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I. The Ratification of the Book of Common Prayer

II. The Preface

III. The Order how the Psalter is appointed to be read

IV. The Order how the rest of the Holy Scripture is appointed to be read

V. Tables of Lessons of Holy Scripture, to be read at Morning and Evening

Prayer throughout the Year

VI. The Calendar

VII. Tables and Rules for the Moveable and Immoveable Feasts, together with

the Days of Fasting and Abstinence throughout the Year

VIII. Tables for finding the Holydays

IX. The Order for Daily Morning Prayer

X. The Order for Daily Evening Prayer

XI. The Litany, or General Supplication, to be used after Morning Service on

Sundays, Wednesdays, and Fridays

XII. Prayers and Thanksgivings upon several Occasions, to be used before the

two final prayers of Morning and Evening Service .

XIII. The Collects, Epistles, and Gospels, to be used throughout the Year

XIV. The Order for the Administration of the Lord's Supper, or Holy Com-


XV. The Ministration of Public Baptism of Infants, to be used in the Church

XVI. The Ministration of Private Baptism of Children, in Houses

XVII. The Ministration of Baptism to such as are of Riper Years, and able to

answer for themselves

XVIII. A Catechism; that is to say, an Instruction to be learned by every Per-

son before he be brought to be confirmed by the Bishop

XIX. The Order of Confirmation, or Laying on of Hands upon those that are

baptized, and come to years of Discretion

XX. The Form of Solemnization of Matrimony

XXI. The Order for the Visitation of the Sick

XXII. The Communion of the Sick

XXIII. The Order for the Burial of the Dead

XXIV. The Thanksgiving of Women after Child-birth, commonly called, The

Churching of Women

XXV. Forms of Prayer to be used at Sea

XXVI. A Form of Prayer for the Visitation of Prisoners

XXVII. A Form of Prayer and Thanksgiving to Almighty God, for the Fruits of

the earth, and all the other Blessings of his merciful Providence

XXVIII. Forms of Prayer to be used in Families

XXIX. Selections of Psalms, to be used instead of the Psalms for the Day, at the

discretion of the Minister

XXX The Psalter, or Psalms of David

XXXI. Articles of Religion

XXXII. The Form and Manner of Making, Ordaining, and Consecrating Bishops,

Priests, and Deacons

XXXIII. The Litany and Suffrages

XXXIV. The Order for the Administration of the Lord's Supper, or Holy Com-


XXXV. The Form of Consecration of a Church or Chapel

XXXVI. An Office of Institution of Ministers into Parishes or Churches

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By ihe Bishops, the Clergy, and the Laity of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the

United States of America, in Convention, this Sixteenth Day of October, in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty-nine.

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


It is a most invaluable part of that blessed liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, that in his worship, different forms and usages may without offence be allowed, provided the substance of the Faith be kept entire; and that, in every Church, what cannot be clearly determined to belong to Doctrine must be referred to Discipline; and therefore, by common consent and authority, may be altered, abridged, enlarged, amended, or otherwise disposed of, as may seem most convenient for the edification of the people, "according to the various exigencies of times and occasions.”

The Church of England, to which the Protestant Episcopal Church in these States is indebted, under God, for her first foundation and a long continuance of nursing care and protection, hath, in the Presace of her Book of Common Prayer, laid it down as a rule, that “The particular forms 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 exigencies of times and occasions, such changes and alterations should be made therein, as to those who are in places of authority should, from time to time, seem either necessary or expedient."

The same Church hath not only in her Preface, but likewise in her Articles and Homilies, declared the necessity and expediency of occasional alterations and amendments in her Forms of Public Worship; and we find accordingly, that, seeking to “keep the happy mean between too much stiffness in refusing, and too much easiness in admitting variations in things once advisedly established, she hath, in the reign of several Princes, since the first compiling of her Liturgy in the time of Edward the Sixth, upon just and weighty considerations her thereunto moving, yielded to make such alterations in some particulars, as in their respective times were thought convenient; yet so as that the main body and essential parts of the same (as well in the chiefest materials, as in the frame and order thereof) have still been continued firm and unshaken.”

Her general aim in these different reviews and alterations hath been, as she further declares in her said Preface, “ to do that which, according to her best understanding, might most tend to the preservation of peace and unity in the Church; the procuring of reverence, and the exciting of piety and devotion in the worship of God; and, finally, the cutting off occasion, from them that seek occasion, of cavil or quarrel against her Liturgy." And although, according to her judgment, there be not “any thing in it 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, if allowed such just and favourable construction as in common equity ought to be allowed to all human writings;" yet upon the principles already laid down, it cannot but be supposed that further alterations would in time be found expedient. Accordingly, a commission for a review was issued in the year 1989: but this great and good work miscarried at that time ; and the Civil Authority has not since thought proper to revive it by any new commission.

But when in the course of Divine Providence, these American States became independent with respect to civil government, their ecclesiastical independence was

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