Page images



By the Bishops, the Clergy, and the Laity of the Protestant Episcopal

Church in the United States of America, in Convention, this 16th day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty-nine.

THIS Convention having, in And require that it be received as their present session, set forth A such by all the members of the Book of Common Prayer, and Ad- same: And this Book shall be in ministration of the Sacraments, and use from and after the First day other Rites and Ceremonies of the of October, in the Year of our Church, do hereby establish the Lord one thousand seven hundred said Book : And they declare it to and ninety. be the Liturgy of this Church :


Ime data bresse in de table and ene stiffness innredning and

tormoels CHRIST hath made us free, that in in things once advisedly establishhis worship, different forms and ed, she hath, in the reign of seveusages may without offence be ral Princes, since the first comallowed, provided the substance piling of her Liturgy in the time of the Faith be kept entire ; and of Edward the Sixth, upon just that, in every Church, what can and weighty considerations her not be clearly determined to be thereunto moving, yielded to long to Doctrine, must be referred make such alterations in some to Discipline; and therefore, by particulars, as in their respective common consent and authority, times were thought convenient; may be altered, abridged, en yet so as that the main body and larged, amended, or otherwise essential parts of the same (as disposed of, as may seem most well in the chiefest materials, as convenient for the edification of in the frame and order thereof) the people, "according to the have still been continued firm various exigencies of tiines and and unshaken." occasions."

Her general aim in these difThe Church of England, to ferent reviews and alterations which the Protestant Episcopal hath been, as she further declares Church in these States is indebt in her said Preface, “to do that ed, under God, for her first foun which, according to her best undation and a long continuance of derstanding, might most tend to nursing care and protection, hath, the preservation of peace and in the Preface of her Book of unity in the Church; the proCommon Prayer, laid it down as a curing of reverence, and the exrule, that “The particular forms citing of piety and devotion in of Divine Worship, and the Rites the worship of God; and, finally, and Ceremonies appointed to be the cutting off occasion, from used therein, being things in their them that seek occasion, of cavil own nature indifferent and alter

or quarrel against her Liturgy." able, and so acknowledged, it is And although, according to her but reasonable that upon weighty judgment, there be not “any and important considerations, ac thing in it contrary to the Word cording to the various exigencies of God, or to sound doctrine, or of times and occasions, such which a godly man may not with changes and alterations hould a good science use and submit be made therein, as to those who unto, or which is not fairly deare in places of authority should, fensible, if allowed such just and from time to time, seem either favourable construction in necessary or expedient.”

common equity ought to be alThe same Church hath not only lowed to all human writings;" in her Preface, but likewise in her yet upon the principles already Articles and Homilies, declared laid down, it cannot but be supthe necessity and expediency of posed that further alterations occasional alterations and amend would in time be found expedient. ments in her Forms of Public Accordingly, a commission for a Worship; and we find accord review was issued in the year ingiy, that, sceking to “keep the 1689: but this great and good happy mean between too much work miscarried at that time;



and the Civil Authority has not to them (uninfluenced and unsince thought proper to revive it restrained by any worldly authorby any new commission.

ity whatsoever) to take a further But when in the course of Di review of the Public Service, vine Providence, these American and to establish such other alterStates became independent with ations and amendments therein respect to civil government, their as might be deemed expedient. ecclesiastical independence was It seems unnecessary to enunecessarily included; and the merate all the different alteradifferent religious denominations tions and amendments. They of Christians in these States were will appear, and it is to be hoped, left at full and equal liberty to the reasons of them also, upon model and organize their respect a comparison of this with the ive Churches, and forms of wor Book of Common Prayer of the ship, and discipline, in such Church of England. In which it manner as they might judge most will also appear that this Church convenient for their future pros is far from intending to depart perity; consistently with the from the Church of England in constitution and laws of their any essential point of doctrine, country.

discipline, or worship; or further The attention of this Church than local circumstances require. was in the first place drawn to And now, this important work those alterations in the Liturgy being brought to a conclusion, it which became necessary in the is hoped the whole will be reprayers for our Civil Rulers, in ceived and examined by every consequence of the Revolution. true member of our Church, and And the principal care herein every sincere Christian, with a was to make them conformable meek, candid, and charitable to what ought to be the proper frame of mind; without prejuend of all such prayers, namely, dice or prepossessions; seriously that “Rulers may have grace, considering what Christianity is, wisdom, and understanding to and what the truths of the Gosexecute justice, and to maintain pel are; and earnestly beseechtruth;' and that the people may | ing Almighty God to accompany lead quiet and peaceable lives, with his blessing every endeain all godliness and honesty." vour for promulgating them to

But while these alterations mankind, in the clearest, plainwere in review before the Con est, most affecting and majestic vention, they could not but, with manner, for the sake of JESUS gratitude to God, embrace the CHRIST, our blessed Lord and happy occasion which was offered Saviour.


be at one time; it is so ordered, that through once every month, at one time shall not be read as it is there appointed, both for abové four or five of the said Morning and Evening Prayer. Portions. But in February it shall be read The Minister, instead of read. only to the twenty-eighth or ing from the Psalter as divided twenty-ninth day of the month. for Daily Morning and Evening

And whereas January, March, Prayer, may read one of the SeMay, July, August, October, and lections set out by this Church. December, have one-and-thirty And, on Days of Fasting and days apiece; it is ordered, that Thanksgiving, appointed either the same Psalms shall be read

by the Civil or by the Ecclesiasthe last day of the said months tical Authority, the Minister may which were read the day before ; appoint such Psalms as he shall so that the Psalter may begin think fit in his discretion, unless again the first day of the next any shall have been appointed by month ensuing.

the Ecclesiastical Authority, in a And whereas the 119th Psalm Service set out for the Occasion; is divided into twenty-two Por which, in that case, shall be used, tions, and is over-long to be read and no other.

Morning. Evening.

Morning. Evening. Christmas Day, Psalms 19 Psalms 89 Easter-Day,

Psalms 2 Psalms 113 45 110


114 85 132

118 Ash-Wednesday,

102 Ascension-Day,



103 Good-Friday,


40, 54


145 The Minister may use one of the Selections, instead of any one of the above Portions.


15 21 48




HE OLD TESTAMENT is ap all which days are to be found in

pointed for the First Lessons the Table of Proper Lessons. at Morning and Evening Prayer ; And, on Days of Fasting and so that the most part thereof will Thanksgiving, the same rule is to be read every year once, as in obtain as in reading the Psalms. the Calendar is appointed.

And the same discretion of THE NEW TESTAMENT is ap choice is allowed on occasions of pointed for the Second Lessons Ecclesiastical Conventions, and at Morning and Evening Prayer. those of Charitable Collections.

And to know what Lessons And Note, That whensoever Proshall be read every day, look for per Psalms or Lessons are apthe day of the month in the Ca pointed, then the Psalms and lendar following, and there ye Lessons of ordinary course apshall find the Chapters that shall pointed in the Psalter and Ca. be read for the Lessons, both at lendar, if they be different, shall Morning and Evening Prayer; be omitted for that time. except only the Moveable Feasts, Note also, That the Collect, Episwhich are not in the Calendar; tle, and Gospel, appointed for and the Immoveable, where there the Sunday, shall serve all the is a blank left in the column of Week after, where it is not in Lessons; the Proper Lessons for this Book otherwise ordered.

« PreviousContinue »