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A Rationale upon the Book of Common Prayer
by Anthony Sparrow, D.D.

London, 1672.

Of the Ornaments to be used in Divine Service.

THe Minister in time of his ministration shall use such Ornaments as were in use in the 2. of Edw. 6. Rubr. 2. viz. A Surplice in the ordinary Ministration, and a Cope in time of Ministration of the holy Communion, in Cathedral and Collegiate Churches, Qu. Eliz. Artic. set forth the seventh year of her reign. This appointment of decent sacred vestments for the Priest in his holy ministration is according to Gods own direction to Moses. Exod. 28. 2. Thou shalt make holy raiments for Aaron and his Sons, that are to minister unto me, that they may be for Glory and Beauty. And good reason: For if distinct habits be esteem'd a Beauty to solemn actions of Royalty and Justice, so that Princes and Judges appear not without their Robes, when they appear in publick to do those solemn acts; shall they not be esteemed a Beauty likewise to solemn religious services? Or shall it be thought necessary to preserve respect and awe to Royalty and Justice? and shall it not be counted as necessary to preserve an awful respect to Gods holy service and worship? And if such respect to Gods service be indeed necessary, then cannot sacred distinct vestments, nor sacred separate places be thought unnecessary: For by these and such like decencies, our awe to Religion is preserved: and experience teaches, that where they are thrown off, Religion is soon lost.

White Garments in holy services, were anciently used, S. Chrys. Hom. 60. ad pop. Antioch. and they suit fitly with that lightsome affection of joy wherein God delights, when the Saints praise him, Psal. 149. 2. and lively resemble the glory of the Saints in heaven, together with the beauty, wherein Angels have appear'd to men, Rev. 15. 6. S. Mark 16. 5. that they which are to appear for men in the presence of God as Angels, if they were left to their choice and would choose, could not easily devise a garment of more decency for such a service, saies excellent Master Hooker.

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