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i The Ratification of the Book of Laying on of Hands upon those
Common Prayer.

that are baptized, and come to

% The Preface.

Years of Discretion.

3 The Order how the Psalter is ap 19 The Form of Solemnization of

pointed to be read.

Matrimony.

4 The Order how the Rest of the 20 The Order for the Visitation of

Holy Scriptures is appointed to the Sick.

be read.

21 The Communion of the Sick.

5 Tables of Lessons of Holy Scrip 22. The Order for the Burial of the

ture, to be read at Morning and Dead.
Evening Prayer throughout the 23 The Thanksgiving of Women
Year.

after Child-Birth, commonly cal-

6 The Calendar.

led, The Churching of Women.

ng Tables and Rules for the Move. 24 Forms of Prayer to be used at

able and Immoveable Feasts, to Sea.
gether with the Days of Fasting 25. A Form of Prayer for the Visi-
and Abstinence throughout the tation of Prisoners.
Year.

26 A Form of Prayer and Thanks-

8 Tables for finding the Holy Days. giving to Almighty God, for the

9 The Order for Daily Morning Fruits of the Earth, and all the .

Prayer.

other Blessings of his merciful

10 The Order for Daily Evening Providence.

Prayer.

27 Forms of Prayer to be used in

11 Prayers and Thanksgivings upon Families.

several Occasions, to be used be. 28 Selections of Psalms to be used

fore the two final Prayers of Morn instead of the Psalms for the Day,

ing and Evening Service.

at the Discretion of the Minister.

12 The Collects, Epistles, and Gos 29 The Psalter, or Psalms of David.

pels, to be used throughout the 30 Articles of Religion, as esta-

Year.

blished by the Bishops, the Cler-

13 The Order for the Administra. gy, and Laity of the Protestant

tion of the Lord's Supper, or Holy Episcopal Church in the Unitech

Communion.

States of America, in Convention,

14 The Ministration of Public Bap on the 12th Day of September, in

tism of Infants, to be used in the the Year of our Lord 1801.

Church.

31 The Form and Manner of Mak.

15 The Ministration of Private Bap ing, Ordaining, and Consecrating

tism of Children in Houses.

Bishops, Priests, and Deacons.

16 The Ministration of Baptism to 32 The Litany and Suffrages.

such as are of Riper Years, and 33 The Order for the Adminis-

able to answer for themselves. tration of the Lord's Supper, or

17 A Catechism; that is to say, an Holy Communion.

Instruction to be learned by every 34 The Form of Consecration of a

Person before he be brought to be

Church or Chapel.

confirmed by the Bishop.

35 An Office of Institution of Mi,

18 The Order of Confirmation, or nisters into Parishes or Churches.

b

THE

RATIFICATION

OF THE

BOOK OF COMMON PRAYER.

By the Bishops, the Clersy, and the Laity of the Protest

ant Episcopal Church in the United States of America, in C: invention, this 16th Day of October, in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty-nine.

THIS Convention, having in their present Session set forth A Book of Common Prayer, and Administration of the Sacraments, and other Riles and Ceremonies of the Church, do hereby establish the said Book: And they declare it to be the Liturgy of this Church; and require, that it be received as such by all the Members of the same: And this Book shall be in Use from and after the Ist Day of October, in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and ninety.

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IT is a most invaluable part of that blessed liberty wherewith

Christ hath made us free, that in his worship, different forms and usages may without offence be allowed, provided the substance of the faith be kept entire; and that, in every Church, what cannot be clearly determined to belong to Doctrine must be referred to Discipline; and therefore, by common consent and authority, may be altered, abridged, enlarged, amended, or otherwise disposed of, as may seem most convenient for the edi. fication of the people, according to the various exigencies of times and occasions.

The Church of England, to which the Protestant Episcopal Church in these States is indebted, under GOD, for her first foundation and a long continuance of nursing care and protection, hath, in the Preface of her Book of Common Prayer, laid it down as a Rule, that“ The Particular Forms of Divine Wor. ship, and the Rites and Ceremonies appointed to be used therein, being things in their own nature indifferent and alterable, and so acknowledged, it is but reasonable that, upon weighty and important considerations, according to the various exigencies of times and occasions, such changes and alterations should be made therein, as to those who are in places of authority should, from time to time, seem either necessary or expedient.

The same Church hath not only in her Preface, but likewise in her Articles and Homilies, declared the necessity and expediency of occasional alterations and amendments in her Forms of Public Worship; and we find accordingly, that, seeking to

keep the happy mean between too much stiffness in refusing, and too much easiness in admitting variations in things once advisedly established, she hath, in the reign of several Princes, since the first compiling of her Liturgy in the time of Edward the Sixth, upon just and weighty considerations her thereunto. moving, yielded to make such alterations in some particulars, as in their respective times were thought convenient; yet so as that the main body and essential parts of the same (as well in the chiefest materials, as in the frame and order thereof) have still been continued firm and unshaken.”

Her general aim in these different Reviews and Alterations hath been, as she further declares in her said Preface, to do that which, according to her best understanding, might most tend to the preservation of peace and unity in the Church; the procuring of reverence, and the exciting of piety and devotion in the worship of God; and, finally, the cutting off occasion, from them that seek occasion, of cavil or quarrel against her Liturgy.” And although, according to her judgment, there be not any thing in it contrary to the Word of God, or to sound,

doctrine, or which a godly man may not with a good conscience use and submit unto, or which is not fairly defensible, if allowed such just and favourable construction, as, in common equity, ought to be allowed to all human writings;" yet upon the principles already laid down, it cannot but be supposed, that further alteration would in time be found expedient. Accordingly, a commission for a review was issued in the year 1689: But this great and good work miscarried at that time, and the Civil Au. thority has not since thought proper to revive it by any new Commission.

But when in the course of Divine Providence, these American States became independent with respect to Civil Government, their Ecclesiastical Independence was necessarily included; and the different religious denominations of Christians in these States were left at full and equal liberty to model and organize their respective Churches, and forms of worship, and discipline, in such manner as they might judge most convenient for their future prosperity; consistently with the Constitution and Laws of their Country.

The attention of this Church was, in the first place, drawn to those alterations in the Liturgy which became necessary in the Prayers for our Civil Rulers, in consequence of the Revolution. And the principal care herein was to make them conformable to what ought to be the proper end of all such prayers, namely, that “Rulers may have grace, wisdom, and understanding to execute justice, and to maintain truth;" and that the People “ may lead quiet and peaceable lives, in all godliness and honesty.

But while these alterations were in review before the Convention, they could not but, with gratitude to God, embrace the happy occasion which was offered to them (uninfluenced and unrestrained by any worldly authority whatsoever) to take a further review of the Public Service, and to establish such other alterations and amendments therein as might be deemed expedient.

It seems unnecessary to enumerate all the different alterations and amendments. They will appear, and it is to be hoped, the reasons of them also, upon a comparison of this with the Book of Common Prayer of the Church of England. In which it will also appear, that this Church is far from intending to depart from the Church of England in any essential point of doctrine, disci. pline, or worship; or further than local circumstances require.

And now, this important work being brought to a conclusion, it is hoped the whole will be received and examined by every true Member of our Church, and every sincere Christian, with a meek, candid, and charitable frame of mind; without preju, dice or prepossessions; seriously considering what Christianity is, and what the truths of the Gospel are; and earnestly beseeching Almighty God to accompany with his blessing every endeavour for promulgating thein to mankind in the clearest, pinest, most affecting and majestic manner, for the sake of Jesus Christ, our blessed Lord and Saviour.

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