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THE BOOK OF
AND ADMINISTRATION OF THE
RITES AND CEREMONIES OF THE CHURCH,
ACCORDING TO THE USE OF THE
United Church of England and Ireland:
PSALMS OF DAVID,
POINTED AS THEY ARE TO BE SAID OR SUNG IN
CONTENTS OF THIS BOOK.
Concerning the Service of the Church.
The Order how the Psalter is appointed to be read.
The Order how the Rest of the Holy Scripture is appointed to be read.
A Table of proper Lessons and Psalms.
The Calendar, with the Table of Lessons.
Tables and Rules, for the Feasts and Fasts through the whole Year.
The Order for Morning Prayer.
The Order for Evening Prayer.
The Creed of Saint Athanasius.
Prayers and Thanksgivings upon several Occasions.
The Collects, Epistles, and Gospels, to be used at the Ministration
of the Holy Communion, throughout the Year.
The Order of the Ministration of the Holy Communion.
The Order of Baptism, both Public and Private.
The Order of Baptism, for those of Riper Years.
The Order of Confirmation.
The Form of Solemnization of Matrimony.
The Order for the Visitation of the Sick.
The Communion of the Sick.
Burial of the Dead.
Thanksgiving for Women after Child-bearing.
A Commination, or denouncing of God's Anger and Judgment
The Psalms of David.
Forms of Prayers to be used at Sea.
A Form of Prayer for the fifth Day of November.
A Form of Prayer for the thirtieth Day of January.
A Form of Prayer for the twenty-ninth Day of May.
A Form of Prayer for the twenty-fifth Day of October.
Form of Visitation of Prisoners.
Articles of Religion.
Ir hath been the wisdom of the Church of England, ever since the first compiling of her Public Liturgy, to keep the mean between the two extremes, of too much stiffness in refusing, and of too much easiness in admitting, any variation from it. For, as on the one side common experience sheweth, that where a change hath been made of things advisedly established, (no evident necessity so requiring) sundry inconveniences have thereupon ensued; and those many times more and greater than the evils, that were intended to be remedied by such change: so on the other side, the particular Form of Divine Worship, and the Rites and Ceremonies appointed to be used therein, being things in their own nature indifferent, and alterable, and so acknowledged; it is but reasonable, that upon weighty and important considerations, according to the various exigency of times and occasions, such changes and alterations should be made therein, as to those that are in place of authority should from time to time seem either necessary or expedient. Accordingly we find, that in the reigns of several princes of blessed memory since the Reformation, the Church, upon just and weighty considerations her thereunto moving, hath yielded to make such alterations in such particulars, as in their respective times were thought convenient: yet so, as that the main body and essentials of it (as well in the chiefest materials, as in the
* This Preface was prefixed at the last Review of the Common Prayer Book, at the Restoration of Charles II. Editor.
frame and order thereof) have still continued the same unto this day, and do yet stand firm and unshaken, notwithstanding all the vain attempts and impetuous assaults made against it, by such men as are given to change, and have always discovered a greater regard to their own private fancies and interests, than to that duty they owe to the public.
By what undue means, and for what mischievous purposes the use of the Liturgy (though enjoined by the laws of the land, and those laws never yet repealed) came, during the late unhappy confusions, to be discontinued, is too well known to the world, and we are not willing here to remember. But when, upon his Majesty's happy Restauration, it seemed probable that amongst other things, the use of the Liturgy would also return of course (the same having never been legally abolished), unless some timely means were used to prevent it, those men, who, under the late usurped powers had made it a great part of their business to render the people disaffected thereunto, saw themselves, in point of reputation and interest, concerned (unless they would freely acknowledge themselves to have erred, which such men are very hardly brought to do) with their utmost endeavours to hinder the restitution thereof. In order whereunto divers pamphlets were published against the Book of Common Prayer, the old objections mustered up, with the addition of some new ones, more than formerly had been made, to make the number swell. In fine, great importunities were used to his Sacred Majesty, that the said Book might be revised, and such Alterations therein, and additions thereunto made, as should be thought requisite for the ease of tender consciences: whereunto his Majesty, out of his pious inclination to give satisfaction (so far as could be reasonably expected) to all his subjects of what persuasions soever, did graciously condescend.
In which Review we have endeavoured to observe the like moderation, as we find to have been used in the like case in former times. And therefore, of the sundry alterations pro
posed unto us, we have rejected all such as were either of dangerous consequence (as secretly striking at some established doctrine, or laudable practice of the Church of England, or indeed of the whole Catholic Church of Christ), or else of no consequence at all, but utterly frivolous and vain. But such alterations as were tendered to us (by what persons, under what pretences, or to what purposes soever tendered) as seemed to us in any degree requisite or expedient, we have willingly, and of our own accord assented unto: not enforced so to do by any strength of argument, convincing us of the necessity of making the said alterations: for we are fully persuaded in our judgments (and we here profess it to the world) that that Book as it stood before established by law, doth not contain in it any thing contrary to the Word of God, or to sound doctrine, or which a godly man may not with a good conscience use and submit unto, or which is not fairly defensible against any that shall oppose the same; if it shall be allowed such just and favourable construction, as in common equity ought to be allowed to all human writings, especially such as are set forth by authority, and even to the very best translations of the Holy Scripture itself.
Our general aim, therefore, in this undertaking was, not to gratify this or that party in any their unreasonable demands; but to do that, which to our best understandings, we conceived might most tend to the preservation of peace and unity in the Church; the procuring of reverence, and exciting of piety and devotion in the public worship of God; and the cutting off occasion from them that seek occasion of cavil or quarrel against the Liturgy of the Church. And as to the several variations from the former Book, whether by alteration, addition, or otherwise, it shall suffice to give this general account, that most of the alterations were made, either first, for the better direction of them that are to officiate in any part of Divine Service, which is chiefly done in the Calendars and Rubrics: or, secondly, for the more