|The Book of Common Prayer|
THE ELIZABETHAN PRAYER BOOK.
THE death of Edward VI (July 6, 1553),
the collapse of the attempt of Lady Jane Grey to mount the throne, and
the accession of Mary left no room for doubt as to the immediate fate
of the English Prayer Book. It was practically buried with Edward when
a month later, by way of compromise, while Gardiner performed a Requiem
Mass before the Queen and Council in the Tower, Cranmer performed his
funeral in Westminster Abbey on August 8 with the Burial Service and
Communion from the Prayer Book.1 For
some time longer the English book remained in possession as the only
Service-book in legal use, and for a moment there was some possibility
that the compromise adopted over Edward’s lifeless body might be continued
for the peace of the Church:2 but soon
controversy broke out with too raging a flame: to stop short of the destruction
of the adversary. The Government moved slowly, while unauthorized zeal,
as once before, anticipated the law, in introducing the Latin services
into the churches in imitation of the Royal Chapel. The Universities
were the scenes of the first official action and a complete transformation
both of rites and persons was speedily effected.3
In Mary’s Reign.
A moment of compromise.
Zeal outruns law.
|In the midst of the excitement
of change it was rumoured that Cranmer had promised to say the Latin Mass
and had restored it in his own Cathedral. This drew from him a passionate
repudiation of the suggestion, and a bold though exaggerated offer to defend
in disputation the English Service against the Latin one as not being in
accordance with scripture and antiquity.4 This
brought him to the Tower, (September 14), and was the signal also for the
flight of Peter Martyr, à-Lasco
and the company of foreigners who had sheltered in England. It was not
till the close of the year that Mary’s First Act of Repeal abolished the
nine Acts which regulated the Edwardian settlement and restored from December
20 onward ‘all such Divine Service and administration of sacraments as
were most commonly used in the realm of England in the last year of our
late sovereign Lord King Henry VIII.’5 It
is noticeable that this Act made no step towards Rome or Popery: that was
reserved for the Second Act of Repeal of the close of 1554, which restored,
and more than restored, the earlier state of things in 1529 before the
breach with Rome began.6 The change of
Rite was still further emphasized, when the Act became operative, by royal
||The Prayer Book suppressed.|
|From this time forward the history
of the, Prayer Book is traced at Frankfort. Thither Pullain fled with his
companions, when the refugees of various nations were driven from their
homes in England, while others found shelter at Emden under the wing of à-Lasco,
or at Strasburg of Martyr, or at Zurich of Bullinger, or at Geneva of Calvin.
Those at Frankfort formed a considerable body. The magistrates had already
assigned a church for the use of the French Protestant congregation: and
when the company of English exiles settled there, they were allowed to
use the same church on alternate days in the week, and at different times
on the Sunday. A stipulation was, however, made that the English Service
was to be brought somewhat into agreement with the French Order.8 On
this understanding Knox was invited to act as their minister; but a rival
party were anxious to retain as fully as possible, the English Prayer Book,
and a hot and long controversy ensued. A description of the English Service-book
was sent to Calvin to elicit the expression of his disapproval.9 It
is a painfully interesting document, and the first of a long series of
expressions of dislike to ritual observances, to primitive institutions
and Apostolical order, which unhappily forms a large item in the future
history of the Book of Common Prayer. A series of conflicts and compromises
followed, and an attempt, made by the magistrates of the town to end the
disputes by ordering all to conform to the French Order, rather naturally
came to nothing. Finally the party of the Prayer Book, led by Cox and Whitehead,
conquered, and the dissidents departed with Whittingham to Basel or with
Knox to Geneva, leaving the congregation at Frankfort to quarrel for the
future on other subjects till their time of exile was done.10
The history abroad.
French English congregations of exiles at Frankfort.
|On the accession of Elizabeth
(November 17, 1558) the people generally were more prepared to receive
the religious teaching of the Reformers than they had, been in the time
of Henry, or even of Edward. The Protestant divines, who remained alive,
came forth from their hiding-places, and with others who now returned from
the Continent began once more to occupy the pulpits. The conduct of the
Queen was marked by extreme caution, and the wish to strike a balance between
the views, which held the field as a legacy from Queen Mary’s reign, and
the new views, which the exulting reformers were burning to proclaim. Whatever
were her own views, it was more important that the Queen should hold her
hand and watch the opposing parties than that she should act.11 The
Mass, therefore, still continued even in the Queen’s chapel. An English
Litany12 was however meanwhile being used
in the Chapel Royal. This was still legal, and the one form of English
public service which is known to have been issued in Queen Mary’s time:
it might therefore the more easily be used by Elizabeth without offence,
especially if the lead of the Marian Litany was followed, in omitting the
petition for deliverance from the Bishop of Rome and all his detestable
Restoration of the Reformation.
Accession of Elizabeth.
|About Christmas time
a very important State paper of questions and ad vices was prepared.14 suggesting
the mode in which the alteration of religion could be most safely brought
about. The ‘manner of doing of it’ is advised to be determined by a consultation
of ‘such learned men as be meet to show their minds herein; and to bring
a plat or book thereof, ready drawn, to her Highness: which being approved
of her Majesty, may be so put into the Parliament House: to the which for
the time it is thought that these are apt men, Dr. Bill, Dr. Parker, Dr.
May, Dr. Cox, Mr. Whitehead, Mr. Grindal, Mr. Pilkington; and Sir Thomas
Smith do call them together and to be amongst them . .’; and meanwhile
to prohibit ‘all innovation, until such time as the book come forth; as
well that there be no, often changes in religion, which would take away
authority in the common people’s estimation, as also to exercise the Queen’s
Majesty’s subjects to obedience.’ Another question is propounded, ‘What
may be done of her Highness for her own conscience openly, before the whole
alteration; or, if the alteration must tarry longer, what order be fit
to be in the whole realm, as an Interim?’ To which it is replied:
‘To alter no further than her Majesty hath, except it be to receive the
communion as her Highness pleaseth on high feasts: and that where there
be more chaplains at mass, that they do always communicate in both kinds:
and for her Highness’s conscience till then, if there be some other devout
sort of prayers, or Memory said, and the seldomer mass.’ This advice was
acted upon, To put an end to the disorders that had arisen from violent
sermons on both sides, preaching was forbidden by a proclamation15 (December
27, 1558), which allowed the Gospel and Epistle, and the Ten Commandments,
to be read in English, but without any exposition; and forbade ‘any other
manner of public prayer, rite, or ceremony in the church, but that which
is already used, and by law received, or the common Litany used at this
present in her Majesty’s own chapel, and the Lord’s Prayer, and the Creed
in English, until consultation may be had by Parliament. . . .’16 Besides
the introduction of the Litany in English into her own chapel, the Queen
had made some stipulations in her hearing of Mass:17 for
example on Christmas Day when Oglethorpe, bishop of Carlisle, was saying
Mass before her, she sent a message to him during the singing of the Gloria, ordering
him not to, elevate the host, because she liked not the ceremony. The bishop
refused and the Queen left after the Gospel: but on S. Stephen’s day one
of her chaplains was more compliant.18 The
ceremonies of the Coronation exhibited the same spirit of compromise (January
15, 1559). The actual coronation was performed by Bishop Oglethorpe in
the old way, though perhaps the Litany was in English, just as at the Mass
which followed the Epistle and Gospel were sung in English as well as Latin.
Apparently the Dean of the Chapel Royal19 celebrated,
through the refusal of the bishops to adopt the Queen’s use, and apparently
the Queen did not communicate.20
First steps towards a revival of the Reformation.
Proclamation forbidding preaching.
Sanctioning the Litany in English.
The modifications of the Mass.
|The real policy of the Government
was first revealed by the speech of the Lord-Keeper Bacon at the opening
of Parliament (January 25,1559): that laws should be made ‘for the according
and uniting of these people of the Realm into an uniform order of Religion:
. . . That nothing be advised or done which anyway in continuance of time
were likely to breed or nourish any kind of Idolatry or, Superstition’;
‘on the other side heed is to be taken, that by no Licentious or loose
handling any manner of Occasion be given, whereby any contempt or irreverent
behaviour towards God and Godly things, or any spice of irreligion, might
creep in or be conceived.’21 These were
the views by which the alterations now made in the Prayer Book were being
guided. With regard to the actual ‘consultation of learned men’ the course
of proceedings is far less clear.
||Lord-Keeper’s Speech at the opening of Parliament.|
|There is no sign
of a formal commission nor even that the divines nominated met as was proposed
at Sir Thomas Smith’s house. It is only possible to deduce what must have
happened22 from a letter of Guest23 sent
to Cecil when the draft of proposals was completed, in order to justify
‘the order taken in the’ new service.’ Clearly some body of divines had
met and drawn up a draft Service-book, and Guest was among them in a conspicuous
position: for he speaks as though the revision had been especially his
work. It is clear from this letter that the book, in the shape in which
it left the committee of divines, was more favourable to Puritan opinions
than was agreeable to the Queen or to her Secretary.24 According
to its provisions the surplice was allowed, but no special vestment was
to be used at the Communion; all except communicants were henceforth to
be sent out, apparently before the creed, and the posture of communicants,
standing or kneeling, was left as a thing indifferent.
Revision by Committee of Divines.
Guest takes a leading part under Cecil.
The Divines favour Puritan opinions,
but are overruled by the Court.
|This draft Service-book
was clearly different both from the First Book, which the Government is
thought to have favoured, and from the modified form of the Second Book,
which eventually became law. Its history is obscure: possibly it was strangled
by Cecil at its birth; but more probably it was propounded to Parliament
by the ‘Bill for Order of Service and Ministers in the Church’ of Feb.
15, or a similar bill of Feb. 16, both of which mysteriously disappeared
after a single, reading. A new attempt was made, and clauses sanctioning
the Second Book; or some such liturgical provisions, were included in the
revised Supremacy Bill, but only to be ejected from there at a later stage:25 Then
the baffled government resolved to put forward as a compromise a form of
the Second Book, modified by a few but very important alterations in the
opposite direction to that of the Draft Service-Book, and calculated to
conciliate the Conservatives. Meanwhile plans were laid for a great disputation
on religion to be held at Westminster on March 30, in reply to the hostile
attitude towards the alteration of religion taken up by the Convocation.26 This
body composed, as was natural, of the most convinced supporters of the
Marian policy among the clergy, was engaged at this time, not in considering
the new draft Service-book, but in protesting against any change, and in
passing Five Articles27 defining its position:
the first three dealing with Mass and being the identical theses of the
Disputation at Oxford in 1554 which brought Cranmer, Latimer, and Ridley
to the stake: the fourth affirming the Papal Supremacy, and the fifth denying
to laymen ‘the authority of handling and defining the things belonging
to faith, sacraments, and discipline ecclesiastical.’ To meet this opposition,
the Government may well have desired to be first fortified with the Act
of Supremacy and may well therefore have thought it wise to postpone the
liturgical questions till by that Act the ancient jurisdiction had been
restored to the Crown, and all foreign power repugnant to it had been abolished.28 When
this bill was well under way a new Uniformity Bill was introduced (April
18, 1559) to re-establish the Second Edwardine Book with certain specified
amendments.29 It was read on three consecutive
days and sent up to the House of Lords. Two strong speeches made there,
one by Feckenham, Abbat of Westminster, and the other by Scott, Bishop
of Chester, have been preserved and show the quality of the opposition.30 They
both alike regarded the matter as a choice, not merely between two books,
but between the old and the new religion, and both alleged a good deal
that was untrue against the Prayer Book. At the third reading nine bishops
and nine temporal peers voted against the Act; the remaining bishops seem
to have been absent. But this by itself gives an inadequate idea of the
actual position of things, for the Bill was passed by a majority of three
Parliament sanctions the Book with the Royal amendments.
|The following variations32 of
the Elizabethan from Edward’s second Prayer Book were noted by Archbishop
Parker33 for the Lord Treasurer Burghley.
The first rubric now directed ‘the Morning and Evening Prayer to be used in
the accustomed place of the
church, chapel, or chancel,’ instead of ‘in such
place as the people may best hear.’ The second rubric, which had forbidden
all ecclesiastical vestments but the rochet and the surplice,
gave way to the rule of the Act that ‘the minister at the time of Communion,
and at all other times in his ministration, shall use such ornaments in
the church as were in use by authority of Parliament in the second year
of the reign of K. Edward VI.’ In the Litany the words, ‘from
the tyranny of the bishop of Rome and all his detestable enormities;’ were
finally omitted; the suffrage for the Queen was altered by the addition
of the words, strengthen in the true worshipping of thee, in righteousness
and holiness of life; the prayers for the Queen, and for the clergy
and people; with the collect, O God, whose nature and property, &c.,’ were
now placed at the end of the Litany: of two collects for time of Dearth,
one was omitted, as also was the note to the Prayer of S. Chrysostom, ‘and
the Litany shall ever end with this collect following.’34 In
the Communion Service the words used at the delivery of the Sacrament to
the communicants combined the forms of Edward’s first and second Books.35
Abp. Parkers note of the alterations,
|Further it is important to note
that the Declaration touching kneeling at the Communion was omitted.36
|The Ordinal37 differed
from that of 1552 only in the form of the oath. It is styled ‘The Oath
of the Queen’s : sovereignty,’ instead of ‘The Oath of the King’s supremacy’;
and it is directed ‘against the power and, authority of all foreign potentates,’
instead of ‘against the usurped power and authority of the Bishop of Rome.’
|The restoration of the Prayer
Book met with surprisingly little opposition. Already by the end of the
previous year in some places the greater part of the people had ‘entirely
renounced the Mass,’ and were beginning in January to bring back the
Prayer Book, while in others devout congregations still flocked to the
Latin Mass.38 While Parliament was prolonged
through interminable disputes, a further step was taken in the Royal
Chapel, where, on Easter Day, ‘Mass was sung in English according to
the use of King Edward,’ and after it the celebrant took off his vestments
and gave Communion in both kinds, vested only in a surplice, to the Queen
and many peers.39
The Act of Uniformity specified the feast of the Nativity of S. John Baptist as the day on which the revised Prayer Book was to be used. Parliament was dissolved May 8; on the Whitsunday following (May 14) the Queen caused the Edwardine service to be read in her chapel, while a number of parish churches and the monks at Westminster made haste to follow suit40; and on the following Wednesday it was read before ‘a very august assembly of the court’ at S. Paul’s.41 which was otherwise the only London church which retained the Latin Services up till June 11.42
|Acceptance of the Book|
|Thus the actual transition was
very quietly accomplished. The resistance of the bishops and principal
clergy was both strenuous and solid, but this does not seem to have been
the case ultimately with the rank and file, though no doubt a large body
of them deprecated change.43 Still, of the
whole body of clergy, it appears that not more than some 200 were deprived
during the years 1558-1564, a state of things which is in marked contrast
with the wholesale policy of deprivation by which the Marian ecclesiastical
policy was carried through.44
||The Prayer Book generally accepted by the clergy.|
|In the summer of this year a
Royal Visitation was ordered, with the intention of carrying out the new
ecclesiastical policy and requiring subscription to the settlement of religion
as provided for in the Supremacy Act, the Uniformity Act, and the Visitation
Injunctions. These last were drawn mainly from the Edwardine Injunctions,
revised up to date and enlarged by the addition of new matter since 1547.45 Some
of these new Injunctions dealt especially with the burning questions of
the hour, e.g. the Royal Supremacy,46 which
was still viewed by the country with misgiving, and the destruction of
altars, which had been going on in riotous and unauthorised fashion, and
was now to be regulated. There was great difficulty in prevailing upon
the Queen to accede to this under any terms; and she would not order their
removal unconditionally.47 A long string
of reasons was prepared, Why
it was not convenient that the Communion should be ministered at an altar,48
and had apparently the effect of overcoming the Royal opposition. An Order49 was
subjoined to the Injunctions, declaring that the matter seemed to be of
no ‘great moment, so that the Sacrament be duly and reverently ministered;
yet for uniformity . . . . it is ordered that no altar be taken down but
by oversight of the curate of the church and the churchwardens . . . .
and that the holy table in every church be decently made and set in the
place where the altar stood,’ and at Communion time should be so placed
within the chancel that the minister might be conveniently heard, and the
communicants conveniently communicate.
Removal of Altars.
|’This Royal Order, however, did
not quell the controversy. In the next year the bishops drew up a paper
of ‘Interpretations and further considerations,’50 upon
the meaning of these Injunctions, for the guidance of the clergy; where
they direct ‘that the table be removed out of the choir into the body of
the church, before the chancel-door, where either the choir seemeth to
be too little, or at great feasts of receivings, and at the end of the
Communion to be set up again, according to the Injunctions.’ By a similar
order, overriding the rubric or explanatory of it, wafers were to be used
for sacramental bread, and careful regulation was made that they should
be larger and thicker than before. On the question of vestments and ornaments
,the Act of Uniformity had fixed upon the second year of Edward VI. as
the standard, thereby disallowing the Puritanical bareness of ornament
which had marked Edward’s second Book, and which Guest himself would have
continued. Many were of Guest’s opinion and rebelled against the rubric;
others wished to abolish even the surplice. To Cover such rebellion a plea
was put forward51 that the rubric had
in view not ceremonial but royal spoliation .. Accordingly a fresh spoliation
followed both official and unofficial, until within a few months many of
the rubrical ornaments were rarely in use or even retained.52 The
new bishops on coming into. power could do no more to stem the devastation
than stipulate in their ‘Interpretations’ of the Injunctions for the use
at least of the surplice and cope.
The Bishops lnterpretation of the Injunctions.
|These Injunctions also regulate
the use of music in worship. In collegiate and some parish churches there
were bequests for the maintenance of a choir. This laudable service of
music was to be retained; the old plainsong music of the church is prescribed
for general use in these terms-’a modest and distinct song so used in all
parts of the common prayers in the church, that the same might be as plainly
understanded as if it were read without singing.’ This no doubt also included
simple harmonized services; but, besides this distinct song, ‘music’ —
that is, florid music in distinction to plainsong — was permitted
in the form of a hymn or such like song, to be sung at the beginning or,
end of the Morning or Evening Prayers ‘in the best sort of melody and music
that may be conveniently devised, having respect that the sentence of the
hymn may be understanded and perceived.’53
||Chanting and Psalmody.|
|In 1560 the Book of Common Prayer
was published in Latin, upon the petition of the Universities, and with the
Royal Letters Patent authorising its use among the learned. Walter Haddon
has been called the author of this version;54 but
he followed a translation of the book of 1549, by Alexander Aless, to such
an extent that it cannot be considered a faithful rendering of its presumed
Liber Precum Communium.
|In Ireland, as it
has been pointed out, the use of the Book of Common Prayer, at the death
of Edward VI., rested on the Royal Prerogative only, and insecurely at
best; the book of 1552 was not ordered for observance there during the
short period in which it was used in England. No Act was passed in Ireland
in Queen Mary’s reign to prohibit the use of the English Service-book;
however, it was disused from the death of Edward VI. until August 30, 1559,
when the English Litany was sung in Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin, on
the occasion of the Earl of Sussex taking the oaths as Lord-Deputy. Part
of his instructions were ‘to set up the worship of God as it is in ‘England,
and to make such statutes next Parliament as were lately made in England.’
Therefore, on the meeting of the Irish Parliament, in January 1560, the
second business which they took in hand was to pass in the face of great
Act of Uniformity, following almost verbatim the English Act of the preceding
year, and authorizing the Prayer Book which had been put forth in England.57 All
other books of service were set aside; and the Parliament was then confronted
with the difficulty of supplying the Irish churches with Prayer Books — a
difficulty arising from the circumstance that in most places the priests
did not understand English, that there was no Irish printing-press, and
that few could read the Irish letters. Their strange expedient was, by
a special additional clause, to sanction the use of all common and open
prayer in the Latin tongue.58 And it appears
that Haddon’s Latin version was completed with this object; for it comprehends
the Occasional Offices, which would not have been required if it were only
for the use of college chapels.59
Service in the Irish Church.
Irish Act of Uniformity.
|In this year also appeared the
first of a long series of Additional Services. It was ‘to be used in common
prayer thrice a week for seasonable weather and good success of the common
affairs of the realm.’ Such additions to the usual service were frequently
ordered during this reign, and were not held to be infringements of the
Act of Uniformity:60 the practice is,
indeed, far older than the English Prayer Book; but, as one of the means
of bringing prayers in the English tongue into use, it was now specially
adapted to interest the people in the public worship generally, when it
was thus applied to some pressing necessity.61
|One point specified
in the Act of Uniformity, in which a change had been introduced into the
Prayer Book of 1559, is the ‘addition of certain lessons to be used on
every Sunday in the year.’ The Kalendar (1549) contained the chapters to
be read at the daily Mattins and Evensong; the Proper Psalms and Lessons
for Feasts were given with, the Collects, Epistles, and Gospels. In 1552
the ‘Proper Psalms and Lessons for divers feasts and days, at Morning and
Evening Prayer,’ were placed before the Kalendar, In 1559 this part of
the book assumed more of its present shape, having Proper Lessons to be
read for the First Lessons, both at Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer on
the Sundays throughout the year, and for some also the Second Lessons,’
in addition to the ‘Lessons proper for Holy Days,’ and the chapters for
ordinary days in the Kalendar. All was not, however, quite satisfactory.
On January 22, 1561, a letter was issued to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners,62 directing
them ‘to peruse the order of the said Lessons throughout the whole year,
and to cause some new Kalendars to be imprinted, Whereby such chapters
or parcels of less edification may be removed, and other more profitable
may supply their rooms.’63 This commission
was also to consider the decays of churches, and unseemly keeping of chancels;
and to order the Commandments to be set up at the, east end of the chancel,
to be not only read for edification, but also to give some comely ornament
and demonstration that the same is a place of religion and prayer: to secure
uniformity in Cathedrals and parish Churches and a right use of the Latin
Prayer Book in Colleges. With regard to the lectionary little was in fact
done, for only the First Lessons for Whit-Sunday were changed, and one
error corrected.64 No further alteration
in the Kalendar was directed in the Queen’s letter; yet we find that it
was revised in other respects.65 Tables
of the Movable Feasts, and for determining Easter, were added: and the
names of saints, which had been omitted from the First Edwardine Prayer
Book, were inserted almost as they stand in our present Kalendar.66
Successive changes to the Kalendar of Lessons.
Commission to amend the Kalendar.
Names of Saints inserted.
|The Elizabethan compromise was
never fairly accepted: the Ornaments’ rubric was from the first set aside,
and the authorities found that they had all that they could do in enforcing
the use of the surplice and cap.67 In
spite of such concessions .the Puritan party became more and more hostile:
some conformed, some remained in the Church as non-conforming members,
while others, deserting the true Puritan position, went out to form various
sects; but the history of Elizabeth’s reign is to a considerable degree
the history of a relentless conflict between Puritanism and Churchmanship,
with the Prayer Book as its chief battle ground. Moreover, there were recusants
and separatists on the Conservative side as well as on the Reform side,
and in the fight between the English Church and those who clung to the
Roman obedience, the Prayer Book was again an important battle ground.
In the early days of the reign there is good reason for believing that
the Pope Pius IV. was prepared to recognize the Prayer Book in return for
a recognition of his own supremacy:68 but
the conflict became more and more embittered as the Roman authorities declared
against all attendance at the English Services,69 and
when Pope Pius V. published his Bull of excommunication (1570) : from that
time all prospect of conciliation on that side was shut out of view.
||Subsequent history of the book.|
|On the other side the attack
was constant and unrelenting, and the disobedience was obstinate and widespread.
The origin of it lies back in the history of the Marian Exiles, to which
reference has already been made. The dislike of the Prayer Book, which
led to scandalous scenes among the English exiles at Frankfort, and which
was emphatically expressed by Knox and those who owned his leadership,
was increased by the natural results of so bitter a dispute. The noisiest
of the malcontents were compelled to leave Frankfort, and carried off with
their party the honours of martyrdom for the Protestant religion. Supported
by the authority of Calvin, himself a host in a battle of opinion, their
ideas of a fitting Christian service became more clearly developed, and
were embodied in Knox’s Genevan ‘Form of Prayers.’70 Hence,
when the exiles were able to return to England after the death of Mary,
the Genevan faction, or, as we may now begin to call them, the Puritan
party, was the more prepared to find fault both with the Liturgy and with
Episcopacy. And their annoyance must have been great, when the revision
of the Prayer Book at the opening of Elizabeth’s reign went in all respects
directly contrary to their wishes, sweeping away several of the Puritan
portions of Edward’s Second Book, and bringing hack some of the discarded
ceremonies and vestments of earlier times.
As early as 1562 a determined attempt was made in Convocation to abolish the ceremonies against which Puritan opposition was to wage such a lengthy contest. Lay baptism, the Cross in baptism, kneeling at communion, every sort of vestment from copes and surplices to gowns and caps, and, in fact, the prescribing of any ceremonial at all, alike met with condemnation at the hands of an influential party, headed by Bishop Sandys, Dean Nowell of S. Paul’s and other men of weight.71
Eventually, six articles were submitted to the lower house for the abolition
of all festivals except Sundays and the feasts of our Lord, organs, the
Cross in baptism and compulsory kneeling at communion, all vestments except
the surplice, and the facing of the minister away from the people: after
a great contest these revolutionary proposals were lost by only one vote.72
|In 1571 a bill was brought into
Parliament by Mr. Strickland ‘for Reformation of the Book of Common Prayer,’
mainly aimed, as it seems, against the disputed ceremonies. The house was
warned that ceremonial matters were reserved to the Queen’s authority,
and in a few days Strickland was called before the Council for infringing
the Royal prerogative; it was only after some days and after some protests
from the House, that he was allowed to resume his place in it.73
In spite of such an exhibition of Royal displeasure, another like attempt was made in the following year. A bill for Rites and Ceremonies was read three times in the Commons, and referred to a committee: but two days later a Royal message ordered ‘that from henceforth no bills concerning religion shall be preferred or received into this house unless the same should first be considered and liked by the clergy.’74 The agitation against the Prayer Book was at this time going on all over the country, and six months later drew from the Queen ‘A proclamation against the despisers or breakers of the orders prescribed in the Book of Common Prayer.’75
On the other side there appeared the two celebrated ‘Admonitions to
the Parliament,’ which, with the ‘Books of Discipline,’ marked a new
stage of the contest;76 in this the
Puritan party advanced from a position of mere criticism of ceremonies
and details to a general assault upon Episcopacy, and the whole Church
system, coupled with insidious attempts to introduce secretly the whole
Presbyterian system of discipline in its place.77 In
the First Admonition the Prayer Book was described as ‘an unperfect Boke,
culled and picked out of that Popishe dunghil the Portuise and Masse
boke, full of all abominations,” and twelve pages were devoted to
a detailed attack upon it.78 After this
it could only be expected that the puritan party, as it grew in strength
and boldness, would make some deliberate effort to supersede it by another
|Undeterred by the fear of infringing
Royal prerogative or of usurping the clergy’s right of initiative, further
opposition to the Prayer Book appeared in Parliament in 1584, and a petition
from the Commons to the Lords complained among other things that Ministers
were ‘molested . . . for omitting small portions or some ceremony prescribed
in the Book of Common Prayer,’ and asked that ‘such Ministers, as do use
the Book of Common Prayer. . . and none other, be not from henceforth called
in question for the omission or change of some Portion or Rite as is aforesaid,
so their doings therein be void of contempt.’ To this petition the Archbishop
of Canterbury gave answer, and utterly disallowed the article in question.
In connexion with these petitions two attempts were made to procure the
authorization of another Prayer Book, the first in this parliament by Dr.
Turner, and the second in the ensuing parliament by Mr. Cope. The proposed
book and the accompanying petition were in neither case read to the house,
but on the second occasion (Feb. 27, 1586/7) the proposal found much support
and was being discussed when the house rose: three days later Cope and his
three chief supporters were sent to the Tower by the Council. The Queen
sent for both of the sets of proposals, and the house was instructed that
‘her Majesty had for divers good causes best known to herself thought fit
to surpress the same, without any further examination thereof.79 This
was not by any means the end of the book, for it was already in secret
use among bodies of separatists in one or other form, and, probably in
the interval between the two Parliaments, had appeared in print,80 But
after these failures, Puritan opposition became more humble in tone and
more secret in its methods. The disloyalty to the Prayer Book went on,
both as regards the services and ceremonies, and also as regards the
whole system of discipline. Emasculated editions of the Book were published,
and no doubt used, though illegally;81 but
in spite of all such secret attempts, nothing formal was done until the
reign of Elizabeth was at an end.
In conclusion a curious attack on the legal position of the Ordinal
must be recorded, devised by Bonner in 1564. On being summoned by Bishop
Home to take the oath of Supremacy, he refused, alleging in defence many
legal technicalities to prove that in the eye of the law Home was no
bishop. His strongest plea was that the Ordinal, being a separate book,
from the Book of Common Prayer, was not legal, as it was not expressly
mentioned in the Act of Uniformity. These technicalities were held to
be so far real, that it was decided in 1566 to pass an indemnifying Act
to end the case, by declaring the consecrations good and perfect in
the eye of the law, and the Ordinal of Edward to be in force.82
1 Dixon, IV. p. 10.
2 No prohibition of the English service was suggested by the Queen’s ‘First Proclamation about Religion’ of Aug. 18. See Gee and Hardy, LXXII. Doc. Ann. XXVIII.
3 Dixon IV. 33.
4 ‘I will and by the might of God shall be ready at all times to prove
against all that would say the contrary, that all that is said in the Holy
Communion . . . is conformable to that order which our Saviour Christ did
both observe and command to be observed: which also His Apostles and primitive
Church used many years: whereas the Mass in many things not only hath no
foundation of Christ’s Apostles nor the primitive Church, but also is manifestly
contrary to the same and containeth in it many horrible abuses.’
6 Ibid. LXXVI.
7 Machyn’s Diary, 50.
8 The actual result of this was that ‘the Englishe order was perused and this by general consent was concluded that the answeringe aloude after the Minister shulde not be vsed, the letanye, surplice and many other thinges also omitted: . . . in place of the Englishe confession . . . an other bothe off more effecte and also framed accordinge to the state and time: And the same done the people to sing a psalme in meetre : . . . that don the minister to praye for thesslstance off gods holie spirite and so to proceade to the sermon. After the sermon a generall praier . . . the lord’s praier and a rehersall off tharticles off oure belieff. Which ended the people to sing an other psalme as afore. Then the minister pronouncing this blessinge The peace off God &c or some other off like effeet, the people to departe.’ Troubles begun at Frankfort (reprint of 1846), pp. vi, vii; cp. p. cxvii. The “Liturgy of Compromise” is printed in The Second Prayer Book (Ch. Service Soc. Edition 1905).
9 See Additional Note IV. p. 129.
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10 Dixon, IV. 684 and ff.
11 Frere, Eng. Ch. V. 4 and ff.
12 Il Schifanoya reported this (State Papers, Venetian) on Dec. 17, 1558.
13 The Marian Litany is at the British Museum (C. 25. b. 10). The first two Elizabethan editions were issued in 1558, one omitting and one retaining the clause in question. See. A print of one of them in Liturgical Services of Q. Elizabeth, p. 1. And see below for the whole question, in chapter xi., p. 421.
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15 Strype, Annals, Append. IV. or Doc. Ann. XLII. Cardwell, Conferences, p. 43. Gee and Hardy, Documents, LXXVII. Cp. Wriothesley, II. 143. On the extensive and somewhat indefinite authority arrogated to proclamations at this period, see Hallam, Const. Hist. 1. 320 (236) and ff.
16 In consequence of this there appeared on Jan. 1 ‘The Litany, used in the Queen’s Majesty’s chapel, according to the tenor of the Proclamation, 1559’; it is reprinted in Lit. Services of Q. Elizabeth (Parker Soc.}, p. 9. A ‘Confession’ is prefixed, being the Confession in the Communion Service adapted to individual use: after the prayer, ‘We humbly beseech thee, O Father,’ &c. follows’ A prayer for the Queen’s Majesty;’ then the prayer for the clergy and people; then ‘A Prayer of Chrysostome,’ and’ ii. Cor. xiii.’ with the note, ‘ Here endeth the Litany used in the Queen’s Chapel.’ After this are prayers, ‘For Rain, if the time require,’ ‘For fair Weather,’ ‘In the time of Dearth or Famine,’ ‘In the time of War,’ ‘In the time of any common Plague or Sickness,’ the collect, ‘O God, whose nature and property,’ &c., The Lord’s Prayer, The Apostles’ Creed, The Ten Commandments, Graces before and after meat; ending with the words, ‘God save the universal Church, and preserve our most gracious Queen Elizabeth, and the realm. and send us peace in our Lord Jesus, Amen.’ This Litany, with its arrangement of collects, is an amended edition of the unauthorised Litany mentioned above. As it was printed for general use, other prayers were added, and the book was made to partake of the nature of a Primer.
17 Zurich Letters, I. VI. Jewel to P. Martyr. Ap. 14, 1559.
18 Strype, Annals, I. ch. ii. p. 50; Heylyn, Hist. Ref. (Eccl. Hist. Soc.) II. p. 272, note. Lingard, History, VI. 5. State Papers; Venetian, Dec. 31, 1558, Spanish, I, 17; Engl. Hist, Rev. xv. 330. Sanders, Anglican Schism (ed. Lewis), p. 242.
19 See State Papers, Spanish, I. 6.
20 The evidence is conflicting: contrast Nichols, Progresses, i. 30 with S. P. Venetian, pp. 17, 24, and Spanish, p. 25.
21 Strype, Annals, I. ch. ii. p. 54; D’Ewes, Journals, pp. 11, 12.
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22 Strype says that Archbishop Parker was absent from the deliberations at least some part of the time through sickness, and suggests that Guest was appointed in his place with especial instructions.’ to compare both K. Edward’s Communion Books together, and from them both to frame a book for the use of the Church of England; by correcting and amending, altering, and adding, or taking away, according to his judgment and the ancient Liturgies.’ Annals, I. ch. iv. 82; but ‘he gives no authority for this.
23 Strype, Annals, I. Orig. XIV. or Cardwell, Conferences, p. 48. The following are the chief points : ‘Ceremonies, once taken away, as ill used, should not be taken again. ‘Of the cross: no image should be set up in the church. Procession is superfluous’; it is better to pray in the church. ‘Because it is sufficient to use but a surplice in baptizing, reading, preaching, and praying, therefore it is enough also for the celebrating of the Communion.’ Non-communicants should be dismissed after the offertory. The Creed is ordained to be’ said only of the communicants. ‘Praying for the dead is not used in the Communion, because it doth seem to make for the sacrifice of the dead’: ‘as it was used in the first Book, it makes some of the faithful to be in heaven, and to need no mercy, and some of them to be in another place, and to lack help and mercy.’ ‘The Prayer (in the first Book) for Consecration, “O merciful Father, &c.,” is to be disliked . . . First, because it is taken to be so needful for the consecration, that the consecration is not thought to be without it: which is not true; for petition is no part of consecration: because Christ in ordaining the Sacrament made no petition, but a thanksgiving.’ Also ‘for that it prays that the bread and wine may be Christ’s body and blood, which makes for the popish transubstantiation.’ The sacrament is to be received in our hands. ‘The old use of the Church was to communicate standing; yet because it is taken of some by itself to be sin to receive kneeling, whereas of itself it is lawful, it is left indifferent to every man’s choice to follow the one way or the other, to teach men that it is lawful to receive either standing or kneeling.’ Dr. Gee refer this to 1552: Eliz. B. P. 32-50.
24 It has been supposed, and probably rightly, from the form of Guest’s letter to Cecil, that the First Prayer Book was recommended to the divines as the basis of the new book.
25 S. P. Venetian, 48, 52.
26 This rendered impossible the submission of the Prayer Book to Convocation:
but it is clear from the Supremacy Act that from the point of view of the
Elizabethan government parliamentary action in Ecclesiastical matters ought to
be conjoined with synodical action in Convocation. Gee and Hardy, Documents, p.
455. Towards the end of the reign it was supposed that this had been done
in the case of the Prayer Book. See State Papers, Dom. Elizabeth,
VII. 46, 47.
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27 See them in Strype, Annals, I. ch. ii. 56. Cp. Dixon, v. 89-93.
28 See the Act in Gee, Elizabethan Clergy, p. 9, or Gee and Hardy, Documents, LXXIX. Its history is intricate; a Supremacy bill containing the title ‘Supreme Head’ passed before the Easter recess: but subsequently another bill with the title ‘Supreme Governor’ was passed instead.’ (Ap. 10-29).
29 The statute (I Eliz. c. 2, April 28, 1559) repealed the Act of Mary, which had repealed the Act (5 and 6 Ed. VI. c. 1) ‘to the great decay of the due honour of God, and discomfort to the Professors of the truth of Christ’s religion’ (§ 1); and thus the second Prayer Book of Edward VI. was re-established, ‘with one alteration, or addition of certain Lessons to be used on every Sunday in the year, and the form of the Litany altered and corrected, and two sentences only added in the delivery of the Sacrament to the communicants, and none other or otherwise’ (§ 2). With the further proviso, ‘that such ornaments of the church and of the ministers thereof shall be retained and be in use, as was in the Church of England, by authority of Parliament, in the second year of the reign of K. Edw. VI., until other order shall be therein taken, by the authority of the Queen’s majesty with the advice of her commissioners appointed and authorized under the great seal of England for causes ecclesiastical, or of the metropolitan of this realm’ (§ 13), and that further rites or ceremonies may be ordained and published by the same authority. See the act in Gee, Elizabethan Clergy, p. 22, or Gee and Hardy, Documents, LXXX. The books printed in this year (1559) differ from each other in small particulars, chiefly in the collects at the end of the Litany. See Liturg. Services of Q. Eliz. (Parker Soc.), and Mr. Clay’s Pref. pp. xii-xv.
31 Feria’s despatch of May 10 to King Philip, State Papers, Spanish, I. 67; or K de Lettenhove, Relations Politiques des Pays Bas et de l’Angleterre, I. 346.
32 They are considerably more than are specified in the Act. Some further changes were made under the authority granted by the Act to the Queen, acting with the Ecclesiastical, Commission or the Metropolitan, such as a new Calendar in 1561, an alteration in the collect for S. Mark’s Day, probably not later than 1564, and some inconsiderable verbal additions, certainly not later than 1572. Clay, Liturg. Serv. Of Q. Eliz., p. xv,
33 Clay, ibid. p. xiv. Lansd. MS. 120, printed in Strype, Annals, I,
iv. p 84.
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34 These alterations had all been anticipated in the Litany of Jan. I, 1559. See p. 96. The suffrage for the Queen was in fact more altered than Parker noted.
35 The early Elizabethan books vary greatly (especially in the additions to the Litany), and it is not clear what edition Parker used in making the foregoing incomplete summary. See Clay u. s. xii-xv.
36 Though omitted from the Prayer Book, this Declaration was not forgotten: Bishops Grindal and Horn in 1567 say that it continued to be ‘most diligently declared, published and impressed upon the people.’ Zurich Letters, LXXV. vol. I. p. 1 (Parker Soc.)
37 See below, p. 115.
38 State Papers, Venetian. Despatches of Jan. 2, Jan. 8, and Feb. 6.
39 Ibid. p. 57. In view of Easter a proclamation was issued, authorizing but not enforcing communion in both kinds. (March 22.) See Gee, Eliz. P. B., p. 255.
40 Wriothesley, II. 145. State Papers, Foreign, May 28, 1559. ‘The most part of the monks at Westminster have already changed their coats.’ The book had been in use even earlier. See State Papers, Spanish, I. 66, 69.
41 Strype, Grindal, p. 24.
43 For a specimen of the opposition, see State Papers,
Spanish, I. 79,82,89.
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44 The whole of this subject has been. fully investigated by Dr. Gee in his Elizabethan Clergy with the above result. See there p. 251, and Frere, Marian Reaction, p. 86.
45 Cardwell, Doc. Ann. XLIII. or (as collated with the Edwardine Injunctions) in Gee and Hardy, Documents, LXXVIII. or Elizabethan Clergy, pp. 46 and ff.
46 Cecil was responsible for this. Letter of Abp. Parker to Lord Burghley (April 11, 1575), ‘Whatsoever the [Queen’s] ecclesiastical prerogative is, I fear it is not so great as your pen hath given it in the Injunctions.’ Parker Corr. p. 479.
47 Compare Tonstal’s letter on the subject in August, 1559. S. P. Dom. VI. 22. Gee, Eliz. P.B. 144.
49 For its authority see below,.p. 365.
50 Strype, Annals, I. ch. xvii. p. 213; Cardwell, Doc. Ann. p. 236.
51 ‘Our gloss upon this text,’ said Dr. Sandys in a letter to Dr. Parker
of April 30, 1559, ‘is, that we shall not be forced to use them but that
others in the mean time shall not convey them away, but that they may remain
for the Queen.’ Parker Corr. p. 65. Strype, Annals, I. 83.
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52 The crucifix, candles and vestments were for a time removed from the royal chapel, but they were brought in again almost immediately on Oct. 9, 1559, State Papers, Spanish, I. 105, and the crosses were ordered elsewhere. Ibid. 126, 128. For the Ornaments rubric see below, p. 362.
53 The same technical use belongs to the word’ musique’ in French, in contradistinction to the old plainchant. Genevan psalmody also came in under this proviso. On April 7, 1559 at a funeral conducted in Genevan fashion ‘they sang Pater noster in English both preachers and other, and . . . . of a new fashion.’ So Machyn recorded (p, 193) with a similar entry in September. See his Diary, p. 212, quoted in Strype’s Grindal, p. 27) ‘which custom was about this time brought also into S. Paul’s.’ See also ibid. p. 37. Cp. Reynolds, Chapter Acts of Exeter Cathedral, 1891. p. 53. See Additional Note II. p. 125.
54 Heylyn, Hist. Ref. 2 Eliz. § 19. But see Clay, Liturgies of Elizabeth. (ed. Parker Soc.] p. xxiv,
55 See Additional Note 1. to this chapter, p. 116.
56 State Papers, Spanish, I. 128.
57 Stephens, MS. Book of Common Prayer for Ireland (Eccl. Hist, Soc.)
Introd. pp. viii. clii.; Mant. Hist. of the Church
of Ireland, I. p. 258.
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58 ‘And forasmuch as in most places in Ireland there could not be found English ministers to serve in the churches or places appointed for Common Prayer, or to minister the Sacraments to the people, and if some good mean were provided for the use of the Prayer Service, and Administration of Sacraments set out and established by this Act, in such language as they might best understand, the due honour of God would be thereby much advanced; and for that also, that the same might not be in their native language, as well for difficulty to get it printed, as that few in Ireland could read the Irish letters:’ it enacted, ‘That in every such church or place where the common minister or priest had not the use or knowledge of the English tongue, he might say and use the Mattins, Evensong, Celebration of the Lord’s Supper, and, Administration of each of the Sacraments, and all their common and open Prayer, in the Latin tongue, in the order and form mentioned and set forth in the book established by this Act.’ Stat. 2 Eliz. c. 2. (Ir.); Stephens, MS. Book of Common Prayer for Ireland, pp. xi. and clxiv. and ff.
59 Part of the Prayer Book had been translated into Latin for this purpose as early as 1551. The translator was a Mr. Smyth, who is said to have received twenty pounds for his labour. (Original Letters and Papers, edited by E. P. Shirley, Lond. 1851, pp. 47, 48.)
60 In the volume of Liturgical Services of Elizabeth (Parker Soc.), Mr. Clay has reprinted forty such Elizabethan Occasional Forms of Prayer.
61 Strype, Cranmer, i. 29.
62 Appointed under the Act (see above, p. 100). See Doc. Ann. XLV*. In this letter (Doc. Ann. ,LV.), Matthew (Parker) archbishop of Canterbury, Edmund (Grindal) bishop of London, Dr. William Bill the Almoner, and WaIter Haddon, one of the Masters of Requests, were especially named, two of whom were to be always present.
63 Cardwell, Doc. Ann. LV.
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64 Deut. xvi. and Wisd. i, were substituted for Deut. xvii. and xviii, as the First Lessons for Whitsunday; and for Evensong of the eleventh Sunday after Trinity, 4 Kings xix was corrected into 4 Kings ix, A few further changes were made at a later date. Clay, Preface to Liturgical Services of Q. Eliz., p. xv. Perhaps less care was taken in revising the lists of daily Lessons from the discretion which was allowed of reading other chapters than those appointed. The clergy were enjoined to use this discretion in the Admonition prefixed to the Second Book of Homilies (1564). And Abbot, afterwards archbishop of Canterbury (1611), writes that in his time it was ‘not only permitted to the minister, but commended in him, if wisely and quietly he do read canonical Scripture where the apocryphal upon good judgment seemeth not so fit; or any chapter of the canonical may be conceived not to have in it so much edification before the simple as some other part of the same canonical may be thought to have.’ Cardwell Doc. Ann. I. p. 294, note.
65 See the reprint in Lit. Services of Q. Elizabeth, p. 435.
66 With the Festivals of our Lord the Purification and Annunciation of the Virgin Mary, the festivals of S. John the Baptist, the Apostles and Evangelists, S. Michael, All Saints and Holy Innocents, the Kalendar (1559)had contained only the names S. George and S. Lawrence, Lammas and some editions also S. Clement. For the full discussion of the Kalendar, see below, pp. 321-341.
67 The Advertisements issued by the Archbishop in 1566, without the Queen’s authority but with some measure of Royal approval, attempted to enforce as vestments only the surplice in parish churches, and the Cope at the Eucharist in collegiate and cathedral churches. Gee and Hardy, Documents, LXXXI. Doc. Ann. LXV.
68 Recent research tends to confirm this old tradition. See Morris, Church Hist. Soc. Tract. LIX.
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70 The Form of Prayers and Ministration of the Sacraments, &c., used in the English congregation at Geneva, and approved by the famous and godly learned man, M. John Calvin. First published both in Latin and in English at Geneva in 1556. For its later history see below, pp. 132, 143: and for the whole subject see Sprott and Leishman The Book of Common Order, pp. xiv. xv, 237-241.
71 Dixon, v. 384 and ff.
72 Cardwell, Conf., p. 117. Strype, Ann., I. ch. XXIX. p. 335.
73 Strype, Annals, II. ch. VII. pp. 64 and ff.; D’Ewes, 166-168, 175, 176. Paget, Introduction to Hooker, Book V., pp. 33, 237.
74 Strype, Annals, II. ch. XIV. p. 125. D’Ewes, 207, 213.
75 Doc. Ann. LXXIX.
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77 See Paget, l. c.; Ch. 2, “The Puritan Position.” Frere, l. c. 231.
78 See the reprint in C.H.S. Tract LXXII.
79 D’Ewes, Journals, 339, 410-412.
80 See Additional Note V. p. 131.
81 See Additional Note VI. p. 133.
82 Dixon vi. 29 and ff. : 146 and ff.
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