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BOOK OF COMMON PRAYER
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ACCORDING TO THE USE OF
THE PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH
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I certify that this Edition of the Book of Common Prayer has been compared with a certified copy of the Standard Book, as the Canon directs, and that it conforms thereto.
Custodian of the Standard Book
of Common Prayer.
September 28, 1897.
TABLE OF CONTENTS.
1. The Ratification of the Book of Common Prayer.
2. The Preface.
3. Concerning the Service of the Church, with the Order how the Psalter and
the rest of the Holy Scripture is appointed to be read.
4. Tables of Proper Lessons of Holy Scripture.
5. The Calendar, with Tables of Lessons of Holy Scripture.
6. Tables and Rules for the Movable and Immovable Feasts, together with the
Days of Fasting and Abstinence throughout the Year.
7. Tables for finding the Holy-days.
8. The Order for Daily Morning Prayer.
9. The Order for Daily Evening Prayer.
10. The Litany.
11. Prayers and Thanksgivings upon several Occasions.
12. A Penitential Office for Ash-Wednesday.
13. The Collects, Epistles, and Gospels, to be used throughout the Year.
14. The Order for the Administration of the Lord's Supper, or Holy Communion.
15. The Ministration of Public Baptism of Infants, to be used in the Church.
16. The Ministration of Private Baptism of Children, in Houses.
17. The Ministration of Baptism to such as are of Riper Years, and able to
answer for themselves.
18. A Catechism; that is to say, an instruction, to be learned by every Person
before he be brought to be confirmed by the Bishop.
19. The Order of Confirmation, or Laying on of Hands upon those that are
baptized, and come to years of discretion.
20. The Form of Solemnization of Matrimony.
21. The Order for the Visitation of the Sick.
22. The Communion of the Sick.
23. The Order for the Burial of the Dead.
21. The Thanksgiving of Women after Child-birth; commonly called, The
25. Forms of Prayer to be used at Sea.
26. A Form of Prayer for the Visitation of Prisoners.
27. A Form of Prayer and Thanksgiving to Almighty God, for the Fruits of the
earth, and all the other Blessings of his merciful Providence.
28. Forms of Prayer to be used in families.
29. The Psalter, or Psalms of David.
The Form and Manner of Making, Ordaining, and Consecrating Bishops,
Priests, and Deacons.
Articles of Religion.
THE EATIFICATION OF
By the 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 exigency 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 Preface 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 place 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.