The Book of Common Prayer
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    The Armed Forces Prayer Book


Baptism in Extremis

    If a dying comrade has not been baptized and wants to be; and no Chaplain is within reach; you can baptize your friend. Pour a little water on the brow (or any other place if brow is hurt or bandaged) 3 times, saying his first name, as "John" and this:

    I baptize thee in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

    Sign him with the sign of the cross and say the Our Father ...

    If your comrade expires, say this Commendation over him:

    Depart, O Christian soul, out of this world,
    In the Name of God the Father Almighty who created thee.
    In the Name of Jesus Christ who redeemed thee.
    In the Name of the Holy Ghost who sanctifies thee.
    May thy rest be this day in peace, and thy dwelling-place in the Paradise of God.

    (Give Chaplain the facts, when you can.)



The Way of Penitence

    "Confession is good for the soul." So runs the ancient proverb, the crystallized verdict of human experience.
    Just as the first step in bodily healing is to relieve tension and discharge poisons, so the spirit of man must have relief by telling his troubles to someone. The final "Someone" is always God. But most of us find that a sympathetic human listener helps us to tell God.
    Therefore the Church, while providing a confessional moment in all her regular services, also says through her priest:
    "If there be any of you who by this (general) means cannot quiet his own conscience, but requireth further comfort or counsel, let him come to me, or to some other Minister of God's Word, and open his grief." (From an exhortation after the Communion Office, Book of Common Prayer, page 88).
    The Church in ordaining her priests says in Christ's Name to them: "Whose sins thou dost forgive, they are forgiven."
    Upon the next page we give for those who desire to use it the main part of a more formal and yet very intimate type of confession. Being private and strictly confidential, it is not in the Prayer Book, but has been used from ancient times. For the sick room, this form is shortened here.

    This form of confession requires privacy whether in a church, home, hospital, or other place. It is usually best to arrange with the clergy in advance for this service, but any priest is ready and willing to hear a confession on the spur of the moment if there is emergency.
   The Act always begins with a Blessing for which the penitent asks.

    Chaplain. The Lord be in thy heart and upon thy lips, that so thou mayest worthily confess all thy sins, in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.
    Penitent. I confess to God Almighty; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost; that I have sinned very much in thought, word, and deed, by my own fault. And especially I remember these sins; . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(There are several variants of the above. The penitent then states the specific sins he can remember, and should end with the following:)

    Penitent. For these and all my other sins, which I cannot now remember, I am very sorry, I promise to do better, I beg God to forgive me; and you, Chaplain, to give me penance, advice and absolution.

    After the uninterrupted confession, the chaplain may find it helpful to question the penitent, so that advice about possible reparation, or restitution, or how to face the future more successfully may be given.
    Then some form of penance is given. This is
not a penalty but some useful act which aids the penitent to make outward embodiment of his contrite purpose. Then the chaplain gives the Absolution in these words with the sign of the Cross:

    ABSOLUTION. ¶ The assurance of God's forgiveness.

    Chaplain. 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, always, the Blessing:

    Chaplain. The blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, be upon thee and remain with thee always. Amen.
    Go (or, Abide) in peace; the Lord hath put away all thy sins.



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