|The Book of Common Prayer|
"In accordance with a resolution of General Convention," says the report of the Committee, "which recommends all Committees, appointed to sit during the recess, to meet for the purpose of organizing immediately after the close of the session; the Committee came together on the evening of Wednesday, the twenty-seventh day of October 1880, and was organized by the appointment of the Bishop of Connecticut as Chairman, and of Dr. Huntington of Massachusetts as Secretary. Later it was agreed that the official title of the Committee should be The Joint Committee on the Book of Common Prayer. In addition to the first meeting for organization, three groups of sessions have been held during the recess, one of them in January 1881, another in October 1882, and another in April 1883. All of these were convened in the city of New York, and were very fully attended." "Early in 1881 the work of review was distributed among three Sub-Committees, and at the same time the following resolutions were adopted:— '(a) Resolved, That this Committee asserts, at the outset, its conviction that no alteration should be made touching either statements or standards of doctrine. (b) Resolved, That the Committee in all its suggestions and acts, be guided by those principles of liturgical construction and ritual which have guided the compilation and amendments of the Book of Common Prayer, and have made it what it is.' "1 The report further states, that the object of the Committee had been" to search for what seemed necessary or desirable in the way of additions among the rich stores of devotional forms which are the common heritage of the Catholic Church, rather than to undertake new compositions of their own. Among the later sources which have thus been drawn upon, they feel bound to mention especially Canon Bright's Ancient Collects,2 and The Daily Service of our own lamented Hutton."3 In this connection mention must be made of the Materia Ritualis,4 a pamphlet prepared by the Rev. Dr. Huntington, and laid before the Committee, and from which many of the more important of the proposed alterations were immediately derived.
The report of the Committee was made public a short time before the meeting of General Convention. It was drawn up in the form of a series of resolutions, embodying about two hundred and fourteen distinct alterations. To this report there was attached a Prayer Book, (referred to as the Book Annexed5), in which all the suggested changes were incorporated in their proper places, thus presenting to the eye what would be the appearance of the Common Prayer Book should the alterations be adopted by the Church. The consideration of the report occupied the greater part of the session of the Convention of 1883. No little praise is due to the skill, courtesy and patience with which the Rev. Dr. Huntington guided the House of Deputies through a work the like of which it had not been engaged in for a hundred years, and for which, it may be said without any disrespect, its members were but little prepared by previous training in liturgiology. On the thirteenth day of the session, a Committee of Conference, consisting of those who were members of the Joint Committee on the Enrichment of the Prayer Book, was appointed to reconcile disagreements between the two Houses. On the evening of the last day (Oct. 26), a short time before adjournment, it presented its report. This report proposed the passage of some one hundred and six alterations in the Prayer Book, most of them modifications of those originally presented in the Report of the Joint Committee. Owing to the lateness of the hour, the alterations thus presented by the Committee of Conference were adopted without being read.6 The result of the work of this Convention was that most of the alterations of the Book Annexed were adopted substantially as presented; some were considerably modified; only a very few wholly failed to receive the assent of both Houses.
Of the changes proposed by the Joint Committee, but which were not adopted by the Convention, the following arc the most important :—
In the Calendar: The appointment of January 18th for the feast of the Transfiguration.
In Morning Prayer: The substitution of the following for the rubric before the Lord's Prayer. "¶ Then the Minister shall kneel, and say the Lord's Prayer; the People still kneeling, and repeating it with him, both here and wheresoever else it is in this Book appointed to be used, save at the beginning of the Communion Office."
In the Visitation of the Sick: The change of the phraseology of the interrogative Creed, so that it would read, "that he descended into hell," instead of, "that he went down into hell," and, "the forgiveness of sins," instead of, "the remission of sins," and "the resurrection of the body," instead of "the resurrection of the flesh."
In the Burial of the Dead: The substitution of the following for the first rubric, "¶ Here it is to be noted that the Office ensuing is not to be used for any unbaptized adults, any excommunicate persons who die impenitent, or any who die in the commission of a grievous crime, or who, having laid violent hands on themselves have not been found to have been unsound mind."
Before adjournment an editing Committee was appointed to republish The Book Annexed, incorporating all the alterations adopted by the Convention.7 Criticisms on the proposed changes in the Prayer Book were now heard from all sides. The subject of liturgiology in general and of Prayer Book revision in particular was dealt with by Episcopal charges, reports, and resolutions of Committees in the Diocesan Conventions, articles in the religious and secular periodicals and even in the daily newspapers, and by pamphlets privately printed and circulated. The Book Annexed as Modified was scrutinized from every possible point of view. The doctrinal significance of its alterations, and their liturgical fitness; the grammatical construction of the new prayers, the felicity of their phrases, and the smoothness of their rhythm, all came in for searching examination. Even so small a matter as the position of a point of punctuation drew forth more than one contribution to the literature which gathered around the Book Annexed. To give even a list of the more important of these publications would fill many pages.
An Historical Account
of the American Book of Common Prayer, by William McGarvey
Journal of 1883, p. 393.
2 Ancient Collects and other Prayers. Selected, etc., by William Bright, M. A.
3 The Daily Service; A Book of Offices for Daily Use through all the Seasons of the Christian Year, [by Rev. Richard G. Hutton], 1874.
4 Materia Ritualis. An Appendix to a Paper on "The Revision of the Common Prayer" in the American Church Review for April, 1881. Privately printed. Worcester: Press of Charles Hamilton. 1882.
5 The Book Annexed to the Report of the Joint Committee on the Book of Common Prayer — appointed by the General Convention of MDCCCLXXX. [Printed by Everett C. Stone, Worcester, Mass.] [Griffiths 1883/14]
6 Journal, pp. 359, 350, 390, 429, See also The Churchman, Nov. 10, 1883.
7 It accordingly appeared in 1885 with the title, The Book Annexed to the Report of the Joint Committee on the Book of Common Prayer as modified by the action of the General Convention of MDCCCLXXXIII. [Griffiths 1885/11]
General Convention of 1886.
The next General Convention met in Chicago in 1886. No less than twenty-eight dioceses sent in Memorials, Resolutions, or Petitions on the subject of Prayer Book revision.1 Their unanimous judgment was that the Book Annexed as modified ought not to be adopted as it stood. On the second day a Committee of Conference was appointed, consisting of the Bishops of Connecticut, Ohio, Albany, North Carolina, and the Assistant Bishop of New York; the Rev. Dr. Huntington, the Rev. Dr. Egar, the Rev Dr. Gold, the Rev. Dr. Hale, and the Rev. Dr. Hart; Mr. Sheffey, Mr. Nash, Mr. Shattuck, Mr. Gilbert, and Mr. Packard, Jr. All memorials and Resolutions presented in either House with reference to the subject of liturgical revision were referred to this Committee, which was asked to consider and report what action, if any, ought to be taken by the General Convention in the alterations proposed in 1883. On the tenth day of the session the Committee presented their report, in which they said that they had 'considered the Petitions, :Memorials, and Resolutions above mentioned, and were impressed with the remarkable agreement with which the great majority unite in recommending or rejecting the same proposed changes.' The report was arranged under four distinct schedules. Schedule A contained those alterations which the Committee recommended for immediate adoption. Schedule B contained certain alterations proposed in 1883, but now so amended as to become new matter, and therefore to be proposed anew in the present Convention, and finally acted upon in 1889. Schedule C was made up of the alterations with regard to which it was recommended that the Convention take no action, and so to be rejected. Towards the end of their report the Committee added that 'they believe that this Convention has the power to take completed action at this session in establishing a Book of Offices for occasions which have not hitherto been provided for in the Book of Common Prayer. To this end they asked permission to bring in at an early date as a supplement to this report, a Book of Offices for several occasions.' Certain alterations which they proposed to make use of in preparing such a book were gathered together under Schedule D. The report, 'so far as it favoured the setting forth of a Book of Offices,' was dissented from by five members of the Committee, viz.: the Rt. Rev. Bishop Bedell, the Rev. Dr. Gold, the Rev. Dr. Egar, the Rev. Dr. Hale, and Mr. J. W. Gilbert.2
On the eleventh day of the session, the Rev. Dr. Huntington offered a resolution requesting the Committee on Amendments to the Constitution to consider "whether there be any constitutional impediment to the immediate setting forth of a Book of Offices and Prayers for use on occasions for which no provision is made in the Book of Common Prayer."3 On the next day he presented in the House of Deputies, as a supplementary report from the Joint Committee," A Book of Offices and Prayer; to be authorized by the Convention of 1886 for use on and after November 1st." This book contained "A Penitential Office for any Day in Lent," "An Office for Harvest Home," "The Beatitudes of the Gospel," "A Short Office for Sundry Occasions," and diverse "Prayers and Thanksgivings."4 On the following day, the Committee on Amendments to the Constitution reported "that they consider the proposition to set forth a Book of Offices and Prayer of such doubtful constitutionality that they deem it to be inexpedient to recommend such permission."5 On the fourteenth day the Bishop of Albany presented to the House of Bishops from the Joint Committee, "a Supplementary Report known as 'Schedule B continued,' proposing to include in Schedule B matter previously provided for in the proposed Book of Offices." In the Upper House the Bishop of Long Island moved the indefinite postponement of the whole matter of the Book of Offices, but accepted as a substitute a resolution offered by the Bishop of Chicago, providing for the appointment of a Commission to report to the next Convention "suitable Forms for Days of Fasting and Thanksgiving, appointed by the Civil or the Ecclesiastical Authority, and for other special occasions for which no service or Prayer hath been provided in the Book of Common Prayer, the same if approved to be set forth by the General Convention, as a Book of Offices allowed for use under the authorization by the Ordinary, and not as a part of the Book of Common Prayer."6 This resolution was afterward adopted by the Lower House.7
The whole of "Schedule A" was carefully considered by the Convention and almost all of its propositions adopted with very great unanimity. "Schedule B" was considered in part, but no action was taken with regard to "Schedule B continued," except to refer it, by a resolution originating in the House of Bishops, to the Joint Committee created as noted above.8 By another resolution, first offered in the House of Deputies, " So much of Schedule B as has not been acted upon by both Houses," was referred to the same Committee.9 The persons appointed on this Committee were the Bishops of Albany, New Hampshire, the Assistant Bishops of Mississippi and New York, and the Bishop of Pittsburgh; the Rev. Dr. Huntington, the Rev. Dr: Gold, the Rev. Dr. Hart, the Rev. Dr. Egar, and the Rev. Dr. Swope; Mr. Sheffey, Mr. McWorter, Mr. Woolworth, Mr. Gilbert, and Mr. Jackson. The Rev. Dr. Huntington having declined the appointment, the Rev. Dr. Davies was appointed in his place. Summing up the results accomplished by this Convention, we find that of the two hundred and twenty-one alterations proposed to the dioceses by the Convention of 1883, one hundred were ratified and made part of the Prayer Book. Eighteen other alterations, set forth under as many resolutions, were proposed for final action in 1889.
Of the alterations proposed in the Book Annexed by the Convention of 1883, but which were not adopted in 1886, the following are the most noteworthy:—
In the prefatory part of the Prayer Book: The section "Concerning
the Service of the Church."
1It is greatly to be lamented that these documents have not been preserved in the Journal, constituting as they do the most valuable data for the study of this revision hereafter.
2 Journal, p. 668.
3 Journal of 1886, p. 419.
4 Ibid., pp. 419,682.
5 Ibid., p. 4'10.
6 Ibid., p.381.
7 Ibid., p. 541,552.
8 Ibid., pp. 398, 541, 552.
9 Ibid., pp. 554, 407.
In Morning Prayer: Additional Sentences of Scripture; The substitution of another prayer of Absolution for the one which now follows the Declaration of Absolution; Proper anthems for Christmas, Ascension, Whitsunday, and Trinity, to be used instead of the Venite; The original form of the Venite; The Benedictus es, Domine from the book of Daniel, as an alternative for the Benedicite; The De profundis as an alternative Canticle after the Second Lesson; The omission of the prayer for the President when the Litany is said.
In Evening Prayer: An alternative Confession; The substitution of another prayer of Absolution; Four versicles with their responses, chiefly from the English Book; The substitution of the prayer, "Assist us mercifully," etc., for the prayer of St. Chrysostom; An office to be used after Evening Prayer, entitled "The Beatitudes of the Gospel."
In the Litany: Rubrics requiring the Litany to be said on the Rogation Days, as well as on Sunday, Wednesday, and Friday, and permitting it to be omitted on Christmas, Easter, and Whitsunday; The addition of the words "fire and flood," after the words "lightning and tempest;" A special suffrage for the President of the United States.
In the Occasional Prayers and Thanksgivings: The substitution of the word "chastisements" for "punishments" in the prayer For Fair Weather; Twenty-three new Prayers, viz.: For a Person or Persons on a Journey, For Persons preparing for Confirmation, For Missions,10 For the Increase of the Ministry, For all who are dependent on the Public Care, Two Prayers for Fruitful Seasons,11 In the Vacancy of a Cure of Souls, For the Spirit of Prayer, For the Light of God's Truth, For the Renewing of the Holy Ghost, For Patience under Suffering, For Grace to Speak the Truth in Love, An Intercession for those who labour in the Gospel, An Intercession for those who err from the Faith, An Intercession for those who live in Sin, A Prayer for Mercy and Pardon, A General Intercession, A Morning Prayer. A Morning Prayer, An Evening Prayer. An Evening Prayer, For Aid against Perils, Two New Thanksgivings, viz.: For a Child's Recovery from Sickness,12 For an Escape from Accident.
Three occasional Offices, viz.: "A Penitential Office,"10 an office for "Harvest Home," being an expanded form of our present Order for Thanksgiving Day, and "A Short Office of Prayer for Sundry Occasions."
In the Propers of the Communion Office: An alternative Collect, Epistle, and Gospel for Christmas;10 An alternative Collect, Epistle, and Gospel for Easter;10 Collects for each day of Holy Week, and for the Monday and Tuesday after Easter, and after Pentecost.
In the Order of the Communion: The response "Thanks be to thee, O Lord," after the Gospel; The change of the words, "we and all others" in the Prayer of Consecration, to "whosoever;" The substitution of the words, "reverently consume the same," for "reverently eat and drink the same" in the last rubric; The addition of the following rubrics. "¶ And, Note, That every Communicant should receive the Communion, at the least, three times in the year, of which Easter to be one. ¶ There shall be no Celebration of the Lord's Supper except there be a convenient number to communicate with the Priest, according to his discretion. ¶ And even though there be not above twenty persons in the Parish of discretion to receive the Communion, yet there shall be no Celebration, except three (or two at the least) communicate with the Priest."
In the Order of Private Baptism: The omission of the following words from the first rubric, "longer than the first or second Sunday after their birth, or other Holy day falling between, unless upon a great and reasonable cause."
In the Order of Confirmation: The addition of questions and answers for the renewal of the baptismal vows; The insertion of a rubric permitting the singing of a hymn between the prayer for the gifts of the Holy Ghost and the Laying on of Hands.
In the Visitation of the Sick: Three new prayers, viz.: For the aged, In time of great bodily Danger or Distress, and In Prolonged Sickness, also a series of Short Prayers with the Dying.
In the Communion of the Sick: The addition of the Psalm Laudate Dominum and the Kyrie before the Collect.
In the Burial of the Dead: Special Sentences, Psalm, Lesson and Anthem "At the Burial of Infants or Young Children."
In the Forms of Prayer to be used at Sea: The omission of the first rubric, viz.: "¶ The Morning and Evening Service to be used daily at Sea, shall be the one which is appointed in the Book of Common Prayer."
Modified and adopted 1889-1892.
11 The second one modified and adopted 1889-1892.
12 Adopted 1889-1892.
General Convention of 1889.
The Convention of 1889 met in the city of New York. Five dioceses presented memorials praying that the work of Prayer Book revision might not be continued beyond the session. On the second day the report of the Joint Committee appointed in 1886 was presented in both Houses. This report proposed eighty-one alterations extending to almost every office in the Prayer Book. The Committee had also prepared "A Book of Offices to be allowed for use where it shall be authorized by the Ordinary." A minority report signed by the Rt. Rev. Bishop Thompson, the Rev. Dr. Swope, and the Rev. Dr. Gold was also presented. This second report objected "that it was not strictly within the province of this Committee to take up the business of revising the Prayer Book as a whole," and deprecated the continuance of the work of revision as calculated to "excite uneasiness, shake the feeling of confidence and security with which devout people have rested upon the precious formularies of the Prayer Book, and impair the unquestioning loyalty which is the very foundation of the Christian character." It therefore offered, as a substitute for the proposals of the majority report, a resolution" that the revision of the Prayer Book be brought to an end at the present session of the General Convention."1 The adoption of this resolution would have precluded the consideration of any alterations except those proposed in 1886. In the House of Bishops, twenty voted for the resolution, and twenty-eight against it. In the House of Deputies, of the clerical vote, twenty-one dioceses voted for the resolution, and twenty-four against it; of the lay vote, nineteen dioceses voted for it, and twenty-three against it. By this small majority the resolution was lost and the work of revision continued.2
The Convention ratified all the alterations proposed in 1886. The majority report of the Committee was afterward considered in detail, and forty-eight of its eighty-one propositions for change were adopted and proposed to the dioceses for final action in 1892. A Resolution was afterwards adopted appointing three members of each order as a Committee "to prepare and to submit to the next General Convention for its approval, a new edition of the Standard Prayer Book."3 The Rt. Revs. the Bishops of Albany, Iowa, and New York; the Rev. Dr. Huntington, the Rev. Dr. Kedney, and the Rev. Dr. Hart; Mr. Morgan, Mr. Packard, Jr., and Mr. Eliot were appointed on the Committee.4 On the eighteenth day of the session, the Joint Committee on Liturgical Revision begged leave 'to recommend that owing to the lateness of the session the consideration of the Book of Offices be postponed to the next General Convention,' which resolution was adopted.5
Of the alterations presented in the report of the Committee to this Convention of 1889, but which were not adopted, the following are the most important:—
In Morning Prayer: The versicle and response, " O God make speed to save us. Answ. O Lord make haste to help us;"6 The original form of the Venite as an alternative for the form now in Morning Prayer; The change of certain clauses of the Te Deum, so that they would read thus: "When thou tookest upon thee to deliver man, thou didst not abhor the Virgin's womb."6 "Make them to be rewarded with thy Saints in glory everlasting." "O Lord let thy mercy lighten upon us;"6 The addition to the rubric before Benedicite of the following, "But note, That when the Benedicite is sung, it shall not be necessary to repeat the words, Praise him and magnify him forever, at the end of every verse;" The substitution of the words, "the good estate of the Catholic Church,"6 for the words," thy holy Church universal;" in the prayer for all Conditions of Men.
In Evening Prayer: The versicle "O God make speed," etc., with its response.6
In the Litany: The substitution of the words "From fornication and all other deadly sin,"6 for the words, "From all inordinate and sinful affections."
In the Occasional Prayers and Thanksgivings: The addition of An Intercession for those who labour in the Gospel, and a Thanksgiving For a Safe Return from Voyage or Travel.
In the Propers of the Communion Office: The alteration of the Collect for St. John Evangelist in order to conform it to the reading of the English Book; A Collect Epistle and Gospel for Funerals; A Collect, Epistle and Gospel for Ecclesiastical Conventions.
In the Order of Communion: The response" Thanks be to thee, a Lord," after the Gospel; The change of the rubric before the Offertory so that it would read, "¶ Then shall follow the Sermon. After which, the Minister, when there is a Communion, shall return to the Lord's Table and say, Let us make our offerings to the Lord with reverence and godly fear. ¶ Then shall he begin the Offertory," etc.; The omission of the word "militant" from the clause "Let us pray for the whole state of Christ's Church militant;" The substitution of the words "And we also bless thy holy Name for all thy servants, who having finished their course,"7 etc., from the Scotch Liturgy of 1637, for the words "And we also bless thy holy Name for all thy servants departed this life," etc.; The addition of the following rubric after the Prayers for the Church Militant, "¶ Here the Priest shall pause for a space, in order that such as are so minded may withdraw;" the removal of the prayer "We do not presume," etc., to a place after the Prayer of Consecration; The substitution of the words, "whosoever shall be partakers" for "we and all others who shall be partakers" in the Prayer of Consecration. The addition of the following rubric at the end of the Communion Office, "¶ There shall be no Celebration of the Lord's Supper, except there be some to Communicate with the Priest."
In the Order of Confirmation: The addition of three questions and answers for the renewal of the baptismal vows; The omission of the word "confirming" from the Bishop's question, "Do ye here," etc.; An alternative form for administering Confirmation; viz.: "¶ Or else all of them kneeling before the Bishop, he shall make a Cross on the forehead and lay his hands upon the head of everyone severally, saying, I sign thee with the sign of the Cross, and lay mine hands upon thee, In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Confirm, 0 Lord, this thy Child [or this thy Servant] with thy heavenly grace: that he may continue," etc.
In the Communion of the Sick: The substitution of the word Priest for Minister in the first, second, fourth, and fifth rubrics at the end of this office as it stands in the Standard of 1871.
In the Burial of the Dead: The substitution of the 39th and 90th Psalms in their integrity as in the English Book, instead of the present forms.
The Book of Offices laid before the Convention of 1889, but with regard to which no action was taken, consisted of 1. A Short Office for Sundry Occasions. 2. An Office for the last hour of the Day. 3. An Office of Intercession for Unity. 4. An Office for the Fourth of July and for Special Days of Thanksgiving. 5. An Office for Special Days of Fasting. 6. An Office for Harvest Home. 7. A Penitential Office for Lent. 8. A Commemoration of the Passion. 9. A Litany for Missions. 10. A Litany of the Christian Life. 11. Prayers for Sundry Occasions.
1 Journal, p. 696 et seq.
2 Ibid., pp. 158, 414.
3 Journal, p. 387.
4 Ibid., pp. 87, 358.
5 Ibid., pp. 210, 464.
6 From the English Book.
7 This prayer, after a significant alteration had been made in it, was inserted in the Burial Office by the Conventions of 1889 and 1892.
General Convention of 1892.
The Convention of 1892 met in Baltimore. On the second day of the session the alterations in the Prayer Book proposed in 1889 were taken up and continued the order of the day until disposed of. Of the fifty-two propositions proposed forty-three were adopted, most of them with little or no debate. No action was taken upon the Book of Offices the consideration of which had been postponed at the previous Convention, and a proposition of the House of Deputies to appoint a Commission to prepare a Book of Offices, and to report the same in 1895 was negatived by the House of Bishops.1 The Committee appointed to prepare a Standard Book of Common Prayer presented a report drawn up, it is believed, by the Rev. Dr. Samuel Hart, and the evident result of long and careful study. This report will be found printed in the Journal as an Appendix, and will always be an invaluable and indispensable part of the apparatus criticus for the study of the text of the Prayer Book.2 Along with their report the Committee proposed the passage of a canon, (which was adopted,) providing that the Standard Book should be no longer an edition, but one volume "Set forth by the General Convention of this Church in the year 1892, and authenticated by the signatures of the presiding officers and secretaries of the two Houses of General Convention, and by the signatures of the members of the Joint Committee charged with the duty of preparing and submitting to the Convention a Standard Book of Common Prayer of this Church." It was further provided, that "No copy or edition of the Book of Common Prayer shall be made, printed, published, or used as of authority in this Church unless it contain the authorization of the Custodian of the Standard Book of Common Prayer, certifying that he or some person appointed by him has compared the said copy or edition with the said Standard or a certified copy thereof, and that it conforms thereto." Hitherto the imprimatur of the Bishop of the diocese had sufficed to authorize an edition of the Prayer Book.
Since 1811 the eighth article of the Constitution of General Convention providing for the making of alterations in the Prayer Book, has read, "No alteration or addition shall be made in the Book of Common Prayer, or other offices of the Church, or the Articles of Religion,3 unless the same shall be proposed in one General Convention, and by a resolve thereof made known to the Convention of every diocese, and adopted at the subsequent General Convention."4 It was now proposed to the dioceses to amend this by substituting after the words "Articles of Religion," the following: "unless the same shall be first proposed in one General Convention, by the vote of a majority of the whole number of Bishops entitled to seats in the House of Bishops, and by the vote of a majority of all the dioceses entitled to representation in the House of Deputies, and by a resolve of the General Convention made known to the Convention of every diocese, and adopted at the subsequent General Convention in the same manner in which it was proposed." This amendment to the constitution will come up for final action in 1895.
The following are the alterations proposed in 1889 but rejected by the Convention in 1892:—
In the Table of Proper Psalms: The substitution of the 64th for the 69th Psalm among the propers of Good Friday:
In the Litany: The alteration of one of the suffrages so that it would read, "From fire and flood; from earthquake, lightning, and tempest; from plague, pestilence, and famine; from battle and murder, and from sudden death."
In the, Occasional Prayers and Thanksgivings: The addition of a prayer For a Person or Persons, on a Journey; The modification of the thanksgiving For a Safe Return from Sea, so as to make it a thanksgiving For a Safe Return from Voyage or Travel.
In the offices of Baptism: The substitution of an interrogative form of the Creed5 for the question, "Dost thou believe all the Articles" etc.
In the Form of Matrimony: A special Collect, Epistle and Gospel.
In the Visitation of the Sick: The addition of A Prayer for Patience under Suffering.
In the Burial Office: Two additional sentences of Scripture, viz., St. Luke xviii. 16, and Rev. vii. 16,17 .
In the Offices of Ordination: The omission of the words, after Morning Prayer is ended, from the first rubric in each office.
All the other alterations proposed in 1889 were adopted and made part of the Prayer Book. The work of revision having been thus concluded, the Joint Committee presented in both Houses on the sixth day of the session a copy of the Prayer Book as amended, which was "accepted as the correct text of the Book of Common Prayer of this Church, with the Offices and Articles." And the Committee was "instructed to cause to be printed on vellum a corresponding book, which book, after having been duly authenticated, shall be by them delivered to the Custodian for careful preservation according to the provisions of the canon."6 Within a few months afterward editions of the Prayer Book bearing the certificate of the Custodian had been published and were in the hands of the people.
Journal, pp. 272, 333, 110, 345.
2 In this connection, the student is also referred to the report of the Editing Committee of the Standard of 1822, printed in the Journal of 1821, and also to the Rev. Dr. T. W. Coit's elaborate and scholarly examination of the text of the Prayer Book made to the Convention of 1844, and printed in the Journal of 1868. The report of the Committee which prepared the Standard of 1871 is also worthy of study.
3 The words "or the Articles of Religion" were not added until 1829.
4 There is an exception to this rule in the case of the Lectionary which may be amended by one Convention.
6 Journal, pp. 45, 251, 285.
Standard Prayer Book of 1892.
It was intended to close this volume with a critical examination of the Standard of 1892, but it has been found that this would require many pages. It may perhaps suffice to note that, besides the alterations and additions made by the General Convention in accordance with the eighth article of the Constitution, the Committee have introduced "a great number of less notable but scarcely less important changes,"1 as corrections of errors or improvements. Attention is drawn to the most important of these changes in the footnotes of the pages which follow. It should also be noted that the method followed in the use of red ink is unprecedented in liturgical printing, and, while adopting some of the eccentricities of Collingwood's rubricated edition (Oxford, 1840), introduces others which have been hitherto unknown. It would seem to have been forgotten that Italic type is the modern substitute for rubrication, and therefore when the rubrics are printed in red, Roman letters are used and not Italics. It has also been overlooked that by custom black ink is introduced into the body of a rubricated rubric for quotations from the text, and not for titles. Thus for example, in the rubric after the second Absolution of Morning Prayer, "Lord's Prayer" would be in red ink; but if the rubric read, "Then the Minister shall kneel, and say Our Father," the last two words would be printed in black ink as being a quotation. The criticism of novelty is also applicable to the method of typographical arrangement adopted in a number of places.
It would seem necessary however to consider two points a little in detail. The names of the deutero-canonical books of the Old Testament are printed in Italics in the Tables of Lessons. This is a departure from the use of the Anglican Church for all time, and (as the Committee in its report observes) it does not appear from the Journal of 1883 that such change was directed by even the vote of both Houses of one General Convention. It also would seem that, while it never passed the Lower House at all, it did not even pass the Upper House by a constitutional vote (Art. 8 of the Constitution). Moreover had it done so, it is gravely doubtful whether such a change would have been a mere amendment of the Lectionary, but not rather anew method of printing certain pages of the Prayer Book introduced, it would seem, for doctrinal reasons, and as such requiring the action of two consecutive General Conventions with specific notice to the diocesan Conventions in the interim that it was proposed to make such an alteration.
The only other matter to which the reader's attention is directed in this place is the reading of the word hands instead of hand in the rubric before the words, "Defend, O Lord," etc., in the Confirmation service. On this point we simply state the facts. The word is in the singular in the Gelasian Sacramentary2 from which our rubric probably came. It is in the singular in the first and second Prayer Book of Edward VI., 1549 and 1552; so also in Queen Elizabeth's Book, 1559, and in the Latin Prayer Book of 1560; so in King James's Book, 1603; and in the Prayer Book of the Savoy, 1662. It is in the singular in the Proposed Book, the American Prayer Book of 1790, in the edition of 1791, and in Bishop Claggett's edition of 1815, and in every Prayer Book of the Church of England to-day. The plural, hands, first appeared in the Standard of 1793, a book which, from the Journal it is evident, was issued merely to correct misprints and not to make any changes whatever, as Bishop White also expressly tells us.3 As a matter of fact it is a very faulty edition with many original printer's errors, some of which have been corrected from time to time as such, but this misprint has been continued in Prayer Books generally, except in the edition of Bishop Claggett, where as has been already noted it is corrected to hand.
1 Rev. C. H. Hutchins, D. D., in Alterations and Additions in the Book of Common Prayer, p. 65.
2 "Ad consignandum [Episcopus] imponit eis manum in his verbis," (Maratori, Liturgia Romana Vetus, T. I.)
3 Memoirs, p. 190.
Over one hundred years have gone by since the first American Prayer Book was set forth by the Convention of 1789. Its history, which we have rapidly reviewed, if it teaches anything, demonstrates the strong hold conservatism has within the Church. And nothing has brought out more clearly this characteristic spirit than the revision just completed. In the Convention of 1883 the Joint Committee on the Prayer Book proposed no less than two hundred and fourteen distinct alterations. Two hundred and twelve alterations were adopted by that Convention and proposed to the dioceses. But when after three years of consideration it came time to take final action on these proposed changes, only ninety-eight were adopted. In 1886 the small number of eighteen alterations were proposed, and adopted in 1889. Forty-nine alterations were proposed by the Convention of 1889, forty-five of which were adopted in 1892. When we come to estimate the results of the work of revision, extending as it did over twelve years, we find the following. Besides the many merely verbal changes, most of them made 1ll accordance with the reading of the English Book, or for the sake of rubrical relaxation, there have been added to the Prayer Book (1) Diverse passages of Scripture in the shape of Sentences, Epistles, Gospels, and one Lesson; (2) Part of the section entitled "Concerning the Service of the Church; (3) New Tables for finding Easter; (4) The feast of the Transfiguration; (5) The words, "Let us humbly confess Our sjns to Almighty God;" (7) The Evangelical canticles; (8) Four versicles with their responses in Evening Prayer; (9) An additional suffrage In the Litany; (10) Ten new Prayers;1 (11) A Penitential Office;2 (12) Three new Collects; (13) The Kyrie, in its ancient form in the Communion Office; (14) The printing of the formula for Baptism sub conditione in the Office of Adult Baptism; (15) The words, "Reverend Father in God, I present," etc., in the office of Confirmation; (16) The words, " Hear the words of the Evangelist," etc., in the same office; (17) And an addition to the exhortation .in the office of Matrimony; (18) Proper Psalms for ten Holy Days, heretofore not so distinguished; (19) And ten new selections of Psalms.
But the greater part of these additions are restorations from the present English Book or from the books of 1549 and 1637. The only entirely new features, hitherto unknown to the Book of Common Prayer which this revision has now made part of the Church's liturgy are:— (1) Some new Sentences of Scripture in the Daily Offices. and one in the Communion Office,2 and a Lesson of Scripture in the Confirmation Service; (2) Proper Psalms for ten of the Holy Days; (3) Ten new selections of Psalms; (3) the words, "Let us humbly confess," etc.; (4) A new suffrage in the Litany; (5) five prayers, viz., one For Missions, two For Fruitful Seasons, and the first two Additional Prayers in the Burial Office; (6) the words, "Reverend Father," etc., in the office of Confirmation, (7) one Collect, that is, of the Transfiguration; (8) and the response to one versicle, (with which words we may well close this whole history of the American Prayer Book) viz., "For it is thou, Lord, only, that makest us dwell in safety."
1 Strictly only nine, as the thanksgiving For a Child's Recovery from Sickness is only a modification of The Thanksgiving of Women after Child-birth.
2 A somewhat similar modification of the Commination Office is found in Deacon's Compleat Collection of Devotions, where it is entitled" The Penitential Office." Vide Hall's Fragmenta Liturgica, Vol. VI.
3 The other new Offertory Sentences are found in the Scotch Book of 1637.
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