|The Book of Common Prayer|
THE SCOTTISH LITURGY
THE SCOTTISH COMMUNION OFFICE
The Holy Table, having at the Communion time a fair white linen cloth upon it, with other decent furniture meet for the high Mysteries there to be celebrated, shall stand at the uppermost part of the Chancel or Church. And the Presbyter, standing at the Holy Table, shall say the Lord’s Prayer, with the collect following for due preparation, the people kneeling.
ALMIGHTY God, unto whom all hearts be open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hid: Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of thy Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love thee, and worthily magnify thy holy Name; through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Then shall the Presbyter, turning to the people, rehearse distinctly all the Ten Commandments: the people all the while kneeling, and asking God mercy for the transgression of every duty therein according to the letter or to the spiritual import of each Commandment, and grace to keep the same for the time to come.
spake these words and said; I am the Lord thy God: Thou shalt have none
other gods but me.
Or he may rehearse, instead of the Ten Commandments, the Summary of the Law as followeth:
Lord Jesus Christ said: Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord:
and thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all
thy soul, and with all thy mind, with all thy strength: This is the first
commandment; And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy
neighbour as thyself: there is none other commandment greater than these.
Or else, instead of the Ten Commandments or the Summary of the Law, may be sung or said on week-days, not being Great Festivals, as followeth:
Then the Presbyter shall say,
Then the Presbyter, turning to the Holy Table, shall say the Collect, Collects; and then the Presbyter, or some other Presbyter or Deacon, shall read the Epistle, saying, The Epistle [or, The portion of Scripture appointed for the Epistle] is written in the ——— chapter of ——— beginning at the ——— verse. And, the Epistle ended, he shall say, Here endeth the Epistle. Then shall the Presbyter, or some other Presbyter or Deacon, read the Gospel, saying, The Holy Gospel is written in the ——— chapter of the Gospel according to ———, beginning at the ——— verse; and the people, all standing up, shall devoutly sing or say,
Glory be to thee, O Lord.
And, the Gospel ended, the people shall in like manner sing or say,
Thanks be to thee, O Lord, for this thy glorious Gospel.
Then shall be sung or said this Creed following, the people still reverently standing.
BELIEVE in one God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, And
of all things visible and invisible:
Then the Presbyter shall declare unto the people what Holy-days or Fasting-days are in the week to be observed. And also (if occasion be) notice shall be given of the Holy Communion; banns of Matrimony may be published; and, subject to the authority of the Bishop, other notices may be read.
If there be a Sermon it followeth here.
When the Presbyter giveth warning of the Holy Communion he may, at his discretion, use the first or the second of the Exhortations appended to this Liturgy.
The third Exhortation appended to this Liturgy may be used at the discretion of the Presbyter before the Offertory, the people standing.
Then the Presbyter, or Deacon, shall say,
us present our offerings to the Lord with reverence and godly fear.
Then the Presbyter shall begin the Offertory, saying one or more of these sentences following, as he thinketh most convenient.
process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the
ground an offering unto the Lord. And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings
of his flock, and of the fat thereof. And the Lord had respect unto Abel
and to his offering: but unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect.
Gen. iv. 3, 4, 5.
While the Presbyter distinctly pronounceth one or more of these sentences for the Offertory, the Deacon, or (if no such be present) some other fit person, shall receive the devotions of the people there present, in a bason provided for that purpose. And when all have offered, her shall reverently bring the said bason, with the offerings therein, and deliver it to the Presbyter; who shall humbly present it before the Lord, and set it upon the Holy Table.
And the Presbyter shall then offer up, and place the bread and wine prepared for the Sacrament upon the Lord’s Table; and shall say,
Blessed be thou, O Lord God, for ever and ever. Thine, O Lord, is the greatness, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth, is thine: thine is the kingdom, O Lord, and thou art exalted as head above all: both riches and honour come of thee, and of thine own do we give unto thee. Amen.
Then shall the Presbyter say,
Lord be with you.
IT is very meet, right, and our bounden duty, that we should at all times, and in all places, give thanks unto thee, O Lord, *[holy Father,] Almighty, everlasting God.
Here shall follow the proper preface according to the time, if there be any especially appointed; or else immediately shall follow,
Therefore with Angels and Archangels, and with all the company of heaven, we laud magnify thy glorious Name, evermore Praising thee and saying,
Upon CHRISTMAS-DAY; and seven days after.
Upon EASTER-DAY, and seven days after.
But chiefly are we bound to praise thee for the glorious Resurrection of thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord: For he is the very Paschal Lamb which was offered for us, and hath taken away the sin of the world; who by his death hath destroyed death, and by his rising to life again, hath restored to us everlasting life. Therefore with Angels, &c.
Upon ASCENSION-DAY, and seven days after.
Through thy most dearly beloved Son Jesus Christ our Lord; who, after his most glorious Resurrection, manifestly appeared to all his Apostles, and in their sight ascended up into heaven, to prepare a place for us; that where he is, thither might we also ascend, and reign with him in glory. Therefore with Angels, &c.
Upon PENTECOST or WHITSUNDAY, and six days after.
Upon the Feast of TRINITY only.
Who art one God, one Lord; not one only Person, but three Persons in one Substance. For that which we believe of the glory of the Father, the same we believe of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost without any difference or inequality. Therefore with Angels, &c.
The following may be used at the discretion of the Minister.
ADDITIONAL PROPER PREFACES.
Upon THE EPIPHANY, and seven days after.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord, who, in substance of our mortal flesh, manifested forth his glory, that he might bring us out of darkness into his own marvellous light. Therefore with Angels, &c.
Upon THE PURIFICATION.
Because thy blessed Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord, born of a Woman, born under the Law, was, as on this day presented in the Temple, and revealed to thy servants as a light to lighten the Gentiles and the glory of thy people Israel. Therefore with Angels, &c.
Upon THE ANNUNCIATION.
Because thou didst give Jesus Christ, thine only Son to be born for us, who by the operation of the Holy Ghost, was made very man, of the substance of the blessed Virgin Mary his mother, and that without spot of sin, to make us clean from all sin. Therefore with Angels, &c.
Upon FEASTS OF APOSTLES AND EVANGELISTS, except when the proper preface for any of the Great Festivals is appointed to be said.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord, who did vouchsafe to choose thy servant, Saint N. [or thy servants Saint N. and Saint N.], to be of the company of the Apostles [or to be an Evangelist], by whose ministry thine elect might be gathered in from every nation, and thy Church instructed in the way that leadeth unto everlasting life. Therefore with Angels, &c.
Upon ALL SAINTS’ DAY.
Who in the multitude of thy Saints hast compassed us about with so great a cloud of witnesses, to the end that we, rejoicing in their fellowship, may run with patience the race that is set before us, and together with them receive the crown of glory that fadeth not away. Therefore with Angels, &c.
At the CONSECRATION OF BISHOPS, and ORDINATION OF PRIESTS AND DEACONS.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord, the great Shepherd of the sheep, who, for the feeding and guidance of his flock, did appoint divers orders of ministers in his Church. Therefore with Angels, &c.
At the DEDICATION OF A CHURCH, and ANNIVERSARY OF THE DEDICATION.
Who in temples made with hands buildest up for thyself a spiritual temple made without hands. Therefore with Angels, &c.
After which prefaces shall follow immediately this doxology:
Therefore with Angels and Archangels, and with all the company of heaven, we laud magnify thy glorious Name, evermore Praising thee and saying,
Then the Presbyter, standing at such a part of the Holy Table as he may with the most ease and decency use both his hands, shall say the prayer of consecration, as followeth:
glory be to thee, Almighty God, our heavenly Father, for that thou of
thy tender mercy didst give thine only Son Jesus Christ to suffer death
upon the cross for our redemption; who, by his own oblation of himself
once offered, made a full, perfect, and sufficient sacrifice, oblation,
and satisfaction, for the sins of the whole world, and did institute,
and in his holy Gospel command us to continue a perpetual memorial of
that his precious death and sacrifice until his coming again. For,
in the night that he was betrayed, ahe took bread; and when
he had given thanks, bhe brake it, and gave it to his disciples,
saying, Take, eat, cthis is my body, which is given for you:
Do this in remembrance of me. Likewise after supper dhe took
the cup; and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, Drink
ye all of this, for ethis is my blood of the new testament,
which is shed for you and for many for the remission of sins: Do this
as oft as ye shall drink it in remembrance of me.
Then shall the Presbyter or Deacon say,
us pray for the whole state of Christ’s Church.
ALMIGHTY and everliving God, who by thy holy Apostle hast taught us to make prayers and supplications, and to give thanks for all men. We humbly beseech thee most mercifully to receive these our prayers, which we offer unto thy divine Majesty; beseeching thee to inspire continually the universal Church with the spirit of truth, unity, and concord; and grant that all they that do confess thy holy Name, may agree in the truth of thy holy word, and live in unity and godly love. We beseech thee also to save and defend all Christian Kings, Princes, and Governors, and especially thy servant GEORGE our King, that under him we may be godly and quietly governed: and grant unto his whole council, and to all who are put in authority under him, that they may truly and impartially minister justice, to the punishment of wickedness and vice, and to the maintenance of thy true religion and virtue. Give grace, O heavenly Father, to all Bishops, Priests, and Deacons, that they may both by their life and doctrine set forth thy true and living word, and rightly and duly administer thy holy sacraments: and to all thy people give thy heavenly grace, that with meek heart, and due reverence, they may hear and receive thy holy word, truly serving thee in holiness and righteous ness all the days of their life. And we commend especially to thy merciful goodness the congregation which is here assembled in thy Name, to celebrate the commemoration of the most precious death and sacrifice of thy Son our Saviour Jesus Christ. And we most humbly beseech thee of thy goodness, O Lord, to comfort and succour all those who in this transitory life are in trouble, sorrow, need, sickness, or any other adversity. And we also bless thy holy Name for all thy servants, who, having finished their course in faith, do now rest from their labours. And we yield unto thee most high praise and hearty thanks, for the wonderful grace and virtue declared in all thy saints, who have been the choice vessels of thy grace, and the lights of the world in their several generations: most humbly beseeching thee to give us grace to follow the example of their steadfastness in thy faith, and obedience to thy holy commandments, that at the day of the general resurrection, we, and all they who are of the mystical body of thy Son, may be set on his right hand, and hear that his most joyful voice, Come ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. Grant this, O Father, for Jesus Christ’s sake, our only Mediator and Advocate. Amen.
Then shall the Presbyter say,
As our Saviour Christ hath commanded and taught us, we are bold to say,
Then the Presbyter or Deacon shall say this invitation to them come to receive the Holy Communion,
YE that do truly and earnestly repent you of your sins, and are in love and charity With your neighbours, and intend to lead a new life following the commandments of God, and walking from henceforth in his holy ways; Draw near with faith, and take this holy Sacrament to your Comfort; and make your humble confession to Almighty God; meekly kneeling upon your knees.
Then shall this general confession be made by the people, along with the Presbyter; he first kneeling down.
ALMIGHTY God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Maker of all things, Judge of all men; We acknowledge and bewail our manifold sins and wickedness, Which we, from time to time, most grievously have committed, By thought, word, and deed, Against thy divine Majesty, Provoking most justly thy wrath and indignation against us. We do earnestly repent, And are heartily sorry for these our misdoings; The remembrance of them is grievous unto us; The burden of them is intolerable. Have mercy upon us, Have mercy upon us, most merciful Father; For thy Son our Lord Jesus Christ’s sake, Forgive us all that is past; And grant, that we might ever hereafter Serve and please thee In newness of life, To the honour and glory of thy Name; Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Then shall the Presbyter, or the Bishop, if he be present, stand up, and, turning himself to the people, pronounce the Absolution as followeth:
God, our heavenly Father, who, of his great mercy, hath promised forgiveness
of sins to all them who with hearty repentance and true faith turn unto
him, Have mercy upon you; pardon and deliver you from all your sins;
confirm and strengthen you in all goodness; and bring you to everlasting
life, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Then shall the Presbyter also say,
Hear what comfortable words our Saviour Christ saith unto all that truly turn to him.
Come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you
rest. St Matth. xi. 28.
Hear also what Saint Paul saith.
This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. 1 Tim. i. 1.5.
Hear also what Saint John saith
If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: and he is the propitiation for our sins. 1 St John ii. 1, 2.
Then shall the Presbyter, turning him to the Altar, kneel down, and say, in the name of all them that shall communicate, this collect of humble access to the Holy Communion, as followeth:
WE do not presume to come to this thy holy Table, O merciful Lord, trusting in our own righteousness, but in thy manifold and great mercies. We are not worthy so much as to gather up the crumbs under thy Table: but thou art the same Lord, whose property is always to mercy. Grant us therefore, gracious Lord, so to eat the flesh of thy dear Son Jesus Christ, and to drink his blood, that our sinful bodies may be made clean by his most sacred body, and our souls washed through his most precious blood and that we may evermore dwell in him, and he in us. Amen.
Then shall he that celebrateth first receive the Communion in both kinds himself, and next deliver the same to the Bishops, Presbyters, and Deacons (if there be any present); and after to the people in due order, into their hands, all humbly kneeling. And when he receiveth himself or delivereth the Sacrament of the body of Christ to any other, he shall say,
THE body of our Lord Jesus Christ, which was given for thee, preserve thy body and soul unto everlasting life.
Here the person receiving shall say, Amen.
And the Presbyter that receiveth the Cup himself, as likewise the Presbyter or Deacon that delivereth it to any other, shall say,
THE blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, which was shed for thee, preserve thy body and soul unto everlasting life.
Here the person receiving shall say, Amen.
If the consecrated bread or wine be all spent before all have communicated, the Presbyter is to consecrate more in both kinds, according to the form before prescribed, beginning at the words, All glory be to thee, &c., and ending with the words, preserved unto everlasting life. And the people shall say, Amen.
When all have communicated, he that celebrateth shall go to the Lord’s Table, and cover with a fair linen cloth that which remaineth of the consecrated elements.
Then the Presbyter or Deacon, turning to the people, shall say,
HAVING now received the precious body and blood of Christ, let us give thanks to our Lord God, who hath graciously vouchsafed to admit us to the participation of his holy mysteries; and let us beg of him grace to perform our vows, and to persevere in our good resolutions; and that being made holy, we may obtain everlasting life, through the merits of the all-sufficient sacrifice of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
This exhortation may be omitted except on Sundays and the Great Festivals.
Then the Presbyter shall say this collect of thanksgiving as followeth:
ALMIGHTY and everliving God, we most heartily thank thee, for that thou dost vouchsafe to feed us, who have duly received these holy mysteries, with the spiritual food of the most precious body and blood of thy Son our Saviour Jesus Christ; and dost assure us thereby of thy favour and goodness towards us, and that we are very members incorporate in the mystical body of thy Son, which is the blessed company of all faithful people, and are also heirs through hope of thy everlasting kingdom, by the merits of his most precious death and passion. We now most humbly beseech thee, O heavenly Father, so to assist us with thy Holy Spirit, that we may continue in that holy communion and fellowship, and do all such good works as thou hast prepared for us to walk in, through Jesus Christ our Lord: to whom, with thee and the Holy Ghost, be all honour and glory, world with end. Amen.
Then shall be said or sung Gloria in excelsis as followeth:
be to God in the highest, and in earth peace, good will towards men. We
praise thee, we bless thee, we worship thee, we glorify thee, we give
thanks to thee for thy great glory, O Lord God, heavenly King, God the
Father Almighty; and to thee, O God, the only begotten Son Jesu Christ;
and to thee, O God, the Holy Ghost.
Then the Presbyter, or Bishop, if he be present, shall let them depart, with this Blessing.
THE peace of God which passeth all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God, and of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord: and the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, be amongst you and remain with you always. Amen.
It is customary to mix a little pure water with the wine in the eucharistic Cup.
According to long existing custom in the Scottish Church, the Presbyter may reserve so much of the Consecrated Gifts as may be required for the communion of the sick, and others who could not be present at the celebration in church. All that remaineth of the Holy Sacrament, and is not so required, the Presbyter and such other of the communicants as he shall then call unto him, shall, after the Blessing, reverently eat and drink.
The following may be used at the discretion of the Minister.
COLLECTS which may be said after the Collect of the day, or before the Blessing.
O ALMIGHTY Lord, and everlasting God, vouchsafe, we beseech thee, to direct, sanctify, and govern, both our hearts and bodies, in the ways of thy laws, and in the works of thy commandments; that through thy most mighty protection, both here and ever, we may be preserved in body and soul; through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.
O ALMIGHTY Father, well-spring of life to all things that have being, from amid the unwearied praises of Cherubim and Seraphim who stand about thy throne of light which no man can approach unto, give ear, we humbly beseech thee, to the supplications of thy people who put their sure trust in thy mercy; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
O LORD Jesus Christ, before whose judgement-seat we must all appear and give account of the things done in the body: Grant, we beseech thee, that when the books are opened in that day, the faces of thy servants may not be ashamed; through thy merits, O Blessed Saviour, who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen.
ASSIST us mercifully, O Lord, in these our supplications and prayers, and dispose the way of thy servants towards the attainment of everlasting salvation; that among all the changes and chances of this mortal life; they may ever be defended by thy most gracious and ready help. through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
PREVENT us, O Lord, in all our doings with thy most gracious favour, and further with thy continual help; that in all our works begun, continued, and ended in thee, we may glorify thy holy Name, and finally by thy mercy obtain everlasting life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
ALMIGHTY God, the fountain of all wisdom, who knowest our necessities before we ask, and our ignorance in asking; We beseech thee to have compassion upon our infirmities; and those things, which for our unworthiness we dare not, and for our blindness we cannot ask, vouchsafe to give us, for the worthiness of thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The two following collects may be said be/ore the Blessing.
O LORD, our God, thou Saviour of the world, through whom we have celebrated these sacred mysteries: Receive our humble thanksgiving, and of thy great mercy vouchsafe to sanctify us evermore in body and soul, who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen.
ALMIGHTY God, who hast promised to hear the petitions of them that ask in thy Son’s Name; We beseech thee mercifully to incline thine ears to us that have made now our prayers and supplications unto thee; and grant that those things which we have faithfully asked according to thy will, may effectually be obtained, to the relief of our necessity, and to the setting forth of thy glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
For the King, on national anniversaries and on other occasions.
ALMIGHTY God, whose kingdom is everlasting, and power infinite; Have mercy upon the whole Church; and so rule the heart of thy chosen servant GEORGE, our King and Governor, that he (knowing whose minister he is) may above all things seek thy honour and glory: and that we, and all his subjects (duly considering whose authority he hath) may faithfully serve, honour, and humbly obey him, in thee, and for thee, according to thy blessed Word and ordinance; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with thee and the Holy Ghost liveth and reigneth, ever one God, world without end. Amen.
ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, we are taught by thy holy Word, that the hearts of Kings are in thy rule and governance, and that thou dost dispose and turn them as it seemeth best to thy godly wisdom: We humbly beseech thee so to dispose and govern the heart of GEORGE, thy servant, our King and Governor, that in all his thoughts, words, and works, he may ever seek thy honour and glory, and study to preserve thy people committed to his charge, in wealth, peace, and godliness: Grant this, O merciful Father, for thy dear Son’s sake, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
PRAYERS FOR CERTAIN FESTIVALS AND SEASONS,
which may be said immediately before the Blessing.
GRANT, O Almighty God, that as thy blessed Son Jesus Christ at his first advent came to seek and to save that which was lost, so at his second and glorious appearing he may find in the fruits of the redemption which he wrought, who l.iveth and reigneth, with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen.
Christmas-day, and seven days after.
O GOD, who hast given us grace at this time to celebrate the birth of our Saviour, Jesus Christ: We laud and magnify thy glorious Name for the countless blessings which he hath brought unto us; and we beseech thee to grant that We may ever set forth thy praise in joyful obedience to thy will; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Epiphany, and seven days after.
ALMIGHTY God, who at the baptism of thy blessed Son Jesus Christ in the river Jordan didst manifest his glorious Godhead: Grant, we beseech thee, that the brightness of his presence may shine in our hearts, and his glory be set forth in our lives; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Easter-day, and seven days after.
O LORD God Almighty, whose blessed Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ, did on the third day rise triumphant over death: Raise us, we beseech thee, from the death of sin unto the life of righteousness, that we may seek those things which are above, where he sitteth on thy right hand in glory; and this we beg for the sake of the same, thy Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Ascension-day, and seven days after.
ALMIGHTY God, whose blessed Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ, ascended far above all heavens that he might fill all things: Mercifully give us faith to perceive that according to his promise he abideth with his Church on earth, even unto the end of the world; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Whitsunday, and six days after.
O ALMIGHTY God, who on the day of Pentecost didst send the Holy Ghost the Comforter to abide in thy Church unto the end: Bestow upon us and upon all thy faithful people his manifold gifts of grace, that with minds enlightened by his truth and hearts purified by his presence, we may day by day be strengthened with power in the inward man; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with thee and the same Spirit liveth and reigneth, one God, world without end. Amen.
O LORD God Almighty, Eternal, Immortal, Invisible, the mysteries of whose being are unsearchable: Accept, we beseech thee, our praises for the revelation which thou hast made of thyself, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, three Persons, and one God; and mercifully grant, that ever holding fast this faith, we may magnify thy glorious Name; who livest and reignest, one God, world without end. Amen.
EXHORTATIONS BEFORE HOLY COMMUNION.
beloved, on —— day next I purpose, through God’s assistance,
to administer to all such as shall be religiously and devoutly disposed
the most comfortable Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ; to be
by them received in remembrance of his meritorious cross and passion;
whereby alone we obtain remission of our sins, and are made partakers
of the kingdom of heaven. Wherefore it is our duty to render most humble
and hearty thanks to Almighty God our heavenly Father, for that he hath
given his Son our Saviour Jesus Christ, not only to die for us, but also
to be our spiritual food and sustenance in that holy Sacrament. Which
being so divine and comfortable a thing to them who receive it worthily,
and so dangerous to them that will presume to receive it unworthily; my
duty is to exhort you in the mean season to consider the dignity of that
holy mystery, and the great peril of the unworthy receiving thereof; and
so to search and examine your own consciences, (and that not lightly,
and after the manner of dissemblers with God; but so) that ye may come
holy and clean to such a heavenly Feast, in the marriage-garment required
by God in holy Scripture, and be received as worthy partakers of that
The following may be said, instead of the former, in case the Presbyter shall see the people negligent to come to the Holy Communion.
beloved brethren, on —— I intend, by God’s grace, to
celebrate the Lord’s Supper: unto which, in God’s behalf,
I bid you all that are here present; and beseech you, for, the Lord Jesus
Christ’s sake, that ye will not refuse to come thereto, being so
lovingly called and bidden by God himself. Ye know how grievous and unkind
a thing it is, when a man hath prepared a rich feast; decked his table
with all kind of provision, so that there lacketh nothing but the guests
to sit down; and yet they who are called (without any cause) most unthankfully
refuse to come. Which of you in such a case would not be moved? Who would
not think a great injury and wrong done unto him? Wherefore, most dearly
beloved in Christ, take ye god heed, lest ye, withdrawing yourselves from
this holy Supper, provoke God’s indignation against you. It is an
easy matter for a man to say, I will not communicate, because I am otherwise
hindered with worldly business. But such excuses are not so easily accepted
and allowed before God. If any man say, I am a grievous sinner, and therefore
am afraid to come: wherefore then do ye not repent and amend? When God
calleth you, are ye not ashamed to say ye will not come? When ye should
return to God, will ye excuse yourselves, and say ye are not ready? Consider
earnestly with yourselves how little such feigned excuses will avail before
God. They that refused the feast in the Gospel, because they had bought
a farm, or would
beloved in the Lord, ye that mind to come to the holy Communion of the
body and blood of our Saviour Christ, must consider what St Paul writeth
to the Corinthians; how he exhorteth all persons diligently to try and
examine themselves, before they presume to eat of that bread, and drink
of that cup. For as the benefit is great, if with a true penitent heart
and living faith we receive that holy Sacrament, (for then we spiritually
eat the flesh of Christ, and drink his blood; then we dwell in Christ,
and Christ in us; we are one with Christ, and Christ with us); so is the
danger great, if we receive the same unworthily; for then we are guilty
of the body and blood of Christ our Saviour; we eat and drink judgement
to ourselves, not discerning the Lord’s body; we kindle God's wrath
against us; we provoke him to plague us with divers diseases, and sundry
kinds of death. Judge therefore yourselves, brethren, that ye be not judged
of the Lord; repent you truly for your sins past; have a living and stedfast
faith in Christ our Saviour; amend your lives, and be in perfect charity
with all men: so shall ye be meet partakers of those holy mysteries. And,
above all things, ye must give humble and hearty thanks to God the Father,
the Son, and the Holy Ghost; for the redemption of the world, by the death
and passion of our Saviour Christ, both God and man, who did humble himself
even to the death upon the Cross for us miserable sinners, who lay in
darkness and the shadow of death, that he might make us the children of
God, and exalt us to everlasting life. And to the end that we should always
remember the exceeding great love of our Master and only Saviour Jesus
Christ, thus dying for us, and the innumerable benefits which by his precious
blood-shedding he hath obtained to us, he hath instituted and ordained
holy mysteries, as pledges of his love, and for a continual remembrance
of his death, to our great and endless comfort. To him therefore, with
the Father, and the Holy Ghost, let us give (as we are most bounden) continual
thanks, submitting ourselves wholly to his holy will and pleasure, and
studying to serve him in true holiness and righteousness all the days
of our life. Amen.
Return to the 1912 Scottish Book of Common Prayer
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