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The Church of England and the Church of Sweden

Report of the Commission Appointed by the Archbishop of Canterbury

In Pursuance of Resolution 74 of the Lambeth Conference of 1908
On the Relation of the Anglican Communion to the Church of Sweden.

Milwaukee: The Young Churchman, 1911.

Appendix III.

Forms of ordination of priests and consecration of bishops

by the Bishop of Salisbury and the Bishop of Marquette, with the aid of Professor Quensel.

Introductory Notes. Forms Before 1571.

The earliest consecrations of bishops in the reign of Gustaf Vasa were performed with the ancient rite, including unction, on which great stress was laid at that period in the Western Church. The king's letter of the 7th November, 1527, addressed to Magnus Sommar, elect of Strengnas, is well known. In accordance with this he and Magnus Haraldi, elect of Skara, and Marten Skytte, elect of Åbo, were consecrated at Epiphany, 1528, by Petrus Magni of Vesterås, who had himself been consecrated at Rome. The only difference was that these three had not received papal confirmation of their election. See Cornelius: Svenska Kyrkans Historia efter Reformationen, I., § 16, and A. Nicholson: Apostolical Succession in the Church of Sweden, p. 19. The same form, with some variations, not of a substantial character, was used by Magnus Sommar and Petrus Magni in consecrating Laurentius Petri Nericius to the see of Upsala, 22nd September, 1531. See Nicholson: l.c., pp. 30 foll., and Vindiciae Arosienses, pp. 28 foll.

This same wise archbishop continued in office for forty-two years, and while he was not in favour of unction, he desired to preserve the essentials of the rites of the Church. There is no reason to think that the innovations introduced for a short time by George Norman, under royal authority, in 1540-1541, made any serious difference to the continuity of ministerial succession in Sweden. There was introduced a certain inferior class of episcopal superintendents, about whose episcopal consecration there is in some cases a doubt (See Cornelius: Hist., I., § 32). But the bishops of the old sees certainly continued to be consecrated. What form was used is not distinctly known.

Light is thrown upon this question by a manuscript of the year 1561, drawn up by the archbishop, who was continuously labouring (as he himself tells us) to prepare a Prayer Book, which should receive authority. The Handbok of his brother Olaus for popular use naturally did not contain the ordination services, and, therefore the forms used were in the ordaining or consecrating Bishop's hands. This was, by natural prerogative, the Archbishop of Upsala.

The MS. in question has been analysed and described by Bishop Otto Ahnfelt in the twenty-ninth volume of the Acta Universitatis Lundensis, published in 1893 (see esp. p. 20). It is a draft for the archbishop's book printed in 1571, and authorized in 1572. The form for ordination of priests is essentially the same as that in the book which will presently be described; but the form of consecrating bishops is somewhat different. Two forms are given, one when a man is still a layman, the other when, as is usual, he has been already ordained priest. In the former case the form for ordaining a priest may be used. If such a case had occurred there is every reason to believe it was intended that the word bishop should be substituted for priest wherever the later was found. Cp. p. 49 below. The plan would have been very like that which is contemplated in the Canons of Hippolytus, iv. 31, but the case was one quite unusual in practice, and, as a matter of fact, it never occurred in this period, so that we have no need to discuss it.

In the latter case, when a man has been already ordained, the form begins by singing the hymn Veni Sancte Spiritus, "then the collects are read," then the "Ordinarius" reads for him S. Paul's word to Timothy (as for the priesthood), and from S. Luke xii. 42-48 (inclusive), with an explanation, which thus begins: "In these words our dear Lord Christ gives us clearly to understand that those who are called to the bishop's office have a commission from God, not over some small things, but over His people and servants, yea, those whom He, with His own flesh and blood, has bought and redeemed," etc. The qualities which a bishop needs are fidelity and understanding. His reward is to have power over all the Lord's possessions. On the other hand, the Lord teaches us the punishment of those who act otherwise. The Ordinarius then asks the bishop-elect if he will act as a good and right-minded servant of our Lord Jesus Christ, to which he answers "Yes." Then the Ordinarius says: "God strengthen and comfort thee always. Amen." "Then he, in company with the other bishops, if several are present, lays his hands on the head of the elect, and says aloud over him Our Father, and after it the collect which stands above in ordinatione Presbiterorum, and so begins O Almighty everlasting God, Father, etc. Then the choir sings pro Introitu, 'Now pray we the Holy Spirit,' and then finally the mass is said to the end, in which the Ordinatus shall receive the communion first among the rest."

The collect of which the first words are quoted is called the Collect for Teachers, and is one for sending labourers into the harvest, and contains no verbal reference to the priestly office. The main words may be quoted: ''We pray thee therefore that of thy boundless mercy thou wouldest send us true teachers. Give them in their hearts and mouths thy holy and healthful word, so that they may teach rightly and without error, and faithfully execute all thy commands. . . . Give us, Lord, thy holy Spirit and wisdom that thy Word may always remain with us, grow and bear fruit" (Bishop G. M. Williams: The Church of Sweden and the Anglican Communion, p. 12, Milwaukee and London (Mowbray's), 1910).

This certainly is a very jejune form, though the intention of making a bishop is perfectly clearly expressed, and the commission is described as given by our Lord Himself. There is, also, almost a certainty, that the phrase "then the collects are read" included one definitely speaking of the office, such as is found in the form of ordaining priests. We must believe this since the collect beginning "O eternal and merciful God, dear heavenly Father," which mentions the office conferred, is the only other collect in the previous ordination form. It may be found on p. 15 of the book just quoted, and it is given below. In any case there was probably an allocution, as in the form for the priesthood, asking prayers for the office to be conferred.

The MS. of 1561 is, however, only a draft, and we have no evidence that it was used. In any case the only material link in the episcopal succession which could be affected by it is the consecration of Bishop Jacobus Johannis Westrogothus to the see of Skara in 1570. But, as this was so near to the publication of the book of 1571, there is a strong probability that the form presently to be described was then used. The archbishop seems to have had the material constantly in a state of revision, and must have had his book ready for press some time before it was actually issued. It is a large piece of work, and in that day would have taken long even to print.

Forms in the Kyrko-ordning of 1571.

This book was not so much a prayer book as a directory, containing theological dissertations, in which forms were more or less completely embodied. It is valuable, therefore, as evidence of the intention with which the forms were used.

The intention of the Church, which adopted it in 1572, is shown particularly by chapter 25, Ordning om Biscopar, of which we have already quoted some important sentences in section 7 of our report. The intention is clearly to make the bishop an overseer and ordainer, and to make the priest a minister of the Word and Sacraments.

The Ordination of Priests in 1571.

The form for ordination of priests, Itt sett til at ordinera Prester, is found in chapter 23, fols. 65-72, of the K. O. of 1571.

This is preceded by a long preface (Ch. 22), entitled Ordning om Prester och Predico-embetet, fols. 62-64, in which the words Prest-embetet and Predico-embetet are used as nearly synonymous. The office of preaching is traced from Paradise through the promise about the seed of woman to Adam and Eve, though the Old Testament prophets, our Lord Himself, and the Apostles to whom He gave command saying: "As my Father hath sent Me even so send I you." The Apostles gave commandments to Timothy and Titus, that they, with the Churches, should commit this office to other worthy persons. Personal worthiness and regular call are emphasised at length. Prayer and laying on of the bishop's hands are necessary.

Nothing is said here or in the form of ordination about ministry of the Sacraments. This is clearly taken for granted here, since it is referred to again and again in chapter 25 about a bishop's relation to his clergy. We must suppose that the discussion in chapter 22 was intended to bring out a truth previously obscured in the idea of priesthood, viz., that it was a teaching office. Nevertheless, we are bound to point out that the ministry of the Sacraments is not definitely referred to in either of these two chapters.

But the pastoral office (which is, of course, very closely connected with the ministry of the Sacraments) is referred to in the address of the Ordinarius (fol. 67), which follows the lections from the pastoral Epistles and the Acts. "Here we learn, that to us who are called to be pastors and preachers is committed a watch and ward, not over unreasoning beasts, cattle or sheep, but over the Church of the living God which He has purchased with His own blood, that we should feed and govern it with God's pure Word, and diligently give heed that wolves--that is, false teachers, come not in to hurt." Compare with this the sentence from S. Peter, with which the form closes.

Then follows the question: "Will you now in the name of God the Holy Trinity take upon yourselves this ministry (tiensten) and priesthood?" Answer: "Yes." Then come other questions as to the devotion of all powers of soul and body to the exercise of the office, to the preaching of the doctrine of reconciliation for wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption, setting a good example, etc. Then the Ordinarius says to them:--

"God comfort and strengthen you to this always. Amen. And I, by the authority entrusted to me on God's behalf by His Church for this purpose, commit to you the priest's office, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen."

Then the Ordinarius alone, or with the other priests who are present, immediately lays both his hands on their heads, saying. Let us pray. "Our Father, which art in heaven. Hallowed," etc. Then after "Our Father" he reads the following collect:--

"O eternal and merciful God, dear heavenly Father, thou who through thy mouth of thy beloved Son our Lord Jesus Christ, hast said to us: 'The harvest is great and the labourers are few. Pray ye, therefore, the Lord of the harvest that He will send forth labourers into His harvest,' with which word thou givest us to understand that we cannot elsewhere receive orthodox and faithful teachers than of thy gentle hand. Wherefore we now beseech thee with all our hearts, that thou wouldest graciously look upon these thy servants, whom we have chosen and taken to this ministry and priest's office, giving them thy Holy Spirit, that they may truly and effectually carry out thy holy work, teach and punish with all meekness and wisdom. So that thy holy Gospel may ever remain among us pure and uncorrupt, and may bear us the fruit of salvation and eternal life. Through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord. Amen."

Last, in conclusion, the Ordinarius gives the ordinati S. Peter's word, saying:--

"Go and feed Christ's flock, and have the care thereof, not of constraint, but willingly, not for filthy lucre's sake, but of good will, not as lords over His people, but as patterns to the flock, and when the chief shepherd shall appear ye shall receive the unfading crown of glory. Amen."

When all this is completed, the Ordinarius begins the song, "Now pray we the Holy Ghost," etc., and the whole choir sings it through so that it becomes the Introit of the Mass. Until the first verse is sung, all remain kneeling, then they take each one his place. When the time comes the ordinati go to Holy Communion.

Whoever ventures to exercise the priesthood, either in whole or in part, without being chosen or called thereto, or ordained by the bishops in the above manner, the same may be punished according to the school-law, that is to say, set in the stocks and then scourged (och sedan mista nudena), and thereafter expelled from the diocese.

Then follows a rule that the bishop is to give an incumbent a letter to the rural dean, or some neighbouring clerk, so that he may be publicly inducted into his parish on some holiday.

Changes in the Ordination of Priests in 1686 and later.

Later changes in 1686, 1809, 1881 and 1894 are given in some detail by the Bishop of Marquette in his recent volume, The Church of Sweden and the Anglican Communion, pp. 35-40, 1910, to which we have already referred. We will, however, add something to his account of the changes of 1686. The form is not yet given in full, but is described in Chapter XXII. of the Church Law and Order of Charles XI., printed in 1687. It is headed Om sätt til at ordinera Präster. In it the two words Prediko-embet and Prest-embet are used side by side as synonymous. The latter was doubtless retained in the old prayer of 1571 about the labourers and the harvest, which is not quoted but only referred to. On the other hand, the law says: "Then the Ordinator gives the Prediko-embet in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, and, along with the priests present, lays hands on their heads while 'Our Father' is read.'' Then the ordained are exhorted with the Apostle Peter's word to feed the flock of Christ. Then follows the benediction and a hymn. And then the ordained receive letters of priest's orders (präster-bref) from the bishop to have evidence of their lawful election and consecration (wijgzel). If anyone shall dare to use the priest's office without being elected, or called, or ordained after this manner by the bishop he will be punished by the Consistorium." Chapter XXIII. describes quite a different ceremony--How a lawfully called Rector may be installed.

In the service for ordination the bishop is to wear a cope, the assistants their usual vestments, the ordinands surplices. There is, however, an omission of the direction as to communion--which is, of course, to be regretted as a needless break with ancient usage. As this book of 1686 was not a Prayer Book, but a Church law, we may suppose that the service of 1571 was really used, without alteration, in all its parts.

The really serious break, however, occurred in the new Prayer Book of 1809, published (1811) with a preface by Archbishop Lindblom in the period of neology. The word Prediko-embet--"ministry"--is here actually substituted for Prest-embet--"priestly office." This is a well-known blot upon the Swedish ordinal. It is, however, to be pointed out (1) that two words had long been considered synonymous, as we have seen in the books of 1571 and 1686, and they are so treated in Swedish dictionaries and in Swedish literature; (2) that the word priest is used freely in the other services of the book of 1811; (3) that in this service the intention of the Church is shown by the vesting of the man to be ordained in the chasuble, after the commission to office, and before the laying on of hands and Lord's Prayer. As the chasuble is so closely connected with the Liturgy, the act of vesting a man in it is practically a commission to administer the Sacrament; (4) the Augsburg Confession is also perfectly clear that the (proper) work of the ministry is to minister the Word and Sacraments, and that it is confined to the clergy, rightly chosen and called.

It is curious that even in the book of 1809, just after the form of ordination, is found this heading: "Announcement and prayer, which, after the sermon, just before the Lord's Prayer, is read from the pulpit, the day when the ordination of priests (prest-wigning) shall occur.

The ordinal of 1881 made one step in the way of improvement, and while it kept the term Prediko-embet it added the question of which the words in italics are important for our purpose: "Will you steadfastly abide in God's pure Word, flee all false and heretical doctrine, rightly preach Jesus Christ according to God's Word and administer the Holy Sacraments according to His institution?"

The ordinal of 1894 has the title of Ordination to the priesthood, and the word Prediko-embet is throughout changed to Prest-embet. Strange to say, the question introduced in 1881 has been removed, and another, very good in itself, substituted for it, but one that contains no reference to the ministry of the Sacraments.

The vesting in Chasubles (Mässkrudar) is prescribed, after the delivery of the office and the hymn to the Holy Spirit, and before the laying on of hands and the Lord's Prayer. The Lord's Prayer is followed by a final prayer, based on that of 1571, and by the sentence from S. Peter and a blessing.

Consecration of Bishops in 1571.

The form of consecrating bishops is found in Chapter 27 of the K. O. of 1571, entitled Sett til at ordinera Biscopar, or Sett til at ordinera en wahld Biscop, fols. 78 b foll. On a Sunday or other holy day, before Mass begins, the ordinandus episcopus comes before the altar wearing an alb and choir cope, with two clergy of the diocese to which he is to be ordained. The ordinator makes an allocution, asking prayers for the man elected to the bishop's office. When this is done all kneel down, and the Litany is sung by two little choristers, then the ordainer says two collects, followed by the Epistle and Gospel, and a brief exposition, and by questions to the candidate, including, "Wilt thou, in the Name of God the Holy Trinity, take up this service and bishop's office?" To which the answer is: "Yes."

After the promises, the ordinandus makes confession of his faith in the words of the Nicene Creed. To this the ordinator says: "To this and everything good the Lord God comfort and strengthen thee. Amen." There was no specific delivery of the bishop's office in this form.

Then the choir sang Sint lumbi vestri praecincti, etc., and the ordinator, with the other bishops or priests who were present, laid their hands on the head of the ordinand, the ordinator first saying "Our Father, which art in heaven," etc. And then he adds the prayer which occurs in the ordination of priests, and begins, "O Eternal and Merciful God, dear Heavenly Father," etc., as in the ordination of presbyters. This prayer has been already printed. It was, of course, necessary for the ordinator to change the words "this ministry and priest's office" into "this ministry and bishop's office," and we have evidence that was done, as the form is given at length by Laurelius, Bishop of Vesterås, which may be found in the second volume of the Kyrko-ordingar före 1686, Part I., p. 342 (Stockholm, 1881), and in Sven Baiter's Historiska Anmärkningar om Kyrko-ceremonierna, Section 15, p. 669, and Note 21, in the edition of Örebro, 1838. This prayer is very important, as it is the "form" in this service. We may remark that the first edition of Baiter's books was published in 1762, though it was written some time before that.

Consecration of Bishops in 1686 and later.

In the Handbook of 1686, chapter 2, page 148, we find a section, Om sätt til ordinera en waald biskop. In this there is a definite gift of the Biskops-embet, "in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost."

This form has been strengthened by the specifying of the archbishop as consecrator, and the mention of three or four bishops as assistants.

In the Handbook of 1809 we first find the title, "How a bishop shall be set (inställas) in his office," but it is quite clear that this is the same service as the previous ones (which tell us how a bishop-elect shall be ordained), and the word inställa was only used, because, as a matter of fact, a bishop was always ordained to a particular diocese, and had no other installation than his consecration. The form of delivery of the office is also sufficient, though it had an Erastian tinge, which has, happily, now been removed. After the questions and oath, the archbishop said: "God Almighty strengthen and help thee to keep all this; and I, according to the authority committed to me on God's behalf by His Church, for this purpose, deliver here with to thee the Royal Commission, and also the bishop's office in that diocese, and I fix on thy breast this memorial of Jesus Christ (a pectoral cross) for a continual reminder that it is His precious doctrine of reconciliation thou must preach and keep holy; and I give thee also this staff, as a token of thy right and reminder of thy duty, to guide and govern the flock now committed to thee, and this I do, in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen. May the Most High grant that this may tend to thine own eternal salvation, and that of those entrusted to thee ! We will for this pray God, from whom every good and perfect gift cometh, as we now unite our petitions in the prayer our Saviour has taught us."

The archbishop and assistants now vest the bishop in a cope, whereupon they lay their hands upon the bishop's head, and the archbishop prays, "Our Father, which art in heaven." Thereafter the mitre is put on, and the archbishop concludes the service.

Everyone will regret the prominence given in 1809 to the Royal Commission, but it cannot be held to have invalidated the action.

In 1881 this sentence was used at the delivery of office: "God Almighty strengthen and help thee to keep all this, and, according to the authority which is entrusted to me, on God's behalf, by His Church, for this purpose, I commit to thee herewith the bishop's office in that diocese, in the Name, etc." The Royal Commission was still given, but no longer mentioned, and the use of the bishop's cross, cope and pastoral staff was continued.

Then followed the laying on of hands and the Lord's Prayer, then the putting on of the mitre, and then a prayer taken, with slight alterations from the English ordinal. It is the prayer which begins in English, "Almighty God and Most Merciful Father, who of Thine infinite goodness," etc.

The ordinal for bishops, in use since 1894, is the same as in 1881, minus the oath. We may mention that the word inställas is practically glossed in the preliminary rubric to the present service by the use of invigas (consecrated) as its precise equivalent.

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