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    The Communion Service As It Might Be (1935)













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.
    The purpose of the publication is that it should be a contribution to the preparation for a new and authoritative form for celebrating the Eucharist. There is a widespread desire that such a form be drawn up by authority, although the time has not yet arrived for it. But it is already time to debate the various questions involved; and for each man who is interested to do what he can to assist at the formation of a general public opinion among members of the Church upon the subject. This book goes over the ground, and all controversial questions are purposely raised, considered, and determined in it. Avowedly the ultimate standard, after all liturgical principles, devotional tastes, and the theological opinions of different schools of thought have been weighed, is individual preference. In this sense it is thoroughly egoistic; it is the Eucharist as I should like to have it celebrated. I do not apologize for this egoism, though naturally I do not expect that it will command assent. But as the purpose of the book is to aid discussion and stimulate the formation of opinion, it is desirable that it should be prepared with the vigour and penetration that belong to personal opinion and taste. It is not meant to be provoking, but it is meant to be provocative, so that the effect on the reader will be to drive him either to agree or disagree, but at any rate to form a clear opinion of his own.
    The service as here arranged is founded on the Revised Book of 1927-8. The authority attaching to the Revised Book is commonly greatly underrated. It lacks, of course, the authority of Parliament which the Book of 1662 received, but it has, quite as notably as that Book, the authority of the Convocations. Moreover, it has the additional advantage that when it was formulated in 1927 it had been under consideration, first by the Convocations and afterwards by the Church Assembly, and especially by the House of Bishops, for a period altogether of twenty years. The objection is sometimes taken that it has not the authority of the synods expressed in a canon. But neither has the Book of 1662. The form of 1604 was enforced by Canons 13 and 14 of the Canons of 1604, but the forms of 1549, 1552, and 1559 were not confirmed by canon. The forms of service which were used before the Reformation were various and cannot have been enforced by any general canon, though they may perhaps be said to have had the authority of the Pope. But we have set aside the authority of the Pope, and shall not recognize it until it is confined within the limits of a primacy justifiable by Holy Scripture. Apart from the Pope, the Revised Service of 1927-8 has ecclesiastical authority and synodical consent only falling short of that expressed in the Canons of 1604. It has the approbation of Convocation; for it was approved by the Convocations twice over, in 1927 and 1928, for submission to Parliament; and therefore enjoyed twice the synodical consent which the Prayer Book of 1662 only received once; and after its rejection by Parliament, it was recognized by the Convocations as a fitting standard for permissible variations from the Prayer Book. The Revised Book was the fruit of most careful preparation, culminating in the discussion of the House of Bishops, who worked in the light of earlier discussions both by the Convocations and by the Houses of Clergy and Laity. This carefulness surpassed that given to the preparation of any previous service. The Revised Service lacks the authority of Parliament and the authority of the Pope, but it has the real and full authority of the Church of England as expressed in the synods and by the episcopate. It is therefore very proper to take the Revised form as the basis for any new service.
    While the point of view from which the following form is framed is confessedly an individual one, it has been drawn up with careful regard to some important liturgical principles. First of these is the doctrinal basis which is fully explained in the Introduction. Here it is enough to say that the service is based on the belief that in the Eucharist the bread and wine by consecration become the sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ, and that the sacrament so consecrated is offered as a commemorative and representative oblation, showing forth the death of Christ upon the Cross before God and man, and the communicants being joined, with the whole Church, in the mystical Body of Christ, are likewise offered as one sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving.
    Next, in this service the Eucharist is set forth as one rite, of which the Consecration and the Fraction and the Communion form part. It is strongly intended to avoid dividing the service into two rites, one the Breaking of the Bread, and the other the Communion of the Faithful; and again it is intended to throw a strong and clear emphasis both on the Fraction and on the Communion. It is conceived that the medieval Church gravely erred in throwing emphasis on the Fraction and sacrifice and either glossing over or separating the Communion. On the other hand, the Reformers in their anxiety to escape from this error, glossed over the Fraction and the sacrifice, throwing all the emphasis on to the Communion. In this service pains have been taken to bring back the Breaking of the Bread to its proper position as the centre of the eucharistic rite, without in the least diminishing the emphasis on, and the importance of, the Communion of the Faithful. The tendency which is to be seen in many Anglo-Catholic churches to revert to the Roman and medieval emphasis is deliberately avoided, in order to make the service in the fullest sense scriptural and catholic, a service in which both the Breaking of the Bread and the Communion of the People are with the utmost devotion clearly displayed.
    Next, it is sought to show with theological correctness, in accordance with the teaching of the Fourth Gospel, the function of Christ and the Holy Spirit in the consecration of the elements. To this end the wise guidance of Mr. Hebert in an article in Theology in October 1933 has been followed. Next, it has been sought to revive the Offertory in its primitive form as a commemoration of the Creation, the bread and wine being solemnly offered with due devotion, and the service then pursuing its course until it culminates in the like commemoration of the Redemption, when the sacrament of Christ’s Body and Blood is offered to plead the sacrifice of the Cross. The language of the book of Revelation is borrowed to emphasize this parallel commemoration of Creation and Redemption. The Offertory is thus given prominence, in accordance with what appears to have been the practice of the primitive Church.
    Next, it has been sought throughout the service to insist on the celestial character of the Eucharistic rite. I have heard the present Dean of Rochester say, that the Eucharist is the point at which heaven and earth meet; and in congruity with this thought, it is sought to lead the minds of worshippers to remember the ministry of angels at the beginning of the service, as well as at the Sanctus, and by the quotations from the Apocalypse to recall the unending adoration of heaven.
    I claim that the service so framed is scriptural and catholic. I believe that Holy Scripture is the true revelation of God. No recent criticisms seem to me to do more than limit its sphere to the teaching of true faith and morals. It is, therefore, though not strictly the words of God, yet ‘the word of God’ and the supreme authority in all religious controversies. And as the safest guide to the true interpretation of Holy Scripture, I have sought to follow that authority which may be called catholic, because by its widespread sphere and its expression alike in primitive and later times, it seems to be the echo of the divine voice. It need hardly be said that the authority of Scripture and of the Catholic Church are only authority for faith in so far as they express the mind of the Holy Ghost.
    This work is, as has been said, egoistic, and therefore is also presumptuous, for I cannot claim the deep learning which would justify any expectation that others will approve what I have done. I must, however, acknowledge obligation to two well-known books: Liturgy and Worship, edited by Dr. W. K. Lowther Clarke and Dr. Harris, and the History of the Book of Common Prayer, by Procter and Frere.
    I hope that others better fitted by learning than myself will put forward each his own revision of the Divine Liturgy. By such publications and the discussions they elicit, we shall make ready for that final work which ten or fifteen years hence should be undertaken by the Church.




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.



Hugh Cecil
Lord Hugh Cecil




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 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.
    The teaching of the Prayer Book is the same. The clearest expression is in the rubrick of the Communion of the Sick, where we read in the instruction for spiritual communion, ‘earnestly remembering the benefits he hath thereby, and giving Him hearty thanks therefore, he doth eat and drink the Body and Blood of our Saviour Jesus Christ profitably to his Soul’s health, although he do not receive the Sacrament with his mouth’. The sacrament is plainly the bread and wine: no one could receive the whole rite or service with his mouth. The language of the warning ordered to be read when notice is given of the celebration of the Holy Communion accords with the teaching of the Articles, that the bread and wine are the sacrament of the body and blood of Christ. The priest gives notice ‘to administer to all such as shall be religiously and devoutly disposed the most comfortable Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ’. What is administered is obviously the bread and wine, not the whole service. The longer Exhortation gives the same general impression, especially when it is said, ‘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)’, and goes on to deal with the corporeal judgements which according to St. Paul await impenitent and unfaithful reception. The Prayer of Humble Access suggests the reality of the bodily relation between our bodies and the body of Christ, and this implies dependence on the belief that the bread which is eaten is the sacrament of Christ’s body. The words of administration, naturally interpreted, teach the same lesson; and so very emphatically does the rule that if the consecrated bread or wine be exhausted there must be a second consecration to supply what is needed. If the service were the essence of the sacrament, the circumstance that some of the bread or wine had not been consecrated would have no significance. The requirement that all the bread and wine which is sacramentally received should be expressly consecrated shows that the consecrated bread and wine are the sacrament of the body and blood, and that the mystical relation with Christ is through and by the consecrated elements. Nor is there any other sufficient explanation for the reverence with which the consecrated elements are required to be treated; nor for the rule that they must be reverently eaten and drunk, if any be left over after the service. The prayer of thanksgiving after communion, in which, it is said, ‘thou dost vouchsafe to feed us, who have duly received these holy mysteries, with the spiritual food of the most precious Body and Blood’, is to the same effect, for what communicants have received is the bread and wine, which are here described as ‘holy mysteries’. All this language confirms the teaching of Article XXIX, that what communicants carnally press with their teeth is the sacrament of the body and blood of Christ. And this mystery is expressly expounded in the Catechism. Here we are taught that a sacrament consists of an outward visible sign and an inward spiritual grace, and that the outward sign of the Lord’s Supper is the bread and wine, while the inward part or thing signified is the body and blood of Christ. Reading this with the Articles, we learn that the sacrament of the body and blood of Christ which is carnally pressed with our teeth has two parts—an outward part, the bread, and an inward part, the body of Christ. So that while we press with our teeth the outward part of the sacrament, we take and receive the inward part which inheres in the same sacrament. The, sacrament is thought of as a whole, comprising two parts, the outward part of which we physically eat and the inward part we spiritually receive. But both parts are parts of one sacrament—a mystical whole, to which both the spiritual and the physical belong.
    The 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.1
    It seems that it may fairly be claimed that the Articles and Prayer Book do (more than is often believed) teach a definite and coherent doctrine about the relation of Christ to the consecrated elements. They teach that the bread and wine become by consecration the sacrament of the body and blood of Christ, and that that sacrament is thereafter a holy mystery, made up of two parts, an outward and physical part, which is taken in the mouth and pressed with the teeth of the communicant, and an inward and spiritual part, which is the body and blood of Christ, verily and indeed taken and received by the faithful. This is what it is common to call the doctrine of the real spiritual presence of Christ in the sacrament; and there does not seem to me to be any doubt at all that the Articles and Prayer Book teach that the relation of Christ to the communicant is in and through the consecrated elements, and that therefore, if you use the word ‘presence’ at all, it should be in respect to the elements that it is used.
    It is possible that this might not be disputed but for a further opinion which holds to belief in what theologians call ‘concomitance’. This means that where the sacrament of the body and blood of Christ is, there is also the whole person of Christ. About this opinion the Articles and Prayer Book say very little. They do indeed clearly teach that to the faithful communicants Christ is in the fullest sense concomitant with the consecrated elements—that is, that faithful communicants do fully partake of Christ in all the power of His divine person. But Article XXIX denies that the unfaithful communicant partakes of Christ. It is notable that it does not deny, though it is sometimes supposed so to do, that the unfaithful communicant partakes of the body of Christ. How sin hinders the unfaithful communicant, who receives the consecrated bread and wine, from partaking of Christ is not determined by the Article. It is said that the communicant ‘presses with his teeth’ the sacrament of the body and blood of Christ, but that he does not partake of Christ; and the matter is not carried any further, nor is any attempt made to reconcile these two propositions by an explanation. But apart from communion itself, I can find nothing in the Prayer Book and Articles relating either by affirmation or denial to the concomitance of Christ with the sacrament of His body and blood. The very guarded phrase that the sacrament ‘was not by Christ’s ordinance reserved, carried about, lifted up, or worshipped’ appears to censure the practices referred to as presumptuous, but does not make the conclusive objection against those practices, that Christ’s person is in no sense related to the sacrament so reserved or carried about. Concomitance is neither affirmed nor denied; but another and much safer objection is taken, that the censured practices go beyond the ordinance of Christ.




    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.
    But my purpose in referring to Cranmer’s book is merely to quote from it what he himself quotes from Peter Lombard. Cranmer says:

    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.
    In our own time Archbishops Temple and Maclagan set out the doctrine of the Eucharistic sacrifice taught by the Church of England in an utterance of high authority. In 1897 they addressed ‘to the whole body of Bishops of the Catholic Church’ an answer to the Apostolic Letter of Pope Leo XIII concerning the English ordinations. In this answer they had occasion to comment on Pope Leo’s language in respect to the teaching of the Church of England about the Eucharist. They stated that doctrine in the following terms:

    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

    If the consecrated Bread and Wine be all spent before all have communicated, the Priest is to consecrate more according to the form prescribed.

    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 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)

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:
    I am the Lord thy God; thou shalt have none other gods but me.
    People. Lord, have mercy upon us, and incline our hearts to keep this law.
    Priest. Thou shalt not make to thyself any graven image, nor the likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or in the earth beneath, or in the water under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down to them, nor worship them.
    People. Lord, have mercy upon us, and incline our hearts to keep this law.
    Priest. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.
    People. Lord, have mercy upon us, and incline our hearts to keep this law.
    Priest. Remember that thou keep holy the Sabbath day. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all that thou hast to do; but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God.
    People. Lord, have mercy upon us, and incline our hearts to keep this law.
    Priest. Honour thy father and thy mother.
    People. Lord, have mercy upon us, and incline our hearts to keep this law.
    Priest. Thou shalt do no murder.
    People. Lord, have mercy upon us, and incline our hearts to keep this law.
    Priest. Thou shalt not commit adultery.
    People. Lord, have mercy upon us, and incline our hearts to keep this law.
    Priest. Thou shalt not steal.
    People. Lord, have mercy upon us, and incline our hearts to keep this law.
    Priest. Thou shalt not bear false witness.
    People. Lord, have mercy upon us, and incline our hearts to keep this law.
    Priest. Thou shalt not covet.
    People. Lord, have mercy upon us, and write all these thy laws in our hearts, we beseech thee.

    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.
    Answer. Lord, have mercy upon us, and incline our hearts to keep this law.

    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:

Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy
Lord, have mercy.    
or, Kyrie, eleison.
Christe, eleison.
Kyrie, eleison.

Then the Priest, standing as before, shall say,

The Lord be with you;
Answer. And with thy spirit.

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.


    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.

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.
    And I believe in the Holy Ghost, The Lord, The giver of life, Who proceedeth from the Father and the Son, Who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified, Who spake by the Prophets.
And I believe One Holy Catholick and Apostolick Church. I acknowledge one Baptism for the remission of sins. And I look for the Resurrection of the dead, And the Life of the world to come. Amen.

    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 may follow the Sermon, or one of the Homilies already set forth, or hereafter to be set forth, by authority, or any published Sermon or Address approved by the Bishop.
    When the Minister giveth warning for the celebration of the Holy Communion, he may read to the people, at such times as he shall think convenient, one of the two Exhortations placed at the end of this Order.13


    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.
    While these Sentences are said or sung, the Deacons, Churchwardens, or other fit persons appointed for that purpose, shall receive the alms for the poor, or other devotions of the people, and reverently bring them to the Priest, who shall humbly present and place them upon the Holy Table in a decent bason to be provided for that purpose.14

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.
    Lay not up for yourselves treasure upon the earth; where the rust and moth doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven; where neither rust nor moth doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through and steal. St. Matthew 6. 19.
    Whatsoever ye would that men should do unto you, even so do unto them; for this is the Law and the Prophets. St. Matthew 7. 12.
    Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. St. Matthew 7. 21.
    Remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive. Acts 20. 35.
    Godliness is great riches, if a man be content with that he hath: for we brought nothing into the world, neither may we carry any thing out. 2 Timothy 6. 6.
Be merciful after thy power. If thou hast much, give plenteously: if thou hast little, do thy diligence gladly to give of that little: for so gatherest thou thyself a good reward in the day of necessity. Tobit 4. 8.
    All things come of thee, and of thine own have we given thee. 1 Chronicles 29. 14.
    If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great matter if we shall reap your worldly things? 2 Corinthians 9. ii.
    Do ye not know, that they who minister about holy things live of the sacrifice; and they who wait at the altar are partakers with the altar? Even so hath the Lord also ordained, that they who preach the Gospel should live of the Gospel. 1 Corinthians 9. 13.
    He that soweth little shall reap little; and he that soweth plenteously shall reap plenteously. Let every man do according as he is disposed in his heart, not grudging, or of necessity; for God loveth a cheerful giver. 2 Corinthians 9. 6.
    Let him that is taught in the Word minister unto him that teacheth, in all good things. Be not deceived, God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth that shall he reap. Galatians 6. 6.
    While we have time, let us do good unto all men; and specially unto them that are of the household of faith. Galatians 6. 10.
    God is not unrighteous, that he will forget your works, and labour that proceedeth of love; which love ye have shewed for his name’s sake, who have ministered unto the, saints, and yet do minister. Hebrews 6. 10.
    Lift up your eyes and look upon the fields; for they are white already to harvest. St. John 4. 35.
Charge them who are rich in this world, that they be ready to give, and glad to distribute; laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may attain eternal life. 1 Timothy 6. 17.
    Whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? 1 St. John 3. 17.
Blessed be the man that provideth for the sick and needy: the Lord shall deliver him in the time of trouble. Psalm 41. 1.
    To do good, and to distribute, forget not; for with such sacrifices God is pleased. Hebrews 13. 16.
Offer unto God thanksgiving, and pay thy vows unto the most Highest. Psalm 50. 14.
    I will offer in his dwelling an oblation with great gladness: I will sing and speak praises unto the Lord. Psalm 27. 6.
    Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine; and he was the priest of the most high God. Genesis 14. 18.


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

Then the priest shall say,

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.
    Judge therefore yourselves, brethren, that ye be not judged of the Lord; repent you truly for your sins past; have a lively and stedfast faith in Christ our Saviour; amend your lives, and be in perfect charity with all men; so shall ye be meet partakers of those holy mysteries.
    And above all things ye must give most humble and hearty thanks to God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, for the redemption of the world by the death and passion of our Saviour Christ, both God and man; who did humble himself, even to the death upon the Cross, for us, miserable sinners, who lay in darkness and the shadow of death; that he might make us the children of God, and exalt us to everlasting life.
    And to the end that we should alway remember the exceeding great love of our Master, and only Saviour, Jesus Christ, thus dying for us, and the innumerable benefits which by his precious blood-shedding he hath obtained to us; he hath instituted and ordained holy mysteries, as pledges of his love, and for a continual remembrance of his death, to our great and endless comfort.
    To him therefore, with the Father and the Holy Ghost, let us give (as we are most bounden) continual thanks: submitting ourselves wholly to his holy will and pleasure, and studying to serve him in true holiness and righteousness all the days of our life. Amen.

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

    Then shall this general Confession be begun, in the name of all those that are present, by the Priest or one of the Ministers; both he and all the people kneeling humbly upon their knees, and saying,

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,
And lighten with celestial fire.
Thou the anointing Spirit art,
Who dost thy seven fold gifts impart.

Thy blessed Unction from above,
Is comfort, life, and fire of love.
Enable with perpetual light
The dulness of our blinded sight.

Anoint and cheer our soiled face
With the abundance of thy grace.
Keep far our foes, give peace at home:
Where thou art guide, no ill can come.

Teach us to know the Father, Son,
And thee, of both, to be but One.
That, through the ages all along,
This may be our endless song;

Praise to thy eternal merit,
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.20

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.

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;
Answer. And with thy spirit.
Priest. Lift up your hearts;
Answer. We lift them up unto the Lord.
Priest. Let us give thanks unto our Lord God;
Answer. It is meet and right so to do.

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,
HOLY, holy, holy, Lord God of hosts, heaven and earth are full of thy glory. Glory be to thee, O Lord most High. Amen.

BLESSED is he that cometh in the name of the Lord:
Hosanna in the highest.

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
And here to lay his hand upon all the Bread.
Here he is to take the Cup into his hand:
§ And here to lay his hand upon every vessel (be it Chalice or Flagon) in which there is any Wine to be consecrated.

    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.
    And we entirely desire thy fatherly goodness to pour thy Holy and Life-giving Spirit upon us and thy whole Church, that all we who are partakers of this Holy Communion may be fulfilled with thy grace and heavenly benediction and be made one body with thy Son our Saviour Jesus Christ, so that our sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving may be acceptable unto thee and that by the merits and death of thy Son and through faith in his blood we and all thy whole church may obtain remission of our sins and all other benefits of his passion. And here we offer and present unto thee, O Lord, ourselves, our souls and bodies, to be a reasonable, holy, and living sacrifice unto thee. And although we be unworthy, through our manifold sins, to offer unto thee any sacrifice, yet we beseech thee to accept this our bounden duty and service; not weighing our merits, but pardoning our offences; through Jesus Christ our Lord, by whom, and with whom, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, all honour and glory be unto thee, O Father Almighty, world without end. And as our Saviour Christ hath commanded and taught us, we are bold to say,

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

    Then shall the people say, Amen, in token that they join with the Priest in praying for the Consecration of the Elements and in the Breaking of the Bread.

    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

Then the Priest standing up shall say,

    Worthy is the Lamb that hath been slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honour and glory and blessing.29

And the people shall answer, Amen.

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.
    O Lamb of God that taketh away the sins of the world, have mercy upon us.
    O Lamb of God that taketh away the sins of the world, grant us thy peace.

    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

    And then the Minister shall deliver the Communion in both kinds to the people in order into their hands after the same manner and saying the same words:

    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.
The Blood of Christ which was shed 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

Then shall the Priest say:

The peace of God be alway with you;
Answer. And with thy spirit.32


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.
    O Lord, the only-begotten Son Jesu Christ; O Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father, that takest away the sins of the world, have mercy upon us. Thou that takest away the sins of the world, have mercy upon us. Thou that takest away the sins of the world, receive our prayer. Thou that sittest at the right hand of God the Father, have mercy upon us.
    For thou only art holy; thou only art the Lord; thou only, O Christ, with the Holy Ghost, art most high in the glory of God the Father. Amen.

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)

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.

Or this,

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.
    And whenever this Service is used, Collects, contained in this Book, or sanctioned by the Bishop, may be said after the Intercession, or before the Blessing.




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.
R. The Lord’s name be praised.
V. Let us depart in peace.
R. In the name of the Lord.

St. Luke 2. 29

LORD, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace: according to thy word.
    For mine eyes have seen : thy salvation,
    Which thou hast prepared : before the face of all people;
    To be a light to lighten the Gentiles : and to be the glory of thy people Israel.
    Glory be to the Father, and to the Son : and to the Holy Ghost;
    As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be : world without end. Amen.

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.



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.
    Wherefore it is our duty to render most humble and hearty thanks to Almighty God our heavenly Father, for that he hath given his Son our Saviour Jesus Christ, not only to die for us, but also to be our spiritual food and sustenance in that Holy Sacrament.
    Which being so divine and comfortable a thing to them who receive it worthily, and so dangerous to them that will presume to receive it unworthily; my duty is to exhort you in the mean season to consider the dignity of that holy mystery, and the great peril of the unworthy receiving thereof; and so to search and examine your own consciences, (and that not lightly, and after the manner of dissemblers with God; but so) that ye may come holy and clean to such a heavenly Feast, in the marriage-garment required by God in Holy Scripture, and be received as worthy partakers of that Holy Table.
    The way and means thereto is; First, to examine your lives and conversations by the rule of God’s commandments; and whereinsoever ye shall perceive yourselves to have offended, either by will, word, or deed, there to bewail your own sinfulness, and to confess yourselves to Almighty God, with full purpose of amendment of life.
    And if ye shall perceive your offences to be such as are not only against God, but also against your neighbours; then ye shall reconcile yourselves unto them; being ready to make restitution and satisfaction, according to the uttermost of your powers, for all injuries and wrongs done by you to any other; and being likewise ready to forgive others that have offended you, as ye would have forgiveness of your offences at God’s hand: for otherwise the receiving of the Holy Communion loth nothing else but increase your guilt.
    Therefore if any of you be a blasphemer of God, an hinderer or slanderer of his Word, an adulterer, or be in malice, or envy, or in any other grievous crime, repent you of your sins, or else come not to that Holy Table.
    And because it is requisite, that no man should come to the Holy Communion, but with a full trust in God’s mercy, and with a quiet conscience; therefore if there be any of you, who by this means cannot quiet his own conscience herein, but requireth further comfort or counsel, let him come to me, or to some other discreet and learned Minister of God’s Word, and open his grief; that by the ministry of God’s holy Word he may receive the benefit of absolution, together with ghostly counsel and advice, to the quieting of his conscience, and avoiding of all scruple and doubtfulness.

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.
    Ye know how grievous and unkind a thing it is, when a man hath prepared a rich feast, decked his table with all kind of provision, so that there lacketh nothing but the guests to sit down; and yet they who are called (without any cause) most unthankfully refuse to come. Which of you in such a case would not be moved? Who would not think a great injury and wrong done unto him? Wherefore, most dearly beloved in Christ, take ye good heed, lest ye, withdrawing yourselves from this Holy Supper, provoke God’s indignation against you. It is an easy matter for a man to say, I will not communicate, because I am otherwise hindered with worldly business. But such excuses are not so easily accepted and allowed before God. If any man say, I am a grievous sinner, and therefore am afraid to come: wherefore then do ye not repent and amend? When God calleth you, are ye not ashamed to say ye will not come? When ye should return to God, will ye excuse yourselves, and say ye are not ready? Consider earnestly with yourselves how little such feigned excuses will avail before God. They that refused the feast in the Gospel, because they had bought a farm, or would try their yokes of oxen, or because they were married, were not so excused, but counted unworthy of the heavenly feast.
    I, for my part, shall be ready; and, according to mine office, I bid you in the name of God, I call you in Christ’s behalf, I exhort you, as ye love your own salvation, that ye will be partakers of this Holy Communion. And as the Son of God did vouchsafe to yield up his soul by death upon the Cross for your salvation; so it is your duty to receive the Communion in remembrance of the sacrifice of his death, as he himself hath commanded: which if ye shall neglect to do, consider with yourselves how great injury ye do unto God, and how sore punishment hangeth over your heads for the same; when ye wilfully abstain from the Lord’s Table, and separate from your brethren, who come to feed on the banquet of that most heavenly food.
    These things if ye earnestly consider, ye will by God’s grace return to a better mind: for the obtaining whereof we shall not cease to make our humble petitions unto Almighty God our heavenly Father.





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.
    Such a name is found in ‘The Divine Liturgy of the Lord’s Supper’; or more shortly, ‘The Divine Liturgy’. ‘Divine’ is intelligible and instructive to every one: ‘liturgy’ to every educated person, and is easily explained to the uneducated. The name is very ancient, very widespread, and now in use among the Eastern Churches. It is uncontroversial and acceptable both to Anglo-Catholics and Evangelicals. Above all the name means something and something which is important and well worth saying. It expresses the supreme claim of the service upon Christians; and comprises the whole ordinance, and not only one aspect of it, like Holy Communion. For these reasons I think it the best name to use. return

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.
    One is that of the ‘plain man’ who sees no good in fasting Communion. If he were going to do important work, he argues, he would not go to it fasting but after a light, digestible meal. To do honour to the sacrament, he proceeds, one should be at his best, not hungry and because hungry with a wandering mind. A man should go to the holy table as he would go to the greatest tasks; as, for example, a judge would go to preside over a trial, as a minister would go to join in the consultations of the Cabinet; and this means having eaten sufficient food.
    This seems an impressive argument and is certainly not wanting in reverence. But there is in it a fallacy. It overlooks the difference between intellectual activity and spiritual receptivity. What is needed for a good Communion is spiritual fitness, not able intelligence. Preparation for receiving God’s grace must always be negative—a clearing of obstacles from His path not a positive deserving or earning His favour; for that is impossible. We can never do more than keep from hindering God’s work. Spiritual fitness, therefore, consists not in mental activity but in contrite submission; and to come fasting to Communion does express this temper, though only ceremonially, by selfdenial and the subordination of the flesh. Yet these considerations would not by themselves justify making the fast before Communion the normal rule. It is its very widespread and ancient acceptance as a custom by the Church that exacts our obedience. There is controversy as to the extent of this acceptance; but it seems to have been general throughout Christendom for a period going back as far as we have record. The fast may have come into use in the time of the apostles or in the next age. This seems to mark it as a usage not disapproved by the Holy Spirit, whose guidance is a permanent influence amidst the large and multiple variations of human thought and fashion, through the long history of the Church. Fasting Communion has weighty authority in its favour.
    But this does not justify the extreme rigour with which it is sometimes pressed. Some years ago I heard a story of the practice in the Roman Church which is an example of this rigour. Some girls in a poor district were about to make their First Communion. As usual it was for the children a great event. They were looking forward to it with warm interest and emotion. The night before, one girl before she fell asleep had been eating a piece of bread, and had left part of it by her bedside. In the morning, without thinking what she was doing, she took the crust and ate. Then she remembered: she had broken the fast. She went to her elders, but they could not help her. She had eaten and therefore could not receive Communion. To a child such a disappointment amounts to a tragedy. Her elders were very sorry for her. But nothing could be done. She had eaten—only trivially and inadvertently, but she had eaten; and so she was barred from the Lord’s Table, nor could any available authority admit her. If she had committed a sin, even a grave sin, it would have been no bar. For she might have made confession and received absolution and so been free to take the Body of Christ. But having eaten no priest could help her.
    Such rigour is clearly worthy of none but Pharisees. It is only rational to those who believe that we are defiled by eating. Nothing is clearer or more emphatic in our Lord’s teaching than that ceremonial obligations should never rank with moral ones. The fast before Communion is essentially ceremonial. It is a ceremony of reverence for the sacrament. It should be observed as a rule; but as it is not a moral obligation, it may be set aside for good reason. It resembles the posture of kneeling in prayer. It is seemly to observe the Church’s custom; to neglect it from carelessness or self-will is disobedient. But it is only a ceremony which for good cause may not be observed.
    The addition to the Rubrick is intended to mark that the fast before Communion is not a moral qualification for Communion. It is not like contrition for sin. If therefore a man is hindered from Communion by nothing whatever except the non-observance of the fast, he should communicate; because he is bound to obey the Lord’s command, unless he is unfit to do so. Even if he ought to have fasted, it is better to ask forgiveness for the neglect and so to receive. For this is to obey Christ’s command; and both the Gospel and St. Paul bear witness that spiritual obedience is always to be preferred to the observance of ceremony.
    The addition to the Rubrick is thus framed to serve as a test to divide the rational and Christian observers of the Church’s custom from those who are rigorists. return

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.
    The last General Rubrick of 1928 is omitted as fitter for a statute or canon. return

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.
    It is thought that the last section of the Litany (after the Lord’s Prayer) would be edifying when there is no celebration. Morning Prayer ending at the Benedictus and followed by the Ante-Communion, with the reading of the whole Passion according to St. John (as allowed by the 1928 Book), and then the last section of the Litany, would make a devout service for Good Friday, especially for those who do not care about the Three Hours. The Grace is substituted for the Peace and Blessing because the latter belong to the Divine Liturgy. return

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.
    Here begins what may be called the symbolic background of the Eucharist. We follow the Divine Drama of the revelation which God has made to us: First there is the Creation; then comes, in the Eucharist itself, the Passion and Atonement; then after the Communion we triumph in the Thanksgiving for the Resurrection and in the Gloria for the Ascension and Session in heaven; then we look forward to the Second Advent; lastly the Peace and Blessing recall to us the gift of the Holy Ghost at Pentecost. To be sure it is only the Consecration, the Breaking of the Bread, and the Communion which form the Divine Liturgy, Christ’s holy ordinance, but the rest makes a fitting devotional setting for the great mystery. The worshipper follows in his mind the story of Creation and Redemption and with priest and people offers praise in the majestic language of the Apocalypse. return

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.
    The language of the Short Exhortation is therefore enlarged by a reference to the commemoration of the death of Christ. All can join in this; for, though only communicants actually offer the holy sacrifice, others can assist at it by prayer and worship. return

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.
    The language of the prayer for kings and rulers is slightly modified from the form of 1928. It is to be regretted for the sake of literary beauty that any change should be made in the old prayer. Modern wording must seem like an unsightly patch on a splendid fabric; but for devotional enrichment some changes from the form of 1662 were required. Yet the wording of 1928 about the king is unsatisfactory. There is no prayer for blessing him, which is surely wrong: and what is the most serious defect in the old prayer is not made good. That defect is that we only pray that the king and his officers should minister justice and maintain religion. Nothing is said about the general function of the government. The changes here made are intended to amend these faults. return

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.
    In spite of paternal fondness I am sensible that in their diction they are unworthy of the splendid company into which I have thrust them. But I do feel the want of a prayer for those dead about whom it seems unreal to say that they have departed this life in the faith and fear of God. Many of those, for example, who died in the war cannot candidly and unreservedly be so described. Yet it is for the imperfect and sinful, even more than for the godly, that we wish to pray. Of the future of no dead person do we know enough to make it superfluous or useless to pray for him. To the most blessed of the redeemed there may still in the divine purpose be added some gift or glory: to the most miserable of the damned there may be vouchsafed some alleviation. We cannot tell. It is safe and right to pray, for in prayer we co-operate with the will of God and so help to achieve sooner and more perfectly the purpose of that will. He has, as I conceive, endowed us with fragments of his omnipotence which we return to Him in prayer, and so help Him to make His will effectual. At every moment He wills and intends the very best for each of us and for all His creation; He would fain give us perfection without blemish and without limit. But He has placed upon Himself limitations (why we know not) through which the wickedness and folly of evil and unwise beings hinder and thwart and delay His plan. To use a very unworthy but not uninstructive parallel these limitations are like those we impose upon ourselves when we play a game. The man who plays ‘Patience’ could if he pleased easily arrange the cards in four suits; but that is not his will. He must make the arrangement according to the rules of the game. For his own pleasure he limits his power. So, as it seems, has God chosen to do, doubtless not for caprice but for some sufficient though to us unknown reason. And in respect to prayer it has pleased Him to be helped by our co-operation. His purpose is always the best; but He suffers it to be hindered, and that hindrance our prayers help Him to overcome. We must pray in love, trust, and submission towards Him. If we so pray we return to Him the power He has lent to us, and so further His purpose. We may be mistaken in our prayer; but if it be loving, trustful, and submissive, our prayer will yet help to the fulfilment of His will. If we ask in our foolishness for a serpent or a stone He will not give it to us. But faithful prayer, even though mistaken, is not ineffectual. It helps Him to give us not the serpent or the stone that we covet, but the gift that we really most need.
    All this applies as to all prayer so to prayer for the dead; and I have tried to frame a prayer for all the dead, bad as well as good, in accordance with these thoughts and in the simplest and most direct language. A man wishes to pray for the friend who has died in the faith and fear of God, strengthened by Holy Communion and by the devout prayers of those who gathered round the deathbed; but he wishes even more to pray for another friend who committed suicide in disgraceful circumstances. He still loves this unhappy friend. Such love is pure and pleasing in the sight of God, and may well be expressed in prayer. And in praying he may rightly remind himself that God loves the sinner far more intensely than he can do. We are apt to forget that men can be, nay, that men in general are, the objects both of the love and of the wrath of God. To be sure the ‘love of God’ and the ‘wrath of God’ are as all our language about God must necessarily be, anthropomorphic phrases. God’s love and wrath are not like ours; for ours are emotions and moods, but God’s love and wrath are the unchangeable expressions of His unchanging being. We may think of them as perpetual streams of power flowing forth from Him without change and covering every being within their path. God loves all men and hates all sin; and so far as any man is identified with sin he is the object both of the love and of the wrath of God. And if a man chooses evil rather than good and in the essence of his nature prefers evil to good, what can be the eternal fate of such a man? He cannot escape the wrath of God, yet the love of God is not turned away. What must happen to him?
    This is a hard and dreadful question which yet must not be shirked. I cannot myself accept the easy-going opinion that somehow everything will be all right and that God will in the end make all men happy. Such an easy optimism is clearly contradicted by Scripture: it is also alien from all experience. God does not force us to do right; if we choose to do wrong we can. And choosing sin we can even in this life begin to dwell in ‘the outer darkness where shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth’. We may indeed hope that many who sin, do so against their own true nature; and such we may imagine cleansed and trained to a more consistent life. But if we really prefer evil to good we shall have what we choose and that must be the ‘outer darkness’. Indeed, the presence of God or any environment of goodness would for those who love evil be an intolerable state of suffering. For those who love evil the outer darkness is the best they can have. On the other hand, I cannot believe in eternal torment. I know the immense weight of authority behind the traditional teaching of the Church, in support of belief in the eternal suffering of the damned. But two reasons seem conclusive against it. The first is that if the damned repent, it is inconceivable that they should still be tormented; and that if they do not repent God’s victory will be incomplete. There would still be a dark region of rebellion. God would not be ‘all in all’ as St. Paul teaches that He will be. The second reason is that the language of Scripture appears to point rather to destruction than to torment as the ultimate doom of the wicked. We are clearly taught that the wicked will go into ‘everlasting fire’. This is plainly a symbolic phrase. But what does it symbolize? Surely destruction rather than torment. Fire does indeed torment, but only because it destroys; if it did not destroy it would not torment. The traditional opinion about hell is therefore self-contradictory. The damned, indestructible in the everlasting fire, would like Shadrach, Meshech, and Abednego suffer not at all. Moreover, fire naturally suggests destruction as of weeds or dirt. Even the lake of fire in the Apocalypse seems a place of destruction rather than torment, for the allegorical figures, Death and Hades, may be destroyed but cannot be tormented; and the smoke of the punishment of the damned can only delight the redeemed, if it be a figure for destruction, not for suffering. For the redeemed could not find pleasure in the suffering of others, but might well rejoice at the destruction that is the only possible relief for the pain which their own natures must cause the wicked, as long as they exist.
    I suppose then that the fate of those who choose evil rather than good is to pass at death into the ‘outer darkness’—that is, into separation from God, the least unhappy state that is possible for them, for the nearness of God would be to them far worse. There they endure the sorrow and bitterness inevitable for natures designed for good but perverted to evil, dislocated and deformed, a torment to themselves and to others like themselves. Such a state is the more to be expected, because even in this life we see something like it among those who give themselves to evil. In the outer darkness the wicked must remain —for where else could they go?—until they pass into the ‘everlasting fire’. That fire is the destructive power of God which reduces them to non-existence: it is the ‘second death’, and it must be everlasting, since men created to be immortal can only be kept in non-existence by an unending exertion of divine power. If it ceased the wicked would return to life, and with life to suffering. The everlasting fire is thus the final and conclusive expression both of the wrath of God and of the love of God. His wrath makes an end of evil for ever: His love gives to the wicked the only relief from pain that their own choice allows, the relief of ceasing to be.
    This in my own mind is the background to the prayer in the text. But the prayer is, as I hope, so framed that every one can use it. For recalling that God loves all men, including the wicked, better than we can, and comforted by that truth, we pray that the purpose of God may be perfectly fulfilled. Every one, whatever his beliefs about heaven and hell, can so pray and be the happier for the prayer. The prayer is safe and right because it co-operates with the purpose of God. return

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.
    This should avoid the offence which is caused to many by the form of 1928 seeming to displace our Lord’s words by the invocation of the Spirit, and so obscure the truth that Christ, the eternal High Priest, is the consecrator of every Eucharist. Any antithesis between the operation of the Son and the Spirit, between Christ and the Spirit of Christ, is utterly to be rejected as both irreverent and tritheistic. It is by the power of the Holy Spirit that we and our offerings of bread and wine are brought to Christ, so that He may consecrate them to become His body and blood, to the end that we may fulfil His ordinance. It is ever the function of the Comforter to bring us to Christ and Christ to us. We pray therefore to the Father that His Holy Spirit may bless and sanctify the bread and wine, so that we and our offerings being brought to Christ, He may, as we recite His words, consecrate the bread and wine to be His Body and Blood. By the power of the Spirit we approach Christ and by the same power receive Christ’s gift, in order that we may commemorate and represent before the Father the perfect sacrifice made once for all upon the Cross, and offer ourselves united with the whole Church in the Body of Christ, because we eat and drink that Flesh and Blood through which we share in His divine life.
    It may be added that if we think, as we should, of Christ as the consecrator, we must also think that the consecration is wrought outside space and time in the heavenly places. We miss the full truth, if we regard consecration as an event taking place upon the altar at a particular moment of time. The ancient liturgical language, whereby it was prayed that angels might carry the bread and wine to the altar in heaven, should teach us better. It is in the heavenly places that the consecration is given by the Lord Jesus Christ. The Divine Comforter brings our offering to Christ and His Gifts to us; and by the power of the Spirit we in space and time can receive what has been wrought for us in heaven. In space and time we break and eat the bread which has become the sacrament of the Body of Christ and so partake of His life and are united in Him. The Consecration is in heaven, the Fraction and Communion upon earth; and through the love and power of Christ and His Spirit, we are able to show forth His death upon the Cross and receive His Body and Blood, offering this our sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving before the Father. return

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.
    It will be seen that the Lord’s Prayer is made the last paragraph of the Canon. This is done that the Blessing and the Breaking of the Bread may come within one prayer and not be separated; and surely there is nothing improper in going forward without a break to the Lord’s own words, as the splendid culmination of the Eucharistic sacrifice. The Rubricks emphasize that the people join with the priest in performing the rite. return

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.
    My objection to the ringing of bells at the altar is aesthetic. A shrill, tinkling bell is anything but impressive; above all a spring-bell such as cyclists sometimes use is most unsuited to devotion. The trivial and unworthy associations of such bells as well as the shrill ugliness of their sound make them unfit for use in religious ceremonial. A deep-toned gong would be less offensive; but where the service is said aloud there is no sense in bells, except to add impressiveness to the service; and for that purpose they are inappropriate. return

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.
    I have also inserted a formal invitation to communicants. This seems to me proper, reverent, and dignified—far more so than the ringing of a bell. It serves also to emphasize that Communion is an essential part of Christ’s ordinance and that while it is quite right to make the Fraction more prominent than it is in the Prayer Book, it is quite wrong to seek to do this (as the Romans do, at least at High Mass) by throwing the Communion into the background. Both Fraction and Communion are essential to the Eucharist and this should be unmistakably clear. return

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.
    It seems strange that those who value extra-liturgical devotions before the sacrament, should disdain an opportunity for such devotion when it may be used in full obedience to the Prayer Book and the bishops. If a decided Evangelical insisted on consuming the bread and wine immediately after Communion, he would act quite consistently and logically in rigorously confining the use of the consecrated Elements to the Communion. The Administration once over, on strictly protestant principles the sooner the bread and wine are gone the better. But why should believers in the sacramental presence of Christ act so? I know of no reason except a desire to imitate Rome; though if we are to have a service of our own at all, this is a point on which we might wisely and devoutly vary our practice from the Roman. return

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.
    There is no part of the traditional creed of Christendom which has been more shaken (except perhaps belief in eternal punishment), even among orthodox Christians, than belief in a real, personal Second Advent of Christ. It will be convenient to state very briefly why this belief should be maintained. Simply and shortly it may be said that we cannot cut out the Second Coming from the New Testament without leaving the whole of that revelation a mutilated corpse. In Gospels and Epistles as well as in the book of Revelations this belief penetrates the whole scripture. It cannot be left out without making everything disordered and meaningless. But while a Second Coming in some mode is quite unquestionably taught in the New Testament and cannot reasonably be disbelieved without making the whole revelation doubtful, yet about the exact mode of it different opinions may reasonably be held and an open and hesitating judgement is not unwise.
    One main difficulty of the subject is that English minds, and indeed all West-European minds, generally find it difficult or impossible to think in terms of symbolic language. Yet the whole of the teaching of the New Testament about the Second Coming, in Gospels, Epistles, and Apocalypse alike, is expressed in symbolic language, and can only be understood with great difficulty, except by those to whom symbolism is a natural mode of thought. When we read, for example, of the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven; or that the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the Archangel and with the trump of God, we are reading symbolism, not literal statements of fact; and symbolism which seems to Western minds to convey only a dark and uncertain impression. But to make the revelation of the New Testament hold together the exact mode of the Second Advent is not important. What is important is that Christ will somehow again personally intervene in human history, though it is by no means certain that that intervention will coincide with what tradition calls ‘the end of the world’ or ‘the day of judgement’.
    Another difficulty is that from the days of the New Testament downwards, the expectation of the Coming has often been strong yet as often disappointed. I do not think that this applies to Christ Himself. He clearly taught that the time of His return was uncertain and was unknown to Himself. This ignorance is, of course, one of the most notable proofs that the power of His divine nature was during His earthly ministry limited to coincide with His human nature, so as to constitute one truly human personality. But though He avowed His ignorance and did not discourage the Apostles from expecting an early return, yet there are signs that in His own mind He had no such expectation. The matter cannot be fully discussed here, but the language of several of the parables and of some other undoubted sayings naturally suggests a very long period before the return.
    To be sure there is other language which seems to point to a Coming which would begin within the lifetime of Christ’s generation. But this, like the rest of the apocalyptic teaching, is symbolically expressed; and as symbol it has been realized. Christ’s kingdom began to come at the fall of Jerusalem and through the ages has progressed by one catastrophic step after another, in all of which can be discerned those elements of disaster, fear, suffering, and apostasy which are foreshadowed as preceding the Coming of Christ. Many times in history have the storms of the age seemed to betoken that Christ was at hand; and though He has been expected and has not personally come, yet, looking back, we clearly see His kingdom has each time made real progress, either in extension or purification or enlightenment and spiritual vigour. I suppose it to be because of these repeated crises ending always in a new stage of the development of the kingdom, that Christ enjoined His disciples with so much emphasis always to be watching. The expectation that at the end of calamity there would inevitably come the triumph of Christ, has carried the church on in its struggle against sin and pain and death, until when we look round upon the world and remember what it was when Christ taught upon earth, we feel that His kingdom is already in large measure realized.
    There are, I suppose, some who would be satisfied with this interpretation of the prophecies of the New Testament and would look forward to an indefinitely prolonged series of such crises and triumphs, without any personal intervention of Christ, until through the power of the Holy Spirit, working not only by religion but also through scientific discovery and knowledge, bit by bit sin and pain and death will be overcome, and some thousands of years hence Christ’s kingdom upon earth will be fully established, and a race sinless, without suffering, and immortal, will walk the earth, the culmination of the long, gradual progress.
    I cannot feel satisfied with this version of the doctrine of the Second Advent for several reasons. First, though much progress has been made, what is still to be done, especially when we take account of animals and of all creation, against sin and pain and death is enormous and almost destroys hope, if there be not after a different mode further divine help. Secondly, while there has been progress, the progress has not been unblemished by error and failure. Notably the progress of mankind has over and over again repeated what we believe about the original ‘fall of man’. When man became a moral being he made that step forward amiss; so that in the very gain there was bound up a fearful curse. He became moral, but only also to become depraved; and in Christian history a similar experience has been repeated. As one may say, whenever man makes a great step forward, he always trips up; so that side by side with what seems like the Coming of Christ’s kingdom, there have grown up new evils which trouble and perplex us. Thirdly, progress has not only been chequered and imperfect, but in some regions and for some periods it seems capable of changing into retrogression. We have lately had times of general pessimism, when it has become manifest how strong evil is and how shamefully and disastrously it may sometimes gain victory over good. This is not very unlike the experience of the Jewish race, receiving the revelation of Jehovah before the First Coming of Christ. The Jews too, like ourselves, made great progress, but progress deeply tainted with sin and error, so that when the test came the failure was general. The Jews needed, but most of them could not profit by, the First Coming of Christ. May we not say that we too need, urgently and even desperately, a second intervention from on High? Nothing but the hand of Christ Himself can complete the work He has begun, and if sin and pain and death are to be finally destroyed, it is He and not we who will achieve it.
    We cannot tell when He will come. Nor can we tell how He will come. But it is right for us to hope and watch and pray so that we may be ready alike for His actual Coming or for one of those foretastes of it which have marked the history of the last nineteen hundred years. Accordingly, we ought to have a prayer for the Second Coming when we celebrate the Eucharist; and the prayer which I have framed could be used by any Christian who expects the coming of Christ’s kingdom in any form; even by those who, unlike myself, are satisfied to believe that the continuance of crises and triumphs, as in the past, will in the end, though a very remote end, give all that we can wish. return

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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