The Book of Common Prayer
United States England Scotland Ireland Wales Canada World

    1786 Proposed U. S. Book of Common Prayer




To be learned by every Person, before he be brought to be confirmed by the Bishop.


WHAT is your Name?
    Answ. N.
or M.
When did you receive this Name?
    Answ. I received it in Baptism; whereby I became a member of the Christian Church.
    Quest. What was promised for you in Baptism?
    Answ. That I should be instructed in all the Articles of the Christian Faith as contained in the Apostles Creed; and brought up in the Fear of God, and to obey his holy Will and Commandments.
    Quest. Dost thou think that thou art bound to believe all the Articles of the Christian Faith as contained in the Apostles Creed; and obey Godís holy Will and keep his Commandments?
    Answer. Yes, verily; and by Godís help so I will. And I heartily thank our heavenly Father, that he bath 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 lifeís end.
    Catechist. Rehearse the Articles of thy Belief.
    Answ. I believe in God, &c.—[as in the Creed in the Morning Service.]
    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.
    Quest. You said that your Godfathers and Godmothers did promise to instruct you to keep Godís Commandments. Tell me how many there are?
    Answ. Ten.
    Quest. Which are they?
    Answ. The same which God spake in the twentieth Chapter of Exodus, saying, I am the Lord thy God, who brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
    1. Thou shalt have none other Gods but me, &c.ó[as in the Communion Service.]
    Quest. 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.
    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 my Civil Rulers: To submit myself to all my governors, teachers, spiritual pastors and masters; To order myself lowly and reverently to all my betters: To hurt no body 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 menís 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.
    Catechist. 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 there fore, if thou canst say the Lordís Prayer.
Our Father, &c.ó[as in the Morning Service.]
    Quest. What desirest thou of God in this Prayer?
    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, serve him, and obey him, as we ought to do. And I pray unto God, that he will send us all things which are needful both for our souls and bodies; and that he will be merciful unto us, and forgive us our sins; and that it will please him to save and defend us in all dangers ghostly and bodily; and that he will keep us from all sin and wickedness, and from our ghostly enemy, and from everlasting death. And this I trust he will do of his mercy and goodness, through our Lord Jesus Christ. And therefore I say, Amen; So be it.



HOW many Sacraments hath Christ ordained in his Church?
    Answ. Two only, as generally necessary to salvation, that is to say, Baptism, and the Supper of the Lord.
    Quest. What meanest thou by this word Sacrament?
Answ. 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.
    Quest. How many parts are there in a Sacrament?
    Answ. Two; the outward visible sign, and the inward spiritual grace.
    Questi. What is the outward visible sign or form in Baptism?
    Answ. Water; wherein the person is baptized In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.
Quest. What is the inward and spiritual grace?
    Answ. 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.
    Quest.What is required of persons to be baptized?
    Answ. Repentance, whereby they forsake sin; and Faith, whereby they stedfastly believe the promises of God made to them in that Sacrament.
    Quest. Why then are Infants baptized, when by reason of their tender age they cannot perform them?
    Answ. Because their Sureties promise to instruct them.
    Quest. Why was the Sacrament of the Lordís Supper ordained?
    Answ. For the continual remembrance of the sacrifice of the death of Christ, and of the benefits which we receive thereby.
    Quest. What is the outward part or sign of the Lordís Supper?
    Answ. Bread and Wine, which the Lord hath commanded to be received.
    Quest. What is the inward part, or thing signified?
    Answ. The Body and Blood of Christ, which are spiritually taken and received by the faithful in the Lordís Supper.
    Quest. What are the benefits whereof we are partakers thereby?
    Answ. The strengthening and refreshing of our souls by the Body and Blood of Christ, as our bodies are by the Bread and Wine.
    Ques. What is required of those who come to the Lordís Supper?
    Answ. To examine themselves, whether they repent them truly of their former sins, stedfastly purposing to lead a new life; have a lively faith in Godís mercy through Christ, with a thankful remembrance of his death; and be in charity with all men.

The Minister of every Parish shall diligently upon Sundays and Holy-days, or on some other convenient occasions, openly in the Church instruct or 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 Mistresses, shall cause their Children, Servants, and Apprentices. (who have not learned their Catechism,) to come to the Church at the time appointed, and obediently to hear, and be ordered by the Minister, until such time as they have learned all that is here appointed for them to learn.

So soon as Children are come to a competent age, and can say the Creed, the Lordís Prayer, and the Ten Commandments; and can answer to the other Questions of this short Catechism; they shall be brought to the Bishop.

And whensoever the Bishop shall give knowledge for Children to be brought unto him for their Confirmation, the Minister 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.







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

TO the end that Confirmation may be ministered to the more edifying of such as shall receive it, the Church hath thought good to order, That none shall be Confirmed, but such as can say the Creed, the Lord's Prayer, and the Ten Commandments; and can answer to such other questions, as are contained in the Catechism: which Order is very convenient to be observed; to the end, that Children, being now come to the years of Discretion, and haying learned what their Godfathers and Godmothers promised to have them taught, may themselves, with their own mouth and consent, openly before the Church, ratify and confirm the same; and also promise, that by the grace of God they will evermore endeavour faithfully to observe such things, as they by their own confession, have assented unto.

∂ The the Bishop shall say,

DO ye here in the Presence of God, and this Congregation, profess your Belief in all the Articles of the Christian Faith as contained in the Apostles Creed, wherein ye were to be instructed the promise made for you at your Baptism?

∂ And every one shall audibly answer,

    I do.
    Quest. Do ye now, in your own Persons, promise to live in this Faith, and in obedience to God's holy Will and Commandments?
    Answ. I do. 


The Bishop.

OUr help is in the Name of the Lord;
    Answ. Who hath made heaven and earth.
    Bishop. Blessed be the Name of the Lord;
    Answ. Henceforth, world without end.
    Bishop. Lord, hear our prayer.
    Answ. And let our cry come unto thee.


ALmighty and everliving God, who didst vouchsafe to receive these they Servants into thy Church by Baptism, and hast given them grace now in their own Persons to confess the true Faith, wherein they were to be instructed according to the promise then made for them; strengthen them, we beseech thee, O Lord, with the Holy Ghost, the Comforter, and daily increase in them thy manifold gifts of grace: the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and ghostly strength, the spirit of knowledge and true godliness; and fill them, O Lord, with the spirit of thy holy fear, now and for ever. Amen.

∂ Then all of them in order kneeling before the Bishop, he shall lay his hand upon the head of every one severally, saying,

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.
Answ. And with thy spirit.

∂ And (all kneeling down) the Bishop shall add,

Let us pray.

OUr Father, who 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 for give us our trespasses, As we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation; But deliver us from evil. Amen.

∂ And this Collect.

ALmighty and everliving God, who makest us both to will and to do those things which are 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, to certify them (by this sign) of thy favour and gracious goodness towards them. 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 same Holy Spirit 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.

∂ Then the Bishop shall bless them, 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 the Holy Communion, until such time as he be confirmed, or be ready and desirous to be confirmed.


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Web author: Charles Wohlers U. S. EnglandScotlandIrelandWalesCanadaWorld