|The Book of Common Prayer|
OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS
THIS book is a rearrangement of the Communion Service in the Revised Prayer Book with some amendments and some additions, mostly taken from the Prayer Book or the Bible. There is prefixed to the service an introduction stating its doctrinal basis; and it is accompanied by some notes expounding or discussing certain matters which appear to be of interest.
This private, Anglo-Catholic adaptation of the 1928 English Proposed Book of Common Prayer (also called the Deposited Book) was prepared by Lord Hugh Cecil, First Baron Quickswood (1869-1956), a British academic, Conservative Party politician, and Royal Flying Corps lieutenant. Its Preface and Introduction set forth a detailed doctrinal and rationale for Baron Quickswood’s “amendments and some additions, mostly taken from the Prayer Book or the Bible” in order “to aid discussion and stimulate the formation of opinion” on further liturgical revision.
Evangelical response to this adaptation was relatively negative, as expressed in this contemporary review published in The Churchman:
“[...] the doctrine underlying this revised service is more in harmony with that of the Church of Rome than with that of the Church of England. The explanations and evasions to which those are driven who hold a doctrine of the presence of Christ in or with the consecrated elements and of the offering of the elements thus consecrated before God, are so many and so subtle that it is impossible to discuss them within the limits of a review [...]”
Thanks are due to Richard Mammana, who provided the text and wrote the introduction.
THE DOCTRINE UNDERLYING THE SERVICE
IT seems convenient to state the doctrinal standpoint from which the service here set out is framed—a standpoint, it is claimed, not alien from the teaching of the Church of England. I have written, therefore, a brief theological sketch, the first part of which deals with the divine presence and the second part with the holy sacrifice. The first part is an extract from an article I wrote for Theology in December 1931 and is reprinted by permission of the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge. The article aimed at stating the doctrine expressed in the Prayer Book and Articles. This is here repeated as justifying the service according to the standards of the Church of England.
I. THE DIVINE PRESENCE IN THE EUCHARIST ACCORDING TO THE PRAYER BOOK AND ARTICLES
I find, first of all, that it seems clear that the Articles teach that the consecrated bread and wine become by consecration the sacrament of the body and blood of Christ. This is, I observe, sometimes denied by those of the Evangelical school, who maintain that the sacrament of the body and blood of Christ is to be found in the whole rite of His holy ordinance and not in the consecrated elements themselves. But this is an opinion which is irreconcilable with the language of the Articles. Article XXIX is on this point quite unequivocal: ‘The Wicked, and such as be void of a lively faith, although they do carnally and visibly press with their teeth (as Saint Augustine saith) the Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ’, &c. Clearly neither the wicked nor the faithful ‘press with their teeth’ the whole rite or service, but only the consecrated elements. The Article teaches beyond doubt that the consecrated bread and wine are the sacrament of the body and blood of Christ. This is confirmed in the concluding words, where it is said that the wicked ‘to their condemnation do eat and drink the sign or Sacrament of so great a thing’. Article XXX has the same teaching. It is said that the cup is not to be refused, ‘for both the parts of the Lord’s sacrament . . . ought to be ministered’, &c. Clearly the sacrament is thought of as a thing of two parts, the bread and the wine. Article XXVIII teaches likewise, for it says: ‘The Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper was not by Christ’s ordinance reserved, carried about, lifted up, or worshipped.’ Evidently it is the bread and wine which alone can be reserved, carried about, &c.; one could not carry about the whole rite or service. Nor does the rest of the language of the Article teach differently. We read that ‘The Body of Christ is given, taken, and eaten . . . only after a heavenly and spiritual manner’. This, of course, conforms perfectly to the belief that the bread and wine are the outward and physical part of a sacrament, of which the inward part is spiritual. The rejection of transubstantiation is so phrased as to suggest the same way of thinking. For the condemnation is directed against a physical change, as is shown by the words ‘overthroweth the nature of a sacrament’. These words make the objection to the transformation of the physical, outward part of the sacrament that it leaves no sacrament, since a sacrament essentially unites in one mystical whole the physical and spiritual.
II. THE HOLY SACRIFICE
Those who have looked into Cranmer’s famous book on The Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper will have noticed that while the teaching about the divine presence is what (for brevity’s sake) may be called ‘low’ this is not true of the teaching about the Eucharistic sacrifice. The fifth book, which is entitled ‘Of the oblation and sacrifice of Christ’, is indeed (like the rest) marked by a most unhappy and unconciliatory temper. Cranmer is resolved, whatever they may say, to disagree with Gardiner and the Papists; but it is impossible for the modern reader not to feel that with a little goodwill Gardiner and Cranmer might have come to an agreement. For both thought that only in the sacrifice of Christ upon the Cross was there remission of sin; and both thought that the Eucharist was a commemoration and representation of the sacrifice of the Cross. But goodwill was the last thing theologians of the sixteenth century cared about. Cranmer was fully resolved to convict the priests of gross superstition, and therefore only noticed Gardiner’s more reasonable utterances in order to revile him for inconstancy. Cranmer is indeed a kind of beacon to be avoided for his uncharitable and discourteous controversial method. He fastens on the word ‘propitiatory’ and will not let it go, though it is impossible not to feel that a little common sense and charity would have discerned that Gardiner affirmed the word in one sense and Cranmer denied it in another. Dr. Pusey suggested this method of reconciliation 300 years later about the Council of Trent; but Cranmer was not seeking reconciliation. The best defence for him is that he was concerned about a grave practical abuse and not about a simple theological statement. He was determined so to state the doctrine of the Eucharist that priests should not use it to exalt their own power, on the pretence that they could give or withhold remission of sins for the living or the dead by saying or not saying Mass at their pleasure. Doubtless for his own time this was a vital matter; but now it only reminds us what an enormous distance the human mind has travelled since the sixteenth century. The Christian of the twentieth century is much more liable to doubt that the ‘sacrifice of the Cross’ procures remission of sins than to suppose that the ‘sacrifice of the Mass’ enables priests to remit or retain sins at their pleasure. Scepticism has flooded the whole field of superstition, and now menaces the edifice of orthodoxy. It seems strange that in our age sincere Protestants should feel anxiety lest the reformation should be undone and ‘the Mass’ brought back. ‘The Mass’ that Cranmer feared, through which a priest could tyrannize over the laity by giving or withholding the remission of sins, can never be brought back in England. There is a passage from Cranmer’s book which is worth quoting to show what was the abuse which he was so anxious to destroy:
Now the nature of man being ever prone to idolatry from the beginning of the world, and the papists being ready by all means and policy to defend and extol the mass for their estimation and profit, and the people being superstitiously enamoured and doted upon the mass, because they take it for a present remedy against all manner of evils, and part of the princes being blinded by papistical doctrine, part loving quietness, and loth to offend their clergy and subjects, and all being captive and subject to the antichrist of Rome, the estate of the world remaining in that case, it is no wonder that abuses grew and increased in the church, that superstition with idolatry were taken for godliness and true religion, and that many things were brought in without the authority of Christ: as purgatory, the oblation and sacrificing of Christ by the priest alone, the application and appointing of the same to such persons as the priest would sing or say mass for, and to such abuses as they could devise, to deliver some from purgatory, and some from hell (if they were not there finally by God determined to abide, as they termed the matter), to make rain or fair weather, to put away the plague and other sicknesses both from man and beast, to hallow and preserve them that went to Jerusalem, to Rome, to St. James in Compostella, and other places in pilgrimage, for a preservative against tempest and thunder, against dangers and perils of the sea, for a remedy against murrain of cattle, against pensiveness of the heart, against all manner of afflictions and tribulations. And finally, they extol their masses far above Christ’s passion, promising many things thereby, which were never promised us by Christ’s passion; as that if a man hears mass, he shall lack no bodily sustenance that day, nor nothing necessary for him, nor shall be letted in his journey; he shall not lose his sight that day, nor die no sudden death; he shall not wax old in that time that he heareth mass, nor no wicked spirits shall have power of him, be he never so wicked a man, so long as he looketh upon the sacrament. All these foolish and devilish superstitions the papists, of their own idle brain, have devised of late years, which devices- were never known in the old church.
Do Protestant Evangelicals really believe, I wonder, that this is what the Anglo-Catholic clergy are fast bringing back? I cannot think so; yet that is what undoing the Reformation would really mean.
And the Master of the sentence, of whom all the school-authors take their occasion to write, judged truly in this point, saying: ‘That which is offered and consecrated of the priest is called a sacrifice and oblation, because it is a memory and representation of the true sacrifice and holy oblation made in the altar of the Cross.’
It would be possible to add other passages from fathers and divines quoted by Cranmer. But this quotation is really sufficient to show that doctrine of the Eucharistic oblation on which the service in this book is based. The Eucharist is here set forth as a commemorative and representative sacrifice by which the one sacrifice of the Cross is pleaded. It may be objected that Cranmer only meant a commemoration and representation before men and not before God. He does not expressly say it is not before God, but it may be argued that that is his meaning. The truth is, of course, that he is afraid to say anything which might allow priests to claim that their sacrifice can remit sins. But that he did not really deny that the Breaking of the Bread is before God as well as man is shown by that rite forming part of the consecration in 1549 and 1552. Even in 1552 the manual acts were used, though not formally enjoined. And in 1662 they were expressly directed without any sense of change. The Prayer Book for this purpose is quite sufficient authority for the service as it is here framed; for plainly the rubricks about the manual acts show that the Breaking of the Bread is part of a prayer and therefore before God as well as man. But Cranmer’s own meaning is less important than that of the fathers and divines whom he quotes with approval. And about that meaning I think no one will dispute. I justify the service in this book as conformed to the teaching of ‘the old church’ to which Cranmer appealed; and in particular to the quotation from Peter Lombard which both Cranmer and Gardiner approved.
Further we truly teach the doctrine of Eucharistic sacrifice and do not believe it to be ‘nude commemoration of the Sacrifice of the Cross’, an opinion which seems to be attributed to us by the quotation made from the Council. But we think it sufficient in the Liturgy which we use in celebrating the holy Eucharist—while lifting up our hearts to the Lord, and when now consecrating the gifts already offered that they may become to us the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ—to signify the sacrifice which is offered at that point of the service in such terms as these. We continue a perpetual memory of the precious death of Christ, who is our Advocate with the Father and the propitiation for our sins, according to His precept, until His coming again. For first we offer the sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving; then next we plead and represent before the Father the sacrifice of the cross, and by it we confidently entreat remission of sins and all other benefits of the Lord’s Passion for all the whole Church; and lastly we offer the sacrifice of ourselves to the Creator of all things which we have already signified by the oblations of His creatures. The whole action, in which the people has necessarily to take its part with the Priest, we are accustomed to call the Eucharistic sacrifice.
This states fully the doctrine of the holy sacrifice as accepted by the Church of England; and it conforms, though with more elaboration, to the briefer statement which Cranmer quoted from Peter Lombard.
It is convenient that if any worshipper who is not known to the Minister intend to partake of the Holy Communion he should signify his name to the Minister before the beginning of the service: nevertheless no one shall be refused Holy Communion save in obedience to the following Rubricks or otherwise according to the laws ecclesiastical.3
If any be an open and notorious evil liver, or have done any wrong to his neighbours by word or deed, so that the Congregation be thereby offended; the Curate, having knowledge thereof, shall call him and advertise him, that in any wise he presume not to come to the Lord’s Table, until he have openly declared himself to have truly repented and amended his former naughty life, that the Congregation may thereby be satisfied, which before were offended; and that he have recompensed the parties, to whom he hath done wrong; or at least declare himself to be in full purpose so to do, as soon as he conveniently may.
The same order shall the Curate use with those betwixt whom he perceiveth malice and hatred to reign; not suffering them to be partakers of the Lord’s Table, until he know them to be reconciled. And if one of the parties so at variance be content to forgive from the bottom of his heart all that the other hath trespassed against him, and to make amends for that he himself hath offended; and the other party will not be persuaded to a godly unity, but remain still in his frowardness and malice: the Minister in that case ought to admit the penitent person to the Holy Communion, and not him that is obstinate.
Provided that every Minister so advertising or repelling any, as is specified in the two next precedent paragraphs, shall be obliged forthwith to give an account of the same to the Bishop, and therein to obey his order and direction.
The Service following shall be said ‘throughout in a distinct and audible voice. The Order here provided shall not be supplemented by additional prayers, save so far as is herein permitted; nor shall the private devotions of the Priest be such as to hinder, interrupt, or alter the course of the Service.
It is much to be wished that at every celebration of the Divine Liturgy the worshippers present, not being reasonably hindered, will communicate with the Priest; and there shall be no such celebration unless the Priest have reason to expect that at least one person will communicate with him.4
And in Cathedral and Collegiate Churches, and Colleges, where there are many Priests and Deacons, they shall all receive the Communion with the Priest every Sunday at the least, except they have a reasonable cause to the contrary.
Every confirmed member of the Church shall communicate at the least three times in the year, of which Easter to be one.
It is an ancient and laudable custom of the Church to receive this Holy Sacrament fasting. Yet for the avoidance of all scruple it is hereby declared that such preparation may be used or not used, according to every man’s conscience in the sight of God; provided that no one should abstain from partaking of Holy Communion merely because he is not fasting and for no other reason.5
For the avoidance of all controversy and doubtfulness, it is hereby prescribed that, notwithstanding anything that is elsewhere enjoined in any Rubrick or Canon, the Priest, in celebrating the Divine Liturgy shall wear either a surplice with stole or with scarf and hood, or a white alb plain with a vestment or cope.6
The Lord’s Table shall not be moved but shall stand always in its accustomed place; and when it is to be used for the Divine Liturgy it shall have upon it a fair white linen cloth.7
To take away all occasion of dissension and superstition which any person hath or might have concerning the Bread and Wine, it shall suffice that the Bread be such as is usual to be eaten. And it is desirable that the Bread shall be the best and purest wheat bread, whether loaf or wafer, that conveniently may be gotten. The Bread and Wine for the Divine Liturgy shall be provided by the Curate and the Churchwardens of the Parish; and the Bread and Wine shall be kept in a convenient place until they shall be brought to the altar at the Offertory.8
After the Service ended, the money given at the Offertory shall be disposed of to such pious and charitable uses as the Curate and Churchwardens shall think fit. Wherein if they disagree, it shall be disposed of as the Bishop shall appoint.
Yearly at Easter every parishioner shall reckon with the Parson, Vicar, or Curate, or his or their deputy or deputies; and pay to them or him all ecclesiastical duties accustomably due then and at that time to be paid.
The service as here set forth shall be exactly said without variation (save what its own Rubricks allow) except in so far as the Bishop may in writing permit the service to be partly according to this Order and partly according to the Order of 1662.9
THE ORDER FOR THE CELEBRATION
The priest standing at the Altar10 shall say the Lord’s Prayer with the Collects following, the people kneeling.
OUR Father, which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name; Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done; In earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, As we forgive them that trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation; But deliver us from evil. Amen.
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.
(Except it be the Collect for the Day)
O EVERLASTING God, who hast ordained and constituted the services of Angels and men in a wonderful order: Mercifully grant, that as thy holy Angels alway do thee service in heaven, so by thy appointment they may succour and defend us on earth; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.11
Then shall the Priest, turning to the people, rehearse distinctly all the TEN COMMANDMENTS; and the people, still kneeling, shall after every commandment ask God mercy for their transgression of every duty therein (either according to the letter or according to the spiritual import thereof) for the time past, and grace to keep the same for the time to come, as followeth.
Priest. God spake these words and said:
The Ten Commandments may be omitted, provided that they be rehearsed at least once on a Sunday in each month: and when they are so omitted, then on every Sunday and Principal Feast Day at least at one service on each day, in place thereof, shall be said our Lord’s Summary of the Law.12
Priest. Our 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, and 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. On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.
The Ten Commandments or else the Summary of the Law shall be said at least at one service on each Sunday and Principal Feast Day, but at other services on those days and at any service on other days the following may instead be sung or said, which may be repeated thrice:
Then the Priest, standing as before, shall say,
The Lord be with you;
Let us pray.
And turning to the Holy Table he shall say the Collect of the Day. Other Collects contained in this Book or authorized by the Bishop may follow.
THE MINISTRY OF THE WORD
Immediately thereafter he that readeth the Epistle shall say, The Epistle [or The Lesson] is written in the chapter of —— beginning at the —— verse. And the reading ended, he shall say, Here endeth the Epistle [or the Lesson].
Then the Deacon or Priest that readeth the Gospel (the people all standing up) shall say, The Holy Gospel is written in the —— chapter of the Gospel according to Saint ——, beginning at —— the verse.
Answer. Glory be to thee, O Lord.
And the Gospel shall be read.
He that readeth the Epistle or the Gospel shall so stand and turn himself as he may best be heard of the people.
The Gospel ended, there may be said,
Praise be to thee, O Christ.
Then shall be sung or said the Creed following, the people still standing as before: except that at the discretion of the Minister it may be omitted on any day not being a Sunday or a Holy-day.
I BELIEVE in one God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, And of all things visible and invisible: And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, Begotten of his Father before all worlds, God of God, Light of Light, Very God of very God, Begotten, not made, Being of one substance with the Father, By whom all things were made: Who for us men, and for our salvation came down from heaven, And was incarnate by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary, And was made man, And was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate. He suffered and was buried, And the third day he rose again according to the Scriptures, And ascended into heaven, And sitteth on the right hand of the Father. And he shall come again with glory to judge both the quick and the dead: Whose kingdom shall have no end.
Then the Curate shall declare unto the people what Holy-days or Fasting Days are in the week following to be observed. And then also, if occasion be, shall notice be given of the Holy Communion, or of other Services; Banns of matrimony may be published, and Briefs, Citations, and Excommunications shall be read, and Bidding of Prayers may be made. And nothing shall be proclaimed or published in the church during the time of Service, but by the Minister: nor by him any thing but what is prescribed in the rules of this Book, or enjoined by the King, or enjoined or permitted by the Bishop.
Then shall the Priest, standing at the Lord’s Table, begin the Offertory, saying one or more of these Sentences following, as he thinketh most convenient in his discretion, or the Priests and Clerks shall sing the same.
LET your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. St. Matthew 5. 16.
When there is no Celebration the Priest hereafter may (if he think fit) say the Litany or some part thereof; and shall say one or more of the Collects contained in this Book or permitted by the Bishop, and shall then close the Service with the Grace as follows:15
THE grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Ghost, be with us all evermore. Amen.
When there is a Celebration two godly men appointed by the Minister shall bring the Bread and Wine from the place where they are kept and drawing near to the Holy Table shall put them into the hands of the Priest, who shall humbly offer them before God to be used for the Holy Sacrament, and shall place them on the Table.16
O ALL ye Works of the Lord, bless ye the Lord: praise him, and magnify him for ever. Worthy art thou, our Lord and our God, to receive the. glory and the honour and the power: for thou didst create all things and because of thy will they were, and were created.
And the people shall answer, Amen.
Then shall the Priest make the Bread and Wine ready for the Celebration, mingling (after the ancient custom of the Church) a little water with the Wine.
At the beginning of the Preparation the Priest may at his discretion say this Exhortation. And if this Exhortation be not read at the time of the celebration of the Divine Liturgy, it shall nevertheless be read to the people by the Curate at such times as he think fit, and at the least on either the fourth or fifth Sunday in Lent.
DEARLY beloved in the Lord, ye that mind to come to the Holy Communion of the Body and Blood of our Saviour Christ,18 must consider how Saint Paul 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 lively 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.
Then shall the Minister say to them that are present.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 remember before God the death of Christ upon the Cross, and take this Holy Sacrament to your comfort; and make your humble confession to Almighty God, meekly kneeling upon your knees.19
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 may 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 Priest (or the Bishop, being present) stand up, and turning himself to the people, pronounce this Absolution.ALMIGHTY God, our heavenly Father, who of his great mercy hath promised forgiveness of sins to all them that 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.
The foregoing form of Invitation, Confession, and Absolution shall be said on Sundays and Principal Feast Days: but otherwise the following forms may be said at the discretion of the Priest.
DRAW near with faith, and remember before God the death of Christ and take this Holy Sacrament to your comfort; and make your humble confession to Almighty God, meekly kneeling upon your knees.
Then shall be said by the Minister and people together, kneeling;
WE confess to God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, that we have sinned in thought, word, and deed, through our own grievous fault. Wherefore we pray God to have mercy upon us.
And the Priest (or the Bishop, being present) standing up and turning himself to the people shall say:
ALMIGHTY God have mercy upon you, forgive you all your sins, and deliver you from all evil, confirm and strengthen you in all goodness, and bring you to life everlasting; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Then shall the Priest say,
Hear what comfortable words our Saviour Christ saith unto all that truly turn to him.COME unto me all that travail and are heavy laden, and I will refresh you. St. Matthew 11. 28.
So God loved the world, that he gave his only-begotten Son, to the end that all that believe in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. St. John 3. 16.
Hear also what Saint Paul saith.This is a true saying, and worthy of all men to be received, That Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. 1 Timothy 1. 15.
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 2. 1.
And then shall be sung or said by the Priest and people all kneeling, Veni Creator Spiritus; the Priest beginning and the people answering by verses as followeth:
Let us pray.
COME, Holy Ghost, our souls inspire,
Thy blessed Unction from above,
Anoint and cheer our soiled face
Teach us to know the Father, Son,
Praise to thy eternal merit,
The Priest may here bid special prayers and thanksgivings.
Then he shall begin the Intercession.
Let 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 accept our [*alms and] oblations, and 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 lead all nations in the way of righteousness and peace; and bless and direct all kings and rulers so that under them thy people may be godly and quietly governed; and specially we pray for thy servant GEORGE our King and for all who are put in authority under him, that they may wisely rule us and may truly and indifferently22 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, especially to thy servant N. our bishop, that they may both by their life and doctrine set forth thy true and living Word and rightly and duly administer thy Holy Sacraments.
Guide and prosper, we pray thee, those who are labouring for the spread of thy Gospel among the nations, and enlighten with thy Spirit all places of education and learning; that the whole world may be filled with the knowledge of thy truth.
And to all thy people give thy heavenly grace; and specially to this congregation here present; that, with meek heart and due reverence, they may hear, and receive thy holy Word; truly serving thee in holiness and righteousness all the days of their life.
And we most humbly beseech thee of thy goodness, O Lord, to comfort and succour all them, who in this transitory life are in trouble, sorrow, need, sickness, or any other adversity.
And we commend to thy gracious keeping, O Lord, all thy servants departed this life in thy faith and fear, beseeching thee to grant them everlasting light and peace.
And here we give thee most high praise and hearty thanks for all thy Saints, who have been the chosen vessels of thy grace, and lights of the world in their several generations; and we pray, that rejoicing in their fellowship, and following their good examples, we may be partakers with them of thy heavenly kingdom.
Grant this, O Father, for Jesus Christ’s sake, our only Mediator and Advocate; who liveth and reigneth with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end. Amen.
O MERCIFUL God, who hast made all men, and hatest nothing that thou hast made, nor wouldest the death of a sinner, but rather that he should be converted and live: Have mercy upon thine ancient people the Jews, and upon all who have not known thee, or who deny the faith of Christ crucified; take from them all ignorance, hardness of heart, and contempt of thy Word; and so fetch them home, blessed Lord, to thy fold, that they may be made one flock under one shepherd, Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen.
ALMIGHTY God, who lovest all mankind, We pray thee for all those who have passed from this life and now await thy righteous judgement: We beseech thee to shew upon them thy love and mercy which are greater than ours, and to fulfil perfectly thy purpose towards them, for ever and ever. And this we ask for the sake of Christ our Saviour. Amen.23
*If there be no alms, then shall the words [alms and] be left out unsaid.
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.
Then shall the Priest, kneeling down at the Lord’s Table, say in the name of all them that shall receive the Holy Communion.
WE do not presume to come to this thy 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 have 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 Body, and our souls washed through his most precious Blood, and that we may evermore dwell in him, and he in us. Amen.
Then the Priest standing before the Holy Table shall prepare all things for the Consecration, and so order the Bread and the Cup that he may with the more readiness and decency bless them before the people. And then he shall begin the Consecration as followeth:
Turning himself to the people he shall say,
The Lord be with you;
Then shall the Priest turn to the Lord’s Table, and say,
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 specially appointed, or else immediately shall follow,
THEREFORE with angels and archangels and with all the company of heaven, we laud and magnify thy glorious name; evermore praising thee, and saying,
BLESSED is he that cometh in the name of the Lord:
Then shall the Priest continue thus.
ALL 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 made there (by his one oblation of himself once offered) 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 memory of that his precious death until his coming again; Hear us, O merciful Father, we most humbly beseech thee, and with thy Holy Spirit24 vouchsafe to bless and sanctify these thy creatures of bread and wine according to our Saviour Jesus Christ’s holy institution, Who, in the same night that he was betrayed, *took Bread; and when he had given thanks, he brake it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, Take, eat, †this is my Body which is given for you; Do this in remembrance of me. Likewise after supper ‡he took the Cup; and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of this; for this §is my Blood of the New Covenant, 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.
* Here the Priest is to take the Paten into his hands.25
Wherefore, O Lord and heavenly Father, we thy humble servants, having in remembrance the precious death and passion of thy dear Son, his mighty resurrection and glorious ascension, according to his holy institution, do celebrate, and set forth before thy Divine Majesty with these thy holy gifts, the memorial which he hath willed us to make, rendering unto thee most hearty thanks for the innumerable benefits which he hath procured unto us.
Here shall the people join with the Priest in saying the Lord’s Prayer.
Our Father, which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name; Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done; In earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread.
Here shall the Priest take of the Bread that hath been blessed and shall break it, showing before God and man the death of Christ upon the Cross.
And forgive us our trespasses, As we forgive them that trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation; But deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, The power, and the glory, For ever and ever.26
Here or at the Breaking of the Bread, the Bell of the Church may be tolled, and if there be an Organ a fanfare as of trumpets may be sounded; but no bell shall be rung at any time at the Altar or elsewhere inside the church.27
Then shall silence be kept for a brief space, while the Priest and people, all humbly kneeling, shall worship our Lord Jesus Christ, at the Right Hand of the Majesty on high, remembering his great love whereby he died upon the Cross for all mankind.28
Worthy is the Lamb that hath been slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honour and glory and blessing.29
Then shall the Priest first receive the Communion himself; and while this is doing there may be sung or said
O Lamb of God that taketh away the sins of the world, have mercy upon us.
Then the Priest shall proceed to deliver the Communion in both kinds to the Bishops, Priests, and Deacons, into their hands, all meekly kneeling. And when he delivereth the Bread to any one he shall say:
THE Body of our Lord Jesus Christ, which was given for thee, preserve thy body and soul unto everlasting life. Take and eat this in remembrance that Christ died for thee, and feed on him in thy heart by faith with thanksgiving.
And the Minister that delivereth the Cup to any one shall say,
THE Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, which was shed for thee, preserve thy body and soul unto everlasting life. Drink this in remembrance that Christ’s Blood was shed for thee, and be thankful.
Then shall the Priest say to the people,
Let them that desire to receive the Body and Blood of Christ now draw near.30
Provided that if occasion so require the whole form of words may be said once to any convenient number, and then to each communicant shall be said,
The Body of Christ which was given for thee.
When all have communicated, the Priest shall return to the Lord’s Table, and reverently place upon it what remaineth of the consecrated Elements, covering the same with a fair linen cloth; and the Elements shall so remain nor shall any ablution of the Paten or Chalice be made until the end of the service.31
The peace of God be alway with you;
Then shall the Priest give thanks, turning him first to the people and saying:
Let us give thanks unto God, for our Lord Jesus Christ hath loosed us from our sins by his Blood, and hath made us to be a kingdom and priests:33
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 the most precious death and passion of thy dear Son. And we most humbly beseech thee, O heavenly Father, so to assist us with thy grace, that we may continue in that holy 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 without end. Amen.
Then shall the Priest with the people say or sing,
GLORY be to God on high, 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.
At the discretion of the Minister, this Hymn may be omitted on any day not being a Sunday or a Holy-day.
(Except it be said as the Collect for the Day)
O GOD, whose blessed Son was manifested that he might destroy the works of the devil, and make us the sons of God, and heirs of eternal life: Grant us, we beseech thee, that, having this hope, we may purify ourselves, even as he is pure; that, when he shall appear again with power and great glory, we may be made like unto him in his eternal and glorious kingdom; where with thee, O Father, and thee, O Holy Ghost, he liveth and reigneth, ever one God, world without end. Amen.
HOLY Father, our most merciful and faithful God, we pray thee that our King and Saviour Jesus Christ may soon come to us and establish his kingdom amongst us and finally deliver us from sin and pain and death. Grant this according to thy perfect will for his sake in whom alone we hope. Amen.34
Then the Priest (or the Bishop if he be present), turning to the people, 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.
Here endeth the Divine Liturgy.
If any of the consecrated Bread and Wine remain, apart from that which may be reserved for the Communion of the sick, as is provided in the Alternative Order for the Communion of the Sick, it shall not be carried out of the church; but the Priest, and such other of the communicants as he shall call unto him, shall, immediately after the Blessing, reverently eat and drink the same. Then shall due Ablution of the Paten and Chalice be reverently made and all things ordered on the Holy Table.
The Divine Liturgy being ended the Priest may, if he think fit, use this Supplementary Devotion, saying:
REMEMBER, O Lord, what thou hast wrought in us, and not what we deserve; and as thou host called us to thy service, make us worthy of our calling; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Then shall be read by one of the Ministers from the Gospel according to St. John 1. 1-14. In the beginning . . . full of grace and truth.
V. Praise ye the Lord.
LORD, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace: according to thy word.
Then shall all depart in due order.
Upon Christmas Day and until the Epiphany.
BECAUSE thou didst give Jesus Christ thine only Son to be born as at this time for us: Who, by the operation of the Holy Ghost, was made very man of the substance of the Virgin Mary his mother: And that without spot of sin, to make us clean from all sin. Therefore with Angels, &c.
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 all men out of darkness into his own marvellous light. Therefore with Angels, &c.
Upon the Thursday before Easter.
THROUGH Jesus Christ our Lord: Who having loved his own that were in the world loved them unto the end: And on the night before he suffered, sitting at meat with. his disciples, did institute these holy mysteries: That we, redeemed by his death and quickened by his resurrection, might be partakers of his divine nature. Therefore with Angels, &c.
Upon Easter Day and until Ascension Day.
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 until Whitsunday.
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 we might also ascend, and reign with him in glory. Therefore with Angels, &c.
Upon Whitsunday and six days after.
THROUGH Jesus Christ our Lord: Who after that he had ascended up far above all the heavens, and was set down at the right hand of thy Majesty: Did as at this time pour forth upon the Universal Church thy Holy and Life-giving Spirit: That through his glorious power the joy of the everlasting gospel might go forth into all the world: Whereby we have been brought out of darkness and error into the clear light and true knowledge of thee, and of thy Son our Saviour Jesus Christ. Therefore with Angels, &c.
Upon the Feast of Trinity only.
WHO with thine only-begotten Son and the Holy Ghost art one God, one Lord, in Trinity of Persons and in Unity of Substance: For that which we believe of thy glory, O Father, the same we believe of thy Son and of the Holy Ghost, without any difference or inequality. Therefore with Angels, &c.
Upon the Feasts of the Purification and the Annunciation.
BECAUSE thou didst give Jesus Christ thine only Son to be born for our salvation: Who by the operation of the Holy Ghost, was made very man of the substance of the Virgin Mary his mother: And that without spot of sin to make us clean from all sin. Therefore with Angels, &c.
Upon the Feast of the Transfiguration.
BECAUSE the divine glory of the Incarnate Word shone forth upon the Holy Mount before the chosen witnesses of his majesty: And thine own voice from heaven proclaimed thy beloved Son. Therefore with Angels, &c.
Upon All Saints’ Day and the Feasts of Apostles, Evangelists, and St. John Baptist’s Nativity, except when the Proper Preface of any Principal Feast is appointed.
WHO in the righteousness of thy Saints hast given us an ensample of godly living, and in their blessedness a glorious pledge of the hope of our calling: That, being compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, we may run with patience the race that is set before us: And with them receive the crown of glory that fadeth not away. Therefore with Angels, &c.
A Preface which may be used upon the Consecration of a church or upon the Feast of its Dedication.
WHO, though the heaven of heavens cannot contain thee and thy glory is in all the world: Dost deign to hallow places for thy worship, and in them dost pour forth gifts of grace upon thy faithful people. Therefore with Angels, &c.
THE ORDER FOR A SECOND CONSECRATION
If the consecrated Bread and Wine be all spent before all have communicated, the Priest is to consecrate more, according to the form before prescribed, proceeding as follows.
HEAR us, O merciful Father, we most humbly beseech thee, and with thy Holy Spirit vouchsafe to bless and sanctify this (these) thy creature(s) of Bread (and) Wine according to our Saviour Jesus Christ’s holy institution who in the same night that he was betrayed
If there be need to consecrate Bread only, he shall say;
took Bread; and when he had given thanks, he brake it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, Take, eat, this is my Body which is given for you; Do this in remembrance of me.
Or if to consecrate Wine only, he shall say;
after supper took the Cup; and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of this; for this is my Blood of the New Covenant, 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.
Or if to consecrate both Bread and Wine, he shall say both of the foregoing; but beginning the second: Likewise after supper he, etc.
To be used when the Minister giveth warning for the celebration of the Divine Liturgy.
DEARLY beloved, on ——— 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.
Or, in case he shall see the people negligent to come to the Holy Communion, instead of the former, he may use this Exhortation.
DEARLY 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.
1The words ‘spiritual’ and ‘spiritually’ are used as antithetical to ‘physical’, &c., and not to ‘bodily’. The human body is itself a sacramental mystery and, as the expression of personality, does partake of the body of Christ; cf. the language of the Prayer of Humble Access. return
2By what name it is best to call our Lord’s ordinance is an interesting question. The apostles seem to have called it ‘The Breaking of Bread’; and the significance of this name is emphasized by the story of the walk to Emmaus and the recognition of the risen Lord. But the name would now be very unfamiliar and its meaning not easily grasped by matter-of-fact people who are ill at ease with mysticism and symbolism. Yet without mysticism the name would connote a dry unspiritual commemoration which is far from the truth. ‘Eucharist’ is an excellent name and will doubtless always be much used in instruction and exposition, because it means what it is important that learners should understand: the sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving. But it is Greek and looks like Greek, and can hardly be naturalized as English. The two Prayer-Book names are ‘Holy Communion’ and ‘The Lord’s Supper’. These names have the immense advantage of familiar usage. But the objection to ‘Holy Communion’ is that it states only one part, doubtless an essential part, of Christ’s ordinance. The Blessing of the Bread and Wine and the Breaking of the Bread, especially the last, fall into the background, and this obscures the full meaning of the service as it was instituted by Christ and used by the apostles and the primitive Church. ‘The Lord’s Supper’ in its own verbal meaning is satisfactory, for it recalls the institution; and it has ancient and widespread use in its favour. But among ourselves it has assimilated the same narrow meaning that more naturally attaches to Holy Communion: while therefore it may be part of the title we use, it needs other words to make it significant of the whole of Christ’s ordinance. The name ‘Mass’ has some friends, but, I think, undeservedly. The best, and indeed the only, argument in its favour is that it was used in England from the coming of Augustine up to the reign of Edward VI. But it has long been disused and rejected as a Popish name. This brings in an objection of overwhelming weight. There is nothing which would do more good to the Church of England than to persuade its protestant and evangelical members to look at the Catholic doctrine of the Eucharist with friendly and intelligent eyes. I am persuaded that if they would so consider it, they would find that it has not the superstitious character they fear, but beautifully expounds the saving faith in Christ’s atoning and cleansing blood, which Evangelicals rightly make the centre of their spiritual lives. But at the mere sound of the word ‘Mass’ the mind of the ordinary Protestant closes like an oyster, or, rather, rolls itself up like an angry hedgehog, into an impenetrable ball of prickles. Even if this violent prejudice could be allayed by custom (which might take a hundred years), after all nothing would be gained, for the word has in itself no meaning; and when it ceased to shock and alienate and hinder the acceptance of truth, it would mean nothing and would be useless as a beginning of instruction. That its use is now helpful to spread true belief is a delusion. On the contrary it begets misunderstanding and prejudice; and because it is meaningless can never help truth. I fear some Anglo-Catholics like the name, Mass, just because it shocks and pains; but this is a black sin to be cast out by all faithful Christians. Others are led by mere modishness, and fall in with the fashion of their party; others love to be Roman and to be thought so. But these are bad or trivial reasons. What we should have is a name that causes no scandal nor division, and helps to teach the truth.
3I have attempted to amend this Rubrick so as to make it a reality which could be practically used. But even in this shape it would be little observed. I suspect it would be wiser to omit it altogether. return
4 This does not change the substance of the old Rubrick; for ‘a convenient number’ may mean one, and cannot mean none. It is, I think, highly important that there should be at least one communicant. For if the priest alone communicates, one aspect of Christ’s ordinance is obliterated. The Eucharist becomes incomplete. As Christ ordained it, it is a threefold rite. There is first, the Blessing of the Bread and Cup with thanksgiving that they may become the sacrament of His Body and Blood; secondly, there is the Breaking of the Bread before God and man to commemorate and represent the death of Christ upon the Cross; thirdly, there is the Communion of the disciples of Christ binding them together into His Body and offering them as an oblation before God. To have no communicants is to reduce this third aspect to the Communion of the priest and so to obscure it. It makes meaningless our Lord’s words ‘Take and eat this’ and ‘Drink this’. And with these words the mystical fellowship of the Body of Christ and the oblation of the faithful pass out of sight and mind. The Eucharist without communicants is a mutilated rite. One communicant does barely preserve all three aspects of Christ’s ordinance. Nor is there any difficulty even at a late hour and when fasting is conscientiously insisted on; for a layman can fast just as easily as the clergyman. The server or the parish clerk can fast till midday. But at a well-attended service, there ought always to be many communicants, so that Christ’s Liturgy may be celebrated in full meaning and power. return
5The fast before Communion seems eminently a practice to be regulated by the central mind. One reason for this is that it is not in itself a moral obligation. In respect to morality the central mind is dangerous—with its love of compromise and the half-way house and ambiguity. For about right and wrong no compromise is possible. They are separated by a bottomless gulf and perpendicular cliffs. But the fast before Communion is only a way of expressing proper reverence for the holy sacrament: and the question is how far it is necessary for reverence to insist upon it. About this two extreme and conflicting views ought I think to be rejected.
6 I am too little skilled in ceremonies and ornaments to frame directions about them. I greatly admire splendour and stateliness and should like divine service to be enriched and adorned by them. But I deprecate a too scrupulous archaism in such matters and the unrestrained authority of experts. Doubtless there should be a certain continuity with ancient usage, but it should be a broad and general continuity not careful of small and elaborate details. For example, incense is very impressive, especially if used abundantly. Great clouds of smoke rising up and filling all the sanctuary are beautiful and edifying, creating a sense of the heavenly nature of our rites and aiding devotion scarcely less than music. But ‘censing of persons and things’, especially of persons, may have an effect which is ridiculous rather than impressive. While, therefore, the ancient customs of censing should not be neglected, they should be simplified and whatever seems absurd should be passed over. On the other hand, there should be fixed censers operated by electricity which should be used to send up masses of smoke at the right times especially at the oblation of the holy sacrifice. Lights on the altar should also be used to enhance the splendour and dignity of the service; whether six or two or any other number matters but little, so that the effect be impressive to worshippers. And modern devices like flood-lighting need not be excluded if used with skill and good taste. In short, ceremony and ornament may be freely and abundantly used to do glory to God and to edify His Church, the standard of practice being based on tradition but intelligently conformed to the human mind of to-day. return
7It seems desirable clearly to determine the place of the Holy Table which was a question of doubt in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. return
8A few words are here added to the Rubrick to prepare for the ceremonious entrance and offering of the bread and wine at the Offertory, which is a revival of ancient use introduced into this service. return
9The Rubrick of 1928 seems too rigid after the Comfortable Words, and too lax before them. It is best to allow variation, but only as between the revised service and the Book of 1662, and only by the written permission of the Bishop, whether given generally to the diocese or specially to a particular congregation. This might, I hope, lead to ordered variation, not self-willed laxity.
10The word ‘altar’ seems here the simplest and most natural. The Divine Liturgy is a sacrifice—a commemorative and representative sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving. ‘Altar’ is therefore the appropriate word. The fear that it must mean that the Eucharist is a repetition of or supplement to the Sacrifice of the Cross can only be called a delusion. return
11I introduce here a second preliminary Collect, that one that is appointed for Michaelmas Day. It seems fitting that after we have prayed for the inward cleansing of our thoughts by the Holy Spirit we should also pray for the help and guardianship of the angels. Presently we shall be joining in praise ‘with Angels and Archangels and all the company of heaven’; and I seek to enrich the service by remembering the adoration of God, and the Lamb which is revealed to us in the Apocalypse. It is well from the very beginning of the Liturgy to remind ourselves that we are about a heavenly business and that we need the aid and protection of the heavenly watchmen. return
12The changes in the Rubricks of 1928 are slight and intended for simplification. Either the Decalogue or the Summary is to be said at one service on every Sunday and Principal Feast Day: otherwise the ‘Kyrie, eleison’, will suffice. Principal Feast Days are joined to Sundays (surely they were omitted by inadvertence in 1928), but the shorter ‘Lord have mercy’ is permitted at all services but one on each day. I cannot help greatly regretting that the Ten Commandments in their shorter form are so seldom heard in church. They are very impressive, more so than with the familiar glosses. The Summary is frequently used; but I doubt if it is so edifying to a modern congregation as the hard precision of the Decalogue. When the modern man hears the word ‘love’ he is apt to pass from conscientiousness to a lax emotionalism. To be sure, the standard of the Summary is much higher than that of the Decalogue, but its impact on a sentimental modern conscience is slighter. ‘Ah, how beautiful,’ the modern murmurs, ‘if only it were possible’, and thinks no more of the Summary. It is not so easy for conscience to shirk the harsh imperatives of the Ten Commandments. What the present age most needs is an inexorable ‘Thou shalt not’. return
13This provision that the clergy might read sermons approved by the Bishop would surely be a great relief to them and a great gain to their hearers. Published sermons of the past are, to be sure, often too long for the present day; but they might be abridged by a skilful hand and so reprinted for the use of over-worked clergymen with minds worn threadbare by the appalling task of preaching two sermons on Sundays—not to speak of Holy Days. return
14 This Rubrick is put before the Sentences instead of after because there might be a collection of alms even if there were no Celebration; and if there be no Celebration it is better to keep the presentation of the alms distinct from the Rubrick relating to the Bread and Wine. When there is a Celebration the presentation of the alms and of the Bread and Wine would together be the oblation of the Offertory. return
15Here somewhat varied from the existing Prayer Book, provision is expressly made for two alternatives. The service may be brought to a close with prayer or the priest and people may go on to celebrate the Divine Liturgy according to the ordinance of Christ. The general tradition of the Church seems to regard the Eucharist as specially a service for festivals though used also on other days. The only two days on which it seems to have been excluded by widespread and apparently ancient custom, were Easter Eve and Good Friday. Not to celebrate on Easter Eve is natural enough: so far as this world is concerned we commemorate nothing on that day but the despair of the disciples and the seeming triumph of the powers of darkness. It is the black hour of defeat; and the modern Roman custom of having the first Easter Mass on the morning of Easter Eve seems meaningless. But not to celebrate on Good Friday is strange. On what day, one asks, can we more appropriately commemorate and represent the sacrifice of the Cross than on the day appointed to recall to us that sacrifice, and when we hear and remember the whole story of the Passion and Crucifixion of the Lord. But authority is overwhelmingly on the other side. It is curious that the Eucharist, which theologically is based on the Passion of Christ, is by liturgical custom closely associated with the Resurrection,’ with Easter the annual and with Sunday the weekly Feast of the Resurrection. So it is: and that custom is against a celebration on Good Friday. There are, then, at least two days on which the service must end without a celebration, and there appear to be ancient precedents for closing the service merely with prayer. The use of the reserved sacrament in what is called the Mass of the Presanctified is devotionally very attractive; but it is open to the grave objection that it separates the Communion from the Breaking of the Bread—and that not of necessity, as in communicating the sick, but arbitrarily. It is a main purpose of this revision to insist that the Divine Liturgy is a single rite with three parts or aspects; and that the Communion should no more be separated from the Fraction than either can be from the Blessing with Thanksgiving by which the Consecration is obtained. Without the Mass of the Presanctified there must be provision for closing the service on Good Friday and Easter Eve; and since at least one communicant is required, there might be other occasions when the celebration must be omitted.
16It is here sought to restore to the English service the most important part of the Offertory, namely the offering of the bread and wine for use in the holy sacrament and as a symbolic sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving for the creation of the world. The Rubrick requires ‘two godly men’. These might often be the churchwardens; but churchwardens are not always communicants, and sometimes not even baptised, so it is better to leave it to the minister to choose. They are to bring the bread and wine to the priest; and their coming might be accompanied by ceremonial, servers carrying lights, and incense being used. Ritual of this kind marked the Offertory in the Sarum Use. It would be well to show by ceremony the importance of this thanksgiving for the Creation which is an ancient part of the service, though neglected in the Prayer Book.
17The order of the service is here changed, the Preparation being put before the Intercession. It appears that in the early forms of the Liturgy the Intercession was immediately joined to the Consecration and indeed formed part of the same prayer. This order is in principle here observed, though the Intercession is expressed in several prayers instead of one—the last being the prayer for the communicants themselves which we call the Prayer of Humble Access. To divide the Intercession from the Consecration is against liturgical precedent and seems clearly wrong; for the hearing of intercessory prayer by God is part of the benefits of Christ’s passion which we are to obtain by its commemoration and representation in the Eucharist. The Intercession should be therefore as closely associated as possible with the holy mystery itself. return
18Something must be said about the practice of attending without communicating. There can be, I think (apart from impenitence), only two sufficient reasons for a person, who has been confirmed and is in the church, refusing to come to the altar in obedience to the command of Christ. There must always be a strong presumption in favour of obeying the saying, ‘Take and eat this’ and ‘Drink ye all of this’. It is perverse for a penitent mind to think, as people are apt to do, that it may be presumed to be safer and more reverent to hold aloof from the Holy Table. The presumption is that, unless for a clear and sufficient reason, it is safer in deep humility and contrition to draw near to Christ in obedience to his ordinance. But there are good reasons for not communicating. The first is that the worshipper has already received communion earlier in the day; and it may be said that it is a most edifying form of worship to attend a later celebration after communicating earlier. The mind free from preoccupation with the contrition which must precede Communion can give itself to intercession and worship with heartfelt devotion. Secondly, a worshipper may be conscious of grave sin recently committed and though penitent may rightly think that an interval of time before he comes to Communion should express the depth and sincerity of his penitence. A third reason may be given, closely allied to the last: that there is some defect of proper preparation. But this as a distinct reason is only sufficient if it implies a want of sincere contrition. It must amount to a moral hindrance or it cannot be weighed against the primary duty of obeying Christ’s command. Deficiency of preparation that has not the moral character of impenitence should not stand in the way. Likewise the obligation of fasting should not be allowed to hinder Communion. The young and strong can very well fast till midday; and those who cannot should come without scruple. To render the Divine Liturgy worthily a notable proportion of those present should (in normal circumstances) be communicants. return
19The alterations in the Rubricks and in the text of the Short Exhortation are intended to correct the tendency of the Prayer Book to gloss over the Breaking of the Bread and to insist only on the Communion. This is as bad as the Roman error of keeping the Communion in the background and insisting only on the Fraction. Both aspects of the one rite must be fitly emphasized and neither glossed over. Pains have been taken in this revision to make all that comes before and after the Communion devotion in which communicants and non-communicants can both join. The Prayer of Humble Access, indeed (and that prayer only), is verbally for communicants; but non-communicants might mentally join in that prayer, praying for their brethren who are about to communicate.
20The Preparation is completed by the singing or saying of the hymn, Veni Creator Spiritus, as a prayer by priest and people kneeling. This must not be confused with the Epiclesis (as it is called) in the Prayer of Consecration. The Epiclesis is an invocation of the Holy Spirit for the accomplishment of the mystery of the consecration of the bread and wine to become the sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ and the oblation of the faithful; but here we are concerned not with the sacred elements nor with oblation’ but with the spiritual preparation of priest and people. That cannot be deemed to be completed by contrite confession and absolution. Our Lord has taught us that it is not enough to cast out evil from men; their souls must not be left ‘swept and garnished’ for evil to return; priest and people must not only be cleansed but sanctified by the presence and power of the Holy Ghost. It may be added that the language of the hymn is very fitting to express the devotion of a contrite communicant, and ends as Eucharistic prayers best do, on a note of praise. Thus the worshippers approach by the Spirit through the Son to the Father. return
21The Intercession now follows. First there is intercession for the whole Church in this world and the next: then follow intercessions for the Jews and heathen and for the whole body of the dead and lastly a prayer for those needs which we are too blind or too sinful to ask for. Then comes the Prayer of Humble Access for the communicants. By this prayer priest and people approach the great mystery of the Consecration, the Fraction and the Communion which make up Christ’s holy ordinance.
22I cling to ‘indifferently’. Elsewhere I accept the change from ‘lively’ to ‘living’. I justify this compromise between archaism and modernity because ‘indifferently’ is a word of more dignity and force than ‘impartially’, whereas ‘lively’ is only more quaint than ‘living’. Moreover ‘indifferently’ is less likely to be misunderstood. return
23This is one of two prayers of my own composition which I have inserted.
24The Epiclesis or Invocation of the Holy Spirit here set out is varied from the form of 1928. I should not have ventured to make such a change on my own unaided judgement. But I have adopted (with very slight verbal differences) the form set out in an article by the Rev. A. G. Hebert, S.S.M., published in Theology in October 1933. His plan, based on ancient models, with other merits which may be read in the article, invokes the power of the Holy Spirit both on the Elements and on the worshippers with the whole Church, to be offered as a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving before the Eternal Father. The Epiclesis thus repeated is made to concur with the use of the words of institution in respect to the consecration of the bread and wine.
25The Rubrick directing the Breaking of the Bread is omitted because that Fraction is to take place later. Two Fractions are justified by some ancient precedents, but hardly seem reverent in so sacred a matter. The symbolic act which represents the sacrifice of the Cross and prepares the distribution of the Bread of Life to the faithful can hardly be done twice. Moreover, the blessing of the bread should come before the breaking according to the words of institution. return
26In addition to the changes in the form of 1928 for which I can plead the authority of Mr. Hebert, I have ventured on the innovation of placing the Breaking of the Bread in the midst of the Lord’s Prayer. There appears to be good liturgical precedent for making the Fraction just before or just after the Lord’s Prayer; but I have not been able to find precedent for putting it between the petitions: ‘Give us this day our daily bread’ and ‘Forgive us our trespasses’. Yet this seems both devotionally and theologically a most appropriate place. The prayer for daily bread may be used naturally as a prayer for the Bread of Life. It looks back to the teaching of the Fourth Gospel: it leads on to the Holy Communion which is at hand. And the prayer ‘Forgive us our trespasses’ rises to the lips when we are representing the sacrifice of the Cross, when we are breaking the bread which is the sacrament of Christ’s body even as His body was broken upon the Cross. And devotionally it is most fitting that the Lord’s Prayer should be the climax of the Lord’s Service. Using the words He has taught us we show forth His Death as He has commanded, until He comes. And we may trust that He will make Himself known to us, as to the disciples at Emmaus, at the Breaking of the Bread.
27It seems right to honour the Fraction with ceremonial. If it be not thought to interrupt too much the Lord’s Prayer, ceremony should mark the actual moment of the Breaking of the Bread. The Rubrick provides for this; and if incense be used that should rise abundantly in smoke. Nothing should be omitted that can add to the solemnity.
28There is, I think, in the minds of most communicants a desire to worship our Lord at the Eucharist. It seems right and fitting to make formal provision for this, and to associate it with wise teaching, such as should be acceptable to all English Churchmen. Such worship prepares the worshippers to eat and drink the sacrament of Christ’s Body and Blood. return
29The worship of Christ rises to its fitting height in the language of the adoration of the Lamb of God in the great vision of the Apocalypse. Once again we join in angelic worship, now giving praise for the Redemption of mankind as at the Offertory for the Creation of the Universe. return
30The form for administering Holy Communion is nearly the same as in the Book of 1928; but I have tried to make the directions simpler.
31In this Rubrick I seek to check a practice I dislike, namely making the Ablution immediately after the Administration. If the Liturgy were to be brought to an end here the Ablution would unavoidably be made here. But if there is to be thanksgiving, I cannot understand not desiring that the holy Elements with their relation to Christ should still be on the altar, linking us to heaven and its unending worship.. Most of all is this true if we think of the Divine Drama as we celebrate the Eucharist. We have commemorated the Passion and the Cross: now in our thanksgiving we rejoice at the Resurrection. Then in the Gloria we triumph with the Ascension and the Session at the Right Hand of God. Lastly, after looking forward to the Second Coming, we recall in the Peace and Blessing the Gift of Pentecost. For all this worship and giving of thanks it is fitting to have still in the midst of us the sacrament of Christ’s Body and Blood.
32I have moved this beautiful versicle from what is, I believe, its accustomed place. But it seemed not to fit in with the adoration which in this service precedes Communion, whereas it is most appropriate as closing the Eucharistic rite after the Communion. return
33I have ventured to alter the Bidding to the Thanksgiving in the Book of 1928. That Bidding seems weak and a little out of tune to the feeling of the moment; whereas the fine language of the Apocalypse is both beautiful in itself and appropriate to the Thanksgiving. This involves giving up the last Proper Preface of 1928, but that seems less important. The gain is greater than the loss. return
34A prayer relating to the Second Coming of Christ is necessary to complete Eucharistic devotion; and it seems a blemish in the English service that there is no such prayer. In the original institution the disciples were told to look forward to that Coming and to celebrate the Divine Liturgy until their hope was realized. We must not forget this hope but must express it in a prayer; and the right place for such a prayer seems to be after the Gloria, which corresponds to the Ascension and the Session; for it was after the Ascension and before Pentecost, as we read in the book of Acts, that the disciples were told by an angel that Christ should return again. At this point, therefore, after the Gloria and before the Blessing, a prayer for the Second Coming is to be said. The beautiful prayer appointed for the sixth Sunday after Epiphany and accordingly not often heard in church may be used; or as an alternative a prayer I composed myself nearly thirty years ago, and for which I feel a natural fondness.
35It corresponds to the devotional wishes of most communicants that, if time and opportunity suit, there should be some supplementary devotion. This Supplement, which may be said at the discretion of the minister, is meant to satisfy that wish. The ‘Last Gospel’ is appointed to be read, not as part of the Divine Liturgy, for that is ended, but as an aid to meditation on the great gift of the Incarnation, of which the minds of the communicants should be thinking. The ‘Nunc Dimittis’ is now in general use at the end of the Eucharistic service. return
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