The Book of Common Prayer
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    The Anglican Service Book


The Holy Eucharist


Concerning the Mass

    The words of God are words of power. They bring to pass what they declare. At creation God said, "Let there be light", and there was light. In the Mass, God says, "This is my Body, This is my Blood," and it is so. Although it is the priest who stands at the altar, it is still Christ who speaks the words of power; the bread and wine become his body and blood, his real and true presence. (St. Augustine's Prayer Book)
    This Sacrament was instituted by Christ at the Last Supper with his disciples. There he gave new meaning to the Passover meal by identifying himself with the sacrificial lambs, declaring that the bread and wine were his own body and blood, and that henceforth, this was to be done "in remembrance of me." Was ever a command so obeyed?. The Mass has been offered for every conceivable human need and circumstance from the birth of a child to the repose of departed souls. Over and over, day by day, the Mass is offered at altars around the world in thanksgiving and supplication, strengthening the people of God. It is holy food for a people being made holy.
    The Mass is "our sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving." By acknowledging the Mass as sacrifice, we remember that Jesus freely gave of himself in love that we might have true life in him. The sacrifice of the Mass "participates" in the offering of Jesus at the Last Supper, in the offering of Jesus on the Cross, and in the continual offering of Jesus to his Father in Heaven. It also reminds us that we, too, are to live sacrificially.
    We also speak of the Mass as the Holy Eucharist, as thanksgiving. We are reminded that Jesus "gave thanks" at the Last Supper. The Mass is the supreme act of Christian thanksgiving, whereby we recall what God has done for us in Christ. We come to Mass not only for what we receive, but because we need to worship.
    Other common names for the Mass include the Holy Mysteries, because the fullness of the gift surpasses our understanding; Holy Communion because we corporately share in the reception of his presence; the Blessed Sacrament because it is the greatest and holiest of Spiritual joys.
    When we take bread and wine (the Offertory), give thanks (the Eucharistic Prayer), break the bread (the Fraction), and then receive Christ's Body and Blood (Communion), we are following Christ's command. It is a command of love, as we are fed by grace and united with him. It is as important that our souls be nourished with the Bread of Heaven and Cup of Salvation as it is for our earthly bodies to be nourished by food and drink. Holy Communion should be received regularly and often; for some that will mean daily, for others weekly, for others once or twice a month. Additionally, major days in the Church Year (such as Christmas, Easter, Pentecost, All Saint's Day) and in one's own life should be celebrated by reception of Holy Communion.
    Careful preparation by prayer and self-examination are required before receiving Communion (1 Corinthians 11:21-29). Intending communicants must be free from willful sin, in charity with all, and in reverent fear of God, clean both in heart and soul, with full purpose to remain so. When a communicant's conscience is not clear, before approaching the Sacrament the communicant should first seek counsel, penance, and absolution from a priest in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Fasting is another traditional method of preparation by which we empty ourselves physically so that we may receive him spiritually.
    In the Eucharist, we most clearly find ourselves transformed into the holy people of God. We are not to be "as gods," a competing horde of rivals to the One Living God; rather we are his creatures, fallen, yet redeemed in love; his own dear children, whom he willed to make "partakers of the divine nature." We come to adore him and we leave strengthened by the Word of God to do his will.



Preparation for Mass

The following are traditional Prayers said before Mass. Worshipers
may wish to Pray any of the following or Psalms 82, 83, and 84.

V. In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.
R. Amen.
V. I will go unto the altar of God:
R. Even unto the God of my joy and gladness.
V. Give sentence with me, O God, and defend my cause against the ungodly people: 0 deliver me from the deceitful and wicked man.
R. For thou art the God of my strength; why hast thou put me from thee: and why go I so heavily, while the enemy oppresseth me?
V. O send out thy light and thy truth, that they may lead me: and bring me unto thy holy hill, and to thy dwelling.
R. And that I may go unto the altar of God, even the God of my joy and gladness: and upon the harp will I give thanks unto thee, O God, my God.
V. Why art thou so heavy, O my soul: and why art thou so disquieted within me?
R. O put thy trust in God: for I will yet give him thanks, which is the help of my countenance, and my God.
V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son: and to the Holy Ghost.
R. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be: world without end. Amen.
V. I will go unto the altar of God:
R. Even unto the God of my Joy and gladness.
V. cross Our help is in the Name of the Lord:
R. Who hath made heaven and earth.
V. I confess to God Almighty...
R. God Almighty have mercy upon thee, forgive thee thy sins, and bring thee to everlasting life.
V. Amen.
R. I confess to God Almighty, to Blessed Mary Ever-Virgin, to blessed Michael the Archangel, to blessed John the Baptist, to the holy Apostles Peter and Paul, to all the Saints, and to thee, father, that I have sinned exceedingly in thought, word and deed, by my fault, by my own fault, by my own most grievous fault. Wherefore I beg blessed Mary Ever-Virgin, blessed Michael the Archangel, blessed John the Baptist, the holy Apostles Peter and Paul, all the Saints, and thee, father, to pray for me to the Lord our God.
V. God Almighty have mercy upon you, forgive you your sins, and bring you to everlasting life.
R. Amen.
V. cross The Almighty and merciful Lord grant unto us pardon, absolution, and remission of our sins.
R. Amen.
V. Wilt thou not turn again and quicken us, O God?
R. That thy people may rejoice in thee.
V. O Lord, show thy mercy upon us.
R. And grant us thy salvation.
V. O Lord, hear my prayer.
R. And let my cry come unto thee.
V. The Lord be with you.
R. And with thy spirit.
V. Let us pray ...

We beseech thee, Almighty God, to purify our consciences by thy daily visitation, that when thy Son our Lord cometh he may find in us a mansion prepared for himself; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

O Almighty God, who pourest out on all who desire it the spirit of grace and of supplication: Deliver us, when we draw near to thee, from coldness of heart and wanderings of mind, that with steadfast thoughts and kindled affections we may worship thee in spirit and in truth; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Be present, be present, O Jesus, our great High Priest, as thou wast present with thy disciples, and be known to us in the breaking of bread; who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Ghost, now and for ever. Amen.

Anima Christi

Soul of Christ, sanctify me.
Body of Christ, save me;
Blood of Christ, inebriate me;
Water from the side of Christ, wash me;
Passion of Christ, strengthen me;
O good Jesu, hear me;
Within thy wounds hide me;
Suffer me not to be separated from thee;
From the malicious enemy defend me;
In the hour of my death call me,
And bid me come to thee.
That with thy saints I may praise thee
For ever and ever. Amen.



The following devotions, mementos of baptism, may be used preceding the principal Mass on Sundays.

Asperges (except during Eastertide)

Thou shalt purge me, * O Lord, with hyssop, and I shall be clean: thou shalt wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Ps. Have mercy upon me, O God: after thy great goodness. V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son; and to the Holy Ghost; R. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be: world without end. Amen. Thou shalt purge me...

Vidi Aquam (from Easter Day through the Day of Pentecost)

I saw water, * proceeding out of the temple, on the right side thereof, alleluia: and all they to whom that water came were healed every one; and they say, alleluia, alleluia. Ps. O give thanks unto the Lord, for he is gracious: and his mercy endureth for ever. V. Glory be... I saw water...

V. O Lord, show thy mercy upon us; [alleluia]
R. And grant us thy salvation. [alleluia]
V. O Lord, hear my prayer;
R. And let my cry come unto thee.
V. The Lord be with you;
R. And with thy spirit.

Let us pray.

Graciously hear us, O Lord, Holy Father Almighty, Everlasting God; and may it please Thee to send thy holy Angel from heaven to guard and cherish, to protect and visit, and to defend all who dwell in this thy holy habitation. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.


An Exhortation

This Exhortation may be used, in whole or in part, either during the Liturgy or at other times. It may also be used in place of an invitation to confession. It is customary that the Exhortation be said on the First Sunday in Advent, the First Sunday in Lent, and on Trinity Sunday.

Beloved in the Lord: Our Savior Christ, on the night before he suffered, instituted the Sacrament of his Body and Blood as a sign and pledge of his love, for the continual remembrance of the sacrifice of his death, and for a spiritual sharing in his risen life. For in these holy Mysteries we are made one with Christ, and Christ with us; we are made one body in him, and members one of another.

Having in mind, therefore, his great love for us, and in obedience to his command, his Church renders to Almighty God our heavenly Father never-ending thanks for the creation of the world, for his continual providence over us, for his love for all mankind, and for the redemption of the world by our Savior Christ, who took upon himself our flesh, and humbled himself even to death on the cross, that he might make us the children of God by the power of the Holy Spirit, and exalt us to everlasting life.

But if we are to share rightly in the celebration of those holy Mysteries, and be nourished by that spiritual Food, we must remember the dignity of that holy Sacrament. I therefore call upon you to consider how Saint Paul exhorts all persons to prepare themselves carefully before eating of that Bread and drinking of that Cup.

For, as the benefit is great, if with penitent hearts and living faith we receive the holy Sacrament, so is the danger great, if we receive it improperly, not recognizing the Lord's Body.

Judge yourselves, therefore, lest you be judged by the Lord. Examine your lives and conduct by the rule of God's commandments, that you may perceive wherein you have offended in what you have done or left undone, whether in thought, word, or deed; and acknowledge your sins before Almighty God, with full purpose of amendment of life, being ready to make restitution for all injuries and wrongs done by you to others; and also being ready to forgive those who have offended you, in order that you yourselves may be forgiven. And then, being reconciled with one another, come to the banquet of that most heavenly Food.

And if, in your preparation, you need help and counsel, then go and open your grief to a discreet and understanding priest, and confess your sins, that you may receive the benefit of absolution, and spiritual counsel and advice; to the removal of scruple and doubt, the assurance of pardon, and the strengthening of your faith.

To Christ our Lord who loves us, and washed us in his own blood, and made us a kingdom of priests to serve his God and Father, to him be glory in the Church evermore. Through him let us offer continually the sacrifice of praise, which is our bounden duty and service, and, with faith in him, come boldly before the throne of grace (and humbly confess our sins to Almighty God).



The Decalogue

God spake these words, and said:
I am the Lord thy God who brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have none other gods but me.

After each commandment, the people respond

Lord, have mercy upon us,
and incline our hearts to keep this law.

Thou shalt not make to thyself any graven image, nor the likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or in the earth beneath, or in the water under the earth; thou shalt not bow down to them, nor worship them.

Thou shalt not take the Name of the Lord thy God in vain.

Remember that thou keep holy the Sabbath day.

Honor thy father and thy mother.

Thou shalt do no murder.

Thou shalt not commit adultery.

Thou shalt not steal.

Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.

Thou shalt not covet.

Lord, have mercy upon us,
and write all these thy laws in our hearts, we beseech thee.




A Penitential Order

The following may be used at the beginning of the Liturgy, if desired.

A hymn, psalm, or anthem may be sung.

The people standing, the Celebrant says

    cross Blessed be God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
People And blessed be his kingdom, now and for ever.

In place of the above, from Easter Day through the Day of Pentecost

Celebrant cross Alleluia. Christ is risen.
People The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia.

In Lent and on other penitential occasions

Celebrant cross Bless the Lord who forgiveth all our sins;
People His mercy endureth for ever.

The Decalogue, page 244, may be said, the people kneeling.

The Celebrant may read one of the following sentences

Hear what our Lord Jesus Christ saith:

Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it: Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets. Matthew 22:37-40

If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us; but if we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:8, 9

Seeing that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:14,16

The Deacon or Celebrant then says

Ye who do truly and earnestly repent you of your sins, and are in love and charity with your neighbors, and intend to lead a new life, following the commandments of God, and walking from henceforth in his holy ways: Draw near with faith, [and take this holy Sacrament to your comfort] and make your humble confession to Almighty God, devoutly kneeling.

or this

Let us humbly confess our sins unto Almighty God.

Silence may be kept.

Minister and People

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 Christ's sake,
forgive us all that is past;
and grant that we may ever hereafter
serve and please thee in newness of life,
to the honor and glory of thy Name;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

or this

Most merciful God,
we confess that we have sinned against thee
in thought, word, and deed,
by what we have done,
and by what we have left undone.
We have not loved thee with our whole heart;
we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves.
We are truly sorry and we humbly repent.
For the sake of thy Son Jesus Christ,
have mercy on us and forgive us;
that we may delight in thy will,
and walk in thy ways,
to the glory of thy Name. Amen.

or this

Almighty and most merciful Father,
we have erred and strayed from thy ways like lost sheep,
we have followed too much the devices and desires of our own hearts,
we have offended against thy holy laws,
we have left undone those things which we ought to have done,
and we have done those things which we ought not to
have done [and there is no health in us].
But thou, O Lord, have mercy upon us [miserable offenders],
spare thou those [O God] who confess their faults,
restore thou those who are penitent,
according to thy promises declared unto mankind
in Christ Jesus our Lord;
and grant, O most merciful Father, for his sake,
that we may hereafter live a godly, righteous, and sober life,
to the glory of thy holy Name. Amen.

The Bishop when present, or the Priest, stands and says

The Almighty and merciful Lord grant you cross absolution and remission of all your sins, true repentance, amendment of life, and the grace and consolation of his Holy Spirit. Amen.

A. deacon or lay person using the preceding form substitutes "us" for "you" and "our" for "your".

When this Order is used at the beginning of the Liturgy, the service continues with the Kyrie eleison.



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