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T H E Book of the Common Prayer and Administration of the Sacraments, and other Rites and Ceremonies of the Church : after the use of the Church of England.

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The Book of Common Prayer, and Administration of the Sacraments and other Rites and Ceremonies in

the Church of


* Londini, in Officina Ed

vvardi Whytchurche.

* Cum Priuilegio ad Im Pri

mendum Solum.

Anno 1552.

The Contents of this Book.

1. A Preface. 2. A Table and Kalendar for Psalms and Lessons, with necessary rules pertaining to the same. 3. The Order for Matins and Evensong, throughout the year. 4. The Introits, Collects, Epistles and Gospels, to be used at the celebration of the Lord's Supper, and holy Communion through the year, with proper Psalms and Lessons, for divers feasts and days. 5. The Supper of the Lord and holy Communion, commonly called the Mass. 6. The Litany and Suffrages. 7. Of Baptism, both public and private. 8. Of Confirmation, where also is a Catechism for children. 9. Of Matrimony. Io. Of Visitation of the Sick, and Communion of the same. II. Of Burial. 12. The purification of women. 13. A declaration of Scripture, with certain prayers to be used the first day of Lent, commonly called Ash Wednesday. 14. Of Ceremonies omitted or retained. 15. Certain notes for the more plain explication and decent ministratration of things contained in this book.

The Contents of this Book.

1. A Preface. 2. Of Ceremonies, why some be abolished and some retained. 3. The order how the Psalter is appointed to be read. 4. The Table for the order of the Psalms to be said at Morning and Evening Prayer. 5. The order how the rest of holy Scripture is appointed to be read. . Proper Psalms and Lessons at Morning and Evening Prayer, for certain feasts and days. . An Almanack. . The Table and Kalendar for Psalms and Lessons, with necessary rules appertaining to the saine. 9. The order for Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer, throughout the year. Io. The Litany. 11. The Collects, Epistles, and Gospels, to be used at the ministration of the holy Communion, throughout the year. 12. The order of the ministration of the holy Communion. 13. Baptism, both public and priVate. 14. Confirmation, where also is a Catechism for children. 15. Matrimony. 16. Visitation of the Sick. 17. The Communion of the Sick. 18. Burial. 19. The Thanksgiving of Women after Childbirth. 20. A Commination against sinners, with certain Prayers to be used divers times in the year. 21. The form and manner of making and consecrating of Bishops, Priests, and Deacons.

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THERE was never any thing by the wit of man so well devised, or so a surely established, which (in continuance of time) hath not been corrupted: as (among other things) it may plainly appear by the Common Prayers in the Church, commonly called Divine Service: the first original and ground whereof, if a man would search out by the ancient Fathers, he shall find that the same was not ordained, but of a good purpose, and for a great advancement of godliness: for they so ordered the matter, that all the whole Bible (or the greatest part thereof) should be read over once in the year, intending thereby, that the Clergy, and specially such as were ministers of the congregation, should (by often reading and meditation of God's word) be stirred up to godliness themselves, and be more able also to exhort other by wholesome doctrine, and to confute them that were adversaries to the truth. And further, that the people (by daily hearing of holy scripture read in the church) should continually profit more and more in the knowledge of God, and be the more inflamed with the love of his true religion. But these many years past, this godly and decent order of the ancient Fathers hath been so altered, broken, and neglected, by planting in uncertain stories, legends, responds, verses, vain repetitions, commemorations, and synodals, that commonly when any book of the Bible was begun, before three or four chapters were read out, all the rest were unread. And in this sort, the book of Isaiah was begun in Advent,

and the book of Genesis in Septuagesima; but they were only.

begun, and never read through. After a like sort were other books of holy scripture used. And moreover, whereas S. Paul would have such language spoken to the people in the church, as they might understand and have profit by hearing the same: the service in this Church of England (these many years) hath been read in Latin to the people, which they understood not, so that they have heard with their ears only ; and their hearts, spirit, and mind, have not been edified thereby. And furthermore, notwithstanding that the ancient Fathers "had divided the Psalms into seven portions; whereof every one was called a a sure 1552. * !-nve 1552.


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nocturn; now of late time a few of them have been daily said and of repeated) and the rest utterly omitted. wo. th number and hardness of the rules called the Pie, and the . fold changings of the service, was the cause, that to turn i book only was so hard and intricate a matter, that many * there was more business to find out what should be real than to read it when it was found out. - - “ -These inconveniences therefore considered, here is set forth such an order, whereby the same shall be redressed. And for a readiness in this matter, here is drawn out a Calendar for that purpose, which is plain and easy to be “understanded, wherein

(so much as may be) the reading of holy scripture is so set forth that all things shall be done in order, without breaking one piece thereos from another.

(For this cause be cut off Anthems, Res, Invitatories, also like things, as

did break the conof the reading of the scripture. Yet because there hat of necessity there must be so" rules:

here set forth, which as they be few T

in number, so they be plain and easy to be “understanded. So that here you have * Order for Prayer (as touching the reading of holy scripture) much agreeable to the mind and purpose of

the old Fathers, and a great deal more profitable and commo-
dious o tha

t which of late was used. It is more profitable, because here are left out many things, whereof some be untrue, Solile uncertain, solo vain and superstitious: and is ordained noting to be read but the wo pure word of God, the holy. scriptures, or that which is evidentlygrounded upon the same o and that in such a languag. and order, as is most easy and plain for the understanding: both of the readers and hearers. It is also more commodious, both for the short” thereof, and for the plaino of the Order. and for that the rulo be few and easy. Fudismore by this Order. the Curio shall need none other books for their solo service, but this book and o o !. in means whereof the people Jull not be at so go" large for

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this way more painful, because that all things must be read upon the book, whereas before, by the reason of so often repetition, they could say many things by heart: if those men will weigh their labour with the profit "in knowledge which daily they shall obtain by reading upon the book, they will not refuse the pain, in consideration of the great profit that shall ensue thereof. And “forsomuch as nothing can almost be so plainly set forth, but doubts may rise in the use and practising of the same: to appease all such diversity, (if any arise,) and for the resolution of all doubts, concerning the manner how to understand, do, and execute the things contained in this book, the parties that so doubt, or diversly take any thing, shall always resort to the bishop of the diocese, who by his discretion shall take order for the quieting and appeasing of the same: so that the same order be not contrary to any thing con- not contrary to any thing contained in this book. tained in this book. And if the bishop of the diocese be in any doubt, then may he send for the resolution thereof unto the archbishop. Though it be appointed in the afore written Preface, that all things shall be read and sung in the church, in the English tongue, to the end that the congregation may be thereby edified: yet it is not meant, but when men say * Matins and Evensong privately, they may say the same in any language that they themselves do understand.

Neither that any man shall be bound to the saying of them, but such as from time to time, in cathedral and collegiate churches, parish churches, and chapels to the same annexed, shall serve the congregation.

And all priests and deacons shall be bound to say daily the Morning and Evening Prayer, either privately or openly, except they be letted by preaching, studying of divinity, or by some other urgent cause.

And the curate that ministereth in every parish church or chapel, being at home and not being otherwise reasonably letted, shall say the same in the parish church or chapel where

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