We deny to claim "any Superiority to ourself
to defyne, decyde, or determyn any Article or Poynt
of the Christian Fayth and Relligion,
or to chang any Ancient Ceremony of the Church
from the Forme before received and observed
by the Catholick and Apostolick Church."

Norman Simplicity

Norman Simplicity
Click image for original | © Vitrearum (Allan Barton)

Saturday, January 24, 2015


If the following is true, then it explains a lot about the strong feeling of error when I experience such rites. Back to 1549 and the Nonjurors. Or, at least, the superior Scottish 1929.


The Order for the Lord's Supper in the 1662 Prayer Book is substantially that of the Second Prayer Book of 1552 with some modifications. In the 1552 Prayer Book all references to the Offertory were omitted. The Penitential Preparation-the First Exhortation, the Second Exhortation ("Ye that do truly repent...") the General Confession, the Absolution, and the Comfortable Words, were moved to a position before the Canon, or Prayer of Consecration; "the Canon was so rearranged as to exclude the remotest possibility of its being interpreted as a propitiatory sacrifice for the living and the dead." The versicle and response "The Lord be with thee" "And with thy spirit," with its association with the doctrine of Transubstantiation, was dropped from the Sursum Corda. The Intercession was moved to a position where it had no connection with the Consecration, and the Prayer for the Dead was omitted. The Invocation of the Holy Spirit, or epiclesis, with its implication of a mutation of the elements and its affirmation of a corporal presence in the consecrated bread and wine was replaced with a petition that those receiving the bread and wine, in accordance with Christ's institution, in remembrance of his death and passion, might be partakers of Christ's Body and Blood. The Prayer for Humble Access was moved from its 1549 position before the distribution of the consecrated elements to a position immediately after the Sanctus where it could not be referring to the consecrated bread and wine. The phrase "in these holy mysteries" in the Prayer of Humble Access was omitted. The Benedictus with its implication of a corporal presence of Christ's Body and Blood in the bread and wine was stricken out after the Sanctus. The 1552 Prayer Book also did away with the anamnesis of 1549. The Lord's Prayer was placed after the Communion. The sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving and the oblation of "ourselves, our souls, and bodies" were reworded and placed after the Communion where they could not be associated in the minds of the people with the Medieval doctrine of the sacrifice of the Mass (or any other doctrine of Eucharistic sacrifice) and where they served as " a response to the grace made known in the sacrament but no part of the sacramental action itself."


At the urging of Bishop Seabury the 1789 General Convention of the fledgling Protestant Episcopal Church adopted the 1764 Scottish Communion Office with some important changes. The changes that the 1789 General Convention made to the 1764 Scottish Communion Office included the omission of the offering up of the bread and wine at the offertory and the versicle and response, “The Lord be with you” “And also with thy spirit” from the Sursum Corda. Both of these liturgical elements were associated with the doctrines of eucharistic sacrifice and Transubstantiation. The General Convention restored the word "there" in the Scottish Prayer of Consecration to "who made there (by his one oblation of himself once offered) a full, perfect, and sufficient sacrifice, oblation, and satisfaction for the sinnes of the whole world, and did institute, and in his holy gospel command us to continue a perpetuall memory of that his precious death and sacrifice, untill his coming again." The General Convention omitted the decidedly realist language of the epiclesis with its petition that the bread and the wine might "become" the Body and the Blood of Christ. The Prayer for the Church Militant was restored to the 1552 position between the offertory and invitation to confession; the Lord’s Prayer to the 1552 position after the distribution of the communion; the invitation to confession, the general confession, the absolution, and the comfortable words to the 1552 position immediately before the Sursum Corda; and the Prayer of Humble Access to the 1552 position immediately after the Sanctus. The ending of the Scottish Prayer for the Church Militant was replaced with that of the 1662 Prayer for the Church Militant. The rubric “And when he receiveth himself, or delivereth the sacrament of the body of Christ to others, he shall say…” was changed to “And when he delivereth the Bread he shall say….” The Words of Administration were replaced with those from the 1559 Prayer Book. All these changes were adopted to bring the Communion Office closer to the 1662 Communion Service, as well as to eliminate any further liturgical elements associated with the doctrines of eucharistic sacrifice and Transubstantiation.

Consequently, any attempt to "establish the Order for the Lord's Supper in the 1662 Book of Common Prayer as normative" is going to present a problem, from my humble perspective.

1 comment:

  1. I go with the auld Scottish canon, if I must. What were those people afraid of, that the bread and wine might actually be the real Body and Blood of Christ? After all he said that they were (cf. Gospel of John).
    Now that I'm Orthodox I just stick with the Anaphora of John Chrysostom. Much easier, I think. No perambulations around the Mystery, poking at it and crawling under it to see if it's 'real'.
    Rdr. James Morgan