The Book of Common Prayer
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Previous section
THE title-page of the Prayer Book of 1661 shows that in more ways than one it is a compilation. In the first place it incorporates the title of the Ordinal1 as well as the title of the Prayer Book proper; and in the second place it emphasizes the fact that the book known as The Prayer Book consists itself of three distinct parts with an Appendix. They are these — (1) The Book of Common. Prayer, i.e., “The Order for Morning and Evening Prayer daily to be said and used throughout the year”;2 (2) The Administration of the Sacraments, i.e. the two Sacraments of the Gospel; (a) “The Order for the Administration of the Lord’s Supper or Holy Communion,” together with “the Collects, Epistles and Gospels to, be used throughout the year”; and (b) the three services for the “Ministration of Baptism.” This forms the central and largest section of the book. (3) “Other Rites and Ceremonies of the Church”3 including first the two sacramental services of Confirmation (to which the Catechism is prefixed) and Matrimony, then the Church’s care for the sick and dead, the Orders of Visitation and Burial, and lastly the Thanksgiving Service of The Churching of Women and the Penitential Service of Commination.4 (4) The Appendix contains the Psalter pointed for singing, to which are added some Forms of Prayer to be used at sea.5

By a similar process various Appendixes6 have been added after the Ordinal containing (a) additional services such as the “State services,” which at various times have been annexed to the Prayer Book by civil authority, or (b) documents such as the Articles of Religion, the Table of kindred and affinity, the Canons Ecclesiastical of 1603 or the Metrical Psalms; these are not parts of the book at all in any accurate sense.


Introductory Matter.


The prefatory matter consists of three parts. The Preface represents the attitude of the Bishops in the last revision (1661), and embodies their comments upon the Rebellion, by which recently Prayer-Book worship had been suppressed, and upon the negotiations and transactions since the Restoration, and especially in connexion with the Savoy Conference. It was drafted by Sanderson, Bishop of Lincoln, and revised by a committee of Bishops.7 Still more it defines the principles on which they had conducted the revision, and describes the actual alterations made; their aim was “moderation,” that is, while repudiating disloyal proposals, to accept others for the sake of greater peace and piety; their method was (a) to give better directions for services, (b) to clear up ambiguous expressions, (c) to improve the translation of the Scriptural passages, (d) to meet new needs by additional forms.

The Preface.

The section ‘Concerning the Service of the Church’ was written by Cranmer as the Preface of the book of 1549, and it continued in that position, with the addition in 1552 of one final sentence, till 1661, when two short sentences were struck out and the rest was placed next after the new Preface.

A draft of this Preface made by Cranmer in Latin appeared in the second of his draft-schemes of service preparatory to the Prayer Book.8 It was clearly written under the influence of Quignon’s Breviary. It follows the same line as Quignon’s Preface in tracing the decay and depravation of Divine Service, and in many passages exhibits verbal correspondence with it. Cranmer dealt freely with his model, and again in translating his own Latin draft into English he dealt freely with his original, and in the course of this development three points are especially noticeable.

Cranmer inserted in 1549 a new paragraph as to vernacular service, for which there had been no place in his Latin draft; he omitted a paragraph about the hymns, after having failed in his attempts to reproduce them in English dress, as he had planned to do; he also omitted a paragraph as to Saints’ days, having by that time decided not merely to omit such festivals as were misleading, unjustifiable or superfluous, but to retain only the feasts of the great Saints mentioned in the New Testament.9

This preface explained the need and the method of reform in 1549, just as the new preface did in 1661, but it covers a narrower field; for primarily it deals only with Divine Service, and is simply concerned with the restoration of the system of canonical hours so as to recover the continuous recitation of the Psalter and reading of the Bible, under simplified and uniform rules, to be expounded in case of doubt by episcopal authority.

Concerning the Service of the Church.
Directions follow for the daily recitation of Divine Service, with a permission that it may be said privately in other languages than English. This permission has come from 1549 practically unaltered,10 but the directions have been made more stringent. Originally none were bound to the recitation of the service except those who ‘served congregations,’ but in 1552 all Priests and Deacons were bound to the daily recitation ‘either privately or openly,’ and the Curate, i.e., the Parish Priest, was bound normally to have his Church bell rung and to say his prayers publicly. This direction was repeated with verbal alterations in 1661, and the clergy were still more strongly bound to the daily recitation of the services.11
The rule of daily recitation.

The third chief part of the prefatory matter is the section “Of ceremonies, why some be abolished and some retained.” This was set in 1549 at the close of the book, followed by “Certain notes for the more plain explication and decent ministration of things contained in this book”; but in 1552 these “notes” were superseded by two rubrics dealing with the place of service and the ornaments of the church and of the minister, which were set before the beginning of Morning Prayer.12 The section “Of ceremonies” was at the same time transferred to its present position as an introduction instead of an epilogue to the book.

This explanation of the method employed in dealing with old ceremonies is no doubt from Cranmer’s pen. The abolition of some ceremonies is defended on two grounds, partly because of the burdensome quantity, and partly because of the alleged abuse of ceremonial. The retention of others is justified on the grounds that there must be some ceremonies, and that it is better to keep such as are old than to invent new ones. Further the actual selection of ceremonies embodied in the book is justified on the grounds that it need not be final, and. that it excludes all ceremonies except such as are luminous and edifying.


Of ceremonies.
It has already been explained that the chief guiding principle in the revision of the Hour Services in the sixteenth century was the wish to provide for the orderly and continuous recitation of the Psalter and reading of the Bible,13 If for no other purpose than this, a kalendar is necessary. Moreover the English Church had no intention of giving up, as other bodies did, the elaborate system of commemorating events in the life of our Lord and His Saints which she shared with the rest of the Catholic Church. For two reasons then a kalendar was needed.

Psalmody and Lectionary.

Orders and Tables.

It is hardly too much to say that Divine Service traces its origin to the desire for the orderly recitation of the Psalter and reading of the Bible, and still exists for that purpose. Psalmody and Lessons from Scripture had already formed a natural part of the Synagogue worship, and they became equally naturally features of Christian use. It will be shown later how out of these two elements there was formed the introductory section of the Liturgy14; for the present it is only necessary to trace their part in the genesis of the Hours of Divine Service. The Psalms formed the hymn-book of the Early Church, and were so well known as to be sung by the people at home or over their work.15 When others, both men and women, forsaking ordinary occupations, dedicated their lives to devotion and prayer, the singing of psalms together with the reading of the Bible formed the bulk of the religious exercises in which they spent the day. At first all was done privately: the hermits in their several cells in the desert, and the consecrated virgins within their own several homes, followed out each their own course as it seemed best. Presently the cœnobitic or community life developed out of the solitary life: monasteries were formed in the deserts of Egypt and Palestine, while in the towns men and women .gathered together in the churches to unite in their devotions, or formed urban communities which were often grouped round a particular church. Then the systematizing of the psalmody and lectionary began: with the Eastern monasticism of S. Basil or S. Pachomius the Eastern type of services also penetrated into Southern Gaul and other. parts of the Western Empire, and was soon confronted: with a Western type of service which had grown up (as far as can be surmised) chiefly in the religious establishments which had become attached to churches in Rome.16
The origin of Divine Service.
At first there was great variety of practice: the Eastern method which Cassian brought into Gaul in the first half of the Vth century was the progenitor of many Gallican systems,17 while the old Western system had also its descendants. In course of time the recitation of the Psalter in Divine Service, which had begun outside clerical circles among the monks and virgins, became a clerical obligation as well; in Rome the secular clergy discarded their old services in favour of the more developed system of the Roman monks; but meanwhile the monks were everywhere conforming their practice to the rule and system of S. Benet; and thus from that time forward the old Roman monastic system came to be regarded as the ‘secular’ method of service, and this secular course of psalmody and lectionary became contrasted with the new monastic or Benedictine method and course.18
In the West.

Note that "Benet" = "Benedict".



Both of these came to England from Rome in due time,19 and existed side by side till the latter disappeared at the suppression of the monasteries in Henry VIIIth’s reign: thus the only system which actually confronted the Revisers was the Gregorian or secular course of psalmody, which was common to the Sarum and other diocesan breviaries as well, and the secular type of lectionary.
In England.

In each of these respects important changes were made. It was a great innovation by which the recitation of the Psalter and the reading of the lessons in the Divine Service was regulated by the civil year instead of the ecclesiastical year. The Psalter had hitherto been apportioned to the days of the week as such, but the new order prefixed to the kalendar in 1549 not only spread the recitation of the Psalter over a longer period in arranging it for a month, but also destroyed the old association of particular psalms with particular days of the week. The secular and monastic breviaries which the Prayer Book displaced, though they differed in detail the one from the other, yet had both agreed in assigning the Psalter to a week, beginning with the Sunday, and ending with the Saturday.20

The innovation was made in the interests of simplicity and curtailment; and at the same time, in deference especially to the first of these, another great change of method was made. The old schemes for the recitation of the Psalter worked upon two principles: in some cases fixed psalms were assigned to fixed occasions, in other cases the psalms of the Psalter were said in course, either excluding the fixed psalms or including them, as the case might be. Thus in the ordinary secular psalter (as used e.g. in the Sarum Breviary), fixed psalms were used at Lauds and at the Little Hours and Compline, but at Mattins and Evensong (Vespers) the rest of the psalms of the Psalter, excluding these, were said in course, the first half (i.-cix.) at Mattins and second half (cx.-cl.) at Evensong.

The Order for Psalmody.

With the First English Book this distinction disappeared: the new system was rigidly consecutive and numerical: the employment of fixed psalms only survived in the case of the Venite at Mattins,21 and here provision was carefully made that it should not interrupt the consecutive course by assigning it the first place among the psalms of the 19th morning, where it might figure, as it were, in two capacities at once.

A great deal of appropriateness has been lost by this arrangement: e.g. a psalm appropriate only at night, (Psalm iv.) is sung on the first morning, and a psalm specially appropriate to Sunday (Psalm cxviii.) is sung alike on all days of the week: but the gain from the point of view of simplicity is indubitable.22

The uniform simplicity of this system is only broken by the appointment of ‘Proper Psalms’ on six days in the year. This principle formed part of the older system and was retained, though restricted to a very few occasions. The actual selection of Proper Psalms which was adopted in the Prayer Book does not follow the old lines, though it has points of contact with them.23

In all the earlier Prayer Books down to 1661 an attempt was made to rectify the inequality of the days of the month at the beginning of the year, so that February, having only twenty-eight days, borrowed for the purposes of the Psalter the 31st day of January and the first day of March and thus the Psalter was said three times in the first three months, without repetition in January and March, and without omission in February. But in 1661 this refinement was given up,24 and according to the plan already adopted for the Scottish Book of 1637, it was allowed that the Psalter should be left unfinished in February, and the 30th portion repeated in January and March as in the rest of, the months which have thirty-one days.

The system of the Prayer Book.
The Doxology Gloria patri which is prescribed at the end of each psalm has been used in that position in one or other form from very early times: it was probably first used as one of the refrains sung in the earliest form of psalmody called ‘responsorial’25: it consisted then, only of the first clause and this was in use in several forms. The Arian controversy brought these variations into question: the baptismal formula given by our Lord26 forms the basis of them all ; but while one form followed this closely in simply coupling the names of the Blessed Trinity— “The Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost,”— another ran thus— “in the Son,” or thus— “ through (by) the Son and through (by) the Holy Ghost.” The latter forms were favoured by the Arians as more agreeable to their views, and the maintainers of the biblical form were charged (probably unjustly) with innovation. As Arianism decayed, the doubtful forms lost ground and finally disappeared, while the surviving form annexed a second clause to itself, which again in turn took various forms: of these the most notable are the present Eastern form27 “both now and always and for ever,” and the Western form which appears in English dress in the Prayer Book.28 This last seems to have won its way in the course of the fifth and sixth centuries throughout the West, except in Spain, as a protest against Arianism.29 The old doxology with a single clause survived. however in the responsorial psalmody, from whence it sprung, in the Latin Services down to the Reformation, and disappeared with it in the process of transition to the English Book.30 The use of this doxology signifies our belief that the same God was worshipped by the Jewish Church as by us, only the mystery of the Holy Trinity is more clearly revealed to ‘us by the teaching of our Lord: this therefore we commemorate, and so we turn the psalms and canticles, which preceded that teaching, into fully Christian hymns.31
The Gloria Patri.
A further departure was made from the Latin books in the enumeration of the psalms. The Vulgate, following the Septuagint, varied from the Hebrew and adopted a different subdivision of the psalms, which altered the whole enumeration from’ Psalm. ix to Psalm cxlviii.32 In the versions of the Bible in the XVIth century a return was made to the Hebrew numbers, and when the translation of the Great Bible was adopted in 1549, this feature was retained. After the issue of the so-called ‘Authorised Version’ of 1611, it was natural that the scriptural passages in the Prayer Book should be taken from this new translation, and the other version discarded. This was done in 1661, but an exception was made in the case of the Psalter. Here familiarity with the old version and perhaps a preference for its rhythm stepped in and procured its continuance, and accordingly ‘the ‘Note’ at the end of this section’ was revised and enlarged.33
The Psalter.
In the early days of Divine Service the reading of Scripture was a constant element: like the psalmody, it had been taken over from synagogue worship into the pre-Anaphoral part of the Liturgy, and like the psalmody, too, it was again utilised to form part of the core of Divine Service. The methods of lectionary were even more various than those of psalmody: in some two lessons were read at each of the Hours, in others the lessons were confined to the service of Nocturns: this was the case with both the secular Roman and the monastic Benedictine system, and therefore for the present purpose all other schemes may be set aside as having no bearing on the question of English ways. But it is important to note that, like the psalmody, the mediæval method of reading Scripture followed the liturgical year and not the civil year. It was a simple method, as it entailed no double system of providing a series of lessons for Sundays side by side with another series for week-days. It had not however the numerical simplicity of the Prayer Book.
The lectionary
It has been supposed that originally the lessons followed somewhat the same plan as that formerly found in the Liturgy, and that the three lessons or three groups of lessons were drawn from the Old Testament, the Prophets, the Epistles, &c., and the Gospels in a definite sequence. Certainly at a later date when evidence is clearer, a system is found in possession, which has many points of contact with the old system of. the Liturgy. Homilies and commentaries from the Fathers were also read, as appears both from S. Benet’s monastic provisions and from S. Gregory’s modification of them for the secular service.
The old system.
This in itself sounds an eminently reasonable system. But in the first place the reading of scripture and homily had fallen away from its original plan, and had been modified in plan,34 curtailed by slackness, and mangled beyond recognition through the normal course being continually superseded by the lessons of Festivals, Commemorations, &c., drawn from legends of saints and other extraneous sources. Moreover, the old system was never intended for any others but those who could follow the course of Divine Service daily. In the English Prayer Book the attempt has been made to adapt Divine Service not only to the needs of that class — at best a small minority of the faithful — but also to the needs of those who could attend it only on

Sunday. Consequently a dual system has been ultimately introduced combining (i) a system of daily lessons following the course of the civil year in the simplest numerical order, and (ii) a system of lessons for Sundays and other Holy days, following the course of the liturgical year. This new system has gone through several stages.

At this point, therefore, it becomes necessary by way of introduction to the Kalendar and the Tables of Lessons to consider the nature and origin of the liturgical year.

Its decay.




The method of reform.


The early Christians, following the natural instinct of man and the precedents of the Jewish system, began at once to commemorate the great events of the Gospel. The division of time into weeks was inherited from the Jewish Church; the first day of the week, hallowed by our Lord’s resurrection and subsequent appearances,35 became the Lord’s Day,36 and was from the first set apart for Christian worship.37 The anniversary of the Crucifixion and Resurrection were similarly kept, and kept in close association with the Jewish Passover, with which originally they were so closely connected: and the rules regulating the passover became also the rules for the Christian Pasch or Easter. Thus was defined one of the fixed points, round which the orbit of the Christian year was to revolve.

The Kalendar.

Foundations of the Kalendar.



The other chief fixed point was not determined so easily or so soon. No tradition was preserved of the date of our Lord’s birth: even the year remained doubtful. But in the Roman Church as early as the end of the second century the 25th of December had been fixed upon; and this date has been generally adopted as the day upon which to keep an anniversary of the Nativity.38

These two festivals have a very large voice in determining the fixed arrangement of the year, and they also determine the annual variations. The variation of dates dependent upon Christmas is confined within the limits of seven days, and according to the day of the week, on which Christmas falls, the date of the first Sunday in Advent is fixed.

The variation of the date of Easter is far greater, and the range of its influence far wider. It may vary from March 22 to April 24, and its variation affects the whole of the time from Septuagesima, which is nine weeks previous to it, up to Whitsunday or Trinity Sunday, and even in a sense up to Advent.

The moveable feasts are thus determined.

Moveable feasts.

Of the immoveable feasts some depend upon Christmas, some are simply anniversaries, some are merely fixed days of commemoration. Thus The Annunciation of Mary is nine months before Christmas, S. John Baptist’s Nativity six months before, The Circumcision eight days and The Purification forty days after. The Visitation seems to be placed on July 2, so as to be the first day after the Octave of S. John Baptist’s Day: a date shortly after Lady Day was undesirable because it would so often fall either in Holy Week or Easter week.39 The three great festivals on the days following Christmas are not anniversaries but commemorations, which were placed there so as to be in close relation to Christmas.

Thus while Easter determines mainly the moveable dates, Christmas has had a large share in fixing the dates of the immoveable feasts.

The remaining immoveable feasts are for the most part anniversaries, and in the case of those which are only commemorations their date was determined independently without reference to Christmas.

Immoveable feasts.

In early days the kalendar of any church was in the main determined by local considerations. Apart from Easter and Christmas, and some dates that depend upon these two, there was little else of more than local observance except the festival of the Epiphany. The 6th of January was from very early times in the East the day adopted for commemorating primarily the manifestation of our Lord as incarnate God at His baptism, and secondarily His birth.40 From the East it came with its Greek name and its Eastern signification to southern Gaul by the middle of the fourth century; when ultimately adopted at Rome, it was looked upon chiefly as a commemoration of our Lord’s manifestation to the Gentiles in the persons of the Magi, and secondarily of His baptism and opening miracles.41 The East and West thus, as it were, exchanged festivals and mutually enriched one another.42 The feast of the Circumcision is of far later date. At first the day was kept at Rome as the Octave of Christmas and as the Festival of the Blessed Virgin. At a later date (probably when the importation of the Eastern festivals of the Blessed Virgin cast into the shade and then abolished the old Roman commemoration of January 1) the natural connexion of the day with the Circumcision asserted itself: this had already been the case in Gallican and in Oriental circles. But the festival has never had any liturgical prominence: even when recognised, its services had very little that was proper to the Circumcision, but remained still such as befitted the Octave of Christmas.43





It has already been pointed out44 that the English Church at the Council of Cloveshoo adopted the Roman kalendar. Apart from the great cardinal festivals above mentioned, this was of a very local character, and grew up chiefly from the lists of the anniversaries of popes or of martyrs (subsequently to the second century) who belonged to Rome itself. Such lists of Roman festivals exist from the beginning of the fourth century onward.45 and definite liturgical kalendars are known from the earliest Roman Service books; and it is clear that, with the exception of a few days of extraneous saints, such as SS. Perpetua and Felicitas or S. Cyprian of African origin, or S. Agatha from Sicily, or S. Vincent from Spain, the festivals belonged locally to the city of Rome, and commemorated either Roman saints or other saints to whom churches in Rome were dedicated.


Growth of the Roman Kalendar.

Such must have been the kalendar which S. Augustine brought with him at the end of the sixth century, and which in a more developed form the Council of Cloveshoo adopted in 747. Some of the festivals of specially local Roman interest still survive in our Prayer Book kalendar, such as those of the Roman martyrs, S. Fabian, S. Agnes, S. Valentine, S. Lawrence, S. Cicely, S. Clement, S. Silvester, or of the patron saints of Roman churches, such as S. Prisca or S. George; and in this way they bear witness to the fact that there lies hidden in the kalendar an original Roman nucleus which can be traced out historically as it expands from the fourth to the eighth century.

But other festivals of more general interest also came to England in the Roman kalendar, having been incorporated into it at various dates. Some, like those already mentioned, are the anniversaries of martyrs.46 The present S. Peter’s day is the anniversary of the translation of the bodies of SS. Peter and Paul, and S. Andrew’s day is probably the anniversary of his martyrdom. Others are the anniversaries of the dedication of Roman churches. Michaelmas commemorates a church on the Via Salaria, six miles from Rome; S. Philip and S. James’s day, the dedication of a church to these apostles in Rome, which was rebuilt circa 561.47 The festival of S. Peter’s Chains (Aug. 1, Lammas) has reference to the dedication of the church48 of the Apostles on the Esquiline Hill (432-440) where the relic of the chains was preserved. The All Saints’ festival is of special interest. It originated in the solemn dedication to Christian worship of the old Roman Pantheon as the Church of S. Mary and All Martyrs by Boniface IV. (608-614).49

Local Roman influences.
In the seventh century various festivals of external origin had won a place in the Roman kalendar. The Nativity50 and the Falling Asleep, Repose, or Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary had come from the East,51 the Exaltation of the Cross (the dedication festival of Constantine’s Basilica at Jerusalem in 335) from Palestine. the Invention of the Cross from Gaul. A few great names of Saints had also won recognition in the Roman kalendar, without being Roman or being martyrs, but purely on general. grounds, such as S. Augustine of Hippo on the day of his death August 28, and S. Jerome or S. Benedict; these were ranked as ‘Confessors.’ A similar movement, operating from the seventh or eighth century onwards, gradually brought in other festivals of Apostles and S. Mary Magdalene’s Day. The Conversion of S. Paul was adopted from Gaul,52 S. James’ Day seems to have been put designedly a week before S. Peter’s Chains, and other Apostles’ days followed, mainly in the ninth century.
External influences.

It would be difficult to say exactly what point of development the Roman kalendar had reached when it was adopted at Cloveshoo; but it is clear that subsequently the development was continued here in England; three main impulses are observable at work in it, two of which have been already demonstrated, while the third is a novel one.

Local interest in events in Rome still continued to operate even after the kalendar had been transplanted to England. Roman dedication festivals led to the adoption of S. Nicomede and S. John Port-Latin, and in other ways the Roman influence is still traceable. Again many additions were due to general interest, such as that of S. Ambrose from Italy, S. Denys, S. Martin, S. Crispin, S. Faith, S. Hilary, S. Brice from France, or at a later date S. Machutus, S. Lucian, S. Leonard, S. Remigius, S. Giles, S. Lambert from France, and S. Margaret, S. Katherine, S. Blaise from the East.

Its growth in England.
But further a new influence soon showed itself in the shape of the local English interest. The Council of Cloveshoo, at the moment when it adopted the Roman kalendar, added to it, for local English reasons, the feasts of S. Gregory and S. Augustine of Canterbury.53 On the same principle S. Boniface’s day was ordered, on the receipt of the news of his death eight years later, in 755,54 and many other names were subsequently added, such as S. Alban, King Edmund and King Edward, Archbishop Dunstan and the martyred Archbishop Alphege.

From the time of the coming of the Normans the interest of the English Church in matters outside herself was wider, and this had its effect upon the growth of the kalendar. Meanwhile the theory of canonisation was also changing, and the power to order a festival was passing out of the hands of the local authorities into the centralised authority of Rome. The canonisation of Edward the Confessor in 1161 marks the change so far as English saints are concerned; previously to that the power had been exercised by the English Church, but thenceforward up to the time of the Reformation such additions as were made to the list of saints were made with papal authority. This did not curtail the power of the local authority to choose out for commemoration such recognised saints as seemed desirable, nor was the change retrospective, for the festivals of S. Dunstan, S. Alphege, &c., continued in England, though they had not received formal papal sanction.

Influence of English Local interest.

It must now suffice to consider only the Sarum Kalendar and to enumerate such additions to it from the thirteenth to the sixteenth centuries as are of interest from the point of view of the present Prayer Book Kalendar.

S. Hugh of Lincoln was canonised in 1220, S. Edmund of Canterbury in 1246, and S. Richard of Chichester in 1260, in each case shortly after death. S. Anne’s day became popular in 1383 under the influence, as it seems, of the Queen, Anne of Bohemia.

The festivals of S. David and S. Chad were raised to greater dignity in 1415, the two new general festivals of the Visitation and the Transfiguration55 were adopted in England in 1480, shortly after their promulgation by Rome, and at the same time S. Etheldreda’s festival in October was adopted for the Sarum use.56 Finally it is interesting to note that the festival of the Most Sweet Name of Jesus, which was already in use in England, was specially sanctioned and endowed with privileges by Alexander VI. (1493-1503).57

The Sarum Kalendar
Side by side with the individual festival days58 stood special seasons of the year. Christmas was preceded by Advent and Easter by Lent, while these days threw their lustre forward as well as backward, so that the Christmas season extended till the Octave of the Epiphany or to Candlemas (Feb. 2) and Eastertide till Trinity Sunday, or even, at a later date, twelve days longer, to the octave of Corpus Christi.
The Church Seasons.
The observance of Lent has had an intricate history: it probably grew out of two things, (i) a strict unbroken fast either on Good Friday only or for the time between our Lord’s death and His Resurrection, a period which came to be estimated at forty hours: and (ii) a period of forty days of preparation for the festival of Easter and especially of training the catechumens for the Baptism on Easter Eve. The fast was enlarged so as to cover the whole of Holy Week, and then by different degrees and different methods to cover the whole forty days, which then were explained as being kept in memory of our Lord’s fast in the wilderness. The forty days, as days of general preparation rather than of fasting, were recognized by the time of the Nicene Council (325); but as time went on they were observed in different ways and varying degrees. In the West as the fast was extended to cover the whole six weeks of preparation for Easter, the Sundays were excepted, and then it was realised that the forty days were, in fact, only thirty-six. Some justified this, and explained the number as being a tithe of the year. But the full number of the forty days was made up in the sixth and seventh century by the pushing back of the beginning of Lent to Ash Wednesday.59

Closely connected with Lent is the observance of the preceding Sundays as Quinquagesima, Sexagesima and Septuagesima. This clearly is a subsequent development, but not necessarily subsequent to the addition to Lent of Ash Wednesday and the three days following.60

The history of the observance of Advent is still more obscure. It seems to have been modelled upon Lent as another period of forty days devoted to preparation for Christmas. Here again there was probably a gradual expansion: the full period of six weeks is still attested by the Ambrosian and Mozarabic Rites: in Gaul it took the form of a S. Martin’s Lent (Quadragesima S. Martini) beginning after the festival of the Saint. In Rome it originally comprised five Sundays, and the signs of this arrangement are still clearly to be seen in the older Service-books: but a process of contraction succeeded that of expansion, and reduced the number of Sundays to four.61 The development of the fasting as a feature of the preparation was also arrested, and Advent never came, as did Lent, to be a formal fast.

Side by side with these penitential seasons there were the single days of fasting and penitential exercise. In each week in very early times62 Wednesday and Friday were set apart as days of fasting: the fast was an abstention from all food for a part of the day, and it was generally closed by a public service, either the whole Liturgy or a service corresponding to the opening part of the Liturgy called the Mass of the Catechumens.63 These days were called by the military term “stations,” as being days on which especially Christians “mounted guard.”

The Saturday had from the first a peculiar position as being the Jewish Sabbath: when the Church drew away from Jewish customs, Saturday still for some time had a position of its own. The Jewish sabbatarianism was eliminated, but Saturday became in some places a festival day, in others a fast day.

In the Middle Ages these customs had been greatly reduced; the fast on Friday became more definite and complete, but Wednesday and Saturday lost in the main their special significance, though the Saturday abstinence survived till Elizabeth’s reign, and a Wednesday abstinence was then ordered by Act of Parliament.

Weekly fasts.
The same preparation which was felt to be necessary for Easter was desired on a smaller scale for Christmas and lesser festivals. This took the form of a Vigil, or night spent in a series of services leading up to the Liturgy; and here, as we have already noticed in other cases, a fast was annexed to the preparation. The Easter Vigil was the model for the rest, and a similar vigil was soon attached, not only to Christmas but to other festivals also. The custom mentioned above of observing Saturday as a fast was probably due to its: being considered the Vigil of Sunday.

The Festivals of martyrs had their Vigils from early times: it was noted as a coincidence that at the time when S. Cyprian was apprehended (258) a Vigil was being kept by the Church.64 Hence came the system which prefaced all the principal festivals with a Vigil kept not merely as time of preparatory services, but also as a day of fasting.

Another similar custom, that of keeping “octaves,” and prolonging the services of a festival for a week, also has its roots in the observance of Easter. Christians in this respect followed the customs of the Jews, and prolonged their Paschal services for eight days; and the custom was thence extended to other festivals.
The same instinct, which led the Roman Church, as seems probable, to fix the feast of Christmas upon a pagan festival, led also to the establishment of the Four Seasons (Quatuor tempora) or Ember Days in place of the heathen agricultural festivals. At first they were three seasons, not four, and corresponded with the winter sowing (Feriæ sementinæ), the summer reaping (Feriæ messis), and the autumn vintage (Feriæ vindemiales). The establishment of them is ascribed to Calixtus I. (circa 220),65 and it seems probable that from the first the days to be observed at these seasons were the three days of the week already prominent at Rome as half fasts — the Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. The actual date of the seasons was fixed by the month of the civil and not the ecclesiastical year; a justification for this was found in the words of Zech. viii. 19, and at a later date a fourth season was added so that they were known as the fasts of the first, fourth, seventh and tenth months.66 From Rome they spread to other places from the beginning of the fifth century, and by Roman custom became the recognized times for holding Ordinations. Meanwhile their dates also became more definitely fixed, they were divorced from their connexion with the civil year, and became identified with their present positions in the ecclesiastical year. In England this took place as early as the VIIIth century.67 In the old Roman services they still retain archaic features which attest their high antiquity, and show their original connexion with agricultural and heathen festivals.68
Ember Days.
The Rogation Days on the other hand are of later date. They arose from the action of Mamertus, Bishop of Vienne (c. 470) in ordering special Rogations or ‘Litanies’ to be celebrated on the three days preceding Ascension Day at a time of great distress and terror in his diocese through the last eruptions of the volcanoes of Auvergne.69 Thence the Rogation Days spread through Gaul,70 and came to England. The Council of Cloveshoo (747) adopted them,71 as well as the older indigenous Roman day of supplication called Litania major (April 25), which had ousted the heathen Roman procession of the Robigalia; but the Gallican days were not admitted at Rome till half a century later.72
Rogation days.
This elaborate system of fast and festival, referring both to periods of the year and to single days, confronted the Revisers of the Prayer Book at the outset. No thought seems to have been entertained of abolishing the whole in the drastic manner of most continental Reformers, though doubtless there were some then, to whom such a course would have commended itself, just as there have been ever since Churchmen who disobey the Church’s rules on these points. But it clearly was regarded as a matter in which some measure both of simplification and purification was desirable. The liturgical changes under Henry VIII. were scarcely of a serious nature since they merely involved the erasure of the festivals of S. Thomas of Canterbury and of the title ‘pope’ applied to various saints, but the observance of festivals as public holidays was considerably curtailed by Convocation in 1536.73 In the preparation for the First Prayer Book a more serious and a liturgical purpose becomes evident. The general arrangement of the seasons of the year was left untouched: simplicity was attained by reducing all services to one type and by minimizing the amount of variation involved. Thus, for example, while Eastertide was still retained, its services were made the same in structure as those of the rest of the year, and Lent remained, though stripped of its own touching peculiarities of service. The simplicity was most dearly bought in the case of Holy Week: the characteristic services of that solemn and unique period all disappeared, though they were to a large extent ancient, biblical, and allied to the English devotional temper;74 and the whole was brought into a rigid and prosaic uniformity with the rest of the year. The observance of Vigils was maintained, but the keeping of octaves disappeared,75 no doubt because of the complications which it involved.

The Kalendar.

Revision of the Kalendar,



Under Henry VIII.


Edward VI.

The process of simplification and purification is still more evident in the case of the single days of fast or festival. The Ember days, Rogation days, and Vigils, were retained, but without any variation in their services. The treatment of the festival days has a more complicated history. There are two draft kalendars extant which belong to Cranmer’s second scheme of services.76 The first contains the names of biblical saints — the Apostles, S. John Baptist, S. Mary Magdalene, S. Timothy, S. Titus, S. Michael, S. Stephen, Holy Innocents, and the four great festivals of the Blessed Virgin — with twelve of the chief Doctors of the Church77, about the same number of other saints who had a place in the Sarum Kalendar and most of the English Kalendars, and finally, a few entries which are surprising and puzzling since it is difficult to see from what source or on what ground they were selected.78
Cranmer’s first draft.
A later draft seems to exhibit the same project at a further state of development: three of the more surprising entries have been omitted, but on the other hand, large additions have been made. These are due, in the first place, to a zeal for Scripture which has run to excess. For example, many of the vacant days in January have been filled up with Old Testament names in chronological order79 — Abel (Jan. 2), Noe (3), Abraham (7), Sara (9), Isaac (14), Jacob (15), Joseph (19). This is carried on into other months, and meanwhile a further series of New Testament names is begun with Ananias on the day after S. Paul’s conversion, and continued in February with Vidua paupercula (10), Zacharias and Elizabeth (15), Symeon (17), Zaccheus (March 8), Fidelis latro (12), Joseph (19). The rest need not be described in detail, but two further points deserve notice. (1) Cranmer has still further added to this very long list, in his own hand, the names of other saints drawn in the main from the Sarum Kalendar or from Quignon’s Kalendar.80 The list of Christian writers is further enlarged by the names of Epiphanius and Cassian, while among the names taken from the Sarum Use are some which have a local English interest, viz., S. George (in red), S. Augustine of Canterbury, S. Alban, S. Edmund the King; and these make up a little for the total lack of local interest which characterizes the earlier draft. (2) In some cases Cranmer has followed Sarum in preference to Quignon, and vice versa in others.81

The draft kalendars then abound in faults and follies which were set aside on second thoughts. They are, however, of interest as showing a real stage in the development and as further evidence of the influence of Quignon’s Breviary on the course of Cranmer’s mind.

His second draft.

When the first Prayer Book appeared, a revulsion of feeling had evidently taken place. The Kalendar was far nearer to the earlier than to the later draft, and in it the policy of exclusiveness had been pushed a great deal further. Only five and twenty festivals were admitted, comprising the feasts of our Lord and of the Apostles and Evangelists with S. Stephen, Holy Innocents, All Saints, Michaelmas, S. John Baptist, S. Mary Magdalene, and the Purification and Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin. All these were treated as greater festivals with variants provided for their services.82 In 1552 the festival of S. Mary Magdalene as a red letter day disappeared; and the numbers of those remaining became four and twenty, at which figure it still remains. On the other hand, the black letter festivals began to come into existence on somewhat the same basis as Vigils, Rogation days or Ember days, not to be observed as Holy Days, but kept as a commemoration without any change of service. In 1552 only four such names were inserted, viz., S. George, Lammas, S. Lawrence, and S. Clement, but in the new Elizabethan Kalendar of 1561, this list was considerably lengthened; S. Mary Magdalene reappeared as a black letter day, and further fifty-six other festivals were added. In 1604 Enurchus was added on September 7. In 1661 these entries were continued, fuller descriptions83 were given in the Kalendar and two new names were added, viz., those of S. Alban and the Venerable Bede.84

The Prayer Book Kalendar.

It is difficult to see clearly the motive which determined the selection of the black letter Saints’ Days. In the case of the red letter days it clearly was the desire to bring the festivals to the test of the Bible, so that, without introducing new or extravagant commemorations, such of the old should be retained as would stand the test. But even so the test was not very carefully applied: the Assumption was rejected, while the Purification and the Annunciation were retained: so far all is natural: but the Visitation was excluded, and, like the Transfiguration, in spite of having biblical authority, only received later recognition as a black letter festival.85 Again, the exclusion of S. Mary Magdalene cannot be justified by this principle. It is probable that these last mentioned festivals were all rejected on the ground that they were recent importations into the Latin Kalendar; so that it would seem that a further test for admission was applied by the Revisers, viz. that of antiquity, and that ancient festivals, such as the Assumption, failed to make good their claim for want of biblical evidence to support them, while biblical festivals shared the same fate for want of ancient prescription. ‘Antiquity,’ however, for this purpose was very liberally interpreted; for, as has been shown, the festivals of the Apostles were many of them unknown till the eighth or ninth century. However, it seems most likely that the Reformers were not aware of this, and that, such being the case, they applied these two principles to the best of their power in selecting the red letter Saints.
Choice of red letter Days.
On the other hand, the principles which governed the selection of black letter Saints are not so clear. Thirteen of them are double feasts in the Sarum Kalendar, and by the addition of these to the red letter days the whole of the immoveable Sarum double feasts are represented in the present Prayer Book Kalendar except the Assumption and the two festivals of S. Thomas of Canterbury; the reason for the exclusion of those is not far to seek.
and of Black letter Days.
The next class of Sarum festivals is, however, not fully represented, and though perhaps a reason might be found to account for the exclusion of the four festivals which are passed over,86 it is evident on reviewing the next class below that the choice has been arbitrarily made. Local considerations clearly indicated the additions of 1661, viz., S. Alban and the Venerable Bede — the latter the only festival which was not in the proper Sarum Kalendar; but in 1561, though these considerations were clearly operative, they did not suffice to bring in S. Cuthbert, S. Oswald, S. Wulstan, S. Osmund, S. Frideswide, or S. Winifred, who all had a place in the Sarum Kalendar, much less others who had not, such as S. Aidan or S. Wilfrid; on the other hand, a place was found for some who were of no special account in the Sarum Kalendar, such as S. Lucian or S. Hilary, or even of no great intrinsic interest, such as S. Brice or S. Blaise. No signs survived at that date of the laudable desire shown in the early drafts to commemorate great writers who had hitherto had little or no position in English Kalendars, such as S. Athanasius, S. Basil or S. Chrysostom. Moreover the work was evidently done unintelligently; S. Cyprian was placed in 1561 upon the dayl of an obscure namesake instead of the day of his martyrdom,87 S. Alban in 1661 upon the xvijth of June by a misreading of the figure xxij; while the one effort of 1604, which added the name of Enurchus to the Kalendar of September, is distinguished both for inaccuracy and want of judgment, since the saint intended was really named Evurtius, and at best had no claim to be rescued from the oblivion of some Sarum Primer to be set in this position.88

Two motives seem to underlie the provision of the black letter days. At first they took their place in 1552 as little more than calendrical notes analogous to Sol in aqua, Equinoctium, Dog days, &c. In 1561, while this motive remained, another was added of keeping in mind the principal saints of the older Latin Kalendar89 without observing them as public holy days. This double ground was definitely taken by the bishops in 1661; they replied to the Puritan attack upon Saints’ days, that the black letter saints ‘are left in the Kalendar, not that they should be so’ (as the others) ‘kept as holy days, but they are useful for the preservation of their memories and for other reasons, as for leases, law days, &c.’90 It is clear from their adding S. Alban and Ven. Bede — the latter not a commonly known date — which of their two reasons they considered the more important.










and inaccuracies,

We are now in a position to resume the question of the Lessons appointed for Divine Service throughout the year. The old system of lessons followed entirely the ecclesiastical year, as has been already pointed out; no lessons were read at any service except Mattins,91 and that service in a secular Breviary contained much variety, sometimes one group and sometimes three groups of three lessons, each drawn from Scripture, Fathers or Legends of the Saints. The three in each group were generally continuous, but there was not necessarily any continuity between the groups. Already Quignon had simplified this system by reducing the lessons to a uniform three at Mattins, the first from the Old Testament, the second from the New Testament, and the third from the Acts or Epistles, except on a Saint’s day, when a proper lesson from the life of the Saint was appointed. Three draft schemes of Cranmer exist, which show his transition from the old system to the new by way of Quignon’s plan. The first adopted Quignon’s scheme of the year but provided three lessons at Mattins, one at Lauds, and one at Evensong. In the second scheme he omitted the lesson at Lauds, and in the third, while maintaining the three lessons at Mattins, he fixed the number at Evensong at two. From this it was an easy step to the arrangement of the First Prayer Book, maintained ever since, of two lessons alike at Morning and Evening Prayer.

The lectionary.

New system of lessons.






Draft Schemes

With regard to the method of selection, the first of these schemes followed the course of the ecclesiastical year beginning in Advent, and admitted special lessons for holy days outside the daily course. The ancient disposition of the books92 was also partly retained: thus Genesis was begun at Septuagesima and the historical books were assigned to the summer months But in all these respects alterations were introduced into the second scheme: the reading followed the civil year, not the ecclesiastical year: the substitution of special lessons for holy days was given up: the connexion of special books with special seasons was broken, and, for example, Genesis was begun on January 3. In the third scheme the New Testament as well as the Old was made to follow mechanically the course of the civil year. The Gospels and Acts were read at the third lesson at Mattins, the Epistles at the second lesson of Evensong, the Apocalypse with the Old Testament prophets at the second lesson at Mattins, and the rest of the Old Testament in the first lessons. Connected with this third table of lessons (which belongs to Cranmer’s second draft, and forms part of the second Kalendar described above) there was also a series of lessons for Saints’ days, which were to be added then as fourth lessons, thus following to some extent again the precedent set by Quignon, and securing in one way what had been given up in another way, viz. the reading of some special lesson on Holy Days.93

The system of lessons of the First Prayer Book was only a small step beyond the last draft scheme. The blessing given to the reader before the lessons and the formula of closing, which had been retained by Cranmer in his draft schemes, disappeared. A very few special lessons were admitted for the greater Holy Days, but none for Sundays: the mechanical system already drafted was still farther simplified by the reduction of the Lessons at Mattins to two, so that one Old Testament lesson followed by the New Testament lesson could be appointed daily for each service, and go on in a series that was almost unbroken from week to week and month to month of the civil year.94

In 1559 the system of special lessons for Sundays was introduced, and additions were made to the proper lessons for Holy Days: the new Kalendar of 1561 contained a revised series of lessons as well as a revised list of days. Some variations have been introduced in 1604 and 1661. These were small compared with the changes introduced in the new lectionary of 1871 : but the changes were only those of detail, the system remains what it was in the First Prayer Book.95

The ‘Tables and Rules’ owe a good deal to the Collection of Private Devotions, published by Bishop Cosin in 1627.96 The rules for the moveable feasts are drawn from it,97 and also the table of vigils, fasts, &c. These had been observed up till 1661, only in deference to custom, reinforced by Statute Law,98 except that the Eves to be observed with fasting as vigils were marked in the Kalendar from 1561 onwards.99 The reviseral at Cosin’s suggestion100 adopted and enacted the same list as he had put out; but they admitted only one exception to the Friday fast, while Cosin had excepted, any Friday falling within the twelve days of Christmas, and they added the note as to the vigil of feast days falling upon a Monday.101


Method of Selection.

1 The Ordinal, however, still retains its own Title page and Preface.

2 “The Common Prayers of the Church” commonly called “The Divine Service” is in Cranmer’s preface the equivalent of preces horariæ sive canonicæ, Gasquet and Bishop, p. 356. This is the proper use of the term ‘Divine Service.’ See e.g. Cavendish, Life of Wolsey, passim. It was, however, loosely applied to the Eucharist in the closing rubric appended to the Liturgy in 1661.

3 For the loose use of this term ceremony as similar to Rite see above, p. 17. [Ch. 1, note 32]

4 A careful distinction is here drawn. The Common Prayer, Sacraments and Rites are those of the Church Catholic: the particular forms of them contained in the book are those ‘According to the Use of the Church of England.’ The distinction was made in 1549, obscured in 1552 and restored in 1662. The question is touched upon in the first and third paragraphs of the Preface.

5 In earlier Prayer Books this had its own Title: at one time in 1662 this custom was to have been continued, but eventually no separate title- page was prefixed to this section. Parker, Introduction, pp. xciv., ccciv.

6 The development of the Title-page and Contents may easily be traced in the conspectus of the successive Title-pages and Tables of Contents given in Blunt, Annotated B. C. P., p. 83. or in Keeling, Liturgiæ Britannicæ.


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7 Walton’s Life of Sanderson and Cardwell, Synodalia, II. 655.

8 Above, p. 34.

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9 Gasquet and Bishop, pp. 16,37, 356-370.

10 ‘Mattins and Evensong’ was altered in 1552 to ‘Morning and Evening Prayer,’ but the old names survive in the Kalendar.

11 The Scottish Book of 1637 had made the Bishop or Archbishop the judge of what was a valid cause for omitting to say the service. This proviso was not adopted in 1661, but ‘sickness’ was substituted for ‘preaching, studying of divinity’ as the typical instance of what was to be held ‘urgent cause’ sufficient to justify non, compliance with the rule.

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12 See below, pp. 358 and ff.

13 Above, p. 52.

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14 Below, p. 435.

15 S. Jerome says: Quocunque te verteris, arator stivam tenens alleluia decantat, sudans messor psalmis se avocat, et curva attondens vitem falce vinitor aliquid Davidicum canit. Ep. XLVI. (XLIV.) Paulæ et Eust. ad Marcellam.

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16 See Batiffol, Hist. Rom. Brev. pp. 39 and ff. (E. T. 42 and ff.). It has been maintained that these are Alexandrian, not Roman, but most authorities assign them to Rome and the beginning of the third century.

17 Some of these survived among the Celtic bodies in the British Isles until they were ousted by the Roman and Benedictine systems. See Haddan and Stubbs, Councils i. 138, and Bangor Antiphoner, ii. Introduction. (H. B. Soc. vol. x.). Cp. above, p. 10.

18 The history is very obscure; see Baumer, Gesch. des Brev., Batiffol, l. c. Article on The Early History of the Divine Service in Ch. Q. Rev., xli. 395 (Jan. 1896).

19 The monks naturally brought with them their own service, but special zeal was shown in England for the secular service, and nowhere did the Roman chant, the pioneer of Roman customs, meet with such a welcome. It formed a prominent feature of S. Augustine’s first entry in Kent: later it spread to the north to Ripon under S. Wilfrid, to Wearmouth and Jarrow under S. Benet Biscop, and these monasteries brought special teachers direct from Rome and became centres for the diffusion of the Roman service and music. It was in fact the beginning of the movement by which, gradually, all other forms of secular service, with a very few exceptions, were ousted by the Roman services. See Beda, passim, and especially Hist. Eccl. ii. 20, iv. 2, 18; Hist. Abb. 5. See also Baumer, 223-227. The work was completed by the Council of Cloveshoo (747). Above, p. 9.

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20 The Ambrosian method covers a fortnight, though the fortnightly course is probably not original. The Orthodox (Eastern) arrangement is more complicated: it normally covers a week (so also the Armenian), but in Lent only half a week, as does the normal method of the East Syrians. For the East Syrian method see Maclean, East Syrian Daily Offices, pp. xvii. 259263. For the rest see the art. ‘Psalmody’ in Dict. Christian Antiq. and compare the valuable tables in P. B. interleaved.

21 The provision of psalms as alternatives to the Gospel canticles was not made till 1552. This did not interfere with the recitation of the psalms in the ordinary course, and in 1661 rubrics were added to prevent the possibility of clashing. See below, pp. 385, 403.
    The Benedicite had formed part of the fixed psalmody at Lauds and so may be said in a sense to be, in its present position as alternative to Te Deum, another example of the principle of fixed psalms.

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22 Quignon in his revised Breviary kept to the weekly system, but distributed the psalms afresh over all the Hour Services, assigning three uniformly to each: he also gave up the numerical course altogether, and made his selection such as to equalise the various portions of psalmody. ‘Psalmi sunt ita distributi, retento quatenus licuit veterum patrum instituto, ut omnes periegantur singulis hebdomadis totius anni, terni singulis horis, unius longitudine cum alterius brevitate sic compensata, ut labor legendi diurnus par propemodum sit tota ebdomada, et perinde toto anno.’ Breviarium. Romanum. Præfatio (ed. Legg), p. xxi.

23 Thus Pss. xix. xlv, lxxxv, and lxxxix. of Christmas Day were sung on that day under the old system, but not Pss, cx. cxxxii. Ash Wednesday had no special psalms. The selection in the P. B. with Ps. li. used at the Commination, reproduces the ‘Seven Penitential Psalms’ of the old system, which were used in various supplementary ways in the ancient services but did not form any part of the system proper of the Psalter. Similar points of contact exist in all the other cases.

24 It had already proved unworkable. See Bp. Wren’s strictures in Fragm. Ill., p. 52.

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25 For an explanation of this term see Additional Note 1. p. 345.

26 S. Mat. xxviii. 19.

27 Δοξα Πατρι και Υιω και αγιω Πνευματι και νυν και αει και εις τους αιωνας των αιωνων ‘Αμην.

28 The Latin form is’ Gloria Patri et Filio et Spiritui sancto, sicut erat in principio et nunc et semper et in sæcula sæculorum. Amen.’ The English version here prescribed is not very close to the original: earlier translations were more literal and the approximation to the present form may be traced chronologically in the English Primers. See Dowden, Workmanship, 166.

29 The fifth canon of the Council of Vaison in 529 ordered the adoption of the second clause with the object of refuting heresy and on the ground of its general use elsewhere. ‘Et quia non solum in sede apostolica, sed etiam per totum Orientem, et totam Africam, vel Italiam, propter hæreticorum astutiam, qui Dei Filium non semper cum Patre fuisse, sed a tempore cœpisse blasphemant, in omnibus clausulis post Gloria, Sicut erat in principio dicitur, etiam et nos in universis ecclesiis nostris hoc ita dicendum esse decernimus.’ Conc. Vasense, III. al. II. (529) can. v.; Mansi, VIII. 727; Bruns, Canones, II. 184.
    On the other hand, a century later, the Doxology sung in Spain at the end of all psalms was ‘Gloria et honor Patri et Filio et Spiritui sancta in sæcula sæculorum, Amen.’ See XIIIth and XVth Canons of the Fourth Council of Toledo in 633 (Bruns, I. 227). This form survived in the Mozarabic Rite (Missal, Migne P. L. LXXXV. 109); Breviary, Migne P. L. LXXXVI. 47.)
    S. Benet prescribed the Gloria at the opening of the service (Regula, cap. IX.), but it is not clear whether this included the second clause.

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30 For fuller information on the subject see Dict. Christian Antiq., s. v, ‘Doxology.’ Baumer, Geschichte des Breviers, p. 124. .

31 According to the American Prayer Book Gloria Patri may be repeated at the end of every Psalm; and either it or Gloria in excelsis is ordered to be sung or said at the end of the whole portion of Psalms at each service.

32 Latin ix. = Hebrew ix, and x.; and Hebrew cxlvii, = Latin cxlvi. and cxlvii. Between these points the Latin enumeration is one less than the Hebrew, except that Hebrew cxiv. and cxv. = Latin cxiii.; and Latin cxiv. and cxv. = Hebrew cxvi.

33 This history was a repetition of what had already taken place in the case of the Latin Psalter. The later version of S. Jerome called the Gallican Psalter .only with great difficulty superseded the earlier versions, including S. Jerome’s Roman Psalter, especially within the city of Rome Itself. The change was brought about in England in the IXth or Xth century (Baumer, 247), but in Rome not till the XVIth. The earlier psalter now survives there only at S. Peter’s.
    The question of the revision of the Psalter came up again among the abortive proposals in 1689. Cardwell, Conf. pp. 416, 432.

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34 The connexion was often lost between the scriptural lessons and the comments on them. The homilies thus tended to become an independent collection,and ‘Homiliaries’ multiplied till that of Paul the Deacon superseded most of the rest in Charlemagne’s time. See Batiffol, lO8; Wiegand, Das Homiliarium Karls des Grossen. The Sarum lectionary follows this fairly closely except in Holy Week and for Sundays after Trinity.
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35 S. John xx.

36 Apoc. i. 10.

37 Acts xx, 7; 1 Cor. xvi. 2.

38 The earliest witness for this is Hippolytus’ Commentary on Daniel iv, 23 (ed. Bonwetsch and Achelis, I. p. 242). It is often supposed that this date was due not to tradition or calculation but to policy, which set a Christian festival at the winter solstice on purpose to counteract the influence of heathen customs and rites then, and especially the Mithrastic festival Natalis Invicti: if this is so, then the origin of the festival must be a good deal anterior to Hippolytus. But it seems possible that the date was derived from a very widespread (though erroneous) belief that March 25 (the vernal Equinox) was the date of our Lord’s passion and that consequently this must have been also the day of his conception and Dec. 25 the day of his birth. See more fully in Duchesne, Origines du Culte, pp. 250 and ff. L.P. I. vii. W. M. G. 392.

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39 The festival began only in the fifteenth century at a time when there was great reluctance to multiply festivals at that period of the year. In the analogous cases of S. Benet and S. Cuthbert (March 20 and 21) the full observance of these festivals was commonly transferred to the day of the Saint’s translation, viz., July 11 and September 4.

40 The earliest witness to this feast is in a document of the Diocletian persecution at the beginning of the fourth century. W. M. G. 400.

41 For the bearing of this on the question of Baptism, see below p. 574.

42 The Armenians have never yet adopted Dec. 25, but keep Jan. 6 in the original way. See Duchesne, Origines, 247 and ff. for the whole of this subject.

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43 Ibid, 262. In some places it was kept as a fast day by way of reparation for the heathen festivities of the Saturnalia on January 1. Concil. Turon, II. (567), can. 17, De jejuniis. ‘Et quia inter natale Domini et Epiphaniæ omni die festivitates sunt, itemque prandebunt: excipitur triduum illud, quo ad calcandam gentilium consuetudinem patres nostri statuerunt privatas in kalendis Januarii fieri litanias, ut in ecclesiis psallatur, et hora octava in ipsis kalendis circumcisionis missa Deo propicio celebretur.’ Mansi, ix., 796 ; Bruns, ii. 229·

44 Above, pp. 9, 12.

45 The earliest Roman evidence is that of the Philocalian Kalendar dating from 336-354, including the Depositions of Popes and of Martyrs. Printed in Migne, P. L. XIII. 464: or better, Monum. Germ. Script. Ant. IX. p. 70 (ed. Mommsen) ; cp, Duchesne Liber Pont. I. pp. vi, 10, 11, 12. This is given again under the title of ‘Bucherian Kalendar’ together with the Kalendars of the three early Roman Sacramentaries in Probst, Die ältestet Römischen Sacramentarien, pp. 40-45. Cp. Martyrologium Hieronymianum, edited by de Rossi and Duchesne in Acta Sanctorum, November, II. i. P: [xlviii].

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46 These were kept from the first. For S. Polycarp see Euseb. H.E. iv. 15.

47 S. Philip’s day, however, was already kept on May 1, and this determined the date of Dedication when the church was rebuilt.

48 The like cause probably accounts for the festival of S. Lucy.

49 The anniversary originally was kept on May 13, and it became the typical Dedication Festival. ( Grad. Sar. xix.), The transference of the building by the Emperor Phocas and the hitherto unparalleled circumstance of the transformation of a heathen temple into a church, gave it a special importance (Lib. Pont. i. 317), and it soon became the custom to hold a festival there in honour of All Saints on November 1, (Beda, Serm. Æstiv. in Hampson Kalendar, ii. 147.) This spread gradually to other parts, especially when the festival was appointed for the Frankish Empire by Louis, with the assent of Pope Gregory IV., in 835. (Sigebert Chron., A.D. 835; Migne, P. L. CLX. 159.) But it was probably earlier in England, as it is marked by Beda in his Martyrologies. Opera, ed. Giles, I. 53, IV. 145.

50 The festival of the Conception depends upon this but is of much later date, and did not begin to be commonly current in England till the twelfth century.

51 Probably also the two other great festivals of the Annunciation and Purification: for, though the connexion of these with Christmas makes it possible that these were of earlier date in Rome, it seems likely that only one festival of the B. V. M. was kept in Rome till the seventh century and that on Jan. 1: this was only later transformed through its relation to Christmas and through Byzantine influence into a festival of the Circumcision. For these festivals see W. M. G. 407 and ff.

52 The Decollation of S. John Baptist is due to the same source.

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53 Haddan and Stubbs, III. 368.

54 Ibid. III. 390.

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55 This was in some places a much older festival, especially among the Benedictines.

56 The earlier festival of S. Audrey is June 23.

57 Thereupon there was added to the first and second lessons of Mattins an account of this transaction. See Sar. Brev. of 1531 (Cambridge reprint, III. 621). This change was not yet made in the Breviary of 1510.

58 For the fuller history of the Sarum Kalendar, see Frere, Graduale Sarum, Introduction, pp. xxii-xxx.

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59 The date is doubtful. S. Gregory speaks of both ‘the forty’ and ‘the thirty-six’ days and it is disputed whether this implies that he was familiar with the additional days or that he was not. The latter is the classic interpretation, but it is ably opposed in Un mot sur L’Antiphonale Missarum’ (Solesmes, 1890), pp. 26 and fr. Contrast Duchesne, Origines, p. 234, n.

60 It seems possible that Septuagesima was due to the custom prevalent in some parts, e.g. in Milan, of not fasting on Saturday. This would leave only five fast days in the week and demand a period of eight weeks to make up the forty days. If further the view were adopted, as it was by some, that the forty days’ fast was to be exclusive of Holy Week this would throw back the preparation as far as Septuagesima.

61 Probst, Sacramentarien, 277-280. Dict. Chr. Antiq. s. v. ‘Advent.’ The subject needs a fuller treatment.

62 Διδαχη [Didache], VIII, W. M. G. 327.

63 Ch. Q. Rev. Jan. 1896, XLI. pp. 399, 400. Cp. Socrates, Hist. v 22.

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64 Vita, § 15. Ed. Hartel, III. cvii.

65 Liber Font. (Duchesne), I. 141.

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66 It was in this form that they were adopted by the Council of Cloveshoo (747). Haddan and Stubbs, Councils, III. 368: Canon 18.

67 Grad. Sar. p. xiii. Haddan and Stubbs, III. 411.

68 See Morin’s article in Revue Benedictine. Aug. 1897.

69 Sidonius Ap. Epist. v. 14; vii. I. Migne P. L. lviii. 544, 563. Cp. Gregory of Tours, Hist. Franc. 11. 34. Migne P. L. lxxi. 231.

70 Council of Orleans (511), Canon 27. Harduin, Conc. II, 1011.

71 H. & S. III. 368. Canon 16.

72 Liber Pontificalis, s. v. Leo III. (ed. Duchesne), II. 35, n. 17: and 40, n. 58. See further below, p. 406

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73 Dixon, I. 83, 424.

74 The Veneration of the Cross, for example, goes back to the fourth century, the Reproaches are biblical, the Ceremony of the new Fire probably began in Britain, and like many of the picturesque rites and ceremonies was only later adopted into the Roman Service-books. See below, pp. 535 and ff. W. M. G. 370 and ff.

75 A trace may be said to survive in the Proper Prefaces and the use of the Christmas collect for the week following.

76 Above, p. 34.

77 The selection is curious and does not include S. Jerome though he was more commonly commemorated in Kalendars than many of the others. The days to which they are assigned are in some cases quite unusual: e. g. S. Polycarp is entered on a day unknown either to Quignon or Sarum.

78 Babilas, The XL. Martyrs and Barbara are known, if unusual in English Kalendars. Benjamin on Feb. 21 seems to be the Old Testament patriarch; Phileas and Philoromus (Feb. 3) shows the influence of Quignon; and Petrus, Dorotheus (July 2) seems to have been taken from the same source (Sept. 9) but placed upon a different day.

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79 The greater part of these Old Testament saints were commemorated in the old martyrologies, but not on these dates.

80 Only two of the additions are not traceable to one or other of these sources, viz. SS. Vitalis and Agricola (Nov. 4), a common festival abroad, and S. Mamas on Sept. 1, which seems inexplicable.

81 Thus S. Leo is put at April 11, as in Quignon, instead of June 28 as in Sarum, his translation day. On the other hand S. Ambrose stands as in Sarum on April 4, not as in Quignon on Dec. 7. It should be noted that the fuller Kalendar prefixed to Sarum Primers has been drawn upon and not simply the true liturgical Kalendar of the Missal or Breviary.

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82 The eleventh of the abortive Royal Injunctions of 1549 (see above, p. 59) ordered ‘That none keep the abrogate holy days other than those that have their proper and peculiar service.’ Doc. Ann. xv.

83 Taken from Cosin’s Devotions.

84 The list of ‘Holy Days’ to be observed and ‘none other’ as given in the Edwardian Act, 5 and 6 Edw. VI. cap. iii., or in the Elizabethan Kalendar of 1561. excludes Black Letter Days, Rogation Days, Ember Days, and Vigils; its object was to restrict the observance of public holidays just as had been done in Henry VIIIth’s time. The Edwardian Act, which was repealed by Queen Mary, was never renewed under Elizabeth (D’Ewes, Journals, p. 27), but the same object was brought about by the Kalendar of 1561 and the Advertisements of 1566 (Doc. Ann. LXV. p. 327).

85 The American Church, in 1886, replaced The Transfiguration of Christ in the Kalendar as a Red-letter Day, with Proper Lessons, Collect, &c.

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86 Cathedra S. Petri. Translation of Abp. Edmund, Commemoration of S. Paul, S. Michael in Monte Tumba.

87 Possibly on purpose to avoid collision with Holy Cross Day.

882 Both the entry Enurchus and the assignment of S. Alban to June xvij appear curiously enough in the Kalendar of the Preces Privatæ of 1564. See St. Paul’s Eccles. Soc. Transactions, IV. 33, 46, and for S. Cyprian, pp. 47 and ff.

89 In the Primers and in other Kalendars where the entries are purely for Kalendrical purposes they show a marked contrast to the Prayer Book Kalendar, for they contain the Assumption and the day of ‘Becket traitor,’ which were ousted from there; and also they are far larger in number, as indeed was necessary if they were to be of much use for the purpose of dates: in Edward’s Primer: of 1553 there are 183 entries of, Saints’ days, including the Assumption and Becket, besides a large number of purely Kalendrical entries and the marking of the P. B. Vigils by the entry ‘Fish.’ In the Orarium of , 1560 and the Preces Privatæ of 1564 there is hardly a day vacant, and in the latter all liturgical authority was disclaimed, and the very necessary caution was given at the end, that it is not necessarily implied that all are to be regarded as saints, or that even so they are to be given divine worship and honour, but only as notes of time and convenient dates. See Priv. Prayers of Q. Eliz. (Parker Soc.).

90 Cardwell, Conf. 306, 314.

91 See below, pp. 350, 352.

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92 According to mediæval custom, representing the remains of the primitive system as codified under Carolingian influence, the general outline of the lectionary of Scripture was as follows: Isaiah in Advent followed by Jeremiah and Daniel up to Epiphany. Then the remainder of the prophets or the Pauline Epistles. From Septuagesima or Sexagesima to Passiontide the Heptateuch (Genesis — Ruth). In Eastertide the Acts, S. James, and the Apocalypse. Through the summer the historical and sapiential books. The Sarum breviaries retained some more and some less of this scheme. The Gospels were not read as books but the liturgical Gospels from the Mass were read instead with an expository homily. In Passiontide special select lessons from Jeremiah, &c., were chosen. See Baumer 265 and ff, 285 and ff, and Wiegand Das Homiliarium Karls des Grossen.

93 Gasquet and Bishop, pp. 22-24, 34, 35, 373-394.

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94 Some trace, however, is left of the old system of connecting books with seasons, in that the book of Isaiah was assigned out of its natural Course to the end of November and all December, where it should coincide with Advent, as it did under the old system.

95 See above, p. 222.

96 Works (Angl. Cath. Libr.), II. 83 and ff.

97 Some such direction appeared as early as the Latin Book of 1560 and the New Kalendar of 1561.

98 2 and 3 Edw. VI. c. 19, and 5 and 6 Edw. VI. c. 3.

99 They were also so marked in the Kalendar of the Edwardine Primer of 1553, with the entry, ‘Fish.’

100 Works, v, 514.

101 They did not enforce ‘The Times wherein Marriages are not solemnized’ which Cosin had given as ‘ From Advent Sunday until eight days after the Epiphany, From Septuagesima Sunday until eight days after Easter, From Rogation Sunday until Trinity Sunday.’



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Four distinct methods of psalmody were anciently in use, two involving a refrain and two involving none. The two latter were: 1, Cantus directaneus, the simplest form of singing in chorus, with little more than monotone; 2, Cantus tractus, singing in an unbroken solo; here the chant, as was usual in the case of solo voices, was generally very elaborate, e.g. in the ‘Tracts’ sung after the Epistle on penitential occasions. The two other forms, involving more or less of a refrain, were 3, Cantus responsorius, and 4, Cantus antiphonalis. The first of these is the older of the two: psalms were sung to a monotone with slight inflection by a single voice, and at intervals a short refrain was sung by the congregation. This method, which was very simple in primitive times, was elaborated as time went on, and the Graduals or the Responds of the Roman chant, which date back to the Vlth century, are extremely florid; though they preserve, in spite of the elaborate phrases with which they are ornamented, their own fundamental character as being really monotone with inflections. The Antiphonal method, however early it may have been in the East, was introduced into the West by S. Ambrose. It differed in two chief respects from the responsorial psalmody: (a) in method, since it was the alternation, not of solo and chorus, but of choir answering choir; and (b) in character, since the music was not a developed monotone, but a style of unfettered melody. Antiphonal psalmody has also gone through many and various modifications since its introduction into the West. For further information, see the Elements of Plainsong, pp. 55 and ff; Kienle, Chant Gregorien, pp. 122-186; Paleogr. Musicale, IV.; or, for a good summary, Baumer, pp. 119 and ff.




The following table has been found necessary to settle some disputed points. It takes the place of the old Pica or Pie,1 which regulated the occurence and concurrence of feasts; but it deals only with occurence, since under the Prayer Book system there is no clashing when feasts concur, i.e. fall on consecutive days.


(Drawn up in 1879 by the Committee of Convocation appointed to revise the Rubrics).

When two Feasts or Holy Days happen to fall upon the same day, then shall be said the whole service proper to the day placed in the left-hand column of the following table; and wheresoever in the service the collect for the day is appointed to be said, then shall immediately follow the collect for the day placed in the right-hand column

1 Sunday in Advent. S. Andrew.
4 Sunday in Advent. S. Thomas.

S. Stephen, S. John, Innocents’ Day, Circumcision.

1 Sunday after Christmas.
2 Sunday after Christmas.
Conversion of S. Paul.
3 Sunday after the Epiphany.
4 Sunday after the Epiphany.
Septuagesima, Sexagesima and Quinquagesima Sundays.
Septuagesima and Sexagesima Sundays.
Conversion of S. Paul.
Sexagesima, and Quinquagesima Sundays, Ash-Wednesday, Sundays in Lent.
S. Matthias.
3, 4, 5, Sundays in Lent.
Sunday next before Easter, Monday before Easter to Easter Even, inclusive.
Easter Day, Monday and Tuesday in Easter week.
S. Mark.
1 Sunday after Easter.
S. Mark.
S. Philip and S. James.
S. Mark.
S. Philip and S. James.
2, 3, 4, 5, Sundays after Easter.
Ascension Day.
S. Philip and S. James.

Whitsun Day, Whitsun Monday and Tuesday.
Trinity Sunday.

S. Barnabas.
S. Barnabas and all other holy-days till All Saints’ Day, inclusive.
Sundays after Trinity.

The table is not altogether satisfactory: it lacks the precision and completeness of the old rules: e.g. it makes no provision for the transference of festivals on occasions, such as the occurrence of Lady Day and Good Friday, when combination is impossible. The principle of transference is not laid down in the Prayer Book, but it has received episcopal sanction in recent years.



1 Above, pp. 17, 257.

2 See The Convocation Prayer Book (London 1888).



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