Project Canterbury

An Order for the Celebration of the Holy Eucharist in Accord with Early Tradition and the Book of Common Prayer

Washington, D.C.: The St. Albans Press, 1947.

The Historical Introduction in this book has been written and a modified Order for the Service of Holy Communion has been compiled by Stephen A. Hurlbut, in anticipation of the four hundredth anniversary of the First English Book of Common Prayer, 1549.

The Service proposed herein is not authorized for use in public worship.

THE eucharistic liturgy herewith presented for the consideration of the Church is both conservative and radical: conservative because it follows in general outline as well as in language the Anglican liturgies; radical because it aims to restore, as far as is suitable under modern conditions, the use of the early church. In accomplishing this, certain alterations in the order of the present American rite have been introduced, as will be explained in this introduction.

Modern liturgical scholarship has clearly shown that the traditional eucharistic rite of catholic Christendom is the result of the fusion of two services, distinct in origin and originally separate in use: (1) The Synaxis (called also Pro-anaphora, Mass of the catechumens, or Ante-communion) at which others than the baptized faithful were present. This Synaxis was derived from the public worship of the synagogue, and consisted at first of Scriptural readings, Psalms, and Prayers, with some kind of Exhortation or Sermon. (2) The Eucharist proper, in which only the faithful could take part. This specifically Christian worship was, of course, immediately derived from the words and acts of Christ at the Last Supper. The fusion of the two parts was finally completed when, after the nominal conversion of the Greco-Roman world in the fourth-fifth century, the adult catechumenate virtually disappeared and the need for separation was no longer felt.

The Pre-Nicene Eucharist (i. e., without the Synaxis) was a single, clear, swift action of corporate worship in which clergy and laity each had a part to play, and it consisted of these four movements only, Offertory, Eucharistic Prayer, Fraction, and Communion, recalling exactly our Lord’s acts at the Last Supper with His disciples, as recorded by St. Paul and in the Gospels: “He took bread, blessed or gave thanks (synonymous terms), broke, and gave it to those present. This is what Gregory Dix (The Shape of the Liturgy) has happily called ‘the four-action shape of the liturgy.’

The actual supper, coming according to Jewish custom between the blessing over the bread and the thanksgiving over the wine, was very early dropped from the church’s Eucharist, and survived as a common meal of Christian love and friendship, the Agape, until various abuses connected with it led to its final abolition in the second and third centuries.

It is one purpose of the service here presented to propose the restoration of two of these four actions which have been either lost or obscured in the Anglican rite, the Offertory and the Fraction. Another departure from the primitive conception of the Eucharist is the loss of corporate action by the whole body of the Church. Slowly through the centuries, the Eucharist has tended to become more and more an action of the celebrant at the altar, with which the laity have little more to do than to look and listen, until they make their individual communions. The various Reformation rites hardly went farther than the substitution of the vernacular for Latin, an important gain indeed, but one which still fell short of the goal. This form of the service suggests a number of ways by which the people may take a more active part in the worship.

So much for general principles; now for an explanation of particular changes and modifications.

To begin with the latest addition to the older pattern of the liturgy—a prescribed Devotional Preparation (12-16 cent.). The Confiteor of the Sarum use, intended for the priest and his ministers, had been reduced by Cranmer to the Lord’s Prayer and the Collect for Purity, but to that he added in 1552 a new devotional preparation intended for the people. This employed a form of the Decalogue with inserted Kyries, for which the Summary of the Law with Kyrie may now be substituted. The form here proposed combines elements of both traditions. However, the recitation of the Commandments, now seldom heard, has been made optional.

During the fifth century, the old Synaxis, which had begun simply with readings from the Scriptures, received at Rome an Introduction of four prefixed elements. These were of Eastern origin, and their purpose was the same all over Christendom, to strengthen the elements of worship in the Synaxis and to adapt it to the needs of the new public worship. “We find that in adopting elements of the Eastern Introductions, the Roman and the other Western churches freely exercised their own taste and judgment.” (Dix, p. 469.) At Rome the order was, Introit (during the bishop’s processional entry), Litany (at first diaconal with responses by the people; later, 600 A. D., limited to the Kyries), Hymn (Gloria in excelsis), Greeting and Collect. At Milan: Introit (called ‘Ingressa’), Gloria (or a Litany, in Lent), Kyrie, Greeting and Collect; while the Gallican rite employed the Benedictus instead of the Gloria; and in the East the Trisagion (not to be confused with the Ter-Sanctus) took the place of the Gloria, which remained an Office hymn with them. It would seem, therefore, that there is nothing sacrosanct or obligatory in the arrangement of the introductory elements. In the arrangement here proposed, the Kyrie becomes the concluding element of the Preparation, leaving the Hymn (Gloria, or other Psalm or Canticle, according to the season) to follow the Introit, in case that is sung, which is by no means common among us. Inasmuch as these introductory elements were Eastern in origin, there is no good reason why we cannot also employ the solemn and beautiful music of the Greek Trisagion.

The Lections, at first from the Old Testament only, were soon extended to include portions of the apostolic letters as they circulated among the churches, and, somewhat later, selections from the Gospels. The Prophecy long maintained its place, as it still does on certain days in the Roman rite. It seems desirable for two reasons that it should be used, at least on certain occasions, when such passages prepare for, or throw light on the other readings. And, secondly, unless the Old Testament has some place in the eucharist, it is practically lost to many congregations where the eucharist is the chief service of the Sunday. For very seldom is the rubrical permission made use of (Prayer Book, p. 10), by which an Old Testament lesson may precede Holy Communion. Some kind of Psalm or Hymn properly alternates with the Lections, and the Benedictus (Song of Zacharias) is most appropriate to mark the transition from the Old to the New Covenant, especially when the correct reading is used in v. 78, ‘whereby the day-spring from on high shall visit us.’

Some special ceremony should certainly mark the proclamation of the Holy Gospel, and the ancient procession with torch-bearers (and incense?) from the altar to the lectern or pulpit, or to the front of the choir, is most desirable.

From its varying position in the historic liturgies the ‘Nicene’ Creed betrays its late entrance into the eucharist. Used first in the East as a protest and corrective against the Arian heresy, it spread first to Spain and Gaul, for the same reason, and did not reach Rome until the eleventh century. Even so it is limited in the Roman rite to Sundays and great feasts. Despite the prevalence of numerous heresies today, the Creed need not be obligatory at every celebration, even on week days and at early services, and when used, it ought to be sung by the people as well as by the celebrant and choir.

Our next proposal is highly controversial. As matters now stand, the Collection of money, and the ‘solemn procession’ to the altar rails, with the subsequent ‘elevation’ of the alms is the high point of ritualistic ceremonial in many parishes, while the actual Offertory of the bread and wine for the communion is obscured and outshone by the preceding ceremony. Not only that, but its relegation to a brief rubric (p. 73 of the Prayer Book) and its great separation from the eucharistic dialogue and prayer with which it ought to be closely connected tend to destroy for the average layman its true significance. What this service proposes is a separate Collection of the money, carried out with a minimum of ceremonial, and, later on, in the correct position, a true liturgical offertory.

The Intercessions (Prayer for Christ’s Church) are the present equivalent of the ancient ‘Prayers of the Faithful,’ which originally came at the end of the Synaxis, just after the catechumens had been dismissed. “When the fusion of Synaxis and Eucharist was completed, they came to be regarded as opening devotions of the Eucharist, but the earlier evidence is clear enough that they were originally the conclusion of the Synaxis and not the beginning of the Eucharist.” (Dix, p. 46). By the end of the fifth century these prayers became either a diaconal litany or were incorporated in the Canon.

In 1549 Cranmer left the Intercessions, much rewritten, within the Canon where he found them; but in 1552 he put them after the sermon, where they have remained ever since. Of this change Gregory Dix says, “The Intercessions may have been placed here in deference to primitive precedent, but it is not easy to see how, from the materials available at the time, Cranmer could have been aware that the primitive intercessions came at this point. It is more likely that he was influenced by the Continental Protestant rites. Their primitive position in our rite may thus be only a happy accident, which was somewhat marred when in 1662 an offertory was awkwardly inserted before them.” (p. 660). In commenting on the ‘long monologue’ by the celebrant, he says, “Our method is the product of that excessive clericalism of the later middle ages, whose conception of public worship was riveted upon the Anglican devotional tradition by the mistakes of the sixteenth century, and which we now take for granted.” (p. 45). It would therefore seem desirable, not merely to retain the Intercessions in their present place, but to arrange them in a quasi-litany form with brief biddings by the officiant, and with responses by the people, thus emphasizing to some degree once more their corporate character. And for the same reason they could very well be recited from a litany desk in the body of the church. Greater flexibility and adaptability to the needs of the day can also be secured by permitting the insertion of additional and special petitions within their general framework. By such changes as these the ‘long monologue’ will become more truly the ‘Prayers of the People.’

It is unfortunately the practice in many parishes today to provide a pause during which those may withdraw who feel that they cannot remain for the Communion.’ Such a voluntary withdrawal somewhat resembles the obligatory dismissal of the non-faithful in pagan times; and it seems that the logical place now-a-days for such a break (if it needs must be) is just after these general Intercessions, and before the action of the Eucharist proper begins with the Offertory. Parishes accustomed to an unbroken service will simply disregard this permissive rubric altogether.

With the Liturgical Offertory we reach the beginning of the Eucharistic action, in which the people anciently had their proper share in the corporate worship. While such a corporate Offertory can hardly, under modern conditions, be restored, yet it is highly desirable that the laity be given some active participation in offering the bread and wine; at least a token offering can be arranged, such as is described in The Parish Communion, and other works inspired by the Liturgical Movement. In addition to the offering of the elements, there is another aspect of the Offertory to be considered, and that is the self-oblation of the Church in its members. “Each communicant from the bishop to the newly confirmed gave himself under the forms of bread and wine to God, as God gives Himself to them under the same forms. ... In this self-giving the order of the laity no less than that of the deacons or the high-priestly celebrant had its own indispensable function in the vital act of the Body.” (Dix, p. 117).

In the Prayer Book of 1552, although the oblation of bread and wine was omitted, the Offertory received an altogether new development, to which Gregory Dix calls attention (p. 662 and 692). By placing the Exhortation, Confession, Absolution, etc. in the position of the old offertory prayers, Cranmer intended to show that in and through these devotions the people offered themselves to God as a sacrifice of praise, and in so doing prepared themselves for a worthy reception of the holy mysteries. “Cranmer’s replacement of the offering of bread and wine (inseparably connected with the idea oiself-offering by the people’s oblations at the altar) by his new expression of self-offering in these devotions was later (in 1662) obscured by the intercessions intervening between the restored offering of the elements and the Confession, etc. I do not think most people now regard these devotions as a self-oblation, as Cranmer intended.” (Dix, p. 692).

To express such a combined offering of the elements and of those who offer them, the older exhortations in the Prayer Book no longer seem applicable, and a recasting of the ideas has here been attempted, drawn from a variety of sources; and the integration of the two aspects is brought out more clearly in the short Offertory Prayer which links the offering closely with the Eucharistic Prayer immediately following.

The earliest recorded Eucharistic Prayer (which is the second part of the four-action shape) in Hippolytus of Rome (c. 215 A.D.) is a series of ‘Thanksgivings’ which may very well have been a Christian rewriting of the Jewish thanksgiving (berakah) over the ‘cup of blessing’ at the Last Supper. These Thanksgivings, for Creation, Incarnation, and Redemption, lead up to the Institution Narrative, after which follows the offering of the bread and the cup in obedience to Christ’s command, and a prayer for the effects of communion (Dix, p. 158 and 162). The whole prayer was introduced by the dialogue ‘Let us give thanks,’ eucharistomen, whence eucharistia.

But when the Preface and Sanctus came into use (first in Egypt, then in Syria and the East, later in Rome), these tended to displace all or a part of the old Thanksgiving series. At Rome the Sanctus, with which the variable Prefaces were associated (fifth century), was placed early in the Prayer after a very brief opening passage. Our Prayer Book has inherited this Roman use practically unchanged: hence we still say ‘Let us give thanks’ but precious little is left of the Thanksgivings. “It is usual to regard the Preface and Sanctus as a peculiar development of the thanksgiving series opening of the prayer. But the fact remains that it appears in practice not as a development of it but as an alternative to it, as a sort of liturgical cuckoo, which ends by taking the place of the thanksgivings whenever it is admitted into the prayer.” (Dix, p. 219). Inasmuch as the liturgical tradition has varied so much in different parts of catholic Christendom, it is difficult to say how far we should go in restoring the Thanksgivings. The minimum would seem to include at least a thanksgiving for creation and God’s providence under the Old Covenant, and the fundamental facts of the New Covenant, the Incarnation and Redemption. Whatever wording is used, should be kept general in tone, in order not to anticipate too closely the particular details of the Proper Prefaces.

It is true, if we regard the Proper Preface as an intrusion, that the Sanctus should theoretically and logically conclude the thanksgiving for God’s mercies under the Old Covenant, as Dr. Walter Lowrie has argued (The Lord’s Supper and the Liturgy, p. 32 and 35), and as I had formerly proposed under the influence of his arguments. But if, as we have seen above, the real intruder is not the variable Western Preface alone but rather the Sanctus, the difficulty remains, and cannot be avoided, unless we rearrange rather violently the first half of the Prayer before the Institution. The form here suggested seeks to retain more of the primitive element of thanksgiving, which is, by its very name, the essential part of ‘eucharist,’ without displacing the Western type of Preface and Sanctus, to which was early added the Benedictus qui venit.

The Narrative of the Institution occupies the central or pivotal position in the Eucharistic Prayer, as being the authority for what is done by the church in the eucharist, and “it is the function of the second half of the prayer, following the Narrative, to define the meaning of what is done; it relates it to what was done at the Last Supper; it looks back to the Offertory and expresses in words the meaning of that, and it looks forward to the Communion and prays for the effects of that.” In thus putting into words the meaning of the eucharistic action as a whole, “the Eastern rites concentrate on ‘consecration,’ and the Western on ‘oblation at the heavenly altar.’ Both aspects are of equal antiquity.” (Dix, p.228.) These two leading ideas of oblation and consecration, being intimately related aspects of the one eucharistic action, are, in the form here proposed, more close bound together than in our traditional form. It should, of course, be remembered that “the offertory of the bread and wine is not the eucharistic oblation itself, any more than the Last Supper was itself the sacrifice of Christ. It is directed to that oblation as its pledge and starting point, just as the Last Supper looks forward to Calvary.” (p. 118.) Therefore a prayer in the Offertory (Text, p. vi) must not refer to the elements as if they were already ‘consecrated,’ as the late medieval offertory prayers of the Roman Mass do. But here in the eucharistic prayer itself, in conjunction with the Epiclesis of the Holy Spirit, the elements may fittingly be called ‘the Bread of eternal life, and the Cup of everlasting salvation,’ after which follows the prayer for the communicants’ worthy reception of ‘His most blessed Body and Blood.’ Because the self-offering of the members has already been made at the Offertory, it is not repeated in the concluding paragraph, which does however continue to dwell on the benefits of communion, and includes a reference to Christ as Great High Priest, by whom the Church’s worship is” presented at the heavenly altar.

The Fraction (the third part of the four-action shape of the Liturgy) properly follows the Eucharistic Prayer immediately, and so it was originally. The Lord’s Prayer, which in the Roman rite disturbs the primitive order, was a relatively late insertion in the liturgy, later at Rome than in the East. It is found first at Jerusalem and in Africa in the fourth century, later in Spain and Gaul, in which liturgies it follows the fraction and precedes the communion. When Pope Gregory I inserted it in the Roman form, he placed it between the end of the Eucharistic Prayer and the Fraction, (or, according to some authorities, he moved it forward to that position from some later place), considering it apparently as an appended part of the great prayer. The Fraction, now reduced to a simple breaking of the sacred Host in the Roman rite, occurs during the ‘embolismus,’ or conclusion to the Lord’s Prayer. However, Milan, for a time, inserted the Lord’s Prayer within the Eucharistic Prayer before the Doxology. In order, then, to preserve the primitive sequence, it seems allowable to take this Milanese order as a precedent, and to treat the Lord’s Prayer as a concluding portion of the Eucharistic Prayer. In so doing we can avoid also the double Doxology, or rather the two Doxologies may be combined. And because many have felt a strong repugnance to the boldness of the wording ‘We are bold to say,’ probably because the modern English ‘bold’ carries with it overtones of impudence which are lacking to the Latin ‘audemus dicere,’ perhaps the form here suggested (from Heb. 4.16, 10.19, and Eph. 3.17) may not be too bold an alteration.

Following the Fraction came the Giving of the Peace, to which late position the pre-Nicene Kiss of Peace had been transferred in most rites, and, in conjunction with the Peace, a Blessing by the bishop of the intending communicants. In 1549 Cranmer retained the Peace but discarded the Blessing, although it was still found in the Sarum and other Western uses. Moreover, when in 1552 Cranmer’s original pre-communion set of devotions were removed to the place of the Offertory (as we have explained) the short Prayer of Humble Access was oddly enough inserted just after the Sanctus. Now that it has regained its old place before the Communion, it may justly be considered as the Anglican equivalent of the Episcopal Blessing (Parsons and Jones, The American Prayer Book, page 214).

The short anthem at the Fraction is reduced from that in the Stowe Missal. At Rome Pope Sergius (c. 700) ordered Agnus Dei (an importation from the East) to be sung during the Fraction, but in later Roman use it came to be used during the Communion, and the First English Book so ordered. Now that the error, in 1552, of trying to fuse it with the Gloria has been corrected, the Agnus may be, and quite generally is sung during the communion of the clergy, while the people are waiting. Under our present rubric a hymn may be sung.

Attention should also be called to a small but important change in the wording of the Prayer of Humble Access. This is done to meet a well-founded objection to the words ‘that our sinful bodies may be made clean by his Body, and our souls washed through his most precious Blood.’ In this connection Gregory Dix says (p. 611, footnote), “The idea that the sacrament was instituted under both kinds, the Body for our bodies and the Blood for our souls, though it is grounded on no warrant of holy scripture, is a fairly common speculation among medieval theologians. Cranmer held strongly to this notion (cf. the Order of Communion, 1548). But there is no particular reason why people should be made to pray medieval speculations in a Reformed church.”

It seems fitting that some words of Invitation should be given just before the beginning of the Communion, corresponding in a way to the ‘Holy things for holy people’ of the Eastern and some Western liturgies. The third of the three forms here suggested comes from the English Book of 1928.

The words of Administration, in harmony with the older liturgies and the Book of 1549, are kept purposely as short and simple as possible; in fact Hippolytus has an even shorter formula, The heavenly bread in Christ Jesus.’ Here the reference to the ‘heavenly bread’ is found in the first sentence of the Invitation.

The Communion of the clergy and the people is the fourth and last part of the four-action shape of the pre-Nicene Eucharist, and it properly ended the rite, except for the brief formula of dismissal by the deacon. But just as pre-communion devotions developed before it, so post-communion prayers came after it. It was probably in the fifth century that a brief thanksgiving or post-communion collect was added at Rome, and not much later a commendatory prayer ‘over the people’ came into use. Cranmer’s admirable Thanksgiving is a new composition, the last portion of which partakes of the nature of a commendatory prayer. It seems desirable that the Thanksgiving should be introduced by some such sentence as that in the English Revised Book of 1928.

A formal Blessing after the Communion, instead of the bishop’s blessing before the Communion, is not found in any early rite; the brief blessing which follows the dismissal in the modern Roman rite is of late medieval growth, and did not find its way into the Sarum use. “Coming after communion, as the ancient church understood communion, a solemn blessing would have been an anti-climax... There is a certain ‘clericalism’ about reinforcing communion with a priestly blessing.” (Dix, p. 669.) Nevertheless, it would not now be wise to omit Cranmer’s form to which the people have been accustomed these four hundred years; and it should be noted that this blessing is also our dismissal formula, according to the rubric, The Priest shall let them depart with this Blessing, a rubric which, alas, is seldom obeyed in practice.


Four members of the congregation who have been chosen beforehand (if possible a man and a woman, a boy and a girl) go to this credence table at the west end of the church, and while the congregation are saying the offertory prayer, carry the people’s offerings of bread and wine to the altar rail, where they are received by the servers and handed to the celebrant for presentation at the altar. Such a procession helps the people to realise the significance of the Offertory, by giving it a visible dramatic form. It has the additional value of giving a share in the action of the worship to a greater number of the laity, who need not all be of the male sex. The Parish Communion, p. 276.

It was at a service in St. Giles’ Cathedral, Edinburgh, that he [Bishop Azariah] first saw the bread and wine for the Communion brought in as part of the people’s offering, and years later he instituted this as a feature of the service in Dornakal Cathedral. Carol Graham, Azariah of Dornakal, p. 16.

The corporate Confession with its public Absolution within the Liturgy should be integrated specifically with the Offertory. For the Confession and Absolution are necessary in order that the bread and wine of the Divine Community may be brought to the Altar. ..’. The Absolution is really Our Lord’s atoning response whereby He perfects the offerings of His Community for a succeeding reception into the content of His risen Body and Blood. .. . At the same time, of course, and through this very reperfection of the Offertory, the communicants are also adequately prepared for their Holy Communion at the later point of the Liturgy after the Consecration. F. Hastings Smyth, Discerning the Lord’s Body, p. 205.

An Offertory Prayer from the Leonine Sacramentary.

O Lord, we beseech thee in thy mercy to hallow these gifts. Accept the oblation of a spiritual sacrifice, and make ourselves an eternal offering to thee, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Evelyn Underhill, Eucharistic Prayers, p. 40.

Thou art a priest forever.

Thou standest at the Altar,
Thou offerest every prayer;
In faith’s unclouded vision
We see thee ever there.

Out of thy hand the incense
Ascends before the throne,
Where thou art interceding,
Lord Jesu, for thine own.

And, through thy Blood accepted,
With thee we keep the Feast;
Thou art alone the Victim,
Thou only art the Priest.

We come, O only Saviour,
On thee, the Lamb, we feed;
Thy Flesh is Bread from heaven,
Thy Blood is drink indeed.

E. W. Eddis, 1863.


Synaxis (Ante-communion)
Devotional Preparation (of priest and people)
Invocation, Psalm 36, Versicles & responses, Collect for purity, Decalogue or Summary of the Law, Kyries.

Introit; Hymn (Gloria, etc.); Greeting; Collect(s)

Lections, Psalmody, Intercessions:
[Old Testament; Benedictus Dominus Deus Israel]
Epistle; Gradual and Alleluia
Creed, Sermon, Collection of alms
Intercessions (Litany form)

Eucharist (The four-action shape of the liturgy)

(1) Offertory (of the elements and the people):
Offertorium chant
Exhortation, Confession, Absolution
Offertory prayer

(2) Eucharistic Prayer:
(a) The Thanksgivings: for Creation, Providence, and Redemption;
[Proper Preface]; Sanctus and Benedictus;
(b) Purpose and Narrative of the Institution of the Lord’s Supper;
(c) Memorial-oblation; Invocation; Purpose and benefits of Communion; The Lord’s Prayer
(d) Doxology; The people’s Amen.

(3) Fraction (of the consecrated Bread):
Confractorium anthem;
Giving of the Peace; Prayer for peace (optional)

(4) Communion:
Prayer of humble access;
Invitation; Administration;
Thanksgiving and Dismissal (Blessing)

An Order for the Celebration of the Holy Eucharist in accord with Early Tradition and the Book of Common Prayer


The Priest, with his Ministers, standing at the entrance to the choir, shall begin.


Antiphon. I will go unto the altar of God.
Response. Even unto the God of my joy and gladness.

¶ Then shall be said alternately by the Priest and the people:

GIVE sentence with me, O God, and defend my cause against the ungodly people: O deliver me from the deceitful and wicked man.
For thou art the God of my strength; why hast thou put me from thee: and why go I so heavily, while the enemy oppresseth me?
O send out thy light and thy truth, that they may lead me: and bring me unto thy holy hill, and to thy dwelling. That I may go unto the altar of God: even unto the God of my joy and gladness.
Why art thou so heavy, O my soul: and why art thou so disquieted within me?
O put thy trust in God: for I will yet give him thanks, which is the help of my countenance, and my God.

Antiphon. I will go unto the altar of God.
Response. Even unto the God of my joy and gladness.

V. Our help is in the name of the Lord.
R. Who hath made heaven and earth.
V. O Lord, hear my prayer.
R. And let my cry come unto thee.
V. The Lord be with you.
R. And with thy spirit.
Priest. Let us pray.

ALMIGHTY God, unto whom all hearts are open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hid; Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of thy Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love thee, and worthily magnify thy holy Name; through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Here may be rehearsed The Ten Commandments, but when they are not said, the Priest shall say

The Summary of the Law

Hear what our Lord Jesus Christ saith.

THOU shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it: Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.


After which Summary shall be said or sung:

Kyrie eleison. or Lord, have mercy.
Christe eleison. Christ, have mercy.
Kyrie eleison. Lord, have mercy.

Here, as the Priest enters within the sanctuary, may be sung

The Introit (for the day)

Then, all standing, shall be said or sung the

The Hymn, Gloria in Excelsis

GLORY be to God on high, and on earth peace, good will towards men. We praise thee, we bless thee, we worship thee, we glorify thee, we give thanks to thee for thy great glory, O Lord God, heavenly King, God the Father Almighty.
O Lord, the only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ; O Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father, that takest away the sins of the world, have mercy upon us. Thou that takest away the sins of the world, receive our prayer. Thou that sittest at the right hand of God the Father, have mercy upon us.
For thou only art holy; thou only art the Lord; thou only, O Christ, with the Holy Ghost, art most high in the glory of God the Father. Amen.

or other Psalm, Canticle, or Hymn, proper to the day or season, such as the Venite (at any time), De Profundis (in Lent), Pascha Nostrum (Easter), Te Deum (Trinity, and Festal occasions), Magnificat (Feasts of the Blessed Virgin Mary), or the Trisagion.

HOLY God, Holy and mighty, Holy and immortal, have mercy upon us.
HOLY God, Holy and mighty, Holy and immortal, have mercy upon us.
HOLY God, Holy and mighty, Holy and immortal, have mercy upon us.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: both now, and ever, and world without end. Amen.

The hymn being ended, the Priest shall give

The Salutation

Priest. The Lord be with you.
Answer. And with, thy spirit.
Priest. Let us pray.

The Collect (or Collects) of the day

Lections, Creed, Sermon, Alms

Then shall be read, in the Seasons appointed, a Lesson from the Old Testament, called

The Prophecy

¶ After which may be sung the Canticle

Benedictus Dominus Deus Israel

Then shall be read a Lesson from the writings of the Apostles.

The Epistle

During the singing of The Gradual (or a Hymn) the Gospel Procession will move to the pulpit or ambon for the reading of

The Holy Gospel

preceded by Glory be to thee, O Lord.
and followed by Praise be to thee, O Christ.

Then, on the days appointed, shall be said or sung

The Nicene Creed

After which shall follow the Sermon and the Collection of Alms.

The Sermon

The Collection of Alms

The Sermon ended, the Priest, or one of the Ministers, shall announce to the people the collection of their alms, saying one or more of these sentences.

Remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, it is more blessed to give than to receive.

To do good and to distribute, forget not; for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.

Ye shall not appear before the Lord empty; every man shall give as he is able, according to the messing of the Lord thy God which he hath given thee.

An Anthem or Hymn may be sung while the alms are being collected and brought forward to the Sanctuary, and when they are received by the Minister appointed thereto, he may say one or both of these sentences.

Thine, O Lord, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty; for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O Lord, and thou art exalted as head above all.

Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory, and honour, and power; for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.

Then the Priest, or Deacon, kneeling where the Litany is usually said, shall begin the Prayers of the People, as follows.

The Lord be with you.
Answer. And with thy spirit.

Let us pray for the whole state of Christ’s Church.

ALMIGHTY and everliving God, who by thy holy Apostle hast taught us to make prayers, and supplications, and to give thanks for all men; We humbly beseech thee to inspire continually thy holy Catholic Church with the spirit of truth, unity, and concord; and grant that all those who do confess thy holy Name may agree in the truth of thy holy Word, and live in unity and godly love.

Grant this, we beseech thee, O Lord.

Let us pray for our Bishops and other Clergy.

Give grace, O heavenly Father, to all Bishops, Priests, and other Ministers, that they may, both by their life and doctrine, set forth thy true and lively Word, and rightly and duly administer thy holy Sacraments.

Grant this, we beseech thee, O Lord.

Let us pray for the President of the United States, and all in civil authority.

Most heartily we beseech thee, with thy favour, O Lord, to behold and bless thy servant The President of the United States; grant to him, and to all in authority, wisdom and strength to know and to do thy will; fill them with the love of truth and righteousness, and make them ever mindful of their calling to serve this people in thy fear.

Grant this, we beseech thee, O Lord.

Additional and special petitions may be inserted here.

Let us remember in our prayers the faithful departed.

Finally, we yield unto thee most high praise and hearty thanks for the wonderful grace and virtue declared in all thy saints, [and especially in Saint —, whom we commemorate today]; and we also bless thy holy Name for all thy servants departed this life in thy faith and fear, beseeching thee to grant unto them eternal rest where the light of thy countenance never faileth; and to give us grace so to follow their good examples, that with them we may be partakers of thy heavenly kingdom.

Grant this, O Father, for Jesus Christ’s sake, our only Mediator and Advocate. Amen.

¶ During the singing of a Hymn, an opportunity of withdrawing from the church may be given to those who are unable to remain for the Communion.

The Liturgical Offertory

Offertory Chant (Proper for the Day)

During the singing of the Offertorium the Oblations of bread and wine are to be brought in, and placed upon the altar.

¶ It is greatly to be desired that, in accord with early Christian practice, the People be given some share in offering the bread and wine for the Communion.

¶  After which the Priest begins the


DEARLY beloved in the Lord, forasmuch as we are now assembled to celebrate the memorial of our redemption, which Christ our Saviour hath instituted and ordained for us, it is fitting that we should acknowledge and confess before God our sins and offences, with a humble, lowly, penitent, and obedient heart, to the end that we may obtain forgiveness of the same. Wherefore let us beseech our heavenly Father to grant unto us his Holy Spirit and the assurance of his mercy; that we, approaching him with a pure heart and undefiled conscience, may offer unto him a sacrifice in righteousness, and duly celebrate these holy mysteries to the glory of his Name.

¶ Then shall the Priest and the people together, kneeling, say

The General Confession

ALMIGHTY God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Maker of all things, Judge of all men; we confess unto thee, before the whole company of heaven, and in the presence of this congregation, that we have sinned in thought, word, and deed, through our own most grievous fault. Have mercy upon us, most merciful Father; For thy Son our Lord Jesus Christ’s sake, forgive us all that is past; and grant that we may ever hereafter serve and please thee, in newness of life, to the honour and glory of thy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

¶ Then the Priest alone, standing and turning to the people, shall, in God’s Name, declare and pronounce unto them the following

Absolution or Remission of Sins

THE Almighty and merciful God, who so loved the world that he sent his only-begotten Son Jesus Christ our Lord into the world to save sinners; Have mercy upon you; pardon and deliver you from all your sins; confirm and strengthen you in all goodness; and bring you to everlasting life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

¶ The Priest shall then offer the bread and wine which are to be consecrated, saying this

Offertory Prayer

ALMIGHTY God and heavenly Father, who receivest the sacrifice of praise from those that call upon thee with their whole heart, receive us also, who offer and present unto thee ourselves, our lives and labors; and we beseech thee graciously to behold these our oblations of bread and wine, which we here set forth before thee, in token that we are thine; for all things come of thee, O Lord, and of thine own have we given thee; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Great Eucharistic Prayer

Here, all standing, the Priest shall say,

The Lord be with you.
Answer. And with thy spirit.
Priest. Lift up your hearts.
Answer. We lift them up unto the Lord.
Priest. Let us give thanks unto the Lord our God.
Answer. It is meet and right so to do.

IT IS very meet, right, and our bounden duty, that we should at all times, and in all places, give thanks unto thee, Holy Lord, Father Almighty, Everlasting God:

Who didst create the heavens and the earth, and all that therein is; who madest man in thine own image, and whose tender mercies are over all thy works:

We bless thee, we worship thee, the Father everlasting; and we give thanks to thee, for all thy mercies known to us, for all unknown; but chiefly are we bound to praise thee for thy great love in the redemption of the world by Jesus Christ our Lord:

Here shall follow the Proper Preface for the day.

[Proper Preface for Easter]

And for his glorious Resurrection from the dead: for he is the very Paschal Lamb, which was offered for us, and hath taken away the sin of the world; who by his death hath destroyed death, and by his rising to life again hath restored to us everlasting life.

Therefore with Angels and Archangels, and with all the company of heaven, we laud and magnify thy glorious Name; evermore praising thee, and saying,

¶ Priest and People.

Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of hosts, Heaven and earth are full of thy glory: Glory be to thee, O Lord Most High.

¶ Here may be added:

Hosanna in the highest: Blessed is he that cometh in the Name of the Lord: Hosanna in the highest.

Then, the People kneeling, the Priest shall say the

Prayer of Consecration and Oblation

ALL GLORY AND THANKSGIVING BE unto thee, Almighty God, our heavenly Father, for that thou, of thy tender mercy, didst give thine only Son Jesus Christ to suffer death upon the Cross for our redemption; who made there, by his one oblation of himself, a full and perfect sacrifice for the sins of the whole world; and did institute, and in his holy Gospel command us to continue, a perpetual memory of that his precious death and sacrifice, until his coming again:

FOR in the night in which he was betrayed, he took Bread; and when he had given thanks, he brake it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, Take, eat, this is my Body, which is given for you; Do this in remembrance of me. Likewise, after supper, he took the Cup; and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of this; for this is my Blood of the New Covenant, which is shed for you, and for many, for the remission of sins; Do this, as oft as ye shall drink it, in remembrance of me.

WHEREFORE, O Lord and heavenly Father, according to the institution of thy dearly beloved Son our Saviour Jesus Christ, and in remembrance of his blessed passion and precious death, his mighty resurrection and glorious ascension, we thy humble servants do celebrate and make here before thee the memorial thy Son hath commanded us to make. And we beseech thee, O merciful Father, to hear us; and, of thy almighty goodness, vouchsafe to bless and sanctify, with thy Word and Holy Spirit, these thy gifts, which we now offer and present before thee, the Bread of eternal life, and the Cup of everlasting salvation: and grant that we, and all others, who shall be partakers of these holy mysteries, may worthily receive his most blessed Body and Blood.

The Lord’s Prayer and the Fraction

AND we earnestly desire thy fatherly goodness to grant that this our sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving may be brought to thine Altar on high; and that we, and all thy Church, through the merits and mediation of thy Son, our great High Priest, may be filled with thy grace and heavenly benediction, obtain remission of sins, confirmation of faith, and everlasting life. And although we are unworthy to offer unto thee any sacrifice, yet we beseech thee to accept this our bounden duty and service; not weighing our merits, but pardoning our offences, through Jesus Christ our Lord:

In whom and by whom we thy children may boldly come to the throne of the heavenly grace, and call upon thee, as he hath commanded and taught us, saying,

The Lord’s Prayer

¶ Priest and people together:

OUR FATHER, who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy Name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, On earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, As we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, But deliver us from evil.

The Priest alone pronounces the Doxology.

For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory; through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, by whom, and with whom, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all praise, honour, and thanksgiving be unto thee, O Father Almighty, world without end. Amen.

The Fraction

¶ During the singing of the Confractorium Anthem, the Priest shall break the consecrated Bread.

Let thy merciful kindness, O Lord, be upon us: like as we do put our trust in thee.
They knew the Lord, alleluia, in the breaking of bread, alleluia.
Let thy merciful kindness, O Lord, be upon us: like as we do put our trust in thee. Alleluia.

Then the Priest shall give the Peace, to which he may add the Prayer for Peace following.

The Peace of the Lord be ever with you.
Answer. And with thy spirit.
Priest. Let us pray.

O Lord Jesus Christ, who saidst unto thine Apostles, Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you; Regard not our sins, but the faith of thy Church; and grant to it that peace and unity which is according to thy will, who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen.

Prayer of Humble Access

Then shall he, kneeling down, say this Prayer following.

WE do not presume to come to this thy Table, O merciful Lord, trusting in our own righteousness, but in thy manifold and great mercies. We are not worthy so much as to gather up the crumbs under thy Table. But thou art the same Lord, whose property is always to have mercy. Grant us therefore, gracious Lord, so to partake of the most precious Body and Blood of thy dear Son Jesus Christ, that we, being cleansed from all iniquity of body and soul, may be made one body with him, that we may evermore dwell in him, and he in us. Amen.

The Administration

Then shall the Priest first receive the Holy Communion himself; and when he showeth the Sacrament to the People, he may say one or more of these Sentences of Invitation.

Draw near with faith, and take this holy Sacrament to your comfort; and feed on him who is the living Bread which cometh down from heaven.

Seeing that we have a great High Priest, who hath entered into the Holy Place, let us draw near with faith, and take these holy Mysteries as pledges of his love.

Draw near and receive the Body of our Lord Jesus Christ which was given for you, and his Blood which was shed for you. Take this in remembrance that Christ died for you, and feed on him in your hearts with thanksgiving.

¶ And when the Priest delivereth the Bread, he shall say,

The Body of our Lord Jesus Christ preserve thy body and soul unto everlasting life.

And the Minister who delivereth the Cup shall say,

The Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ preserve thy body and soul unto everlasting life.

During the Communion time, Agnus Dei, or some proper Anthem or Hymn may be sung.


Thanksgiving and Dismissal

The Communion ended, the Priest and the People shall say the


the Priest first pronouncing,

Having now by faith received the precious Body and Blood of Christ, let us give thanks unto the Lord our God.

ALMIGHTY and everliving God, we most heartily thank thee, for that thou dost vouchsafe to feed us who have duly received these holy mysteries, with the spiritual food of the precious Body and Blood of thy Son our Saviour Jesus Christ; and dost assure us thereby of thy favour and goodness towards us; and that we are very members incorporate in the mystical body of thy Son, which is the blessed company of all faithful people; and are also heirs through hope of thy everlasting kingdom, by the merits of his most precious death and passion. And we most humbly beseech thee, O heavenly Father, so to assist us with thy grace, that we may continue in that holy fellowship, and do all such good works as thou hast prepared for us to walk in; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with thee and the Holy Ghost, be all honour and glory, world without end. Amen.

During the ablutions a Psalm or Hymn may be sung; after which the Priest shall let the People depart with this


THE Peace of God, which passeth all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God, and of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord: And the Blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, be amongst you, and remain with you always. Amen.

Note: The service set forth and described in these pages is thought of as an ideally complete Eucharist in its full form with music and choir, except that explicit directions as to the ceremonial use of incense, lights, etc. have purposely been omitted, that each parish may be free to follow its traditional practice in such matters. However, for early services and special occasions where a shorter form is desirable, this fuller form may properly be shortened by certain omissions, provided that, as the Preface to the Prayer Book says, “the main body and essential parts have still been continued firm and unshaken.”

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