|The Book of Common Prayer|
The ORDER for the Administration of the
Lords Supper, or Holy Communion.
¶ When the Minister giveth warning for the Celebration of the holy Communion, (which he shall always do upon the Sunday, or some Holy-day immediately preceding) he shall read this Exhortation following; or such thereof as in his discretion he may think convenient.
beloved, on — day next, I purpose, through Gods assistance,
to administer to all such as shall be religiously and devoutly disposed,
the most comfortable Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ; to be
by them received, in remembrance of his meritorious Cross and Passion;
whereby alone we obtain remission of our sins, and are made partakers
of the kingdom of Heaven. Wherefore it is our duty to render most humble
and hearty thanks to Almighty God our heavenly Father, for that he hath
given his Son our Saviour Jesus Christ, not only to die for us, but also
to be our spiritual food and sustenance in that holy Sacrament. Which
being so divine and comfortable a thing to them who receive it worthily,
and so dangerous to those who will presume to receive it unworthily; my
duty, is to exhort you in the mean season to consider the dignity of that
holy Mystery and the great peril of the unworthy receiving thereof; and
so to search and examine your own consciences, (and that not lightly,
and after the manner of dissemblers with God, but so) that ye may come
holy and clean to such a heavenly feast, in the marriage-garment required
by God in holy Scripture, and be received as worthy partakers of that
¶ Or, in case he shall see the People negligent to come to the holy Communion, instead of the former, he shall use this exhortation.
beloved brethren, on — I intend by Gods grace, to celebrate
the Lords Supper; unto which, in Gods behalf, I bid you all
who are here present; and beseech you for the Lord Jesus Christs
sake, that ye will not refuse to come thereto, being so lovingly called
and bidden by God himself. Ye know how grievous and unkind a thing it
is, when a man hath prepared a rich feast, decked his table with all kind
of provision, so that there lacketh nothing but the guests to sit down;
and yet they who are called (without my cause) most unthankfully refuse
to come. Which of you in such a case would not be moved? Who would not
think a great injury and wrong done unto him? Wherefore, most dearly beloved
in Christ, take ye good heed, lest ye withdrawing yourselves from this
holy Supper, provoke Gods indignation against you. It is an easy
matter for a man to say, I will communicate, because I am otherwise hindered
with worldly business. But such excuses are not so easily accepted, and
allowed before God. If any man say, I am a grievous sinner, and therefore
am afraid to come: wherefore then do ye not repent and amend? When God
calleth you, are ye not ashamed to say ye will not come? When ye should
return to God, will ye excuse yourselves, and say, ye are not ready? Consider
earnestly with yourselves, how little such feigned excuses will avail
before God. They who refused the feast in the Gospel, because they had
bought a farm, or would try their yokes of oxen, or because they were
married, were not so excused, but counted unworthy of the heavenly feast.
Wherefore, according to mine Office, I bid you in the Name of God, I call
you in Christs behalf, I exhort you, as ye love your own salvation,
that ye will be partakers of this holy Communion. And as the Son of God
did vouchsafe to yield up his soul by death upon the cross for your salvation;
so it is your duty to receive the Communion in remembrance of the sacrifice
of his death, as he himself hath commanded: Which if ye shall neglect
to do, consider with ourselves how great injury ye do unto God, and how
sore punishment hangeth over your heads for the same; when ye wilfully
abstain from the Lords Table, and separate from your brethren, who come
to feed on the banquet of that most heavenly food. These things if ye
earnestly consider, ye will by Gods grace return to a better mind: for
the obtaining whereof we shall not cease to make our humble petitions
unto Almighty God our heavenly Father.
¶ IF among those who come to be partakers of the holy Communion, the Minster shall know any to be an open and notorious evil liver, or to have done any wrong to his neighbours by word or deed, so that the Congregation be thereby offended; he shall advertise him, that he presume not to come to the Lords Table, until he have openly declared himself to have truly repented and amended his former evil life, that the Congregation may thereby be satisfied; and that he hath recompensed the parties to whom he hath done wrong; or at least declare himself to be in full purpose to do, as soon as he conveniently may.
¶ The same order shall the Minister use with those, betwixt whom he perceiveth malice and hatred to reign; not suffering them to be partakers of the Lords Table, until he know them to be reconciled. And if one of the parties so at variance, be content to forgive, from the bottom of his heart all that the other hath trespassed against him, and to make amends for that wherein he himself hath offended; and the other party will not be perswaded to a godly unity, but remain still in his forwardness and malice: the Minister in that case ought to admit the penitent person to the holy Communion, and not him that is obstinate. Provided that every Minister so repelling any, as is herein specified, shall be obliged to give an account of the same to the Ordinary as soon as conveniently may be.
¶ The Table at the Communion time having a fair white linen cloth upon it, shall stand in the body of the Church, or in the Chancel, where Morning and Evening Prayer are appointed to be said. And the Minister standing at the north side of the Table, shall say the Collect following; the People kneeling.
God, unto whom all hearts are open, all desires known, and from whom no
secrets are hid; Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration
of thy holy Spirit; that we may perfectly love thee, and worthily magnify
thy holy Name, through Christ our Lord. Amen.
¶ Then shall the Minister; turning to the People, rehearse distinctly all the Ten Commandments; and the People, still kneeling, shall after every Commandment, ask God mercy for their transgression thereof for the time past, and grace to keep the same for the time to come, as followeth.
these words, and said, I am the Lord thy God: Thou shalt have none other
Gods but me.
¶ Then shall be said the Collect of the Day. And immediately after the Collect, the Minister shall read the Epistle, saying, The Epistle [or, The portion of Scripture appointed for the Epistle ], is written in the --- Chapter of --- beginning at the --- Verse. And the Epistle ended, he shall say, Here endeth, the Epistle. Then shall be read the Gospel (the People all standing up) saying, The Holy Gospel is written in the --- Chapter of --- beginning at the --- Verse.
¶ Then the Minister shall declare unto the People what Holy-days, or Fasting-days, are in the Week following to be observed. And (if occasion be) shall notice be given of the Communion.
¶ Then shall follow the Sermon; after which, the Minister, when there is a Communion, shall return to the Lords Table, and begin the Offertory; saying one or more of these Sentences following, as he thinketh most convenient.
light so shine before men that they may see your good works, and glorify
your Father which is in heaven. St. Matth. 5. 16.
¶ Whilst these Sentences are in reading, the Deacons, Church-wardens, or other fit Persons appointed for that Purpose, shall receive the Alms for the Poor, and other Devotions of the People, in a decent Bason to be provided by the Parish for that purpose; and reverently bring it to the Minister, who shall humbly present and place it upon the holy Table.
¶ And the Minister shall then place upon the Table so much Bread and Wine, as he shall think sufficient. After which done, he shall say,
Let us pray for the whole state of
Christs Church militant here in earth.
¶ Then, the Communicants being conveniently placed for the receiving of the holy Sacrament, the Minister shall say this Exhortation.
DEarly beloved in the Lord, ye who mind to come to the holy Communion of the Body and Blood of our Saviour Christ, must consider how Saint Paul exhorteth all persons diligently to try and examine themselves, before they presume to eat of that Bread, and drink of that Cup. For as the benefit is great; if with a true penitent heart and lively faith we receive that holy Sacrament; (for then we spiritually eat the flesh of Christ, and drink his blood) so is the danger great, if we receive the fame unworthily. For then we are guilty of the body and blood of Christ our Saviour. Judge therefore yourselves, brethren, that ye be not judged of the Lord; repent ye truly for your sins past; have a lively and stedfast faith in Christ our Saviour; amend your lives, and be in perfect charity with all men; so shall ye be meet partakers of those holy Mysteries. And above all things ye must give most humble and hearty thanks to God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, for the redemption of the world by the death and passion of our Saviour Christ, both God and man; who did humble himself, even to the death upon the cross, for us, miserable sinners, who lay in darkness and the shadow of death; that he might make us the children of God, and exalt us to everlasting life. And to the end that we would alway remember the exceeding great love of our Master and only Saviour Jesus Christ, thus dying for us, and the innumerable benefits which by his precious bloodshedding he hath obtained to us; he hath instituted and ordained holy Mysteries, as pledges of his love, and for a continual remembrance of his death to our great and endless comfort. To him therefore, with the Father, and the Holy Ghost, let us give (as we are most bounden) continual thanks submitting ourselves wholly to his holy will and pleasure, and studying to serve him in true holiness and righteousness all the days of our life. Amen.
¶ Then shall the Minister say to those who come to receive the holy Communion;
do truly and earnestly repent you of your sins, and are in love and charity
with your neighbours, and intend to lead a new life, following the commandments
of God, and walking from henceforth in his holy way; Draw near with faith,
and take this holy Sacrament to your comfort; and make your humble Confession
to Almighty God, meekly kneeling upon your knees.
¶ Then shall this general Confession be made, by the Minster and all those who are minded to receive the holy Communion, humbly kneeling.
ALmighty God Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Maker of all things, Judge of all men; We acknowledge and bewail our manifold sins and wickedness, Which we from time to time most grievously have committed, By thought, word, and deed, against thy divine Majesty, Provoking most justly thy wrath and indignation against us. We do earnestly repent, And are heartily sorry for these our misdoings; The remembrance of them is grievous unto us; The burden of them is intolerable. Have mercy upon us, have mercy upon us, most merciful Father; For thy Son our Lord Jesus Christs sake, Forgive us all that is past; And grant that we may ever hereafter serve and please thee in newness of life, To the honour and glory of thy name, Through Jesus Christ our Lord Amen.
¶ Then shall the Minister (the Bishop, if he be present) stand up, and turning to the People, say,
ALmighty God, our heavenly Father, who of his great mercy hath promised forgiveness of sins to all those who with, hearty repentance and true faith turn unto him; Have mercy upon you; pardon and deliver you from all your sins; confirm and strengthen you in all goodness, and bring you to everlasting life, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
¶Then shall the Minister say,
Hear what comfortable words our Saviour
Christ saith unto all who truly turn to him.
¶ After which, the Minister shall proceed, saying,
Lift up your hearts.
¶ Then shall the Minister turn to the Lords Table, and say,
IT is very meet, right, and our bounden duty, that we should at all times, and in all places, give thanks unto thee, O Lord, * [Holy Father,] Almighty Everlasting God.
¶ Here shall follow the proper Preface, according to the time, if there be any specially appointed, or else immediately shall follow.
with Angels and Archangels, and with all the company of heaven we laud
and magnify thy glorious Name; evermore praising thee; and saying, Holy,
holy, holy Lord God of hosts, heaven and earth are full of thy glory:
Glory be to thee, O Lord most, High. Amen.
¶ PROPER PREFACES.
¶ Upon Christmas-day, and seven Days after.
thou didst give Jesus Christ thine only Son to be born at this time for
us; who, by the operation of the Holy Ghost was made very man of the substance
of the Virgin Mary his mother; and without spot of sin, to make us clean
from all sin. Therefore with Angels, &c.
¶ Upon Easter-day, and seven Days after.
are we bound to praise thee for the glorious Resurrection of thy Son Jesus
Christ our Lord; for he is the very Paschal Lamb, which was offered for
us; and hath taken away the sin of the world; who by his death hath destroyed
death, and by his rising to life again hath restored to us everlasting
life. Therefore with Angels, &c.
¶ Upon Ascension-day, and seven Days after.
thy most dearly beloved Son Jesus Christ our Lord; who after his most
glorious Resurrection manifestly appeared to all his Apostles, and in
their sight ascended up into heaven to prepare a place for us; that where
he is, thither we might also ascend, and reign with him in. glory. Therefore,
with Angels, &c.
¶ Upon Whitsunday, and six Days after.
Jesus Christ our Lord; according to whose most true promise, the Holy
Ghost came down as at this time from heaven with a sudden great sound,
as it had been a mighty wind, in the likeness of fiery tongues, lighting
upon the Apostles, to teach them, and to lead them to all truth; giving
them both the gift of divers languages, and also boldness with fervent
zeal, constantly to preach the gospel unto all nations; whereby we have
been brought out of darkness and error, into the clear light and true
knowledge of thee, and of thy Son Jesus Christ. Therefore with Angels,
¶ Upon the Feast of Trinity only.
one God, one Lord; not one only person, but three persons in one substance.
For that which we believe of the glory of the Father, the same we believe
of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, without any difference or inequality.
Therefore with Angels, &c.
¶ Then shall the Minister, kneeling down at the Lords Table say in the name of all those who shall receive the Communion this Prayer following:
WE do not presume to come to this thy Table, O merciful Lord, trusting in our own righteousness, but in thy manifold and great mercies. We are not worthy so much as to gather up the crumbs under thy Table. But thou art the same Lord whose property is always to have mercy: Grant us therefore, gracious Lord, so to eat the flesh of thy dear Son Jesus Christ, and to drink his blood, that our sinful bodies may be made clean by his body, and our souls washed through his most precious blood, and that we may evermore dwell in him, and he in us. Amen.
¶ When the Minister, standing before the Table, hath so ordered the Bread and Wine, that he may with the more readiness and decency break the Bread before the People, and take the Cup into his Hands; he shall say the Prayer of Consecration as followeth:
ALmighty God, our heavenly Father, who of thy tender mercy didst give thine only Son Jesus Christ to suffer death upon the cross for our redemption; who made there (by his one oblation of himself once offered) a full, perfect, and sufficient sacrifice, oblation, and satisfaction for the sins of the whole world; and did institute, and in his holy Gospel command us to continue a perpetual memory of that his precious death, until his coming again; Hear us, O merciful Father, we most humbly beseech thee, and grant that we receiving these thy creatures of bread and wine, according to thy Son our Saviour Jesus Christs holy institution; in remembrance of his death and passion, may be partakers of his most blessed body and blood: Who in the same night that he was betrayed, (a) took bread, and when he had given thanks, (b) he brake it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, Take, eat, (c) this is my Body which is given for you: Do this in remembrance of me. Likewise after supper (d) he took the cup; and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of this; for this (e) is my Blood of the New - Testament, which is shed for you, and for many, for the remission of sins: Do this, as oft as ye shall drink it, in remembrance of me. Amen.
¶ Then shall the Minister first receive the Communion in both kinds himself, and then proceed to deliver the same to the Bishops, Presbyters and Deacons, in like manner, (if any be present) and after that to the People also in order into their Hands, all meekly kneeling. And when he delivereth the Bread to any one he shall say,
THe Body of our Lord Jesus Christ, which was given for thee, preserve thy body and soul unto everlasting life. Take and eat this in remembrance that Christ died for thee, and feed on him in thy heart by faith with thanksgiving.
¶ And the Minister that delivereth the Cup to any one shall say,
of our Lord Jesus Christ, which was shed for thee, preserve thy body and
soul unto everlasting life. Drink this in remembrance that Christs
blood was shed for thee, and be thankful.
¶ If the consecrated Bread or Wine be all spent before all have communicated, the Minister is to consecrate more according to the Form before prescribed; beginning at [Our Saviour Christ in the same night, &c.] for the blessing of the Bread; and at [Likewise after supper, &c.] for the blessing of the Cup.
¶ When all have communicated, the Minister shall return to the Lords Table, and reverently place upon it what remaineth of the consecrated Elements, covering the same, with a fair Linen Cloth.
¶ Then shall the Minister, say the Lords Prayer, the People repeating after him every Petition.
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 forgive us our trespasses, As we forgive those who trespass against us; And lead us not into temptation, But deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.
¶ After shall be said as followeth.
O Lord and heavenly Father, we thy humble servants entirely desire thy fatherly goodness, mercifully to accept this our sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving; most humbly beseeching thee to grant, that by the merits and death of thy Son Jesus Christ, and through faith in his blood, we and all thy whole Church may obtain remission of our sins, and all other benefits of his passion. And here we offer and present unto thee, O Lord, ourselves, our souls and bodies, to be a reasonable, holy, and lively sacrifice unto thee; humbly beseeching thee, that all we, who are partakers of this holy Communion, may be fulfilled with thy grace and heavenly benediction. And although we be unworthy, through our manifold sins, to offer unto thee any sacrifice; yet we beseech thee to accept this our bounden duty and service; not weighing our merits, but pardoning our offences, through Jesus Christ our Lord; by whom and with whom in the unity of the Holy Ghost, all honour and glory be unto thee, O Father Almighty, world without end. Amen.
¶ Or this.
and everliving God, we most heartily thank thee for that thou dost vouchsafe
to feed us, who have duly received these holy Mysteries, with the spiritual
food of the most precious body and blood of thy Son our Saviour Jesus
Christ; and dost assure us thereby of thy favour and goodness towards
us; and that we are very members incorporate in the mystical body of thy
Son, which is the blessed company of all faithful people; and are also
heirs through hope of thy everlasting kingdom, by the merits of the most
precious death and passion of thy dear Son. And we most humbly beseech
thee, O heavenly Father, so to assist us with thy grace that we may continue
in that holy fellowship, and do all such good works as thou hast prepared
for us to walk in, through Jesus Christ our Lord; to whom, with thee and
the Holy Ghost, be all honour and glory, world without end. Amen.
¶ Then shall be said or sung.
be to God on high, and in earth peace, good will, towards men. We praise
thee, we bless thee, we worship thee, we glorify thee, we give thanks
to thee for thy great glory, O Lord God, heavenly King, God the Father
¶ Then the Minister (the Bishop, if he be present) shall let them depart with this Blessing.
THe peace of God, which passeth all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God, and of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord. And the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, be amongst you and remain with you always. Amen.
¶ Upon the Sundays and other Holy-days (if there be no Communion) shall be said all that is appointed at the Communion, until the end of the Gospel; concluding with the Blessing: And if any of the consecrated Bread and Wine remain after the Communion, it shall not be carried out of the Church; but the Minister and other Communicants shall, immediately after the Blessing, reverently eat and drink the same.
¶ The Bread and Wine for the Communion shall be provided by the Church-Wardens, at the charges of the Parish.
¶ And note, That it is the Duty of every Parishioner to communicate at the least three times in the year, of which Easter to be one.
Return to 1786 Proposed Book of Common Prayer
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