|The Book of Common Prayer|
THE OCCASIONAL SERVICES.
THE Occasional Services differ from the foregoing in that they are not properly speaking independent services but are designed wherever it is possible to be combined with the Holy Communion. This character will appear as they are discussed one by one in order.
SECT. I. — Solemnization of Matrimony.
The essence of Matrimony1 is a natural compact not a religious ceremony. The blessing pronounced upon a marriage is subordinate to the contract made by the parties, and therefore, though religious rites have habitually accompanied the marriage ceremonies, they are always only secondary, and not essential to the matrimonial bond: but on the other hand a contract can hardly be called Holy Matrimony or Christian Marriage, which is not sealed by the Church’s blessing. According to the old customs of Rome in heathen times a sacrifice accompanied the legal transactions of marriage: when Christian Matrimony began the Christian Sacrifice of The Eucharist with a solemn benediction took the place of the heathen rites, but otherwise the old transactions went on and continue down to the present time.
They fell into two parts, sometimes kept distinct and sometimes joined;
first came (1) the Sponsalia or betrothal, at which the documents
were signed and four symbolical ceremonies took place :— (a) the
giving of presents (arrhae) or. earnests representing the marriage
settlement, (b) the kiss, (c) the ring, (d) the joining of hands: then
followed (2) the wedding itself according to the ancient rites called Confarreatio.2 The
principal features of this were these; the bridegroom and bride in nuptial
attire, both of them wearing crowns and the bride veiled with the nuptial
veil, took part in the sacrifices, and especially partook in common of
the panis farreus or sacrificial cake made for the purpose by
the Vestal Virgins.
Marriage primarily a natural compact; secondarily religious.
|Already in the time of S. Ignatius
it was recognised that the marriage of Christians needs the recognition
of the Bishop,3 and but little transformation
was needed to make the foregoing ceremonies acceptable to the Christian
conscience. The references to the rites of marriage in early Christian
writers are few: but such as there are bear witness to the adoption of
the customs of the old Roman law. Thus Tertullian speaks of the happiness
of a marriage which is made by the Church, and confirmed by the Holy Sacrifice,
and sealed by the Blessing, and reported by the angels, and ratified by
the Father:4 and elsewhere he speaks of
the veil, the kiss; and the joining of hands.5
||Early Christian custom.|
|No fuller description of the
Western Rites6 is forthcoming till the
Reply of Pope Nicholas I. to the Bulgarians, given in 866, which shows
the continuance of the old customs, and forms a link between the early
days and the later mediæval Service-books.7
As to the nuptial mass, which at least from Tertullian’s time took the place of the pagan sacrifices, it is found in the three early Roman Sacramentaries : in each case besides the usual collects, a special preface8 and Hanc igitur clause were provided for the Canon, and further a form of nuptial Benediction, with collect prefixed, was inserted after the consecration: the Benediction, which corresponds to the old Roman ceremony of the veiling of the Bride, was originally in the form of a eucharistic prayer,9 prefaced by the Salutation and Sursum corda. The Sacramentaries10 vary one from another, and in particular the Benediction in the Gregorian differs from that which figures in the other two, but incorporates towards the end a number of its phrases.11
There is variation also in the other component parts: no lessons for the
nuptial Mass are provided in the earliest forms of the Comes, and consequently,
while the same Epistle is found in general use, different Gospels were
adopted, and e. g. Sarum differs from York. No special chants were provided
for a marriage in the old Antiphonal, and in consequence here again there
is considerable variation.
|In England the usual custom was
to take the Votive Mass of the Trinity as the Mass of Marriage, and to
use it in conjunction with the special lessons and prayers provided by
the Comes and the Sacramentary, but dropping the old Hanc
and substituting the Trinity Preface in the place of the old special Preface:12 but
even in this there was no uniformity:13 Sarum,
Hereford and York all differed in details; and there. were also other less
defined local differences.14
||and English custom.|
|Setting these. aside and taking
the Sarum service as representative of all, it is to be observed that it
embodies (i) the old Roman ceremony of Espousal, followed by (ii) the Benediction
and (iii) the nuptial Mass: this arrangement was closely followed in the
First Prayer Book. The change was here all the less because it had long
been customary to conduct a large part of the service in the vernacular:
moreover the changes made subsequent to 1549 in the English service have
been few and small, so that a simple comparison of the First Prayer Book
with the Sarum service will put the reader in possession of all the main
points of interest.
||The Sarum Service and the First Prayer Book.|
Lo brethren we are comen here before God and his angels and all his
halowes in the face and presence of our moder holy Chyrche for to couple
and to knyt these two bodyes togyder, that is to saye of this man and
of this woman, that they be from this tyme forthe but one bodye and two
soules in the fayth and lawe of God and holy Chyrche, for to deserve
everlastynge lyfe, what somever that they have done here before.’
|This was enlarged in 1549 by
the addition of an explanation of the purpose of marriage:18 and
then followed the address to the parties, also following the old lines.
’I charge you on Goddes behalfe and holy Chirche that, if there be any of you that can say any thynge why these two may not lawfully be wedded togyder at this tyme, say it nowe outher pryuely or appertly in helpynge of your soules and theirs bothe. Also I charge you boythe and eyther be your selfe as ye will answer before God at the day of dome that yf there be any thinge done pryuely or openly betwene yourselfe, or that ye know any lawfull lettyng why that ye may nat be wedded togyder at this tyme say it nowe, or we do any more to this mater.’
The rubric dealing with any case where any impediment was alleged also
is continued in the new service.19
|The espousal followed also in
the vernacular:20 first
the question addressed to each in turn in slightly varying form.
‘N. Wylt thou have this woman to thy wyfe and love
her and wirschipe her [to the woman and to be buxum to him, luf hym,
obeye to him’ and wirschipe hym, serve hym] and kepe her in syknes and
in helthe and in all other degrese be to her as husbande sholde be to
his wyfe, and all other forsake for her, and holde thee only to her to
thy lyves ende?’
Then the plighting of troth is given in both uses in English: the Sarum form lies closer to that of 1549.
’I N. take thee N. to my wedded wife [husband] to have and to hold from this day forward for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, [to be bonere and buxum21 in bed and at the board] till death us departe, if holy Church it will ordain; and, thereto I plight thee my troth.’
When each of the parties had been plighted, the ring with gold and silver were produced by the bridegroom and there followed the blessing of the ring in Latin. This blessing was omitted in 1549 but the ‘tokens of spousage’ were still retained, only to be superseded in 1552 by the paying of ‘the accustomed duty to the Priest and Clerk.’ The formula of the ring ran thus:
’With this ring I thee wed, this gold and silver I thee give, and with my body I thee worship,22 and with all my worldly chattels thee endow?’
And while the invocation of the Holy Trinity was said, the ring was placed upon the thumb and fingers of the bride’s right hand in order, and finally left upon her fourth finger. This ceremony was not expressly directed in 1549 or since, but the wording of the rubric referred to it and seemed to expect its continuance.23
The closing part of the Espousal in the Latin service consisted of (i)
a short blessing, (ii) part of a psalm, (iii) suffrages leading up to (iv)
a collect and (v) a blessing. In the English service alterations were made:
(i) a new prayer of the ring was inserted, based upon the language of the
old collects24 for the blessing of the
ring,25 but turned into a blessing of
the bride and bridegroom instead;26 and
the man was directed to put the ring at once on the fourth finger of the
woman’s left hand instead of following the old custom: (ii) a solemn joining
of hands and (iii) a pronouncement of union were introduced next from the
service in the Consultation:27 finally
(iv) the Espousal closed with the blessing taken from the Latin service.28 The
joining of hands with its formula and the pronouncement of the union were
old customs in many places abroad, but they seem not to have been current
in England till they came in to the Prayer Book through the medium of the Consultation.29
|The second part of the service,
the Nuptiæ or wedding proper, now follows, comprising the
benedictory prayers:30 the Prayer Book
follows very closely the lines of the old service. (i) The psalm was retained,
to be sung as the bridal procession moves into the choir,31 and
the bride and bridegroom take their place, kneeling before the Lord’s Table;
(ii) The suffrages follow; (iii) the two first Latin prayers were compressed
into one English prayer; (iv) the prayer for fruitfulness follows the old
lines; but before (vi) the final blessing32 there
is interpolated in the English service (v) a third English Collect which
represents the old nuptial benediction of the early sacramentaries which
took place after the Canon in the nuptial Mass33:
it was transferred to the present position in 1549 so that all the special
ceremonies and prayers of Matrimony might be kept together and be distinct
from the Eucharist, which was to be celebrated at the close of the marriage
ceremonies in its usual form. The contents and scope of the prayer were
at the same time altered. The old prayer had been designed as a solemn
blessing especially of the Bride, while she was covered with the veil,
which, according to Roman custom even in pagan times, was the symbol of
her marriage. Indeed the whole ceremony, like the Mass itself, had the
Bride and not the Bridegroom in view and was known as the Velatio
nuptialis. In later times when the
old Roman view was no longer current, the veiling of the Bride was so far
modified that a veil or canopy was held over both Bride and Bridegroom,
but the prayers still remained unaltered. The English Prayer Book carried
the same·line of development a stage further and altered the prayer
so as to make it include the Bridegroom as well as the Bride; and thus
to be both more suitable to its altered position and more agreeable to
the altered ideas.
|The nuptial Mass thus lost its
special significance in 1549: it was still ordered that ‘The
new married persons, the same day of their Marriage, must receive the Holy
Communion:34 but this was altered
in 1661, in compliance with the objection of the Presbyterians,35 or
more probably from a conviction that many persons would be married according
to the rites of the Church, who were far from being in real communion with
The Address which was provided in 1549 is of the nature of a homily, showing the relative duties of married persons. Until 1661 it was to be used as the homily in the Communion Service when no other took its place: and the present practice is an adaptation of this to the altered conditions.
The service ends abruptly because it is in fact incomplete and should
be followed by the Holy Communion.37 In
the Irish Prayer Book some prayers are added which give a false idea
of completeness: in the American Book there is no proper nuptial Benediction
at all but only the first part of the service consisting of the Espousal.
|One or two general points remain
which demand notice. First with regard to the occasion of a marriage it
is to be observed that matrimony, being an occasion of rejoicing, as early
as the fourth century was forbidden, together with other festivities, during
the solemn fast of Lent;38 and in the
eleventh century at certain other seasons also, such as Advent and Rogation-tide.
No such prohibition has been inserted in the Prayer Book,39 but
it still forms part of the Law of the Church, in spite of two attempts
made in parliament to alter it. Dispensations may be granted by the authority
of the Archbishop of Canterbury.40 But
in practice both the law and the dispensing power have been much ignored,
though custom has continued to discountenance marriage in Lent. Further
the ceremony may only take place within certain hours of the day so that
publicity may be ensured.
||Marriages forbidden at certain seasons.|
|The rubrics of the Publication
of Banns,41 in the earlier Prayer Books,
directed that they should asked
three several Sundays, or Holy Days, in the time of service, the people
being present, after the accustomed manner.42 In
1661 the time of service was explained to be immediately before the
sentences of the Offertory;43 and
the form was also provided in which it should be done. In modern Prayer
Books the rubric is often wrongly printed because the printers have altered
it without authority on a mistaken interpretation of two Marriage Acts
of later date.44 These do not supersede
but only supplement the rubric by providing for the publication of Banns
in cases where there is no celebration of the Communion Service.
||Publication of Banns.|
The Table of Prohibited Degrees forms no proper part of the Prayer Book but in conjunction with the XXXIX Articles of Religion it is often appended to the book and it deserves mention here. It was issued by Archbishop Parker in 1563 and sanctioned by the 99th Canon of 1603. It rests upon two broad principles: (i) that affinity, or relationship by marriage, is as much a bar to matrimony as consanguinity or relationship by blood, since man and wife are one flesh; (ii) that marriage is not allowable within three degrees of relationship: e.g. an uncle and niece may not marry being related in the third degree since the grandparent of one is the parent of the other: but first cousins may legally marry being related in the fourth degree.45
In some places civil law has broken in upon this principle and made exceptions, e.g., in the case of the marriage of a deceased wife’s sister; but the Church Law still upholds the clear and intelligible principle, and refuses to recognise exceptions.
|The Church has always been zealous
in her care for the sick, the dying and the departed. The Apostolical example
and the precept46 that the sick man should
‘call for the elders of the Church’ was fully carried out in mediæval
times47 and the present
Order for the Visitation48 follows
closely the lines of the old service in the Sarum Manual.
|The old order49 began
with the recitation of the penitential psalms and their antiphon on the
way to the house, and when it was reached the salutation was given as our
Lord ordered.50 In 1549 only one psalm
was retained with its antiphon and prescribed for use after the salutation
in the sick man’s presence. In 1552 the psalm was omitted and now only
the antiphon ‘Remember not’ survives, with a response, which was added
in 1661. The suffrages and collects which followed were in the old Order
preceded by the sprinkling of Holy Water: this was omitted in the Prayer
Book, but the suffrages were retained and two out of the nine collects
provided in the Manual. The second of these went through considerable modification
in 1552 and 1661.
The Sarum services.
|The second division of the service
then began which, was designed to help the sick man to acts of faith and
repentance especially in view of his communion and unction.51 This
was continued in the Prayer Book though the provision for the unction made
in 1549 was omitted in 1552. The Latin Manuals contained vernacular forms
of exhortation for use at this point52 and
a similar provision was made in the Prayer Book. When the man’s faith has
been tested he is to be exhorted to charity and restitution, though no
form is provided for this as was done in the Latin books.53 Then
his conscience is to be satisfied: in the old books it was taken for granted
that he would make his confession:54 in
the Prayer Book from 1549 onward it was left to his discretion whether
he would or not, but in 1661 it was ordered that the Minister should move
him to do so, if he felt his conscience troubled by any weighty matter.
The form of absolution provided follows the old Latin form;55 and
it is noticeable that when in 1661 the responsibility of moving the sick
man to confession was laid upon the Minister the responsibility of desiring
absolution was laid upon the penitent.56 The
declaratory form of absolution is followed in the English as in the Latin
by a prayer of absolution: this had been the principal form of absolution
in use in the Western Church up to the XIIth century when for the first
time a declaratory form of absolution began to be in use. It is found in
the Gelasian Sacramentary as the solemn form used on Maundy Thursday at
the Reconciliation of the penitents who have been excommunicate since the
beginning of Lent.57 With this prayer
and two others accompanying it the Latin service of the Visitation ended
and the service of Unction followed.
||Testing of faith and repentance.|
|The psalm and antiphon which
began that service58 are still retained,
and the antiphon is used more or less in its proper way and not altered
almost beyond recognition, as it is elsewhere in the Prayer Book.59 Instead
of the elaborate unction of the mediaeval service a simple ceremony with
a single new prayer and the accustomed psalm were provided in 1549 as an
optional addition to the service.60 These
were omitted in 1552, and thus the service ended after the antiphon with
a form of blessing newly composed and based on scriptural texts.61 This
was felt to be inadequate in 1661 and the form of Aaronic blessing62 was
added,63 together with four 0ccasional
For a sick Child; For a sick Person, when there
appeareth small hope of recovery; A commendatory Prayer for a sick Person
at the point of departure; and A Prayer for Persons troubled
in mind and conscience.64
SECT. III. — The Communion of the Sick.
In the absence of any provision for Unction the Communion of the Sick
stands alone as the service to which the Office of Visitation leads up.65 In
pre-Reformation times this was a very simple matter, for the Holy Sacrament
was reserved for the sick according to the universal and primitive custom;
also the administration was in the simplest form66 and,
according to the custom in later times prevalent, in one kind only.
The rubric of 1549, continuing the practice of Reservation, though with some restriction, directed that, if a sick person was to receive the Communion on the same day in which there was a celebration of the Holy Eucharist in the church, the Priest should reserve at the open Communion so much of the sacrament of the Body and Blood as should serve the sick person, and so many as should communicate with him, if there were any. The service to be used consisted of the general Confession, the Absolution with the Comfortable Words, the distribution of the Sacrament, and the Collect, Almighty and everliving God, we most heartily thank Thee, &c.’
If there was no open Communion on that day, the Curate was directed to visit the sick person afore noon, and to celebrate the Holy Communion in the following form:—
|Communion with reserved Sacrament (1549).|
the Lord, all ye nations, laud Him, all ye people; for His merciful kindness
is confirmed towards us, and the truth of the Lord endureth for ever.
Glory be to the Father, &c.’
Lord, have mercy upon us.
Christ, have mercy upon us. Without any more repetition.
Lord, have mercy upon us.
The Priest. The Lord be with you.
Answer. And with thy spirit.
Let us pray. Almighty and everlasting God, &c.
The Epistle. Heb. xii; My son, despise not, &c.
The Gospel. John v. Verily, verily, &.
The Preface. The Lord be with you.
Answer. And with thy spirit.
Lift up your hearts, &c. Unto the end of the Canon.
If more sick persons were to be visited on the same day, the Curate was
ordered to reserve a sufficient portion of the elements from the first
consecration and immediately to carry it and minister it unto them.
|The Celebration of the Holy Communion for the Sick (1549).|
|In 1552 the directions for reservation
and for celebrating in the sick man’s house were alike omitted: the Collect,
Epistle and Gospel were retained, with a rubric authorizing the Curate
to ‘minister’ the Holy Communion, provided there were a
good number to receive the Communion with the sick person. Thus the
Sacrament might be reserved, but no method was prescribed, the Curate was
to carry it to the sick man, but he was not sufficiently instructed what
service he was to use in administering it.67
||The Communion of the Sick (1552).|
|At the last revision in 1661,
the number ‘three, or two at the least,’ was mentioned as requisite to
form a company of communicants with the sick person;68 and
the direction was given to celebrate the Holy Communion in
a shortened form beginning with the special Collect, Epistle, and Gospel,
and then passing to the Communion Office at the Address to the Communicants,
‘Ye that do truly and earnestly repent you, &c.’
If the Visitation Service is used at the same time, the Priest ends
that service after the Prayer, ‘O most merciful God, &c.; and, instead
of the Psalm, proceeds to The Communion of the Sick.69
|The shortened Communion of the Sick (1661).|
This rubric does not imply that the actual participation of this sacrament
is a matter of indifference. Like the other sacrament of Baptism, it
must be received where it may be had. But a faithful Christian need not
fear separation from the love of Christ, if either by reason of the extremity
of sickness, or for want of warning in due time to the Curate, or for
lack of company to receive with him, or by any other just impediment,
he do not receive the sacrament of Christ’s Body and Blood in his last
SECT. IV. — The Burial of the Dead.
|The tender care which the primitive
and mediæval Church bestowed upon the departed is a natural sequl
of its care for the sick and dying.73 A
continuous round of prayer was maintained. During the last agony .psalms
and litanies were said, ending with a solemn farewell in the name of the
Blessed Trinity, the orders of angels and the company of saints, and a
solemn series of petitions to God to deliver the soul of his servant from
all dangers.74 After death came the service
of Commendation,75 consisting of Psalms
with their antiphons, and collects at intervals; and during it the body
was prepared for burial. Psalmody again accompanied the carrying of the
corpse to the church. Then began the services connected with the Burial;
first the Office of the dead (Evensong, Mattins and Lauds),76 then
the Requiem Mass,77 then a short form
of Commendation and the censing and sprinkling with holy water of the body,78 and
lastly the actual Burial Service.79 After
the funeral Memorial Services were said, both the Office of the Dead and
the Requiem Mass, especially during the month immediately following, and
on the anniversary.80
||The Mediæval cycle of services.|
|Compared with this the provision
made in the Prayer Book is very meagre. A series of three antiphons represents
the procession to the Church: the psalms and lesson, as now placed, may
represent the Office of the Dead, the Eucharist has been omitted and its
collect transferred to the short service at the grave.
||The adaptation in the Prayer Book.|
|The arrangement of the service
has been much changed at the several revisions of the Prayer Book. In 1549,
though it represented a great departure from the old lines, it had a character
of its own, and consisted
of (i) a procession to the church or grave, (ii) the service of actual
burial; and to these there were added (iii) a brief form of Office of
the Dead, and (iv) a special Eucharist.
I. The priest, meeting the corpse at the church-stile, shall say, or
else the priest and clerks shall sing, and so go either in to the church,
or towards the grave,
II. When they come at the grave, whiles the corpse is made ready to
be laid into the earth, the priest shall say, or else the priest and
clerks shall sing,
III. These Psalms, with other suffrages following, are to be said in
the church either before or after the burial of the corpse.
IV. The Celebration of the Holy
Communion when there is a Burial of the Dead.83
|In 1552 this clear structure
was thrown :into confusion: the Office of the Dead and the Eucharist were
both given up:86 the
prayers at the graveside were abolished and there were substituted for
them some parts of the discarded sections, viz. the lessons, the Lord’s
Prayer and collect from the third section, and the collect from the fourth
section. Three minor alterations were also made; (i) the rubric after the
lowering of the body into the grave was altered to its present terms, — ‘Then,
while the earth shall be cast upon the body by some standing by, the Priest
shall say, &c.:
(ii) the commendation was altered to the
present declaration, so as to be a mere committal of the bod yinstead
of, as before, a commendation also of the soul: (Forasmuch as it hath
pleased Almighty God of His great mercy to take unto Himself the soul
of our dear brother, here departed, we therefore commit his body to the
ground, &c.’;87 (iii)
the collects were recast in such a way that the beginning of the old
prayer at the end of the third section was made the beginning of the
new prayer in that section: while the end of it was tacked on to the
collect which was now brought out of the fourth section. The object of
all these changes was to exclude the direct prayers for the departed.
The old rubric remained as to proceeding to the church, but no direction
was given which part of the service, if any, should be said in the church,
nor was any Psalm appointed: and in this state it continued until the last
revision’(1661); then the disorder was partly remedied: the lesson was taken
from its anomalous position88 and appointed
to form with two psalms a brief Office of the Dead to be read in the church
before proceeding to the grave.
|Changes made in 1552.|
|Turning now to review the present
service, it is to be noted that the first rubric, was added in 1661, directing
that the office should not be used for any that die
unbaptized,89 or excommunicate,
or have laid violent hands upon themselves. The interpretation which
the law puts upon this rubric is certain; that valid baptism by any hand,
however irregular, secures the Church’s rites of burial; excommunication
is a punishment which can only be inflicted by the sentence of a competent
tribunal; and the question of suicide is determined by the coroner’s inquest.90
The present office.
In what cases it may not be used.
|The second rubric directs the
Priest to meet the corpse at the entrance of the
churchyard;91 and then
to go into the church or towards the grave; that is, into the
church on all ordinary occasions; and to the grave, if the person has died
of any infectious disease, or for some such reason.
|Of the texts which
are said or sung in the procession, the first and second have long been
used in some part of the funeral offices; the former was an Antiphon, the
latter a Respond,92 The third sentence
as it now stands is a revised edition of two texts which were first appointed
in 1549. The .present Psalms93 were inserted
in 1661,and did not form part of the older funeral services; but part of
the lesson had been read as the Epistle in the Mass of the Dead.94
||The Anthems and Psalms.|
|The latter part of the sentences
appointed to be said by the priest, or sung by the priest and ‘clerks while
the corpse is made ready to be laid into the earth, is taken from an Antiphon
with Verses which was sung with the Nunc dimittis at Compline
during a part of Lent.95
||At the grave.|
The practice of casting the earth96 upon the body is a retention in its most simple form of an old ceremony which in the Latin Service followed a long series of psalms and collects and the form of hallowing the grave.97
The verse that follows (Rev. xiv. 13) was read as part of the Epistle
in the Mass for the Dead but was not otherwise utilized. in the service
except that the first part was one of the antiphons in the Office for
SECT. V. — The Churching of Women.
This service of ‘Thanksgiving of Women after Childbirth,’ can be traced
to early days of the Christian Church99 but
is ultimately derived from the Jewish rite of The Purification.100 This
name for the rite was’ preserved in the Title of 1549 but disappeared
when it was altered into the present form in 1552 owing to objections
and mistakings.101 The
service follows very closely the mediæval
line,102 but opens with an explanatory
address in the style of the reformation period.
|The place of the service has
been variously defined: in the Latin rubrics of the Manual as “before
the Church door”; in 1549 as “nigh unto the quire door”;
in 1552 as “nigh unto the place where the Table standeth”:
in 1661 it was left to custom or special order to decide. At the same time
it was directed that the woman should be decently
apparelled i.e. “suitably”;
and the reference is to the English custom of wearing a veil:103 this
till then was not prescribed either in the Latin or English rubric: nevertheless
it was not merely usual but was actually enforced by law, both ecclesiastical
and civil, when the Puritans attempted to give it up.104
|The old psalm (cxxi) was displaced
in 1661 by two alternative psalms: the first (cxvi) is applicable to any
deliverance from peril and therefore concerns the woman, while Ps. cxxvii
has more reference to the birth of the child. The suffrages and collect
come direct from the Latin but the prayer was alteredin 1661 so as to include
a definite expression of thankfulness.
The service ends abruptly105 because
it is meant precede the Holy Communion,106 as
was the case in pre-reformation times.107 This
is not only pointed out by the closing rubric, but is involved in other
places: the position assigned to the woman in 1552 near the altar is
significant: also the choice in 1661 of psalm cxvi with the verse “What
reward shall I give unto the Lord for all the benefits that He hath done
unto me? I will receive the Cup of Salvation.” The “accustomed
offerings” appeared first in the rubric of 1549 together with the
mention of the baptismal chrysom, which according to old custom was brought
back to church at the churching. When the giving of this robe was omitted
at Baptism, the mention of it disappeared here also, and only the reference
to the offerings remained: they properly belong to the offertory in the
Communion following.108 and form another
link between the two services.109
SECT. VI.-A Commination. or Denouncing of God’s anger and judgments against sinners, with certain Prayers to be used on the first day of Lent, and at other times, as the Ordinary shall appoint.110
This addition to the ordinary service on Ash Wednesday is a memorial of
the solemn public penitence, which formed so distinct a feature in the
discipline of the early Church.111 It
is called a Commination, from the opening
warning, or Exhortation to Repentance, in the course of which the curses
of God which rest upon sin are solemnly recited.112 This
address, like the similar forms in our other services, is a composition
of the Reformers; the prayers which follow it are taken from those which
were used on this occasion in the pre-Reformation Church, and go back to
early days, as the solemn devotions of Ash Wednesday.113
|Relation to the Eucharist.|
|Six solemn collects were said,
prefaced by the penitential psalms and a set of suffrages, and followed by
the solemn absolution of the people at large. Then followed the blessing
and distribution of ashes: while anthems were sung, a cross was marked
with ashes on the foreheads of the people, and to each the solemn warning
was given, ‘Remember, O man, that thou art ashes and unto ashes shalt thou
return.’ Then, after two collects, those who were to be under penitential
discipline during Lent were solemnly excluded from church by the bishop.
||The Latin service of ashes.|
|In the Prayer Book service only
the fifty-first psalm was retained, followed by the suffrages and the first
collect.114 The beginning of the prayer
following, ‘O most mighty God, &c.’
is taken from the form for blessing the ashes, and the remainder is formed
from one the preceding collects.115
||The Prayer Book service.
‘O most mighty God. &c.
The general supplication, said by the people after the Minister, is closely connected with Joel ii., which formed the Epistle for Ash Wednesday and it has also reminiscences of the anthems sung at the distribution of the ashes in the ancient service.116
The Aaronic blessing was added in 1661: till then the service ended
abruptly because of the Communion service, which should follow.117
|The Supplications, ‘Turn thou us, &c.’|
1 For the whole of this section, see Watkins, Holy Matrimony, esp. ch. vi., and Duchesne, ch. xiv.
2 This form of marriage, the only one involving religious rites, had gone
out of popular use among the pagan Romans in the second century, but was
retained in a christianized form by the Church.
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3 Ep. ad Polyc. 5.
4 Ad uxorem, ii, 9. ‘Unde sufficiamus ad enarrandam felicitatem ejus matrimonii quod ecclesia conciliat, et confirm at oblatio, et obsignat benedictio, angeli renuntiant, Pater rato habet?
5 De Virg Vel. II. The crown is of later date. Warren, A.-N Liturg. 138.
6 For other earlier references see Watkins, l. c.
7 “Nostrates siquidem tam mares quam feminæ non ligaturam auream vel argenteam aut ex quolibet metallo compositam quando nuptialia fœdera contrahunt in capitibus deferunt: sed post sponsalia, quæ futurarum sunt nuptiarum promissa fœdera, quæque consensu eorum, quæ hæc contrahunt, et eorum, in quorum potestate sunt, celebrantur, et postquam arrhis sponsam sibi sponsus per digitum fidei a se annulo insignitum desponderit, dotemque utrique placitam sponsus ei cum scripto pactum hoc continente coram invitatis ab utraque parte tradiderit; aut mox, aut apto tempore . . . ambo ad nuptilia fœdera perducuntur. Et primum quidem in ecclesia domini cum oblationibus, quas offerre debent, Deo per sacerdotis manum, statuuntur, sicque demum benedictionem et velamen cœleste suscipiunt. . . . Post hæc autem de ecclesia egressi coronas in capitibus gestant, quæ semper in ecclesia ipsa sunt solitæ reservari.’ Cap. iii., Harduin v. 354.
8 Except in the Leonine Sacr.
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9 See above, p. 523.
10 Muratori, i. 446; i. 722 ; and ii. 244.
11 It is given below, p. 617.
12 For the curtailment of variation in these two respects, see above pp. 448, 489.
13 York has a Trinity sequence, but Sarum one for Whitsuntide.
14 Ordo ad faciendum Sponsatia. Maskell, Mon.
Rit. I. p. 42 . The
York Ordo is printed in the York Manual (Surtees Society) p. 24:
the Sarum Ordo is in the Appendix, p. 17*; the Hereford. Ordo, p. 115*;
and other ancient Ordines, p. 157*.
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15 The service runs thus in the Sarum
Manual: the vernacular parts above are taken from the York Manual.
16 ‘Then lete hem come and wytnes brynge
17 The direction given above as to the position of the parties was not inserted in the Prayer Rook till 1661. The ambiguity of the english rubric is made clear by the latin.
18 Comp. Hermann’s Consultation, fol. ccxxviii: at the beginning of the ceremony there is an address, reciting from Gen. ii., Matt. xix., and Ephes, v., and then proceeding: — Out of these places the despoused persons and rest of the congregation must be warned that they learn and consider, first, how holy a kind of life and how acceptable to God Matrimony is. For by these places we know that God Himself instituted holy wedlock, and that in paradise, man being yet perfect and holy, and that he hath greatly blessed this copulation, and joineth Himself all those together which contract Matrimony in His name, and giveth the husband to be an head and saviour to the wife, as Christ is the Head and Saviour of the congregation, and furthermore giveth the wife a body and a help to the husband, that here in this world they may lead a godly, honest, and joyous life together;’ and again, in the prayer after the ceremonies of the ring and joining of hands :— ‘ Which also honoured Matrimony with His presence, and with the beginning of His miracles, and would have it to be a token and mystery of His exceeding love towards the congregation.’ The three ‘causes for which Matrimony was ordained’ were commonplaces of scholastic theology: they are also found at considerable length in the Calvinistic services, and in the Order of Matrimony printed by Ant. Scoloker (circa 1548), Bodleian Libr., Arch. Bodl., A. i., 56. They have been omitted in the Irish and American Books, though there never was a time when plain speaking was more necessary and false modesty more to be deprecated than the present.
19 ‘Si vero aliquis impedimentum proponere voluerit et ad hoc probandum cautionem prœstiterit, differantur sponsalia quousque rei neritas cognoscatur.’
20 ‘Postea dicat sacerdos ad virum cunctis audientibus
sic: N. vis habere
hanc mulierem in sponsam, earn diligere, honorare, tenere, et custodire
sanam et infirmam, sicut sponsus debet sponsam; et omnes alias propter
eam dimittere, et illi soli adhærere quamdiu vita utriusque vestrum
duraverit? Respondeat vir: Volo.
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21 i. e., faithful and obedient.
22 i. e., honour: Cp. Wiclif at S. Mat. xix. 19, ‘worschipe thi fadir and modir;’ and I Sam, ii. 30, in the old translation, ‘him that worships me I will worship.’ The phrase was objected to by the Puritan’s in 1604, and again in 1661, conceiving it to mean divine worship or adoration; and on both occasions it was agreed, as a matter of indifference, that it might be, ‘worship and honour,’ or ‘with my body I thee honour.’ The old word was, however, retained, as in Luke xiv. 10, and as it is still in common use in the phrase , ‘worshipful’ for ‘honourable.’
23 ‘Accipiens sacerdos annulum tradat ipsum viro
: quem vir accipiat manu sua dextera cum tribus principalioribus digitis,
et manu sua sinistra tenens dexteram sponsæ docente sacerdote
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sacerdos annulum hoc modo, cum Dominus vobiscum, et
cum Oremus. Oratio.
25 But note the change in the ceremony of the ring.
26 The allusion to the ‘tokens of spousage’ of Isaac, which was part of the prayer in 1549, when the , tokens’ were still retained,’ was omitted from the prayer in 1552, when they ceased to be given. A similar modification was also made in the pronouncement of union which follows.
27 ‘Then, if perchance they have rings, let them put them one upon another’s finger, and so let the Minister join ther right hands together, and say: That that God hath joined, let no man dissever. And let the Pastor say moreover with a loud voice that may be heard of all men : Forasmuch as then this John N. desireth this Anne to be his wife in the Lord, and this, Anne desireth this John to be her husband in the Lord, and one hath made the other a promise of holy and Christian Matrimony, and have now both professed the same openly, and have confirmed it with giving of rings each to other, and joining of hands, I the Minister of Christ and the congregation pronounce that they be joined together with lawful and Christian Matrimony, and I confirm this their Marriage in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. Amen.’ Hermann’s Consultation, fol. cc xxx.
28 ‘Bene+dicat vos Deus Pater, custodiat vos Jesus Christus, illuminet
vos Spiritus Sanctus. Ostendat Dominus faciem suam in vobis et misereatur
vestri. Convertat Dominus vultum suum ad vos: et det vobis pacem: impleatque
vos omni benedictione spirituali, in remissionem omnium peccatorum vestrorum
ut habeatis vitam æternam, et vivatis in sæcula sæculorum.
29 In some places the hands were tied together by the Priest’s stole and
this is the present custom in many places under the Roman Rite, See Martene.
Lib. I. cap. ix., Ord. XII-XV.
30 Formerly the nuptials were often solemnized some time after the espousal. There is an instance of this temp. Charles I. quoted by Blunt, p, 452.
32 ‘Hic intrent ecclesiam usque ad gradum altaris:
et sacerdos in eundo cum suis ministris dicat hunc Psalmum sequentem: Beati
nota, cum Kyrie eleison. Tunc prostratis sponso
et sponsa ante gradum altaris, roget sacerdos circumstantes orare pro
eis, diceudo: Pater noster. Et
ne nos. Sed libera.
33 ‘Oremus. Propitiare Domine &c. Oremus. Deus qui potestate virtutis
tuæ de nihilo cuncta fecisti; qui dispositis universitatis exordiis,
homini ad imaginem Dei facto inseparabile mulieris adjutorium condidisti,
ut fœmineo corpori de virili dares carne principium, docens quod
ex uno placuisset institui, nunquam liceret disjungi; Hic
incipit benedictio sacramentalis : Deus, qui tam excellenti mysterio
conjugalem copulam consecrasti, ut Christi et ecclesiæ sacramentum
præsignares in fœdere
nuptiarum; Hic finitur benedictio sacramentalis : Deus, per quem
mulier jungitur viro et societas principaliter ordinata ea benedictione
+ donatur, quæ sola nec per originalis peccati pœnam, nec per
diluvii est ablata sententiam; respice propitius super hanc famulam tuam
jungenda est consortio, quæ se tua expetit protectione muniri. Sit
in ea jugum dilectionis et pacis: fidelis et casta nubat in Christo : imitatrixque
sanctarum permaneat fœminarum. Sit amabilis ut Rachel viro: sapiens
ut Rebecca: longæva et fidelis ut, Sara . . . et ad beatornm requiem
atque ad cœlestia regna perveniat. Per Dominum, &c. Per omni.
sæcula sæculorum. Amen.’
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34 Although this is no longer the positive rule, yet the rubric still asserts that it is ‘convenient’ i.e. suitable; this shows that a Deacon should not officiate at a Marriage; and this is the more clear when it is remembered that the office is also, in an ecclesiastical point of view, especially one of benediction. Cp. Blunt, Annotated Prayer Book, p. 264 .
35 ‘This rubric doth either enforce all such as are unfit for the sacrament to forbear Marriage, contrary to Scripture, which approves the Marriage of all men; or else compels all that marry to come to the Lord’s Table, though never so unprepared; and therefore we desire it may be omitted, the rather because that Marriage-festivals are too often accompanied with such divertisements as are unsuitable to those Christian duties, which ought to be before and follow after the receiving of that holy Sacrament.’ The Bishops reply to this, that it ‘enforces none to forbear Marriage, but presumes (as well it may) that all persons marriageable ought to be also fit to receive the holy Sacrament; and Marriage being so solemn a covenant of God, they that undertake it in the fear of God will not stick to seal it by receiving the Holy Communion, and accordingly prepare themselves for it. It were more Christian to desire that those licentious festivities might be suppressed, and the Communion more generally used by those that marry: the happiness would be greater than can easily be expressed.’ Cardwell, Conferences, pp. 331, 360.
36 This was necessarily the case before the Act of 1836 (6 and 7 Gul. IV. c. 85), which allowed a civil contract of Marriage to be made in the presence of a Registrar.
38 Concil. Laodicense, (circa 364) Can. LII. : “Οτι ου δει εν τεσσαρακοστη γαμους η γενεθλια επιτελειν. Mansi, II. 571. Bruns. I. 78. Gratian, Decr. XXXIII. iv. 8.
39 The following clause was proposed to the Convocation (1661), but was not inserted in the Prayer Book:— ‘ By the ecclesiastical laws of this realm there be some times in the year wherein marriages are not usually solemnized, as from Advent Sunday until eight days after the Epiphany: from Septuagesima Sunday until eight days after Easter; from Rogation Sunday until Trinity Sunday.’ See Cardwell, Synodalia, I. p. 134, n. Also for old English Rules the 18th Canon of Eynsham (1009) in Hard. vi. 777; and for later customs , Lyndw. iv. 3. and iii. 16.
40 Gibson, Codex XXII. viii. Ayliffe, Parergon 365. Blunt, Annot.
B. C. P. 447.
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41 A marriage license is an episcopal dispensation setting aside the necessity of Banns.
42 ‘Non fidabit sacerdos nee consentiet ad fidationem inter virum et mulierem ante tertium dictum bannorum. Debet enim sacerdos banna in facie ecclesiæ infra missarum solemnia cum major populi adfuerit multitudo, per tres dies solemnes et disjunctas interrogare: ita ut inter unumquemque diem solemnem cadat ad minus una dies ferialis. . . Et si contrahentes diversarum sint parochiarum, tunc in utraque ecclesia parochiarum illarum sunt banna interroganda.’ Sarum Manual, Ordo ad faciendum Sponsalia; Maskell, Mon. Rit. I. p. 44 [54, ed. 1882]. The triple publication, trina denunciatio, was ordered by the Council of Westminster (1200) Can. XI. Hard. vi. 1961. See also Lyndw. IV. 3.
43 The Marriage Acts (26 Geo. II. c. 33, and 4 Geo. IV. c. 76), say:— The
said banns shall be published upon three Sundays preceding the solemnization
of Marriage, during the time of Morning Service, or of the Evening Service
if there be no Morning Service in such Church or Chapel on any of those
Sundays immediately after the Second Lesson.’
44 Blunt Annot. B. C. P. p. 447.
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45 See Watkins, Holy Matrimony, ch. x.
46 S. Mark vi. 13. S. James v.: 14, 15.
47 Constitutiones Richardi Poore, Episc. Sar. (circ. 1223), §. 94: , Cum anima longe pretiosiorsit corpore, sub interjectione anathematis prohibemus, ne quis medicorum pro corporali salute aliquid ægro suadeat, quod in periculum animæ convertatur. Verum cum ipsis ad ægrum vocari contigerit, ægrum ante omnia moneant et inducant, quod advocent medicos animarum; ut postquam fuerit infirmo de spirituali salute provisum, ad corporalis medicinæ remedium salubrius procedatur.’ ‘Sarum Charters 159. Wilk. i. 572 and ff.
48 Canon LXVII. (1603). ‘When any person is dangerously sick in any parish, the Minister or Curate, having knowledge thereof, shall resort unto him or her (if the disease be not known, or probably suspected, to be infectious), to instruct and comfort them in their distress, according to the order of the Communion” Book, if he be no preacher; or if he be a preacher, then as he ‘shall think most needful and convenient.’
49 ‘Psalmi septem.’ Ant. Ne reminiscaris Domine &c. See
above p. 415. Et cum intraverit domum dicat. Pax huic domui
et omnibus habitantibus in ea: pax ingredientibus et egredientibus.’
50 S. Mat. x. 13.
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51 The following extracts will give a
general idea of this part of the Latin service.
52 See Maskell, Mon. Rit. iii. pp.’ 1350  and ff.
53 Then followed an exhortation ; to charity and restitution:
54 ‘Deinde stabilito sic infirmo in fide caritate
et spe, dicat ei sacerdos, Carissime frater, si velis ad visionem
Dei pervenire, oportet omnino quod sis mundus in mente et purus in conscientia
: ait enim Christus in evangelio : Beati mundo corde, quoniam ipsi Deum
videbunt, Si ergo vis mundum cor et conscientiam sanam habere, peccata
tua universa confitere . . . .’ Then after his confession he urges him
to alms deeds in lieu of penance, or if he recovers to the due performance
of penance itself.
55 The relative sentence introduced at the beginning, “Who hath left, &c.” is a reminiscence of the Order of the Communion, See above, p. 487. In 1549 this form was also prescribed for all private confessions: this direction was omitted in 1552, and the words ‘after this form’ were altered into their present phraseology, after this sort.
56 In the American Book the rubric and declaratory absolution are omitted. See p. 245. In the Irish Book as formerly in the American, the absolution of the Communion Service is prescribed with a modified rubric. See p. 233.
57 ‘Deus misericors, Deus clemens, qui secundum multitudinem miserationum
tuarum peccata pœnitentium deles, et præteritorum criminum
culpas venia remissionis evacuas: respice super hunc famulum tuum N. sibi
remissionem omnium peccatorum suorum tota cordis contritione poscentem.
Renova in eo, piissime Pater, quicquid diabolica fraude violatum est: et
unitati corporis ecclesiæ tuæ membrum infirmum, peccatorum
percepta remissione, restitue. Miserere, Domine, gemituum ejus : miserere
lacrymarum: miserere tribulationum atque dolorum: et non habentem fiduciam
nisi in tua misericordia ad sacramentum reconciliationis admitte. Per Christum
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58 ‘Priusquam ungatur infirmus incipiat sacerdos ant. Salvator mundi. Deinde dicatur pralmus In te domine speravi, Finito psalmo cum Gloria patri tota dicatur ant. Salvator mundi salva nos, qui per crucem et sanguinem redemisti nos: auxiliare nobis te deprecamur Deus noster.’
59 E. g., ‘Remember not Lord’ in the Litany and the opening
of the Visitation.
60 If the sick person desire to be anointed, then
shall the Priest anoint him upon the forehead or breast only, making
the sign of the cross, saying thus :— As with this visible oil
thy body outwardly is anointed, so our heavenly Father, Almighty God,
grant of His infinite goodness that thy soul inwardly may be anointed
with the Holy Ghost, who is the Spirit of all strength, comfort, relief,
and gladness: and vouchsafe for His great mercy (if it be His blessed
will) to restore unto thee thy bodily health and strength to serve
Him; and send thee release of all thy pains, troubles, and diseases,
both in body and mind. And howsoever His goodness (by His divine and
unsearchable providence) shall dispose of thee, we, His unworthy ministers
and servants, humbly beseech the Eternal Majesty to do with thee according
to the multitude of His innumerable mercies, and to pardon thee all
thy sins and offences, committed by all thy bodily senses, passions,
and carnal affections: Who also vouchsafe mercifully to grant unto
thee ghostly strength by His Holy Spirit to withstand and overcome
all temptations and assaults of thine adversary, that in no wise he
prevail against thee, but that thou mayest have perfect victory, and
triumph against the devil, sin, and death, through Christ our Lord:
Who by His death hath overcome the prince of death, and with the Father
and the Holy Ghost evermore liveth and reigneth God world without end.
61 Ps. lxi, 3: Phil. ii. 10,11: Acts iv, 12.
62 Num. vi. 24.
63 In the XVIIth century part of the Visitation service was sometimes used after Divine Service in church when a sick person desired the prayers of the congregation. Blunt, 470. Cp. Fragm. Illustr. 95.
64 In the American Book three further forms are added: 1. For all present at the Visitation, 2. In case of sudden surprise and immediate danger, 3. A thanksgiving for the beginning of a recovery. The Irish Book has A Prayer for a sick person when his sickness has been mercifully assuaged.
65 The last hours of an Anglo-Saxon were thus occupied, according to the Leofric Missal: ‘Incipit ordo in agenda mortuorum. Mox autem ut eum viderint, ad extremum propinquare, communicandus est de sacrificio sancto etiam si comedisset ipsa die, quia communio erit ei defensor et adjutor in resurrectione justorum et ipsa eum resuscitabit, Post communionem susceptam, legendæ sunt passiones dominicæ ante corpus infirmi seu a presbyteris, seu a diaconibus, usque egrediatur anima de corpore. Primitus enim ut anima de corpore egressa fuerit, ponatur super cilicium et canantur VII. psalmi pœnitentiales, et agenda et letania prout tempus fuerit. Finitis autem sanctorum nominibus, mox incipiatur R. Subvenite, sancti Dei, occurite angeli Domini. (p. 198. Ed. Warren.)
66 ‘ Interroget eum sacerdos si recognoscat corpus
et sanguinem DN/C sic dicendo: Frater credis quod sacramentum
quod tractatur in altari est verum corpus et. sanguis DNJC ? Respondeat
infirmus Credo. Deinde communicetur. ‘ A prayer and psalm
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67 Calvin. Epistle 361. (Aug. 12, 1561); Hill, Communicant instructed (1617) pp. 36, 37.
68 Cp. the Scottish Book, ‘a sufficient number, at least two or three.’ It was suggested here by Wren. Fragm. Illustr. 97. The rule is the same as for a public Communion, that there must be three at the least to communicate with the Priest. . The only exception to this rule is that, in a time of contagious sickness, ‘upon the special request of the diseased, the Minister may only communicate with him:’ this rubric was added in 1552.
69 The following was the shortened service ordered in 1549 :— ‘The Anthem: Remember not, Lord, &c. Lord, have mercy upon us. &c. Our Father, &c. Let us pray. O Lord, look down from heaven, &c. With the first part of the Exhortation and all other things unto the Psalm. And if the sick desire to be anointed, then shall the Priest use the appointed Prayer without any Psalm.’
70 See this subject treated, and suitable devotions provided, by Bishop Jeremy Taylor (Worthy Communicant, ch. vii. § 3, Works, VIII. pp. 238, 239), and Bishop Wilson (Instructions on the Lord’s Supper, Append. ‘Concerning Spiritual Communion,’ Works, II. pp: 130 & ff.).
71 ‘Deinde communicetur infirmus nisi prius communicatus fuerit et nisi de vomitu vel alia irreverentia probabiliter timeatur: in quo casu dicat sacerdos infirmo:— Frater, in hoc casu sufficit tibi vera fides, et bona voluntas : tantum crede, et manducasti.’ MaskeB, Mon. Rit. I. p. 89 , and cp. S. Austin. In Joan. Tr. xxv. 22.
72 Two additional rubrics appear in the American Book, one authorizing
a still briefer service in the times of contagious sickness, the other
sanctioning the substitution of the Collect, Epistle and Gospel of the
day for those appointed above, in
using this office with aged and bedridden persons, &c.
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73 The history of the early Church is full of tender evidence of a wealth of solicitude and prayer for those at rest. See Luckock, After Death, ch. vii., viii., ix., The early sacramentaries have the prayers of the cycle of services for the sick, the dying, and the departed, and the English forms are derived from the Gregorian sacramentaries. The custom of the Anglo-Saxon Church is described in the Penitential of Archbishop Theodore (688), V. 1. :— ‘Secundum Romanam ecclesiam mos est monachos vel homines religiosos defunctos in ecclesiam portare, et, cum chrisma ungere pectora eorum, ibique pro eis missas celebrare; deinde cum cantatione portare ad sepulturas; et cum positi fuerint in sepulcro, funditur pro eis oratio, deinde humo vel petra operiuntur.’ Haddan and Stubbs, iii. 194.
74 ‘Proficiscere anima christiana de hoc mundo in nomine dei patris omnipotentis qui te creavit, Amen. &c.’, thirteen petitions in all. ‘Sucipe itaque domine servum tuum in bonem et lucidum habitaculum tuum. Amen. Libera domine animam servi tui, &c.,’· twelve petitions. Maskell, Mon. Rit. i. 102 .
75 ‘Sequatur commendatio animarum, et dicatur in camera vel in aula sine nota juxta corpus, et omnia subsequenter similiter usque ad processionem ad hominem mortuum suscipiendum.’ Maskell, Mon. Rit. i pp. 104 . This Ordo Commendationis Animæ in a briefer form figures constantly as The Commendations, or Psalms of Commendation, or The Commendations of the Souls, in the English Primers and Horæ, appended to the Office of the Dead. Mon. Rit. II. pp. 156 and ff. [III. 161]. The Prymer (E. E. T. S. 79-89.
76 The Officium pro Defunctis, or Vigiliæ Mortuorum, or Dirige, consisted of two parts: the Evensong, or Placebo, so called from the antiphon with which the service commenced, — ‘Placebo Domino in regione vivorum;’ and the Mattins (with Lauds), also called Dirige from its first antiphon, — ‘ Dirige Domine Deus meus in conspectu tuo viam meam.’ These offices were constantly said at other times, and as a private devotion, and thus formed a part of the Primer, (see Maskell, Mon. Rit. II, pp. 110 and .ff. [III. 115]; The Prymer (E. E. T. S.) 52 and ff.), and also of the Breviary (see Psalter, col. 271).
77 Missa pro Defunctis, called also Requiem, from the beginning of the Introit, or Officium, ‘Requiem æternam dona eis, Domine, et lux perpetua luceat eis.’ Miss. Sar. col. 860*; Brev. Sar. Psalter, col. 521.
78 Inhumatio Defuncti, Maskell, I. p. 114 .
79 Ibid. 118 . The foregoing services may also be seen, and in some respects more plainly, in the York and Sarum Manuals. (Surtees Soc. vol. 63).
80 Thirty masses were said on as many different days, and this was called
Trigintale, a Trental. Special collects were inserted in the
office in die tricennali, or in trigintalibus; and
anniversario depositionis die. ‘ Though the corpse had been buried,
the funeral rites were not yet over. All through the month following, Placebo, and Dirige, and
masses continued to be said in that church, but with more particular
solemnity on the third, the seventh, and the thirtieth day; at each of
which times a dole of food or money was distributed among the poor.’
Rock, Ch. of our Fathers. II. 516. Comp. the Penitential of
ubi sup. ‘Prima et tertia et nona necnon et tricesima die pro
eis missa agatur et exinde post annum, si voluerint, servatur.’
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82 This exordium is taken from the Gregorian prayer ‘Deus apud quem mortuorum spiritus vivunt et in quo electorum animæ, deposito carnis onere, plena felicitate lætantur, &c.’: this, with the rest of the Gregorian prayers, figures in the later manuals: the remainder of the English prayer follows their language very closely, but is not drawn from anyone of them directly. The end comes from elsewhere, viz., the Mass De quinque vulneribus D. N. J. C.: ‘Te humiliter deprecamur, ut in die judicii ad dexteram tuam statuti a te audire mereamur illam vocem dulcissimam, Venite, benedicti, in regnum Patris mei.’ Missale Sar. col. 751.’*
83 This was a very ancient, if not a primitive, custom; ‘whereby the,
friends of the departed testified their belief that the Communion of
the saints in Christ extended beyond the grave;’ Guericke, p. 278. See
Bingham, Antiq. XXIII. 3§ 12.
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84 Cp. a collect at the end of the Dirige in Bishop Hilsey’s Primer, 1539 (Burton’s Three Primers, p. 420), and in King Henry’s Primer, 1545 (ib. p. 492): ‘O God, whiche by the mouth of St. Paule thyne apostle hast taught us, not to wayle for them that slepe in Christ: Graunt we beseche the that in the comyng of thy sonne our lorde Jesu Christ, bothe we and all other faithful people beying departed may be graciously brought unto the joys everlasting.’
85 These expressions of thankfulness and hope were objected to by the Presbyterians in 1661 (above p. 128), but the Bishops simply replied, that (it is better to be charitable, and hope the best, than rashly to condemn :’ Cardwell, Conf. pp. 333, 362. ‘We are often said to hope that which we do only wish or desire, but have not particular grounds to believe; only we are not sure of the contrary, or that the thing is impossible:’ Bennet, Paraphr. (1708) p. 236. These clauses are altered in the American Prayer Book :— ‘We give Thee hearty thanks for the good examples of all those Thy servants who, having finished their course in faith, do now rest from their labours :’ and the words, (as our hope is this our brother doth,’ are omitted. Sec, Hooker, Eccl. Pol. v. 75, § 4.
86 The latter appears, however, in the Latin Prayer Book of 1560, together with the ‘Commemoration of Benefactors’ as an appendix. See above, p. 122, and Additional Note I., p. 644.
87 Cp. Hermann’s Consultation, fol. ccxxxix. Another funeral
Sermon. Forasmuch as it has pleased Almighty God that according to His
mercy He would take this our brother out of this world unto Himself. .
. . .’ The declaration, that (it hath pleased God to take unto Himself
the soul,’ was objected to by the Presbyterians in 1661, on the ground
that it ‘cannot in truth be said of persons living and dying in open and
notorious sins’ (Cardwell, Confer. p. 333)). But it is founded
upon .the Scriptural expression, concerning the death of every man, that,
dust returns to the earth as it was, and the spirit returns to God who
gave it’ (Eccles. xii. 7); not necessarily to eternal life, but to His
righteous judgment. Also the certain hope is of the resurrection, and of
the change of our vile body; referring not only to the general resurrection
of true Christians tu eternal life, but to the general resurrection of
all mankind: compare the corresponding form, introduced’ in 1661, to be
the Burial of their Dead at Sea; ‘We therefore commit his body to
the deep, to be turned into corruption, looking for the resurrection of
the body (when the sea shall give up her dead), and the life of the world
to come, through our Lord Jesus Christ; who at His coming shall change
our vile body that it may be like His glorious body . . . .’
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88 The reading of the lesson at the grave-side was one of the practices to which the Puritans took exception. See above, p. 187.
89 The Irish Book makes special provision for ‘unbaptized, being infants.’
90 However painful may be the circumstances under which the Burial Service will at times be used, a clergyman may not treat an individual as a suicide, or excommunicate, without any previous legal sentence, or by setting aside the verdict of an authorized, though perhaps mistaken, jury.
91 Comp. the injunctions of Edw. IV. (1547): Forasmuch as priests be
public ministers of the Church . . . they shall not be bound . . . to
fetch any corse before it be brought to the churchyard.’ Cardwell, Doc.
Ann. II. § 30.
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|92 ‘Antiphona: Ego
sum resurrectio et vita, qui credit in me etiam si mortuus fuerit vivet,
et omnis qui vivit et credit in me non morietur in æternum.’ Man.
Sar. Inhumatio Defuncti; Maskell, I. p. 126 ; Vigiliæ Mortuorum,
In Laudibus, Brev. Sar. Psalter, col. 281.
Resp. ‘Credo quod Redemptor meus vivit: et in novissimo die de terra surrecturus sum. Et in carne mea videbo Deum salvatorem meum. Vers. Quem visurus sum ego ipse et non alius : et oculi mei conspecturi sunt. R. Et in came mea, &c.’ In Vigiliis Mortuorum, Ad Matutinas : post Lectionem primam Responsorium, Brev. Sar. Psalter, col. 274.
93 The American Service has ‘an Anthem,’ or selected verses ‘from the 39th and 90th Psalms.’
94 ‘Hæ dua sequentes epistola legantur per totum annum ad nissam quotidianam pro defunctis alternis vicibus per hebdomadam. Lectio libri Apoc. e. xiv . . . . 1 ad Corinthios, c. xv. Fratres, Christus resurrexit a mortuis, primitiæ dormientium. Quoniam quidem per hominem mors : et per hominem resurrectio mortuorum. Et sicut in Adam omnes moriuntur: ita et in Christo omnes vivificabuntur. Unusquisque autem in suo ordine.’ Miss. Sar. Officium Mortuorum. ‘And for the consolation of the faithful in the Lord, and moving the zeal of godliness, it shall be convenient, when the corpse is brought to the burying-place, to propound, and declare before the people gathered there·together, the Lesson following: I Cor. xv., But now Christ is risen from the dead, &c., unto this place, What do we, &c.: or, from this place, This I say, brethren, that flesh and blood, &c., unto the end of the chapter.’ Hermann’s Consultation, fol. cc xliv.
95 ‘Media vita in morte sum us: quem quærimus adjutorem nisi te Domine? qui pro peccatis juste irasceris. Sancte Deus: Sancte fortis: Sancte et misericors salvator: amaræ morti ne tradas nos.’ The verses are of later date, and are differently given in different places: the following are those of the Sarum antiphon. ‘Vers. Ne projicias nos in tempore senectutis: cum defecerit virtus nostra, ne derelinquas nos, Domine. R. Sancte Deus, &c. Vers. Noli claudere aures tuas ad preces nostras. Eo. Sancte fortis, &c. Vers. Qui cognoscis occulta cord is parce peccatis nostris. R. Sancte et misericors, &c.’ Brev. Sar. Psalter, Ordo Completorii Dom. iii. quadr. Cp. Daniel, Thesaur. Hymnal. II. 329. The composition of the anthem has been ascribed to Notker, the monk of S. Gall, who began the Sequences, and was at the head of the great School of S. Gall, in the IXth century. At any rate it probably belongs to that school and that date, and the use of the Trisagion probably points to Gallican influence. Cp. the reproaches sung on Good Friday. Upon this ancient anthem Luther composed a German hymn, which was translated among Coverdale’s Ghostly Psalms. (Parker Soc., 554); and this translation seems to have affected the version which was introduced here into the Burial service in 1549. See Dict. Hymn, 721: Schubiger, Sängerschule St. Gallens, 56: Dowden, Workmanship, ch. xv.
96 Finitis oratíonious executor officii terram super corpus
ad modum crucis ponat, et corpus thurificet et aqua benedicta aspergat:
et dum sequens Psalmus canitur, corpus omnino cooperiatur, cantors incipiente
antiphonam: De terra plasmasti me. Ps. Domine probasti
dicta dicat sacerdos sine Dominus vobiscum, et
97 Miss. Sar. Offic. Mortuorum, col. 863*. The first part of the verse was also the antiphon to Magnificat in Placebo. Maskell, Mon. Rit. II. 118 [III. 122]; Brev. Sar. Psalter col. 272.
98 The custom of ringing a bell of the death of any person was very
anciently observed in England. Bede speaks of it as common in his time
Hist. Eccl. IV. c. 23, ‘notum campanæ sonum, quo ad orationes excitari
vel convocari solebant, cum quis eorum de sæculo fuisset evocatus.’
Canon (1603) LXVII. : ‘When any is passing out of this life, a bell shall
be tolled, and the Minister shall not then slack to do his last duty.
And after the party’s death there shall be rung no more but one short
peal, and one other before the burial, and one other after the burial.’
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99 It is referred to in the correspondence between S. Gregory and Augustine as to the services of. the newly-founded English Church Beda. H. E. I. xxvii. 8.
100 Lev. xii.; S. Luke ii. 22.
101 Hooker E. P. v. lxxiv.
102 ‘Ordo ad purificandam mulierem post partum
ante ostium ecclesiæ.
103 Fragm. Illustr. 97.
104 Case of Eliza Shipden, in James I’s. reign, Gibson Codex. xviii.
12, quoting Palmer Reports, 296. Hale, in his Precedents
and Proceedings, pp. 237, 259, quotes other cases in 1613
and 1636. See Blunt ad loc. and Sparrow Rationale (Oxford, 1840), p.
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105 The Irish Book has again here as in the Marriage Service added a closing portion. The American Book has instead of psalm a ‘hymn,’ drawn from Ps. cxvi,; the suffrages are mutilated, the collect is altered, and more freedom of use is secured by rubrics.
106 Sparrow, Rationale, 291.
107 Injunction of Bishop of Norwich in 1536, cited by Nicholls, Comment on the B. C. P. (1710), Addit. Notes, p.66.
108 The American Book directs that these shall be applied by the Minister and Churchwardens to the relief of distressed women in child bed.
109 The service should not be used for unmarried women, except when
signs of penitence have been shown or more strictly except when penance
has been done. See Grindal’s Injunction of 1571 (Doc.
Ann. i. 370), and
the reply of the Bishops at the Savoy, above, p. 187. For the method
of penance see Nicholls, Defence of the Doctrine
and Discipline, ed.
1715, p. 350.
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110 This title was added in 1661. In the First Prayer Book it was simply, ‘The first day of Lent, commonly called Ash Wednesday;’ and in 1552, ‘A commination against sinners, with certain prayers to be used divers times in the year; the alteration was made in accordance with a suggestion of Bucer, who wished this service to be used at least four times in the year. See above, p. 76. No special days, however, were appointed; but, in the reign of Elizabeth, Archbishop Grindal inquired whether it was used at divers times; and ‘for order sake’ named ‘one of the three Sundays next before Easter, one of the two Sundays next before the feast of Pentecost, and one of the two Sundays next before the feast of the birth of our Lord, over and besides the accustomed reading thereof upon the first day of Lent. Visit. Art. (1576) § 3; Cardwell, Doc. Ann. I. p. 398. It does not seem that these very unsuitable occasions were widely adopted.
111 Bingham, XVIII. ch. i., ii. On the Penitential system of the Middle Ages, see Marshall, Penitential Discipline, in Anglo-Cath. Library. Robertson, Church Hist. II. 237; Hardwick, Middle Age, p. 307.
112 Comp. the Form of the Greater Excommunication (Sarum Manual) in Maskell Mon. Rit. II. pp. 286-305 [III. 309]. This was a long declaration of general curses, ordered to be read four times a year; Bishop Shaxton in 1538 ordered the reading of Deut. XXVIII instead, and thus prepared the way for the Commination. Pocock’s Burnet, vi. 212.
113 See e. g. Gelas. Sacr. 504. Greg.
Sacr. 209, for four of
the six Sarum Collects.
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sextam in primis fiat sermo ad populum si placuerit: deinde prostenant
se clerici in chore, et dicant septem Psalmos pœnitentiales cum Gloria
antiphona, Ne reminiscaris . . .
115 ‘Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, qui misereris omnium, et nihil odisti
eorum quæ fecisti . . . .
116 ‘Et iiuerin: canteruur sequentes antiphonæ. Exaudi nos, Domine, quoniam magna est misericordia tua : secundum multitudinem miserationum tuarum respice nos Domine. . . . . Alia antiphona. Juxta vestibulum et altare plorabant sacerdotes et Levitæ ministri Domini, dicentes : Parce, Domine, parce populo tuo; et ne dissipes ora clamantium ad te, Domine.’
117 Fragm. Illustr. 99.
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I. — THE OFFICE OF THE DEAD.
A form of this service appeared in the Primer of 1545, the Edwardian Primers of one type,1 and again in the Elizabethan Primer of 1559. It was solemnly used as a ‘Memorial Service’ at the death of Henry II. of France on September 8 of that year in S. Paul’s Cathedral. Parker, Barlow and Scory executed the service in surplices and hoods, and on the day following a sermon was preached by Scory, and a solemn communion was celebrated in copes, ‘with a rich hearse,’ and with six great personages to communicate.2
The ‘Dirge’ consists of three parts: the first, corresponding to the old vespers of the dead, comprised three psalms (cxvi. 1-9, xli, cxlvi.), with anthems followed by versicles and two collects; the second, corresponding to the Mattins, comprised three psalms (v., xxvii., xlii.), with anthem, Lord’s Prayer, and three lessons (Job x. 8-13, S. John v. 24-30, 1 Cor. xv. 51-58), each followed by an anthem, so-called; the third part corresponding to Lauds, comprised three psalms (xxx., Song of Hezekiah (Isaiah xxxviii. 10-20), lxxi.) with anthem, followed by Lesser Litany, Lord’s Prayer, suffrages and three collects. The suffrages and collects are very explicit in their prayer for the dead,3 and are similar to those in the burial service of the First Prayer Book.
The Office of the Dead.
II. — FORMS OF PRAYER TO BE USED AT SEA.
The first attempt at having special Forms of Prayer for use at sea was made under the Commonwealth, by the Parliament, as a supplement to the Directory, when it was found that the proscribed Book of Common Prayer was used in all ships in which there was any observance of religion at all,4 and that therefore some substitute must be provided.
At the Restoration therefore it was natural that some proper forms for use at sea should be added to the revised Prayer Book. They are not a complete office; nor are they arranged in any particular order: but as additions to the Common Prayer,5 or as particular supplications, or thanksgivings for deliverance from the perils of the sea or from the enemy, they are well adapted to their several occasions.6
|Prayers to be used at Sea.
III. — A FORM OF PRAYER WITH FHANKSGIVING TO ALMIGHTY GOD, TO BE USED IN ALL CHURCHES AND CHAPELS WITHIN THIS REALM, EVERY YEAR, UPON THE TWENTIETH DAY OF JUNE; BEING THE DAY ON WHICH HER MAJESTY BEGAN HER HAPPY REIGN.
Four special services7 were “annexed
to” the Book of Common
Prayer, until the year 1859, by the authority of a proclamation customarily
issued at the commencement of each reign. This is indeed the only authority
for the special service on the anniversary of the Sovereign’s Accession,
or for observing the day itself.8 The observance
of the three other days (Nov. 5, Jan. 30, May 29) rested upon Acts of Parliament
and the services themselves had some ecclesiastical authority. The 5th of
November was kept in memory of the Gunpowder Treason, or Papists’ Conspiracy;9 the
29th of May, in memory of the birth and return of the king, Charles II.;10 and
the 30th of January as a fasting day in memory of the murder of King Charles
I,11 After the Convocation had been completed
the revision of the Prayer Book, (1661) the service for the 5th of November,
which had been put out by royal authority in 1606 and was now revised, and
with it the offices for the 29th of May and the 30th of January,12 were
sanctioned. But the offices were not sent to the Parliament, and when they
were put forth in 1662 they had only the sanction of Convocation and the
|The Queen’s Accession.
The State Holy Days
Offices for the three days sanctioned by Convocation.
|In process of time changes were
introduced into them. James I. ordered the 29th of May to be observed in
a more general memory of the Restoration of the Royal Family, and accordingly
altered the service which had been provided by Convocation for that day.13 And
William III. ordered the 4th of November to be observed also in memory
of his landing in England, and altered that service accordingly.14 Hence
these offices, in the shape in which they were annexed to the Prayer Book,15 had
only authority of the Crown.
||Altered by Royal Authority.|
|These services were all constructed
upon one model. They
began with proper sentences of Scripture: a Canticle was appointed instead
of Venite, compiled of single verses from the Psalms: Proper Psalms,
and Lessons followed; additional suffrages were provided after the Creed,
and long proper Collects instead of the Collect for the day with a long
Prayer to be inserted at the end of the Litany: and a proper Collect,
Epistle, and Gospel were appointed in the Communion Office.
The only special service now retained is that for the day of the Sovereign’s Accession: the same authority which annexed the other three Forms to the Prayer Book has caused .them to be removed from it, by a,Royal Warrant dated the 17th day of January, 1859. New forms of service for the Accession Day were prepared by Convocation; in deference to a petition signed by a number of liturgical scholars, the old style of service was given up and three Forms of prayer were provided: the first provides psalms, lessons, and prayers which may be used at Mattins and Evensong: the second prescribes a special Collect, Epistle and Gospel to be substituted for those of the day: the third is an independent service consisting of the Te Deum with suffrages and collects. These Convocation rites were authorized by Royal Warrant on Nov. 9, 1901.
IV. — ADDITIONS TO THE AMERICAN PRAYER BOOK.
Before the Psalter, are inserted A Form of Prayer for the Visitation of Prisoners, taken from the old Irish Prayer Book; A Form of Prayer and Thanksgiving to Almighty God, for the Fruits of the Earth, and all the other blessings of his merciful Providence; to be used yearly on the first Thursday in November, or on such other day as shall be appointed by the Civil Authority (taken from the “Proposed Book”); and also, Forms of Prayer to be used in Families, taken from those composed by Bishop Gibson of London.
Construction of the Services
1 See above, p. 126.
2 Heylyn, Ecciesia Restaurata (ed, Eccl. Hist. Soc.), ii. 305.
3 Private Prayers of Q. Eliz. (Parker Soc.), pp. 57-67.
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4 See above, p. 162; Lathbury, Hist. of Convoc. pp. 497, 498.
5 The following is the first of the ARTICLES OF WAR:— ‘ Officers are to cause Public Worship, according to the Liturgy of the Church of England, to be solemnly performed in their ships, and take care that prayers and preaching by the chaplains be performed diligently, and that the Lord’s day be observed.’
6 These forms are retained in the American Prayer Book, with the necessary changes of expression, such as ships of war for Her Majesty’s Navy, &c. The Irish revised Prayer Book also has the forms, but omitting all direct mention of the Navy, and shortening the first or daily Prayer, as for use in any single ship; yet retaining the Prayers to be said before a Fight at Sea against an Enemy.
8 There is no Act of Parliament enjoining the observance of this day;
but it has been observed with special prayers in every reign since the
Reformation. The Service (1576, 1578) is printed in Elizabethan
Liturgical Services (Parker Soc.) pp. 548 and ff. Canon 11. of 1640
enjoined the observance of the day, and recognised ‘the particular form
of prayer appointed by authority for that day and purpose’ (Cardwell, Synodalia, I.
p. 392; Percival, p. 25); but a later statute of 1661 (13 Car. II. c.
12) forbade the enforcement of these canons (Percival, p. 8). A new form
was compiled by command of James II.; some considerable alterations were
made in the time of Queen Anne; at the accession of George I. the Prayer
for Unity was added, and the First Lesson, Josh. i. 1-9, was substituted
for Prov. viii, 13-36. Cardwell, Conferences, p. 385, note; Lathbury,
Hist. of Convoc. pp. 387 and ff.
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9 Stat. 3 Jac. I. c. 1; Percival, p. 17.
10 Stat. 12 Car. II. c. 14; ib. p. 20.
12 Two offices for the 30th of January had already appeared one in 1661 and one in January 1662. The former of these contained a petition in allusion to the martyrs: ‘that we may be made worthy to receive benefit by their prayers, which they, in communion with the Church Catholic, offer up’ unto thee for that part of it here militant.’ This was laid aside, and a second form was issued for use in 1662, which again was superseded when the Convocation issued their forms of service later on in the year. Cardwell, Synodalia, ii. 671. Lathbury, Hist. of Convoc. pp. 305 and ff., and Hist. of Prayer Book, p. 334. Blunt 703.
13 ‘Some alterations were made in the services for the 30th of January and the 20th of May by the Bishops, by authority of the Crown, neither the Convocation nor the Parliament being consulted.’ Lathbury, Hist. of Convoc. p. 313.
14 Percival, p. 15. It was revised by Patrick. See Lathbury, p. 333, 334.
15 The particulars of the extenstive changes introduced into these
offices may be seen in Mr. Percival’s. comparative arrangement of them,
as sanctioned by Convocation, and as commonly printed.
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