse felicitie: Or els it be sent unto you to correct and amend in you, whatsoever doeth offend the eyes of our heavenly father: know you certainly, that yf you truely repent you of your sinnes, and beare your sickenes paciently, trustinge in god's mercye, for his dere sonne Jesus Christes sake, and rendre unto him humble thankes for his fatherly visitacion, submittinge yourself wholy to his wyll; it shall turne to your profit, and helpe you forward in the right way that leadeth unto everlasting lyfe.


Yf the person vysyted be very sicke, then the curate maye ende hys exhortacion in this place.

Take therefore in good worth the chastement of the Lorde. For whom the Lorde loveth, he chastiseth. Yea, (as Sainct Paul sayth,) he skourgeth every sonne which he receyveth: yf you indure chastisement, he offreth him self unto you as unto his owne children. What sonne is he that the father chastiseth not? Yf ye be not under correccion (whereof all true children are partakers), then are ye bastardes and not children. Therfore seing that whan our carnal fathers do correcte us, we reverentlye obeye them: shall we not now much rather be obedient to our spiritual father, and so lyve? And they for a fewe dayes dooe chastise us after theyr owne pleasure: but he doeth chastise us for our profyt, to the intent he may make us partakers of his holynes. These wordes, good brother, are God's wordes, and written in holy scripture for oure comfort and instruccion, that we shoulde paciently and with thankesgeving beare our heavenly father's correccion, whansoever by anye maner of adversytie it shall please his gracious goodnes to vysit us. And there should be no greater comfort to christian persons, then to be made lyke unto Christe, by sufferinge paciently adversities, troubles, and sickenesses. For he himself went not up to joye, but fyrst he suffered payne: he entred not into his glorye before he was crucifyed. So truely oure waye to eternall joye is to suffre here with Christ, and our doore to entre into eternall lyfe is gladlye to dye with Christ, that we may ryse agayne from death, and dwel with him in everlastinge lyfe. Now therfore taking your sicknesse which is thus profytable for you, pacientely: I exhorte you in the name of God, to remembre the profession which you made unto God in your Baptisme. And forasmuch as after this lyfe there is accoumpte to be geven unto the righteous judge, of whom all muste be judged without respecte of persones: I requyre you to examine your self, and your state, both towarde God and man : so that accusing and condemning your self for your owne faultes, you may fynd mercy at our heavenly father's hande for Christ's sake, and not be accused and condemned in that feareful judgement. Therfore I shall shortely rehearse the articles of our faythe, that ye maye knowe whether you do beleve as a Christian man should, or no.

Here the Minister shal rehearse the articles a/the faith, sayinge thus.

DOEST thou beleve in God the father alinightie?

And so forth, as it is in Baptisme.

    Then shall the Minister examine whether he be in charitie with al the world: Exhortinge him to forgeve from the bottome of his hearte al persons that have offended hym: and yf he have oflended other to aske them forgevenesse: And where he hath done injurie or wrong to any man, that he make amendes to the uttermost of his power. And yf he have not afore disposed hys goodes, let him then make his wyl. But men must be of be admonished that they sette an ordre for theyr temporall goodes and landes whan they be in health. And also declare his debtes, what he oweth, and what is owing unto him, for discharging of his conscience, and quietnesse of hys executours.
    These words before rehearsed, may be said before the Minister beginne his prayer, as he shal see cause.
    The minister may not forgeat nor omitte to move the sicke person (and that most earnestly) to lyberalitie towarde the poore.
    Here shal the sicke person make a special confession, yf he feele his conscience troubled wyth any weyghtie matter. After which confession the Priest shal absolve hym after thys sorte.

OUR Lord Jesus Christ, who hath left power to his Church to absolve al sinners, whiche truely repent and beleve in him, of his great mercy forgeve thee thine offences: and by his aucthoritie committed to me, I absolve thee from all thy synnes, in the name of the father, and of the sonne, and of the holy gost. Amen.

And then the Priest shal saye the Collect folowinge.

Let us praye.

O MOSTE mercyfull God, whiche according to the multitude of thy mercies doest so put away the sinnes of those which truely repente, that thou remembrest them no more: open thy eye of mercy upon this thy servaunt, who most earnestly desyreth pardon and forgevenes: Renue in him, most loving father, whatsoever hath been decayed by the fraud and malice of the devyl, or by his owne carnal wyl, and fraylnesse: preserve and continue this sicke membre in the unitie of thy church, consider his contricion, accept his teares, asswage his paine, as shal be sene to thee most expedient for him. And forasmuch as he putteth his full trust onely in thy mercy; Impute not unto him his former synnes, but take him unto thy favoure: through the merites of thy most derely beloved sonne Jesus Christe. Amen.


Then the Minister shal saye thys Psalme.

In te Domine speravi. Psal. xxi.

IN thee, O lord, have I put my trust, let me never be put to confusion : but rydde me, and delyver me, into thy rightousnesse; incline thyne eare unto me, and save me.
    Be thou my strong holde, (whereunto I may alway resorte) thou hast promised to helpe me, for thou art my house of defence, and my castell.
    Deliver me (O my God) out of the hand of the ungodly : out of the hand of the unrighteous and cruell man.
    For thou (O Lorde God) art the thinge that I long for : thou art my hope, even from my youth.
    Throughe thee have I been holden up ever since I was borne; thou art he that toke me out of my mother's wombe; my prayse shall alway be of thee.
    I am become as it were a monstre unto many : but my sure trust is in thee.
    O lette my mouth be fylled with thy prayse (that I may sing of thy glory) and honour all the daye longe.
    Caste me not away in the tyme of age, forsake me not when my strength fayleth me.
    For myne enemies speake agaynste me : and they that lay waite for my soule take their counsel together, saying : God hath forsaken him; persecute him, and take him, for there is none to delyver him.
    Goe not farre from me, O God : my God, haste thee to helpe me.
    Let them be confounded and perishe that are against my soule : let them be covered with shame and dishonor that seke to do me evyll.
    As for me, I wyll paciently abyde alwaye : and wyll prayse thee more and more.
    My mouth shall daylye speake of thye righteousnesse and salvacion : for I knowe no ende thereof.
    I wyl goe forth in the strength of the Lord God : and wyll make mencion of thy righteousnes onely.
    Thou (O god) hast taught me from my youth up until now : therfore I wyl tel of thy wonderous workes.
    Forsake me not (O God) in myne olde age, when I am graye headed, untill I have shewed thy strength unto this generacion, and thy power to all them that are yet for to come.
    Thy righteousness (O God) is very hygh : and great thinges are they that thou haste doone; O God, who is lyke unto thee?
    O what greate troubles and adversities haste thou shewed me! and yet diddeste thou turne and refreshe me: yea, and broughtest me from the depe of the earth agayne.
    Thou hast brought me to greate honour: and comforted me on every syde.
    Therfore wyl I prayse thee and thy faythfulness (O God) playing upon an instrument of musicke, unto thee wyl I sing upon the harpe, O thou holy one of Israel.
    My lippes wyl be fayne when I syng unto thee : and so wyll my soule whom thou hast delivered.
    My tonge also shall talke of thy righteousnesse al the daye longe, for they are confounded and broughte unto shame that seke to do me evyll.
    Glory bee to the father, and to the sonne; and to the holye ghoste.
    As it was in the beginninge, is nowe; and ever shall be; worlde without ende. Amen.

Addinge this.

O SAVIOURE of the worlde, save us, whiche by thy crosse and precious bloud hast redemed us, helpe us, we beseche thee, O God.

Then shal the Minister saye.

THE almightie Lorde, which is a most stronge tower to all them that put their truste in him, to whom all thinges in heaven, in earth, and under earth, doe bowe and obeye: be nowe and evermore thy defence, and make thee know and feele, that there is no other name under heaven geven to manne, in whom, and throughe whom, thou mayest receyve health and salvacion, but onely the name of oure Lorde Jesus Christe. Amen.



[actually Psalm 71]




    Forasmuch as all mortal men be subject to many sodayne perilles, diseases and sickenesses, and ever uncertayne what time they shal depart out of this lyfe: Therfore to thintent they may be alwayes in a readinesse to dye, whensoever it shal please almightie God to call them, the Curates shal diligentlye from tyme to tyme, but speciallye in the plague tyme, exhorte theyr parishioners to the oft receyving in the church of the holye communion of the body and bloud of our saviour Christ. Which (yf they do,) they shal have no cause, in theyr sodaine visitacion, to be unquieted for lacke of the same. But yf the sycke person be not liable to come to the church, and yet is desyrous to receyve the communion in hys house then he must geve knowledge overnyght, or els early in the morning to the Curate, signifyinge also howe manye be appoynted to communicate with hym. And havinge a convenient place in the syke man's house, where the Curate maye reverently minister, and a good nombre to receyve the communion wyth the sycke personne, with al thinges necessarye for thesame, he shall there minister the holye communion.

The Collecte.

ALMIGHTIE everlyvinge God, maker of mankinde, which doest correcte those whom thou doest love, and chastisest every one whom thou doest receyve: we beseche thee to have mercy upon this thy servaunt visited with thy hande, and to graunte that he may take his syckenesse paciently, and recover his bodelye health (yf it bee thy gracious wyll), and whensoever his soule shall departe from the bodye, it maye bee without spotte presented unto thee: through Jesus Christ our Lorde. Amen.

The Epistle. Heb. xii.

MY sonne, despyse not the correccion of the Lord, nether faynte when thou art rebuked of hym: For whom the Lord loveth, him he correcteth, yea and he scourgeth every sonne whom he receyveth.

The Gospell. John v.

VERELY, verely I saye unto you, he that heareth my worde, and beleveth on him that sente me, hath everlasting lyfe, and shall not come unto damnacion, but he passeth from death unto lyfe.

At the tyme of the distribucion of the holy Sacrament, the Priest shal fyrst receyve the Communion himself, and after minister unto them that be appointed to communicate wyth the sycke.

But yf any man either by reason of extremitie of syckenes, or for lacke of warning in due tyme to the Curate, or for lacke of company to receyve with him, or by any other just impediment, do not receyve the Sacrament of Christes body and bloud; then the Curate shal instruct him that yf he do truly repent him of his synnes, and stedfastly beleve that Jesus Christ hath suffred death upon the crosse for him, and shed his bloud for his redempcion, earnestly remembring the benefites he hath therby, and gaving him heartie thanks therfore: he doeth eate and drinke the body and bloude of our Saviour Christ, profytably to his soules health, althoughe he doe not receyve the Sacrament with hys mouth.

When the sicke person is visited and receiveth the holi communion all at one tyme: then the priest for more expedicion shal cut of the forum of the visitacion at the Psalme. In thee, O Lord, have I put my trust, and go streyght to the communion.

In the tyme of plague, Swette, or suche other lyke contagious tymes of syckenesses or dyseases, when none of the parysh or neyghbours can be gotten to communicate wyth the syck in theyr houses, for feare of the infeccion. upon special request of the diseased, the minister may alonly communicate wyth hym.



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