The Book of Common Prayer
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    The Proposed Book of Common Prayer (1689)






WHAT is your Name?
    Answer. N.
or M.
Who gave you this Name?
    Answer. My Sureties in my Baptism; wherein I was made a member of Christ, the child of God, and an heir of the kingdom of heaven.
    Question. What did your Sureties then for you?
    Answer. They did promise and vow three things in my name. First, that I should renounce the devil and all his works, the pomps and vanities of this wicked world with all covetous desires of the same, and all the sinful lusts of the flesh. Secondly, that I should believe all the Articles of the Christian Faith. And thirdly, that I should keep God's holy will and commandments, and walk in the same all the days of my life.
    Question. Dost thou not think that thou art bound to believe, and to do, as they have promised for thee?
    Answer. Yes verily: and by God's help so I will. And I heartily thank our heavenly Father, that he hath called me to this state of salvation, through Jesus Christ our Saviour. And I pray unto God to give me his grace, that I may continue in the same unto my life's end.
    Catechist. Rehearse the Articles of thy Belief.

I BELIEVE in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth:
    And in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord; Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, Born of the Virgin Mary, Suffered under Pontius Pilate, Was crucified, dead, and buried; The third day he rose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, And sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
    I believe in the Holy Ghost; The holy Catholick Church; the Communion of Saints; The Forgiveness of sins; The Resurrection of the body; And the Life everlasting. Amen.
    Question. What dost thou chiefly learn in these Articles of thy Belief?
    Answer. First, I learn to believe in God the Father, who hath made me, and all the world;
    Secondly, in God the Son, who hath redeemed me, and all mankind.
    Thirdly, in God the Holy Ghost, who sanctifieth me, and all the elect people of God.
    Question. What do you learn further in this Creed?
    Answer. I learn that Christ hath had, still hath, and ever will have a Church somewhere on earth.
What are you there taught concerning this Church?
    Answer. I am taught that it is Catholic or Universal, as it receives into it all Nations upon the profession of the Christian faith in baptism.
    Question. What privileges belong to Christians by their being received into this Catholic Church?
Four. First, the Communion of Saints, or fellowship of all true Christians in faith, worship, and charity. Secondly, the Forgiveness of Sins, obtained by the sacrifice of Christ's death, and given to us, upon faith in him, and repentance from dead works. Thirdly, the Rising again of our Bodies at the last day to a state of glory. Fourthly, Everlasting Life with our Saviour in the kingdom of heaven.
    Question. You said, that your Sureties did promise for you, that you should keep God's commandments. Tell me how many there be.
    Question. Which be they?


THE same* which God spake in the twentieth Chapter of Exodus, saying, I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
    I. Thou shalt have no other Gods before me.
    II. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me, and chewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.
    III. Thou shalt not take the Name of the Lord thy God in vain: for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his Name in vain.


* A note orders the Ten Commandments "To be put as in Exodus.", according to the Authorized (King James) Version.

    IV. Remember the Sabbath day,* to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work; but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord hy God. In it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that m them is, and rested the seventh day wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it.
    V. Honour thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.
    VI. Thou shalt not kill.
    VII. Thou shalt not commit adultery.
    VIII. Thou shalt not steal.
    IX. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.
    X. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's.
What dost thou chiefly learn by these Commandments?
    Answer. I learn two things: my duty towards God, and my duty towards my Neighbour.
    Question. What is thy duty towards God?
    Answer. My duty towards God, is to believe in him, to fear him, and to love him, with all my heart, with all my mind, with all my soul, and with all my strength; to worship him, to give him thanks, to put my whole trust in him, to call upon him, to honour his holy Name and his Word, and to serve him truly all the days of my life especially on .Lord's days.
    Question. Now to apply this to the four first Commandments. Tell me first what you learn by the first of them?
    Answer. I learn that it is my duty towards God to believe in him, to fear him, &c. . . . strength.
What learn you by the second Commandment?
    Answer. To worship him, and him only, to give him thanks, &c. . . . upon him.
    Question. What learn you by the thud Commandment ?
    Answer. To honour his holy name and his word.
    Question. What learn you by the fourth Commandment?
    Answer. To serve him truly all the days of my life, especially on Lord's days.
    Question. What is thy duty towards thy Neighbour?
    Answer. My duty towards my Neighbour, is to love him as myself, and to do to all men as I would they should do unto me: To love, honour, and succour my father and mother: To honour and obey the Queen, and all that are put in authority under her: To submit myself to all my governors, teachers, and spiritual pastors and masters: To order myself lowly and reverently to all my betters: To hurt nobody by word or deed: To be true and just in all my dealings: To bear no malice nor hatred in my heart: To keep my hands from picking and stealing, and my tongue from evil-speaking, lying, and slandering: To keep my body in temperance, soberness, and chastity: Not to covet nor desire other men's goods; but to learn and labour truly to get mine own living, and to do my duty in that state of life, unto which it shall please God to call me.
    Question. Now to apply this to the six last Commandments; Tell me what you learn by the fifth?
    Answer. To love, honour, &c..... my betters.
What learn you by the sixth Commandment?
    Answer. To hurt nobody by word or deed.
    Question. What learn you by the seventh?
To keep my body in temperance, soberness, and chastity.
    Question. What learn you by the eighth?
    Answer. To be true and just, &c..... stealing.
    Question. What learn you by the ninth?
    Answer. To keep my tongue from evil speaking, lying, and slandering.
    Question. What learn you by the tenth?
    Answer. Not to covet, &c..... call me.
    Catechist. My good child, know this, that thou art not able to do these things of thyself, nor to walk in the commandments of God, and to serve him, without his special grace; which thou must learn at all times to call for by diligent prayer. Let me hear therefore if thou canst say the Lordís Prayer.

* Which is now the Lord's day.

OUR Father, which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy Name, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, in earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; And forgive us our trespasses, As we forgive them that trespass against us; And lead us not into temptation, But deliver us from evil. Amen.
    Question. Now to apply this to the several petitions. Tell me what you desire of God in the first petition.
   Answer. I desire my Lord God, our heavenly Father, who is the giver of all goodness, to send his grace unto me, and to all people; that we may worship him.
    Question. What desire you in the second and third petitions?
    Answer. That we may serve him and obey him as we ought to do.
    Question. What desire you in the fourth?
    Answer. That he would send us all things needful both for our souls and bodies.
    Question. What desire you in the fifth?
    Answer. That he will be merciful unto us, and forgive us our sins, and that we may have grace to forgive our enemies.
    Question. What desire you in the sixth?
    Answer. That he will keep us from all sin and wickedness, and from our ghostly enemy, and from everlasting death.
    Question. What is the conclusion?
    Answer. This I trust he will do, of his mercy and goodness, Amen, or So be it.

HOW many Sacraments hath Christ ordained in his Church?
    Answer. Two only, that is to say, Baptism, and the Supper of the Lord.
    Question. Are these necessary?
    Answer. Yes. They are generally necessary to salvation.
What meanest thou by this word Sacrament?
I mean an outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace given unto us, ordained by Christ himself, as a means whereby we receive the same, and a pledge to assure us thereof.
    Question. How many parts are there in a Sacrament?
    Answer. Two: the outward visible sign, and the inward spiritual grace.
    Question. What is the outward visible sign in Baptism?
    Answer. Water: wherewith the person is baptized In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.
What is the inward and spiritual grace?
    Answer. A death unto sin, and a new birth unto righteousness: for being by nature born in sin, and the children of wrath, we are hereby made the children of grace.
    Question. What. are persons to be baptized to be engaged to?
    Answer. Repentance, whereby they forsake sin: and faith, whereby they stedfastly believe the promises of God, made to them in that Sacrament.
    Question. Why then are Infants baptized, when by reason of their tender age they cannot perform these conditions of Faith and Repentance?
Because they promise both these by their Sureties; which promise, when they come to age, themselves are bound to perform.
    Question. Why was the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper ordained?
    Answer. For the continual remembrance of the sacrifice of the death of Christ, and of the benefits which we receive thereby; and to renew our engagement to all the duties we owe to Him that died for us.
    Question. What are the outward and visible signs in the Lord's Supper?
Bread and wine, which the Lord hath commanded to be received.
    Question. What are the things signified by the Bread and Wine?
    Answer. The Body and Blood of Christ, which were offered for us upon the Cross once for all.
What is the inward and spiritual grace ?
    Answer. The benefits of the sacrifice of Christ's body and blood, which are verily and indeed taken and received by the faithful in the Lord's Supper.
What are these benefits there received by the faithful?
    Answer. Remission of sins, and all blessings which follow upon it; and particularly the, strengthening and refreshing of our souls by the Body and Blood of Christ, as our bodies are by the Bread and Wine.
    Question. What is required of them who come to the Lord's Supper?
    Answer. To examine themselves, 1. whether they repent them truly of their former sins, stedfastly purposing to lead a new life; 2. whether they have a true and lively faith in God's mercy through Christ ; 3. whether they are devoutly disposed to make a thankful remembrance of his death ; and 4. whether they are in charity with all men

The Curate of every Parish shall diligently upon Sundays and Holy-days, either before Evening Prayer, or after the second Lesson at Evening Proper, openly in the Church instruct and examine so many Children of his Parish sent unto him, as he shall, think convenient, in some part of this Catechism.

And all Fathers, Mothers, Masters, and Dames; shall take care to instruct their Children and Servants and Apprentices in the the Church Catechism, and cause them to come to the Church at the time appointed, and obediently to hear, and be ordered by the Curate, until such time as they be fitfor Confirmation and the holy Communion.

So soon as Children are come to a competent age, and are well instructed in the short Catechism, and resolved to renew in their own persons their baptismal vow, they shall be presented by their Minister to the Bishop to be confirmed.

And whensoever the Bishop shall give knowledge for Children to be brought unto him for their Confirmation, the Curate of every Parish shall either bring or send in writing, with his hand subscribed thereunto, the names of all such persons within his Parish, as he shall think fit to be presented to the Bishop to be confirmed. And, if the Bishop approve of them, he shall confirm them in manner following.


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DEARLY beloved, I am appointed by the Bishop to give you notice, that he will be ready to Confirm such as shall be found duly prepared for it on —— the —— day of ——.
    It is a weighty business that he comes about; and I signify this to you beforehand, to the end that such of you as have not yet been confirmed may have time to consider the vows and promises that were made in your name when you were baptized, and the obligation that lies on you both to observe them all the days of your lives, and to renew them in your own persons at your Confirmation.
    You ought, first of all, to read over the Office of Baptism, and to consider, both the blessings that belong to that holy Ordinance, and, the engagements which you lay under by it.
    You are in the next place to consider what sins you have committed since you have grown up to be capable of discerning between good and evil, and how the sins are aggravated by this, that they have been so many breaches of the conditions of your Baptism, and of the solemn promises and vows that were then made to God in your name. Of all which I exhort and require you seriously to bethink yourselves, and to repent of all your known sins, and to amend your lives, and live like Christians.
    This you must do, if ever you hope to be the better for having been admitted into that holy profession.
    I am to remind you further, that, now you are come to an age of discretion, you ought, according to the charge that was given at your Baptism, to be confirmed by the Bishop. And in order to this you are to come to me, and to give me such an account of your knowledge of the Christian religion, according to the Scriptures, and the doctrine of the Church of England, as it is set forth in the Catechism, and your stedfast purpose of leading your lives according to the Christian religion; that I may, with a good conscience, present you to the Bishop to be confirmed by him.
    Consider what a dreadful thing it is to make promises to Almighty God, and never to think of them afterwards, or so much as to intend to keep them. Think how great a sin it must be to lie to God, and to take his holy Name in vain, which he declares, whosoever does, he will not hold them guiltless.
    It is not enough for you to be able to repeat the Catechism, unless you well understand the meaning of it, and truly believe it; and unless you give up yourselves to God with all your hearts, being fully resolved to conform yourselves in all things to his holy Gospel. For all such as are so disposed they may assure themselves that, coming to Conflrmation, and solemnly renewing their Baptismal vow, they shall be graciously received by God, and inwardly strengthened by his Holy Spirit to perform these their holy resolutions. Of ourselves we are not able to do it; we cannot so much as think a good thought without his help and assistance; but we are assured by the promise of our blessed Saviour, that our heavenly Father will give his Holy Spirit to them that ask him.
    Come then, and ask that ye may receive, but come duly prepared according to the rules that I have given you. Come with a full resolution not to rest with the renewing of your vows, but to carry them on to full perfection, by your worthy receiving of the Holy Communion as soon as may be afterwards, and so from time to time as you have opportunity.
    Remember, you are not to look upon this as only the receiving of the Bishop's blessing, but as the engaging of yourselves solemnly to persevere in your holy faith, upon which, according to the practice of the Apostles, and the constant custom of the Church of God, you are to be blessed and confirmed by him. And upon the performing of your part, yon may most certainly believe that you are sealed by the Holy Spirit of God unto the day of your redemption.







One source has this Exhortation at the end of the Catechism, above, the other, here.

    Such as have been once confirmed, should not come to be confirmed again, unless they have fallen under a sentence of excommunication, or into the sin of separating from the body of Christ; otherwise, such as come to be confirmed over and over again, do but discover their own ignorance of the nature and design of Confirmation. Beware therefore, as well of the guilt of neglecting this benefit, when God offers it to you by his good providence: as of carelessness in coming to it, without a due measure both of knowledge and faith, and of repentance and new obedience.
    You are to dedicate yourselves to be the temples of the living God, that he may dwell in you by his Holy Spirit: he will receive you and become your God, if you are a willing and obedient people. " I will be your God, and ye shall be my sons and daughters," saith the Lord God Almighty.
    Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness both of flesh and spirit; perfecting holiness in the fear of God, And the good God, who by his preventing grace has put into your minds good desires, enable you by his continual help to bring the same to good effect: through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with the Father and the Holy Spirit, ever one God, world without end. Amen.

Upon the day appointed, all that are to be then conformed, being placed, and standing in order before the Bishop, he (or some other Minister appointed by him) shall read this Preface following.

YOU have been lately informed for what end you ought to come hither. And I hope you are come prepared according to the Exhortation then made to you, that is, with a serious desire and resolution openly to ratify and confirm before the Church, with your own mouth and consent, what your Sureties promised in your names, when you were baptized; and also to promise that, by the grace of God, you will evermore endeavour yourselves faithfully to observe such things, as you by your own confession have assented unto.

Then shall the Bishop say,
DO ye here, in the presence of God, and of this Congregation, renew the solemn promise and vow that was made in your name at your Baptism; ratifying and confirming the same in your own persons, and acknowledging yourselves bound to believe and to do all those things, which your Sureties then undertook for you?

And every one shall audibly answer,
I do.

DOST thourenounce the devil and all his works, the pomps and vanities of this wicked world, with all covetous desires of the same, and all the sinful lusts of the flesh, so that thou wilt not follow nor be led by them ?

The Bishop.
OUR help is in the Name of the Lord;
    Answer. Who hath made heaven and earth.
    Bishop. Blessed be the Name of the Lord;
    Answer. Henceforth world without end.
    Bishop. Lord, hear our prayers.
    Answer. And let our cry come unto thee.
" Q," is put in the margin opposite this paragraph.

The Bishop.

ALMIGHTY and everliving God, who hast vouchsafed to regenerate these thy servants by Water and the Holy Ghost, for the forgiveness of Sin renew and strengthen them, we beseech thee, O Lord, more and more, by the Holy Ghost the Comforter, and daily increase thy graces in them. Fill them with the knowledge of thy will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding: and enable them to walk worthy of their holy calling with all lowliness and meekness; that they may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God without rebuke, shining as lights in the world, to the praise and glory of thy name, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

DEFEND, O Lord, this thy Child [or this thy Servant] with thy heavenly grace, that he may continue thine for ever; and daily increase in thy Holy Spirit, more and more, until he come unto thy everlasting kingdom. Amen.

Then shall the Bishop say,
    The Lord be with you.
    Answer. And with thy spirit.

And (all kneeling down) the Bishop shall add,
Let us pray.

OUR Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy Name, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, in earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; And forgive us our trespasses, As we forgive them that trespass against us; And lead us not into temptation, But deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

And this Collect.

ALMIGHTY and everliving God, who makest us both to will and to do those things that be good and acceptable unto thy divine Majesty; We make our humble supplications unto thee for these thy servants, upon whom (after the example of thy holy Apostles) we have now laid our hands. Let thy fatherly hand, we beseech thee, ever be over them; let thy Holy Spirit ever be with them; and so lead them in the knowledge and obedience of thy Word, that in the end they may obtain everlasting life; through our Lord Jesus Christ, who with thee and the Holy Ghost liveth and reigneth, ever one God, world without end. Amen.

O ALMIGHTY Lord, and everlasting God, vouchsafe, we beseech thee, to direct, sanctify, and govern both our hearts and bodies, in the ways of thy laws, and in the works of thy commandments; that through thy most mighty protection, both here and ever, we may be preserved in body and soul; through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.


ACCEPT, good Lord, of the Dedication which these thy servants have made of themselves unto thee by the solemn renewal of their baptismal vow and covenant. And as they have now given up themselves unto thee, and consented to be governed in all things by thy will, so do thou vouchsafe to receive them into thy special favour and grace, to fulfil in them all the good pleasure of thy goodness, and the work of faith with power. Possess their minds perpetually with a serious and lively remembrance of what they have now promised. Confirm and settle the godly resolutions they have now made. Sanctify them throughout, that they may become the temples of the Holy Ghost, and in the end be presented faultless before the presence oŁ thy glory with exceeding joy, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Then shall follow this Exhortation to the Conformed, who are to be required to stay and hear it.

DEARLY beloved, you have now dedicated yourselves in your own persons to the fear and service of God, and have professed yoar faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. I do therefore require and charge you, as you will answer it in the great day of the Lord, that you observe religiously the vows which you have now made, and walk worthy of your holy calling: that so your conversation may be in all things such as becomes the Gospel of Christ. Mortify all your unruly appetites and inordinate affections. Abstain from adultery, fornication, uncleanness, and covetousness, which is idolatry, for which things sake the wrath of God cometh upon the children of disobedience: put away likewise all anger, wrath, malice, evil speaking, lying, swearing, and filthy communication out of your mouths; and put on, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, and long suffering. Be ye followers of Christ. Take his yoke and learn of him, who was meek and lowly in heart; and be ye holy, as he who has called you was holy, in all manner of conversation [=behaviour]. Be obedient to your parents and masters, diligent in your callings, always building up yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. He who establisheth us with you in Christ Jesus, and hath anointed us, is God, who hath also sealed us, and given us the earnest of his Spirit in our hearts. And if you continue faithful to the death, he will give you the crown of life. But if any man draw back, his soul shall have no pleasure in him, since he hath grieved the Holy Spirit of grace: for if, after you have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, you are again entangled therein, and overcome; your latter end will be worse than your beginning. Watch ye therefore, and pray that you enter not into temptation; for the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. And seeing ye are compassed about with such a cloud of witnesses, lay aside every weight, and run with patience the race that is set before you. Be ye stedfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as your labour is not in vain in the Lord. And I pray God to sanctify you wholly, that your whole spirit and soul and body may be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Then the Bishop shall bless then, saying thus,

THE blessing of God Almighty, the Father, The Son, and the Holy Ghost, be upon you, and remain with you, for ever. Amen.

And there shall none be admitted to Confirmation but such as shall be judged fit to receive the Communion upon the next occasion.



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