The Book of Common Prayer
United States England Scotland Ireland Wales Canada World

    A Book of Offices - 1914




The Bishop shall be received at the entrance of the Church or Churchyard by the Clergy of the Parish, the Churchwardens, and others. Then the Bishop, preceded by the Churchwardens, and followed by the Clergy, the Choir, and the Congregation, shall proceed around the Ground to be Consecrated, saying or singing one or more of the Psalms following:

PSALM 23. Dominus regit me.

    The Lord is my shepherd : therefore can I lack nothing.
    2 He shall feed me in a green pasture : and lead me forth beside the waters of comfort.
    3 He shall convert my soul : and bring me forth in the paths of righteousness for his Name’s sake.
    4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil : for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff comfort me.
    5 Thou shalt prepare a table before me against them that trouble me : thou hast anointed my head with oil, and my cup shall be full.
    6 But thy loving-kindness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life : and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.
    Glory be.

PSALM 130. De profundis.

    Out of the deep have I called unto thee, O Lord : Lord, hear my voice.
    2 O let thine ears consider well : the voice of my complaint.
    3 If thou, Lord, wilt be extreme to mark what is done amiss : O Lord, who may abide it?
    4 For there is mercy with thee : therefore shalt thou be feared.
    5 I look for the Lord; my soul doth wait for him : in his word is my trust.
    6 My soul fleeth unto the Lord : before the morning watch, I say, before the morning watch.
    7 O Israel, trust in the Lord, for with the Lord there is mercy : and with him is plenteous redemption.
    8 And he shall redeem Israel : from all his sins.
    Glory be.

[Or, should it be inconvenient, from inclemency of weather or other cause, to proceed around the Ground, the Bishop, standing in some convenient place upon the Ground, shall say these verses in place of the foregoing Psalms:

    Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil.
    Answer. For Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff comfort me.
    Bishop. For why? Thou shalt not leave my soul in hell.
    Answer. Neither shalt Thou suffer Thy Holy One to see corruption.
    Bishop. But as for me, I will behold Thy presence in righteousness.
    Answer. And when I awake up after Thy likeness, I shall be satisfied with it.]

Then shall the Bishop say:

I heard a voice from heaven, saying unto me, Write, From henceforth, blessed are the dead which die in the Lord: even so saith the Spirit; for they rest from their labors.

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

Our Father.

Then shall the Petition for Consecration be presented to the Bishop, with the words

Reverend Father in God, we beg you to consecrate this ground for the burial of our dead.

The Bishop shall cause the Sentence of Consecration to be read, and shall sign it, and direct its preservation.

Then shall he declare the Ground consecrated, and bless it as follows:

Good people, by virtue of our sacred office in the Church of God, we have now consecrated, and for ever set apart from all profane and common uses, this ground, to be the resting-place of the dead, until the glorious Resurrection at the last day; in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

The blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, be ever upon this place, and sanctify and keep it holy, that it may be a fit resting-place for the bodies of His saints, until the day of the Lord Jesus, when He shall come to judge the quick and the dead. Amen.


[The following prayer may be used when there
is a Chapel to be consecrated:

O Lord God, mighty and glorious, and of incomprehensible majesty, Thou fillest heaven and earth with the glory of Thy presence, and canst not be contained within the narrow walls of any house; Yet forasmuch as Thou hast been pleased to declare in Thy holy law, that men should put the remembrance of Thy Name upon places, and in every such place Thou wilt come to us and bless us; we are here now assembled to put Thy Name upon this place, to make it Thy house, to devote and dedicate it for ever unto Thee, utterly separating it from all worldly uses, and to consecrate it wholly and only to the invocation of Thy glorious Name: accept, O Lord, this day’s duty and service, sanctify this house with Thy gracious presence, and grant that whatsoever prayers in this sacred place shall be made according to Thy will may be accepted by Thy gracious favor; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.]

Then shall the Bishop add these Collects:

O Lord Jesus Christ, who art the Resurrection and the Life, who by Thy Death hast overcome death, and by Thy Rising again hast opened unto us the gate of everlasting life, who shalt send Thine angels and gather Thine elect from all the ends of the earth; We humbly beseech Thee for all those whose bodies shall here be committed to the ground, that they may rest in the hope of resurrection to eternal life, through Thee, O blessed Lord God, who shalt change our body of humiliation that it may be like unto Thy body of glory, according to the mighty working whereby Thou art able to bring all things into subjection to Thyself: who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Spirit, One God, world without end. Amen.

O eternal Lord God, who holdest all souls in life: We beseech Thee to shed forth upon Thy whole Church in Paradise and on earth the bright beams of Thy light and heavenly comfort, and grant that we, following the good examples of those who have served Thee here and are at rest, may with them at length enter into Thine unending joy; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Grant, O Lord, that as we are baptized into the death of Thy blessed Son our Saviour Jesus Christ, so by continual mortifying our corrupt affections we may be buried with Him; and that through the grave, and gate of death, we may pass to our joyful resurrection; for His merits, who died, and was buried, and rose again for us, Thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

[After this the Bishop, if he see fit, shall speak to the people, for which if desired they may proceed to the Church or Chapel, the Choir leading, and a Hymn being sung. Here, after the address, if one be given, a Hymn may be sung.]

Then shall the Bishop dismiss the people with the Blessing.

If there be a Celebration
The Collect, Epistle, and Gospel shall be:

Collect. O merciful God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the Resurrection and the Life; in whom whosoever believeth shall live, though be die; and whosoever liveth, and believeth in Him, shall not die eternally; who also hath taught us, by His holy Apostle Saint Paul, not to be sorry, as men without hope, for those who sleep in Him; We humbly beseech Thee, O Father, to raise us from the death of sin unto the life of righteousness; that, when we shall depart this life, we may rest in Him; and that, at the general Resurrection in the last day, we may be found acceptable in Thy sight; and receive that blessing, which Thy well-beloved Son shall then pronounce to all who love and fear Thee, saying, Come, ye blessed children of My Father, receive the kingdom prepared for you from the beginning of the world. Grant this, we beseech Thee, O merciful Father, through Jesus Christ, our Mediator and Redeemer. Amen.

The Epistle. 1 Thess. iv. 13, to the end.
The Gospel. St. John vi. 37-41.

The Collect, Epistle, and Gospel for Easter-even may be used in place of the above.

At Morning or Evening Prayer, Psalms iv., xvi., xlix. may be used; and as Special Lessons, Gen. xxiii. and St. John xi. 18-47.

Form of benediction of a grave in unconsecrated ground, to be used at the discretion of the minister:

O merciful God, with whom the death of Thy Saints is precious, and who hast taught us in Thy Holy Word that the bodies of the faithful are members of Christ and temples of the Holy Ghost, and that having been sown in weakness, they will be raised in power; We humbly beseech Thee to sanctify this Grave to be a peaceful resting-place for the mortal remains of our dear brother here departed; and grant, O Lord, that he, with all those that are departed this life in Thy true faith and fear, and are fallen asleep in Christ, may attain to the resurrection of the just, and may have the full fruition of perfect bliss and everlasting glory, both in body and soul, in Thy heavenly kingdom, through Him who is the Resurrection and the Life, who died, and was buried, and rose again for us, and who now liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, One God, world without end. Amen.





The Bishop, Clergy, Churchwardens and other officers, with as many other persons as may desire, being assembled within the building, a statement shall be made declaring the reasons why it is considered desirable that the consecration shall be removed from it.

The Bishop shall then say:

Good people, you have heard the reasons for which it is thought well that this church, hitherto consecrated and separated from all worldly uses, shall be no longer thus continued, but that it shall be taken down and moved away [or appropriated to other worldly purposes]. We, as Bishop of the Diocese [and consecrator of the church], have carefully considered these reasons, and are persuaded that they are just and right and such as will not be displeasing to Almighty God, to whom this church was dedicated and given. We believe rather that the glory of God and the work of His Spiritual Church will be the more promoted by that which we are about to do.
    Doubtless there are some to whom the building has become endeared by many sacred memories, and to whom it may appear that a loss has come, that something has passed out of their lives. Such persons will be comforted by the assurance that the Presence of God, and the consolation of our Holy Religion, are not tied to any one place or building. It may well be that in the new and perhaps fairer building in which they will hereafter worship, God will increase to them sevenfold that with which He has blessed them in this place.
    In determining upon the act of to-day, we have taken council with the Standing Committee of the Diocese, and have as required by the Canons obtained their consent.
    We have caused that the Altar hitherto in this church should be carefully removed and protected from desecration.
    We have also taken proper care that the congregation hitherto worshipping in this church shall be duly ministered to.
    This being done, and there appearing to be no further hindrance in the way, we do now declare that the dedication and consecration placed upon this church is now removed therefrom, and it is hereby deprived of all rights, immunities and privileges attached to a consecrated building. We further direct that this our act of to-day and the reasons therefor be entered upon the records of the diocese.

Then shall the Bishop say:

The Lord be with you.
And with thy spirit.

Let us pray.

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

Our Father.

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

O Almighty God, who alone canst order the unruly wills and affections of sinful men; Grant unto Thy people, that they may love the thing which Thou commandest, and desire that which Thou dost promise; that so, among the sundry and manifold changes of the world, our hearts may surely there be fixed, where true joys are to be found; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Lord bless us and keep us; the Lord make His face to shine upon us and be gracious unto us; the Lord lift up His countenance upon us, and give us peace. Amen.






At the appointed time each person to be admitted to the Office of Reader shall be presented unto the Bishop by a Priest appointed by him, with these words:

Reverend Father in God, I present unto you this person to be admitted to the Office of Lay Reader in this Diocese.

Then those who are to be admitted or licensed kneeling before the Bishop, he shall stand up and say:

Almighty and Merciful God, of whose only gift it cometh that Thy faithful people do unto Thee true and laudable service, look down, we beseech Thee, on this Thy servant [or these Thy servants] who is now to receive authority from us for his work in Thy Church. Pour upon him the abundance of Thy grace; make him modest and humble in his ministrations, ready to obey those set over him in the Lord, diligent to frame and fashion his own life, and the lives of his family, according to Thy blessed Word. Grant unto him to grow in the knowledge and love of Thy Word, that he may minister to the salvation of souls, to the edification of Thy Church, and to the glory of Thy Holy Name; so that finally he may have his portion with those who have faithfully ministered Thy Word, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Then the Bishop shall say unto them as followeth:

Dearly beloved, who are to be admitted as Readers in the House of our God, we call upon you to know the holiness of that office, and to fulfil it with all reverence and godly fear. For our God is a mighty God, who will pour down upon you His grace that ye may go on to perfection.
    And as ye are set in an high place in the Church, that your voice may be heard of all men, so ought ye to study to hold an high place likewise in all godly conversation, that ye may be models of holy living; to the attaining of which may God bestow upon you His heavenly grace.

Then shall the Bishop cause the License to be read. After which he shall deliver to each his License, saying:

May the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, rest upon thee, and upon thy work done in His Name.
    The Lord give thee wisdom, courage, strength, and love to do His will now and for evermore. Amen.

Here may be sung a Hymn, and an Address may be given on the Office and Duty of a Lay Reader.

Then shall the Bishop say:

Let us pray.

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

Our Father.

O Lord God, Holy Father, vouchsafe to bless these Thy servants in their office of Lay Readers, that they may be diligent in reading to Thy people, and may in their lives so set forth the beauty of the things they read that they may be for examples of holiness in Thy Church. Keep them by Thy grace in purity of life, through our Lord Jesus Christ, who with Thee liveth and reigneth in the unity of the Holy Ghost ever One God, world without end. Amen.

Then shall the Bishop bless those present, saying:

The blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, be upon you, and remain with you for ever. Amen.

It is desirable that this Service should be used before a celebration of the Holy Communion at which the Lay Readers shall communicate.






All things being in readiness, a Priest shall present to the Bishop sitting in his chair, near to the Holy Table, such as are to be set apart as Deaconesses, saying:

Reverend Father in God, I present unto you these women [or this woman], to be set apart to the office and work of Deaconess.

The Bishop.

Declare, we pray you, unto those who are here gathered what the office and work of a Deaconess are.

Then shall the Priest, addressing the People, say:

Dearly beloved, that it is agreeable to the mind of Christ that women should do Him service by offices of loving kindness, we gather from St. Paul, who saith to the Philippians, Help those women which labored with me in the Gospel, and who also commendeth unto the Romans one Phoebe, a Deaconess of the Church which was at Cenchrea.
    Touching the duty of women set apart to this office and ministry, the Canons of the Church affirm that it is to assist the Minister in the care of the poor and sick, in the religious training of the young and others, and in the work of moral reformation. That they may be duly appointed to such service, have these women come hither.

Then shall the Bishop say as followeth:

Beloved, we have good confidence that they who are now presented to be set apart to the office of Deaconess are competent thereto, for it hath been so certified unto us, as the Canons require, by them whose word we trust. Nevertheless, if there be any who can allege aught on account of which it is inexpedient that these persons be so set apart, let protest be now made openly and before all men.

If no good reason be alleged by any why any should not be set apart, the following Lessons shall be read:

Romans xii.

Then shall be said or sung:

Psalm 100 or The Magnificat.

PSALM 100. Jubilate Deo.

    O be joyful in the Lord, all ye lands : serve the Lord with gladness, and come before his presence with a song.
    2 Be ye sure that the Lord he is God; it is he that bath made us, and not we ourselves : we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
    3 O go your way into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and speak good of his Name.
    4 For the Lord is gracious, his mercy is everlasting : and his truth endureth from generation to generation.
    Glory be.

Then, all kneeling down, the Bishop shall say:

    Unto Thee lift we up our eyes;
    Answer. O Thou that dwellest in the heavens.
    Bishop. As the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters;
    Answer. And as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress;
    Bishop. Even so our eyes wait upon Thee, O Lord;
    Answer. Until Thou have mercy upon us.
    Bishop. O Lord, have mercy upon us.
    Answer. Have mercy upon us.
    Bishop. O Lord, let Thy mercy lighten upon us;
    Answer. As our trust is in Thee.

The Bishop.

O Eternal God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hast in all times accepted and blessed the services of holy women; Look mercifully, we beseech Thee, upon these Thy servants, about to be set apart to the office and work of Deaconess. Protect them in the way wherein they go, and grant that in singleness of purpose and with a willing mind they may worthily accomplish the task committed to them, to Thy glory and to the praise of Thy Christ, to whom with Thee, O Father, and Thee, O Holy Ghost, be glory and worship for ever and ever. Amen.


This Form also appears essentially unchanged in this book's successor, The Book of Offices (1939 & 1949)

Then shall the Bishop ask of them the following questions, to which each candidate shall answer for herself:

Dearly beloved in the Lord, who are minded to take upon you this service in the Church of God, have you duly considered how weighty an undertaking this is, and are you prepared with a willing mind to take upon you this office of ministering to the suffering and needy, and in all humility and godly submission to help the Ministers of God’s Word and Sacraments?
    Answer. I have so considered it, and will do so by the help of God.
    Bishop. Will you be obedient to those who are over you in the Lord, cheerfully and faithfully performing the service that shall be appointed to you?
    Answer. I will by the help of God.
    Bishop. Inasmuch as this office is not to be lightly undertaken, is it your desire to give yourself to the work of the Lord as a Deaconess in singleness of heart?
    Answer. I desire to do so by the help of God.

Then shall the Candidate kneel, and the Bishop shall say:

Almighty God, who hath called you to serve Him in this holy life, give you the power to fulfil this your service acceptably, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Then. shall the Bishop lay his hands upon the head of the person to be made Deaconess, saying:

God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Ghost, bless, preserve, and sanctify you; and so endow you with all faith, wisdom, and humility, that you may serve before Him to the glory of His great Name, and to the benefit of His Church and people; and make you faithful unto death, and give you the crown of everlasting life. Amen.

N. or M., I admit thee to the office of Deaconess, in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

Let us pray.

O God, who didst teach the hearts of Thy faithful people, by sending to them the light of Thy Holy Spirit; Grant unto this Thy servant by the same Spirit to perceive and know what things she ought to do, and to have grace and strength evermore to do the same; direct her in all times of doubt and perplexity; strengthen her to bear the trial of her faith and patience; comfort her in times of sorrow; cheer her when faint and weary in the way. May Thy love, abounding towards her more and more, stir up her heart to greater deeds of love to Thee, and to all who need her service. And upon all those called to the office of Deaconess in Thy Church bestow Thy grace and heavenly benediction; enable them to bear each other’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. Make them to know and feel their oneness in the mystical Body of Thy dear Son, so that their fellowship here in works of love may prove to them a blessed discipline, and thus prepare them at last for the society of Thy redeemed in heaven; through Jesus Christ our most blessed Lord and Saviour. Amen.

O God, who in Thy holy Word dost commend above all goodly apparel the ornament of a quiet spirit; Adorn, we beseech Thee, these Thy servants with the meekness and the gentleness of Christ, that in all humility and singleness of heart they may run the way of Thy Commandments, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

It is desirable that the Service of the Holy Communion should follow, the newly set apart Deaconesses communicating.

At the Communion.

The Collect.

O God, who hast prepared for those who love Thee such good things as pass man’s understanding; Pour into our hearts such love toward Thee, that we, loving Thee above all things, may obtain Thy promises, which exceed all that we can desire; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Epistle. Rom. xv. 1-6.
The Gospel. St. Luke xii. 35-39.






The Bishop and Clergy having taken their places in the Sanctuary, the Bishop standing in the midst shall say:

    V. O send out Thy light and Thy truth, that they may lead me:
    R. And bring me unto Thy holy hill and to Thy dwelling.
    V. I will go unto the Altar of God;
    R. Even the God of my joy and gladness.
    V. I will wash my hands in innocency, O Lord:
    R. And so will I go to Thine Altar.

Let us pray.

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

Our Father.

The Cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the Communion of the Blood of Christ? The Bread which we break, is it not the Communion of. the Body of Christ?
    V. This is the bread which cometh down from heaven:
    R. That a man may eat thereof and not die.

Let us pray.

Almighty God, give ear to the prayers which we humbly present before Thee; hallow this Altar [or Table] and the vessels thereof through the invocation of Thy holy Name; and grant that the offerings there made may be acceptable and well-pleasing unto Thee, through the grace and power of Thy Holy Spirit. Hearken evermore to the supplications of Thy household in this place, lighten their load of trouble and heal their diseases, grant their petitions and accept their resolutions, strengthen their good hopes and fulfil their holy desires; that we may ever draw nigh to the gift of Thy grace with conscience sound and undefiled; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Almighty God, our heavenly Father, who hast given Thy Son our Saviour Jesus Christ not only to die for us but also to be our spiritual food and sustenance in the Holy Sacrament of His Body and Blood; Grant that the memorial of His death may here be made with reverence and godly fear, and the sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving be offered with holiness and joy, to the honor of Thy glorious Name, the benefit of Thy holy Church, and the comfort of souls that shall live by feeding upon Him; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom with Thee and the Holy Ghost be all honor and glory, world without end. Amen.

Grant, O Lord, that they who shall receive in this place the blessed Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ, may come to that holy Mystery with faith, charity, and true repentance; and being filled with Thy grace and heavenly benediction, may, to their great and endless comfort, obtain remission of their sins, and all other benefits of His passion. Amen.

The Lesson.

1 Cor. xi. 23-26.

Psalm 84, or a Eucharistic Hymn, may be sung.

[If the Holy Table be a Memorial, the following prayer
may be added:

Almighty God, with whom do live the spirits of them that depart hence in the Lord, and with whom the souls of the faithful, after they are delivered from the burden of the flesh, are in joy and felicity; We give Thee hearty thanks for our brother whom it hath pleased Thee to deliver out of the miseries of this sinful world; beseeching Thee that it may please Thee, of Thy gracious goodness, shortly to accomplish the number of Thine elect, and to hasten Thy kingdom; that we, with all those that are departed in the true faith of Thy holy Name, may have our perfect consummation and bliss, both in body and soul, in Thy eternal and everlasting glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.]

[If the Holy Table be the gift of a special Donor or Donors, the following may be said:

Blessed be Thy Name, O Lord God, that it hath pleased Thee, by Thy good Spirit, to put into the hearts of Thy servants the desire to set up this Holy Table, to Thy honor and glory. Bless, O Lord, them, their families and substance, and accept the work of their hands; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.]

O God, who through the ministry of Thy holy angel didst so marvellously refresh Elijah in the desert, that he went in the strength of that meat unto Horeb, the mount of God; Grant unto us whom Thou dost likewise refresh with the Body and Blood of Thy dear Son, that we may pass safely through the temptations and trials of this world, until we come to Thy holy hill and to Thy dwelling; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Blessing.

It is most desirable that there should be a Celebration of the Holy Communion. In this case the Lesson will’ be omitted, the Celebration following the Psalm or Hymn, the last prayers being said before the Blessing.

The Collect.

O God, who in this wonderful Sacrament hast left us a Memorial of Thy Passion; grant us, we beseech Thee, so to venerate the sacred Mysteries of Thy Body and Blood, that we may ever perceive within ourselves the fruit of Thy Holy Redemption; who livest and reignest, with the Father and the Holy Ghost, One God, world without end. Amen.

The Epistle. 1 Cor. xi. 23-27.
The Gospel. St. John vi. 53-59.






When all have taken their appointed places, the Minister shall say:

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

O Lord, who never failest to help and govern those whom Thou dost bring up in Thy steadfast fear and love; keep us, we beseech Thee, under the protection of Thy good providence, and make us to have a perpetual fear and love of Thy holy Name, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

    V. Come, ye children, and hearken unto me:
    R. And I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
    V. What man is he that feareth the Lord: him shall He teach in the way that He shall choose.
    R. I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
    V. O ye that love the Lord: see that ye hate the thing which is evil.
    R. I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
    V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son: and to the Holy Ghost.
    R. Come, ye children, and hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the Lord.

The Lord be with you.
And with thy spirit.

Let us pray.

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

Our Father.

    1V. Behold I lay in Sion a chief cornerstone, elect, precious:
    R. And he that believeth in Him shall not be confounded.
    V. The stone which the builders refused:
    R. Is become the headstone of the corner.
    V. This is the Lord’s doing:
    R. And it is marvellous in our eyes.
    V. Other foundation can no man lay than that is laid:
    R. Which is Jesus Christ.

Then the Minister laying his hand upon the Stone shall say:

O Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, who art the brightness of the Father’s Glory, and the express image of His Person, the one Foundation, and the chief cornerstone; Bless what we now do in [laying this Stone], in Thy name, and be Thou, we beseech Thee, the beginning, the increase, and the consummation of this our work, which is undertaken to the glory of Thy Name, who with the Father and the Holy Spirit, livest and reignest one God, world without end. Amen.

Then all things being made ready, the Stone shall be laid [or the Building shall be dedicated] by the person appointed thereto striking it three times with these words:

In the Faith of Jesus Christ we [place this Foundation Stone], in the Name of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost. Amen.

Then may be sung a Hymn, followed by
The Lesson:
St. Luke ii. 44) to end.

Then shall the Minister say:

    V. Except the Lord build the house:
    R. Their labor is but lost that build it.

Let us pray.

O Holy Lord God, who art the giver of all wisdom, and dost will that children should be brought up in the fear and love of Thy Holy Name; Pour down, we beseech Thee, Thy mercy and Thy loving kindness upon this place, that all who shall be gathered together here may learn to love what Thou commandest, and to desire that which Thou dost promise, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

    V. Them that are meek shall He guide in judgment:
    R. And such as are gentle, them shall He learn His way.

O Lord Jesus Christ, who though Very God wast subject as man unto Thine earthly parents; Grant unto Thy children in this place to be gentle and teachable, that they may readily obey those set over them, and that as they grow in years, they may grow in grace and in Thy favor, who with the Father and the Holy Ghost, reignest one God everlastingly. Amen.

    V. That our sons may grow up as the young plants:
    R. And that our daughters may be as the polished corners of the Temple.

Blessed Lord, who didst bid little children to be brought unto Thee, that Thou mightest bless them; We beseech Thee to bless all who, having been grafted into Thy Church by Baptism, shall be trained here to lead a godly and a Christian life. Protect them, O Lord, from all evil, both of body and soul, and preserve them blameless unto Thy coming, who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end. Amen.

    V. All Thy children shall be taught of the Lord:
    R. And great shall be the peace of Thy children.

O God, without whom our labor is but lost; Give Thy grace, we beseech Thee, to those who shall teach in this School, granting them a pure intention, patient faith, sufficient success upon earth, and the bliss of serving Thee in heaven; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Here an Address may be given, followed by a Hymn, during which an offering may be made if so desired.

Then shall the Minister say:

The Collect.

O Almighty God, who hast built Thy Church upon the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the head cornerstone; Grant us so to be joined together in unity of spirit by their doctrine, that we may be made an holy temple acceptable unto Thee; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

1The Versicles which follow may be omitted if it be the occasion of the Opening of a School Building, and for the words in brackets there will be substituted “dedicating this Building,” “dedicate this Building.”

A Book of Offices

Web author: Charles Wohlers U. S. EnglandScotlandIrelandWalesCanadaWorld