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Anglican Church in Corea:
Being Documents, original and translated, issued by Authority during the Episcopate of the First Bishop of the Church of England in Corea between 1889 and 1905
by C. J. Corfe, Bishop

Seoul: The Seoul Press, Hodge & Co. 1905.

The Book of Common Prayer and Liturgical Translation.

For five years no portions of the book of Common Prayer were needed in the vernacular; and then, only such parts were required as could be used by the adult catechumens of the Mission who were then preparing for the baptisms which took place in 1897. But long before then it had become evident that for a people, who were, for the most part, uneducated (though generally able to read the vernacular) and wholly unfamiliar with either liturgical forms of worship or, indeed, with public worship of any kind, the prayers and directions provided would have to be such as they needed and could understand. This statement of an obvious truth is made for the purpose of shewing how impossible it was to take in hand such a translation of the Prayer Book as was to be found in the versions of those used by the various Dioceses in China and Japan where the native Christians had long been in possession of the whole book.

The experience of the succeeding eight years has shewn the soundness of the two principles which underlie our liturgical translations, namely, to print only what was to be used in Church (in the order in which it was used) and to use nothing which was not printed. Thus, directions of the simplest kind had to take the place of many of the Rubrics; whilst, in view of the diffuseness of the Corean language and the slow enunciation of the people in Church most of the Exhortations had to be provided for at other times and in other ways. As it is, the time occupied by the Sunday morning service consisting of Morning Prayer, Litany, The Holy Communion and Sermon will, not unfrequently, be nearer three than two hours.

An account will now be given of the present condition of Prayer Book Translation, the various offices, etc., being set down, as far as possible, in the order in which they were issued. Then will follow descriptions of these offices, showing what variations, if any, from the Book of Common Prayer had been made by the Bishop (in his exercise of the jus liturgicum) to meet the requirements or to minister to the edification of his flock.

1. (a) The Litany and office of the Holy Communion up to, but not including, the Nicene Creed. This formed a Missa Catechumenorum which was used every Sunday in the days when there were, as yet, no adult Christians. The second Post-Communion Collect was printed after the Ten Commandments and the two following Collects were used after the Collect for the day, which, with the Epistle and Gospel, was for weeks constant, since the work of translating the Collects, Epistles and Gospels was, then, in its infancy.


ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, we are taught by Thy Holy Word that the hearts of kings are in Thy rule and governance and that Thou dost dispose and turn them as it seemeth best to Thy godly wisdom. We humbly beseech Thee so to dispose the heart of Thy servant the Emperor of this country that he may be led into the way of truth, and study to preserve the people committed to his charge in wealth, peace and godliness. Direct and prosper all his consultations to the advancement of Thy glory, the good of Thy Church the safety, honour and welfare of his Dominions; that all things being ordered and settled upon the best and surest foundations, peace and happiness, truth and justice, religion and piety may be established among us for all generations. These and all other necessaries as well for him, as for us and Thy whole Church we humbly beg in the Name and Mediation of Jesus Christ our most Blessed Lord and Saviour. Amen.


O God, Whose blessed Son was manifested that He might destroy the works of the Devil and make us the sons of God and heirs of everlasting life, mercifully look upon the people of Corea; take from them all ignorance, hardness of heart and whatsoever else may hinder them from being brought to the knowledge of Thy Grace and faith in Thee; that being made partakers of the Divine Nature they may receive the exceeding great and precious promises which Thou hast given us through the same Thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

(b) The remainder of the Office of the Holy Communion; issued simultaneously with

(c) The Office of Baptism of such as are of Riper years; and

(d) The Order of Confirmation.

(e) The Collects, Epistles, and Gospels for certain Sundays and Holy Days. The book of the Collects was not completed until 1903 when a volume containing all the Collects "to be used throughout the year" (with references for the Epistles and Gospels to the N. T. which was then in use) was issued by the Mission Press.

(f) The order of Morning and Evening Prayer, for which a constant Psalm (in each office) was provided; the Lessons being taken from the O. T. selection and, at first, from Lumen.

(g) The order for the Burial of the Dead.

(h) The Churching of Women.

(i) The form of solemnization of Matrimony.

In 1903 was also issued a volume of some 50 of the Psalms and about 120 Hymns, the former being selected with a view to providing some at least of the Proper Psalms appointed for Holy Days. A list of them is here given


1 Blessed is the Name
8 O Lord our Governour
15 Lord who shall dwell
19 The heavens declare
22 My God, my God, (11 verses)
23 The Lord is my shepherd
24 The earth is the Lord's
25 Unto Thee, O Lord, (7 verses)
31 In Thee, O Lord (6 verses)
32 Blessed is he whose
33 Rejoice in the Lord
34 I will alway give thanks
37 Fret not thyself.
38 Put me not to rebuke
39 I said I will take heed
42 Like as the hart
47 God is gone up (4 verses)
51 Have mercy
57 (from verse 6) Set up Thyself
65 Thou, O God
67 God be merciful unto us
84 O how amiable
85 Lord, Thou art become
91 Whoso dwelleth
93 The Lord is King and hath
95 O come let us sing
96 O sing unto the Lord
97 The Lord is King; the earth
98 O sing unto the Lord (5 verses)
100 O be joyful
103 Praise the Lord, O my soul
104 (from verse 24) O Lord how manifold
113 O praise the Lord, ye servants
117 O praise the Lord, all ye heathen
119 Blessed are those (16 verses)
121 I will lift up
121 I was glad
127 Except the Lord
130 Out of the deep
134 Behold now, praise the Lord
136 O give thanks unto the Lord
139 O Lord, Thou hast searched me
145 I will magnify thee
147 O praise the Lord, for it is a good
148 O praise the Lord of Heaven
149 O sing unto the Lord
150 O praise God.

Of the hymns, the majority are translations of Hymns Ancient and Modern, a few are original. The Quicunque Vult, the Beatitudes, the Benedicite some carols and antiphons also find a place in this volume.

The following are the first lines of the best known hymns which have been translated:

Now that the Daylight
Lo, now the melting shades
Before the ending
As now the sun's
Glory to Thee
God that madest
The day Thou gavest
O day of rest and gladness
On the Resurrection morning
Oh, what the joy
Creator of the starry
O come, O come, Emmanuel
On Jordan's banks
Dies Ira
Lo, He comes
The first Nowell
Good Christian men
When Christ was born
God rest you
While Shepherds watched
Once in Royal David's city
Hark, the herald Angels sing
O come, all ye faithful
Of the Father's love
Earth has many a noble
Songs of thankfulness
Forty day s and forty nights
The fast as taught
Lord in this Thy
All glory, laud,
The Royal Banners
The Heavenly Word
Glory be to Jesus
There is a green hill
At the Cross, her station
Sing, my tongue
The strife is o'er
Hail, Festal Day
Jesus Christ is risen to day
Come, see the place
The Day of Resurrection
Eternal Monarch
Thou art gone up
See the Conqueror
Hail, the Day
Above the starry
Our blest Redeemer
Come, Thou Holy Spirit
Come, Thou Holy Paraclete
Come, Holy Ghost
Holy, Holy, Holy
Blessed feasts of Blessed Martyrs
Greatest of Prophets
For all Thy Saints
Alleluia, sing to Jesus
That we may remember still
Draw nigh
And now, O Father
Praise the Lord, ye heavens
O God, our help We love the place
All people that on earth
Onward Christian soldiers
Peace, perfect peace
Jesus shall reign
The Church's one foundation
We plough the fields
When morning gilds
Art thou weary?
Praise, my soul
When our heads are bowed
At the name of Jesus
Come unto me, ye weary
In heaven is our reward
I am His Child
Now thank we all our God
Praise God from Whom

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