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EDWARD, by the grace of God, king of England, France, and Ireland, defender of the faith, and of the church of England and Ireland in earth the supreme head: to all and singular our loving subjects, greeting. Forsomuch as in our high court of parliament lately holden at Westminster, it was by us, with the consent of the lords spiritual and temporal and commons there assembled, most godly and agreeably to Christ's holy institution enacted, that the most blessed sacrament of the body and blood of our Saviour Christ should from thenceforth be commonly delivered and ministered unto all persons within our realm of England and Ireland, and other our dominions, under both kinds, that is to say, of bread and wine, (except necessity otherwise require,) lest every man phantasyng and devising a sundry way by himself, in the use of this most blessed sacrament of unity, there might thereby arise any unseemly and ungodly diversity : our pleasure is, by the advice of our most dear uncle the duke of Somerset, governor of our person, and protector of our realms, dominions, and subjects, and other of our privy council, that the said blessed sacrament be ministered unto our people only after such form and manner as hereafter, by our authority, with the advice before mentioned, is set forth and declared : willing every man, with due reverence and Christian behaviour, to come to this holy sacrament and most blessed communion, lest they by unworthy receiving of so high mysteries, become guilty of the body and blood of the Lord, and so eat and drink their own damnation; but rather diligently trying themselves, that they may so come to this holy table of Christ, and so be partakers of this holy communion, that they may dwell in Christ, and have Christ dwelling in them. And also with such obedience and conformity to receive this our ordinance, and most godly direction, that we may be encouraged from time to time further to travail for the reformation, and setting forth of such godly orders as may be most to God's glory, the edifying of our subjects, and for the advancement of true religion. Which thing we (by the help of God) most earnestly intend to bring to effect, willing all our loving subjects in the mean time to stay and quiet themselves with our direction, as men content to follow authority, (according to the bounden duty of subjects,) and not enterprising to run afore, and so by their rashness become the greatest hind ers of such things as they more arrogantly than godly would seem (by their own private authority) most hotly to set forward. We would not have our subjects so much to mislike our judgment, so much to mistrust our zeal, as though we either could not discern what were to be done, or would not do all things in due time. God be praised, we know both what by his word is meet to be redressed, and have an earnest mind, by the advice of our most dear uncle, and other of our privy council, with all diligence and convenient speed, to set forth the same, as it may most stand with God's glory, and edifying and quietness of our people: which we doubt not but all our obedient and loving subjects will quietly and reverently tarry for.
THE ORDER OF THE COMMUNION.
First, the Parson, Vicar, or Curate, the next Sunday or holyday, or at the least one
day before he shall minister the communion, shall give warning to his parishioners, or those which be present, that they prepare themselves thereto, saying to them openly and plainly as hereafter followeth, or such like :
Dear friends, and you especially upon whose souls I have cure and charge, upon day next I do intend, by God's grace, to offer to all such as shall be thereto godly disposed, the most comfortable sacrament of the body and blood of Christ; to be taken of them in the remembrance of his most fruitful and glorious passion : by the which passion we have obtained remission of our sins, and be made partakers of the kingdom of heaven, wherefore we be assured and ascertained, if we come to the said sacrament with hearty repentance of our offences, steadfast faith in God's mercy, and earnest mind to obey God's will, and to offend no more: wherefore our duty is, to come to these holy mysteries, with most hearty thanks to be given to Almighty God for his infinite mercy and benefits given and bestowed upon us, his unworthy servants, for whom he hath not only given his body to death, and shed his blood, but also doth vouchsafe, in a sacrament and mystery, to give us his said body and blood spiritually to feed and drink upon. The which sacrament being so divine and holy
a thing, and so comfortable to them which receive it worthily, and so dangerous to them that will presume to take the same unworthily; my duty is to exhort you in the mean season to consider the greatness of the thing, and to search and examine your own consciences, and that not lightly, nor after the manner of dissimulers with God; but as they which should come to a most godly and heavenly banquet; not to come but in the marriage garment required of God in scripture, that you may, so much as lieth in you, be found worthy to come to such a table. The
ways and means thereto is, First, That you be truly repentant of your former evil life, and that you confess with an unfeigned heart to Almighty God your sins and unkindness towards his Majesty, committed either