The Book of Common Prayer
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    1789 U. S. Book of Common Prayer





When all things are duly prepared in the Church, and set in order, after Morning Prayer is ended, the Presiding Bishop, or some other Bishop appointed by the Bishops present, shall begin the Communion Service, in which this shall be

The Collect.

ALMIGHTY God, who by thy Son Jesus Christ didst give to thy holy Apostles many excellent gifts, and didst charge them to feed thy flock; Give grace, we beseech thee, to all Bishops, the Pastors of thy Church, that they may diligently preach thy Word, and duly administer the godly Discipline thereof; and grant to the people, that they may obediently follow the same; that all may receive the crown of everlasting glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

And another Bishop shall read the Epistle.

l Tim. iii. 1.

THIS is a true saying, If a man desire the Office of a Bishop, he desireth a good work. A Bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre, but patient, not a brawler not covetous; one that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the Church of God?) Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil. Moreover, he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach, and the snare of the devil.

Or this.

For the Epistle. Acts xx. 17.

FROM Miletus, Paul sent to Ephesus, and called the Elders the Church. And when they were come to him, he said unto them, Ye know, from the first day that I came into Asia, after what manner I have been with you at all seasons, serving the Lord with all humility of mind, and with many tears and temptations, which befell me by the lying in wait of the Jews: and how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have showed you, and have taught you publicly, and from house to house, testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. And now behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the thing that shall befall me there; save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying, That bonds and afflictions abide me. But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the Gospel of the grace of God And now, behold, I know that ye all, among whom I have gone preaching the Kingdom of God, shall see my face no more. Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men. For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God. Take heed, therefore, unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you Overseers, to feed the Church of God, which he hath purchased with his Own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years, I ceased not to warn every one, night and day, with tears. And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the Word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified. I have coveted no man's silver, or gold, or apparel; yea, ye yourselves know, that these hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me. I have showed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak; and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.

Then another Bishop shall read the Gospel,

St. John xxi. 15.

JESUS saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs. He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep. He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.

Or this.

St. John xx. 19.

THE same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled, for fear of the Jews, came Jesus, and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. And when he had so said, he showed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord. Then saith Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost. Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained.

Or this.

St. Matt. xxviii. 18.

JESUS came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.


 This text in the 1892 Book is essentially identical and so is not given separately; any differences are indicated.

1789 BCP:

After the Gospel and the Sermon are ended, the Elected Bishop, vested with his Rochet, shall be presented by two Bishops of this Church unto the Presiding Bishop, or to the Bishop appointed, sitting in his chair, near the Holy Table; the Bishops who present him saying,

1892 BCP:

Then shall follow the Nicene Creed, and after that the Sermon; which being ended, the Elected Bishop, vested with his Rochet, shall be presented by two Bishops of this Church unto the Presiding Bishop, or to the Bishop appointed, sitting in his chair, near the Holy Table; the Bishops who present him saying,


REVEREND Father in God, we present unto you this godly and well learned man, to be Ordained and Consecrated Bishop.

Then shall the Presiding Bishop demand Testimonials of the person presented for consideration, and shall cause them be read.

He shall then require of him the following Promise of Conformity to the Doctrine, Discipline, and Worship of the Protestant Episcopal Church.

IN the Name of God, Amen. I, N., chosen Bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church in N., do promise conformity and obedience to the Doctrine, Discipline, and Worship of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America. So help me God, through Jesus Christ.

Then the Presiding Bishop shall move the Congregation present to pray, saying thus to them:

BRETHREN, it is written in the Gospel of Saint Luke, That our Saviour Christ continued the whole night in prayer before he chose and sent forth his twelve Apostles. It is written also, that the holy Apostles prayed before they ordained Matthias to be of the number of the Twelve. Let us therefore, following the example of our Saviour Christ, and his Apostles, offer up our prayers to Almighty God, before we admit and send forth this person presented unto us, to the work whereunto we trust the Holy Ghost hath called him.

And then shall be said the Litany; save only, that after this place, That it may please thee to illuminate all Bishops, &c.*, the proper Suffrage shall be, 

* "etc." in 1892

THAT it may please thee to bless this our Brother elected, and to send thy grace upon him, that he may duly execute the Office whereunto he is called, to the edifying of thy Church, and to the honour, praise, and glory of thy Name; 
   Answer. We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.

Then shall be said this Prayer following.

ALMIGHTY God, giver of all good things, who by thy Holy Spirit hast appointed divers Orders of Ministers in thy Church; Mercifully behold this thy servant now called to the Work and Ministry of a Bishop; and so replenish him with the truth of thy Doctrine, and adorn him with innocency of life, that both by word and deed, he may faithfully serve thee in this Office, to the glory of thy Name, and the edifying and well-governing of thy Church; through the merits of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, world without end. Amen.

Then the Presiding Bishop, sitting in his chair, shall say to him that is to be Consecrated,

BROTHER, forasmuch as the Holy Scripture and the Ancient Canons command, that we should not be hasty in laying on hands, and admitting any person to Government in the Church of Christ, which he bath purchased with no less price than the effusion of his own blood; before we admit you to this Administration, we will examine you in certain Articles, to the end that the Congregation present may have a trial, and hear witness, how you are minded to behave yourself in the Church of God.

ARE you persuaded that you are truly called to this Ministration, according the will of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the order of this Church?

   Answer. I am so persuaded.

The Presiding Bishop.

ARE you persuaded that the Holy Scriptures contain all doctrine required as necessary for eternal salvation through faith in Jesus Christ? And are you determined out of the same Holy Scriptures to instruct the people committed to your charge; and to teach or maintain nothing, as necessary to eternal salvation, but that which you shall be persuaded may be concluded and proved by the same?

   Answer. I am so persuaded, and determined, by God's grace.

The Presiding Bishop.

WILL you then faithfully exercise yourself in the Holy Scriptures, and call upon God by prayer for the true understanding of the same; so that you may be able by them to teach and exhort with wholesome Doctrine, and to withstand and convince the gainsayers?

   Answer. I will so do, by the help of God.

The Presiding Bishop.

ARE you ready, with all faithful diligence, to banish and drive away from the Church all erroneous and strange doctrine Contrary to God's Word; and both privately and openly to call upon and encourage others to the same?

   Answer. I am ready, the Lord being my helper.

The Presiding Bishop.

WILL you deny all ungodliness and worldly lusts, and live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world; that you may show yourself in all things an example of good works unto others, that the adversary may be ashamed, having nothing to say against you?

   Answer. I will so do, the Lord being my helper.

The Presiding Bishop.

WILL you maintain and set forward, as much as shall lie in you, quietness, love, and peace among all men; and diligently exercise such discipline as by the authority of God's Word, and by the order of this Church, is committed to you?

   Answer. I will so do, by the help of God.

The Presiding Bishop.

WILL you be faithful in Ordaining, sending, or laying hands upon others?

   Answer. I will so be, by the help of God.

The Presiding Bishop.

WILL you show yourself gentle, and be merciful for Christ's sake to poor and needy people, and to all strangers destitute of help?

   Answer. I will so show myself, by God's help.

Then the Presiding Bishop, standing up, shall say,

ALMIGHTY God, our heavenly Father, who hath given you a good will to do all these things, Grant also unto you strength and power to perform the same; that, he accomplishing in you the good work which he hath begun, you may be found perfect and irreprehensible at the latter day; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


Then shall the Bishop elect put on the rest of the Episcopal habit; and, kneeling down, Veni, Creator Spiritus shall be sung or said over him, the Presiding Bishop beginning, and the Bishops, with others that are present, answering by verses, as followeth.

COME Holy Ghost, our souls inspire, 
And lighten with celestial fire.
Thou the anointing Spirit art, 
Who dost Thy sevenfold gifts impart. 

Thy blessed Unction from above, 
Is comfort, life, and fire of love. 
Enable with perpetual light 
The dullness of our blinded sight. 

Anoint and cheer our soiled face 
With the abundance of Thy grace.
Keep far our foes, give peace at home;
Where Thou art guide, no ill can come

Teach us to know the Father, Son, 
And Thee, of both, to be but one. 
That, through the ages all along, 
This may be our endless song;
    Praise to Thy eternal merit, 
    Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.


Or this.

COME, Holy Ghost, eternal God, 
    Proceeding from above, 
Both from the Father and the Son, 
    The God of peace and love; 

Visit our minds, into our hearts
    Thy heavenly grace inspire; 
That truth and godliness we may 
    Pursue with full desire. 

Thou art the very Comforter 
    In grief and all distress; 
The heavenly gift of God most High; 
    No tongue can it express. 

The fountain and the living spring 
    Of joy celestial, 
The fire so bright, the love so sweet, 
    The Unction spiritual. 

Thou in Thy gifts art manifold, 
    By them Christ's Church doth stand: 
In faithful hearts Thou writ'st Thy law, 
    The finger of God's hand. 

According to Thy promise, Lord, 
    Thou givest speech with grace; 
That, through Thy help, God's praises may 
    Resound in every place. 

O Holy Ghost, into our minds 
    Send down Thy heavenly light; 
Kindle our hearts with fervent zeal, 
    To serve God day and night. 

Our weakness strengthen and confirm, 
    (For, Lord, Thou know'st us frail;) 
That neither devil, world, nor 
    Against us may prevail. 

Put back our enemy far from us, 
    And help us to obtain 
Peace in our hearts with God and Man, 
    (The best, the truest gain;) 

And grant that Thou being; O Lord, 
    Our leader and our guide, 
We may escape the snares of sin, 
    And never from Thee slide. 

Such measures of Thy powerful grace 
    Grant, Lord, to us, we pray; 
That Thou may'st be our comforter 
    At the last dreadful day. 

Of strife and of dissension 
    Dissolve, O Lord, the bands, 
And knit the knots of peace and love 
    Throughout all Christian land. 

Grant us the grace that we may know 
    The Father of all might, 
That we of His beloved Son 
    May gain the blissful sight; 

And that we may with perfect faith 
    Ever acknowledge Thee, 
The Spirit of Father, and of Son, 
    One God in Person Three. 

To God the Father laud and praise, 
    And to His blessed Son, 
And to the Holy Spirit of grace, 
    Co-equal Three in One. 

And pray we, that our only Lord 
    Would please his Spirit to send 
On all that shall profess His Name, 
    From hence to the world's end. Amen.


This hymn appears in the 1789 BCP only.

In the 1892 Book, the hymn is replaced by:

Or else the longer paraphrase of the same Hymn, as in the Ordering of Priests.


That ended, the Presiding Bishop shall say,

Lord, hear our prayer. 
Answer. And let our cry come unto thee.

Let us pray.

ALMIGHTY God, and most merciful Father, who, of thine infinite goodness, hast given thine only and dearly beloved Son Jesus Christ, to be our Redeemer, and the Author of everlasting life; who, after that he had made perfect our Redemption by his death, and was ascended into heaven, poured down his gifts abundantly upon men, making some Apostles, some Prophets, some Evangelists, some Pastors and Doctors; to the edifying and making perfect his Church; Grant, we beseech thee, to this thy servant, such grace, that he may evermore be ready to spread abroad thy Gospel, the glad tidings of reconciliation with thee; and use the authority given him, not to destruction, but to salvation; not to hurt, but to help: so that, as a wise and faithful servant, giving to thy family their portion in due season, he may at last be received into everlasting Joy; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who, with thee and the Holy Ghost; liveth and reigneth, one God, world without end. Amen.

Then the Presiding Bishop and Bishops present shall lay their hands upon the head of the Elected Bishop, kneeling before them, the Presiding Bishop saying,

RECEIVE the Holy Ghost for the Office and Work of a Bishop in the Church of God, now committed unto thee by the Imposition of our hands; In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen. And remember that thou stir up the grace of God, which is given thee by this Imposition of our hands: for God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and love, and soberness.

Then the Presiding Bishop shall deliver him the Bible, saying,

GIVE heed unto reading, exhortation, and doctrine. Think upon the things contained in this Book. Be diligent in them, that the increase coming thereby may be manifest unto all men; for by so doing thou shalt both save thyself and them that hear thee. Be to the flock of Christ a shepherd, not a wolf; feed them, devour them not. Hold up the weak, heal the sick, bind up the broken, bring again the outcasts, seek the lost. Be so merciful, that you be not too remiss; so minister discipline, that you forget not mercy: that when the Chief Shepherd shall appear, you may receive the never-fading crown of glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Then the Presiding Bishop shall proceed in the Communion Service with whom the new Consecrated Bishop, with others, shall also communicate.

And for the last Collect immediately, before the Benediction, shall be said this Prayer.

MOST merciful Father, we beseech thee to send down upon this thy servant thy heavenly blessing; and so endue him with thy Holy Spirit, that he, preaching thy Word, may not only be earnest to reprove, beseech, and rebuke, with all patience and doctrine but also may be to such as believe a wholesome example in word, in conversation, in love, in faith, in chastity, and in Purity; that, faithfully fulfilling his course, at the latter day he may receive the crown of righteousness, laid up by the Lord, the righteous Judge, who liveth and reigneth one God with the Father and the Holy Ghost, world without end. Amen.

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.



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