The Book of Common Prayer
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    The Book of Common Prayer for Scotland (1637)

The order for the visitation
of the sick

The Presbyter entering into the sick persons house, shall say,

PEace be in this house, and to all
that dwell in it.

When he cometh into the sick man's presence, he shall say, kneeling down.

Emember not Lord our iniquities, nor the iniquities of our forefathers. Spare us good Lord, spare thy people, whom thou hast redeemed with thy most precious blood, and be not angry with us forever.

Lord have mercie upon us.
    Christ have mercie upon us.
Lord have mercie upon us.
    ¶ Our Father which art in heaven, &c.
And lead us not into temptation.
But deliver us from evil, for thine is the kingdome, the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.
O Lord save thy servant.
Which putteth his trust in thee.
Send him help from thy holy place.
And evermore mightily defend him.
Let the enemy have none advantage of him.
Nor the wicked approach to hurt him.
Be unto him, O Lord, a strong tower.
From the face of his enemie.
O Lord hear our prayers.
And let our cry come unto thee.

O LORD, look down from heaven, behold, visit and relieve this thy servant. Look upon him with the eyes of thy mercy, give him comfort and sure confidence in thee, defend him from the danger of the enemie, and keep him in perpetuall peace and safety through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

HEar us, Almighty and most mercifull God and Saviour, extend thy accustomed goodness to this thy servant, which is grieved with sicknesse: visit him, O Lord, as thou didst visit Peters wives mother, and the captains servant. So visit and restore unto this sick person his former health (if it be thy will) or else give him grace so to take thy visitation, that after this painfull life ended, he may dwell with thee in life everlasting. Amen.

Then shall the Presbyter or Minister exhort the sick person after this forme, or other like.

DEarly beloved, know this, that Almightie God is the Lord of life and death, and over all things to them pertaining, as youth, strength, health, age, weaknesse, and sicknesse: wherefore, whatsoever your sicknesse is, know you certainly, that it is Gods visitation. And for what cause soever this sicknesse is sent unto you, whether it be to trie your patience for the example of other, and that your faith may be found in the day of the Lord, laudable, glorious, and honourable, to the increase of glory and endlesse felicity, or else it be sent unto you to correct and amend in you whatsoever doth offend the eyes of our heavenly Father : know you certainly, that if you truly repent you of your sinnes, and bear your sicknesse patiently, trusting in Gods mercy, for his dear Sonne Jesus Christs sake, and render unto him humble thanks for his Fatherly visitation, submitting your self wholly unto his will, it shall turn to your profit, and help you forward in the right way that leadeth unto everlasting life.

If the person visited be very sick, then the Presbyter or Curate may end his exhortation in this place.


    Take therefore in good worth the chastisement of the Lord : for whom the Lord loveth, he chastiseth ; yea, as Saint Paul saith, He scourgeth every sonne which hee receiveth. If yee endure chastisement, hee offereth himself unto you, as unto his own children. What sonne is he that the father chastiseth not? If ye be not under correction (whereof all true children are partakers) then are ye bastards and not children. Therefore, seeing that when our carnall fathers do correct us, wee reverently obey them : shall we not now much rather be obedient to our spirituall father, and so live? And they for a few dayes do chastise us after their own pleasure : but he doth chastise us for our profit, to the intent he may make us partakers of his holinesse. These words (good brother) are Gods words, and written in holy Scripture for our comfort and instruction, that we should patiently and with thanksgiving bear our heavenly Fathers correction, whensoever by any manner of adversity it shall please his gracious goodnesse to visit us. And there should be no greater comfort to Christian persons, then to be made like unto Christ by suffering patiently adversities, troubles, and sicknesses. For he himself went not up to joy, but first he suffered pain; he entered not into his glorie, before he was crucified : So truly our way to eternall joy is to suffer here with Christ; and our doore to enter into eternall life, is gladly to die with Christ, that we may rise again from death, and dwell with him in everlasting life. Now therefore, taking your sicknesse which is thus profitable for you, patiently, I exhort you, in the Name of God, to remember the profession which you made unto God in your baptisme. And forasmuch as after this life, there is a count to be given unto the righteous judge of whom all must be judged without respect of persons : I require you to examine your self and your state, both toward God and man, so that accusing and condemning your self for your own faults, you may finde mercie at our heavenly Fathers hand for Christs sake, and not be accused and condemned in that fearfull judgement. Therefore I shall shortly rehearse the Articles of our faith, that ye may know whether you doe beleeve, as a Christian man should, or no.

    Here the minister shall rehearse the articles of the faith, saying thus:
    Dost thou beleeve in God the Father Almightie?
(And so forth as it is in Baptism.)

    ¶ Then shall the Presbyter or Minister examine whether he be in charity with all the world, exhorting him to forgive from the bottom of his heart all persons that have offended him, and if he have offended other, to ask them forgivenesse, and where he hath done injury or wrong to any man, that he make amends to the uttermost of his power. And if he have not afore disposed his goods, let him then make his will, and also declare his debts, what he oweth, and what is owing unto him, for discharging of his conscience, and quietnesse of his executors. But men must be oft admonished that they set an order for their temporal goods and lands, when they be in health.
    ¶ These words before rehearsed, may be said before the Presbyter or Minister begin his prayer, as he shall see cause.
    ¶ The Presbyter or Minister may not forget, nor omit to move the sick person (and that most earnestly) to liberality toward the poore.
    ¶ Here shall the sick person make a speciall Confession, if he feel his conscience troubled with any weighty matter. After which confession, the Presbyter shall absolve him after this sort.

OUr LORD Jesus Christ, who hath left power to his Church, to absolve all sinners, which truly repent and beleeve in him, of his great mercie forgive thee thine offenses : and by his authoritie committed to me, I absolve thee from all thy sinnes, in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Ghost. Amen.

    ¶ And then the priest shall say the Collect following.

¶ Let us pray.
O Most mercifull GOD, which according to the multitude of thy mercies, doest so put away the sinnes of those which truly repent, that thou rememberest them no more, open thy eye of mercie upon this thy servant, who most earnestly desireth pardon and forgivenesse. Renew in him (most loving Father) whatsoever hath been decayed by the fraud and malice of the devil, or by his own carnall will and frailnesse, preserve and continue this sick member in the unity of thy Church, consider his contrition, accept his tears, asswage his pain, as shall be seen to thee most expedient for him. And forasmuch as hee putteth his full trust onely in thy mercie, impute not unto him his former sins, but when the houre of his dissolution is come, take him unto thy favour, through the merits of thy most dearly beloved Sonne Jesus Christ. Amen.

Then the minister shall say this Psalm.


IN thee, O LORD, do I put my trust, let me never be put to confusion.
    Deliver me in thy righteousnesse, and cause me to escape : incline thine eare unto me, and save me.
    Be thou my strong habitation, whereunto I may continually resort : thou hast given commandement to save me, for thou art my rock and my fortresse.
    Deliver me, O my God, out of the hand of the wicked, out of the hand of the unrighteous and cruell man.
    For thou art my hope, O Lord God, thou art my trust from my youth.
    By thee have I been holden up from the wombe : thou art he that took me out of my mothers bowels, my praise shall be continually of thee.
    I am as a wonder unto many ; but thou art my strong refuge.
    Let my mouth be filled with thy praise, and with thy honor all the day.
    Cast me not off in the time of old age, forsake me not when my strength faileth.
    For mine enemies speak against me : and they that lay wait for my soul take counsel together,
    Saying: God hath forsaken him : persecute and take him, for there is none to deliver him.
    O God, be not farre from me : O my God, make haste for my help.
    Let them be confounded and consumed, that are adversaries to my soul : let them be covered with reproach and dishonour, that seek my hurt.
    But I will hope continually, and will yet praise thee more and more.
    My mouth shall shew forth thy righteousness, and thy salvation all the day : for I know not the numbers thereof.
    I will go in the strength of the Lord God : I will make mention of thy righteousnesse, even of thine onely.
    O God, thou hast taught me from my youth : and hitherto have I declared thy wondrous works.
    Now also when I am old and gray-headed, O God, forsake me not : untill I have shewed thy strength unto this generation, and thy power to every one that is to come.
    Thy righteousnesse also, O God, is very high, who hast done great things : O God, who is like unto thee.
    Thou which hast shewed me great and sore troubles, shall quicken me again, and shall bring me again from the depths of the earth.
    Thou shalt increase my greatnesse, and comfort me on every side.
    I will also praise thee with the psalterie, even thy truth, O God : unto thee will I sing with the harp, O thou holy one of Israel.
    My lips shall greatly rejoyce when I sing unto thee : and my soul whom thou hast redeemed. 
    My tongue also shall talk of thy righteousnesse all the day long : for they are confounded, for they are brought unto shame, that seek my hurt.
    Glorie be to the Father, and to the Sonne, and to the holy Ghost.
    As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be : world without end. Amen.

Adding this.

O Saviour of the world, save us, which by thy Crosse and precious bloud hast redeemed us, help us we beseech thee, O God.

Then shall the Presbyter or minister say.

THe Almighty Lord, which is a most strong tower to all them that put their trust in him, to whom all things in heaven, in earth, and under earth, doe bowe and obey: be now and evermore thy defense, and make thee know and feel, that there is no other name under heaven given to man, in whom, and through whom, thou mayest receive health and salvation, but only the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

In te, Domine, speravi. Psal. 71

The Communion of the Sick


FOrasmuch as all mortall men be subject to many sudden perils, diseases, and sicknesses, and ever uncertain what time they shall depart out of this life: therefore, to the intent they may be alwayes in a readinesse to dye whensoever it shall please Almighty God to call them, the Presbyters or Curates shall diligently from time to time, but specially in the plague time, exhort their Parishioners to the oft receiving (in the Church) of the holy Communion of the body and blood of our Saviour Christ : which if they do, they shall have no cause in their sudden visitation to be unquieted for lack of the same. But if the sick person be not able to come to the church, and yet is desirous to receive the communion in his house, then he must give knowledge over night, or else early in the morning, to the Presbyter or Curate, signifying also how many be appointed to communicate with him : and having a convenient place in the sick man's house where the Presbyter or Curate may reverently minister, and a sufficient number, at least two or three to receive the Communion with the sick person, with all things necessary for the same, he shall there minister the Holy Communion.

The Collect.

ALmightie everliving God, maker of mankinde, which doest correct those whom thou doest love, and chastisest everie one whom thou doest receive : we beseech thee to have mercie upon this thy servant visited with thy hand, and to grant that he may take his sicknesse patiently, and recover his bodily health (if it be thy gracious will), and whensoever his soul shall depart from the bodie, it may be without spot presented unto thee; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


The Epistle

MY sonne, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him. For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, yea, and he scourgeth everie sonne whom he receiveth.


Heb. 12. 5.

The Gospel

VERILY, verily I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and beleeveth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come unto condemnation : but is passed from death unto life.

At the time of the distribution of the holy Sacrament, the Presbyter shall first receive the Communion himself, and after minister unto them that be appointed to communicate with the sick.

But if any man either by reason of extremity of sicknesse, or for lack of warning in due time to the Presbyter or Curate, or for lack of company to receive with him, or by any other just impediment, do not receive the Sacrament of Christs body and bloud : then the Presbyter or Curate shall instruct him, that if he do truly repent him of his sins, and steadfastly beleeve that Jesus Christ hath suffered death upon the crosse for him, and shed his blood for his redemption, earnestly remembering the benefits he hath thereby, and giving him hearty thanks therefore, he doth eat and drink the body and bloud of our Saviour Christ, profitably to his souls health, although he do not receive the Sacrament with his mouth.

When the sick person is visited, and receiveth the holy Communion all at one time, then the Presbyter for more expedition shall cut off the forme of the visitation at the Psalme (In thee, O Lord, have I put my trust) and go straight to the Communion.

In the time of plague, sweat, or such other like contagious times of sicknesses, or diseases, when none of the parish or neighbours can be gotten to communicate with the sick in their houses, for fear of the infection, upon speciall request of the diseased the Presbyter or Minister may alonely communicate with him.


John 5. 24.


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