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Stephens' Book of Common Prayer, from the Irish MS. in the Rolls' Office, Dublin. Ecc. Hist. Soc.
The Lord's Table the Christian Altar. 1843.
A.D. Liturgy of Cassian and Leo (see p. 147] .
circ. Sacramentary of St. Leo
590 St. Augustine’s revised Liturgy of Britain (see pp. xvii. 147] .
. . circ. 600 Salisbury Use of St. Osmund ,
. 1085 English Prymer. [Maskell's Mon. Rit. Ang. ii.]
circ. 1390 Liber Festivalis. [A book of mediæval English Homilies, printed by Caxton.] .
1483 Salisbury Breviary reformed. [1st ed.] . . Mirror of our Lady. [A translation of and commentary on the daily Offices and the Mass.] . 1530 Salisbury Breviary reformed. [2nd ed.] .
. 1531 Missal
. 1533 English Psalters printed .
15341540 Marshall's Prymer
. 1535 English Epistles and Gospels printed .
. 1538—1548 Hilsey's Prymer . .
. . 1539 The “Great Bible" set up in Churches as the “Authorized Version” .
. 1540 Salisbury Use further reformed, and adopted (by order of the Convocation) throughout the Province of Canterbury
1541 Committee of Convocation commissioned to revise Service-books .
1542-1549 English Litany ordered for use in Churches
June 11, 1544 King Henry the Eighth's Prymer . .
. 1545 Archbishop Hermann’s Consultation [German, 1543 ; Latin, 1545], printed in English, 1547 ; reprinted . .
1548 Edward the Sixth's First Year .
. Jan. 28, 1546-7, to Jan. 27, 1547-8 English Order of Communion added to Latin Mass,Brought before Convocation
. Nov. 30, 1547 Taken into use ..
March 8, 1547-8 Book of Common Prayer. [First Book of Edward VI.]Submitted to Convocation (by Committee of 1542-9)
. Nov. 24, 1548 Laid before Parliament as part of Act of Uniformity [2 & 3 Edw. VI. c. 1] Dec. 9, 1548 Passed by the House of Lords
ditto Jan. 15, 1548-9 Commons ditto
ditto Jan. 21, 1548-9 Received Royal Assent. [Date not yet ascertained.] Published . .
March 7, 1548-9 Taken into general use .
June 9, 1549 Edward the Sixth’s Second Year .
. . Jan. 28, 1547-8, to Jan. 27, 1548-9 English Ordinal . .
. . . . . March, 1549-50 A.D. Book of Common Prayer. [Second Book of Edward VI.][Committee of Convocation commissioned, probably
. . 1551] Passed through Parliament as part of Act of Uniformity [5 & 6 Edw. VI. c. 1] Ap. 6, 1552 Ordered to be taken into use from
. Nov. 1, 1552 Edward VI, died
• July 6, 1553 Acts of Uniformity (including Prayer Books) repealed by 1 Mary, sess. ii., c. 2. . Oct. 1553 Queen Elizabeth's Accession ..
. Nov. 17, 1558 Edward VI.'s Second Book restored (with some alterations) by 1 Eliz., c. 2
. June 24, 1559 Queen Elizabeth's Latin Book of Common Prayer
. . 1560 Commission to revise Calendar and Lessons
· Jan. 22, 1561 Hampton Court Conference . .
Jan. 14—18, 1603-4 Scottish Book of Common Prayer
. . 1637 Prayer Book suppressed by “ordinance” of Parliament.
Jan. 3, 1644-5 Use of Prayer Book revived
June, 1660 Savoy Conference
April 15—July 24, 1661 Book of Common Prayer (that now in use] Commission to the Convocations to revise it
. June 10, 1661 Revision completed by Convocations
. Dec. 20, 1661 Approved by King in Council .
Feb. 24, 1661-2 Passed House of Lords as part of Act of Uniformity (14 Car. II.)
. April 10, 1662 -- Commons ditto
• May 8, 1662 Received Royal Assent
. May 19, 1662 Taken into general use .
. Aug. 24, 1662 Adopted by Irish Convocation . .
. Nov. 11, 1662 Standard copies certified under Great Seal
. Jan. 5, 1662-3 Embodied in Irish Act of Uniformity [17 and 18
. June 18, 1666 William the Third's Commission to review Prayer Book .
. 1689 Revised Calendar authorized by 24 Geo. II., c. 23
. 1752 American Book of Common Prayer
For more than two centuries the Book of Common Prayer has remained altogether unaltered, the last changes that were made in it being those which brought it into its present, and now venerable, form, in 1661. But the various stages of its development from the ancient formularies of the Church of England extended through a period of one hundred and fifty years; and the history of that development is of the highest importance to those who wish to understand and use the Prayer Book; as well as of considerable interest to all from the fact of its being an integral part of our national history.
The Church of England has had distinctive formularies of its own as far back as the details of its customs in respect to Divine Worship can be traced. The earliest history of these formularies is obscure, but there is good reason to believe that they were derived, through Lyons, from the great patriarchate of Ephesus, in which St. John spent the latter half of his life. There was an intimate connexion between the Churches of France and England in the early ages of Christianity, of which we still have a memorial in the ancient French saints of our Calendar; and when St. Augustine came to England, he found the same rites used as he had observed in France, and remarks upon them as differing in many particulars from those of Rome. It is now well known that this ancient Gallican Liturgy came from Ephesus'. But there can be no doubt that several waves of Christianity, perhaps of Apostolic Christianity, passed across our island; and the Ephesine or Johannine element in the ancient Prayer Books of the Church of England probably represents but the strongest of those waves, and the predominating influence which mingled with itself others of a less powerful character.'
It was in the sixth century (A.D. 596] that the great and good St. Augustine St. Augustine undertook his missionary work among the West Saxons. The mission seems to have and the
Liturgy. been sent from Rome by Gregory the Great, under the impression that the inhabitants of England were altogether heathen; and if he or Augustine were not unacquainted with what St. Chrysostom, St. Jerome, and others had said respecting the early evangelization of Britain, they had evidently concluded that the Church founded in Apostolic times was extinct. When Augustine arrived in England, he found that, although the West Saxons were heathen, and had driven the Church into the highlands of Wales by their persecution, yet seven bishops remained alive, and a large number of clergy, who had very strong views about the independence of the Church of England, and were unprepared to receive the Roman missionary except on terms of equality. The chief difficulty felt by St. Augustine arose from the difference just referred to between the religious system of Rome (the only Church with which he was acquainted) and those of France and England. This difficulty, a great one to a man so conscientious and simple-minded, he submitted to Gregory in the form of questions, and among them was the following one on the subject of Divine Worship :-“Whereas the Faith is one, why are the customs of Churches various ? and why is one manner of celebrating the Holy Communion used in the holy Roman Church, and another in that of the Gauls ?” This diversity becomes even
See Palmer's Origines Liturg., i. 153. Neale and Forbes' Gallican Liturgies. Freeman's Principles of Divine Service, ii. 399.
more prominent in the words which Augustine addressed to the seven Bishops of the ancient Church of England, when they met in conference at the place afterwards called St. Augustine's Oak. “You act," said he, “ in many particulars contrary to our customs, or rather, to the customs of the universal Church, and yet, if you will comply with me in these three points, viz. to keep Easter at the due time; to perform the administration of baptism, by which we are born again to God, according to the custom of the holy Roman and Apostolic Church; and jointly with us to preach the Word of God to the nation of the Angles, we will readily tolerate all your other customs, though contrary to our own.” The answer of St. Gregory contained wise and Catholic advice; and to it we owe, under Providence, the continued use of an independent form of Divine Worship in the Church of England from that day to the present. “You, my brother," said Gregory, “are acquainted with the customs of the Roman Church in which you were brought up. But it is my pleasure that if you have found any thing either in the Roman or the Gallican or any other Church which may be more acceptable to Almighty God, you carefully make choice of the same; and sedulously teach the Church of the Angles, which is at present new in the Faith, whatsoever you can gather from the several Churches. For things are not to be loved for the sake of places, but places for the sake of good things. Select, therefore, from each Church those things that are pious, religious, and correct; and when you have made these up into one body, instil this into the minds of the English for their Use.” [Greg. Opera, ii. 1151, Bened. ed. ; Bede's Eccl. Hist. i. 27.] The Liturgy of the Roman Church spoken of in this reply is represented by the ancient Sacramentary of St. Gregory, to which such frequent references are given in the following pages : that of the Gallican Church is also extant', and has been shown (as was mentioned before) to be the Liturgy of the Church of Ephesus. The words “any other Church” might be supposed to refer to an independent English Liturgy, but there is no reference to any in the question to which Gregory is replying, and he evidently knew nothing of England except through Augustine. From other writers it seems that the Liturgy of England before this time had been the same with that of France; but the native clergy always alleged that their distinctive customs were derived from St. John.
Being thus advised by St. Gregory, the holy missionary endeavoured to deal as gently as possible with those whose customs of Divine Worship differed from his own; but his prepossessions in favour of the Roman system were very strong, and he used all his influence to get it universally adopted throughout the country.
Uniformity in all details was not, however, attainable. The national feeling of the ancient Church steadily adhered to the ancient rite for many years; while the feeling of the Church founded by St. Augustine was in favour of a rite more closely in agreement with that of Rome. As collision was the first natural consequence of this state of things, so some degree of amalgamation as naturally followed in course of time; that which was local, or national, mingling with that which was foreign in the English devotional system, as it did in the English race itself. Some attempts were made, as in the Council of Cloveshoo [A.D. 747], to enforce the Roman Liturgy upon all the dioceses of the country, but it is certain that the previous devotional customs of the land had an exceedingly tenacious hold upon the clergy and the people, and that no efforts could ever wholly extirpate them'.
At the time of the Conquest another vigorous attempt was made to secure Salisbury.
0" of uniformity of Divine Service throughout the country, and with the most pious
intentions. Osmund, Bishop of Salisbury, and Chancellor of England, remodelled the Offices of the Church, and left behind him the famous Portiforium or Breviary of Sarum, containing the Daily Services; together with the Sarum Missal, containing the Communion Service; and, probably, the Sarum Manual, containing the Baptismal and other “occasional ” Offices. These, and some other Service-books, constituted the “Sarum Use,” that is, the Prayer Book of the Diocese of Salisbury. It was first adopted for that diocese in A.D. 1085, and was introduced into other parts of England so generally that it became the principal devotional Rule of the Church of England, and continued so for more than four centuries and a half : "the Church of Salisbury," says a writer of the year 1256, “ being conspicuous above all other Churches like the sun in the heavens, diffusing its light every where, and supplying their defects." Other Uses continued to hold their place in the dioceses of Lincoln, Hereford, and Bangor, and through the greater part of the province of York; though in the diocese of Durham the Salisbury system was followed. At St. Paul's Cathedral, and perhaps throughout the
? See Maskell's Ancient Liturgy, Preface, p. liv.
i See the names Menard, Muratori, and Mabillon, in the List of Authorities,