Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Scottish Liturgy Again – II

The 1929 Scottish Liturgy is in the opinion of many the most perfect and catholic of the various Anglican rites for celebrating the Eucharist, and certainly should be preserved as a precious part of the liturgical Patrimony that Anglicanorum cœtibus envisages conserving and sharing with the wider Church through the forthcoming Ordinariates for incoming groups of Anglicans.

In line with what can be ascertained about any necessary changes and amendments to the Scottish Liturgy, so as to make it entirely acceptable for Catholic worship, I subjoin the 1929 Scottish Liturgy, with such suggested improvements (forgive my boldness) underlined.  I have tried to be as sympathetic to the Anglican Patrimony as possible in making these, and draw them largely from the classic Scotttish Communion Office of 1764, with reference to the Nonjurors' of 1718.  I have resisted the temptation to fiddle with details unnecessarily (some nice points I list at the end).

Some changes in particular I would explain, and apologize in advance for the third, since, while I think it proper, it will cause controversy:
  • first, as it is authentically Sarum, and still retained in Anglican worship in various places, the option to begin Mass with the Lord's Prayer, before the Collect for Purity, is given (from the pre-1929 Scottish rites);
  • second, as was in the 1764, and significantly was preserved in its daughter rites in the United States (such as their classic 1928 B.C.P.) there is the option to insert, after the Commandments or Summary of the Law, the "Collect for Grace and Mercy to Keep the Commandments" – which is authentic Sarum, albeit rescued from Prime, where it is found in almost the same words in the Dominican Rite (the Roman equivalent is longer);
  • third, and most importantly, as was indicated by Rome during the post-conciliar liturgical reform, in the Roman Rite postconsecratory epicleses are not to be used, but are to be placed before the Words of Institution – in this regard, what was said in a Scottish Episcopalian 1883 reprint of a 1743 Communion Office stands still true to-day: the epiclesis, or "...Invocation before the Words of Institution... is a feature which will commend its use to the great majority of Anglican Churchmen who are so firmly attached to the Western theory of the rite of Consecration" (John Dowden, The Annotated Scottish Communion Office, p. 102, n. 1) – and I would that the overlong and intricate 1929 form of the epiclesis or Invocation be replaced by the stronger, simpler and shorter 1764 form, for the avoidance of all doubt and scruple;
  • fourth, and also importantly, from the 1764 (and Nonjurors' 1718), I reinsert the words "accept these our Oblations" into the Prayer for the Church, as this makes it clear that Christ's Body and Blood, His Sacrifice made truly present, is the Christian Sacrifice which the Church offers up to God in the Eucharist, making present His One Sacrifice on the Cross and applying its all-availing power to supplicate the Lord to grant us every good gift as we make intercession, impetrating Him to save us;
  • fifth and sixth, for obvious reasons the name of the Pope would need to be inserted as well as the name of the Bishop, to signify Catholic communion, and likewise the names of the Blessed Virgin and the Saints, which the 1929 only allows to be named by episcopal permission on their feasts;
  • seventh, as done in the present Anglican Use of the Roman Rite, in the absolution after the general confession the formula is changed from second person plural to first person plural (from "you" and "your" to "us" and "our"), to take away any mistaken idea that this is the sacramental absolution proper to the Sacrament of Penance;
  • eighth, the strange Anglican practice of permitting a second consecration, if the consecrated elements run out, owing to some miscalculation, before all can receive Communion, is completely uncatholic and must be suppressed;
  • ninth, I insert an optional prayer answering to the Placeat from the South African B.C.P., as reëmphasising the Sacrifice of the Mass.
Of these nine points (one per angelic choir, no doubt), the third to seventh are the most necessary, the others being less so.

(It will be noted I have not at this stage introduced such Roman elements as the Orate fratres, the Secret or Prayer over the Oblations, the Ecce Agnus Dei and the Ite missa est – but I suspect that Anglo-Catholics would be used to inserting all these elements in any case.  Furthermore, it may be argued that all such items, while good and Catholic, are not in and of themselves necessary.  I think it bad form to produce a bastard hybrid chimæra.)

The preference expressed for the 1764 over the 1929 Epiclesis should be evident when their lengths are compared:
1764: And we most humbly beseech thee, O merciful Father, to hear us, and of thy almighty goodness vouchsafe to bless and sanctify, with thy word and holy Spirit, these thy gifts and creatures of bread and wine, that they may become the body and blood of thy most dearly beloved Son.
1929: And we thine unworthy servants beseech thee, most merciful Father, to hear us, and to send thy Holy Spirit upon us and upon these thy gifts and creatures of bread and wine, that, being blessed and hallowed by his life-giving power, they may become the Body and Blood of thy most dearly beloved Son, to the end that all who shall receive the same may be sanctified both in body and soul, and preserved unto everlasting life.
Furthermore, the last phrase "to the end that..." is an unnecessary duplication of utterly the same things said elsewhere in the Liturgy.

The preference for a preconsecratory epiclesis to a postconsecratory one also helps avoid the strange idea of the Nonjurors, and of many Scottish Episcopalian divines of the eighteenth and nineteenth century, that the bread and wine are first offered up, and only then become the sacramental body and blood of the Lord (a notion which helped them avoid what they thought too Roman a theory of the Eucharistic Sacrifice).

(It ought go without saying that the so-called "minor propers" may be inserted – just as the 1928 U.S. B.C.P. allows a hymn or anthem to be sung between Epistle and Gospel, and at the Offertory, and at Communion time, to say nothing of before and after the service – and this allows for a Gradual or Responsorial Psalm or Sequence or Motet at the respective congruous points in the liturgy as the case may be and as the musical abilities of the choir and people permit.)

Herewith, for consideration, an amended form of the 1929 Scottish Liturgy:



commonly called



The Holy Table, having at the Communion time a fair white linen cloth upon it, with other decent furniture meet for the High Mysteries there to be celebrated, shall stand at the uppermost part of the chancel or church. And the Presbyter, standing at the Holy Table, shall say [1912: the Lord’s Prayer, with] the Collect following for due preparation, the people kneeling.

[1912: OUR Father, which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy Name, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, in earth as it is in heaven. Give us this our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, As we forgive them that trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation; But deliver us from evil. Amen.]

ALMIGHTY God, unto whom all hearts be open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hid: Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of thy Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love thee, and worthily magnify thy holy Name; through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Then shall the Presbyter, turning to the people, rehearse distinctly all the Ten Commandments: the people all the while kneeling, and asking God mercy for the transgression of every duty therein, according to the letter or to the spiritual import of each Commandment, and grace to keep the same for the time to come. The Ten Commandments may be rehearsed in the short form by stopping at the asterisks.

GOD spake these words and said; I am the Lord thy God: Thou shalt have none other gods but me.
   People. Lord, have mercy upon us, and incline our hearts to keep this law.

   Presbyter. Thou shalt not make to thyself any graven image, nor the likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or in the earth beneath, or in the water under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down to them, nor worship them*. For I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, and visit the sins of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me, and shew mercy unto thousands in them that love me, and keep my commandments.
  People. Lord, have mercy upon us, and incline our hearts to keep this law.

  Presbyter. Thou shalt not take the Name of the Lord thy God in vain*. For the Lord will not hold him guiltless, that taketh his Name in vain.
  People. Lord, have mercy upon us, and incline our hearts to keep this law.

  Presbyter. Remember that thou keep holy the sabbath-day. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all that thou hast to do*; but the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God. In it thou shalt do no manner of work, thou, and thy son, and thy daughter, thy man-servant, and thy maid-servant, thy cattle, and the stranger that is within thy gates. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the seventh day, and hallowed it.
  People. Lord, have mercy upon us, and incline our hearts to keep this law.

  Presbyter. Honour thy father and thy mother*; that thy days may be long in the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.
  People. Lord, have mercy upon us, and incline our hearts to keep this law.

  Presbyter. Thou shalt do no murder.
  People. Lord, have mercy upon us, and incline our hearts to keep this law.

  Presbyter. Thou shalt not commit adultery.
  People. Lord, have mercy upon us, and incline our hearts to keep this law.

  Presbyter. Thou shalt not steal.
  People. Lord, have mercy upon us, and incline our hearts to keep this law.

  Presbyter. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.
  People. Lord, have mercy upon us, and incline our hearts to keep this law.

  Presbyter. Thou shalt not covet* thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his servant, nor his maid, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is his.
  People. Lord, have mercy upon us, and write all these thy laws in our hearts, we beseech thee.

Or he may rehearse, instead of the Ten Commandments, the Summary of the Law as followeth:

OUR Lord Jesus Christ said: Hear, O Israel,the Lord our God is one Lord: and thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: This is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: there is none other commandment greater than these.
  On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.
  People. Lord, have mercy upon us, and write these thy laws in our hearts, we beseech thee.

Or else, instead of, or in addition to, the Ten Commandments or the Summary of the Law, may be sung or said as followeth:

LORD, have mercy upon us.
Christ, have mercy upon us.
Lord, have mercy upon us.*

  * The Greek forms --  "Kyrie, eleison", and "Christe, eleison" -- may be used in either the threefold or the ninefold form instead of the English forms "Lord, have mercy upon us", "Christ, have mercy upon us".

[1762 allows the use here of the following Collect, as does the US 1928 BCP:

[O ALMIGHTY Lord, and everlasting God, vouchsafe, we beseech thee, to direct, sanctify, and govern, both our hearts and bodies, in the ways of thy laws, and in the works of thy commandments; that through thy most mighty protection, both here and ever, we may be preserved in body and soul; through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.]

Then shall the Presbyter say,

THE Lord be with you;
Answer. And with thy spirit.

Then shall be said the Collect or Collects, the Presbyter standing as before [that is, "turning to the Holy Table" - 1912] and first saying,

Let us pray.


Then the Presbyter, or some other Presbyter or Deacon, turning to the people, shall read the Epistle or Lesson, saying, The Epistle [or The Lesson] is written in the——chapter of——beginning at the——verse. And, the Epistle or Lesson ended, he shall say, Here endeth the Epistle or Lesson]. Then shall the Presbyter, or some other Presbyter or Deacon, turning to the people, read the Gospel, saying, The Holy Gospel is written in the——chapter of the Gospel according to——, beginning at the——verse; and the people, all standing up, shall devoutly sing or say,

Glory be to thee, O Lord.

And, the Gospel ended, the people shall in like manner sing or say,

Thanks be to thee, O Lord, for this thy glorious Gospel.

Then shall be sung or said this Creed following, the people still reverently standing.

I BELIEVE in one God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, And of all things visible and invisible:
  And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, Begotten of his Father before all worlds, God of God, Light of Light, Very God of Very God, Begotten, not made, Being of one substance with the Father, By whom all things were made: Who for us men, and for our salvation came down from heaven, And was incarnate by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary, And was made man, And was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate. He suffered and was buried, And the third day he rose again according to the Scriptures, And ascended into heaven, And sitteth on the right hand of the Father. And he shall come again with glory to judge both the quick and the dead: Whose kingdom shall have no end.
  And I believe in the Holy Ghost, The Lord, The Giver of life, Who proceedeth from the Father and the Son, Who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified, Who spake by the Prophets. And I believe one Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. I acknowledge one Baptism for the remission of sins. And I look for the Resurrection of the dead, And the Life of the world to come. Amen.

Then the Presbyter shall declare unto the people what Holy-days or Fasting-days are to be observed in the week. And also (if occasion be) notice shall be given of the Holy Communion; Banns of Matrimony may be published; and, subject to the authority of the Bishop, other notices may be read.

If there be a Sermon, it followeth here.

When the Presbyter giveth warning of the Holy Communion he may, at his discretion, use the first or the second of the Exhortations appended on pages 377-380. [Not needed.]

The Exhortation appended on page 381 may be used at the discretion of the Presbyter before the Offertory, the people standing.

The Presbyter may here bid special prayers and thanksgivings.


Then, the people standing until after the Sanctus, the Presbyter, or Deacon, shall say,

LET us present our offerings to the Lord with reverence and godly fear.

Then the Presbyter shall begin the Offertory, saying one or more of these Sentences following, as he thinketh most convenient.

I WILL offer in his dwelling an oblation with great gladness; I will sing and speak praises unto the Lord.   Psalm 27. 7.

  Offer unto God thanksgiving, and pay thy vows unto the most Highest.   Psalm 50. 14.

  Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his Name: bring an offering, and come into his courts.   Psalm 96. 8.

  I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the Name of the Lord; I will pay my vows unto the Lord in the sight of all his people.    Psalm 116. 15, 16.

  Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven: but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.    St. Matthew 7. 21.

  Remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.   Acts 20. 85.

  As we have opportunity, let us do good unto all men; especially unto them who are of the household of faith.   Galatians 6. 10.

  To do good and to communicate forget not; for with such sacrifices God is well-pleased.   Hebrews 13. 16.
The following additional Offertory Sentences may be used:

(a) ADVENT. Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Sion: behold, thy king cometh unto thee.   Zechariah 9. 9.

(b) CHRISTMAS. Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given.    Isaiah 9. 6.

(c) EPIPHANY. From the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same my name is great among the Gentiles: and in every place incense is offered unto my name, and a pure offering; for my name is great among the Gentiles, saith the Lord.    Malachi 1. 11.

(d) LENT. Turn thy face from my sins, and put out all my misdeeds. Make me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.   Psalm 51. 9, 10.

(e) PASSIONTIDE. Thy rebuke hath broken my heart; I am full of heaviness: I looked for some to have pity on me, but there was no man, neither found I any to comfort me.   Psalm 69. 21.

(f) EASTER. Christ is risen from the dead; and become the first-fruits of them that slept. Alleluia.   1 Corinthians 15. 20.

(g) ASCENSION. Lift up your heads, O ye gates, and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors: and the King of glory shall come in. Alleluia.   Psalm 24. 9.

(h) WHITSUN. I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh. Alleluia.    Joel 2. 28.

(i) TRINITY SUNDAY Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy Name? For thou only art holy.   Revelation 15. 4.

(j) SAINTS' DAYS. All thy works praise thee, O Lord: and thy saints give thanks unto thee.   Psalm 145. 10.

(k) GENERAL. Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God.   Genesis 14. 18.

While the Presbyter distinctly pronounceth one or more of these Sentences for the Offertory, the Deacon, or (if no such be present) some other fit person, shall receive the devotions of the people there present, in a bason provided for that purpose. And when all have offered, he shall reverently bring the said bason, with the offerings therein, and deliver it to the Presbyter; who shall humbly present it before the Lord, and set it upon the Holy Table.

[From the general rubrics: "It is customary to mix a little pure water with the Wine in the Eucharistic Cup."]

And the Presbyter shall then offer up, and place the bread and wine prepared for the Sacrament upon the Lord's Table; and shall say,

BLESSED be thou, O Lord God, for ever and ever. Thine, O Lord, is the greatness, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine: thine is the kingdom, O Lord, and thou art exalted as head above all: both riches and honour come of thee, and of thine own do we give unto thee. Amen.


Then shall the Presbyter say,

THE Lord be with you;
  Answer. And with thy spirit.
  Presbyter. Lift up your hearts;
  Answer. We lift them up unto the Lord.
  Presbyter. Let us give thanks unto our Lord God;
  Answer. It is meet and right so to do.


IT is very meet, right, and our bounden duty, that we should at all times, and in all places, give thanks unto thee, O Lord, Holy Father, Almighty, Everlasting God.

Here shall follow the Proper Preface, according to the time, if there be any especially appointed (see pages 366-371); or else immediately shall follow,

THEREFORE with Angels and Archangels, and with all the company of heaven, we laud and magnify thy glorious Name; evermore praising thee and saying:

Presbyter and People
HOLY, holy, holy, Lord God of hosts, heaven and earth are full of thy glory. Glory be to thee, O Lord most high. Amen.

Here may [MUST] be sung or said:

BLESSED is he that cometh in the Name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest.

When this is sung or said, Amen shall be omitted after the Sanctus.

Then the Presbyter, standing at such a part of the Holy Table as he may with the most ease and decency use both his hands, shall say the Prayer of Consecration, as followeth:

ALL glory and thanksgiving be to thee, Almighty God, our heavenly Father, for that thou of thy tender mercy didst give thine only Son Jesus Christ to suffer death upon the cross for our redemption; who, by his own oblation of himself once offered, made a full, perfect, and sufficient sacrifice, oblation, and satisfaction, for the sins of the whole world; and did institute, and in his holy Gospel command us to continue, a perpetual memorial of that his precious death and sacrifice until his coming again.
 The Invocation   And we most humbly beseech thee, O merciful Father, to hear us, and of thy almighty goodness vouchsafe to bless and sanctify, with thy word and holy Spirit, these thy gifts and creatures of bread and wine, that they may become the body and blood of thy most dearly beloved Son.
  For, in the night that he was betrayed, he took bread; and when he had given thanks, he brake it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, Take, eat, this is my Body, which is given for you: Do this in remembrance of me. Likewise after supper he took the cup; and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of this, for this is my Blood of the new testament, which is shed for you and for many for the remission of sins: Do this as oft as ye shall drink it in remembrance of me.
The Oblation    Wherefore, O Lord, and heavenly Father, according to the institution of thy dearly beloved Son our Saviour Jesus Christ, we thy humble servants do celebrate and make here before thy Divine Majesty, with these thy holy gifts, which we now offer unto thee, the memorial thy Son hath commanded us to make; having in remembrance his blessed passion, and precious death, his mighty resurrection, and glorious ascension; rendering unto thee most hearty thanks for the innumerable benefits procured unto us by the same, and looking for his coming again with power and great glory.
   And we earnestly desire thy fatherly goodness, mercifully to accept this our sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving, most humbly beseeching thee to grant, that by the merits and death of thy Son Jesus Christ, and through faith in his blood, we and all thy whole Church may obtain remission of our sins, and all other benefits of his passion.
   And here we humbly offer and present unto thee, O Lord, ourselves, our souls and bodies, to be a reasonable, holy, and living sacrifice unto thee, beseeching thee that all we who shall be partakers of this Holy Communion may worthily receive the most precious Body and Blood of thy Son Jesus Christ, and be fulfilled with thy grace and heavenly benediction, and made one body with him, that he may dwell in us and we in him.
   And although we be unworthy, through our manifold sins, to offer unto thee any sacrifice; yet we beseech thee to accept this our bounden duty and service, not weighing our merits, but pardoning our offences, through Jesus Christ our Lord; by whom, and with whom, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, all honour and glory be unto thee, O Father Almighty, world without end. Amen.

Then shall the Presbyter or Deacon say,

Let us pray for the whole state of Christ's Church.

The Presbyter.

   ALMIGHTY and Everliving God, who by thy holy Apostle hast taught us to make intercessions and to give thanks for all men: We humbly pray thee most mercifully to accept our oblations, and to receive these our supplications which we offer unto thy Divine Majesty; beseeching thee to inspire continually the universal Church with the spirit of truth, unity, and concord; and grant that all they that do confess thy holy Name may agree in the truth of thy holy word, and live in unity and godly love.
   We beseech thee also to save and defend all Kings, Princes, and Governors, and especially thy servant Elizabeth our Queen, and all who are put in authority under her, that we may be godly and quietly governed.
   Give grace, O heavenly Father, to all Bishops, Priests, and Deacons, and especially to thy servants N. our Pope and N. our Bishop, that they may both by their life and doctrine set forth thy true and living word, and rightly and duly administer thy holy Sacraments: and to all thy people give thy heavenly grace, and especially to this Congregation here present, that they may hear and receive thy holy word, truly serving thee in holiness and righteousness all the days of their life.
   We most humbly beseech thee of thy goodness, O Lord, to comfort and succour all those who in this transitory life are in trouble, sorrow, need, sickness, or any other adversity.
   We commend to thy gracious keeping, O Lord, all thy servants departed this life in thy faith and fear, beseeching thee to grant them everlasting light and peace.
   And we yield unto thee most high praise and hearty thanks, for the wonderful grace and virtue declared in all thy Saints, who have been the choice vessels of thy grace, and the lights of the world in their several generations, and chiefly in the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord and God, and in the Holy Patriarchs, Prophets, Apostles, and Martyrs: beseeching thee to give us grace to follow the example of their stedfastness in thy faith, and obedience to thy holy commandments, that at the day of the general resurrection, we, and all they who are of the mystical body of thy Son, may be set on his right hand, and hear his most joyful voice, Come ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.
Grant this, O Father, for Jesus Christ's sake, our only Mediator and Advocate. Amen.

Then shall the Presbyter say,

As our Saviour Christ hath commanded and taught us, we are bold to say,

Presbyter and People

OUR Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy Name, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, in earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; And forgive us our trespasses, As we forgive them that trespass against us; And lead us not into temptation, But deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, For ever and ever. Amen.

Here the Presbyter shall break the consecrated Bread; and silence may be kept for a brief space.

Then shall the Presbyter say [1929 only]:

THE peace of the Lord be with you all;*
  Answer. And with thy spirit.
  Presbyter. Brethren, let us love one another, for love is of God.

* "The peace of the Lord be with you always" may be used instead.
"Brethren, let us love one another..." may be omitted; and, when it is used, "Beloved" may be substituted for "Brethren".


Then the Presbyter or Deacon shall say this invitation to them that come to receive the Holy Communion,

YE that do truly and earnestly repent you of your sins, and are in love and charity with your neighbours, and intend to lead a new life, following the commandments of God, and walking from henceforth in his holy ways: Draw near with faith, and take this Holy Sacrament to your comfort; and make your humble confession to Almighty God, meekly kneeling upon your knees.

Then shall this general Confession be made by the people, along with the Presbyter; he first kneeling down.

ALMIGHTY God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Maker of all things, Judge of all men: We acknowledge and bewail our manifold sins and wickedness, Which we from time to time most grievously have committed, By thought, word, and deed Against thy Divine Majesty, Provoking most justly thy wrath and indignation against us. We do earnestly repent, And are heartily sorry for these our misdoings; The remembrance of them is grievous unto us; The burden of them is intolerable. Have mercy upon us, Have mercy upon us, most merciful Father; For thy Son our Lord Jesus Christ's sake, Forgive us all that is past; And grant that we may ever hereafter Serve and please thee In newness of life, To the honour and glory of thy Name; Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Exhortation "Ye that do truly" and the Comfortable Words may be omitted on all weekdays.

On weekdays the bidding "Let us humbly confess our sins to Almighty God" and the shorter form of Confession and Absolution, as in Morning and Evening Prayer, may be used in place of the longer forms.

On weekdays when the longer form of Confession is used, "Let us humbly confess our sins to Almighty God" may be substituted for "Ye that do truly. . .".

Then shall the Presbyter, or the Bishop if he be present, stand up, and, turning himself to the people, pronounce the Absolution as followeth:

ALMIGHTY God, our heavenly Father, who of his great mercy hath promised forgiveness of sins to all them who with hearty repentance and true faith turn unto him: Have mercy upon us; pardon and deliver us from all our sins; confirm and strengthen us in all goodness; and bring us to everlasting life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Then shall the Presbyter also say,

Hear what comfortable words our. Saviour Christ saith unto all that truly turn to him.

COME unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.   St. Matthew 11. 28.

  God so loved the world, that he gave his only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.     St. John 3. 16.

Hear also what Saint Paul saith.

  This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.   1 Timothy 1. 15.

Hear also what Saint John saith.

   If any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: and he is the propitiation for our sins.   1 St. John 2. 1, 2.

Then shall the Presbyter, turning him to the Altar, kneel down, and say, in the name of all them that shall communicate, this Collect of humble access to the Holy Communion, as followeth:

WE do not presume to come to this thy Holy Table, O merciful Lord, trusting in our own righteousness, but in thy manifold and great mercies. We are not worthy so much as to gather up the crumbs under thy Table: but thou art the same Lord, whose property is always to have mercy. Grant us therefore, gracious Lord, so to eat the Flesh of thy dear Son Jesus Christ, and to drink his Blood, that our sinful bodies may be made clean by his most sacred Body, and our souls washed through his most precious Blood, and that we may evermore dwell in him, and he in us. Amen.*

* The people may join with the priest in reciting this prayer.

Here may [MUST] be sung or said:

O LAMB of God, that takest away the sins of the world: have mercy upon us.
  O Lamb of God, that takest away the sins of the world: have mercy upon us.
  O Lamb of God, that takest away the sins of the world: grant us thy peace.

Then shall he that celebrateth first receive the Communion in both kinds himself and next deliver the same to the Bishops, Presbyters, and Deacons (if there be any present), and after to the people in due order, into their hands, all humbly kneeling. And when he receiveth himself or delivereth the Sacrament of the Body of Christ to any other, he shall say,

THE Body of our Lord Jesus Christ, which was given for thee, preserve thy body and soul unto everlasting life.

Here the person receiving shall say,

And the Presbyter that receiveth the Cup himself, as likewise the Presbyter or Deacon that delivereth it to any other, shall say,

THE Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, which was shed for thee, preserve thy body and soul unto everlasting life.

Here the person receiving shall say,

When all have communicated, he that celebrateth shall go to the Lord's Table, and cover with a fair linen cloth that which remaineth of the consecrated Elements.


Then the Presbyter or Deacon, turning to the people, shall say,

HAVING now received the precious Body and Blood of Christ, let us give thanks to our Lord God, who hath graciously vouchsafed to admit us to the participation of his Holy Mysteries; and let us beg of him grace to perform our vows, and to persevere in our good resolutions; and that being made holy, we may obtain everlasting life, through the merits of the all-sufficient sacrifice of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

This Exhortation may be omitted [except on Sundays and the Great Festivals]*.

* now completely optional, and may be replaced by:

  V. O give thanks unto the Lord, for he is gracious;
  R. And his mercy endureth for ever.
  V. The Lord be with you;
  R. And with thy spirit.

Let us pray.

Then the Presbyter shall say this Collect of thanksgiving as followeth.§

§ On weekdays one or more of the Post-Communion Collects may be used as an alternative to the Prayer of Thanksgiving.  For the Post-Communions see pages 371-377.

ALMIGHTY and Everliving God, we most heartily thank thee, for that thou dost vouchsafe to feed us, who have duly received these Holy Mysteries, with the spiritual food of the most precious Body and Blood of thy Son our Saviour Jesus Christ; and dost assure us thereby of thy favour and goodness towards us, and that we are very members incorporate in the mystical Body of thy Son, which is the blessed company of all faithful people; and are also heirs through hope of thy everlasting kingdom, by the merits of his most precious death and passion. We now most humbly beseech thee, O heavenly Father, so to assist us with thy Holy Spirit, that we may continue in that holy communion and fellowship, and do all such good works as thou hast prepared for us to walk in; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with thee and the Holy Ghost, be all honour and glory, world without end. Amen.

Then shall be sung or said Gloria in excelsis, by the Presbyter and people, as followeth:*

GLORY be to God in the highest, and in earth peace, good will towards men. We praise thee, we bless thee, we worship thee, we glorify thee, we give thanks to thee for thy great glory, O Lord God, heavenly King, God the Father Almighty; and to thee, O God, the only-begotten Son Jesu Christ; and to thee, O God, the Holy Ghost.
  O Lord, the only-begotten Son, Jesu Christ; O Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father, who takest away the sins of the world, have mercy upon us. Thou that takest away the sins of the world, receive our prayer. Thou that sittest at the right hand of God the Father, have mercy upon us.
  For thou only art holy, thou only art the Lord, thou only, O Christ, with the Holy Ghost, art most high in the glory of God the Father. Amen.

* The Gloria in Excelsis may be omitted on Sundays in Advent, and on those from Septuagesima to Palm Sunday inclusive.

[South African 1954 BCP, one of the "Collects which may be said... before the Blessing":

[LOOK with favour, most Holy Trinity, on this our act of worship and service; and may this sacrifice set forth before thine eyes be acceptable to thy Divine Majesty, and avail for us and all for whom we have offered it; who lived and reignest, one God, world without end. Amen.]

Then the Presbyter, or the Bishop if he be present, shall let them depart with this Blessing.

THE peace of God which passeth all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God, and of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord: And the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, be amongst you and remain with you always. Amen.

The Creed, the Exhortation Ye that do truly, the Comfortable Words and the Gloria in excelsis may be omitted on Weekdays except on Red Letter Days.



Some nice points that are present in kindred Anglican liturgies:

The Canadian 1962 B.C.P. Prayer of Consecration very pleasantly begins "Blessing and glory and thanksgiving be to thee", echoing therefore the Benedictus qui venit.  Likewise, and as does the 1954 South African form, it inserts (from the Christmas Collect) the phrase "to take our nature upon him, and" before "to suffer death upon the cross", thereby neatly uniting the Incarnation to the Passion, expressing the salvific Economy, not to say the kenosis, of God's saving work in Christ for our salvation.

Sancroft, Nonjuror and sometime Archbishop of Canterbury, in his handwritten proposals for amending the 1662 B.C.P. (found as emendations in the Durham Book), suggested adding two significant phrases to the Prayer of Oblation after the Consecration, as follows: " the merits and death of thy Son Jesus Christ, now represented unto thee, and through faith in his blood, who maketh intercession for us at thy right hand, we and all thy whole Church may obtain remission of our sins, and all other benefits of his passion."  Again, these details seem devout, but the Liturgy is long enough as it is!

Is it too Erastian to pray for Kings, Princes and Governors, and our own beloved Queen, before praying for Bishops, Priests and Deacons?  Perhaps the second and third paragraphs of the Prayer for the Church ought be interchanged.

As one Collect in the Scottish Prayer Book prays in commemorating the Saints that we may be "strengthened by their fellowship, and aided by their prayers," such a phrase could further enhance the Prayer for the Church, but again, 'tis gilding the lily.

After the Lord's Prayer at Communion time, the Book of Divine Worship (following the 1979 U.S. B.C.P. in this) provides, as an anthem following the Fraction, "Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us; therefore let us keep the feast", with Alleluia's fore and aft; this quotation from St Paul (I Cor. v, 7b-8a) is evidently a reminiscence of the text from the first B.C.P. of 1549: "CHRIST, our Paschal Lamb, is offered up for us, once for all, who bore our sins in his body upon the Cross; for he is the very Lamb of God, that taketh away the sins of the world: Wherefore let us keep a joyful and holy feast unto the Lord."  The modern abbreviated form wisely deletes the clumsy "once for all, who... upon the Cross" (which almost defeats parsing, and sounds highly unnatural in English) and the "for he is the very Lamb... world", clearly a doublet of the Agnus Dei.  If such an anthem be liked, it may be retained... it could answer somewhat to the Ecce Agnus Dei I suppose.

Similarly, the otherwise already inferior 1970 Scottish Liturgy allows the rite to begin with the Sign of the Cross, and the equivalent versicles to the Latin Mass's Introibo and so forth – the prayers at the foot of the altar.  The proposed 1928 English B.C.P. gave the whole of Psalm 42(43) as well, as "A Devotion"; I know from experience that Anglo-Catholics like inserting this preparation at the start of their liturgies, before they get to the official (originally Sarum) opening thereof with the Lord's Prayer and the Collect for Purity.  There is something Pickstockian, in the sense of holy "liturgical stuttering", when, as I have seen at Mass with the TAC, the celebrant recites the Roman Confiteor as well, and later in the service prays the General Confession...

(Of course, the Nonjurors had it best when their 1718 Communion Office was to begin with an appointed Introit Psalm – as in the 1549 English Mass – and followed with "The Lord be with you", "Let us pray" and threefold Kyrie, just as the prayers at Mattins and Evensong begin.)

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