The Prayer Book Explained
by Percival Jackson
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"The book requireth but orderly reading."

HOOKER, v. xxxi. 3.



To those who believe in One Holy Catholic Church wherein dwelleth the Holy Spirit, it will always be difficult to distrust the Service Book of any Branch of it. The old claim made at Jerusalem with regard to the vexed questions of the Church's infancy, It seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us (Acts xv. 28), rested not on the presence there of the good and wise, on the prudence or self-sacrifice of those who had hazarded their lives for the Name, but on the reality of the Lord's promised Presence. Not because there were Apostles there, but because those there were the Catholic and Apostolic Church, they asked and received the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

It was a living and lasting Presence, touching with saving grace the treatment of such questions as the observance of Mosaic precepts, {vi} the eating of bought meat, as well as Purity of Life. We cannot doubt, then, that many Services which have been criticised on afterthoughts were essentially constructed in accordance with the Faith once for all delivered to the Church.

To renounce this conviction with regard to our own Church of England is to surrender its inheritance. Men of various tastes may prefer diverse rites: reasonable sequence may suggest one method, and glowing impulse another, fear of misunderstanding a third; but that which has seemed good to the Holy Ghost and His Temple, the Church, demands that we shall endeavour to believe it to be good, and use it in the temper of faith.

The critical spirit, as we now use criticism, is not the spirit of worship. For the spirit of worship is moved by Faith—Faith supremely in God, but also faith in the words which we use, and in the people with whom we use them.

Thus the truest cure for Doubt is Worship. If my faith in a friend weakens I must go to see him, to speak with him, to restore our mutual {vii} confidence and love. In like manner, if my faith in God through Christ weakens, I must go to Him, speak with Him, seek a return of the old confidence and love.

In the belief that God is calling us to know Him more perfectly by the Worship which we offer in heart and life, and in the confidence that our Branch of the Church has the guidance of the Indwelling Spirit, this book is dedicated to His glory.

P. J.

May 1901.





Extempore Worship and Forms of Worship . . . . . . . . . . 1 Variations of words and phrases: a. Variety of Method . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 b. Variety in Singing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . — c. Variations in the component parts . . . . . . . . 4


Origin of Morning and Evening Prayer . . . . . . . . . . . 5 The Day Hours . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 General Scheme of the Day Hours . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Names and Titles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10


The Model—The Lord's Prayer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 a. Two kinds of Worship . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 b. Praise and Prayer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 c. Intention and Setting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 d. The Key-note of Prayer and Praise . . . . . . . . 16 e. Forms of Worship . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 f. Worship-Forms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Table of Worship Forms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 Appendix A. Hooker on the use of Worship-Forms . . . . 22


Morning and Evening Prayer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 The two headings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 Map of the two Services . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 Sentences, Exhortation, Confession, Absolution . . . . . . 29 Rubrics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Duplication of Phrases . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33


The Psalms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37 The first Lord's Prayer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 The Ladder of Praise . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . — Versicles and Psalms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39 Psalms in Daily Services . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42


The Lessons . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47 A. The Study of the Bible a help to worship: The Old Testament—1. Its agreement with the New . . . 48 2. Its teachings . . . . . . . . . — 3. Its 3 parts—(a) The Law, (b) The Psalms, (c) The Prophets . . . . . . . . . . . — The New Testament—4. Its 3 parts—(a) The History, (b) The Epistles, (c) The Revelation . . . . . . . . . . 49 The Apocrypha— 5. Its place in the Prayer Book . . 51 B. Lessons and Lectionaries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . — Jewish Lectionaries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51 Early Christian Lectionaries . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54 Our own Lectionary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55 The Reader . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57 Appendix B. Justin Martyr's description of Holy Baptism and Holy Communion . . . . . . . . 58


Hymns in the Daily Services . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60 The Day Hour Hymns . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . — The Canticles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62 Map of the Lessons and their Canticles . . . . . . . . . 64


Te Deum Laudamus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65 The Latin original. Its three stanzas . . . . . . . . . . 66 Notes on the words . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71 Note on the Doxology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74


The Canticles, continued . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76 Magnificat, Benedicite, Cantate Domino . . . . . . . . . . 77 Canticles which follow the Second Lesson: . . . . . . . . 82 Benedictus, Nunc dimittis, Jubilate Deo, Deus misereatur . 83


The Creeds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 89 The Apostles' Creed . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 91 Uses of Creeds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 92 History of the Apostles' Creed . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 94 Creeds in the Bible . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 95 Primitive Creeds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 97 Close of the Praise Service . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 99


Reason, History, and Revelation . . . . . . . . . . . . . 100 I. About God, a. What Reason has to say . . . . . . . . 101 b. What the Bible Revelation has to say . 104 II. About Jesus Christ, a. What the outside world said . 106 b. What the Bible says . . . . . 107 III. About the Holy Ghost. What the Bible says . . . . . . 111


Excursus on The 'Athanasian' Creed . . . . . . . . . . . . 115


The Service of Prayer. I. Preces and Collects . . . . . . 127 Worship-Forms in the Prayer Service . . . . . . . . . . . 128 The Prayer Service Rubrics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 119 A. Preces, 132; B. Collects, 134; C. The other Prayers . . 142


The Service of Prayer. II. Anthems . . . . . . . . . . . 146 a. Simple Anthems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 147 Example. Advent setting of Venite . . . . . . . . . . — b. Compound Anthems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 148 Example. The Easter Anthems in their original form . . — Praise and Prayer Anthems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 151 Hymns as Anthems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 152


The Service of Prayer. III. The Litany . . . . . . . . . 153 Ancient Litanies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 154 Rogation Litanies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 155 Structure of the Litany . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 157 i. Our cry to Christ, 159. ii. Our cry to the Father, 170. iii. Appeal for help, 171. iv. Pressing anxieties of the moment, 172. v. Final Commendation of our prayers to Christ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 173

Appendix C. Lessons in the Day Hours . . . . . . . . . . 173 Appendix D. Pliny's Letter to Trajan . . . . . . . . . . 174 Appendix E. The addition of Filioque . . . . . . . . . 176 Appendix F. Greek origin of Litanies . . . . . . . . . . 177 Tables of Dates . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 179

Index . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 183




There is no such special merit in monotony as to require that the worship of God should be conducted wholly in one method rather than in several. Rather it must be acknowledged that there is merit in variety if it be subjected to dignity and order. For a certain measure of variety arrests and engages the attention of the worshippers and sustains their interest.

VARIATIONS OF WORDS AND PHRASES. Much has been said from time to time concerning Extempore Prayers and Extempore Praise, as opposed to those which are more carefully prepared and agreed upon.

The discussion has been somewhat confused by the misuse of the word Extempore. Prior to the invention of Printing every one who had to conduct Services was required to know them by heart, so as to be able to say them without book. The fact that he used no book did not make the prayers extempore. In like manner one who is about to conduct the prayers of a Congregation may carefully prepare his subjects, phrases, and words, so as to avoid disorder in the subjects and unfitness in the words. His prayers in that case are not strictly extempore.


If however he determines to leave the order of subjects and the choice of words and phrases to the impulse of the moment, his thoughts may travel too fast, or too slowly, or too irregularly for the essential result: for the blessing which Christ promised is to those who unite in worship. (S. Matth. xviii. 19, 20.)

When a few people gather together with the same difficulties, temptations, dangers, sins, successes, a truly extempore prayer may be made by one of them without creating any discord of desire amongst the rest: but as soon as the congregation begins to include men and women of different occupations, tempers, ideas, talents—if moreover the persons for whom intercessions should be made are widely scattered and very variously employed—it becomes necessary to supplement by careful preparation the impulses of any one who leads the worship of a congregation. There is also great advantage in choosing the best phrases for expressing and including the worship of all.

We cannot doubt that the earliest prayers of the Collect form had local colouring; but those which have survived for our use are so expressed as to include many local applications, and a very great variety of circumstances.

Further, it will be clear that an extempore prayer may be part of a form of Service, just as much as a printed prayer. If the Service is composed of, The short Prayer, a Lesson, the long Prayer, the Sermon and several Hymns at fixed, or unfixed, places, the Service is a form. The description of the Holy Communion in the time immediately after the death of S. John the Evangelist (Justin Martyr, Apology i. 65-67, {3} see p. 58) shows us a form which provided for the essentials of such a service, with prayers, praises, lessons, offertory, Consecration, Communion, in order, although he who conducted the Service had a certain amount of liberty in using parts of it.

We may assume then that forms are good, and that it is good to have preparation and order and chosen phrases. The next question is how to provide for that Variety which shall sustain interest and engage the mind of the worshipper in the great business of his Service.

We may consider Variety of method, Variety of singing, and Variations in the component parts of the Service.

(a) Variety of Method. The worshippers are divided into two or more parties who take up their parts alternately, or together. It is evident that such a division may be made in many ways. Those which have been adopted in former times have resulted in the survival of five Varieties for general Congregations [see chap. III. f.].

(b) Variety in Singing. There were of old four methods of singing the Psalms:

1. Direct or Choral. 2. Antiphonal. 3. Responsorial. 4. Continuous.

1. The Direct or Choral Singing was done by the whole choir:

2. The Antiphonal by the two halves of the choir alternately:

3. The Responsorial by the Priest and choir alternately:

4. The Continuous by the Priest alone.


A careful study of the Rubrics will show that great liberty is allowed in the Prayer Book in respect to the singing.

There is a Rubric in the Morning Service which prescribes the manner of saying or singing Gloria Patri, viz. that it is to be Responsorial. The order is that after the Morning and Evening Canticles As it was in the beginning, &c. is to be an answer to Glory be to the Father, &c. And this order may be found also after the Versicles of Mattins and Evensong, O Lord, open thou our lips. It might be inferred from this that the Psalms and Canticles were intended to be sung in the same way. But it is more likely that it was designed to continue an ancient freedom of choice which is now represented in our custom of using the Antiphonal Method when we sing, and the Responsorial when we say them. The division of Gloria Patri into two verses was, no doubt, intended in any case. The Prayer Book does not recommend the fourth method; many rubrics indicate that the congregation should take a substantial share in the services with voice and heart.

(c) Variations in the Component Parts of Services.

1. Praise and Prayer. 2. Variations; from Service to Service, " Day to Day, " Week to Week, " Morning to Evening, " Season to Season.




The Services in the Prayer Book may be roughly classed as (1) those which are used every week: and (2) those which are used more rarely. The principal service is the Holy Communion; which is provided with a special Collect, Epistle and Gospel for each week, and for Holy Days of special importance as being connected with the Lord's life on earth, or with His immediate disciples.

The weekly Collection, enjoined by S. Paul in the churches of Galatia and Corinth (1 Cor. xvi. 2), suggests that the Holy Communion was from the first the usual Sunday Service. And this is confirmed when we find S. Paul making a rapid journey from Greece to Jerusalem (Acts xx. 16), but waiting seven days at Troas so as to be with the disciples there upon the first day of the week, when they came together to break bread (Acts xx. 6, 7): cf. also a similar sojourn at Tyre on the same voyage (Acts xxi. 4). But the Holy Communion was not the only regular Service. Peter and John went to the Temple (Acts iii. 1) at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour. Peter went up upon the housetop to pray (Acts x. 9) about the sixth hour.


Cornelius saw the vision about the ninth hour (Acts x. 3). They were all together in one place (Acts ii. 1) upon the day of Pentecost—and it was the third hour of the day (Acts ii. 15). These hours may have been suggested to them as Christians by the solemn scenes of the crucifixion of our Lord (S. Mark xv. 25, 33, &c.)[1].

The constant sense of responsibility and danger tended, of course, to the frequent assembling for united prayer. It was natural to adopt some such method as that in Psalm lv. 17, evening, morning and noon (cf. Daniel vi. 10).

To these were added others: in the 3rd century for example we hear of one at dawn and one at sunset: the former, being especially a praise service, came to be known as Lauds or Mattin-lauds; the latter was soon called Vespers (vesper=evening).

In the 4th century we hear of two more, making up the seven times a day of Psalm cxix. 164. During this growth of daily services there is sometimes a {7} doubt whether the night Service is included in the reckoning: but eventually we find for the daytime Mattin-lauds, Prime, Terce, Sext, None, Vespers, and Compline.

The precise time of each is not defined by its name. If Mattins (i.e. Lauds) was not finished when Prime was due, these two Services were united.

But the office for Terce might be said at the 2nd hour or at the 3rd: and in like manner Sext belonged to any of the three hours before 12; and None to the three hours between 12 and 3.

Thus the day was divided into portions of three hours each: each portion had its own Service, named from its close, but said at a variable time according to the appointment of the Ordinary[2]. The tendency was to appoint an early part of the three hours for the Service; and this is visible in the word 'noon,' if it is true that 12 o'clock is so named from the custom of saying None at that time.

Compline (completorium) is so called from its completing the services of the day.

It will be noted that many of the names of Church Officers and many other terms having a technical Church meaning are Greek in their derivation. Archangel, Angel, Bishop, Priest, Deacon, Church, Ecclesiastical, Apostle, Prophet, Martyr, Baptism, Epistle, Evangelical, are instances of this; and many languages show by these and other terms that Christian Churches derive much of their organization from times and places where the Greek tongue was prevalent.


It might be thought perhaps that the Latin derivation of the names of the Day Hour services would imply a more local and a Western Source for these Hours of Prayer. But some of them are, as we have shown, very early in their origin, and indeed there is evidence from books that something of the same order was very early observed in the Eastern parts of Christendom also.

This frequency of Services had a great charm for men who lived together and worked together in communities, with no great distance between their work and their Church, and who were able to fit their day's tasks and necessary meals to the intervals between the Services.

It was not so suitable for mixed occupations or for isolated houses: and as populations increased, it became evident that a less frequent assembly would be more conducive to united worship.


We will not enter into the minute differences of structure which are found in one or other of the Day Hours. The following list will show the order of a Service which is nearly identical with each of them.:

Our Father, &c. Versicles. Hymn. Several Psalms divided into portions by Glorias and Antiphons. {9} Several Lessons divided by Responses. Canticles. Lesser Litany. Our Father, &c. Versicles. Creed. Versicles. Confession. Collects.

Thus they followed the general division of worship into Praise and Prayer. By enlarging one portion and diminishing another a special character was given to certain Services. Thus Lauds was made joyful by having many psalms.

The chief Lessons from the Bible were read in the Mattins Service when it was said before Lauds. The union of those two Services resulted in the omission of many of the Psalms. (See Preface "Concerning the Service of the Church" in our Prayer Book.)

The Day Hour Services were not precisely alike even in their outline: but they had a certain similarity which suggested the plan which has been adopted in the Morning and Evening Services of the Book of Common Prayer.

There were always two parts,—Praise: and Prayer.

[3]Each of these parts began with the Lord's Prayer. The Praise part always had something of the nature of Psalms and Lessons: the Prayers always had Collects. The Praises had Praise-versicles and the Prayers had Prayer-versicles. Also as time went on Litanies became usual for special days of the week.


It was easy therefore to recast the seven Services in the shape which they now have.

Praise. The Lord's Prayer. Versicles. Psalms. Lessons. Creed. Prayers. The Lord's Prayer. Versicles. Collects. Thanksgivings.


The Services of our Church were translated into English in 1549. Many alterations were made at that time.

The seven Day Hours were combined into two Services—Mattins and Evensong: the Holy Communion Service was assimilated in some respects to Eastern Liturgies: the rules of variation for days and seasons were simplified: interruptions were avoided by the omission of many Verses and Responds, Antiphons, &c.: better provision was made for continuous reading of Holy Scripture.

The change from Latin, which had once been a commonly-spoken language, to the language spoken in England is the alteration which produced the greatest effect upon congregational worship, and the smallest amount of difference in the worship itself: for if you understood both languages it would not matter to you which of them you used.


The Latin prayers had been known by their first words. Just as we now know a prayer as Our Father, or a doxology as Glory be to the Father, so formerly they were known as Pater Noster, and Gloria Patri. Some of these titles have survived. Credo (I believe) has been shortened into Creed. We use as a Creed the Hymn Quicunque vult (Whosoever will). The Canticles still are known by their first words in Latin, Te Deum, Benedicite, &c., and so is the 95th Psalm, Venite, exultemus Domino.

The Lesser Litany is a name given to the three petitions,

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

They are used before the Lord's Prayer as an Invocation of the Holy Trinity.

We proceed to examine the foundation of this order in worship.

The model bequeathed to us by Our Lord is known to us as The Lord's Prayer, often called "Our Father" from the first words.

[1] Haec sunt septenis propter quae psallimus horis: Matutina legat Christum qui crimina purgat. Prima replet sputis. Causam dat Tertia mortis. Sexta cruci nectit. Latus ejus Nona bipertit. Vespera deponit. Tumulo Completa reponit;

which may be translated:

Seven are the hours at which we sing and pray; Mattins for Christ who takes our sins away, Prime shows Him mocked, and Terce says why He died. Sext shows His Cross, and None His pierced side. Vespers His taking down commemorates, And Compline how they buried Him relates. Thus day by day we sing and pray Christ and Him crucified.

[2] The Ordinary, i.e. the Ordinary judge in such matters, viz. the Bishop.

[3] See p. 16.





"After this manner therefore pray ye." S. Matth. vi. 9.

The pronouns used in the Lord's Prayer are 'Thy,' 'us,' 'our.' It is the voice of a people speaking to God. Even in private we may not pray for self alone; we must include our friends, neighbours, and all others.

For this reason the Lord's Prayer is singularly adapted to the services of a congregation. Its petitions are short and direct, and therefore easily thought by every one at the same moment. This is an important point, because unity of intention is the essence of congregational worship. (S. Matth. xviii. 19, 20.)

Notice the order of the pronouns in the seven petitions:

( Hallowed be Thy Name. Thy. ( Thy Kingdom come. ( Thy Will be done.

( Give us this day our daily bread. ( Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive Us, our. ( them that trespass against us. ( Lead us not into temptation. ( Deliver us from evil.


There are, it appears, two motives which prompt a man to worship God. One of these is God; Man himself is the other.

a. Two Kinds of Worship.

Worship means 'worthiness,' and thence 'regarding anyone as worthy.' For this reason a magistrate is called 'his worship'; and a guild or company is called 'worshipful.' In the Marriage Service the man says to his wife "I thee worship" because he sets her before all else. In Wyclif's Bible (S. Matth. xix. 19) we find "Worschipe thi fadir and thi moder." In old days any act of mind or body acknowledging the worthiness of another was an Act of Worship. In later days the word 'Worship' has been limited.

Limitation 1. Since God alone is perfectly worthy, worship is now ascribed usually to God alone: any act of mind or body acknowledging the worthiness of God may still be called an Act of Worship. For instance, in Col. iii. 17-iv. 1, the duties of mankind in daily life are set forth as a constant acknowledgment of the presence of God. The repetition of the word (kurios) meaning 'Lord' and 'master'—10 times in 10 verses—falls on the ear like a peal of bells, calling us to make daily life an unbroken Worship of God.

Limitation 2. We ought not to forget that life is all one piece; and that the word Worship should describe what we do and say outside our prayers, as well as what we say and think in prayer and praise. The word is, however, more commonly limited to words and thoughts. These two limitations lead us {14} to a second definition of worship as words and thoughts which acknowledge the worthiness of God. We have nearly abandoned the word as describing the honour paid by one creature to another, and but rarely use it of acts of the body.

God is always the object of Worship: but the subject of worship is two-fold—we may speak of ourselves or we may speak of our God. When we chiefly think of God in worship we call it Praise: when we chiefly think of ourselves we call it Prayer.

These are then the two kinds of Worship—Praise and Prayer. It is evident that the Lord's Prayer teaches us to put Praise in the higher place.

b. Praise and Prayer.

Praise. There are two ways in which respect is paid to a man, viz. (1) Outspoken praise, (2) Deference to his words. In like manner we praise God (1) by dwelling with joy and gladness on His perfections; and (2) by listening with reverence to His Word.

Prayer, on the other hand, is that kind of worship which acknowledges God as the Source of all our help. Our needs are necessarily in our minds when we pray. We think of them in order to ask Him to help us; and we think of them again when we thank Him for the help which we have already had.

Thanksgiving might be coupled with Praise because its aim is to glorify God: but as its motive is the thought of human wants which have been already supplied, Thanksgiving is placed with the Prayers, which also relate to human wants.


We must therefore expect to find in Worship;

I. Praise. (1) Declaration of God's excellence. (2) Attention to His Word.

II. Prayer (3) Petitions for grace and help. (4) Thanksgivings for grace and help.

c. Intention and Setting.

The same words may serve for Praise and for Prayer. The plainest meaning of "Hallowed be Thy Name" is Praise to God. But it may be also a Prayer to Him to cause His Name to be hallowed. If we have no reason to the contrary, we shall use the Lord's Prayer as an act of Praise and Prayer—Praise in its first three petitions, Prayer in its last four. If, however, we want to ask Him to cause His Name to be hallowed and His Kingdom to come and His Will to be done, we can turn it all into a prayer.

This direction of our minds into a certain channel is called 'Intention'.

We have already said that Unity of Intention is the essence of congregational worship. Hence the Intention must be the same in all the worshippers if they use words suitable for both Praise and Prayer. If one is saying "Hallowed be Thy Name" and thinking chiefly of God's holiness, his Intention will be different from that of a neighbour who is thinking chiefly of the wickedness of sin. We need some agreement, that our intention may be the same.

This agreement might have been left to the knowledge of those who take part in the Service. They might have been expected to learn what the intention is, at each place when the Lord's Prayer is said. Or it might {16} have been stated in a Rubric, or direction, at the head of the Prayer. Neither of these methods is adopted in the Book of Common Prayer. Instead of them, the Prayer itself is so arranged as to proclaim the Intention.

When it is to be used for Praise, the words "for thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, for ever and ever" are placed at the end: when it is to be used for Prayer, the Lesser Litany "Lord have mercy upon us, Christ have mercy upon us, Lord have mercy upon us" is placed at the beginning.

It is convenient to call this the 'setting'.

When the Lord's Prayer is 'set' for Praise, every petition in it is to be said with that intention. We shall then unite in praising God for the glory of His holy Name, the majesty of His Kingdom, the power of His Will, and also as the Giver, the Forgiver, the Leader and Deliverer. The thought of our weaknesses will be as much as possible left out, that we may rejoice in the perfections of God.

In like manner, when the Lord's Prayer is 'set' for Prayer, the thought of human wants will be present in every petition. We have great need to pray that God will cause His Name to be hallowed, His Kingdom to come, and His Will to be done, on earth as in heaven, as well as to ask Him for the necessaries of life, the forgiveness of sins, guidance, and deliverance from evil.

d. The key-note of Prayer and Praise.

"When ye pray, say, Our Father, &c." S. Luke xi. 2.

We can now understand why the Lord's Prayer is used twice in the same Service. The Praises begin with it and the Prayers begin with it. The setting of {17} the Lord's Prayer will always proclaim what kind of Service is beginning[1]. Thus the Lord's Prayer is made to strike the key-note of the Service, or part of a Service, to which it is prefixed.

e. Forms of Worship.

We have seen that Unity of Intention is necessary to congregational worship. When a few people, animated by the same sentiments, are drawn together by one motive, and incur the same dangers, it matters little whether they use a form of worship or not. Whatever words are used in their name, their unity of intention is secured by the fact that they have no diversity of desires.

If the small body becomes a large one and times grow peaceful, diversity of desires will destroy unity of worship unless they adopt a form.

Forms of worship should, if possible, unite the most diverse features of character, occupation, danger, trial, suffering, joy, &c. in the expressions of Praise or Prayer which are common to them all. Local colouring and personal references are admissible only when they arouse a common emotion. The Lord's Prayer {18} is in this, as in other respects, an ideal Form of Worship.

Christian Worship began amongst people who were already accustomed to Forms. The Jews had Psalms for Worship (1 Chron. xvi. 4-43), and two Lessons in their Synagogue Service (Acts xv. 21, First Lesson: Acts xiii. 27, Second Lesson). The two Lessons were followed by the Exhorter (Acts xiii. 15; St Luke iv. 16, 17).

The word Amen, being Hebrew, gives further evidence of the derivation of the first Christian forms from the Synagogue Services, with, of course, a Christian character infused into them (1 Cor. xiv. 15, 16; cf. Deut. xxvii. 15-26).

Amen, as a Hebrew adjective, means firm, faithful; and, as an adverb, verily, or, as the Catechism explains it, so be it. "Its proper place is where one person confirms the words of another, and adds his wish for success to the other's vows and predictions" (Gesenius). Each of the first four Books of the Psalms ends with it—see Psalms xli., lxxii., lxxxix., cvi.

For some time the first Christians were able to resort to the Temple and Synagogues, and both worship and teach there (Acts ii. 46, iii. 1, 3, 8, 11, v. 12, 21, 25, 42: xiii. 5, 14, xiv. 1, xvii. 1, 2, xix. 8). They were joined by a number of the Priests (Acts vi. 7) whose help in arranging the services would bring a considerable influence in the same direction. At Ephesus (Acts xix. 9) a division arose in the Synagogue, causing S. Paul and the Christian disciples to remove into a school. At Corinth, for a similar {19} reason, they set up the Christian worship in the next house to the Synagogue, and the Ruler of the Synagogue went with them (Acts xviii. 7, 8). It is not very surprising that under these circumstances they derived some of their forms of Worship from the Synagogue.

Forms assist the mind to take its due part in the worship which we offer to the Almighty. Worship is offered with body, mind and spirit. If one of these encroaches on the others, their share is in danger. If the tongue and the knees and the hands are too much engaged in it, the mind grows weary or idle. If the mind is too busily employed, the spirit has a diminished share, or the body is indolent. It is necessary to provide occupation for the mind, but not to occupy it in following great mental efforts for which it is unprepared. If the mind is unprepared, it no sooner reaches one point than it has to follow the speaker to another; and thereby the spirit loses its power of speeding the utterance to the throne of God.

f. Worship-Forms.

(See Table, p. 21. Cf. Chap. I, p. 3.)

We find that, in the Services, shares are distributed to the worshippers in five different ways, which may be called Worship-forms. The Table on p. 21 should be carefully studied. Hooker's description of them (E. P. v. xxxix. 1) is a little difficult to make out; but it will be found to verify our table. (See Appendix A, pp. 22, 23.)


Walter Travers was Reader at the Temple Church in London, when (1585) Richard Hooker was appointed to be Master of the Temple. Travers had been a friend and favourite of Thomas Cartwright, a severe critic of the Order and Discipline of the Church of England. Travers took up the criticisms, and so attacked Hooker that the latter in self-defence wrote his Books on The Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity (1592), wherein he replies to Cartwright's and Travers' criticisms.

The Worship-forms have been in use for so long that it is scarcely possible to discuss their origin. The traces of them in the Bible are interesting:

1. Amen. 1 Cor. xiv. 16; Rev. xxii. 20.

2. Responsorial or Interjectional. S. Luke ii. 13, 14.

3. Anthem. Exodus xv. 21; Isaiah vi. 3.

4. Litany.

5. Preceded. Exodus xxiv. 7, xix. 7, 8, xx. 18-21.

The Prayer Book furnishes examples of Praise and Prayer in each Form, excepting the Litany Form, which is used only for Prayer. But there is no reason why that also should not be used for Praise: the 136th Psalm will show how this might be done.



(See Hooker, Eccl. Pol. v. xxxix. 1.)

Examples— Examples— Prayer Praise

1. The Minister AMEN form The Collects Prayer of offers and the Consecration People endorse in Holy it Communion (see 1 Cor. xiv. 16)

2. Minister and Responsorial, Hymn at Sursum Corda People pursue or Ordination of in Holy different lines INTERJECTIONAL Priests Communion interrupting form Preces before Versicles one another Collects before Psalms

3. The Congregation Antiphonal, "From our The Psalms form two or ANTHEM enemies, &c." in Mattins companies which form —8 verses in and reply to one the Litany Evensong another

4. The Minister LITANY The main body names the subject form of the Litany and the People offer the prayer (or praise)

5. A portion of PRECEDED The Lesson and Holy Scripture prayer or Commandments Canticle is read and the praise in Holy prayer or praise Communion completes it as an Act of Worship



Cartwright, attacking the Prayer Book, 1572 or later, wrote—

"For the singing of Psalms by course and side after side, although it be very ancient yet it is not commendable, and so much the more to be suspected for that the Devil hath gone about to get it so great authority, partly by deriving it from Ignatius' time, and partly in making the world believe that this came from heaven, and that the Angels were heard to sing after this sort," &c.

To this Hooker (Eccl. Polity, v. xxxix. 1) replies—

"And if the prophet David did think that the very meeting of men together and their accompanying one another to the House of God should make the bond of their love insoluble, and tie them in a league of inviolable amity (Ps. lv. 14); how much more may we judge it reasonable to hope that the like effects may grow in each of the people towards other, in them [Sidenote: Anthem] all towards their pastor, and in their pastor towards every of them, between whom there daily and interchangeably pass, in the hearing of God Himself, and in the presence of His holy Angels, so many heavenly acclamations, exultations, provocations, petitions, songs of {23} comfort, psalms of praise and thanksgiving: in all which [Sidenote: Amen] particulars, as when the pastor maketh their suits and they with one voice testify a general assent thereunto; or when he joyfully beginneth, and they with like alacrity follow, dividing [Sidenote: Interjection] between them the sentences wherewith they strive which shall most show his own and stir up others' zeal, to the glory of that God whose name they magnify; [Sidenote: Litany] or when he proposeth unto God their necessities, and they their own requests for relief in every of them; or when he lifteth up his voice like a trumpet to proclaim unto them the laws [Sidenote: Preceded] of God, they adjoining, though not as Israel did by way of generality, a cheerful promise, 'All that the Lord hath commanded we will do,' yet that which God doth no less approve, that which savoureth more of meekness, that which testifieth rather a feeling knowledge of our common imbecility, unto the several branches thereof several lowly and humble requests for grace at the merciful hands of God to perform the thing which is commanded; or when they wish reciprocally each other's ghostly happiness, or when he by exhortation raiseth them up, and they by protestation of their readiness declare he speaketh not in vain unto them; these interlocutory forms of speech, what are they else, but most effectual, partly testifications, and partly inflammations, of all piety?"

[1] There are two or three apparent exceptions which on examination prove the rule. At the beginning of the Communion Service the intention is so plain and the Lord have mercy is repeated so often with the Commandments, that it is left out before the Lord's Prayer. At Baptism and Confirmation there is no setting, probably because the Thanksgiving close of those services has the character of both Praise and Prayer: and this certainly is the effect of the double setting in the Churching Service.




It must not be supposed that these Services were composed suddenly in their present shape. They are indeed formed on the pattern given by the Lord's Prayer; and they make use of the methods which we have described—Intention, Setting, Key-note, Worship-forms—which have always been the methods used by the Church as far back as we have any evidence. But from time to time alterations have been made in the details. The Lord's Prayer has, for example, been used as a key-note for Praise without its Doxology; or Confession has been placed amongst the Prayers; or Psalms have been more used, and Lessons less used. In spite of such variations, the general principles may be traced in all Church Services; and much interesting study may be spent on the comparison of our Services with those which preceded them.

We have already said something (Chap. II.) about this, and when we study these two Services in detail, it is very important to remember that they grew out of the older Services. The daily Psalms and Lessons {25} might be rearranged, the number of versicles increased or diminished, the rule about varying the saying of a Creed, or an Alleluia, might be altered: but it is the same pattern with the same methods of worship now, as it was when the Services were all said in Latin and when each Diocese in this country had some differences from all the other Dioceses.

We will now proceed to consider these two Services in their details.


The Morning and Evening Prayer shall be used in the accustomed Place of the Church, Chapel, or Chancel: except it shall be otherwise determined by the Ordinary of the Place. And the Chancels shall remain as they have done in times past.

And here is to be noted, that such ornaments of the Church, and of the Ministers thereof, at all times of their Ministration, shall be retained, and be in use, as were in this Church of England, by the authority of Parliament, in the second year of the reign of King Edward the Sixth.

The importance of the above heading has been lost sight of, through the manner of its printing. In most Prayer Books it will be found on a page by itself or at the foot of a Table of the Golden Numbers. It is really the heading of a chapter which contains both {26} Morning and Evening Service. Until the last Revision of the Book in 1662, the chapter containing Morning and Evening Prayer was closed after the Athanasian Creed with a Rubric Thus endeth the Order of Morning and Evening Prayer throughout the whole Year. Although that Rubric has been omitted, this heading includes both Services in one Chapter.

EVENING PRAYER] This part of the chapter, prior to 1662, was not printed out in full; only the variations from Morning Prayer were set forth.

DAILY TO BE SAID AND USED] See Preface—And all Priests and Deacons are to say daily the Morning and Evening Prayer, either privately or openly . . . the Curate . . . shall say the same in the Parish Church or Chapel where he ministereth.

ornaments of the Church] The Canons of 1604 order a number of things to be provided at the charges of the parish, which may be included under this head, such as Communion Table, Pulpit, Reading-desk, Font, Alms-chest, Alms-basin, Vessels for Holy Communion, Bible, Common Prayer Book, Book of Homilies, Parchment Register Book and Coffer. It would not be easy to make a complete list of things authorised by this Rubric and elsewhere.

and of the Ministers thereof] The discussion of the meaning of the Ornaments of the Ministers belongs chiefly to the Communion Service. There has been no question that for Morning and Evening Service a Surplice and Hood are ordered to be worn.

the second year of the reign of King Edward the Sixth] The reference is to the {27} statute of the year 1548-9, whereby the first (English) Revision was enabled to be enforced by law. Edward VI.'s reign began on Jan. 29, 1547. This statute passed the House of Lords on Jan. 15th, 1548-9, and is referred to in the statute of 1552 as belonging to the second year of King Edward VI., although the session lasted into his third year.


This fresh heading is necessary because the former included the Order for Evening Service. Morning and Evening Prayer (called also Mattins and Evensong: see Table of Proper Lessons) are two divisions of the same chapter.

These two Services are very much alike. The map on the next page shows their construction.

An examination of this map will show that the plan of the Lord's Prayer is closely followed. There are two parts and an introduction. Of the two parts Praise comes first, as in the Lord's Prayer.

Each of the two parts begins with the Lord's Prayer, which is arranged with a setting so as to mark the character of what follows.

Every piece of the Praise portion is set with a Praise-Termination, or Doxology: and this portion includes both kinds of Praise, viz. Outspoken Praise, and Reverent Hearing of God's Word. In like manner the Prayer portion includes the two kinds of Prayer, viz. Petition for the wants of men, and Thanksgiving for what they have received.


Thus these two Services are formed in obedience to the rule that we are to take the Lord's Prayer as our model (S. Matth. vi. 9).


TEXT and SERMON on Confession. The act of CONFESSION. GOD'S ANSWER to Confession.


Praise-terminations THE LORD'S PRAYER . . . . . . Thine is the kingdom.

( 1. Interjected Verses ) PSALMS ( 2. xcv. (at Mattins) ) Gloria Patri. ( 3. Special, i.—cl. (as ) ( appointed) )

LESSONS ( 1. Old Testament . . . Canticle 1 or 2, ( 2. New Testament . . . Canticle 3 or 4.

THE APOSTLES' CREED . . . . . . Amen.



PRECES or Interjected Verses anticipating the Collects.

( 1. for spiritual needs, COLLECTS ( ANTHEM or Choral Prayer uniting the ( two kinds of Collect, ( 2. for physical needs and earthly relations.


In 1552 the Introductory portion was prefixed. Confession, which formerly occurred in the Prayers, had been omitted in 1549. It now forms the Introduction.

The reason for this beginning is set forth in a short sermon which is usually known as the Exhortation, and has, like other sermons, a Text, commonly known as a Sentence (see Rubric at the head of the Sentences). This is in accordance with very ancient custom[1], and with the very natural sense that man must receive permission before he approaches God.

God's answer to Confession is The Absolution or Remission of Sins.

As an illustration of this we may think of Esther, when she went to make her petition of the King (Esther iv. 2, v. 1-3). The King extending his sceptre gave her permission to speak.

The Sentences

are 11 verses, chosen, 5 from the Psalms, 4 from the Prophets, 2 from the Gospels, 1 from the Epistles. They represent either man's cry to God (Nos. 2, 3, 7, 9, 10) or God's call to man (Nos. 1, 4, 5, 8, 11) or both (No. 6).


The Exhortation.

The Scripture moveth us] The Sentences supply 11 such places, but there are many more to be found in the Bible. The word "moveth" has the same meaning as when a resolution is moved at a meeting.

When we assemble and meet together in Church] Four reasons are given, viz. the four great occupations of Worship, without regard to their order in the Service. We have already pointed out that Thanksgiving and Prayer spring from the sense of man's wants and his dependence on God; and that the Reading of God's Word in these Services is not for study but for Praise. We shall therefore find the Thanksgiving after the Prayers, and the Lessons (or Lections) of Holy Scripture amongst the Praises.

The Confession.

The capital letters indicate that this was to be, as it were, dictated to the people, sentence by sentence: and the Rubric implies the same. It will be remembered that books were scarce when this Rubric was prepared. Literal obedience to it is often very impressive, and a real addition to the solemnity of the act. On ordinary occasions in some Churches, the Minister leads the Confession without the formal separation of each clause from the next.

The expressions, used here to acknowledge the wickedness of sin and the defects of human life, will seem to be excessive whenever we are making light of {31} our faults. But in proportion as we realise the perfection of God's holiness, we shall find them suitable to every shade of defect and sin.

The comprehensive humility of this Confession is designed to include both modified faults and grave offences—whether by commission, omission or indolence. The full acknowledgment of the different forms of sin is followed by prayer for mercy and recovery, relying upon the promises declared in Jesus Christ.

The Absolution.

As God's answer to Confession, this is pronounced by God's own messenger. The messenger must have full credentials; i.e. a Deacon must not say the Absolution.

Both here and in the Confession, the Titles and Attributes of God should be noticed. His power and mercy were made the grounds of our appeal to Him. His mercy and authority are now made the grounds of His answer. The fulness of the declaration of them gives emphasis to the declaration of pardon which follows.

We find four parts in the Confession and the same parts in the Absolution, viz.

1. The Title and Attributes of God.

2. The substantial part, i.e. Confession or Absolution.

3. The prayer which is founded thereon.

4. The appeal through our Lord.



Before the invention of printing (15th century), the directions in Law Manuscripts had been written in red, in order to distinguish them from the Statutes. This distinction had been made also in Service Books and it has been continued to our own time. But every sheet which contains both black and red letters requires to be twice passed over a printing press. Hence, for cheap books, italics are used instead of red letters to distinguish the directions from the prayers, &c. The directions are called Rubrics (from Lat. ruber=red) whether the distinction is made by the colour or the type.

The rubrics about the Confession and the Absolution were in 1662 made more clear. The habit had grown up in some churches for the Priest to say the Absolution kneeling. The word all was therefore inserted in the rubric about Confession, and the words standing, the people still kneeling were added to the rubric about Absolution. Thus all kneeling includes the minister.

This Introductory Part of the Service was composed for the Revision of 1552, and was then printed only in the Morning Service, with a rubric ordering it to be used at the beginning of Morning Prayer, and likewise of Evening Prayer. In 1662 it was first printed out in full in the Evening Service, and the rubric was altered to agree therewith.

Simplification of rubrics. One aim of the Revisers was simplicity of rules. As they sought Variety of worship without excess, so they desired Order of {33} worship without complexity of regulations. Anyone, looking casually over the Prayer Books of the Sarum and other Uses before 1549, will be struck at once by the redness of many of the pages. This redness indicates rubrics, and helps us to realise what is meant in the Prayer Book Preface (Concerning the Service of the Church, Section 2) by the number and hardness of the rules called the Pie, and the manifold changings of the Service[2].

In order to provide for the many occasions when a difference was to be made, rubrics had been multiplied and inserted at the places to which they applied. The Revisers (1) collected as many as possible at the beginning of each Service, or at the end; and (2) reduced the number of rubrics thus collected together, by reducing the number of variations which were to be provided for.

Duplication of Phrases.

It has often been noticed that pairs of words having nearly the same meaning frequently occur in the Prayer Book. This doubling of an idea may be called 'Duplication'.

Duplication is of two kinds: either the words coupled together are so nearly identical in meaning that one is but a repetition of the other; or else the {34} second word shows an advance upon the first. The former kind may be called 'parallel duplication' and is used for emphasis: the latter kind may be called 'progressive duplication', because it is used to represent the living idea which advances even while it is being uttered. Instances of both abound in this part of the Service, as well as in the Collects and other prayers which we shall notice later on.

Examples of Duplication.

1. Exhortation.

Parallel. goodness and mercy. assemble and meet together.


( acknowledge . . . . . suggesting reluctance. ( confess . . . . . . . " willingness.

( sins . . . . . . . . . the outward act. ( wickedness . . . . . . the inward fault.

( dissemble . . . . . . pretend they are not there. ( cloke . . . . . . . . cover them up.

( requisite . . . . . . what we should like. ( necessary . . . . . . what we must have.

( pray . . . . . . . . . ask earnestly. ( beseech . . . . . . . " more earnestly.

( humble, lowly ( attitude with regard ) Distrust ( ( to the past ) of Self. ( ( penitent ( attitude with regard ) Shame for ( ( to the present ) sin. ( ( obedient ( attitude with regard ) Resolution ( ( to the future ) to leave ( ) the sin.


2. Confession.

Parallel. erred and strayed.


( device . . . . . . . . . . an act of the mind. ( desire . . . . . . . . . . an act of the heart.

( left undone . . . . . . . Omission. ( done (wrongly) . . . . . . Commission.

Cf. sins, negligences and ignorances Litany.

( spare . . . . . . . . . . with regard to the past. ( restore . . . . . . . . . " " " the future.

( godly . . . . . . . . . . duty to God. ( righteous . . . . . . . . " " man. ( sober . . . . . . . . . . " " self.

3. Absolution.

Parallel. declare and pronounce. truly (with truth), unfeignedly (without pretence).


( death . . . . . . . . . . Life is something more than ( turn and live . . . . . . the absence of death.

( power . . The Priest . . may pronounce. ( commandment . . must "

( Absolution . . . . . . . . unloosing. ( Remission . . . . . . . . putting away.

( pardoneth . . . . . . . . (Fr. pardonner) God forgiveth. ( absolveth . . . . . . . . (Lat. absolvo) God looseth the sinner.

( repent . . . . . . . . . . looking at Self. ( believe . . . . . . . . . " " God.


( pure . . . . . . . . . . . absence of evil. ( holy . . . . . . . . . . . presence of good.

( repentance . . . . . that our present lives may ( please God. ( God's Holy Spirit " our remaining lives ( may please Him.

It will be clear that if we keep from sin repentance is more intimately connected with our present lives than with the future. Yet both repentance and the gift of the Holy Spirit are required for life now and hereafter.

[1] S. Basil, ad Clerum Neoc. Ep. 63, Tom. 2, 843 D, quoted by Wheatley, says that "the primitive Christians in all Churches, immediately upon their entering into the House of Prayer, made a confession of their sins to God with much sorrow and concern and tears, every man pronouncing his own confession with his own mouth."

So Ezra (ix. 5, 6, &c.) and Daniel (ix. 1-19) approached God with Confession.

[2] The Pie. Three explanations are offered of this word. (1) pi=the first letter of the word pinax a chart, i.e. the Table of Lessons, &c. (2) Pie,—as in magpie, piebald,—from the two colours of the page. (3) Litera picata—the pitch-coloured letter—which began each several order in the rules.

The title of the Sarum Breviary makes Pie equivalent to Breviary or Portiforium. The most attractive derivation is that which associates it with the Greek word for a chart or map.




I. The Psalms.

Every part of the Praise portion of the Service has a Praise-Termination. We have already seen that the "intention" of the Lord's Prayer is marked for praise by a Termination, viz. for thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory for ever and ever.

This praise-termination belongs to the Lord's Prayer, and is not used for anything else. In like manner, other forms of praise have their own terminations. Thus Psalms and Lessons are used for praise and have praise-terminations.

When a Psalm is used for praise, its termination is Glory be to the father, &c.

When a Lesson is used for praise, its termination is a Canticle—i.e. one of the Bible songs of praise (from the Latin canticulum, a little song, a sonnet).

When the Creed is used for praise, since nothing can be added to the facts of God's Being and Work except the will to recite them devoutly, its praise-termination is Amen.


The first Lord's Prayer.

The Lord's Prayer may be regarded as a brief summary of the acts of worship which come after it. Much care is required in order to use its familiar words with due devotion. When it is used, as here, for Praise, the following may be taken as examples of the thoughts which should accompany its several phrases.

Our Father, God is Love. Which art in heaven, God is a spirit. Hallowed be Thy Name, God's Holiness. Thy Kingdom come, God's Power. Thy Will be done, God's Perfectness. In earth as it is in heaven, Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty. Give us this day our daily Every good gift is from bread, above. Forgive us our trespasses, The mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting. Lead us not into temptation, Thou art about my path and about my bed. Deliver us from evil, With power He commandeth the unclean spirits, &c.

The Ladder of Praise.

The various parts of the Praise portion of the Service are not repetitions of the same ideas. We {39} have first, in the Psalms, the simpler thoughts about God. The First Lesson, taken from the Old Testament, advances to higher or more complex thoughts in Praise of Him. The next stage is reached in the Second Lesson; and the Apostles' Creed crowns the whole. Thus a Ladder of praise is made whereby we climb up to the thought of God in His Perfect Being, which is the very essence of Real Worship.

The first steps in this ladder are made by the use of the Book of Psalms, which is divided into sections for these daily Services, and so arranged that they supply different Psalms for 30 mornings and 30 evenings. If there are 31 days in the month, those for the 30th day are repeated on the 31st: in February, the (29th and) 30th are omitted.

There are many words which originally meant a Song, but in course of time have come to mean a special kind of song, or the music which belongs to a song. Thus Cantus, a song, gives us Chant, the music of a psalm verse; and Canticle, a psalm after a Lesson. psalmos, a song, gives us psalm, a hymn, but not metrical, hymnos, a song, gives us hymn, a song in metre.

Versicles and Psalms.

Before the Psalms begin there is an injunction to praise the Lord exchanged between the Minister and the People. Four other Versicles and Gloria Patri are interposed after the Lord's Prayer—all in the form of Verse and Respond.

{40} Ps. li. 15 is the Psalmist's grateful cry when his sin was forgiven and his praises began to break forth.

Ps. lxx. 1 supplies the second couplet.

The Gloria Patri follows these Psalm verses.

The Venite exultemus Domino, briefly called Venite, is the 95th Psalm. The Rubric provides that it is to be said every day, but not twice on the 19th day[1]. It is the first of the Morning Psalms, and formerly was sung with an Anthem (see Chapter XIII.) which was known as the Invitatory, and varied with the Season.

Antiphonal, i.e. alternate, singing dates from the services described in 1 Chronicles vi. 31-33, 39, 44, from which it appears that there were three choirs of singers—one in the centre, and one on either hand. Thus the interchange of replies from either side and a chorus of all the voices were provided, 1 Chron. xvi. 7-9 makes it clear that the Psalms were sung, as indeed the word Psalm (from Gr. psallo, I sing) implies. See also Neh. xii. 24.

The Authorised Version (A.V.) of the Bible is a translation made at the beginning of James I.'s reign, after the Hampton Court Conference (Jan. 1604). It was published in 1611 with a title-page stating that it was "appointed to be read in churches." There is, however, no evidence of any formal adoption of it until the statement made in the Preface of the {41} Prayer Book (1662) that "such portions of Holy Scripture as are inserted into the Liturgy," "in the Epistles and Gospels especially, and in sundry other places . . . are now ordered to be read according to the last Translation." It is evident that this "last Translation" is the Version of 1611: for the Epistles and Gospels are quoted from it in the Prayer Book of 1662. The Translation of 1611, then, is that from which are to be taken "such portions of Holy Scripture as are inserted into the Liturgy." This appears to be the general rule of the Prayer Book of 1662. But that Prayer Book gives authority to various exceptions. The most notable of these is the provision, in a footnote to The order how the Psalter is appointed to be read, "that the Psalter followeth the division of the Hebrews and the translation of the great English Bible, set forth and used in the time of King Henry the Eighth and Edward the Sixth."

If it be asked why the words of the Psalms should be sung as in the Great Bible when other translations have superseded it for Lessons, there is an easy answer. Books were not cheap or common in the 16th and 17th centuries. Many people had sung them so often as to know them by heart. A comparison of the Bible and Prayer Book translations will show that there was no large gain to be set against the loss of congregational worship which must have resulted from changes. The Bishops' Bible supplanted the Great Bible in 1568, and the Authorised Version was made in 1611. Both in 1604 and in 1662 the Revisers decided to retain the Version of 1539-40 (the Great Bible) so far as the Psalms and Canticles {42} were sung in the Churches. This is plainly not an oversight in 1662, for the Revisers altered the words of the note in the Preface, without changing the sense.

Psalms in Daily Services.

The Preface, "Concerning the Service of the Church," states that "the ancient Fathers have divided the Psalms into seven portions, whereof every one was called a Nocturn," and that "the same was . . . ordained . . . of a good purpose and for a great advancement of godliness"; but "of late time a few of them have been daily said and the rest utterly omitted." A writer of the ninth century says that S. Jerome, at the bidding of the Pope on the request of Theodosius, arranged the Psalms for the Services of day and night in order to avoid the confusion arising from variety of uses[2]. S. Ambrose was a contemporary of S. Jerome but died more than 20 years before him. There are considerable differences between the plan which S. Ambrose gave to his diocese of Milan, and the plan which we may believe was generally given at the same time to the Churches of the rest of Western Europe. But they are similar in many respects. In both, a division was made between the first 109 psalms,—which were mainly allotted to the night services, i.e. to those which were afterwards called Mattins,—and the rest which were mainly allotted to the Evening Service (Vespers). We suppose that the division, mentioned in the {43} Preface, "into seven portions" refers to those 109 Psalms.

Of these 109, 18 were used at other Services, leaving 91 for Mattins, viz. 19 on Sunday and 12 each for the week days. The Ambrosian arrangement of them was for a fortnight.

The Greek Church divides the whole Book into 20 portions and takes them, two portions at Mattins and one at Vespers, beginning on Saturday night, omitting Sunday Vespers, and taking, on Friday, the 19th, 20th and 18th portions.

Thus we see that a weekly singing of the Book of Psalms is derived from a very ancient time, when the division of the Eastern and Western Churches of Europe had not occurred.

The Sarum order, which we suppose was that which is referred to in the Preface as having been "corrupted" by omissions, had the 109 Psalms allotted to Mattins, as above described. For Vespers, there were five each day from cx.-cxlvii., omitting the 118th and 119th, 134th, 143rd and, as explained below[3], reckoning the 147th as two. All these were taken in order as they stand in the Bible. Those which were left out were allotted to other Services, as, for instance, iv. to Compline, lxiii. to Lauds, &c., &c. Psalm cxix. was to be said through every day, 32 verses at Prime, and 48 verses each, at Terce, Sext and None.


Lauds was the great Praise Service of the day, and had a very beautiful arrangement of its Psalms which always ended with one of the O.T. hymns followed by Psalms cxlviii.-cl. The O.T. hymns on the seven days of the week were Benedicite: Isaiah xii.: Isaiah xxxviii. 10-20: 1 Sam. ii. 1-10: Exodus xv. 1-19: Hab. iii.: Deut. xxxii. 1-43.

The beauty of many of these arrangements is undeniable: but they were rather intricate; and in practice they broke down.

Our revisers retained the underlying principles. By spreading the course over 30 days they made it possible to use it all. They retained the 95th Psalm as the first Psalm of every day; and also the principle of having two daily Services at which Psalms occupied an important place.

There are Special Psalms for six days in the year—the four great Festivals, Christmas, Easter, Ascension, and Whitsun Day, and the two great prayer-days, Ash-Wednesday and Good Friday. The Preface explains that these Special Psalms are to be sung instead of the ordinary Psalms on those days; and authorises the use of Special Psalms approved by the Ordinary on other days.

In using the Book of Psalms as a book of worship we must remember what was said of the Intention of our minds in respect to parts of the Services. There are many Psalms which supply us with the best Prayers in trouble, penitence or any anxiety. But when using them in these Services our Intention is not Prayer but Praise, and the thought of God must inspire our devotions.


It will often help us if we remember that God's Righteousness is infinite, as well as His Mercy. It is impossible for man in his present state to reconcile perfect Righteousness and perfect Mercy: for Righteousness will have nothing to do with sin, while Mercy forgives it. These two characteristics of God are revealed to us through Christ in Whom Righteousness and Peace are united; cf. Ps. lxxxv.

The Psalms, composed by various people at different times, very frequently are the utterances of men in trouble: and they often sketch the thoughts or actions of the Ideal Man, in one or other of the four characters which answer to God's Righteousness and God's Mercy. For, in response to God's Righteousness, man must be (1) perfectly penitent, and (2) in imitation of God, must detest sin: in imitation of God, (3) he must be perfectly forgiving, and in response to God's mercy, (4) he must have trust and peace. The Psalmists exhibit human nature at its best, but it is human nature all the time—human nature finding God and associating itself with the Ideal Man.

Thus the Psalms often rise to the conception of the Messiah; and, even when that is not their thought, they proceed from other thoughts to Rest in God and Praise of His Holy Name.

The most difficult Psalms for worship are those which regard sin with horror, but express the horror without mercy. Man is unable to hold the two qualities of Righteousness and Mercy simultaneously. We find it difficult in these days to detest sin because we are learning the quality of mercy.


Much of the poetic force of these songs depends on the local incidents of Israel's history and the scenery of Jerusalem and the Holy Land. While we use the words, we must also use our imaginations to transfer the great thoughts to our own experience: for those local colours are the clothing of thoughts which belong to all men in their relation to God.

Over all these endeavours to use the Psalms properly in the Praise part of our Services, the ruling idea is that which we have already stated, viz. that God in these things is to be glorified.

[1] A practice is found, in some churches, of singing this Psalm on Sundays but not when it is read in the ordinary course of the Psalms. We believe that this is due to a misinterpretation of the Rubric. There is just as much reason for singing it on the 19th as on any other day.

[2] Dict. of Chr. Antiq. "Psalmody." H. J. Hotham.

[3] The "division of the Hebrews" (see Note in Preface on the Order of the Psalter) is followed in our Prayer Book and Bible. The Septuagint and Vulgate unite Psalms ix. and x. and divide cxlvii. into two psalms, viz. vv. 1-11, vv. 12-20.




II. The Lessons.

A. The Study of the Bible a help to worship.

The Bible is read in Church as an incentive to the praise of God. It supplies thoughts of God which are then offered up to Him, as Praise, in the words of the Canticles. It is therefore necessary that we should understand the Bible Lessons as well as our abilities will allow, and that we should endeavour to find in those Lessons everything which will inspire us to honour and love God.

There are two distinct requirements. A book may help us to understand, but the endeavour to find God in the Bible depends on ourselves: our Lord has described it in the words He that hath ears to hear let him hear.

In order to understand the Bible when we hear it read, we should study it at home. Some elementary aids to the study of it may be useful here; for further help we shall want books specially prepared for that {48} purpose, such as the Cambridge Companion to the Bible and The Cambridge Bible for Schools, &c.

1. The Old Testament and the New Testament agree together: they have the same principles of morality, worship and doctrine. God's guidance of the writers is seen in this—the Old Testament, written at different times in the centuries before our Lord was Born, was such that the Gospel of the Revelation in Jesus was able to fit into it. As S. Augustine says,

"Novum Testamentum in Vetere latet, Vetus Testamentum in Novo patet."

See also Article VII.

2. The failure of man to live well is shown in the Old Testament. Though he had favourable conditions and a holy law of life, a pure system of worship, and the discipline of warning and correction, the Israelite failed. Hence the Old Testament continually teaches (a) that God governs, (b) that man needs a Saviour.

3. The Old Testament consists of 3 parts (a) the Law and History, (b) the Psalms and Proverbs, (c) the Prophets.

(a) The Law and History part includes the books from Genesis to Esther, and relates the progress of the people of God from its separation as a family and its growth to be an important nation, to the downfall of its independence, and its partial recovery. The writers were a succession of prophets, who continually point to the hand of God in the events which they record.

(b) The Psalms and Proverbs part includes the books from Job to the Song of Solomon, and contains {49} many Hymns of prayer and praise; also discussions of deep problems of human nature and our relation to God (Job and Ecclesiastes); together with other things which stir us to a life of goodness and worship.

(c) The Prophets are not arranged in order of time at which they lived. The four Books which come first are called the Four Greater Prophets, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel: and are followed by the Twelve Lesser Prophets. To find the place in the Lesser Prophets it is sufficient to remember Hosea, Joel, Amos as the three which are placed first; and Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi as the three prophets after the Captivity, and therefore placed last. Isaiah should be read with parts of Kings and Chronicles, and Haggai and Zechariah with the Books of Ezra and Nehemiah; and others in like manner according to their period.

4. The New Testament consists of 3 parts—(a) The History, (b) The Epistles, (c) The Revelation of St John.

(a) S. Luke's History is in two volumes—the Gospel, which recounts our Lord's Life from His Birth to His Ascension (note here the number of His Parables): and the Acts of the Apostles, which continues the history from His Ascension to the (first) imprisonment of S. Paul at Rome. S. Matthew's Gospel corresponds to S. Luke's Gospel, recounting our Lord's Life from His Birth, with many of His sayings about the Kingdom of Heaven, and especially the Sermon on the Mount. S. Mark's Gospel is similar to the two former. It recounts particularly the details of the various scenes of our Lord's Life, {50} and shows how frequently He retired for meditation,—"a living picture of a living man[1]." S. John's Gospel, written long after the others, shows the three witnesses—the spirit and the water and the blood—that bear record that Jesus is the Son of God (1 S. John v. 8).

(b) The Epistles are not in chronological order. S. Paul's Epistles are placed first, then S. James, S. Peter, S. John and S. Jude. Of S. Paul's Epistles, those to Churches come before those to Timothy, Titus and Philemon. Of his Epistles to Churches, the order in the Bible is Rom., Cor., Cor., Gal., Ephes., Philip., Col., Thess., Thess. They fit into the History in the following groups: (I) Acts xvii.,—1 and 2 Thess,, (II) Acts xix. 22 to xx.,—1 and 2 Cor., Gal., Romans, (III) Acts xxviii.,—Philip., Col., Ephes., Philemon, (IV) after the imprisonment described in Acts xxviii.,—1 and 2 Tim. and Titus. The Epistles to Colossians, Ephesians and Philemon (a Colossian Christian) seem to have been sent by the same messenger. The Epistle to the Hebrews may have been written by S. Paul; but, as that is doubtful, it has been placed after those which are surely his. The Epistles which follow are called "General," because they are addressed to Christians scattered about in various countries. S. James and S. Peter have many references to the Sermon on the Mount. S. John dwells upon Love as the foundation upon which a Christian builds his life—the Love which God has shown us, and the Love which we have for Him and for one another.


(c) The Revelation of S. John, written perhaps before the time when Jerusalem was besieged (A.D. 68-69), carries our thoughts away from the glories of the Jerusalem which was about to be destroyed, to the New Jerusalem and its glories, in Jesus Christ and His Church.

5. The Apocrypha supplies First Lessons for 21 days between Oct. 27 and Nov. 18; and also for the evenings of Innocents' Day and S. Luke's Day. Article VI. quotes S. Jerome's description of the Apocrypha, where he says "the other books the Church doth read for example of life and instruction of manners; but yet doth it not apply them to establish any doctrine."

These notes will, we hope, prompt the reader to make a study of the Bible not only for the guidance of his life, but also for the amendment of the offering which he makes to God in the Services of the Church.

B. Lessons and Lectionaries.

Acts xv. 21. "Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the Synagogues every Sabbath Day." The reference is to the Mosaic regulations which were to a certain extent to be observed by all Christians, out of consideration for those Christians who were also Jews: be sure that thou eat not the blood, for the blood is the life was a precept which would create a difficulty in a Jewish Christian's mind if a Gentile Christian disregarded it. Similarly as to meats offered to idols (cf. 1 Cor. viii. 10-13).

There was then in the Synagogues of the first century a "First Lesson" from the Law.

{52} Acts xiii. 27. "The voices of the prophets which are read every Sabbath Day." There was then in the Synagogues a "Second Lesson" from the Prophets.

Acts xiii. 15. "After the reading of the Law and the Prophets the rulers of the Synagogue sent unto (Paul and his companions), saying, Ye men and brethren, if ye have any word of exhortation for the people, say on."

The passage selected from the Law was associated with a passage selected from the Prophets—there was a Lectionary for Sabbath Services. The present Jewish Lectionary associates Isaiah i. 1-28 with Deut. i. 1-iii. 22 as the Lessons for the Sabbath of Temple Desolation[2].

In S. Paul's Exhortation which followed (vv. 16-41) there are, in vv. 17-19, three words rarely found in the Bible, but of their rare use one ("exalted") is found in Is. i. 2, and the others in Deut. i. 31, 38 ("suffered their manners" and "gave for an inheritance").

The reference, in v. 20, to "judges" is also to be noted in connection with Is. i. 26. Bengel reasons that we may safely conclude that the two Lections on that day were those which we have just mentioned as associated together in the present Jewish Lectionary[3].

S. Luke iv. 15-20. Jesus . . . taught in their Synagogues—came to Nazareth—"entered, as his custom was, into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood {53} up for to read. And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias." It appears from what follows (vv. 17-20) that the Lord read Isaiah lxi. 1, 2, either instead of the appointed passage from Isaiah, or after He had read the appointed passage. For Isaiah lxi. does not now appear in the Jewish Lectionary, and we know no reason for its omission now, if it was included before. In any case what He said about it, He said as the Exhorter[4]. They divided the Law into 53 or 54 portions, and read the whole of them between one Feast of Tabernacles and the next, whether the Sabbaths were 50 or more. Each portion was divided into seven parts, read by seven different Readers (a Priest and a Levite being the first two). This Lesson apparently stood alone until in B.C. 163 Antiochus Epiphanes forbade the use of the Pentateuch. Lessons from the Prophets were used instead, and were not discontinued when the use of the Pentateuch was restored. Thus arose a practice of having a First Lesson from the Law, which they called Parascha (or, Division), and a Second Lesson from the Prophets, called Haphtarah (or, Conclusion). The word Holy was said before and after the First Lesson and a Doxology before and after the Second Lesson—an arrangement similar to our own. We may, indeed, believe that we derived from the Jews this and other uses of our Services. For we read in Acts vi. 7 that a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith, and {54} in Acts xviii. 7, 8 that at Corinth, when they ceased to be able to go to the Synagogue, the ruler of the Synagogue himself went with them to the worship and teaching which they carried on in a house hard by. It would not be surprising, then, if the worship thus begun was arranged after the old pattern to which they were all accustomed. For there are, not a few, proofs in the Acts of the Apostles that in those early days they attended the Services of the Temple at Jerusalem, and of the Synagogues in other places.

Justin Martyr[5], writing in defence of Christianity to the Emperor of Rome, describes the Holy Communion Service of his time as comprising two Lessons—one from the Prophets and the other from the Apostles, i.e., we suppose, the Gospels; a stage nearer to the two New Testament Lessons which are read at the Communion now. The use of an Old Testament and a New Testament Lesson at Daily Prayers may be a survival of the intermediate stage as described by Justin.

A Lectionary is a Table of Lessons arranged for a year. Our Table of Epistles and Gospels is derived from one which has been attributed to S. Jerome. The Sermons of his age show that there were stated Lessons for particular days[6]. Moreover, certain variations in the manuscripts of the New Testament are explained by the early use of books in {55} which the Lessons for the days were written out in full[7], called Lectionaries or Evangelistaria.

The principle which governs our own Lectionary is that the Bible shall be read through[8]. The books are taken in order, beginning with Genesis, S. Matthew, and Acts on January 2, and going straight on, with two exceptions. First exception: Isaiah's clear prophecies of Messiah are deferred to Nov. 18 &c., so as to be read in Advent. Second exception: Revelation is read in the latter half of December.

The effect of beginning the New Testament in two places on Jan. 2 is that it is read twice through in the year—once at Morning Prayer and once at Evening Prayer.

For Sundays a different arrangement is made with regard to the Old Testament. The Sunday year begins with Advent, which is the season occupying twenty-eight days before Christmas. Selections from Isaiah are read on these four Sundays, on Christmas Day, and on the four or five Sundays which usually follow Christmas before Septuagesima. At Septuagesima we are anticipating Lent and the Passion: Genesis therefore supplies the Lessons, followed by Exodus at Passion-tide, and the other books in regular course.

To this brief description we may add that Proper Lessons, specially chosen from Old and New Testament, are appointed for special Sundays and special {56} Holy Days. These take the place of those which appear in the regular list for the same days. If two special days coincide, the minister may read the Lessons of either, except that, on Advent Sunday, Easter Day, Whitsunday and Trinity Sunday, the Lessons for those days are to be read.

The principles of this arrangement have been in use since 1549; alterations in its details were made in 1559, 1604, and 1871.

In 1559 the Apocrypha was appointed for many of the Saints' Days, which nevertheless were left with their Old Testament Lessons in the Calendar. Thus these latter were invariably unread.

In 1604 this defect of the Calendar was corrected by moving the Lessons forward to make room for the Proper Lessons, and omitting some few of those which "might best be spared."

Until 1871 the New Testament was read through thrice in the year, the Lessons being usually whole chapters. And the Gospels were always Morning Lessons, and the Epistles and Acts always Evening Lessons. Revelation was almost altogether omitted.

From 1604 till 1871 the First Lessons from Sept. 28 until Nov. 23 were from the Apocrypha—eight weeks. The Apocrypha Lessons continue now only from Oct. 27 to Nov. 18.

The principle of selection has in all these changes been recognised; but always subordinate to a larger principle of reading in Church the whole Bible. Prior to 1871 the two Books of Chronicles were not read, being regarded as sufficiently represented by the corresponding chapters from the Books of the Kings. In {57} 1871 eighteen Lessons from the Chronicles were introduced in place of the corresponding passages in the Kings.

We shall find in the next chapter that all these Lessons in Church are to be thought of in connection with their attendant Canticles—so that a Lesson and its Canticle form an act of Praise: "as after one angel had published the Gospel (S. Luke ii. 10-12) a multitude joined with him in praising God, so when one minister hath read the Gospel, all the people glorify God" (S. Luke ii. 13, 14)[9].

Rubric. Then shall be read distinctly, &c.] The words of this rubric were altered to some extent in 1662, the only notable change being the alteration of "The minister that readeth" to "He that readeth." The object of the change seems to be that one who is not 'the minister' may read the Lessons. The minister is still directed to declare where they begin and end.

He is to turn himself so as to be heard: and Canon 80 requires the churchwardens to provide a "Bible of the largest volume." A desk or Lectern is therefore implied as one of the 'Ornaments of the Church.'

It is usually assumed that the Congregation sits during the Lessons except when the Gospel is read in the Communion. Probably there were not seats for them when the rubrics were drawn up: custom has authorised their addition to the list of 'ornaments.' The movable seats, bequeathed by incumbents to their successors or others as they thought fit, are not recognised by any words in the Prayer Book.



JUSTIN MARTYR, Apol. I. 61-67.

61. * * * We bring them where there is water; and after the same manner of regeneration as we also were regenerated ourselves, they are regenerated; for, in the Name of God, the Father and Lord of all things, and of our Saviour Jesus Christ, and of the Holy Ghost, they then receive the washing of water: for, indeed, Christ also said, Except ye be born again, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. * * * *

65. But after thus washing him who has professed, and given his assent, we bring him to those who are called brethren; where they are assembled together, to offer prayers in common both for ourselves, and for the person who has received illumination, and all others everywhere, with all our hearts, that we might be vouchsafed, now we have learnt the truth, by our works also to be found good citizens and keepers of the commandments, that we may obtain everlasting Salvation. We salute one another with a kiss when we have concluded the prayers: then is brought to the President of the brethren, bread, and a cup of water and wine, which he receives; and offers up praise and glory to the Father of all things, through the Name of His Son, and of the Holy Ghost; and he returns thanks at length, for our being vouchsafed these things by Him. [Here follows a brief description of this special Eucharist after a Baptism which we omit in order to give the longer description below.]

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