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    The Book of Common Prayer - 1559





    The woman shall come into the churche, and there shall knele downe in some convenient place, nyghe unto the place where the table standeth, and the priest standing by her, shal saie these wordes, or suche lyke, as the case that require.


FORASMUCHE as it hath pleased almyghtye God of hys goodnes to geve you safe delyveraunce, and hath preserved you in the great daunger of childbyrth: ye shal therfore geve heartye thankes unto God and praye.


Then shall the priest saye this Psalme.


I HAVE lyfte up myne eyes unto the hylles, from whence commeth my helpe.
    My helpe commeth even from the Lord: whych hath made heaven and earth.
    He wyll not suifre thy foote to be moved: and he that kepeth the, wil not slepe.
    Beholde, he that kepeth Israell: shall neyther slomber nor slepe.
    The Lorde hym selfe is thy keper: the Lorde is thy defence upon thy ryght hande.
    So that the sonne shall not burne the by daye, neither the moone by night.
    The Lorde shal preserve the from al evil: yea, it is even he that shal kepe thy soule.
    The Lorde shal preserve thy goinge out, and thy commynge in: from thys tyme forth for evermore.
    Glory be to the Father, and to the Sonne &c.
    As it was in the beginynge, is now &c.
    Lorde have mercye upon us.
    Christe have mercye upon us.
    Lorde have mercye upon us.
    And leade us not into temptacion.
    Aunswere. But deliver us from evil. Amen.
    Priest.* O Lorde save this woman thy servaunt.
    Aunswere. Whiche putteth her trust in the.
    Priest.* Be thou to her a strong Towre.
    Aunswere. From the face of her enemy.
    Priest.* Lorde heare our praier.
    Aunswere. And let our crie come unto the.


* "Minister" in 1604.

Let us praie.

O ALMIGHTY God, which hast delivered this woman thy servaunte from the great paine and peril of childe birthe: Graunt we beseche the most mercifull Father, that she through thy help may bothe faithfully live, and walke in her vocation, accordyng to thy wil, in this lyfe present, and also may be partaker of everlastyng glory in the lyfe to come, throughe Jesus Christ our Lorde. Amen.

    The woman that commeth to gine her thanckes, muste offer accustomed offerynges, aud if there be a Communion, it is convenient that she receive the holy Communion.





    After Mornyng prayer, the people beyng called together by the ringyng of a Bel, and assembled in the Churche, thenglish Letany shalbe saide after thaccustomed maner, whyche ended the priest shal go into the pulpit and saie thus.

BRETHREN, in the Prymatyve churche there was a godly discipline, that at the beginyng of Lent, suche personnes as were notoryus Synners, were putte to open penaunce and punyshed in thys world, that their soules might be saved in the daie of the lord. And that others admonyshed by theyr example myght be more afrayde to offende. In the stede wherof (untill the sayde Discypline maye be restored agayne, whyche thynge is muche to be wyshed) it is thought good that at this time (in your presence) shoulde be redde the general sentences of goddes cursyng agaynst impenitent Synners, gathered out of the .xxvii. Chapiter of Deuteronomye, and other places of Scripture. And that ye shoulde aunswere to every sentence. Amen. To thyntent that you being admonished of the great indignation of God against Synners: may the rather be called to earnest and true repentaunce, and maye walke more warely in these daungerous daies, flieing from suche vices, for the whyche ye affirme wyth your owne mouthes, the Curse of God to be due.

CURSED is the man that maketh any carved, or molten Image, an abhomination to the Lorde, the worke of the handes of the craftes man, and putteth it in a secrete place to worship it.

And the people shal aunswere and saie


    Minister. Cursed is he that cursethe his father, or mother.
    Aunswere. Amen.
    Minister. Cursed is hee that removeth away the marcke of hys neyghbours lande.
    Aunswere. Amen.
    Minister. Cursed is he that maketh the blynde to go oute of hys way.
    Aunswere. Amen.
    Minister. Cursed is he that, letteth [=hinders] in judgmet, the right of the straunger, of them that be fatherles, and of widdowes.
    Aunswere. Amen.
    Minister. Cursed is he that smiteth his neighbour secretlye.
    Aunswere. Amen.
    Minister. Cursed is he that lieth with his neighbours wife.
    Aunswere. Amen.
    Minister. Cursed is he that taketh rewarde to slea the Soule of innocent bloude.
    Aunswere. Amen.
    Minister. Curseth is he that putteth hys trust in manne, and taketh manne for hys defence, and in hys harte goeth from the Lorde.
    Aunswere. Amen.
    Minister. Cursed are the unmerciful, the fornicatours, and adulterers, and the couetous persones, the worshippers of ymages, slaunderers, dronkardes, and extorcioners.
    Aunswere. Amen.


The Minister.


    Nowe seyng that all they be accursed (as the Prophete David beareth wytnesse) [Psa. cxviii. =Ps. 119:21] whyche do erre, and go astraye from the cornmaundernentes of God, let us remembring the dreadful judgemente hanginge over our heddes, and beyng always at hande returne unto oure Lorde God, with all contricion and mekenes of hearte, bewailynge and lamenting our synful lyfe, knowledging [=acknowledging] and confessing our offences, and sekynge to brynge furth worthie fruictes of penaunce. For nowe is the Axe put unto the roote of the trees, so that every tree which bringeth not furth good fruict, is hewen downe and cast into the fire. [Math. iii.] It is a fearfull thing to falle into the handes of the lyvinge God: [Heb. x.] he shal poure doune raine upon the synners, Snares, fyre, and brimstone, storme and tempeste, thys shalbe their portion to drincke.[Psal. x. = Ps. 11:6] For lo, the Lorde is comen out of his place, to visite the wickednesse of suche as dwel upon the earth. [Esai. (Isaiah) xxvi.] But who may abyde the daye of his comming? Who shalbe able to endure, when he apereth? [Mal. iii.] His fanne is in his hande, and he wyll pourge hys floore, and gather his wheate into the barne, but he wyl burne the chaffe with unquenchable fyre. [Math. iii.] The daye of the Lord commeth as a thefe upon the night, and when men shall saye peace, and all thinges are saufe, then shal soubdenly destruction come upon them, as sorowe commeth uppon a woman travailyng with childe, and they shall not escape. [i. Thes. v.] Then shall appeare the wrathe of God in the day of vengeance, which obstinate sinners, throughe the stubburnnes of theyr hearte, have heaped unto them selfe, [Rom. ii.] whyche despysed the goodnes, pacyence, and longe sufferaunce of God, when he called them continually to repentaunce. Then shall they call upon me, sayeth the Lorde, but I wyll not heare: they shall seke me early, but they shall not fynde me: and that because they hated knowledge, and receyved not the feare of the Lorde, but abhorred my counsail, and dispised my correcyon, [Prover. i.] then shall it be to late to knocke, when the dore shalbe shutte, and to late to crye for mercye, when it is the tyrne of Justice. O terryble voyce of most just judgement, whiche shalbe pronounced upon them, when it shalbe sayde unto them: Go, ye cursed, into the fyre everlastynge, whyche is prepared for the devill and hys Aungeles. [Mat. xxv.] Therfore brethren take we hede by tyme, [betime, =in good time] whyle the daie of salvacion lasteth, [ii. Cor. vi.] for the nyght commeth when none can worke: [Jhon ix.] but let us whyle we have the lyght, beleve in the lyghte, and walke as the children of the lyght, that we be not caste into the utter darckenes, where is wepyinge and gnasshynge of teeth. [Mat. xxv.] Lette us not abuse the goodnes of God, whyche calleth us mercyfully to amendement, and of hys endelesse pytye promysed us forgevenesse of that whyche is paste [past]: If (wyth a whole mynde and true hearte) we returne unto hym. For though our synnes be red as scarlet, they shalbe as whyte as snowe, and thoughe they be lyke purple, yet shall they be as whyte as wolle. [Esay. (Isaiah) i.] Turne you cleane (sayeth the Lorde) from all your wickednes, and your synne shal not be your destruction. [Ezechiel xxviii. =Ezek. 18] Cast awaye from you all your ungodlynes that ye have done: make you newe heartes, and a newe spiryte: wherfore wyll ye dye, O ye house of Israell? Seiyng that I have no pleasure in the deathe of hym that dyeth (sayeth the Lorde God.) Turne you then, and you shall lyve. Although we have synned, yet have we an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christe the ryghteous, and he it is that obteyneth grace for our synnes, [i. Jhon ii.] for he was wounded for our offences, and smytten for our wyckednesse. [Esai. liii.] Let us therfore returne unto hym, who is the mercifull receyver of all true penitent sinners, assuring oure selfe that he is ready to receyve us, and most willyng to pardone us, yf we come to him, with faythfull repentaunce. Yf we will submit our selves unto him, and from hencefurthe walke in his wayes. Yf we will take hys easy yoke, and lighte burthen upon us, [Math. xi.] to folowe hym in lowlines, pacience, and charitie, and be ordered by the governaunce of hys holy spirite, seking alwayes his glorie, and servyng hym duely in our vocation with thankes gevynge. This yf we do, Christ wil deliver us from the curse of the law, and from the extreme malediction, which light upon theym, that shalbe set on the left hand, and he wyll set us on hys ryght hande, and geve us the blessed benediction of hys father, commaundynge us to take possession of his gloryous kyngdome, [Math. xxv.] unto the whiche he vouchesaufe to brynge us al, for hys infinite mercye.

Then shall they all knele upon theyr knees: And the Priestes and Clerckes knelynge (were they are accustomed to saye the Letany) shall say thy: Psalme. Miserere mei Deus.


The scripture references seen here within the text were placed in the margin in the original.

HAVE mercy upon me, O God after thy great goodnes, according to the multitud of thy mercyes, do away myne offences,
    Washe me throughly from my wyckednes and clense me from my synne.
    For I acknowledge my faultes, and my synne is ever before me.
    Against the onely have I synned, and done this evyll in thy sight, that thou mightest be justyfyed in thy sayeng, and cleare when thou art judged.
    Beholde, I was shapen in wickednesse, and in synne hath my mother conceived me.
    But lo, thou requirest trueth in inwarde parties [parts], and shalt make me to understande wisedome secretlye.
    Thou shalte purge me with hysoppe, and I shall be cleane, thou shalt washe me, and I shall be whyter then Snowe.
    Thou shalt make me here of joy and gladnesse : that the bones whiche thou hast broken may rejoyce.
    Turne thy face from my sinnes: and put oute all my misdedes.
    Make me a cleane hearte (O God:) and renue a right spirite within me.
    Cast me not away from thy presence : and take not thy holy spirite from me.
    O geve me the comforte of thy helpe agayne: and stablysh me with thy free spirite.
    Then shall I teache thy wayes unto the wicked : and sinners shalbe converted unto the.
    Deliver me from bloude giltines (O God) thou that art the God of my healthe: and my tonge shall synge of thy ryghteousnes.
    Thou shalte open my lyppes (O Lord) my mouth shal shewe thy prayse.
    For thou desirest no sacrifice, els woulde I geve it the: but thou delightest not in burnt offerynge.
    The sacrifice of God is a troubled spirite: a broken and a contrite hearte O God, shalte thou not despise.
    O be favourable and gracious unto Sion : builde thou the walles of Jerusalem.
    Then shalt thou be pleased with the sacrifice of rightuousnesse, with the burnt offerynges and oblations : then shall they offer yong bullockes upon thine aultare.
    Glory bee to the Father, and to the Sonne, and to the holy Ghoste.
    As it was in the beginning, is nowe, and ever shal be world without ende. Amen.
    Lorde have mercy upon us.
    Christ have mercy upon us.
    Lorde have mercy upon us.
    Our father which arte in heaven. &c.
    And leade us not into temptacion.
    Aunswere. But deliver us from evil. Amen.
    Minister. O Lorde save thy servauntes.
    Aunswere. Whiche put their trust in the.
    Minis/er. Sende unto them helpe from above.
    Aunswere. And evermore mightely defende them.
    Minister. Help us, O God our saviour.
    Aunswere. And for the glorye of thy names sake deliver us, bee mercyfull unto us synners, for thy names sake.
    The Minister. Lorde heare my praiers.
    Aunswere. And let our crie come unto thee.

Let us praye.

O LORD, we beseche the, mercifully heare our prayers, and spare al those which confesse their sinnes to the, that they (whose consciences by sin are accused) by thy merciful pardon may be absolved, throughe Christ our Lorde. Amen.

O MOSTE mighty God, and mercyfull father which haste compassion of al men, and hatest nothing that thou haste made: whiche wouldest not the deathe of a synner, but that he should rather turne from synne, and be saved: mercifully forgeve us oure trespasses, and comforte us, whiche be grieved and weryed [wearied] with the burden of oure synne. Thy propertye is to have mercy, to the onlye it apperteineth to forgeve synnes: spare us therefore good Lorde, spare thy people whom thou haste redemed. Enter not into judgement wyth thy servauntes, whiche be vyle earthe, and miserable synners, but so turne thyne yre [ire] from us whyche mekely knowledge [=acknowledge] oure vylenes, and trulye repente us of our faultes: so make haste to helpe us in this worlde, that we maye ever live wyth thee in the worlde to come, throughe Jesus Christe oure Lorde. Amen.

Then shall the people saye this that foloweth after the Minister.

TURNE thou us, O good Lorde, and so shall we be turned: be favourable O Lorde bee favourable too thy people, whyche turne to the, in wepynge, fastyng, and prayinge, for thou art a mercifull God, full of compassion, longe sufferynge, and of a great pitie. Thou sparest when we deserve punishment, and in thy wrathe thynkest upon mercye, spare thy people good Lorde, spare theym, and let not thy heritage be brought to confusion: heare us O Lorde for thy mercy is greate, and after the multitude of thy mercies, loke upon us.

Psal. li.


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