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Abraham, calling him lord; whose daughters ye are as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.
120. Repeat the Rubric at the conclusion of the service. 1 It is convenient that the new-married persons should receive the holy
Communion at the time of their Marriage, or at the first opportunity after their Marriage. 121. What does Bishop Sparrow say upon this service ?
“Such religious ceremonies as these, or some of these which are appointed by the Church, were used by the Jews at marriages. The primitive Christians had all these which we have. The persons to be married were contracted by the priest; the marriage was solemnly pronounced in the church; the married couple were blessed by the priest; prayers and thanksgivings were used; and the holy communion administered to them. And it is said that these religious rites the Church received from the apostles. And, doubtless, highly Christian and useful these solemnities are ; for, first, they beget in the minds of men a reverend esteem for this holy mystery (Eph. v. 32), and draw them to a greater conscience of wedlock, and to esteem the bond thereof a thing which cannot without impiety be dissolved.”
And he further says, “ If we consider all the duties which God Almighty hath required of all married persons, can we spare any of those divine helps, whether they be vows and holy promises to bind us, or our father's and mother's, God's and the Church's blessings, or holy prayers for God's assistance, or, lastly, the holy Communion, that great strengthener of the soul ? If men's vices and licentiousness have made this holy service seem unreasonable, reason would that they should labour to reform their lives, and study to be capable of his holy service, and not that the Church should forbear admonishing them to receive the holy Communion to their unspeakable good. If men would observe God's and the Church's admonitions, and enter into this holy state like Christians, with all these religious solemnities, the happiness would be greater than can be easily expressed."
I know not,” says Tertullian, “which way I should be able to shew the happiness of that wedlock, the knot of which the Church doth fasten, and the Sacrament of the Church confirm.”
THE ORDER FOR THE BURIAL OF THE
1. Has the custom of performing funeral rites at the burial of the dead been generally observed by civilized nations ?
Yes; civilized nations have ever agreed in performing some funeral rites or other, but their customs have varied according to their different habits and superstitions.
2. What was the most ancient custom ?
That of burying in the earth, or enclosing the dead body in the tomb. This was used by the Egyptians, and other nations of the East. They also embalned the bodies of the dead, and formed them into mummies: these are frequently found to this day whole and entire, though some of them have lain in the grave above three thousand years.
3. Give some account of the burial and embalming of Jacob.
“ And he charged them, and said unto them, I am to be gathered to my people: bury me with my fathers in the cave that is in the field of Ephron the Hittite. And when Jacob had made an end of commanding his sons, he gathered up his feet into the bed, and yielded up the ghost, and was gathered unto his people. And Joseph fell upon his father's neck, and wept upon him, and kissed him. And Joseph commanded his servants the physicians to embalm his father: and the physicians embalmed Israel.” (Gen. xlix. 29. 33; 1. 1, 2.)
4. State some of the reasons which may have caused Christians to be particular in the interment of their dead.
1st. Their tender regard for deceased friends and neighbours would naturally lead them to dispose of the bodies of their dead decently, and with reverence.
2ndly. Their bodies having once been the temple of the Holy Ghost, and consecrated to the service of God, seem to be entitled to respect when dead.
3rdly. Since the body, though sown in corruption, will be raised in incorruption, and be so changed as to be like Christ's glorious body; since they will, when thus raised, be partakers of the same glory as our immortal souls, they ought not to be thought utterly unworthy our regard, but should be decently deposited in their last resting places, till the corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and the mortal shall have put on immortality.”
5. Repeat the first Rubric. I Here is to be noted, that the Office ensuing is not to be used for any
that die unbaptized, or excommunicate, or hace laid violent hands upon themselves.
6. Why is the service not to be used for any that die unbaptized ?
Because the service is adapted only for the burial of Christians who have been admitted into Christ's Church by Baptism. It is a service drawn up by the Church, and originally intended to be used only for those who are within the pale of the Church.
7. Why is the service not to be used for those who die excommunicate ?
They, in primitive times, were denied Christian burial, with the intent of bringing them to seek their absolution and the Church's pardon ere they left this world; and if they refused, they were declared cut off from the body of Christ, that by this mark of infamy they might be distinguished from obedient and regular Christians.
8. Why is the service not to be used for those who have laid violent hands upon themselves ?
Because they have died in the commission of a mortal sin. But if the coroner's jury pronounce that they were insane at the time, the minister must admit the body to Christian burial.
9. Repeat the next Rubric. 1 The Priest and Clerks meeting the Corpse at the entrance of the Church
yard, and going before it, either into the Church, or towards the Grade, shall say, or sing,
10. What was the custom of the Jews respecting their places of burial ?
As they were forbid to touch or come near to any dead body, lest they should be defiled (Numb. v. 2), their sepulchres were always apart from man, and without the city. “ Now when he was come nigh to the gate of the city, there was a dead man carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow: and much people was with her.” (Luke vii. 12.)
11. What was the custom of the Greeks and Romans ? They always buried without the walls.
12. How long did the custom of burying without the walls continue in England ?
Till about the middle of the eighth century, when Cuthbert of Canterbury obtained a dispensation from the Pope for making churchyards within the walls.
13. When churches were built in after times, where were the burying places situated ?
They were placed near to the churches, and were called colunrýpia, that is, cæmeteries, or sleeping places, froin the metaphor of sleep, by which death in Scripture is often described.
14. Repeat the first sentence to be said by the minister when he is going before the corpse, either into the church, or to the grave. I am the resurrection and the life, saith the Lord : he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live : and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. St. John xi. 25, 26.
15. How do these words minister comfort to the mourners ?
By reminding them of Christ's power to raise the dead, and restore them to life both in body and spirit.
16. Repeat the second sentence. I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth. And though after my skin, worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another. Job xix. 25, 26, 27.
17. Why is this sentence proper for the occasion ?
Because it is a noble example of the exercise of belief in the resurrection. And surely if Job, who lived so long before the revelation of Christianity, could sustain his spirit with the hopes of a resurrection, it will be no small reproach to us, who have fuller assurance of it, to be slower in our belief of it than he.
18. Repeat the third sentence. We brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the Name of the Lord. 1 Tim. vi. 7. Job i. 21.
19. What should this sentence suggest to the mind of the mourner?
Resignation and patience. We have lost, perhaps, a dear and useful friend; but what then ? we brought no friends with us into the world, nor can we carry them out from hence. They were given us by God, who can raise up others in their stead ; and they are taken away by Him to wean our affections from any thing here. We should therefore rather bless the Giver for the time we enjoyed them, than murmur at his taking them after He has lent them to us so long.
20. Repeat the next Rubric. I After they are come into the Church, shall be read one or both of these
Psalms, following. 21. Is the custom of using psalms and hymns at funerals of great antiquity ?
Yes; it has been observed amongst Christians even from the first ages, and in compliance with this ancient and universal custom, we have Psalms prescribed which are as agreeable to this solemnity as any that have place in the best offices of this kind now in the world.
22. What is the Psalm appointed to be first used ?
It is the thirty-ninth; and is supposed to have been composed by David upon Joab’s reproaching him for his public grief for his son Absalom's death. It is of use in this place to comfort those that mourn, to check all loud and unseemly complaints, and to turn them into prayers and devout meditations. 23. Repeat the thirty-ninth Psalm.
Diri, custodiam. Psalm 39. I said, I will take heed to my ways : that I offend not in my tongue.
I will keep my mouth as it were with a bridle : while the ungodly is in my sight.
I held my tongue, and spake nothing : I kept silence, yea, even from good words ; but it was pain and grief to me.
My heart was hot within me, and while I was thus musing the fire kindled : and at the last I spake with my tongue ;
Lord, let me know mine end, and the number of my days : that I may be certified how long I have to live.
Behold, thou hast made my days as it were a span long : and mine age is even as nothing in respect of thee ; and verily every man living is altogether vanity.
For man walketh in a vain shadow, and disquieteth himself in vain : he heapeth up riches, and cannot tell who shall gather them.
And now, Lord, what is my hope : truly my hope is even in thee.
Deliver me from all mine offences : and make me not a rebuke unto the foolish.
I became dumb, and opened not my mouth : for it was thy doing.
Take thy plague away from me : I am even consumed by means of thy heavy hand.
When thou with rebukes dost chasten man for sin, thou makest his beauty to consume away, like as it were a moth fretting a garment : every man therefore is but vanity.
Hear my prayer, O Lord, and with thine ears consider my calling : hold not thy peace at my tears.
For I am a stranger with thee : and a sojourner, as all my fathers were.
O spare me a little, that I may recover my strength : before I go hence, and be no more seen.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son : and to the Holy Ghost;
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be : world without end. Amen.
24. What other Psalm may be used here? The ninetieth; and was composed by Moses in the wilderness when God shortened the days of the murmuring Israelites, and shews us, that when we witness the fall of others, we should reflect upon, and consider our own lot, and endeavour to apply the instance of mortality before us to the improving our own condition.
25. Repeat the ninetieth Psalm.
Domine, refugium. Psalm 90. LORD, thou hast been our refuge : from one generation to another.
Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever the earth