The Book of Common Prayer
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    A New History of
The Book of Common Prayer




THIS part of the First Prayer Book of Edward VI. was entitled The Introits, Collects, Epistles, and Gospels, to be used at the celebration of the Lord's Supper and Holy Communion through the year: with proper Psalms and Lessons for divers Feasts and days. An Introit, or Psalm to be sung at or before the commencement of the Communion Office, was prefixed to each Collect. These were removed at the revision in 1552; and the Proper Lessons were placed in the Kalendar of Lessons.

Previous chapter
The Collects, Epistles and Gospels are, with some exceptions, the same that had been appointed in the ancient use of the English Church. They form two series, which may be distinguished as doctrinal and practical. The ecclesiastical year is divided into two parts. The first, from Advent to Trinity, is designed to commemorate the life of Christ on earth; and the several particulars of his life are celebrated in their order,-His incarnation, nativity, circumcision, manifestation to the Gentiles; His doctrine and miracles, His baptism, fasting, and temptation; His agony, His cross, His death, His burial, His resurrection, His ascension; and the mission of the Holy Ghost. The object of the Epistles and Gospels during this time is to remind us of the benefit which we receive from God the Father, through the mediation and atonement of God the Son, and through the ministration of God the Holy Ghost. Hence this part of the Church's course of teaching is fitly ended with the Commemoration of the Blessed Trinity. In the second part of the year, from Trinity to Advent, the Epistles form a continuous series and the Gospels are chosen with reference to them.1


Two parts of the Ecclesiastical Year.
Advent to Trinity.

Trinity to Advent.


A Collect is a form of prayer with special characteristics of its own; these stand out the more clearly by contrast with two other types of prayer, viz., Litany, which is prayer in dialogue, and Eucharistic prayer, which comprises the developed formulas of worship introduced by the Sursum Corda and a Preface: there were many of these in the old Roman services, but one alone has survived in the Prayer Book, namely, that for the Eucharist itself. The Collects were originally the summing up of the private silent prayer of the congregation: the officiant propounded certain subjects for prayer in the form of a bidding, such as has survived in many places in the Gallican Books and in some few places in the Roman Books; then according to the direction of the Deacon, the people either stood or knelt in silent prayer. If they knelt, the Deacon's direction, 'Flectamus genua' (Let us kneel), was followed after an interval by a counter direction 'Levate' (Stand), and then the officiant said the Collect to sum up in one short form the private prayers of the people, and they responded 'Amen.' In course of time this method2 for brevity's sake was curtailed, the interval for silent prayer disappeared, the preface bidding to prayer was reduced to a simple 'Oremus' (Let us pray), and only this and (according to one explanation) the name 'Collect' survived to bear witness to the former use.3

The Collect.

Nature of a Collect.


The ancient method of public prayer.

The typical Collect of the old Roman sacramentaries, from which collections a great number of the Collects of the Prayer Book is taken, has also a structure, which is markedly its own, being distinguished by unity of thought and terseness of expression. It generally consists of (i) an introductory address and commemoration, on which is based (ii) a single central prayer: from this in turn (iii) other clauses of petition or desire are developed, and (iv) the whole concludes with some fixed form of ending.4 Gallican prayers and Collects have not the same unity of thought or the same severe restraint of form and language, but are much freer, more diffuse, and more rhetorical, and have more in common with oriental types of prayer.
Its structure.
It has already been pointed out that variable Collects figure normally at three points in the mediaeval Roman Liturgy. In the English service there is only one such variable prayer, 'the Collect' par excellence, which survives in the first of the three points: at the other two places the two Collects, namely, the Secret after the offertory and the Postcommunion at the end of the service, have practically disappeared.5 At a far earlier date a change came about which affected the position and rationale of the first variable Collect: originally it was connected with the Litany, either processional or stationary, which formed part of the introductory section of the Mass, and was the summing up in Collect-form of the petitions there offered in Litany-form:6 but as the Litany shrank into smaller dimensions and prominence, this connexion became obsolete, and then the Collect acquired a new connexion and became closely bound to the Epistle and Gospel: this new connexion has been further developed in the course of the changes in the Prayer Book.

the Collects at Mass.

One survived.


Changes in its rationale.

The opening Collects of the collection exemplify this. Those for the first two Sundays in Advent were composed in 1549, and it is noticeable that they were formed from the Epistles of the Sundays: the same is observable about other Collects of that date. In consequence of this change only one was left of the series of Collects beginning 'Excita' which were characteristic of Advent in the Latin Books, namely at the Fourth Sunday.7 For the Third Sunday, which had not one of this series, as it was the Sunday after Embertide, and therefore exceptional, a new Collect was written in 1661 to supplant the translation of the meagre Latin Collect which had till then occupied the position.8 The direction for the repetition of the first Collect throughout Advent9 carries on in a simplified form the old system of saying Collects as 'memorials,' i .e. in a subsidiary position to the chief Collect of the day. Similar provision is also made in Christmastide and Lent.

The Epistles and Gospels follow the old Latin series of the Comes in its earliest form,10 and their appropriateness for Advent is obvious.

For Christmas the old Roman Books contained three Masses besides the Mass of the Vigil, and at each of them the prophetical lesson was retained side by side with the Epistle and Gospel. This arrangement was at first local and due to the fact that there were three Stational Masses said at Rome on Christmas Day,11 but afterwards it became general elsewhere. In 1549 the service of the Vigil was dropped out and provision was made for only two Communions on this day: in 1552 the provision for the first Communion12 was omitted, and thus only the Epistle and Gospel of the High Mass, with a newly composed Collect, which were used at the second or principal Communion, are retained in the present service.
Christmas Day.

The first Lessons13 contain prophecies of the coming of Christ in our nature; and the second Lessons, Epistle, and Gospel point out the completion of those prophecies in the history of the incarnation. In the Collect we pray that we may be partakers of the benefit of His birth; and the Psalms are expressive of praise and thanksgiving for the revelation of this mystery. The words of Ps. xix., The heavens declare the glory of God, &c., are applicable to the circumstances of the birth of Christ, when a new star appeared, which so plainly declared His glory, that the Wise Men came from the East to worship Him: Ps. xlv., as a marriage song, is mystically applicable to the union between Christ and His Church: Ps. lxxxv. has from early days been applied to the redemption of' man by the coming of Christ: Ps. lxxxix is a commemoration of the mercies performed, and promised to be continued to David and his posterity to the end of the world, the birth of the Messiah being the greatest of those mercies: Ps. cx. is a prophecy of the exaltation of Christ to His kingly and priestly office: and Ps. cxxxii. recounts the promises of God to David that Sion should be the dwelling-place of the Lord Himself All these Psalms were appointed in the Breviary upon this festival.

After Christmas Day immediately follow the three Holy Days of S. Stephen, S. John, and The Innocents. S. Stephen was· the first martyr; S. John was the disciple whom Jesus loved; and the slaughter of the children at Bethlehem was the first result of the Saviour's birth. 'Martyrdom, love, and innocence are first to be magnified, as wherein Christ is most honoured.'

The Collects in each case went through some amplification in the revision of 1661, but they are still based upon the Latin Collects.14 Further alteration has been made in the Epistles for S. Stephen's Day and S. John's Day. The former was according to Sarum use a composite lesson made up of the beginning of the sixth and the end of the seventh chapter of the Acts. In place of this only the latter part was retained in 1549, the rest of the two chapters was assigned to the second Lessons. On S. John's Day a new Epistle was provided from the opening words of his First Epistle to take the place of the old Lesson from Ecclesiasticus. In other respects the Lessons for these three days remained substantially the same.15

The Rubric directs the Collect of the Nativity to be said on all these days and until New Year's Eve: consequently. no special Collect is required for the Sunday after Christmas Day. The Epistle is the old Epistle for that day, but in place of the old Gospel is appointed the passage which in the old scheme was assigned to the Mass of Christmas Eve.16

The Lessons.
Isa . ix, 1-7 ; vii. 10-16.
Luke ii. 1-14.
Tit. iii. 4-8.

The Psalms.

The Circumcision has acquired more distinction in the Prayer Book than it had before in the Latin services. Originally regarded as the Octave of Christmas, its service remained unaltered when the title was charged and consequently there was nothing in the old service except the brief Gospel (S. Luke ii. 21) which bore upon the Circumcision. In 1549 a new Collect was written17 and a special Epistle was appointed bearing upon the subject, while the old Gospel was enlarged by the prefixing of six additional verses. The festival thus commemorates the obedience of Jesus Christ to the law in the fulfilment of a perfect righteousness.
The Circum-cision.
The first Morning Lesson gives an account of the institution of Circumcision; and the Gospel, of the Circumcision of Christ: the first Evening Lesson, and the second Lessons, and the Epistle, all show that, though the outward rite is abrogated, the spiritual circumcision of the heart is required in order to our acceptance with God.

A rubric was added here in 1552, which shows that the idea of a daily Communion, as the successor of the daily Latin Mass, had by that time passed away:— If there be a Sunday between the Epiphany and the Circumcision there shall be used the same Collect, Epistle and Gospel at the Communion which was used upon the day of Circumcision. This rubric continued until the last revision, when the old ideal again came forward, and it was expressly provided that The same Collect, Epistle, and Gospel shall serve for every day after unto the Epiphany.

The Lessons.
Gen. xvii. 9.
Deut. x. 12.
Rom. ii, Col. ii. 8-17.

For the Epiphany the Collect18 and Gospel are taken from the old services; but a new passage is assigned for the Epistle instead of the old Lesson from Isaiah, which was transferred to be the first Lesson at Mattins. These show clearly the design of the feast, which is to show our gratitude to God for admitting the Gentiles to those religious privileges, which had been confined to the Jews. There are three manifestations of our Saviour commemorated on this day: the first, mentioned in the Collect and' the Gospel, the declaration of the birth of Christ to the Wise Men of the East;19 the second, related in the second Morning Lesson, the manifestation of the Trinity at the, baptism of Christ;20 the third is the manifestation of the glory and divinity of Christ by His first miracle of turning water into wine, related in the second Evening Lesson. The first Lessons contain prophecies of the increase of the Church by the abundant access of the Gentiles; and the Epistle declares that the mystery of the Gospel was revealed to them.

The Epiphany.

Its design.

The Lessons.
Luke iii. 15-22.
John 3. 1-11.
Isa. lx.
Isa. xlix. 13-23.


From Christmas to Epiphany the design of the proper services is to set forth the humanity of our Saviour; and from Epiphany to Septuagesima to show the divine nature of the Son of Man by relating in the Gospels some of His first miracles. The Epistles here show signs of being part of a continuous series which apparently began with the Epistles to the Romans and went through the Pauline Epistles in order at least as far as the end of the Colossians. It must at first have been designed for the uneventful Sundays after Epiphany and after Trinity: in its present shape it has evidently gone through some dislocation, but the outline of the scheme is clearly visible both in that part of the series which comes here and in the longer part which comes after Trinity Sunday.21

The Sundays after Epiphany were differently treated in the different old Latin Service Books. The Sacramentary made provision for six Sundays, the Gradual only for three, the Comes for six Epistles generally and for ten Gospels. After the introduction of the observance of the Octave of the Epiphany the Sundays were reckoned from it and no longer from the day; there was then no need for more than five, and consequently only five were provided for in the Sarum Missal. But in 1549 a return was made to the older and simpler reckoning of the Sundays from the festival itself and not from the octave. Consequently some provision was needed for a sixth Sunday; which, as being seldom required, was supplied by a rubric:— The sixth Sunday (if there be so many) shall have the same Psalm [Introit], Collect, Epistle, and Gospel, that was upon the fifth Sunday. Our present Collect, Epistle, and Gospel were appointed in 1661. They do not follow the old lines but are entirely new, and in fact they are designed to refer more particularly to the manifestation of Christ's glory at His second coming, because they are more commonly read on the second Sunday before Advent,22 than on the sixth Sunday after the Epiphany.

The rest of the material is drawn from the old books but there are changes in the fourth Sunday:23 the ending of the collect was altered in 1661, the Epistle was changed and the Gospel was considerably lengthened.

After the Epiphany.
From this time the Sundays begin to be reckoned with reference to the coming Easter comprising Lent and the three preceding Sundays.
The Sundays before Lent.
The design of the services on these Sundays is to call us away from the joy of Christmas, in order to prepare ourselves for the fasting and humiliation of Lent; from the manner of Christ's coming into the world, to think of our sins, which were the cause of the sufferings of His life. The first Lessons are taken from those chapters of Genesis which relate the creation and the fall of man, and his wickedness and punishment by the deluge. The design of the Epistles and Gospels is to persuade to acts of self-denial and religious duty, and to recommend charity and faith, as the necessary foundation for all religious actions. They follow the old lines24, but the collect for Quinquagesima is a new composition based upon the Epistle and dating from 1549.



The Lessons.

The name of Ash-Wednesday has survived, although the touching ceremony of receiving ashes upon the forehead as a sign of penitence has not been retained in the Prayer Book. The special services of that day were all abolished, and, except for the Communion service, the day was reduced to the ordinary level of rigid uniformity. The old Epistle and Gospel were retained but a new Collect was provided in 1549, based to some extent upon the old prayer for blessing the ashes.25
The collect of the first Sunday in Lent is also easily recognisable as modern (1549) from its direct dependence upon the Gospel. The remainder26 together with the Epistles and Gospels, read during this season, are continued from the old offices. They set before us the duty of self-denial, and teach us to withstand temptation by recounting Christ's victories over Satan. The fourth Sunday is called Midlent Sunday, or 'the Sunday of refreshment,' probably because the Gospel relates our Saviour's miracle in feeding the five thousand. The fifth is called Passion Sunday, because the commemoration of our Lord's Passion then begins: the Epistle speaks of him as our High Priest, sprinkling his own blood for us; the Gospel relates to one of those conversations with the unbelieving Jews, in which He endured the contradiction of sinners. According to the old system a marked change of attitude was made at Passion tide and especially the triumphal character of the Passion was brought out, e. g. by the special hymns and the red vestments.27 The closing stage of the Victory of the Cross dates from the time when our Lord set His face to go to Jerusalem.
The Quadragesimal fast was closed by the Great Week or the Holy Week. It began on Palm Sunday,28 which was kept throughout Christendom by the Procession of Palms in commemoration of Christ's entry into Jerusalem. The whole week was observed with greater strictness and solemnity than the rest of Lent. This custom is retained in the Church of England by giving a special character to the daily services, in the appointment of Epistles and Gospels for each day, and thus collecting most of those portions of scripture which relate to the crucifixion of our blessed Saviour. These are taken in an orderly course: the history of S. Matthew is read on Palm Sunday, in the second Lesson, and continued in the Gospel; S. Mark's history is read in the Gospels on Monday and Tuesday; S. Luke's on. Wednesday and Thursday; and S. John's on Good Friday. There are no special collects assigned till the Friday, the Epistles have been all transferred and altered, but the reason for the changes is not so clear as it is in the case of the Gospels. The Thursday in this week is called Cœna Domini, and Mandate or Maundy Thursday, from the anthem 'Mandatum novum do vobis' sung at the washing of the feet (Jo. xiii. 34) which gave its name to the ceremony.29
The Holy Week.

The Passions.



Maundy Thursday.



This touching observance together with the solemn Eucharist in commemoration of the Institution of the Sacrament formed the great feature of this eventful day in the old use. The Mass was preceded by the solemn restoration of those who had been ejected as penitents at the beginning of Lent, and it included also, where there was occasion, the solemn consecration of the Holy Oils by the Bishop, viz. the oil for anointing the sick, the Holy Oil for the catechumens and the oil for chrism, that is the mixture of oil and balsam which was used at Baptism and Confirmation as well as for some less constant purposes. After the Mass came the stripping and washing of the altars and then the Maundy. None of these special ceremonies have been prescribed in the Prayer Book30: the use of oil disappeared in 1552, the penitential system was reluctantly given up and only the Maundy survived as a Royal function which has steadily receded from its old character.31
Good Friday and Easter Even have always been distinguished from the rest of the days of the year by the fact that no celebration of the Eucharist took place on them: the church fasted because the Bridegroom was taken away. The services of those days were originally somewhat similar to the Ante-communion service prescribed by the Prayer Book — that is to say, the earlier part of the Liturgy was used by itself, as was in fact done also on other days of service, such as Station Days, whenever there was no consecration of the Holy Sacrament. This service survived in the peculiar Latin office of Good Friday, which consisted of Lessons divided by collects and singing, and followed by a solemn, series of special intercessions. To this primitive service other features were added at a later date. First the veneration of the cross, which began in Jerusalem as early as the fourth century32 and spread from there to the West, being finally adopted with Gallican embellishments into the Roman Liturgy. The second addition was the solemn Communion from the Sacrament that had been reserved on the previous day, which has been ill-named 'The Mass of the Presanctified': it was made with special pomp and circumstance on this day; but in fact it is only what would naturally take place in communicating solemnly from the reserved sacrament: and a similar rite does actually take place in the Eastern Church on solemn days when there is no celebration of the Liturgy proper.

Good Friday.


The Liturgy.



Additional ceremonies.

In the Prayer Book Good Friday33 is brought into line with all other days of the year, except that the provision of three special collects keeps a slight trace of the old solemn prayers of the day.34 No direction is given as to celebrating the Eucharist, consequently the old custom must be presumed to stand, though it has not been universally maintained. The solemn reading of the Passion belongs specially to this day.35 According to the use of the Prayer Book, it is fitly taken from S. John's Gospel, because he was present at the crucifixion; and from his example we may learn not to be ashamed or afraid of the cross of Christ. The Epistle shows the insufficiency of Jewish sacrifices, and urges that they typified the one oblation of the Saviour, who made full satisfaction for the sins of the whole world: the Collects contain expressions of boundless charity, praying that the effects of His death may be as universal as the design of it. The proper Psalms were selected at the last revision: they were all composed for times of great distress, and most of them belong mystically to the sufferings of our Saviour; especially the 22d, of which several passages were literally fulfilled by the events of the crucifixion.36 The first Morning Lesson relates Abraham's readiness to offer up his son Isaac, which has always been regarded as a type of the sacrifice of the Son of God: and the first Evening Lesson contains the clearest prophecy of that sacrifice.37

The present services.

The Psalms.


The Lessons.
Gen. xxii, 1-19.
Isa. lii. 13 and liii.

The last day of the Great Week, called Easter Even.38 was a fast-day of the universal Church. It is kept holy in memory of Christ's resting in the grave, and of His descent into hell. No services were held on the day itself according to old custom, but with the beginning of the Easter Vigil the liturgical activity recommenced. However, the custom grew up in the early middle age of anticipating the Easter Vigil, and so its services came to be looked upon as those of Easter Even.

The Prayer Book has deserted the customs of antiquity and has provided special services for this day, but taken no account of the services of the Easter Vigil. The Collect first appeared in the Scottish Book,39 and after much alteration was inserted here in 1661. The Epistle and Gospel are newly selected with reference to the events of the day.

The principal ceremonies of the Vigil were the Vigil service proper, a long series of lessons, chants and collects; then the baptismal ceremonies, hereafter to be discussed.40 and finally the Vigil Mass, which, like the service of Good Friday, retained its primitive simplicity of form. Prefixed to these were two subsidiary and later ceremonies of great beauty, viz., the blessing of new fire and the solemn blessing of the Paschal Candle: the roots of these probably lie very far back in pagan times; in their christianized form they appear early in church use, and gain great symbolism and beauty from being brought into close connexion with the Resurrection.41

Easter Even.

The long fast of Lent and the solemnities of the Holy Week are closed by the festival of Easter.42 The Latin services of mediaeval times began then to revert to their ordinary form after the peculiarities and archaisms of the three preceding days. But one special feature has left its mark upon the Prayer Book. After the veneration of the Cross on Good Friday, the Cross itself with the Reserved Sacrament was laid in the 'Sepulchre,' a special place of repose situated generally on the north side of the sanctuary; traces of this are discernible still in a good number of our ancient churches. Before Mattins on Easter morning a procession went to the Sepulchre, the host was taken thence and laid upon the altar; the Cross was then carried in procession to a side altar: meanwhile the Antiphon, 'Christ rising again from the dead' and its Verse were sung; then after a versicle and collect the Cross was again venerated. From this service are derived the present Easter anthems.

In 1549 this introductory service was retained :—

    'In the Morning afore Mattins, the people being assembled in the church, these Anthems shall be first solemnly sung or said.
    Christ rising again from the dead, &c. Hallelujah. Hallelujah.'
    Christ is risen again, the firstfruits, &c. Hallelujah.
    The Priest. Shew forth to all nations the glory of God.
    The Answer. And among all people his wonderful works.

Let us pray.

O God, who for our redemption didst give thine only-begotten Son to the death of the cross; and by His glorious resurrection hast delivered us from the power of our enemy: Grant us so to die daily from sin, that we may evermore live with Him in the joy of His resurrection; through the same Christ our Lord.' 43

There was also provision made for two Communions: the first comprised the old Easter Collect.44 the Epistle of the Vigil Mass, and the Gospel of the following Saturday; the second had an enlarged edition of the old Epistle and Gospel of Easter Day, with a new collect formed from the Epistle; the Collect for the first Communion was to be said also on Monday, and that for the second Communion on Tuesday and on the following Sunday.

At the revision of the Prayer Book in 1552, the above two anthems, omitting the Hallelujahs, were appointed to take the place of Venite, and the rest of the service was dropped, as was also the second Communion. The Collect for the first Communion was appointed for Easter Day, Monday in Easter Week, and the Sunday after Easter; and the Collect for the second Communion was appointed for Tuesday in Easter Week. And so it continued until the last revision, when the present new first Anthem was prefixed to the old ones, the Collect for Easter Day appointed to be used throughout the week, and the Collect for the second Communion (1549) appointed for the Sunday after Easter, where it no longer has any connexion with the Epistle.45






The Early Procession.

So little variety occurs in our usual services, that even this minimum of change on Easter Day distinctly marks the festival. After the Absolution and Lord's Prayer, the office of praise is begun with Anthems proper to the day instead of the daily Invitatory Psalm. This reference to the festival is maintained in the proper Psalms. Ps. ii. is a prophetical representation of the kingly and priestly offices of Christ, after He had been violently opposed by His adversaries. Ps. lvii., referring to David's deliverance from Saul, in a mystical sense contains Christ's triumph over death and hell. Ps. cxi. is a thanksgiving for all the marvellous works of our redemption, of which the crowning wonder was the resurrection. Ps. cxiii. is a thankful commemoration of the glory and condescension of God, which was never more discernible than in the work of redemption. Ps. cxiv. is a thanksgiving for the deliverance of Israel from Egypt, which was a type of our deliverance from sin and death. And Ps. cxviii., which celebrates the peace of David's kingdom when the ark had been brought into Jerusalem, refers prophetically to the kingdom of Christ.
The Psalms.
The first Lessons contain an account of the institution of the Passover, the type of 'Christ our Passover;' and of the deliverance of the Israelites by passing through the Red Sea, — a type of our deliverance from the death of sin by baptism. The Gospel and the second Evening Lesson relate the first appearance of Jesus risen.46 The Lessons from the Revelation represent Him, as the Son of man, and as the Lamb that was slain, in the glory of heaven. The Epistle shows the effect of the resurrection on the heart and life of the Christian.

The Lessons.
Exod. .xii. Exod.xiv.

John xx. 11-18.
Rev. i. 10-18.
Rev. v.

The Latin rituals had special Masses for every day in Easter week, but according to Sarum use the first three days were distinguished above the rest as double feasts. In the Prayer Book special provision was made for only two days. The old Collects were discarded, but the Epistles and Gospels were retained, recounting the principal testimonies to the Resurrection. The following Sunday, called in England traditionally Low Sunday, is counted as the Octave of Easter. Throughout the week the newly-baptized wore their white baptismal robes and processions were made to the font: with this Sunday these ceremonies were brought to a close.47

Easter Week.



Low Sunday.

The first Lessons on Monday and Tuesday in Easter week point to the joy of the resurrection: the Song of Moses on the escape of Israel from the death which had overtaken the Egyptians: the Bride, after long waiting, now rejoicing in the Bridegroom's presence: the promise of victory over our spiritual enemy as often as we smite in trusting obedience; and the rising from death of those who by faith touch Him who died, and was buried, and rose again: and the calling from the grave of the great army of the resurrection. The Gospels and Second Lessons for these days continue the story of the day of the resurrection; concluding with the appearance of Jesus to the seven disciples on the shore of the sea of Tiberias, the draught of fishes so carefully numbered, and the charge to Peter.

Exod. xv. to v.22.

Cant. ii. v. 10.
2 Kings xiii, 14-22.
Ezek. xxxvii. to v. 15.

Matt. xxviii. to v.10.
Luke xxiv. to v. 13.
John xxi.

The joyful commemoration of our Saviour's resurrection, and the promise of the Comforter, are the principal subjects of the Gospels from Easter to Ascension Day; while the Epistles exhort to the practice of those duties which are answerable to the Christian profession.
The only deviations from the Latin services are in the Collects of the first and second Sundays, which come from 1549.48 It has already been shown that at an early stage of the Reformation all other religious processions were abolished, except the perambulation of parishes on the three Rogation days before the Ascension. No office, however, was appointed in the Prayer Book for use on such occasions.49 Only a Homily was provided, which is divided into four parts, three to be read on the Rogation Days, and the fourth on the day of the perambulation.



Of the Proper Psalms and Lessons appointed for the day of the Ascension, Ps. viii. is a song of praise for creation, and the appointment of man to be lord of this world; but in a prophetical sense it sets forth the mercy of God in exalting our human nature above all creatures, which was fulfilled when the Son of God took our nature and ascended with it to heaven. Ps. xv. shows how justly our Saviour, as the perfect and the pattern man, ascended to the holy hill of God, and thus points out the qualifications which we must endeavour to attain, if we would follow Him there. Ps, xxi. Was eminently fulfilled in our Lord's victory over death, and in His ascension, when, having put all His enemies to flight, He was exalted in His own strength. Ps. xxiv. which celebrates the occasion of bringing the ark into the place which David had prepared for it on Mount Sion, has always been interpreted with reference to the exaltation of Christ, the King of Glory, who passed through the everlasting doors, when He went back to His own glory in Heaven: Ps. xlvii. likewise, a song of praise for the victories of Israel over the surrounding nations, is applied to the Christian Church, whose Head and Lord is the great King upon all the earth, and has gone up with a merry noise: and Ps. cviii. calls upon us to give thanks to God, for setting Himself above the heavens, and being Lord both of Jews and heathens. In the first Lessons, the Son of Man is seen coming with the clouds of heaven — a vision first of the incarnation, then of the glorified humanity of the Saviour: and Elijah taken up, and the communication of a double portion of his spirit to Elisha, which prefigured our Saviour, who after His ascension sent down the Holy Ghost upon His Apostles. The Collect,50 Epistle and Gospel for Ascension Day were taken from the old offices.
The Ascension.

The Lessons.
Dan. vii. 9-14.

2 Kings ii to v. 16.



The ten days after the Ascension are sometimes called Expectation Tide: they commemorate that anxious period during which the Apostles tarried at Jerusalem, in earnest expectation of the promised gift of the Comforter.
A new Collect was composed in 1549 for the Sunday after Ascension Day, taken from an Anthem which had been sung at Evensong on Ascension Day;51 but the old Epistle and Gospel were kept.
Sunday after Ascension Day.
The festival of Whitsuntide corresponds with the Jewish feast of Pentecost. That commemorated the delivery of the Law on Mount Sinai, fifty days after the Passover; and after the same interval52 from the true Passover when Christ was offered for us, the Holy Ghost was given to the Christian Church. The name of Pentecost has therefore been retained for the festival, and this has passed into the English Whitsunday.53 The Vigil no longer retains the special services by which in old days it rivalled the Easter Vigil, nor any special baptismal significance as formerly.
Whitsunday, or Pentecost.
Proper Psalms are appointed, the first three of which were sung at Mattins in .the old offices. Ps. xlviii. is a hymn in honour of Jerusalem, as particularly chosen for the place of God's worship, and also an expression of thankfulness that we are permitted to meet in His service, and wait for His loving-kindness. Ps. lxviii. contains a prophetical description of the ascension of Christ, who went up on high, and led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men; and, when the Lord gave the word, great was the company of the preachers. Ps. civ. was probably selected for this day from the similitude between the natural and spiritual creation; and because it speaks of the renewal of the earth by the breath of God. Ps. cxlv. is a song of thanksgiving, recounting the attributes of God, and His care over His creatures, which is chiefly seen in opening His kingdom to them by the atonement of His Son, and the gift of His Spirit.

The first Lessons contain the law of the Jewish Pentecost, and a prophecy of the conversion of Jews and Gentiles through the ministration of the Spirit of God; and from the New Testament we read our Lord's promise of this gift, its fulfilment, and the manner of life of those who are led by the Spirit.54

The Collect55 Epistle and Gospel are taken from the old Offices.

The Lessons.
Deut. .xvi. 1-17.
Isa. xi.
Ezek. xxxvi. 25.
Rom. viii. 1-17.
Gal. v. 16. Acts .xviii. 24. -xix. 20.

The Collect

In early times the Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of this week were considered as festivals in the same way as Easter week, but here also only the first two days have any special provision: this leaves the way more open for the Ember days following: for under the old system there had been a clashing on the Wednesday between the earlier observance of it as part of the Whitsuntide festival and the later observance as an Ember Day. The Epistles read on the Monday and Tuesday are part of a series of three lessons from the Acts of the Apostles recounting the manifestations of the work of the Holy Spirit: the Gospels for Monday and Tuesday are part of a similar trio from S. John's Gospel, giving our Lord's teaching about Himself as the Light of the World, the Good Shepherd and the Bread of Life. The present first Lessons furnish instances from the Old Testament of the ministry of the Holy Ghost: the confusion of tongues at Babel, which was repaired by the gift of tongues to the Apostles; the resting of God's Spirit upon the seventy elders; the dew of blessing watering the Church with sacramental grace; and the Gentiles coming to the mountain of the Lord, to be taught His ways. The second Lessons teach us to use spiritual gifts to edification; to take heed not to quench the Spirit, nor to despise His prophecies; but because many false prophets are gone into the world, to try all teachers who boast of the Spirit, by the rules of the Catholic Faith.
Monday and Tuesday in Whitsun week.

The Lessons.

Gen. xi. 1-9.
Numb. xi. 16-30.

Joel. ii. 21.

Micah iv. 1-7.
1 Cor. xii., xiii.

1 Thes. v. 12-23.
1 John iv. 1-13.

In early days the Sunday following Whitsunday was kept merely as its octave. The service of the Trinity came into existence first as a Votive Mass: it then became customary (apparently first in England and in the Xth or Xlth century) to use this upon the Octave of Pentecost as a day more especially appropriate:56 and from this arose the festival of Trinity Sunday, designed to sum up all the dogmatic teaching of the first half of the year in a solemn commemoration of God the Blessed Trinity. Following English custom, the succeeding Sundays are in the Prayer Book reckoned after Trinity and not after Pentecost.
Trinity Sunday a festival of the Western Church.

The Jews, living among idolatrous nations, were especially enjoined to remember the unity of God: hence the mystery of the Trinity was not clearly delivered to them. Yet portions of the Old Testament receive their full interpretation from this doctrine, and are therefore read on Trinity Sunday:— the song of the Seraphim; the appearance of Jehovah to Abraham, when three men stood by him; and the work of the Word of God, and of the spirit of God in creation, and the phrase, Let us make man. In the Lessons from the New Testament, the vision is read of the Eternal One, the seven Spirits before His throne, and Jesus Christ, the Saviour and the Judge: S. Paul's seven unities-one body, one Spirit, one hope, one Lord, one faith, one baptism-one God and Father of all : and the baptism of Jesus, with the testimony of the voice from heaven, and the descent of the Holy Ghost upon the beloved Son. The Epistle and Gospel are the same that were read in the old offices on the Octave of Pentecost, the last day of the more solemn time of baptism, to which the Gospel refers. Yet they are well suited to the festival, under its more modern name of Trinity Sunday: for the three Persons of the Godhead are mentioned in the Gospel; and the portion appointed for the Epistle contains the Hymn of the Angels, with its threefold ascription of praise to God.

The Collect,57 Epistle and Gospel are continued from the old service.


The Lessons.

Isa. iv. to v. 11.
Gen. .xxiii

Gen. i., ii. to v.·4.

Rev. i. to v.·9·

Eph. iv. to v. 17.

Matt. iii.

The Collects,58 Epistles, and Gospels for the Sundays after Trinity are taken in the order in which they stood in the Sarum Missal,59 The Epistles60 are a series of exhortations to the practice of Christian virtues, and form part of that dislocated series of readings taken in order from S. Paul's Epistles which has already been noticed.61 The Gospels are selected from the parables, miracles, and conversations of our Lord, and in many cases are meant to be illustrative of the teaching of the Epistle.

The Epistles and Gospels for the first four Sundays of the series are later additions: the former are taken from the Epistles of S. John and S. Peter, and are outside the Pauline series62; the corresponding Gospels are wanting in many ancient books.

Sundays after Trinity.
In the services of the Holy Days the arrangement follows the order of the later Latin Service-books; when the course for the Sundays and fixed festivals of the ecclesiastical year beginning with Advent, has been completed, the Collects are given for those Saints' days, the position of which will continually vary with respect to the Sundays. When the Kalendar was reformed it was necessary to compose a considerable number of new Collects, since many of the old Collects were mainly prayers for the saints' intercession. The Epistles and Gospels that had been read on these days were generally retained; and proper first Lessons were appointed from the Books of Proverbs and Ecclesiastes, or from the Apocryphal Books of Ecclesiasticus and Wisdom. Only four chapters are now read from the Apocrypha on these days. For some few, which have their own proper history, second Lessons are appointed.

The Saints' Days.

New Collects composed.



The Lessons.

The Collect for S. Andrew's Day, composed in 1549, referred to the sufferings of his death:63 this was changed in 1552 for an entirely new Collect, making mention of his ready obedience to the calling of Christ. The Collect for S. Thomas' Day dates from 1549: that of the Conversion of S. Paul is derived from the Latin: and then follow a series with a similar origin comprising those for the Purification, Annunciation, and S. Mark's Day64 broken only by the Collect of S. Matthias' Day which was written in 1549. Then follows a series of Reformation Collects for the festivals of SS. Philip and James (which has also a new Epistle), of S. Barnabas (which has the Roman in place of the Sarum Gospel), of S. John Baptist (with a new Epistle), of S. Peter and of S. James (with a new Epistle). The Prayer Book in 1549 also retained a Collect in commemoration of S. Mary Magdalene.65 The feast of S. John the Baptist differs from the other festivals in commemorating his birth. It is the only nativity, besides those of Jesus Christ Himself and His Blessed Mother, that is kept by the Church. The reason for this difference appears to be, that the birth of the Baptist was foretold by an angel, and brought to pass after an uncommon manner. He was also the forerunner of our Blessed Lord, and by preaching repentance prepared the road for the publishing of the Gospel.

The Collects.


St. Mary Magdalene.
St. John the Baptist.




Of the remainder the festivals of S. Bartholomew and Michaelmas are alike in taking Collect and Gospel from the Latin66 but having a new Epistle, while the days of S. Matthew, S. Luke and SS. Simon and Jude have a new Collect as well as a new Epistle, and All Saints' Day has a new Collect.


1 See below, p. 550.

2 For a good instance of this procedure, the solemn prayers of Good Friday printed below, p. 537.

3 Collecta = collectio. 'Sequitur oracio quam collectam dicunt, eo quod sacerdos, qui legatione fungitur pro populo ad Dominum, omnium petitiones ea oratione colligat atque concludat.' Micrologus, iii., in Hittorp, 734.


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4 Certain rules governed the ending in order to ensure that it was in harmony with the collect. These may be seen in full in Use of Sarum, i. 240, with the hexameter verses which served as a 'memoria technica' for the rules. They are given more briefly in the York Missal, thus :—
    'Si dirigitur sermo ad Patrem absque mentione Filii et Spiritus Sancti, sic finietur: Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium tuum: Qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus per omnia sæcula sæculorum. Si vero de Spiritu Sancto fiat mentio, dicetur: In unitate ejusdem Spiritus Sancti Deus, &c. Si vero de Filio fiat mentio ante fillalem .partem, dicetur. Per eundem Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium, &c. Si vero in fine fit mentio de Filio, dicetur: Qui tecum vivit: et regnat, &c. Si autem ad Filium dirigitur oratio sine mentione Spiritus Sancti, dicetur: Qui vivis et regnas cum Deo Patre in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, &c. Si fiat mentio de Spiritu Sancto, dicetur: Qui cum Patre et eodem Spiritu Sancto vivis et regnas, &c. Item orationes ad Patrem in quibus mentionem de Trinitate facimus, sic concludimus: In qua vivis et regnas Deus, &c. Illas autem quas ad ipsam Trinitatem dirigimus; sic finimus: Qui vivis et regnas Deus,' &c. Maskell, Ancient Liturgy, p. 30 [p. 43, ed. 1882] note, and Miss. Ebor. (Surtees Soc., vol. 59), i. 169.
    In the Prayer Book the collects were left without their endings until 1661, when they were at last to some extent, but not satisfactorily or adequately, supplied.

5 See above, p. 467.

6 See above, pp. 409, 418.

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7 Another of the series, however, stands at what is now called, the Sunday before Advent, but which used to be reckoned with the Advent Sundays as the Fifth Sunday before Christmas. See below, p. 555.

8 The following are the Collects in the Sarum Missal :—
    'Excita, quæsumus, Domine, potentiam tuam, et veni: ut ab imminentibus peccatorum nostrorum periculis te mereamur protegente eripi, te liberante salvari. Qui vivis.
    Excita, Domine, corda nostra ad præparandas unigeniti tui vias: ut per ejus adventum purificatis tibi mentibus servire mereamur. Qui tecum.
    Aurem tuam, quæsumus, Domine, precibus nostris accommoda : et mentis nostræ tenebras gratia tuæ visitationis illustra. Qui vivis.
    Excita, quæsumus, Domine, potentiam tuam, et veni: et magna nobis virtute succurre: ut per auxilium gratiæ tuæ quod nostra peccata præpediunt, indulgentia tuæ propitiationis acceleret. Qui vivis.'

9 It was suggested by Wren: Fragm. Ill. 65.

10 See above, p. 465. The Hereford Missal had an unusual Gospel for the first Sunday, while the Roman Missal is here full of innovations. The Epistle for the first Sunday has been considerably lengthened.

11 In nocte Ad Sanctam Mariam Majorem: Mane prima Ad Sanctam; Anastasiam: In die Ad Sanctum Petrum. In the Sarum Missal the titles were Missa in Gallicantu, In Aurora and In die Nat. tercia missa, The three are mentioned by S. Gregory, Homil. viii. 1 (P. L. LXXVI. 1103), and also in the, Gelasian Postcommunion of the first Christmas Mass, 'Læti domine.'

12 The Collect at the first Communion was taken from the Mass; In vigilia: 'Deus qui nos redemptionis nostræ annua expectatione lætificas; prµsta ut unigenitum tuum, quem redemptorem læti suscipimus, venientem quoque judicem securi videamus:' the Epistle and Gospel from the Mass In galli cantu, viz. Titus ii, 11-15 and S. Luke, ii. 1-14· These have been reinserted in the American Book for use at the first Communion where there are two.

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13 The Morning Lessons had been read among the Lessons at Mattins, Part of the second Evening Lesson was the 'Little Chapter,' read 'ad sextam.'
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14 The old Collects were :—
    For S. Stephen: 'Da nobis quæsumus Domine imitari quod colimus; ut discamus et inimicos diligere: quia ejus natalitia celebramus, qui novit etiam pro persecutoribus exorare Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium tuum. Qui tecum.'
    The Collect until 1661 was, 'Grant us, O Lord, to learn to love our enemies, by the example of thy martyr Saint Stephen, who prayed for his persecutors, to thee which livest, &c.'
   For S. John:
    'Ecclesiam tuam quæsumus Domine benignus illustra: ut beati Johannis apostoli tui et evangelistæ illuminata doctrinis, ad dona perveniat sempiterna. Per.'
    The words, 'may so walk in the light of thy truth,' were added in 1661.
    For the Holy Innocents:
    'Deus cujus hodierna die præconium innocentes martyres non loquendo sed moriendo confessi sunt : omnia in nobis vitiorum mala mortifica; ut fidem tuam quam lingua nostra loquitur, etiam moribus vita fateatur. Qui cum Deo.'
    The Collect until 1661 was, 'Almighty God, whose praise this day the young Innocents thy witnesses have confessed and showed forth, not in speaking, but in dying: mortify and kill all vices in us, that in our conversation our life may express thy faith, which with our tongues we do confess: through Jesus Christ our Lord.'

15 Small differences such as the inclusion of an additional verse for the Gospel of S. John's day must, in this present survey, be passed over here and elsewhere.

16 In 1549 it began with the Genealogy (Mat. i. 1), but in 1661 this was excised at Wren's suggestion, and the Gospel was made to begin as of old at the 18th verse.

17 Compare the following Benediction in the Gregorian Sacramentary for this day :—
    'Omnipotens Deus, cujus Unigenitus hodierna die, ne legem solveret, quam adimplere venerat, corporalem suscepit circumcisionem; spiritali circumcisione mentes vestras ab omnibus vitiorum incentivis expurget; et suam in vos infundat benedictionem, &c.' Migne, P. L. LXVIII. 37.

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18 The following is the original of the Collect :—
'Deus, qui hodierna die Unigenitum tuum gentibus stella duce revelasti: concede propitius, ut qui jam te ex fide cognovimus, usque ad contemplandam speciem tuæ celsitudinis perducamur.'

19 See above, p. 323.

20 This was a leading idea of the festival in the Eastern Church: hence it was a solemn time for baptism. and was called τα φωτα ημερα των φωτων τα αγιο φωτα των επιφανιων. Greg. Naz. Orat. in Sancta Lumina, Opp. I. 624; Guericke, p. 164.

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21 Similar signs of dislocation are evident in the series of Gospels for the Sundays after Trinity. The Gospel Books agree as to the portions selected, but place the selections in different order.

22 See the rubric, 25th Sunday after Trinity.

23 The following are the old Collects for the five Sundays :—
    'Vota, quæsumus, Domine, supplicantis populi cœlesti pietate prosequere: ut et quæ agenda sunt videant, et ad implenda quæ viderint convalescant.
    Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, qui cœlestia simul et terrena moderaris: supplicationes populi tui clementer exaudi, et pacem tuam nostris concede temporibus.
    Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, infirmitatem nostram propitius respice; atque ad protegendum nos dexteram tuæ majestatis ostende.
    Deus, qui nos in tantis periculis constitutos pro humana scis fragilitate non posse subsistere: da nobis salutem mentis et corporis; ut ea quæ pro peccatis nostris patimur, te adjuvante, vincamus,
    Familiam tuam, quæsumus, Domine, continua pietate custodi; ut quæ in sola spe gratiæ cœlestis innititur, tua semper protectione muniatur.'

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24 The following were the Collects in the Sarum Missal for these three Sundays:—
    'Preces populi tui, quæsumus, Domine, clementer exaudi; ut qui juste pro peccatis nostris affligimur, pro tui nominis gloria misericorditer liberemur.
    Deus qui conspicis quia ex nulla nostra actione confidimus: concede propitius, ut contra adversa omnia doctoris gentium protectione muniamur.
    Preces nostras, quæsumus, Domine, clementer exaudi; atque a peccatorum vinculis absolutos ab omni nos adversitate custodi.'
    The Epistle of Septuagesima had been continued into the following chapter: this part was omitted in 1549, as introducing another distinct subject. The Epistle of Sexagesima had been continued to the ninth verse of chap. xii., and thus included the mention of the glorious revelations given to the great Apostle, whose protection was sought in the prayer of the Collect. This part was omitted in 1549, and the phrase in the Collect altered. The Quinquagesima Collect was full of meaning, taken in connexion with the private confession customary on Shrove Tuesday, and the public ejection of penitents performed on Ash-Wednesday: but it lost its appropriateness when the latter was reluctantly given up, and the former was left to individual discretion, and no longer maintained as a custom for all the faithful.

25 'Omnipotens sempiterne Domine qui misereris omnium et nihil odisti eorum quæ fecisti,' &c. Miss. Sarum, 147. See further below, pp. 641, 642.

26 The following are the Collects in the Sarum Missal for the Sundays in Lent:—
    'Deus qui ecclesiam tuarn annua quadragesimali observatione purificas: præsta familiæ tuæ, ut quod a te obtinere abstinendo nititur, hoc bonis operibus exequatur.
    'Deus qui conspicis omni nos virtute destitui, interius exteriusque custodi, ut ab omnibus adversitatibus muniamur in corpore et a pravis cogitationibus mundemur in mente.
    Quæsumus, omnipotens Deus, vota humilium respice; atque ad defensionem nostram dexteram tuæ majestatis extende.
    Concede, quæsumus, omnipotens Deus, ut qui ex merito nostræ actionis affligimur, tuæ gratiæ consolatione respiremus.
    Quæsumus, omnipotens Deus, familiam tuam propitius respice; ut te largiente regatur in corpore, et te servante custodiatur in mente.
    Omnipotens sempiterne Deus qui humano generi ad imitandum humilitatis exemplum salvatorem nostrum carnem sumere et crucem subire fecisti: concede quæsumus ut et patientiæ ipsius habere documenta et resurrectionis consortia mereamur.'

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27 For the old English customs of Lent see Feasey, Holy Week Ceremonial.

28 Called Κυριακη των βαιων, dominica palmarum or dominica in ramis palmarum. The ceremony began in Jerusalem at least as early as the IVth century, when it was described by S. Silvia. Peregr. 31. It came at a much later date, and quite gradually into Western Use from the VIIIth century onward, Duchesne, 236. For the mediaeval ceremonies see Feasey.

29 Another common name of the day was shear thursday, 'for in olde faders dayes the peple wolde that daye shere her hedes & clyppe her berdes & polle her hedes, and so make them honest ayenst esterdaye.' Liber Festivalis (ed. 1499) f. 37b.

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30 For a description see Feasey, Holy Week Ceremonial.

31 Queen Elizabeth performed it fully (Nichols, Progresses), but at the present time the service as performed at Westminster Abbey is merely a shortened form of Mattins (without any canticles), enclosing four anthems, two distributions of alms, and two special Collects, one for the Queen, and one referring to the; Maundy.

32 It is described by S. Silvia, Peregr. 37.

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33 This name is peculiar to the Church of England. Holy Friday, or Friday in Holy Week, was its most general appellation: feria sexta in die Parasceves, see Miss. Sar. col. 316: alsoπαρασκευη — ημερα του σταυρου — dies dominica passionis — σωτηριω — dies absolutionis.

34 The following are the originals of the collects of Good Friday :—
    1. 'Respice, quæsumus, Domine, super hanc familiam tuam, pro qua Dominus noster Jesus Christ us non dubitavit manibus tradi nocentium, et crucis subire tormentum.'
    2. 'Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, cujus Spiritu totum corpus ecclesiæ sanctificatur et regitur: exaudi nos pro universis ordinibus supplicantes, ut gratiæ tuæ munere ab omnibus tibi gradibus fideliter serviatur.'
    The third collect is allied to the following collects with their respective biddings (above, p. 523), which occur among the solemn prayers of the primitive service :—
    'Oremus et pro hæreticis et schismaticis: ut Deus et Dominus noster Jesus Christus eruat eos ab erroribus universis; et ad sanctam matrem ecclesiam catholicam atque apostolicam revocare dignetur. Oremus, Flectamus genua. Levate.
    Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, qui salvas omnes homines et neminem vis perire; respice ad animas diabolica fraude deceptas: ut omni hæretica pravitate deposita errantium corda resipiscant, et ad veritatis tuæ redeant unitatem.
    Oremus et pro perfidis Judæis: ut Deus et Dominus noster auferat velamen de cordibus eorum; ut et, ipsi agnoscant Jesum Christum Dominum nostrum. Oremus. Non dicitur hic. Flectamus genua. Levate.
    Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, qui etiam Judaicam perfidiam a tua misericordia non repellis: exaudi preces nostras quas pro illius populi obcæcatione deferimus; ut agnita veritatis tuæ luce quæ Christus est, a suis tenebris eruatur.
    Oremus et pro paganis: ut Deus omnipotens auferat iniquitatem de cordibus eorum; ut relictis idolis suis convertantur ad Deum vivum et verum, et unicum Filium ejus Jesum Christum Deum et Dominum nostrum: cum quo vivit et regnat cum Spiritu Sancto Deus, Per omnia sæcula sæculorum. Oremus. Flectamus genua. Levate.
    Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, qui non vis mortem peccatorum, sed vitam semper inquiris: suscipe propitius orationem nostram et libera eos ab idolorum cultura; et agrega ecclesiæ tuæ sanctæ ad laudem et gloriam nominis tui.'
    In 1549, the; first Collect only was appointed to be said at Mattins; and at Communion, the first Collect and that for the King, followed by the second and third Collects.

35 St. August. Serm. CCXVIII. De Passione Domini in Parasceve. (Opp. V. 959, ed. Bened.): 'Cujus sanguine delicta nostra deleta sunt, solemniter legitur passio, solemniter celebratur.' The history of the Passion was read from St. Matthew's Gospel (Serm. CCXXXII.): 'Passio autemquia uno die legitur, non solet legi, nisi secundum Matthæum : volueram aliquando ut per singulos annos secundum omnes Evangelistas etiam passio legeretur.'

36 Ps. xxii. was sung on this day in the time of S. Austin: Enar. ii. in Ps. xxi, Opp. IV. 94.

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37 Among the rites practised in England on Good Friday was a ceremony of blessing cramp-rings by the King. which were supposed to prevent the falling-sickness. The form used on these occasions is printed in Maskell, Mon. Rit. III. p. 335 [p. 391]: Stephens, B. C. P. with Notes, pp. 921 and ff.

38 Το μεγα (or το αγιον)σαββατον, sabbatum magnum.

39 'O most gracious God, look upon us in mercy, and grant that as we are baptized into the death of thy Son our Saviour Jesus Christ, so by our true and hearty repentance all our sins may be buried with Him, and we not fear the grave: that as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of Thee, O Father, so we may walk in newness of life; but our sins never be able to rise in judgment against us, and that for the merit of Jesus Christ, that died, was buried, and rose again for us.'

40 See Ch. XIV.

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41 See Duchesne, 239-246. W. M. G. 270 and ff. Feasey, l.c, and the Sarum Processional for fuller details.

42 Dies dominicæ resurrectionis: εορτη πασχαλιος, αναστασιμος κυριακη μεγαλη το πασχα η πασχαγια, or τα πασχαγια. Guericke, p. 151. The most probable derivation of Easter is from the Anglo-Saxon goddess, 'Eostre.' in whose honour special sacrifices were offered at the opening of the Spring season. See Beda, De Temp. Rat. C. xv. Opp. (ed. Giles) vi. 179.

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43 'An. Christus resurgens ex mortuis jam non moritur, mors illi ultra non dominabitur. Quod enim vivit, vivit Deo. Alleluia, Alleluia. Verso Dicant nunc Judæi, &c.
    V. Surrexit Dominus de sepulchro.
    R. Qui pro nobis pependit in ligno. Alleluia.
    Oratio. Deus, qui pro nobis Filium crucis patibulum subire voluisti, ut inimici a nobis pelleres potestatem: concede nobis famu1is tuis ut in resurrectionis ejus gaudiis semper vivamus.'
    The Invitatory at Mattins was: 'Alleluia, Alleluia. Christus hodie surrexit. Alleluia, Alleluia.'

44 'Deus qui hodierna die per Unigenitum tuum eternitatis nobis aditum devicta morte reserasti: vota nostra quæ præveniendo aspiras etiam adjuvando prosequere.'

45 A Collect (p. 541) with the Epistle and Gospel (1 Cor. v. 6-8; Mar. xvi, 1-8) for the second Communion, in the Book of 1549, was inserted for a first Communion on Easter Day in the American Book (1892).

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46 In S. Austin's time the accounts of the Resurrection were read from each Evangelist in turn during Easter Week. Serm. CCXXXII. Cp. CCXXXV.

47 Dominica in albis, or post albas, sc. depositas; dies novorum, neophytorum; octava infantium; κυριαχη εν λευκοις η καινη κυριαχη, αντιπασχα. 'Saturday in albis, that is Saturday in Easter Week or as it is called with us, Lawson even': in Hearne's Glossary to Langtoft's Chronicle. Law is our modern low: lah in the Ormulum, 15246. So Lawson represents Low Sunday, the close of Easter, clausum pascha. It is called Quasimodo, from the Introit. Dr. Husenbeth (Notes and Queries, 3rd Ser. 1. p. 491) derived the English term Low from Laudes, the first word in the Sequence. Others from Close Sunday. Neither suggestion seems satisfactory.

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48 The following are the Collects of the three remaining Sundays :—
    Third. 'Deus qui errantibus, ut in viam possint redire justitiæ, veritatis tuæ lumen ostendis: da cunctis, qui christiana professione censentur, et illa respuere quæ huic inimica sint nomini, et ea quæ sunt apta sectari.'
    Fourth. 'Deus qui fidelium mentes unius efficis voluntatis: da populis tuis id amare quod præcipis, id desiderare quod promittis, ut inter mundanas varietates ibi nostra fixa sint corda, ubi vera sunt gaudia.'
    Fifth. 'Deus a quo cuncta bona procedunt, largire supplicibus tuis ut cogitemus te inspirante quæ recta sunt, et te gubernarite eadem faciamus.'
    The second was translated in 1549 : 'Almighty God, which dost make the minds of all faithful people to be of one will,' &c. : this was altered in 1661.

49 The Elizabethan Injunctions, however, provided that the curate . . . at certain convenient places shall admonish the people to give thanks to God, in the beholding of God's benefits, for the increase and, abundance of His fruits upon the; face of the earth, with the saying of Ps. civ. Benedic, anima mea. At which time also the same minister shall inculcate this and such like sentences, Cursed be he that translateth the bounds and doles of his neighbour; or such other order of Prayer as shall be hereafter appointed.' Cardwell, Doc. Ann. XLIII. § 19. See Brand's Popular Antiquities, 'Parochial Perambulations in Rogation-week.'

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50 Concede, quæsumus, omnipotens Deus, ut qui hodierna die Unigenitum tuum redemptorem nostrum ad cœlos ascendisse credimus, ipsi quoque mente in cœlestibus habitemus.'

51 'O rex gloriæ, Domine virtutum, qui triumphator hodie super omnes cœlos ascendisti, ne derelinquas nos orphanos, sed mitte promissum patris in nos Spiritum veritatis. Alleluia.' Brev. Sar. i.

52 The fifty days are not counted from the Passover, but from the Sunday following; according to the direction given to the Jews for their feast of Weeks, Levit. xxiii. 15, 16.

53 Professor Skeat is certain that Pentecost was called White Sunday in the northern Churches, and probably because it was the more usual time of Baptism. In England, white was corrupted into whit, and this confused with Wit, as by a writer of the fourteenth century.
    This day Witsonday is cald,
    For wisdom and wit seuene fald
    Was giuen to þe apostles at þis day.'
    Camb. Univ. Libr. MS. Dd. I. i. p. 234. The terms in the Annexed Book, are Whitsunday, and Monday, Tuesday in Whitsun Week.

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54 The Acts of the Apostles have been read during Pentecost from very early times: Chrysost. In. Princ. Act. IV. 5 (Migne P. G. LI. 103).

55 'Deus, qui hodierna die corda fidelium Sancti Spiritus illustratione docuisti: da nobis in eodem Spiritu recta sapere, et de ejus semper consolatione gaudere.' This Collect was in the English Primer in the fourteenth century; Maskell, Mon. Rit. II. p. 28 [III. p. 31]. The words as at this time, were substituted in 1661 for as upon this day; this change had already been made in the Prayer Book for Scotland (1637) in the Collect as said on Monday and Tuesday in Whitsun week.

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56 Another favourite day was the Sunday before Advent. Guericke, 160.
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57 'Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, qui dedisti famulis tuis in confessione veræ fidei seternæ Trinitatis gloriam agnoscere, et in potentia majestatis adorare Unitatem: quæsumus ut ejusdem fidei firmitate ab omnibus semper muniamur adversis.'

58 See additional Note, p. 553, for the originals of all these excepting the second Sunday, which has a new Collect.

59 The oldest books vary greatly in contents for this second half of the year : originally provision was made only for a certain few dominical services, which were repeated as required; and the gradual change from this to the fuller later system has not proceeded with the uniformity which is elsewhere characteristic of the old Roman rite in its early days. The variation is especially noticeable in the Gospels.

60 For the more important changes, see Additional Note.

61 Above, p. 531.

62 One evidence of dislocation occurs here: the Petrine Epistle is now placed on the firth Sunday and a Pauline Epistle on the fourth. There has evidently been some transposition here. Another break in the series is at the 18th Sunday, which is the Sunday of the September Embertide, and therefore treated differently.

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63 'Almighty God, which hast given such grace to thy Apostle Saint Andrew, that he counted the sharp and painful death of the cross to be an high honour, and a great glory: Grant us to take and esteem all troubles and adversities, which shall come unto us for thy sake, as things profitable for us toward the obtaining of everlasting life: through Jesus Christ our Lord.'

64 The following are the originals:
    For S. Paul's Day. 'Deus qui universum mundum beati apostoli tui Pauli predicatione docuisti; da nobis, quæsumus, ut qui ejus hodie conversionem colimus, per ejus ad te exempla gradiamur.'
    The Purification. ' Omnipotens sempiterne, Deus majestatem tuam supplices exoramus, ut sicut unigenitus Filius tuus hodierna die cum nostræ carnis substantia in templo est præsentatus, ita nos facias purificatis tibi mentibus præsentari. Per eundem.'
    The Annunciation. 'Gratiam tuam, quæsumus, Domine, mentibus nostris infunde; ut qui angelo nuntiante Christi Filii tui incarnationem cognovimus, per passionem ejus et crucem ad resurrectionis gloriam perducamur. '
    S. Mark. 'Deus, qui beatum Marcum evangelistam tuum evangelicæ prædicationis gratia sublimasti: tribue, quæsumus, ejus nos semper et eruditione perficere et oratione defendi.'

65 'Merciful Father, give us grace that we never presume to sin through the example of any creature; but if it shall chance us at any time to offend thy divine majesty; that then we may truly repent, and lament the same, after the example of Mary Magdalene, and by lively faith obtain remission of all our sins: through the only merits of thy Son our Saviour Christ.'

66 S. Bartholomew. 'Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, qui hujus did venerandam sanctamque lætitiam in beati Bartholomei Apostoli tui festivitate tribuisti: da ecclesiæ tuæ, quæsumus, et amare quod credidit, et prredicare quod docuit.'
    Michaelmas. 'Deus, qui miro ordine angelorum ministeria hominumque dispensas; concede propitius ut a quibus tibi ministrantibus in cœlo semper assistitur, ab his in terra vita nostra muniatur.'


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The following are the originals of the Collects for the Sundays after Trinity :—

First. Deus, in te sperantium fortitudo adesto propitius invocationibus nostris ; et quia sine te nihil potest mortalis infirmitas, præsta auxilium gratiæ tuæ, ut in exequendis mandatis tuis et voluntate tibi et actione placeamus.

The second Collect dates from 1661.

Third. Deprecationem nostram, quæsumus, Domine, benignus exaudi; et quibus supplicandi præstas affectum, tribue defensionis auxilium.

Fourth. Protector in te sperantium Deus, sine quo nihil est validum, nihil sanctum; multiplica super nos misericordiam tuam, ut te rectore, te duce, sic transeamus per bona temporalia ut non amittamus æterna.

Fifth. Da nobis, quæsumus, Domine, ut et mundi cursus pacifice nobis tuo ordine dirigatur, et ecclesia tua tranquilla devotione lætetur.

Sixth. Deus, qui diligentibus te bona invisibilia præparasti: infunde cordibus nostris tui amoris affectum, ut te in omnibus et super omnia diligentes promissiones tuas, quæ omne desiderium superant, consequamur.

Seventh. Deus virtutum, cujus est totum quod est optimum; insere pectoribus nostris amorem tui nominis, et præsta in nobis religionis augmentum: ut quæ sunt bona nutrias ac pietatis studio quæ sunt nutrita custodias.

Eighth. Deus, cujus providentia in sui dispositione non fallitur, te supplices exoramus, ut noxia cuncta submoveas, et omnia nobis profutura concedas.1

Ninth. Largire nobis, quæsumus, Domine, semper spiritum cogitandi quæ recta sunt propitius, et agendi; ut qui sine te esse non possumus, secundum te vivere valeamus.

Tenth. Pateant aures misericordiæ tuæ, Domine, precibus supplicantium; et ut petentibus desiderata, concedas, fac eos quæ tibi placita sunt postulare.

Eleventh. Deus, qui omnipotentiam tuam parcendo maxime et miserando manifestas; multiplica super nos gratiam tuam, ut ad tua promissa currentes cœlestium bonorum facias esse consortes.2

Twelfth. Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, qui abundantia pietatis tuæ et merita supplicum excedis et vota; effunde super nos misericordiam tuam, ut dimittas quæ conscientia metuit, et adjicias quod oratio non præsumit.

Thirteenth. Omnipotens et misericors Deus, et cujus munere venit ut tibi a fidelibus tuis digne et laudabiliter serviatur; tribue nobis, qæesumus, ut ad promissiones tuas sine offensione curramus.

Fourteenth. Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, da nobis fidei spei et caritatis augmentum; et ut mereamur assequi quod promittis, fac nos amare quod præcipis.

Fifteenth. Custodi, Domine, quæsumus, ecclesiam tuam propitiatione perpetua: et quia sine te labitur humana mortalitas, tuis semper auxiliis et abstrahatur a noxiis, et ad salutaria dirigatur.3

Sixteenth. Ecclesiam tuam, quæsumus, Domine, miseratio continuata mundet et muniat; et quia sine te non potest salva consistere, tuo semper munere gubernetur.

Seventeenth. Tuae nos, Domine, quæsumus, gratia semper et præveniat et sequatur; ac bonis operibus jugitur præstet esse intentos.

Eighteenth. Da quæsumus, Domine, populo tuo diabolica vitare contagia, et te solum Deum pura mente sectari.4

Nineteenth. Dirigat corda nostra, quæsumus, Domine, miserationis operatio, quia tibi sine te placere non possumus.5

Twentieth. Omnipotens et misericors Deus, universa nobis adversantia propitiatus exclude; ut mente et corpore pariter expediti, quæ tua sunt liberis mentibus exequamur.

Twenty-first. Largire, quæsumus, Domine, fidelibus tuis indulgentiam placatus et pacem; ut pariter ab omnibus mundentur: offensis, et secura tibi mente deserviant.

Twenty-second. Familiam tuam, quæsumus, Domine, continua pietate custodi; ut a cunctis adversitatibus te protegente sit libera, et in bonis actibus tuo nomini sit devota.6

Twenty-third. Deus, refugium nostrum et virtus, adesto piis ecclesiæ tuæ precibus, auctor ipse pietatis; et praesta ut quod fideliter petimus efficaciter consequamur.

Twenty-fourth. Absolve, quæsumus, Domine, tuorum delicta populorum; et a peccatorum nostrorum nexibus quæ pro nostra fragilitate contraximus tua benignitate liberemur.7

Twenty-fifth. Excita, quæsumus, Domine, tuorum fidelium voluntates; ut divini operis fructum propensius exequentes pietatis tuæ remedia majora percipiant.8


1 This Collect was simply translated until 1661.

2 The phrase, running the way of thy commandments, may obtain thy gracious promises, was inserted in 1661.

3 The Epistle was appointed in 1549, instead of Gal. v, 25-vi. 10.

4 The phrase, to withstand the temptations of the world, the flesh, and the devil, was inserted in 1661.

5 The words, thy Holy Spirit, were substituted in 1661 for' the working of thy mercy.' The Epistle, Eph. iv, 17-32, was appointed in 1549, instead of the short portion, vv. 23 -28.

6 The beginning of the Epistle was added in 1549; it had commenced thus: "Fratres, confidimus in Domino Jesu, quia qui cepit in vobis opus bonum,' &c. Also the two opening verses were prefixed to the Gospel, showing the occasion on which the parable was spoken.

7 The Epistle, Col. i. 3-12, was appointed in 1549, instead of vv. 9 -11 : also in the Gospel the story was completed by the addition of vv. 23-26.

8 The rubric, directing the use of this Collect, Epistle, and Gospel always on the Sunday next before Advent, is simplified from that in the Sarum Missal, col. 536: 'Cum prolixum fuerit tempus inter inceptionem historiæ, Deus omnium, [i. e. the first Sunday after Trinity:] et Adventum Domini, Officium Dicit Dominus [i. e. the Introit for the Sunday next before Advent] per tres dominicas cantetur, ut supra notatum est, Cum vero breve fuerit tempus, semper proxima dominica ante Adventum Domini, si vacaverit, cantetur, quando de dominica agitur, Dicit Dominus, cum oratione, Excita quæsumus Domine, Epistola, Ecce dies veniunt, Evangelium, Cum sublevasset. Si vero dominica non vacaverit, tune in aliqua feria cantetur, Cæteræ vero dominicæ quæ remanserint in ferialibus diebus cantentur.'
    'If there be twenty-six Sundays after Trinity, the Collect, Epistle, and Gospel for the sixth Sunday after Epiphany shall be used on the twenty-fifth Sunday. If there be twenty-seven Sundays after Trinity, the Collect, &c., for the fifth Sunday after Epiphany shall be used on the twenty-fifth Sunday; and the Collect, &c., for the sixth Sunday after Epiphany shall be used on the twenty-sixth Sunday.' This has been the general rule, and it has the sanction of Convocation (1879). Cp. above, p. 525.


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