The Book of Common Prayer
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    The Proposed Book of Common Prayer (1928)
of the Church of England






When any person is sick, notice shall be given thereof to the Curate of the Parish ; who shall minister to the sick person after the form following, or in like manner.

When he cometh into the sick personís house, he shall say, 

PEACE be to this house, and to all that dwell in it.

When he cometh into the sick manís presence he shall say, kneeling down,

Let us pray.

Lord, have mercy upon us.
   Christ, have mercy upon us.
Lord, have mercy upon us.

OUR Father, which 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 them that trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation; But deliver us from evil. Amen.

Minister. O Lord, save thy servant;
Answer. Which putteth his trust in thee.
Minister. Send him help from thy holy place;
Answer. And evermore mightily defend him.
Minister. Let the enemy have no advantage of him;
Answer. Nor the wicked approach to hurt him.
Minister. Be unto him, O Lord, a strong tower;
Answer. From the face of his enemy.
Minister. O Lord, hear our prayers;
Answer. And let our cry come unto thee.


O LORD of all grace and blessing, behold, visit and relieve this thy servant. Look upon him with the eyes of thy mercy, give him comfort and sure confidence in thee, defend him from the danger of the enemy, and keep him in perpetual peace and safety ; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
    Hear us, Almighty and most merciful God and Saviour ; extend thy accustomed goodness to this thy servant who is grieved with sickness. Amen.
    Sanctify this trial unto him, that the sense of his weakness may add strength to his faith and seriousness to his repentance. Amen.
May it be thy good pleasure to restore him to his former health, that so lie may live the rest of his life in thy fear, and to thy glory. Amen.
    And whatsoever the issue that thou shalt ordain for him, give him grace to be so conformed to thy will, that he may be made meet to dwell with thee in life everlasting through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.




The Order in the form of 1662 is not reprinted here, being, for the most part, contained in the Order following.



Then shall the Minister exhort the sick person upon such subjects as the following

OUR Heavenly Father, in his love for all men, uses sickness as a gracious means whereby to correct his children.
    Our Lord Jesus Christ, ever present with us, is ready to impart to us spiritual strength to use sickness well to the glory of God.
    Our Lord, manifested in the Gospel as the healer of disease, is still ready to minister grace for the healing of the body.
    Our Lord himself, though sinless, was made perfect through sufferings; and sinful man needs discipline in order to correct and amend in him whatever is amiss in the eyes of our heavenly Father.
    The aim of the Christian, whether in health or in sickness, is that God may be glorified in him through Jesus Christ.
    There is great honour in suffering if our pain be conformed to the spirit of Jesus Christ; for in the bearing of pain God manifested his will to redeem the world.
    In sickness as in health we are to seek constantly the inspiration of God the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of Christ.

Or if need require he shall explain to him some part of the Christian faith. Which explanation ended, he shall say,

I EXHORT you in the name of God to remember the profession of faith which you made unto God in your baptism, and therefore I shall rehearse to you the Articles of our Faith, that you may shew whether you do believe as a Christian man should.

Here the Minister shall rehearse the Articles of the Faith, saying thus,

I BELIEVE in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth:
    And in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord, Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, Born of the Virgin Mary, Suffered under Pontius Pilate, Was crucified, dead, and buried, He descended into hell; The third day he rose again from the dead, He ascended into heaven, And sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
    I believe in the Holy Ghost; The holy Catholick Church; The Communion of Saints; The Forgiveness of sins; The Resurrection of the body; And the Life everlasting. Amen.

The sick person shall answer,

All this I stedfastly believe.

∂ Thereafter, as occasion serves, the Minister shall instruct the sick person so to order his rule of prayer, for himself and others, that his days of sickness may be a time of faithful and loving intercourse with God.





∂ The Minister shall examine the sick person, whether he repent him truly of his sins, and be in charity with all the world; exhorting him to for give, from the bottom of his heart, all persons that have offended him; and if he hat/i offended any other, to ask them forgiveness; and where lie hath done injury or wrong to any man, that he make amends to (lie uttermost of his power.

∂ And if he hath not before disposed of his goods, let him then be admonished to make his Will, and to declare his Debts, what he oweth, and what is owing unto him; for the better discharging of his conscience, and the quietness of his Executors. But men should often be put in remembrance to take order for the settling of their temporal estates, whilst they are in health.

Then shall the Priest say,

FORASMUCH as after this life there is an account to be given unto the righteous Judge, by whom all must be judged, without respect of persons, I require you to examine yourself, and your state both toward God and man; so that accusing and condemning yourself for your own faults, you may find mercy at our heavenly Fatherís hand for Christís sake.

After such examination he shall say,

REMEMBER not, Lord, our offences, neither take thou vengeance of our sins; spare us, good Lord, spare thy people whom thou hast redeemed with thy most precious blood, and be not angry with us for ever.
    Answer. Spare us, good Lord.

Here shall the sick person be moved to make a special confession of his sins, if he feel his conscience troubled with any weighty matter, in this or other like form.

I CONFESS to God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, that I have sinned in thought, word and deed, through my own grievous fault; wherefore I pray God to have mercy on me. And especially I have sinned in these ways. . .

After which confession the Priest shall absolve him (if he humbly and heartily desire it) after this sort,

OUR Lord Jesus Christ, who hath left power to his Church to absolve all sinners who truly repent and believe in him, of his great mercy forgive thee thine offences: And by his authority committed to me, I absolve thee from all thy sins, In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

And then he shall say the Collect following

Let us pray.

O MOST merciful God, who, according to the multitude of thy mercies, dost so put away the sins of those who truly repent, that thou rememberest them no more: Look upon this thy servant, who most earnestly desireth pardon and forgiveness. And forasmuch as he putteth his full trust only in thy mercy, impute not unto him his former sins, but strengthen him with thy blessed Spirit: and whenever thou art pleased to take him hence, take him into thine everlasting favour; through the merits of thy most dearly beloved Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.





Anthem: O Saviour of the world, who by thy Cross and precious Blood hast redeemed us, save us, and help us, we humbly beseech thee, O Lord.

Levavi ocalos. Psalm 121.

I WILL lift up mine eyes unto the hills : from whence cometh my help.
    2 My help cometh even from the Lord : who hath made heaven and earth.
    3 He will not suffer thy foot to be moved : and he that keepeth thee will not sheep.
    4 Behold, lie that keepeth Israel: shall neither slumber nor sleep.
    5 The Lord himself is thy keeper: the Lord is thy defence upon thy right hand;
    6 So that the sun shall not burn thee by day: neither the moon by night.
    7 The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil : yea, it is even he that shall keep thy soul.
    8 The Lord shall preserve thy going out, and thy doming in: from this time forth for evermore.
    Glory be to the Father, and to the Son : and to time Holy Ghost;
    As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be: world without end. Amen.

Or any other Psalm, such as the following: 23, 27, 43, 71 (vv. 1-17), 77, 86, 91, 103, 130, 142, 146.

    Anthem: O Saviour of the world, who by thy Cross and precious Blood hast redeemed us, save us, and help us, we humbly beseech thee, O Lord.

∂ Then shall the Minister say (laying his hands upon the sick person if desired),

O ALMIGHTY God, who art the giver of all health, and the aid of them that seek to thee for succour : We call upon thee for thy help and goodness mercifully to be shewed upon this thy servant, that being healed of his infirmities, he may give thanks unto thee in thy holy Church; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

THE Almighty Lord, who is a most strong tower to all them that put their trust in him, to whom all things in heaven, in earth, and under the earth, do bow and obey, be now and evermore thy defence; and make thee know and feel, that there is none other name under heaven given to man, in whom and through whom thou mayest receive health and salvation, but only the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

And after that he shall say,

UNTO Godís gracious mercy and protection we commit thee. The Lord bless thee and keep thee. The Lord make his face to shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee. The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace, both now and evermore. Amen.





∂ A Litany for the Sick or Dying.

O God the Father,
       Have mercy.
O God the Son,
       Have mercy.
O God the Holy Ghost,
       Have mercy.
Remember not, Lord, our offences.
       Spare us, Good Lord.
From all evil and sin,
       Good Lord, deliver him.
From the assaults of the devil,
       Good Lord, deliver hint
From thy wrath, and from everlasting damnation,
       Good Lord, deliver him.
In time hour of death,
       Good Lord, deliver him.
In the day of judgement,
       Good Lord, deliver him.
By the mystery of thine Incarnation,
       Save him, O Lord.
By thy Cross and Passion,
       Save him, O Lord.
thy thy Resurrection and final Triumph,
       Save him, O Lord.
That it may please thee to grant him relief in pain
       We beseech thee to hear us.
To give him such health as is agreeable to thy will
       We beseech thee to hear us.
That it may please thee to deliver his soul
       We beseech thee to hear us.
To cleanse him from his sin
       We beseech thee to hear us.
That it may please thee to receive him to thyself;
       We beseech thee to hear us.
To set him in a place of light and peace
       We beseech thee to hear us.
To number him with thy saints and thine elect
       We beseech thee to heatí us.
Son of God;
       We beseech thee to hear us.
O Lamb of God;
       Have mercy upon us.
O Lamb of God;
       Grant him thy peace.


The following prayers may be used as occasion requires.

For Healing.

O GOD, who by the might of thy command canst drive away from menís bodies all sickness and infirmity: Be present in thy goodness with this thy servant, that his weakness being banished, and his health restored, he may live to glorify thy holy name; through our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

For a Sick Child.

O LORD Jesus Christ, who didst with joy receive and bless the children brought to thee, Give thy blessing to this thy child: and in thine own time deliver him from his bodily pain, that he may live to serve thee all his days. Amen.

For one troubled in Conscience.

O BLESSED Lord, the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort; We beseech thee, look down in pity and compassion on thy servant, whose soul is full of trouble : give him a right understanding of himself, and also of thy will for him, that he may neither cast away his confidence in thee, nor place it anywhere but in thee; deliver him from the fear of evil; lift up the light of thy countenance upon him, and give him thine everlasting peace ; through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

For a Convalescent.

O LORD, whose compassions fail not, and whose mercies are new every morning: We give thee hearty thanks that it hath pleased thee to give to this our brother both relief from pain and hope of renewed health; Continue, we beseech thee, in him the good work that thou hast begun; that, daily increasing in bodily strength, and humbly rejoicing in thy goodness, he may so order his life and conversation as always to think and do such things as shall please thee; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

For a Dying Child.

O LORD Jesu Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, who for our sakes didst become a babe in Bethlehem: We commit unto thy loving care this child whom thou art calling to thyself. Send thy holy angel to lead him gently to those heavenly habitations where the souls of them that sleep in thee have perpetual peace and joy; and fold him in the everlasting arms of thine unfailing love; Who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Ghost, one God world without end. Amen.

Commendatory Prayers.

THOU knowest, Lord, the secrets of our hearts ; shut not thy merciful ears to our prayer; but spare us, Lord most holy, O God most mighty, O holy and merciful Saviour, thou most worthy Judge eternal, suffer us not at our last hour, for any pains of death, to fall from thee. Amen.

UNTO thee, O Lord, we commend the soul of thy servant N. that, dying to the world, he may live to thee; and whatsoever sins he has committed through the frailty of earthly life, we beseech thee to do away by thy most loving and merciful forgiveness; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

O ALMIGHTY God, with whom do live the spirits of just men made perfect, after they are delivered from their earthly prisons: We humbly commend the soul of this thy servant, our dear brother, into thy hands, as into the hands of a faithful Creator, and most merciful Saviour; most humbly beseeching thee, that it may be precious in thy sight. Wash it, we pray thee, in the blood of that immaculate Lamb, that was slain to take away the sins of the world; that whatsoever defilements it may have contracted in the midst of this earthly life through the lusts of the flesh, or the wiles of Satan, being purged and done away, it may be presented pure and without spot before thee; through the merits of Jesus Christ thine only Son our Lord. Amen.

GO forth upon thy journey from this world, O Christian soul,
    In the name of God the Father Almighty who created thee. Amen.
    In the name of Jesus Christ who suffered for thee. Amen.
    In the name of the Holy Ghost who strengtheneth thee. Amen.
    In communion with the blessed Saints, and aided by Angels and Archangels, and all the armies of the heavenly host. Amen.
    May thy portion this day be in peace, and thy dwelling in the heavenly Jerusalem. Amen.

    NOTE.óThe following prayers and passages of Holy Scripture are suitable for use with the sick person: The Collect in the Communion of the Sick, and the Collects appointed for the first, second, and fourth Sundays in Advent, the third, fourth, and sixth Sundays after Epiphany, Ash-Wednesday, the second Sunday in Lent, the Sunday next before Easter, time fourth Sunday after Easter, Ascension-Day, the Sunday after Ascension, Trinity-Sunday, the fourth, sixth, seventh, twelfth, fifteenth, eighteenth, and twenty-first Sundays after Trinity, the Transfiguration, St. Michael and All Angels, St. Luke the Evangelist, and All Saintsí Day.
    1. Confidence in God: Psalms 27, 46, 91, 121; Proverbs 3. 11-26; Isaiah 26. 1-9; 40. 1-11 ; 40. 25 to end; Lamentations 3. 22-41; St. Matthew 6. 24 to end; Romans 8. 31 to end.
    2. Answer to Prayer: Psalms 30, 34.
    3. Prayer for Divine Aid: Psalms 43, 86, 143; St. James 5. 10 to end.
    4. Penitence : Psalms 51, 130.
    5. Praise and Thanksgiving: Psalms 103, 146; Isaiah 12.
    6. Godís Dealing with Man through Affliction: Job 88. 14-30; Hebrews 12. 1-11.
    7. Christ our Example in Suffering: Isaiah 53; St. Matthew 26. 36-46; St. Luke 23. 27-49.
    8. Godís Call to Repentance and Faith: Isaiah 55.
9. The Beatitudes: St. Matthew 5. 1-12.
    10. Watchfulness: St. Luke 12. 32-40.
    11. Christ the Good Shepherd: Psalm 23; St. John 10. 1-18.
    12. The Resurrection: St. John 20. 1-18; 20. 19 to end; 2 Corinthians 4. 13-5. 9.
    13. Redemption: Romans 5. 1-11 ; 8. 18 to end; 1 St. John 1. 1-9.
    14. Christian Love: 1 Corinthians 13.
    15. Growth in Grace: Ephesians 8. 13 to end; 6. 10-20; Philippians 3. 7-14.
    16. Patience in Suffering: St. James 5. 10 to end.
    17. Godís Love to Men: 1 St. John 3. 1-7; 4. 9 to end.
    18. The Life of the World to come: Revelation 7. 9 to end; 21. 1-7; 21. 22 to end; 22.1-5.
    19. Our Lordís last Discourse before his Passion : St. John 14, 15, 16, 17.
    20. Christian Hope on the Approach of Death: Deut. 33. 27; Psalm 16. 9 to end; Psalm 23; St. John 3. 16; 2 Cor. 4. 16ó5. 1; Rev. 21. 4-7.




Forasmuch as all mortal men be subject to many sudden perils, diseases. and sicknesses, and ever uncertain what time they shall depart out of this life ; therefore, to the intent they may be always in a readiness to die, whensoever it shall please Almighty God to call them, the Curate shall diligently from time to time (but especially in the time of pestilence or other infectious sickness) exhort his parishioners to the often receiving of the Holy Communion of the Body and Blood of our Saviour Christ, when it shall be publickly administered in the church ; that so doing, they may, in ease of sudden visitation, have the less cause to be disquieted for lack of the same.

The Curate shall also instruct the people concerning the Communion of the Sick, as occasion shall require, that they may not be in ignorance that men can receive the Holy Sacrament in their homes, if they be unable, for any just cause, to come to the church.

∂ But if the sick person be not able to come to the church, and yet is desirous to receive the Communion in his house, then he must give timely notice to the Curate, signifying also, as far as he may, whether there be some to communicate with him; as is much to be desired.

And a convenient place in the sick manís house, together with all things necessary, having been prepared that the Curate may reverently minister, he shall there celebrate the Holy Communion, according to the form in this Book prescribed; save only that he may, at his discretion, begin with the Collect, Epistle, and Gospel here following, or else with those of the Day.

The Collect.

ALMIGHTY, everliving God, Maker of mankind, who dost correct those whom thou dost love, and chastise every one whom thou dost receive; We beseech thee to have mercy upon this thy servant visited with thine hand, and to grant that he may take his sickness patiently, and recover his bodily health, (if it be thy gracious will;) and whensoever his soul shall depart from the body, it may be without spot presented unto thee; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Or this.

ALMIGHTY and immortal God, giver of life and health; We beseech thee to hear our prayers for this thy servant, that by thy blessing upon him and upon those who minister to him, he may be restored to health of body and mind, and give thanks to thee in thy holy Church; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Or this.

ASSIST us mercifully, O Lord, in these our supplications and prayers, and dispose the way of thy servant towards time attainment of everlasting salvation; that among all the changes and chances of this mortal life, he may ever be defended by thy most gracious and ready help; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Epistle. Hebrews 12.

MY son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him. For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth; and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.

Or this.2 Corinthians 1.

BLESSED be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.

The Gospel. St. John 5.

VERILY, verily, I say unto you, he that heareth my word, amid believeth on him that sent me hath eternal life, and cometh not into judgement, but hath passed out of death unto life.

Or this. St. John 10. 14, 15 ; 27ó30.

I AM the good shepherd; and I know mine own, and mine own know me, even as the Father knoweth me, and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me : and I give unto them eternal life ; and they shall never perish, and no one shall pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which hath given them unto me, is greater than all; and no one is able to pluck them out of the Fatherís hand. I and the Father are one.

∂ After which the Priest shall proceed according to the form before prescribed for the Holy Communion, beginning with the Confession and Absolution, which may be said in the shorter form.

∂ In case of extreme necessity the Priest may beg in with the Consecration and, immediately after the delivery of the Holy Sacrament to the sick person, end with the Blessing.

∂ At the time of the distribution of the Holy Sacrament, the Priest shall first receive the Communion himself, and after minister unto them that are appointed to communicate with the sick, and last of all to the sick person.

The Priest shall instruct the people that if any man, by reason of great sickness, or any other just impediment, be not able at any time to receive the Sacrament of Christís Body and Blood, yet if he do truly repent him of his sins, and stedfastly believe that Jesus Christ hath suffered death upon the Cross for him, and shed his Blood for his redemption, earnestly remembering the benefits lie hath thereby, and giving him hearty thanks therefore, he doth eat and drink the Body and Blood of our Saviour Christ profitably to his soulís health, although he do not receive the Sacrament with his mouth.

∂ In the time of the Plague, Sweat, or such other like contagious times of sickness or diseases, when none of the Parish or neighbours can be gotten to communicate with the sick in their houses, for fear of the infection, upon special request of the diseased, the Minister may only communicate with him.





When the Holy Communion cannot reverently or without grave difficulty be celebrated in private, and also when there are several sick persons in the parish desirous to receive the Communion on the same day, it shall be lawful for the Priest (with the consent of the sick person or persons), on any day when there is a celebration of the Holy Communion in the church, to set apart at the open Communion so much of the consecrated Bread and Wine as shall serve the sick person (or persons), and so many as shall communicate with him (if there be any). And, the open Communion ended, he shall, on the same day and with as little delay as may be, go and minister the same.

If further provision be needed in order to secure that any sick person in his last hour may not lack the benefit of the most comfortable Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ, the Priest, if the Bishop shall so permit, may to that end when the Holy Communion is celebrated in the church, reserve so much of the consecrated Bread and Wine as is needed for the purpose.
Added in 1927 Final Draft:
And the Bishop shall grant such licence if satisfied of the need, unless in any particular case he see good reason the the contrary.
If the Bishop is satisfied that in connexion with hospitals, or in time of common sickness, or in the special circumstances of any particular Parish, the provisions of the preceding rubrick are not sufficient, and that there is need of further provision in order that sick and dying persons may not lack the benefit of the most comfortable Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ, he may to that end give his license to the Priest, to reserve at the open Communion so much of the consecrated Bread and Wine as is needed for the purpose. Whenever such a license is granted or refused, the Minister, or the people as represented in the Parochial Church Council, may refer the question to the Archbishop and Bishops of the Province.
The consecrated Bread and Wine set apart under either of the two preceding rubricks shall be reserved only for the Communion of the Sick, shall be administered in both kinds, and shall be used for no other purpose whatever. The Sacrament so reserved shall not be brought into connexion with any service or ceremony, nor shall it be exposed or removed except in order to be received in Communion, or otherwise reverently consumed. All other questions that may arise concerning such Reservation shall be determined by rules, framed by the Archbishop and Bishops of the Province, or by Canons lawfully made by the Convocation of the Province, and subject to any such rules and Canons, by the directions of the Bishop.
The consecrated Bread and Wine set apart under either of the two preceding rubricks shall be reserved only for the Communion of the Sick, shall be administered in both kinds, and shall be used for no other purpose whatever. There shall be no service or ceremony in connexion with the Sacrament so reserved, nor shall it be exposed or removed except in order to be received in Communion, or otherwise reverently consumed.

The consecrated Bread and Wine thus set apart shall be reserved in an aumbry or safe. The aumbry shall (according as the Bishop shall direct) be set in the North or South wall of the sanctuary of the church or of any chapel thereof, or, if need be, in the wall of some other part of the church approved by the Bishop, provided that it shall not be immediately behind or above a Holy Table. The door of the aumbry shall be kept locked, and opened only when it is necessary to move or replace the consecrated Elements for the purposes of Communion or renewal. The consecrated Bread and Wine shall be renewed at least once a week.

This rubric added in 1928.

When the consecrated Bread and Wine are taken from the church to the sick person, before the Priest administers the Holy Sacrament, he shall use at least the parts of the appointed Order of Holy Communion here named: the General Confession and Absolution, (which may be in the shorter form), and the prayer ĎWe do not presume, &c.í, except when extreme sickness shall otherwise require: and after the delivery of the Sacrament of Christís Body and Blood with the appointed words, he shall say the Lordís Prayer and the Blessing. [And immediately thereafter any of the consecrated Elements that remain over shall be reverently consumed, or else taken back to the church.]*

* Removed in 1928.

∂ Immediately after the ministration to the sick person, or to the last of the sick persons (if there be more than one), any of the consecrated Elements that remain shall be reverently consumed at the place of such ministration, or if the reservation be under the second rubrick of the Order, may be taken back to the church.

This rubric added in 1928.

When it is desirable to administer both kinds together, the words of administration shall be said thus

THE Body of our Lord Jesus Christ, which was given for thee, and his Blood which was shed for thee, preserve thy body and soul unto everlasting life. Take this in remembrance that Christ died for thee, and feed on him in thy heart by faith with thanksgiving.

∂ NOTE, that the same order shall be observed*, with the permission of the Bishop, when it is deemed necessary, through grave danger of infection, to administer both kinds together to certain communicants at the open Communion.

* "Form shall be used" in 1928.


If any question arise as to the manner of doing anything that is here enjoined or permitted, it shall be referred to the Bishop for his decision.

This rubric removed in 1928.


Return to the 1928 Proposed Book of Common Prayer

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