The Book of Common Prayer
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    The Book of Common Prayer of the Church of Ireland: Visitation of the Sick




¶ Nothing in this Order prescribed shall restrain the Minister or Curate from edifying and comforting the sick, as he shall think meet and convenient, by instruction or prayer; but if the sick person shall require it, he shall use this Office, or some portion of it.


¶ When any person is sick, notice shall be given thereof to the Minister of the Parish; who, coming into the sick person's house, shall say,

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

¶ When he cometh into the sick man's 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. O Lord, hear our prayers;
    Answer. And let our cry come unto thee.


O LORD, look down from heaven, 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 unto him this trial, 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 he may live the rest of his life in thy fear, and to thy glory. Amen.
    And whatsoever 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 Minister shall 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 our sickness 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 he borne in 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.

¶ Thereafter as occasion serves, the Minister shall instruct the sick person so to order his rule for prayer, for himself and for 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 forgive from his heart all persons that have offended him; and if he hath offended any other, to ask of them forgiveness; and where he hath done injury or wrong to any man, that he make amends to the uttermost of his power; assuring him of God's readiness to forgive, if he repent of his sins. Here, if the sick person feel his conscience troubled with any weighty matter, he shall be moved to open his grief. After which he shall say with the Minister,

HAVE mercy upon me, O God, after thy great goodness : according to the multitude of thy mercies do away mine offences.
    Wash me throughly from my wickedness : and cleanse me from my sin.
    For I acknowledge my faults : and my sin is ever before me.
    Thou shalt purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean : thou shalt wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
    Turn thy face from my sins : and put out all my misdeeds.
    O give me the comfort of thy help again : and stablish me with thy free Spirit.

¶ Then shall the Priest say,

ALMIGHTY God, our heavenly Father, who of his great mercy hath promised forgiveness of sins to all them that with hearty repentance and true faith turn unto him; Have mercy upon thee; pardon and deliver thee from all thy sins; confirm and strengthen thee in all goodness; and bring thee to everlasting life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.



¶ The Minister shall say,

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.

And this Psalm:

Levavi oculos.
Psalm 121.

I WILL lift up mine eyes unto the hills : from whence cometh my help.
    My help cometh even from the LORD : who bath made heaven and earth.
    He will not suffer thy foot to be moved : and he that keepeth thee will not sleep.
    Behold, he that keepeth Israel : shall neither slumber nor sleep.
    The LORD himself is thy keeper : the LORD is thy defence upon thy right hand;
    So that the sun shall not burn thee by day : neither the moon by night.
    The LORD shall preserve thee from all evil : yea, it is even he that shall keep thy soul.
    The LORD shall preserve thy going out, and thy coming in : from this time forth for evermore.

    GLORY be to the Father, and to the Son : and to the Holy Ghost;
    As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be : world without end. Amen.

Or one of the following Psalms:

23, 27, 43, 71 (vv. 1-17), 77, 86, 91, 103, 130, 139 (vv. 1-18, 23, 24), 142, 143 (vv. 1-11), 146;

Adding this:

O SAVIOUR of the world, who by thy Cross and precious Blood bait redeemed us, Save us, and help us, we humbly beseech thee, O Lord.

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.

¶ Before he take leave of the sick person the Minister shall say,

    Unto God's 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 for evermore. Amen.



Litany for the Sick or Dying.

O GOD the Father,
Have mercy upon us.

    O God the Son,
    Have mercy upon us.

    O God the Holy Ghost,
    Have mercy upon us.

    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 him.

    In the hour of death,
    Good Lord, deliver him.

    In the day of judgement,
    Good Lord, deliver him.

    By the mystery of thy holy Incarnation,
    Save him, O Lord.

    By thy Cross and Passion,
    Save him, O Lord.

    By thy Resurrection and final Triumph,
    Save him, O Lord.

    THAT it may please thee to grant him relief from pain;
    We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.

    That it may please thee to give him patience in suffering;
    We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.

    That it may please thee to grant him the sense of thy presence;
    We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.

    [That it may please thee to give him such health as is agreeable to thy will;
    We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.]

    That it may please thee to cleanse him from his sin;
    We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.

    [That it may please thee to receive him to thyself;
    We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.

    That it may please thee to set him in a place of light and peace;
    We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.

    That it may please thee to number him with thy saints and thine elect;
    We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.]

    O Lamb of God, that takest away the sins of the world;
    We beseech thee to hear us.

    O Lamb of God, that takest sway the sins of the world;
    Grant him thy peace.

A Prayer for one troubled in conscience.

    Let us pray for God's mercy and guidance.
    If our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.

O BLESSED Lord, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort, we beseech thee, look down in pity on thy servant, whose soul is full of trouble; grant him a right understanding of his state, 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 thy countenance upon him and give him thy peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

For peace of mind.

    Let us pray for God's peace.
    Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee.

O HEAVENLY Father, who in thy love and wisdom knowest the anxieties and fears of thy children, whose Son Jesus Christ said to his disciples, It is I, be not afraid, and to the tempest, Peace, be still; Grant that this thy servant may be strengthened to cast all his care upon thee, for thou carest for him. Give him quietness; give him unshaken trust; and may the day-spring from on high guide his feet into the way of peace; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

For a person about to undergo an operation.

    Let us pray for courage and confidence.
    When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee.

FATHER of compassion and mercy, who never failest to help and comfort those who cry to thee for succour Give strength and courage to this thy son in his hour of need. Hold thou him up and he shall be safe; enable him to feel that thou art near, and to know that underneath are the everlasting arms grant that resting on thy protection he may fear no evil, since thou art with him, and wilt comfort him; through Jesus Christ our Saviour. Amen.


For one needing sleep.

    Let us pray for needful sleep.
    I will lay me down in peace, and take my rest: for it is thou, LORD, only, that makest me dwell in safety.

O HEAVENLY Father, who givest thy children sleep, for the refreshing of their souls and bodies; Grant this gift to thy servant; keep him in that perfect peace which thou hast promised to those whose minds are stayed on thee inspire him with a sense of thy presence so that in the hours of silence he may enjoy the blessed assurance of thy love; through Jesus Christ our Saviour. Amen.
    Save us, O Lord, while waking and guard us while sleeping, that awake we may be with Christ, and in peace may take our rest.

A Prayer for a sick child.

    He took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them.

O LORD Jesus Christ, Good Shepherd of the sheep, who dost gather the lambs with thine arms, and carry them in thy bosom; We commit into thy loving hands this child relieve his pain; guard him from all danger; restore unto him thy gifts of gladness and strength, and raise him up to a life of service to thee. Hear us, we beseech thee, for thy dear Name's sake. Amen.

For a dying child.

    He shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom.

O LORD Jesus 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 fall asleep 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.

For one recovering from sickness.

    Let us thank the Lord for his mercies.
    Praise the LORD, O my soul and forget not all his benefits.

O LORD, whose cornpassions 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 gracious work that thou hast begun; that, daily increasing in bodily strength, and humbly rejoicing in thy goodness, he may for the remainder of his days think and do such things as shall please thee; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

A Prayer for a sick person, when there appeareth small hope of recovery.

    What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter.

O GOD, our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble; Be near to this thy servant in the greatness of his need; increase in him a sure faith in thy power, and a joyful trust in thy love. If it be thy will bestow upon him renewed health; but if thou seest well to call him hence, assuage all pain of body and anguish of mind, and grant that he may enter into the joy of thy presence; through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


Commendatory Prayers for a sick person at the point of departure.

    Let not your heart be troubled.
    In my Father's house are many mansions.
    Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil.
    Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you.
    Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
    Into thy hands I commend my spirit.

UNTO thee, O Lord, we commend the soul of thy servant, that dying to this world he may live to thee; and whatsoever sins he hath committed through the frailty of our mortal flesh, 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 them that depart hence in the Lord 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 this mortal 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.

For Physicians, Surgeons, and Nurses.

    Let us pray for the work of the Physicians, Surgeons, and Nurses.
    Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.

O LORD Jesus Christ, who wentest about doing good and healing all manner of sickness; Give power, wisdom, and gentleness to all thy ministering servants, our physicians, surgeons, and nurses; that, always bearing thy presence with them, they may not only heal but bless, and shine as lamps of hope in the darkest hours of distress and fear; who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen.


    The following Prayers are suitable for use with the sick person: The Collects 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, the 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 feasts of the Transfiguration, St. Michael and all Angels, St. Luke the Evangelist, and All Saints.

    The following subjects and passages of holy Scripture are suitable for the sick person's attention, according to his need:
    The Beatitudes: Matt.
5. 1-12.
    Our Lord's Discourse before his Passion :John
14. 1-27; 15. 1-13; 16. 12-15.
    Our Lord's Self-dedication and Prayer for his people: John
    The Good Shepherd: John
10. 11-18.
    Christ Risen: John
    God's Care: Ps.
34; Matt. 6. 25 to end.
    God's Love: John
3. 16-21; 1 John 3. 1-7: 4. 9 to end.
    Redemption: Isai.
53; Rom. 5. 1-11; 1 John 1. 1-9.
    God's dealings through affliction: Lam.
3. 22-33; Heb. 12. 1-11.
    Confidence in God: Pss.
23, 27, 91, 121 Isai. 26. 1-9; 40. 1-8; 40. 27 to end; Rom. 8. 31 to end.
    Prayer: Pss.
43; 86. 1-13; 130; Eph. 3. 15 to end; James 5. 13 to end.
    God's Call to Repentance and Faith: Isai.
Ps. 51. 1-17.
    Praise and Thanksgiving: Psi.
30, 103, 146; Isai. 12.
    Watchfulness: Luke
12. 32-40.
    Christian Armour: Eph.
6. 10-20.
    Christian Love:
1 Cor. 13.
    Growth in Grace: Phil.
3. 10-14.
    The things eternal:
2 Cor. 4. 16-5. 9; Rom. 8. 18 to end; Rev.7. 9 to end; 21. 3-7; 22. 1-5.

¶ If the sick person hath not before disposed of his goods, let him be admonished to make his Will. But men should often be put in remembrance to settle their temporal affairs whilst they are in health.




¶ 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 Curates shall diligently from time to time (but especially in the time of pestilence, or other infectious sickness) exhort their 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 case of sudden visitation, have the less cause to be disquieted for lack of the same. 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, so far as he may how many there are to communicate with him (which, if possible, shall be two at least) and, a convenient place in the sick man's house, together with all things necessary, having been so prepared that the Curate may reverently minister, he shall there celebrate the Holy Communion beginning with the Collect, Epistle, and Gospel here following or with the Collect, Epistle, and Gospel of the Day, at his discretion.

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 ins 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 everlasting God, the comfort of the sad, the strength of sufferers; let the prayers of those that cry out of any tribulation come unto thee; that all may rejoice to find that thy mercy is present with them in their afflictions; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


The Epistle.

Rom. 8. 35.

Or this:
Heb. 12 5.

The Gospel.
St. John 5. 24.

¶ After which the Priest shall proceed according to the Form before prescribed for the Holy Communion, beginning at these words, Ye that do truly, etc.

¶ If the sick person be very weak, and necessity so require, it shall suffice to use for this Office the Confession, Absolution, Prayer of Consecration, Form of Delivery of the Sacrament, Lord's Prayer, and 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.

¶ But if a man, either by reason of extremity of sickness, or for want of warning in due time to the Curate, or for lack of company to receive with him, or by any other just impediment, do not receive the Sacrament of Christ's Body and Blood, the Curate shall instruct him, that 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 he hath thereby, and giving him hearty thanks therefor, he doth eat and drink the Body and Blood of our Saviour Christ profitably to his soul's health, although he do not receive the Sacrament with his mouth.

¶ In times of contagious sickness or disease, or when, from some other urgent cause, none of the Parish or neighbours can be gotten to communicate with the sick, upon special request of the sick person, the Minister may communicate with him alone.

The Lessons are printed out at length in the original; only the citations are given here.
Rom. 8:35-39

Heb. 12:5-6

John 5:24.

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