CESA Prayer Book

To download the CESA Prayer Book in PDF format please click here

 

Preface

 

In 1985 The Prayer Book Commission, appointed by Synod of the Church of England inSouth Africa, published experimental church services for trial use called “Worship ‘85”.  In 1990 Synod authorized the publication of the revised Worship ’85, together with other revised services.

 

These revisions were not in any way to change or alter the doctrine of the church of the character of its services but to make them more congregational and contemporary.  Worship ’85 stated : “No doctrine or practices may be construed or based on the revised services, apart from those authorized by the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion and/or the Book of Common Prayer 1662”.  This statement applies to the 1992 Prayer Book of the CESA which is to be true to the historic position of the Church of England since the great Reformation of the Sixteenth Century.

 

Fundamental to that position is the doctrine clearly taught in scripture, that the bible is the word of God.  The church and its services are not above authority of scripture but subject to it.  As Article Twenty of the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion aptly states :

 

“It is not lawful for the Church to ordain anything that is contrary to God’s word written, neither may it so expound one written place of Scripture that it be repugnant to another”. 

 

The reasons why the church’s teaching must be biblical and none other are well explained by Article Six :

 

“Holy Scripture contains all things necessary to salvation, so that whatsoever is not read therein, nor may be proved thereby, is not to be required of any man, that it should be believed as an article of the faith or be thought requisite or necessary to salvation”.

 

As living faith leads to good works, so sound doctrine leads to true worship.  The doctrine of the Church of England led to the services of the Book of Common Prayer being biblical in content, continually quoting from and emphasizing the authority of God’s word.  It caused them to be congregational and visible instead of clerical and concealed, spiritual instead of mechanical, reverent, profound and orderly, yet intelligible, simple and evangelical.

 

Under God, the man principally responsible for these services was Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury, who died a martyr’s death in 1556.  His work was taken over by the Book of Common Prayer of 1662 which has stood the test of time ever since.

 

The aim of the 1992 Prayer Book of the Church of England inSouth Africais to follow in Archbishop Cranmer’s footsteps; to worship God biblically, to grow in the knowledge of his word and to seek his help in time of need.

 

 

The Lord’s Prayer

 

Either of these two versions of the Lord’s Prayer may be used.

 

 

Modern Version

 

Our Father in heaven,

hallowed be Your Name,

Your kingdom come,

Your will be done

on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins

as we forgive those who sin against us.

Lead us not into temptation,

but deliver us from evil,

For the kingdom, the power, and the glory

are Yours now and for ever.  Amen.

 

 

Traditional Version

 

Our Father, which art in heaven,

Hallowed by thy Name,

Thy kingdom come,

Thy will be done,

In earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread;

And forgive us our trespasses,

As we forgive them that trespass against us;

And lead us not into temptation,

But deliver us from evil.

For Thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory,

For ever and ever.  Amen.

 

 

 

 

Morning and Evening Prayer

 

First Form

 

The minister welcomes the congregation.

He announces the first hymn.

After the hymn has been sung, while the congregation remains standing, he reads one or more of these, or other suitable verses from the Bible, followed by the exhortation.

 

We have sinned and done wrong.  We have been wicked and rebelled; we have turned away from God’s commands and laws.  We have not listened to His servants the prophets, who spoke in His Name”.  Daniel 9:5 & 6.

 

I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me”.  Psalm 51:3.

 

Hide Your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity”.  Psalm 51:9.

 

Do not bring your servant into judgment, for no-one living is righteous before You”  Psalm 143:2.

 

Rend your heart and not your garments.  Return to the Lord your God, for He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and He relents from sending calamity”.  Joel 2:13.

 

The Lord our God is merciful and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against Him; and have not obeyed the Lord our God or kept the laws He gave us”.  Daniel 9:9 & 10.

 

The Kingdom of God is near.  Repent and believe the good news !”.  Mark 1:15.

 

I will set out and go back to my Father and say to him : Father, I have sinned against heaven and against You.  I am no longer worthy to be called Your son”.  Luke 15:18 & 19.

 

If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins, and purify us from all unrighteousness”.  1 John 1:8 & 9.

 

 

Exhortation

 

Dear friends, the scriptures urge us to acknowledge our wickedness before almighty God our heavenly Father and to confess our many sins to Him, that they may be forgiven through His infinite goodness and mercy in Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

 

We should always humbly admit our sins before God, but especially when we meet together to give thanks for the great benefits we have received from Him, to praise and worship Him, to hear His holy word and to ask what is necessary for our bodies and souls.  Therefore let us come before the throne of our gracious God and say together :

 

 

General Confession said together.

 

Almighty and most merciful Father,

we have strayed from Your ways like lost sheep,

we have left undone what we ought to have done,

and we have done what we ought not to have done.

We have followed our own ways and our own desires

and we have neglected and broken Your holy laws.

Have mercy on us Lord.

Restore those who repent and confess their sins

according to Your promises declare in Jesus Christ our Lord.

Grant, merciful Father, for His sake, that hereafter

we may live a righteous and obedient life,

to the glory of Your Holy Name. Amen.

 

 

Assurance of forgiveness said by the minister standing.

 

Almighty God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, does not desire the death of a sinner, but rather that he should turn from his wickedness and live.  He has given authority and commandment to His ministers to declare to His people that He pardons and forgives the sins of all who truly repent and believe His holy gospel.

 

Therefore, let us ask Him to grant us true repentance and His Holy Spirit, that we may please Him now, and that the rest of our life may be pure and holy so that at the last we may come to His eternal joy through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

 

The Lord’s Prayer said together.

 

Petitions said by minister and congregation responsively.

 

Lord, open our lips,

And we shall declare Your praise.

Lord, make speed to save us,

Make haste to help us, our God.

 

Gloria and praise said by minister and congregation responsively – all standing.

 

Glory, be to God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit;

      As in the beginning, so now and for ever.  Amen.

Let us praise the Lord

The Lord’s name be praised.

At morning prayer Psalm 95 and at evening prayer Psalm 98 is said or sung, or a suitable hymn or canticle.  The Gloria follows the psalm or canticle.

 

 

Psalm 95

1    O come let us sing out to the Lord:

let us shout in triumph to the rock of our salvation.

 

2    Let us come before His face with thanksgiving:

and cry out to Him joyfully in psalms.

 

3    For the Lord is a great God:

and a great king above all gods.

 

4    In His hand are the depths of the earth:

and the peaks of the mountain are His also.

 

5    The sea is His and He made it:

His hands moulded dry land.

 

6    Come let us worship and bow down:

and kneel before the Lord our maker.

 

7    For He is the Lord our God:

we are His people and the sheep of His pasture.

 

8    Today if only you would hear His voice:

‘Do not harden your hearts as Israel did in the wilderness;

 

9    ‘When your fathers tested Me:

put me to proof though they had seen My works.

 

10  Forty years long I loathed that generation and said:

“it is a people who err in their hearts

for they do not know My ways;”

 

11  ‘Of whom I swore in my wrath:

“They shall not enter My rest.”’

 

Glory to God : Father Son and Holy Spirit;

as in the beginning so now and for ever.  Amen.

 

 

Psalm 98

1    O sing to the Lord a new song:

For He has done marvellous things;

 

2    His right hand and His holy arm:

they have got Him the victory.

 

3    The Lord has made known His salvation:

He has revealed His just deliverance

in the sight of the nations.

 

4    He has remembered His mercy and faithfulness

towards the house of Israel:

and all the ends of the earth

have seen the salvation of our God.

 

5    Shout with joy to the Lord all the earth:

break into singing and make melody.

 

6    Make melody to the Lord upon the harp:

upon the harp and with the sounds of praise.

 

7    With trumpets and with horns:

cry out in triumph before the Lord the King.

 

8    Let the sea roar and all that fills it:

the good earth and those who live upon it.

 

9    Let the rivers clap their hands:

and let the mountains rings out together before the Lord;

 

10  For He comes to judge the earth:

He shall judge the world with righteousness

and the peoples with equity.

 

Glory to God : Father Son and Holy Spirit;

as in the beginning so now and for ever.  Amen.

 

 

The first reading from the Old Testament.

 

Both readings begin :

 

“Hear the Word of God as it is written in … chapter … verse …”

They conclude : “Here ends the (first/second) reading”.

 

One or more of the psalms appointed for the day is said or sung; or a suitable hymn or canticle.

 

The second reading from the New Testament.

 

The Apostles’ Creed said together – all standing.

 

I believe in God, the Father Almighty,

maker of heaven and earth,

and in Jesus Christ, his only Son our Lord,

who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,

born of the virgin Mary,

suffered under Pontius Pilate,

was crucified, He died and was buried.

He descended into hell.

The third day he rose again from the dead.

He ascended into heaven,

and is seated at the right hand of God,

the Father Almighty;

from there He shall come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit;

Christ’s holy universal church,

the fellowship of Christians,

the forgiveness of sins,

the resurrection of the body,

and the life everlasting.  Amen.

 

 

The General Supplication or Litany, page 25,

may follow here instead of the rest of the service.

 

Prayers said by minister and congregation responsively

 

Lord, have mercy on us,

and grant us your salvation.

Lord, guide and direct our rulers,

and mercifully hear our prayers.

Cover your ministers with righteousness,

and make your chosen people joyful.

Lord, save your people

and evermore bless your children.

Lord, give peace in our time,

for you only are our help and defence.

Lord, make us pure within,

and control us by your Holy SpiritAmen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Regular prayers and other suitable prayers may be added.

 

The Prayer for the day (pages 57-78)

 

Prayer for peace – morning

 

Lord, the creator of peace and harmony and giver of eternal life, whom to serve is perfect freedom, defend us your humble servants against all our enemies, that we, confident in your protection, may have no fear, through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

 

Prayer for help – morning

 

Lord, our heavenly Father, almighty and everlasting God, we bless you for bringing us safely to the beginning of this day; guard us in it by your mighty power from sin and danger; and may all that we do be in accordance with your holy will, through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

 

Prayer for peace – evening

 

Almighty God from whom come all holy desires, all good intentions and all right deeds; give to your servants that peace which the world cannot give; strengthen us to obey your commands and free us from the fear of our enemies that we may live our days in trust and quietness through the merits of Jesus Christ our Saviour.  Amen.

 

Prayer for help – evening

 

Lighten our darkness Lord we pray, and in your great mercy defend us from all perils and danger of this night, for the love of your only Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ.  Amen.

 

Prayer for those in authority

 

Almighty God, who rules over the nations of the world, we commend to your merciful care the people of this land, that being guided by your providence we may dwell secure in your peace.  Grant to the State President and to all in authority, wisdom and strength  to know and to do your will.  Fill them with the love of truth, justice and righteousness, that they may serve your people faithfully to your honour and glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

 

Prayer for clergy and people

 

Almighty and everlasting God send down your gracious Holy Spirit on our bishops and other ministers and all congregations of our church.  And, that they may truly please you, refresh and bless them continually, to the honour of our advocate and mediator Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

 

 

 

Prayer of St. Chrysostom said together

 

Almighty God, who has given us grace at this time with one accord to make our common supplications to you; and has promised that when two or three are gathered together in your name you will grant their requests :

fulfil now Lord the desires and petitions of your servants, as may be most expedient for them; granting us in this world knowledge of your truth, and in the world to come, life everlasting.  Amen.

 

The grace said together

 

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all evermore.  Amen.

 

Then follow :     The announcements

The hymn before the sermon

The sermon

The closing hymn

The blessing

 

 

 

Morning and Evening Prayer

 

First Form

 

The minister welcomes the congregation.

He announces the first hymn.

After the hymn has been sung, he reads one or more of these, or other suitable verses from the Bible.

 

This is the day that Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it”.  Psalm 118:24.

 

“Blessed be the Lord the God of Israel, for He has come to his people and set them free.  He has raised up for us a mighty Saviour.  Luke 1:68, 69.

 

Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty, the whole earth is full of His glory. Isaiah 6:3.

 

You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honour and power, for You created all things and by Your will they were created and have their being”.  Revelation 4:11.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The minister says:

 

Friends, we have come here to take part in the worship of God; to confess our sins to Him and to ask for His forgiveness; to thank Him for making us and protecting us; to praise Him for His love and mercy; to hear from His holy Word, and to pray for our needs and the needs of others.  But, first, let us confess our sins and say together:

 

Almighty God, heavenly Father, we confess that we have sinned against You, in our thoughts, words, and deeds and in what we have left undone.  Lord have mercy on us, forgive us our sins and help us that we may serve You better and please You more through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

 

Minister :                       Almighty God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, does not wish the death of a sinner, but that he should turn from sin and trust in Christ.  God’s word declares that He forgives the sins of all who truly repent and believe the Gospel.  God gave His Son Jesus Christ to die that we could be forgiven and have everlasting life through Him.  Let us therefore worship God saying :

 

Congregation :               Lord, we worship You for Your wonderful plan of Salvation and Your great love that while we were lost sinners Christ died for us to give us life.

 

Minister :                       Glory be to God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

 

Congregation :               As it was in the beginning, so now and for ever.  Amen.

 

 

Then Psalm 95 or Psalm 98 is said or sung or a suitable hymn or canticle.

 

Psalm 95

1    O come let us sing out to the Lord:

let us shout in triumph to the rock of our salvation.

 

2    Let us come before His face with thanksgiving:

and cry out to Him joyfully in psalms.

 

3    For the Lord is a great God:

and a great king above all gods.

 

4    In His hand are the depths of the earth:

and the peaks of the mountain are His also.

 

5    The sea is His and He made it:

His hands moulded dry land.

 

 

6    Come let us worship and bow down:

and kneel before the Lord our maker.

 

7    For He is the Lord our God:

we are His people and the sheep of His pasture.

 

8    Today if only you would hear His voice:

‘Do not harden your hearts as Israel did in the wilderness;

 

9    ‘When your fathers tested Me:

put me to proof though they had seen My works.

 

10  Forty years long I loathed that generation and said:

“it is a people who err in their hearts

for they do not know My ways;”

 

11  ‘Of whom I swore in my wrath:

“They shall not enter My rest.”’

 

Glory to God : Father Son and Holy Spirit;

as in the beginning so now and for ever.  Amen.

Psalm 98

1    O sing to the Lord a new song:

For He has done marvellous things;

 

2    His right hand and His holy arm:

they have got Him the victory.

 

3    The Lord has made known His salvation:

He has revealed His just deliverance

in the sight of the nations.

 

4    He has remembered His mercy and faithfulness

towards the house of Israel:

and all the ends of the earth

have seen the salvation of our God.

 

5    Shout with joy to the Lord all the earth:

break into singing and make melody.

 

6    Make melody to the Lord upon the harp:

upon the harp and with the sounds of praise.

 

7    With trumpets and with horns:

cry out in triumph before the Lord the King.

 

 

8    Let the sea roar and all that fills it:

the good earth and those who live upon it.

 

9    Let the rivers clap their hands:

and let the mountains rings out together before the Lord;

 

10  For He comes to judge the earth:

He shall judge the world with righteousness

and the peoples with equity.

 

Glory to God : Father Son and Holy Spirit;

as in the beginning so now and for ever.  Amen.

 

 

Then follows the reading from the Old Testament beginning

 

“Hear the Word of God as it is written in … chapter … verse …”

They conclude : “Here ends the first reading from God’s Word”.

 

Then follows the reading from the New Testament beginning

 

“Hear the Word of God as it is written in … chapter … verse …”

They conclude : “Here ends the second reading from God’s Word”.

 

After the second reading all stand and say the Apostles’ Creed.

 

 

Apostles’ Creed

 

I believe in God, the Father Almighty,

maker of heaven and earth,

and in Jesus Christ, His only Son our Lord,

who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,

born of the virgin Mary,

suffered under Pontius Pilate,

was crucified, He died and was buried.

He descended into hell.

The third day He rose again from the dead.

He ascended into heaven,

and is seated at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty;

from there He shall come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit;

Christ’s holy universal church;

the fellowship of Christians;

the forgiveness of sins;

the resurrection of the body,

and the life everlasting.  Amen.

 

 

 

The minister says :

 

Let us pray :

 

The Lord’s Prayer is said together.

 

The minister says the prayer for the day (pages 57-78)

The following prayers are said together.

Other suitable prayers may be included.

 

Prayer for our land

 

Almighty, everlasting God, bless our land, its rulers and people.  Grant that all of us may live in obedience to Your Word and follow after truth, righteousness and justice.  Lord, give peace in our time, to the glory of Your holy Name through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

Prayer for our church

 

Heavenly Father, you have called us to be living members of Christ’s holy church.  Bless the fellowship of the Church of England in Southern Africa, its bishops, other ministers and those in responsible positions.  Grant to all who belong to it sure faith in Your holy word and lives obedient to it.  May we always serve You and each other in prayer and love, through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

 

Prayer for all in need

 

Almighty, merciful Father, You have told us not to think of ourselves only, but to remember the needs of others.  We pray for all in want or need, for the sick in body or mind, for the poor and lonely, for those in distress and despair and for all who have strayed from Your way.

Merciful Lord, deliver them, strengthen and restore their faith, bless and help them through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

 

The grace

 

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all ever more.  Amen.

 

Then follow :

 

The announcements.

The hymn before the sermon.

The sermon.

The closing hymn (during which the collection may be taken).

The blessing.

 

Morning and Evening Prayer

 

Third Form

 

The minister welcomes the congregation.

He announces the first hymn.

After the hymn has been sung he says :

 

Friends, we have come here to worship God for His greatness, power and glory; to praise and thank Him for His goodness and love to us and especially for sending the Lord Jesus Christ to be our Saviour; to hear His holy word and to pray for His forgiveness, help and guidance.

 

The minister reads one or more of the following or other suitable verses from the Bible.  He says : Let us hear from the Word of God :

 

If you, Lord, kept a record of sins, Lord, who could stand ?  But with You there is forgiveness; therefore You are to be feared”.  Psalm 130:3-4.

 

“Seek the Lord while He may be found; call oh Him while He is near.  Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts.  Let him turn to the Lord, and He will have mercy on him, and to our God, for He will freely pardon  Isaiah 55:6,7.

 

“All have turned aside, they have together become corrupt, there is no one who does good not even one”.  Psalm 14:3.

 

“There is now no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus”  Romans 8:1.

 

“Do you now know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God ?  Do not be deceived : …”.  1 Corinthians 6:9.

 

“But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified by the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God”.  1 Corinthians 6:11.

 

“In the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires.  They will say “where is this ‘coming’ he promised ?”  But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect Him”.  2 Peter 3:10; Matthew 24:44.

 

The minister says :

 

Let us pray to Almighty God together

 

Almighty God, heavenly Father, we confess that we have failed You in our thoughts and words and deeds.  Because we are sinners by nature we have strayed from Your ways and not only have we done wrong but we have failed to do right.  Lord, You alone can forgive sin, have mercy on us, pardon our sins and help us to serve You not only with our lips, but with our lives, through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Minister :           Our heavenly Father has promised to forgive all those who truly repent and trust in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord and Saviour.  God’s word declares that they have been reconciled to Him by Christ’s death on the cross.  In Christ, and through faith in Him, we may approach God with freedom and confidence.  Christ has made peace between God and His people.

 

Minister :           Glory be to the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.

 

Congregation :   As it was in the beginning, is now and will be forever.  Amen.

 

Minister :           Sing to the Lord a new song.

 

Congregation :   For He has done marvellous things.

 

 

Then Psalm 103 (verses 1-14 or 1-22) or another suitable psalm, hymn or canticle is said or sung.

 

Psalm 103

1    Praise the Lord O my soul:

and all that is within me praise His holy name.

 

2    Praise the Lord O my soul:

and forget not all His benefits,

 

3    Who forgives all your sin:

and heals all your infirmities,

 

4    Who redeems your life from the Pit:

and crowns you with mercy and compassion;

 

5    Who satisfies your being with good things:

so that your youth is renewed like an eagle’s.

 

6    The Lord works righteousness:

and justice for all who are oppressed.

 

7    He made known His ways to Moses:

and His works to the children of Israel.

 

8    The Lord is full of compassion and mercy:

slow to anger and of great goodness.

 

9    He will not always be chiding:

nor will He keep His anger for ever.

 

10  He has not dealt with us according to our sins:

nor rewarded us according to our wickedness.

 

11  For as the heavens are high above the earth:

so great is His mercy over those that fear Him;

 

12  As far as the east is from the west:

so far has He set our sins from us.

 

13  As a Father is tender towards his children:

so is the Lord tender to those that fear Him.

 

14  For He knows of what we are made:

he remembers that we are but dust.

 

15  The days of man are but as grass:

he flourishes like a flower of the field;

 

16  When the wind goes over it it is gone:

and its place will know it no more.

 

17  But the merciful goodness of the Lord endures

for ever and ever toward those that fear Him:

and His righteousness upon their children’s children;

 

18  Upon those who keep His covenant:

and remember His commandments to do them.

 

19  The Lord has established His throne in heaven:

and His kingdom rules over all.

 

20  Praise the Lord all you His angels

you that excel in strength:

you that fulfil His Word

and obey the voice of His commandment.

 

21  Praise the Lord all you His hosts:

His servants who do His will.

 

22  Praise the Lord all His works

in all places of His dominion:

praise the Lord O my soul !

 

 

Then follows the reading from the Old Testament beginning

 

Both readings begin : “Hear the Word of God as it is written in … chapter … verse …”

They conclude : “Here ends the first reading from God’s Word”.

 

After the first reading the psalm or psalms for the day are read or sung or one of the canticles (pages 29 to 34) or a suitable hymn or choir item.

 

After the second reading all stand and say the Apostles’ Creed :

Apostles’ Creed

 

I believe in God, the Father Almighty,

maker of heaven and earth,

and in Jesus Christ, His only Son our Lord,

who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,

born of the virgin Mary,

suffered under Pontius Pilate,

was crucified, He died and was buried.

He descended into hell.

The third day He rose again from the dead.

He ascended into heaven,

and is seated at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty;

from there He shall come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit;

Christ’s holy universal church;

the fellowship of Christians;

the forgiveness of sins;

the resurrection of the body,

and the life everlasting.  Amen.

 

 

The minister says :

 

Let us pray :

 

The Lord’s Prayer is said together.

 

The minister says the prayer for the day

The following prayers are said together.

Other suitable prayers may be included.

 

Prayer for our land

 

Almighty, everlasting God, bless our land, its rulers and people.  Grant that all of us may live in obedience to Your Word and follow after truth, righteousness and justice.  Lord, give peace in our time, to the glory of Your holy Name through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

Prayer for our church

 

Heavenly Father, you have called us to be living members of Christ’s holy church.  Bless the fellowship of the Church of England in Southern Africa, its bishops, other ministers and those in responsible positions.  Grant to all who belong to it sure faith in Your holy word and lives obedient to it.  May we always serve You and each other in prayer and love, through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

 

 

 

Prayer for all in need

 

Almighty, merciful Father, You have told us not to think of ourselves only, but to remember the needs of others.  We pray for all in want or need, for the sick in body or mind, for the poor and lonely, for those in distress and despair and for all who have strayed from Your way.

Merciful Lord, deliver them, strengthen and restore their faith, bless and help them through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

 

 

Then follow :

 

The announcements.

The hymn before the sermon.

The sermon.

The closing hymn (during which the collection may be taken).

The blessing.

 

 

Prayers at Morning and Evening Prayer

 

For Parliament

 

Most gracious God, we humbly pray for the members of Parliament now assembled.  Be pleased to direct and prosper all their meetings; to the glory of Your Name, the upholding of Your laws, and the safety and welfare of our country.  Grant, that by their efforts, righteousness and freedom, truth and justice, may be confirmed and safeguarded for us.

 

This we ask in the Name of Jesus Christ, our most blessed Lord and Saviour. Amen.

 

For the Church

 

Almighty God, the great shepherd of Your people, bless those who are called to the ministry of Your Word and the congregations to whom they minister.  Fill them with Your truth and clothe them with holiness.  Give grace to our bishops and all other ministers that their lives and teaching will witness to Your true and living Word through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

 

For the extension of Christ’s Kingdom

 

God of all the nations of the earth, we pray to You to remember the multitude of men and women who, though created in Your image are ignorant of Your love.  Grant that by the witness of those who serve our Lord Jesus Christ wherever they minister Your Word, perishing souls may be saved, the whole church revived, and the Name of our Saviour magnified.  In Christ’s Name we ask it.  Amen.

 

 

For ourselves

 

Go before us Lord, in all our doings with Your most gracious favour, and grant us Your constant help, that in all our works, begun, continued and ended in You we may glorify Your Holy Name, and by Your mercy receive everlasting life, through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

 

At end of day

 

Be present, merciful God and protect us through the hours of this night, that we, who are wearied by the changes and chances of this fleeting world, may rest on Your eternal changelessness, through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

 

In time of disaster

 

Heavenly Father; we thank You for the reminder that power belongs to God and not to man.  Look in mercy on Your people, forgive our sins and give relief to all those suffering from the disaster of …  Grant also healing and restoration to Your wonderful creation to the praise of Your great Name.  Through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

 

A general intercession said by all

 

God, the creator and preserver of all mankind, we humbly implore You for all people everywhere, that You would be pleased to make Your ways known to them, Your saving power to all nations.

Especially we pray for Christ’s holy church, that it may be so guided and governed by Your Spirit, that all who call themselves Christians may be led into the way of truth, and hold the faith in unity of spirit, in the bond of peace, and in righteousness of life.

Finally, we commend to Your fatherly goodness all those who are in any way afflicted, or distressed, in mind, body or circumstances, especially those known to us, or for whom our prayers are asked, that it may please You to comfort and deliver them, according to their different needs, giving them patience in their sufferings, and a blessed end to all their troubles.  All this we ask in the Name of Jesus Christ.  Amen.

 

A general thanksgiving said by all

 

Almighty God, Father of all mercies, we Your unworthy servants give You most humble and hearty thanks, for all Your goodness and loving kindness to us and to all men.  We bless You for our creation, preservation, and all the blessings of this life.  But above all for Your immeasurable love in the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ, for the means of grace, and for the hope of glory.  Give us, we pray, such a deep sense of all Your mercies, that we may be truly thankful and praise You not only with our lips, but with our lives, by giving up ourselves to Your service, and by walking before You in holiness and righteousness all our days.  Through Jesus Christ, our Lord, to whom, with You and the Holy Spirit be all honour and glory for ever and ever.  Amen.

 

Blessing and worship

 

The Lord bless you and keep you, the Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you, the Lord turn His face towards you and give you peace.

Numbers 6:24-26

 

To Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever.  Amen.

Ephesians 3:20,21.

 

 

The General Supplication or Litany

 

To be said at morning and evening prayer.

The prayers in bold type are said by the congregation.

 

For mercy

 

God the Father, creator of all,

have mercy on us sinners.

God the Son, redeemer of the world,

have mercy on us sinners.

God the Holy Spirit proceeding from the Father and the Son

have mercy on us sinners.

Holy, blessed, and glorious Trinity, three persons and one God.

have mercy on us sinners.

 

 

For deliverance

 

Lord, remember not our offences, nor the offences of our forefathers; punish us

not for our sins, spare Your people whom You have redeemed with Your precious blood and by not angry with us for ever.

Spare us good Lord.

From all evil and harm, from sin, from the cunning attacks of the devil; from Your wrath and from everlasting condemnation,

good Lord deliver us.

From all spiritual blindness; from pride, vanity and hypocrisy; from envy; hatred, malice and all uncharitableness,

good Lord deliver us.

From sexual and all other deadly sin; and from the deceits of the world, the flesh, and the devil,

good Lord deliver us.

From fire and storm, drought and flood, from epidemic and famine, from strife and violence, from rebellion and war and from dying suddenly and unready,

good Lord deliver us.

From all false doctrine, heresy and schism; from hardness of heart and contempt of Your word and commandment.

good Lord deliver us.

In all times of misery, in all times of prosperity, in the hour of death and on the day of judgment,

good Lord deliver us.

By the mystery of Your holy incarnation; by Your holy birth, by Your circumcision and obedience to the law; by Your baptism, fasting, and temptation.

good Lord deliver us.

By Your agony and anguish, by Your cross and suffering, by Your precious death and burial, by Your glorious resurrection and ascension and by the coming of the Holy Spirit,

good Lord deliver us.

 

 

For Help

 

Lord God we sinners ask You to hear us and to rule and direct Your holy church in the right way.

Hear us good Lord.

Enlighten all bishops and other ministers with true knowledge and understanding of Your word and let their preaching and life clearly show it.

Hear us good Lord.

Grant wisdom and strength to the State President and all in authority, and that they may first seek Your honour and glory.

Hear us good Lord.

Give grace to the judges and magistrates to discern the truth and give right judgment.

Hear us good Lord.

Help us to love and revere You, to hear and receive Your word, to live by it, and to bring forth the fruit of the Spirit.

Hear us good Lord.

Bring to the truth all who have gone wrong, or been deceived, strengthen those who stand firm in the faith, encourage the faint hearted, lift the fallen, and finally beat down Satan under our feet.

Hear us good Lord.

Help and undertake for all in danger, or any kind of need, or trouble, the poor, the hungry and the homeless; protect all who travel by land, water or air and have pity on all prisoners.

Hear us good Lord.

Bless the widows and fatherless children, all women in childbirth, all who are sick, all young children and the aged, the lonely and all who fear and despair.

Hear us good Lord.

Forgive our enemies, persecutors and slanderers and turn their hearts.

Hear us good Lord.

Grant us true repentance; forgive our sins, indifference and ignorance; and fill us with Your Holy Spirit to amend our lives according to Your holy word.

Hear us good Lord.

Protect the earth, grant us plentiful harvests and make us truly thankful for all You provide.

Hear us good Lord.

 

 

Closing prayers

 

Son of God we ask You to hear us.

Son of God we ask You to hear us.

 

Lamb of god who takes away the sins of the world

Grant us Your peace.

 

Lord have mercy on us

Christ,  have mercy on us.

 

Lord deal not with us according to our sins,

Nor reward us according to our wickedness.

 

Lord we have heard with our ears, and our fathers have told us of the great works that You did in their days and in the old times before them.

Lord, arise, help and deliver us for Your honour.

 

Glory to God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit

as in the beginning so now and for ever.  Amen.

 

 

Prayer of St. Chrysostom said by all

 

Almighty God, who has given us grace at this time with one accord to make our common supplications to You; and has promised that when two or three are gathered together in Your name You will grant their requests.

Fulfil now Lord the desires and petitions of Your servants, as may be most expedient for them, granting us in this world knowledge of Your truth, and in the world to come, life everlasting.  Amen.

 

 

The grace said by all

 

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all evermore.  Amen.

 

 

 

Canticles at Morning and Evening Prayer

 

Song of Creation     –           Benedicite

Hymn of Praise        –           The Te Deum

Song of Zechariah  –           Benedictus

Song of Mary                        –           Magnificat

Song of Simeon       –           Nunc Dimittis

 

 

Song of Creation

 

1.   Bless the Lord all created things,

sing His praise and exalt Him for ever.

 

2.   Bless the Lord you heavens,

sing His praise and exalt Him for ever.

 

3.   Bless the Lord you angels of the Lord,

Bless the Lord all you His hosts.

 

4.   Bless the Lord you waters above the heavens,

sing His praise and exalt Him for ever.

 

5.   Bless the Lord sun and moon,

bless the Lord you powers of heaven;

 

6.   Bless the Lord all rain and dew,

sing His praise and exalt Him for ever.

 

7.   Bless the Lord all winds that blow,

bless the Lord you fire and heat;

 

8.   Bless the Lord scorching wind and bitter cold,

sing His praise and exalt Him for ever.

 

9.   Bless the Lord dews and falling snows.

bless the Lord you nights and days;

 

10. Bless the Lord light and darkness,

sing His praise and exalt Him for ever.

 

11. Bless the Lord frost and cold,

bless the Lord you ice and snow;

 

12. Bless the Lord lightnings and clouds,

sing His praise and exalted Him forever.

 

13. O let the earth bless the Lord.

bless the Lord you mountains and hills;

 

14. Bless the Lord all that grows in the grows,

sing His praise and exalt Him for ever.

 

15. Bless the Lord you springs,

bless the Lord you seas and rivers;

 

16. Bless the Lord you whales and all that swim in the waters,

sing His praise and exalt Him for ever.

 

17. Bless the Lord all birds of the air,

bless the Lord you beasts and cattle;

 

18. Bless the Lord all men on the earth,

sing His praise and exalt Him for ever.

 

19. O people of God bless the Lord,

bless the Lord you priests of the Lord;

 

20. Bless the Lord you servants of the Lord,

sing His praise and exalt Him forever.

 

21. Bless the Lord all men of upright spirit,

bless the Lord you that are holy and humble in heart;

 

22. Bless the Lord Azarias Ananias and Misael,

sing His praise and exalt Him for ever.

 

23. Bless the Father the Son and the Holy Spirit,

sing His praise and exalt him for ever.

From the Apocrypha

 

 

Hymn of Praise – The Te Deum

 

1.   We praise you O God :

we acknowledge You to be the Lord.

 

2.   All creation worships You:

the Father everlasting.

 

3.   To you all angels cry aloud:

with all the powers of heaven,

 

4.   Cherubim and Seraphim:

ever sing in endless praise,

 

5.   Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of power and might:

heaven and earth are full of Your glory.

 

6.   The glorious company of apostles praise You

the goodly fellowship of prophets praise You.

 

7.   The noble army of martyrs praise you:

through all the world Your holy Church acclaims You,

 

8.   Father of majesty unbounded:

Your true and only Son

and the Holy Spirit advocate and guide.

 

9.   You Lord Christ are the King of glory:

the eternal Son of the Father.

 

10. When You became man to set us free:

You did not disdain the virgin’s womb.

 

11. When You overcame the sting of death:

You opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers.

 

12. You are seated at God’ right hand in glory:

we believe that You will come to be our judge.

 

13. Come then Lord and help Your people:

brought with the price of Your own blood;

 

14. and bring us with Your saints:

to glory everlasting.

 

15. Save Your people Lord and bless Your inheritance:

govern and uphold them now and always.

 

16. Day by day we bless You:

we praise Your name for ever.

 

17. Keep us today Lord from all sin.

have mercy on us Lord have mercy.

 

18. Lord show us Your love and mercy:

for we put our trust in You.

 

19. In You Lord is our hope:

let us not be confounded at the last.

 

From the 5th/6th Century.

 

 

 

Song of Zechariah

Benedictus

 

1.   Blessed be the Lord the God of Israel:

for He has come to His people and set them free.

 

2.   He has raised up for us a mighty saviour:

born of the house of His servant David.

 

3.   Through His holy prophets He promised of old:

That He would save us from our enemies

From the hands of all that hate us.

 

4.   He promised to show mercy to our fathers:

And to remember His holy covenant.

 

5.   This was the oath He swore to our father Abraham:

to set us free from the hands of our enemies.

 

6.   Free to worship Him without fear:

holy and righteous

in His sight all the days of our life.

 

7.   And You my child shall be called the prophet of the Most High:

for you will go before the Lord to prepare His way,

 

8.   to give His people knowledge of salvation:

by the forgiveness of all their sins.

 

9.   In the tender compassion of our God:

the dawn from on high shall break upon us;

 

10. to shine upon those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death:

and to guide our feet into the way of peace.

 

Glory to God: Father Son and Holy Spirit;

as in the beginning so now and forever.  Amen

 

Luke 1:68-79

 

Song of Mary

Magnificat

 

1.   My soul proclaims the greatness of our Lord:

my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour;

 

2.   for He has looked with favour on His lowly servant:

from this day all generations will call me blessed;

 

3.   the Almighty has done great things for me:

and holy is His name.

 

4.   He has mercy on those who fear Him:

in every generation.

 

5.   He has shown the strength of His arm:

He has scattered the proud in their conceit.

 

6.   He has cast down the mighty from their thrones:

and has lifted up the lowly.

 

7.   He has filled the hungry with good things:

and the rich He has sent away empty.

 

8.   He has come to the help of His servant Israel:

for He has remembered His promise of mercy,

 

9.   the promise He made to our fathers:

to Abraham and his children for ever.

 

Glory to God: Father Son and Holy Spirit;

as in the beginning so now and forever.  Amen

 

Luke 1:46-55

 

Song of Simeon

Nunc Dimittis

 

1.   Lord now You let Your servant go in peace:

Your word has been fulfilled.

 

2.   My own eyes have seen the salvation:

which You have prepared in the sight of every people;

 

3.   a light to reveal You to the nations:

and the glory of Your people Israel.

 

Glory to God: Father Son and Holy Spirit;

as in the beginning so now and forever.  Amen

 

Luke 2:29-32

 

 

Easter Anthem

Hymn of the Risen Christ

 

1.   Christ our Passover has been sacrificed for us:

so let us celebrate the feast,

 

2.   not with the old leaven of corruption and wickedness:

but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

 

3.   Christ once raised from the dead dies no more:

death has no more dominion over Him.

 

4.   In dying He died to sin once for all:

in living He lives to God.

 

5.   See yourselves therefore as dead to sin:

and alive to God in Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

6.   Christ has been raised from the dead:

the first fruits of those who sleep.

 

7.   For as by man came death:

by man has come also resurrection of the dead;

 

8.   For as in Adam all die:

even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

 

Glory to God: Father Son and Holy Spirit;

as in the beginning so now and forever.  Amen

 

1 Corinthians 5:7, Romans 6:9, 1 Corinthians 15:20.

 

Holy Communion or The Lord’s Supper

 

First Form

 

For this service the Lord’s table is to be covered with a clean, plain, white cloth.  Nothing other than the bread and wine, the plate(s) and the cup(s), Bible(s), prayer book(s) and hymn book(s) and the collection plate(s) or bag(s) may be placed on it.

 

Both before and after the communion the bread and wine must be covered with a clean, plain, white cloth.  The bread is to be ordinary bread; grape juice may be used instead of wine.  No set apart bread or wine may be taken away from the church.

 

The minister welcomes the congregation.

He announces the first hymn.

After the hymn has been sung he says :

 

Let us pray together :

 

Almighty God to You all hearts are open, all desires known, and from You no secrets are hid; cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of Your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love You, and rightly honour Your holy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

 

The minister turns to the congregation and clearly reads the ten commandments  –  Exodus 20:1-17

 

Minister :                       God spoke these words and said :

I am the Lord your God.

You shall have no other gods but Me.

 

Congregation :               Lord have mercy on us, that we may keep this law.

 

Minister :                       You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below.  You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate Me, but showing love to thousands who love Me and keep My commandments.

 

Congregation :               Lord have mercy on us, that we may keep this law.

 

Minister :                       You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses His name.

 

Congregation :               Lord have mercy on us, that we may keep this law.

 

 

 

 

Minister :                       Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.  Six days you shall labour and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God.  On it you shall not do any work neither you nor your son or daughter, not your man servant or maid servant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates.  For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, but He rested on the seventh day.  Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

 

Congregation :               Lord have mercy on us, that we may keep this law.

 

Minister :                       Honour your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.

 

Congregation :               Lord have mercy on us, that we may keep this law.

 

Minister :                       You shall do no murder.

You shall not commit adultery.

You shall not steal.

You shall not give false testimony against your neighbour.

You shall not covet your neighbour’s house.  You shall not

covet your neighbour’s wife, or his man servant or maid servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbour.

 

Congregation :               Lord, have mercy on us, write all these Your laws in our hearts and minds to keep them.

 

Or the minister may read Christ’s summary of the law.  Matthew 23-34-40

 

 

Minister:                        Our Lord Jesus Christ said : “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.  This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it : Love your neighbour as yourself.  All the law and the prophets hang on these two commandments”.

 

Congregation :               Lord have mercy on us, and write these commandments in our hearts and minds to keep them.

 

Then follow the collect, epistle and gospel for the day.  The two readings are introduced with the words : “The epistle, or the gospel, is written in chapter … of … reading from verse …” and concluded “here ends the epistles, or the gospel”.

The congregation stands for the gospel reading and the Nicene creed following, which is said together.

 

 

 

 

The Nicene Creed :

 

I believe in one God, the Father, Almighty, maker of heaven and earth and of all that is, seen and unseen.

 

I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds, God, from God; Light, from Light; True God, from True God; begotten not made, of one substance with the Father.  Through Him all things were made, who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven, was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary, and was made man.  For us He was crucified under Pontius Pilate, He suffered and was buried.  On the third day He rose again in accordance with the scriptures; He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.  He will come again with glory to judge the living and the dead and His kingdom will have no end.

 

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son.  With the Father and the Son together He is worshipped and glorified.  He spoke through the prophets.  I believe in Christ’s holy universal and apostolic church.  I acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins and I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come.  Amen.

 

Then follow :

 

The announcements.

The hymn before the sermon.

The sermon.

The hymn after the sermon (when the collection may be taken).

 

Then the minister says :

 

Let us pray for Christ’s church on earth:

 

Almighty, eternal God, we are taught by Your holy word to make prayers and requests and to give thanks, for all people; we pray that You will graciously hear us and accept our thanksgiving which we bring to Your divine majesty.  We pray You to give to all Christians Your Spirit of truth, unity and love and that all who take Christ’s name will acknowledge the truth of Your holy word and live by it.  We pray You to lead the governments of the nations in ways of righteousness and peace and to bless and direct, especially, Your servant the State President, that he, his ministers, and all in authority in our land will rule with wisdom, judge impartially and uphold truth and right.  Give grace, heavenly Father, to all Christian ministers that they may obey Your holy living word, faithfully teach it and rightly administer the sacraments.  Lord, give grace to all Your people and, especially, to this congregation, that they may hear and receive Your word reverently and serve You in holiness and righteousness all their lives.  We pray You to help and deliver all who are in trouble, sorrow, sickness or in any other need, and we bless You, for all Your servants who have died in Your faith and fear; give us grace to follow their example that with them we may share Your heavenly kingdom.  Grant our prayers, Father, in the name of our advocate and mediator Jesus Christ.  Amen.

 

The minister says:

 

Brothers and sisters in Christ, Holy Scripture teaches us that we are to examine our lives before we take part in the holy fellowship of the Lord’s Supper.

 

God, in His infinite love and mercy, gave His only beloved Son Jesus Christ to die for us, sinners, on the cross.  He atoned there for our sins, that we might become God’s children by adoption and have everlasting life.  We have come to remember Christ’s death and all that it means, as He Himself instructed.  But, before we do this we must judge ourselves, we must repent of the sins we have committed, we must firmly trust in Christ our Saviour and above all we must praise and thank Him for His great love for us.

 

You therefore, who truly and earnestly repent of your sins, love your neighbours and intend to lead a new life, obeying God’s commandments and following in His holy ways, come near with faith and take this holy sacrament to strengthen you, and let us make our humble confession to Almighty God.

 

 

The general confession – said together

 

Almighty God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, maker of all things, judge of all men, we acknowledge and mourn for the many sins which we have committed, by thought, word and deed, against Your divine majesty, provoking most justly Your anger and indignation against us.  We earnestly repent, and are heartily sorry for our misdoings which we remember with shame.  Have mercy on us, most merciful Father.  Forgive us all that is past and grant that from this time forward we may serve and please You in newness of life, to the honour and glory of Your name; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

 

Minister – standing:

 

Almighty God, our heavenly Father who of His greatest mercy has promised to forgive the sins of all who, with heartfelt repentance and true faith, turn to Him, have mercy on you, pardon and deliver you from all your sins, confirm and strengthen you in all that is good and bring you to everlasting life; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

 

Hear these words of encouragement from our Lord Jesus Christ to all who truly turn to Him:

 

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

Matthew 11:28

 

God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life. 

John 3:16

 

 

Hear the Apostle Paul’s words:

 

Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.

1 Timothy 1:15

 

 

Hear the Apostle John’s words:

 

If anybody sins we have one who speaks to the Father in our defence – Jesus Christ the righteous one.  He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins.

1 John 2:1,2.

 

 

Minister :                       Lift up your hearts.

 

Congregation :               We lift them up to the Lord.

 

Minister :                       Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

 

Congregation :               It is fitting and right to do so.

 

Minister :                                   It is entirely fitting, right and our duty at all times, and in all places to give thanks to You Lord, holy Father, almighty, everlasting God.

 

Congregation :                           Therefore, with angels and archangels and with all the company of heaven, we praise Your glorious name for ever, saying : Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of hosts, heaven and earth are full of Your glory.  Glory to You, Lord most high.  Amen.

 

 

The minister, kneeling at the Lord’s table, leads the congregation in the prayer of humble access.

 

We do not presume to come to Your table merciful Lord, trusting in our own righteousness, only in Your great mercy.  We are not fit to gather up the crumbs under Your table.  But You, Lord, are always the same, Your mercy is everlasting, grant therefore gracious Lord that we may by faith eat the flesh and drink the blood of Your dear Son Jesus Christ, that we may be united to Him and He to us.  Amen.

 

 

The minister sets apart the bread and wine for orderly distribution.  Then he says the prayer of consecration still standing at the north side of the table.

 

Almighty God our heavenly Father, of Your infinite mercy You gave Your only Son Jesus Christ to suffer death upon the cross for our redemption; who made there by His one offering of Himself, never to be repeated, a full, perfect and sufficient sacrifice for the sins of the whole world, and who instituted and in His holy gospel commanded us to continue, a perpetual memory of His precious death until He comes again.  Hear us merciful Father, and grant that we, receiving this bread and wine in accordance with Your Son our Saviour Jesus Christ’s holy institution to remember His death and suffering, may share in His most blessed body and blood; who on the night He was betrayed took bread and when He had given You thanks He broke it and gave it to His disciples saying: “Take, eat; this is My body which is given for you; do this is remembrance of Me”.  In the same way after supper He took the cup and when He had given You thanks, He gave it to them saying: “Drink from this all of you 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 often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me”.  Amen.

 

 

The minister takes the bread and wine for himself and then to anyone duly appointed to assist him.  The congregation comes to the Lord’s table in an orderly way and kneels there or remains seated for the bread and wine to be brought to them.  Before the minister distributes the bread and the wine he says to them in a clear voice:

 

The body of our Lord Jesus Christ, which was given for you, preserve your body and soul to everlasting life; take and eat this in remembrance that Christ died for you and feed on Him in your heart by faith with thanksgiving.

 

The blood of our Lord Jesus Christ which was shed for you, preserve your body and soul to everlasting life; drink this in remembrance that Christ’s blood was shed for you, and be thankful.

 

As he hands the bread and wine to them individually he says :

 

Take and eat this in remembrance that Christ died for you and feed on Him in your heart by faith with thanksgiving.

 

Drink this in remembrance that Christ’s blood was shed for you and be thankful.

 

After the Communion the Lord’s Prayer and one of the two following prayers is said together.

 

Lord, heavenly Father, mercifully accept our praise and thanksgiving and grant that by the righteousness and the death of Your Son Jesus Christ, and through faith in His blood, we and Your whole church may receive forgiveness of our sins, and all other benefits of His suffering.  Lord, we bring You ourselves, our souls and bodies, to be an acceptable, holy and living offering to You, and we pray that all who share in this holy communion may be filled with Your grace and heavenly blessing.  Although our many sins make us unfit to bring You any offering accept this duty and service we owe, and forgive us through Jesus Christ our Lord; by whom, and with whom, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all honour and glory are Yours, Father Almighty for ever and ever.  Amen.

 

Or this prayer.

 

Almighty and everlasting God, accept our heartfelt thanks for giving us the spiritual food of the most precious body and blood of Your Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ.  We praise You for this assurance of Your kindness and goodness to us, and that by the righteousness, death and suffering of Your dear Son, we are members of His body, the blessed company of all faithful people, and heirs, through hope, of Your eternal kingdom.  Heavenly Father, give us grace that we may continue in that holy fellowship and do all the good works You have prepared for us, through Jesus Christ our Lord; to Him with You, and the Holy Spirit, be all honour and glory for ever and ever.  Amen.

 

Minister and congregation say together :

 

Glory to God in the highest and peace to His people on earth.  We praise You, we bless You, we worship You, we give thanks to You for Your great glory, Lord God, heavenly king, God the Father Almighty.

Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of the Father, You who take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.

Lamb of God, You who take away the sins of the world have mercy on us.

Lord God You who sit at the right hand of God the Father have mercy on us.

For You alone are the Holy One, You alone are Lord, You alone with the Holy Spirit are most high in the glory of God, the Father.  Amen.

 

The minister says the blessing :

 

The peace of God which is above 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 Spirit be amongst you, and remain with you always.  Amen.

 

The order of the Church of England expects participants in the Lord’s Supper to kneel in reverent gratitude for all that Christ did for them.  But kneeling does not imply any adoration of the bread or wine nor is their adoration intended or permitted.  On the contrary, it is stated explicitly, first, that the natural body and blood of Christ are in heaven not on earth and, second, that at the Lord’s Supper both the bread and the wine stay the same as they are.  To adore them is idolatry.

 

Visitors from other Christian churches are welcome at the Lord’s table in the Church of England.

 

Holy Communion or The Lord’s Supper

 

Second Form

 

For this service the Lord’s table is to be covered with a clean, plain, white cloth.  Nothing other than the bread and wine, the plate(s) and the cup(s), Bible(s), prayer book(s) and hymn book(s) and the collection plate(s) or bag(s) may be placed on it.

 

Both before and after the communion the bread and wine must be covered with a clean, plain, white cloth.  The bread is to be ordinary bread; grape juice may be used instead of wine.  No set apart bread or wine may be taken away from the church.

 

The minister is to take the service at the north side, that is the left end of the table as seen by the congregation.

 

The minister welcomes the congregation.

He announces the first hymn.

After the hymn has been sung he says :

 

Let us pray together :

 

Almighty God to You all hearts are open, all desires known, and from You no secrets are hid; cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of Your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love You, and rightly honour Your holy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

 

The minister turns to the congregation and clearly reads Christ’s summary of the Law of God.  Matthew 22:34-40.

 

Minister :           Our Lord Jesus Christ said : “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.  This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it : Love your neighbour as yourself.  All the law and the prophets hand on these two commandments”.

 

Congregation :   Lord, have mercy on us, and write these Your commandments in our hearts and minds to keep them.  Amen.

 

The minister says :

 

Brothers and sisters in Christ, Holy Scripture teaches that we are to examine our lives before we take part in the holy fellowship of the Lord’s Supper.

 

God, in His infinite love and mercy, gave His only beloved Son Jesus Christ to die for us, sinners, on the cross.  He atoned there for our sins, that we might become God’s children by adoption and grace and have everlasting life.  We have come to remember Christ’s death and all that it means, as He Himself instructed.  But before we do this we must judge ourselves, we must repent of the sins we have committed, we must firmly trust in Christ our Saviour and above all we must praise and thank Him for His great love for us.

You, who truly and earnestly repent of your sins, come near with faith and take this holy sacrament to strengthen you in your daily life.  But first let us confess our sins to Almighty God together :

 

Almighty God, creator of the universe and judge of all, we confess that we have sinned against You, in thought, word and deed.  We have not loved You as we ought, we have not loved our neighbours as ourselves, and we are sinners by nature.  Most merciful God through Your Son our Lord Jesus Christ forgive us all the evil we have done, and the good we have left undone and grant that we serve and please You from this time forward, through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

 

Minister :           Lift up your hearts.

 

Congregation :   We lift them up to the Lord.

 

Minister :           Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

 

Congregation :   It is right to give Him thanks and praise.

 

Minister :           It is indeed right and our duty at all times and in all places to give thanks to You, Lord, holy Father, mighty creator and eternal God.

 

Congregation :   Therefore with angels and archangels, and with the whole company of heaven, we proclaim Your great and glorious name, evermore praising You and saying : Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of hosts, heaven and earth are full of Your glory.  Glory to You, Lord most high.  Amen.

 

Minister :           Let us all pray the Lord’s Prayer.

 

Minister :           Let us pray together for our land :

 

Almighty God who rules over the nations of the world, we commend to Your merciful care the people of this land, that being guided by Your providence, we may dwell secure in Your peace.  Grant to the State President and to all in authority, wisdom and strength to know and to do Your Will.  Fill them with the love of truth, justice and righteousness, that they may serve Your people faithfully to Your honour and glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

 

Minister :           Let us pray together for our church :

Almighty, everlasting God send down Your gracious Holy Spirit on our bishops, and other ministers and all congregations of our church.  Refresh them and bless them continually that they may truly serve and please You, to the praise of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Amen.

 

 

Minister :           Let us pray together for all in need :

 

Merciful Lord, we bring before You all those who are in any way afflicted, or distressed, especially those we know personally, or for whom our prayers are asked.  Comfort and deliver them according to their different needs, give them patience in their sufferings and a happy end to all their troubles; through our Lord Jesus Christ.  Amen.

 

Then follow the prayer, epistle and gospel for the day.  The two Bible readings are introduced by : “Hear the word of God as it is written in chapter … verse … of … “ and conclude : “Here ends the first/second reading from the word of God”.  The congregation stands for the gospel reading and the creed which follows, and is said together.

 

 

 

The Nicene Creed :

 

I believe in one God, the Father, Almighty, maker of heaven and earth and of all that is, seen and unseen.

 

I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds, God, from God; Light, from Light; True God, from True God; begotten not made, of one substance with the Father.  Through Him all things were made, who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven, was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary, and was made man.  For us He was crucified under Pontius Pilate, He suffered and was buried.  On the third day He rose again in accordance with the scriptures; He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.  He will come again with glory to judge the living and the dead and His kingdom will have no end.

 

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son.  With the Father and the Son together He is worshipped and glorified.  He spoke through the prophets.  I believe in Christ’s holy universal and apostolic church.  I acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins and I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come.  Amen.

 

The congregation sits and then follow :

 

The notices.

The hymn before the sermon.

The sermon.

The hymn after the sermon (during which the collection may be taken).

 

 

The minister kneels at the Lord’s table and he and the congregation say together :

 

Merciful Lord, we do not dare to come to Your table, trusting in our own righteousness but only in Your great mercy.  We are not fit to gather up the crumbs under Your table.  But Your mercy is everlasting; grant therefore that we may by faith eat the flesh and drink the blood of Your dear Son Jesus Christ to be united to Him and He to us.

 

Almighty God our heavenly Father, of Your infinite mercy You gave Your only Son Jesus Christ to suffer death upon the cross for our redemption; who made there by His one offering of Himself, never to be repeated, a full, perfect and sufficient sacrifice for the sins of the whole world.

Hear us merciful Father, and grant that we, receiving this bread and wine in accordance with Your Son our Saviour Jesus Christ’s holy institution to remember His death and suffering, may share in His most blessed body and blood; who on the night He was betrayed took bread and when He had given You thanks He broke it and gave it to His disciples saying: “Take, eat; this is My body which is given for you; do this is remembrance of Me”.

 

 

In the same way after supper He took the cup and when He had given You thanks, He gave it to them saying: “Drink from this all of you 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 often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me”.  Amen.

 

The minister takes the bread and wine for himself and then to anyone duly appointed to assist him.  The congregation comes to the Lord’s table in an orderly way and kneels there or remains seated for the bread and wine to be brought to them.  Before the minister distributes the bread and the wine he says to them in a clear voice:

 

The body of our Lord Jesus Christ, which was given for you, preserve your body and soul to everlasting life; take and eat this in remembrance that Christ died for you and feed on Him in your heart by faith with thanksgiving.

 

The blood of our Lord Jesus Christ which was shed for you, preserve your body and soul to everlasting life; drink this in remembrance that Christ’s blood was shed for you, and be thankful.

 

As he hands the bread and wine to them individually he says :

 

Take and eat this in remembrance that Christ died for you and feed on Him in your heart by faith with thanksgiving.

 

Drink this in remembrance that Christ’s blood was shed for you and be thankful.

 

After the Communion the minister says : let us all pray :

 

Almighty God, we bring You praise and thanksgiving, and ourselves, our souls and bodies, to be a holy and lifelong offering to You.  Lord, accept this duty and service we owe You, not because we deserve it but because of Jesus Christ our Lord in whose name along we come to You.  Amen.

 

Minister and congregation say together :

 

Glory to God in the highest and peace to His people on earth.

Lord God, heavenly King, almighty God and Father, we worship You, we give You thanks, we praise You for Your glory.

Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father, Lord God, Lamb of God,

You who take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us,

You who are seated at the right hand of the Father receive our prayer.

For You alone are the holy One, You alone are the Lord, You alone are the most High, Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit in the glory of God the Father.

Amen.

 

The minister says the blessing :

 

The peace of God which is above 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 Spirit be amongst you, and remain with you always.  Amen.

 

Collects, Epistles and Gospels for the Church Year

 

 

Advent 1

 

Between 27 November and 3 December

 

Collect

Almighty God, give us grace that we may cast away the works of darkness and put on the armour of light, now in the time of this mortal life in which Your Son Jesus Christ came among us in great humility; that on the last day, when He comes again in His glorious majesty to judge the living and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through Him who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, now and for ever.  Amen.

 

Epistle                                                            Gospel

Romans 13:8-14                              Matthew 21:1-13

 

 

Advent 2

 

Between December 4-10

 

Collect

Blessed Lord, You have caused all Holy Scriptures to be written for our learning: grant us so to hear them, read, mark, learn and absorb them, that, encouraged and supported by Your holy Word, we may clasp and not let go the joyful hope of everlasting life, which You have given us in our Saviour Jesus Christ.  Amen.

 

Epistle                                                Gospel

Romans 15:4-13                              Luke 21:25-33

 

 

Advent 3

 

Between December 11-17

 

Collect

Lord Jesus Christ, at Your first coming You sent Your messenger to prepare the way before You: grant that the ministers and stewards of Your faith may likewise make ready Your way, by turning the hearts of the disobedient to the ways of righteousness, that at Your second coming to judge the world we may be found an acceptable people in Your sight; for You live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, now and for ever.  Amen.

 

Epistle                                                Gospel

1 Corinthians 4:1-5                          Matthew 11:2-10

 

 

Advent 4

 

Between December 18-24

 

Collect

Raise up Your great power, Lord, and come among us to save us; that, although through our sins we are handicapped in running the race that is set before us, Your plentiful grace and mercy may help and deliver us; through the sufficiency of Your Son our Lord, to whom with You and the Holy Spirit be honour and glory, now and for ever.  Amen.

 

Epistle                                                Gospel

Philippians 4:4-7                              John 1:19-28

 

 

Christmas Day

 

Collect

Almighty God, You have given us Your only Son to take our nature upon Him and as at this time to be born of a pure virgin: grant that we, being born again and made Your children by adoption and grace, may daily be renewed by Your Holy Spirit; through our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

 

Epistle                                                Gospel

Hebrews 1:1-12                                John 1:1-14

 

 

Christmas 1

 

Between 26 December and 31 December

 

Christmas Day Collect

 

Epistle                                                Gospel

Galatians 4:1-7                                 Matthew 1:18-25

 

 

Christmas 2 (The Circumcision of Christ)

 

Between January 1-5

 

Collect

Almighty God, whose blessed Son was circumcised and for man’s sake became obedient to the Law: purify our hearts and all our members, so that we may die to all sinful desires and in all things obey Your holy will, through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

 

Epistle                                                Gospel

Romans 4:8-14                                 Luke 2:15-21

The showing of Christ to the Gentiles or Epiphany

 

January 6

 

Collect

O God, who by the leading of a star showed Your beloved Son to the gentiles: mercifully grant that we, who know You by faith, may after this life rejoice in the supreme splendour of Your glorious being; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

 

Epistle                                                Gospel

Ephesians 3:1-12                            Matthew 2:1-12

 

 

Epiphany 1

 

Collect

 

Lord, mercifully receive the prayers of Your people who call upon You; and grant that we may understand and know what things we ought to do, and also may have grace and power faithfully to perform them; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

 

Epistle                                                            Gospel

Romans 12:1-5                                 Luke 2:41-52

 

 

Epiphany 2

 

Collect

 

Almighty and everlasting God, ruler of all things in heaven and earth, mercifully hear the prayers of Your people, and grant us Your peace all the days of our life; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

 

Epistle                                                Gospel

Romans 12:6-16                              John 2:1-11

 

 

Epiphany 3

 

Collect

 

Almighty and everlasting God, mercifully look on our weakness; and in all our dangers and difficulties stretch our Your right hand to help and defend us; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

 

Epistle                                                Gospel

Romans 12:16-21                            Matthew 8:1-13

 

 

 

 

Epiphany 4

 

Collect

 

Lord God, You know us to be set in the midst of so many great dangers that by reason of the frailty of our nature we cannot always stand upright: grand us such strength and protection as may support us in all dangers and carry us through all temptations; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

 

Epistle                                                Gospel

Romans 13:1-7                                 Matthew 8:23-34

 

 

Epiphany 5

 

Collect

 

Heavenly Father, keep Your family and church continually in Your true religion; that we who rely only on the hope of Your heavenly grace may always be defended by Your mighty power; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

 

Epistle                                                Gospel

Colossians 3:12-17                         Matthew 13:24-30

 

 

Epiphany 6

 

Collect

 

Almighty Father, whose blessed Son was revealed so that He might destroy the works of the devil and make us the children of God and heirs of eternal life: grant that having this hope we may purify ourselves as He is pure; that when He shall appear again with power and glory, we may be made like Him in His eternal and glorious kingdom, where with You, Father, and with the Holy Spirit, He lives and reigns, one God, for evermore.  Amen.

 

Epistle                                                Gospel

1 John 3:1-8                                      Matthew 20:1-16

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Third Sunday before Lent or Septuagesima

 

Collect

 

Lord, hear with favour the prayers of Your people, that we who are justly punished for our offences may mercifully be delivered by Your goodness, for the glory of Your name; through Jesus Christ our Saviour, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.  Amen.

 

Epistle                                                Gospel

1 Corinthians 9:24-27                     Matthew 20:1-16

 

 

Second Sunday before Lent or Sexagesima

 

Collect

 

Lord God, You know that we cannot put our trust in anything that we do: help us to have faith in You alone, and mercifully defend us by Your power against all dangers; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

 

Epistle                                                Gospel

2 Corinthians 11:19-31                   Luke 8:4-15

 

 

Sunday before Lent or Quinquagesima

 

Collect

 

Lord, You have taught us that whatever we do without love is worth nothing: send Your Holy Spirit and pour into our hearts that most excellent gift of love, the true bond of peace and all virtues, without which whoever lives is counted dead before You; grant this, for Your only Son Jesus Christ’s sake.  Amen.

 

Epistle                                                Gospel

1 Corinthians 13:1-13                     Luke 18:31-43

 

 

First day of Lent or Ash Wednesday

 

Collect

 

Almighty and everlasting God, You hate nothing that You have made, and You forgive the sins of all who repent: create and make in us new and penitent hearts, that we, lamenting our sins and acknowledging our wretchedness, may obtain from You, the God of all mercy, perfect pardon and forgiveness; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

 

Epistle                                                Gospel

Joel 2:12-17                                      Matthew 6:16-21

Lent 1

 

Collect

 

Lord Jesus Christ, for our sake You fasted forty days and forty nights: give us grace to use such self control that, our flesh being subdued to the spirit, we may always obey Your will in righteousness and true holiness, to Your honour and glory; for You live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, for evermore.  Amen.

 

Epistle                                                Gospel

2 Corinthians 6:1-10                                   Matthew 4:1-11

 

 

Lent 2

 

Collect

 

Almighty God, You see that we have no power of ourselves to help ourselves: keep us outwardly in our bodies and inwardly in our souls, that we may be defended from all harm that may happen to the body, and from all evil thoughts that may attack and hurt the soul; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

 

Epistle                                                Gospel

1 Thessalonians 4:1-8                    Matthew 15:21-28

 

 

Lent 3

 

Collect

 

We beseech You, Almighty God, look on the heartfelt desires of Your servants, and stretch forth the right hand of Your power to be our defence against all our enemies; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

 

Epistle                                                Gospel

Ephesians 5:1-14                            Luke 11:14-28

 

 

Lent 4

 

Collect

 

Almighty god, grant that we, who justly deserve to be punished for our sinful deeds, may in Your mercy and kindness be pardoned and restored; through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.  Amen.

 

Epistle                                                Gospel

Galatians 4:21-31                            John 6:1-14

 

Lent 5

 

Collect

 

We beseech You, Almighty God, to look in mercy on Your people: that by Your great goodness they may be governed and kept safe evermore; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

 

Epistle                                                Gospel

Hebrews 9:11-15                              John 8:46-59

 

 

Sunday before Easter

 

Collect

 

Almighty and everlasting God, in tender love towards mankind You sent Your Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ, to become man and to suffer death on the cross, that all mankind should follow the example of His great humility: grant that we may follow the example of His suffering, and also be made partakers of His resurrection; through Him who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, now and for ever.  Amen.

 

Epistle                                                Gospel

Philippians 2:5-11                           Matthew 27:1-54

 

 

Good Friday

 

Collects

 

Almighty Father, look graciously upon this Your family, for which our Lord Jesus Christ was willing to be betrayed and given up into the hands of wicked men, and to suffer death upon the cross; who now lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

 

Almighty and eternal God, by whose Spirit the whole body of the church is governed and sanctified : receive our prayer which we offer before You for the many different members of Your holy church; that every one of them in his occupation and ministry may truly and devoutly serve You; through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.  Amen.

 

Merciful God, You have made all men and hate nothing that You have made, nor do you desire the death of a sinner but rather that He should be converted and live: have mercy on all who do not know You, or who deny the faith of Christ crucified.  Take from them all ignorance, hardness of heart, and contempt of Your word; and bring them home to Your fold, blessed Lord, so that they may become one flock under one shepherd, Jesus Christ our Lord; who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

 

Epistle                                                Gospel

Hebrews 10:1-25                              John 19:1-37

 

 

Easter Saturday

 

Collect

 

Grant, Lord, that as we have been baptized into the death of Your dear Son our Saviour Jesus Christ, so by continually putting to death our sinful desires we may die to sin and be buried with Him, and that through the grave and gate of death we may pass to our joyful resurrection; for His sake who died and was buried and rose again for us, Your Son Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

 

Epistle                                                Gospel

1 Peter 3:17-22                                 Matthew 27:57-66

 

 

Easter Sunday

 

Collect

 

Almighty God, we praise and bless You because You have conquered death through Your dearly beloved Son Jesus Christ and opened to us the gate of everlasting life.  Inspire our minds and control our actions that we may please You both in thought and work; for the sake of the risen Lord Jesus Christ who lives and reigns in glory with You and the Holy Spirit one God for ever and ever.  Amen.

 

Epistle                                                Gospel

Colossians 3:1-7                              John 20:1-10

 

 

Easter 1

 

Collect

 

Almighty Father, You have given Your only Son Jesus Christ to die for our sins and to rise again for our justification: grant that we may put away the old principle of corruption and wickedness, and always serve You in purity and truth; through the merits of Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

 

Epistle                                                Gospel

1 John 5:4-12                                   John 20:19-23

 

 

 

 

 

 

Easter 2

 

Collect

 

Almighty God, You have given Your only Son to be for us both a sacrifice for sin and also an example of godly life; give us grace that we may always thankfully receive the immeasurable benefit of His sacrifice, and also daily endeavour to follow in the blessed steps of His most holy life; who now lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, for evermore.  Amen.

 

Epistle                                                Gospel

1 Peter 2:19-25                                 John 10:11-16

 

 

Easter 3

 

Collect

 

Almighty God, You show to those who are in error the light of Your truth so that they may return to the way of righteousness: grant to all who are admitted to the fellowship of Christ’s service that they may renounce those things that are contrary to their profession and follow all such things as are agreeable to it; through our Lord Jesus Christ.  Amen.

 

Epistle                                                Gospel

1 Peter 2:11-17                                 John 16:16-22

 

 

Easter 4

 

Collect

 

Almighty God, You alone can order the unruly wills and passions of sinful men: grant to Your people that they may love what You command and desire what You promise, so that, among the many and varied changes of the world, our hearts may surely there be fixed where true joys are to be found; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

 

Epistle                                                Gospel

James 1:17-21                                  John 16:5-15

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Easter 5

 

Collect

 

Heavenly Father, the giver of all good things, grant that by Your holy inspiration we may think those things that are good, and by Your merciful guidance may perform them; through our Lord Jesus Christ.  Amen.

 

Epistle                                                Gospel

James 1:22-27                                  John 16:23-33

 

 

Ascension Day

 

Collect

 

Grant, we pray, almighty God, that as we believe Your only begotten Son to have ascended into heaven, so we may also in heart and mind there ascend, and with Him continually dwell; who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

 

Epistle                                                Gospel

Acts 1:1-11                                        Mark 16:14-20

 

 

Sunday after Ascension

 

Collect

 

God, the king of glory, You have exalted Your only Son Jesus Christ with great triumph to Your kingdom in heaven; leave us not desolate, but send Your Holy Spirit to strengthen us, and exalt us to where our Saviour Christ has gone before, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, for evermore.  Amen.

 

Epistle                                                Gospel

1 Peter 4:7-11                                   John 15:26 – 16:4

 

 

Whit Sunday or Pentecost

 

Collect

 

Almighty God, You, at this time, taught the hearts of Your faithful people by sending to them the light of Your Holy Spirit: grant to us by the same Spirit to have a right judgment in all things and always to rejoice in His holy comfort; through the merits of Christ Jesus our Saviour, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.  Amen.

 

Epistle                                                Gospel

Acts 2:1-11                                        John 14:15-31

 

Trinity Sunday

 

Collect

 

Almighty and everlasting God, You have given us Your servants grace by the confession of a true faith to acknowledge the glory of the eternal Trinity, and by Your divine power to worship You as One: we humbly pray that You will keep us steadfast in this faith and evermore defend us from all dangers; through Christ our Lord.  Amen.

 

Note: The Athanasian Creed is to be said on Trinity Sunday

 

Epistle                                                Gospel

Revelation 4:1-11                            John 3:1-16

 

 

Trinity 1

 

Collect

 

Lord God, the strength of all who put their trust in You: mercifully accept our prayers, and because through the weakness of our mortal nature we can do nothing good with You, grant us the help of Your grace, that in keeping Your commandments we may please You both in will and deed; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

 

Epistle                                                Gospel

1 John 4:7-21                                   Luke 16:19-31

 

 

Trinity 2

 

Collect

 

Lord God, the unfailing helper and guide of those whom You bring up in Your steadfast fear and love, keep us, we pray, under the protection of Your great power and give us a continual reverence and love for Your holy name; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

 

Epistle                                                Gospel

1 John 3:13-24                                 Luke 14:16-24

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trinity 3

 

Collect

 

Mercifully hear us, Lord God; and grant that we, to whom You have given the desire to pray, may by Your mighty aid be defended and strengthened in all dangers and conflicts; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

 

Epistle                                                Gospel

1 Peter 5:5-11                                   Luke 15:1-10

 

 

Trinity 4

 

Collect

 

Almighty God, the protector of all who trust in You, without whom nothing is strong, nothing is holy: increase and multiply Your mercy to us that with You as our ruler and guide, we may so pass through this earthly life that we finally lose not eternal life: grant this, heavenly Father, for our Lord Jesus Christ’s sake.  Amen.

 

Epistle                                                Gospel

Romans 8:18-23                              Luke 6:36-42

 

 

Trinity 5

 

Collect

 

Almighty God, we pray that the events of this world may be so peaceably ordered by Your direction, that Your church may joyfully serve You in all godly quietness; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

 

Epistle                                                Gospel

1 Peter 3:8-15                                   Luke 5:1-11

 

 

Trinity 6

 

Collect

 

God our Father, You have prepared for those who love You such good things as pass man’s understanding: pour into our hearts such love towards You, that we, loving You above all things, may obtain Your promises which exceed all that we can desire; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

 

Epistle                                                Gospel

Romans 6:3-11                                 Matthew 5:20-26

 

Trinity 7

 

Collect

 

Almighty God, whose never failing power governs all things in heaven and earth: we humbly ask You to put away from us all things hurtful, and to give us those things that are good for us; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

 

Epistle                                                Gospel

Romans 8:12-17                              Matthew 7:15-21

 

 

Trinity 9

 

Collect

 

Grant us, Lord, we pray, the spirit to think and do always such things as are right, that we who cannot do anything that is good without You, may by You be able to live according to Your will; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

 

Epistle                                                Gospel

1 Corinthians 10:1-13                     Luke 16:1-9

 

 

Trinity 10

 

Collect

 

Let Your merciful ears, Lord God, be open to the prayers of Your people; and that they may obtain their requests, make them to ask such things as will please You; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

 

Epistle                                                Gospel

1 Corinthians 12:1-11                     Luke 19:41-46

 

 

Trinity 11

 

Collect

 

Lord God, You declare Your almighty power chiefly in showing mercy and pity: grant us such a measure of Your grace that, continuing in the way of Your commandments, we may obtain Your promises, and share in Your heavenly treasure; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

 

Epistle                                                Gospel

1 Corinthians 15:1-11                     Luke 18:9-14

 

 

 

Trinity 12

 

Collect

 

Almighty and everlasting God, You are always more ready to hear than we to pray, and constantly give more than either we desire or deserve: pour down on us Your overflowing mercy, forgiving us those things of which our conscience is afraid, and giving us those good things which we are not worthy to ask, except through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ, Your Son our Lord.  Amen.

 

Epistle                                                Gospel

2 Corinthians 3:4-9                          Mark 7:31-37

 

 

Trinity 13

 

Collect

 

Merciful God, it is by Your gift alone that Your faithful people do You true and acceptable service; grant that we may so faithfully serve You in this life that we fail not finally to obtain Your heavenly promises; through the merits of Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

 

Epistle                                                Gospel

Galatians 3:16-22                            Luke 10:23-37

 

 

Trinity 14

 

Collect

 

Almighty and eternal God, grant that we may grow in faith, hope and love; and that we may obtain what You promise, make us love what You command; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

 

Epistle                                                Gospel

Galatians 5:16-24                            Luke 17:11-19

 

 

Trinity 15

 

Collect

 

Keep Your Church, Lord God, with Your continual mercy, and because the frailty of man without You cannot but fall, keep us always under Your protection, and lead us to everything that makes for our salvation; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

 

Epistle                                                Gospel

Galatians 6:11-18                            Matthew 6:24-34

Trinity 16

 

Collect

 

Lord, let Your continual pity cleanse and defend Your church, and because it cannot continue in safety without Your aid, keep it evermore by Your help and goodness; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

 

Epistle                                                Gospel

Ephesians 3:13-21                          Luke 7:11-17

 

 

Trinity 17

 

Collect

 

Lord, we pray that Your grace may always go before and follow us, and make us continually to be given to all good works; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

 

Epistle                                                Gospel

Ephesians 4:1-6                               Luke 14:1-11

 

 

Trinity 18

 

Collect

 

Lord, give Your people grace to withstand the temptations of the world, the flesh, and the devil, and with pure hearts and minds to follow You the only God; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

 

Epistle                                                Gospel

1 Corinthians 1:4-8                          Matthew 22:34-46

 

 

Trinity 19

 

Collect

 

Lord God, because without You we are not able to please You; mercifully grant that Your Holy Spirit may in all things direct and rule our hearts; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

 

Epistle                                                Gospel

Ephesians 4:17-32                          Matthew 9:1-8

 

 

 

 

 

Trinity 20

 

Collect

 

Almighty and merciful God, of Your generous goodness keep us from everything that may hurt us, that we may be ready in body and soul cheerfully to carry out whatever You want us to do; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

 

Epistle                                                Gospel

Ephesians 5:15-21                          Matthew 22:1-14

 

 

Trinity 21

 

Collect

 

Grant we pray merciful Lord, to Your faithful people pardon and peace and that they may be cleansed from all their sins, and serve You with a quiet mind; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

 

Epistle                                                Gospel

Ephesians 5:10-20                          John 4:46-54

 

 

Trinity 22

 

Collect

 

Lord, keep Your family the church steadfast in faith and love, that through Your protection it may be free from all harm, and may devoutly serve You in good works to the glory of Your name; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

 

Epistle                                                Gospel

Philippians 1:3-11                           Matthew 18:21-35

 

 

Trinity 23

 

Collect

 

Lord, our refuge and strength, the only God; hear the earnest prayers of Your church, and those things we ask for faithfully, grant we may surely obtain; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

 

Epistle                                                Gospel

Philippians 3:17-21                         Matthew 22:15-22

 

 

 

 

Trinity 24

 

Collect

 

Lord, we pray, absolve Your people from their offences; that through Your great goodness we may all be set free from the chains of those sins which in our frailty we have committed: grant this, heavenly Father, for the sake of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour.  Amen.

 

Epistle                                                Gospel

Colossians 1:3-12                            Matthew 9:18-26

 

 

Trinity 25

 

Collect

 

Stir up Lord, the wills of Your faithful people, that they may produce plentifully the fruit of good works, and receive from You a plentiful reward; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

 

Epistle                                                Gospel

Jeremiah 23:5-8                               John 6:5-14

 

 

All Saints Day

 

1st November

Collect

 

Almighty God You have built Your Church on the foundation of apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the head corner stone; give us grace to follow their doctrine and godly lives that with them and all Your saints we may worship You for ever through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

 

Epistle                                                Gospel

Revelation 7:2-4, 9-12                     Matthew 5:1-12

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Baptism Service

 

Children

 

Baptism may take the place of Sunday Morning Prayer or it may be inserted into Morning Prayer at the second reading.

 

Before baptism the parents shall ask the minister to arrange a suitable time and he shall satisfy himself that the parents and godparents understand their responsibility.

 

A boy normally has two godfathers and one godmother, and a girl normally has two godmothers and one godfather.

 

The minister must be satisfied that the child has not been already baptized.  Previous baptism in water and in the “Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit” is not to be repeated, instead the minister is to receive the child into Christ’s church.

 

On the day and time appointed for the baptism the parents, godparents and children to be baptized are seated near the font.

 

The minister welcomes them and the congregation.  He announces the first hymn.  After the hymn has been sung he reads the following verses from the Bible.

 

Our Lord Jesus Christ said :

 

Let the children come to Me, do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. 

Mark 10:14

 

The Apostle Peter said :

 

Repent and be baptized everyone of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, so that your sins may be forgiven.  And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.  The promise is for you and for your children …

Acts 2:38, 39

 

The Apostle Paul wrote :

 

Your children … are holy.

1 Corinthians 7:14

 

Moses the man of God said :

 

Hear O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.  Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.  These commandments which I give you today are to be upon your hearts.  Impress them on your children.  Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.

Deuteronomy 6:4-7

 

Then the minister says:

Christian friends, seeing that everyone is born with a sinful nature and because our Saviour said that no one can enter God’s Kingdom unless he is born again from above, let us together earnestly pray to God the Father, through our Lord Jesus Christ, that He will mercifully grant this child that which by nature he or she cannot have; that he or she may be born of the Holy Spirit and be made a living member of Christ’s holy church.

 

Let us pray together :

Almighty and everlasting God, as you saved Noah and his family in the ark from perishing in the judgment of the flood, we pray You, for Your infinite mercy, to look graciously upon this child, was him or her and sanctify him or her with the Holy Spirit, that he or she delivered from Your righteous anger may be received into the ark of Christ’s Church, and grant that firm in faith, joyful in hope, and rooted in love, he or she may so pass over the waves of this troubled world, that finally he or she may come to the land of everlasting life, there to reign with You for ever and ever, through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

 

Almighty and immortal God, we pray for this child that you will receive him or her, as you have promised by Your beloved Son who said :

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you”.  So give now to us who ask, let us who seek find, open the door to us who knock, that this child may enjoy the everlasting blessing of Your heavenly cleansing and may come to the eternal kingdom which You have promised by Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

 

Hear the word of God as it is written in the tenth chapter of Mark’s gospel, beginning at verse thirteen :

 

People were bringing little children to Jesus to have Him touch them but the disciples rebuked them.  When Jesus saw this He was indignant.  He said to them : Let the little children come to Me and do not hinder them, for the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these, I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.  And He took the children in His arms, put His hands on them and blessed them.

 

You have heard in this reading from God’s word that Jesus gladly received the children of God’s people that He commended them, that He rebuked those that kept them from Him and that He openly showed His love for them, when He embraced them in His arms, laid His hands on them and blessed them.  We need therefore not doubt but confidently believe that He will receive this child which we bring to Him in prayer; that He will embrace him or her with the arms of His mercy; that He will give him or her the blessing of eternal life and make him or her a partaker of His everlasting kingdom.  Therefore, let us give thanks to God, and say together :

 

 

 

 

Almighty and everlasting God, heavenly Father, we give You humble thanks that You have called us to the knowledge of Your grace and faith in You.  Increase this knowledge and confirm this faith in us more and more.  Give Your Holy Spirit to this child that he or she may be born again and be made an heir of everlasting salvation, through our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, now and for ever.  Amen.

 

The minister says to the parents and godparents:

Christian friends, you have prayed that our Lord Jesus Christ will graciously receive this child, deliver him or her from his or her sins, fill him or her with the Holy Spirit and give him or her the kingdom of heaven and everlasting life.

 

Our Lord has promised to answer prayers which we offer in His name, and this promise He for His part will surely keep.  For Your part you must live in conformity with your prayers by setting this child the example of Christian lives and Christian homes.  You must continue in your prayers for him or her in the years ahead and instruct him or her in the word of God and Christian faith and hope.  Will you do this ?

 

Answer :         We will, the Lord being our helper.

 

Minister :        This child, for his or her part, must also faithfully promise by you who are his or her sureties, until he or she comes of age to take the promise for himself or herself, that he or she will renounce the devil and all His works, firmly believe God’s holy word and obediently keep His commandments.

 

I ask therefore :

Do you in the name of this child renounce the devil and all his works, the empty display, greed and false values of the world, and the sinful desires of the flesh, so that You will not follow them or be led by them ?

 

Answer :         I renounce them all.

 

Minister :        Do you believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth ?  And in Jesus Christ His only begotten Son our Lord ?  And that He was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary; that He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried; that He went down into hell, and also rose again the third day; that He ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty, and from there will come again at the end of the world, to judge the living and the dead ?  And do you believe in the Holy Spirit; Christ’s holy universal church; the fellowship of Christians; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body; and everlasting life after death ?

 

Answer :         All this I firmly believe.

 

Minister :        Will you be baptized into this faith ?

 

Answer :         This is my desire.

 

Minister :        Will you them obediently keep God’s holy will and commandments and serve Him faithfully all your life ?

 

Answer :                     I will.

 

Minister :        Merciful God, grant that the old nature in this child may be so buried that the new man may be raised up in him or her.

 

Congregation : Amen.

 

Minister :        Grant that all sinful desires may die in him or her and that all things belonging to the Spirit may live and grow in him or her.

 

Congregation : Amen.

 

Minister :        Grant that he or she may have power and strength to win the victory and to triumph against the devil, the world and his or her own sinful nature.

 

Congregation : Amen.

 

Minister :        Grant that he or she who is here dedicated to You may be granted heavenly grace and be everlastingly rewarded, through Your mercy, blessed Lord God who governs all things for ever and ever.

 

Congregation : Amen.

 

The minister takes the child and asks the godparents his or her name.  He first names it and then

baptizes it in water, and saying :

 

I baptize you in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

We receive this child into the congregation of Christ’s flock and sign him or her with the sign of the cross (here the minister makes a cross on the child’s forehead) to show that he or she will not be ashamed to confess the faith of Christ crucified and fight bravely against sin, the world and the devil and continue to be Christ’s faithful follower and servant till his or her life’s end.  Amen.

 

Let us pray together

 

We give you heartfelt thanks, most merciful Father that You hear our prayers made in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ to regenerate this child with Your Holy Spirit, to receive him or her for Your own child by adoption and to include him or her in Your holy Church.  We pray that he or she may die to sin and live to righteousness, being crucified with Christ and raised with Him, and that with the rest of Christ’s holy church, he or she may inherit Your everlasting kingdom, through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Almighty God, our heavenly Father, Your Son Jesus shared at Nazareth the life of a godly home; may this child be brought up in the training and instruction of the Lord.  Bless every family here.  Help parents to teach the knowledge of Your love and righteousness.  Help children to respond with love and obedience.  May our homes be blessed with Your presence, and filled with faith, hope and love, through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

 

The grace said together :

 

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all, evermore.  Amen.

 

 

Then follow the announcements

 

The hymn before the sermon.

The sermon.

The closing hymn.

The benediction.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Baptism Service

 

Adults and Responsible Persons

 

Baptism may take the place of Sunday Morning Prayer or it may be inserted into Morning Prayer at the second reading.

 

Before baptism the parents shall ask the minister to arrange a suitable time and he shall satisfy himself that the parents and godparents understand their responsibility.

 

Each of them is to have at least one godparent as sponsor and witness.

 

No person previously baptized in water in the “Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit” may be re-baptised but the minister is to receive them into the fellowship of the church.

 

On the day and time appointed for the baptism the parents, godparents and children to be baptized are seated near the font.

 

The minister welcomes them and the congregation.  He announces the first hymn.  After the hymn has been sung he reads the following verses from the Bible.

 

 

I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols.  I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.  And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. 

Ezekiel 36:25-27

 

Repent and be baptized every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, so that your sins may be forgiven.  And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.  The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off – for all whom the Lord our God will call.

Acts 2:38, 39

Paul and Silas answered the jailor at Philippi :

 

“Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved – you and your household”.  Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house.  At that hour of the night – about midnight – the jailor took Paul and Silas and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his family were baptized. 

 

            Acts 16:31-33

You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 

 

Galatians 3:26-27

 

The minister says:

 

Dear Christian friends, God’s word tell us that everyone is born with a sinful nature, that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.  Our Lord Jesus Christ said that no one can naturally enter the kingdom of heaven, but must be born again.  Baptism is the external and visible sign of the new birth, of the washing away of sin and of becoming a member of God’s family.  But, it is of no effect without the inward and spiritual work of the Holy Spirit who first brings us to repentance and then to trust in the perfect sacrifice for sins made on the cross by our Saviour Jesus Christ.  Therefore, let us pray that God will graciously grant our brother(s) and sister(s) who have come here for baptism that which by their sinful nature they cannot have, that they may be born of the Holy Spirit and made living members of Christ’s holy church.  Amen.

 

Minister:

Let us say the Lord’s Prayer – and the next prayer :

 

Almighty God, heavenly Father, who sent Your Son into the world to save sinners, by living a life of perfect obedience to Your holy law, by suffering and dying upon the cross, by rising from the dead and ascending into heaven; mercifully grant to these Your servants, who have come to baptism, to be cleansed from their sins, born again to everlasting life, and that they may be filled with your Holy Spirit, through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

 

Then follow Bible readings from the Apostle Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians chapter 10 verses 1-6 and Mark’s gospel chapter 1 verses 4-11.  Both readings begin : “Hear the word of God as it is written in … chapter … verses …” and conclude; “Here ends of reading from God’s word”.

 

First Bible reading

 

For I do not want you to be ignorant of the fact, brothers, that our forefathers were all under the cloud and that they all passed through the sea.  They were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea.  They all ate the same spiritual food and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ.  Nevertheless, God was not pleased with most of them; their bodies were scattered over the desert.  Now these things occurred as examples to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did.

 

Second Bible reading

 

And so John came, baptizing in the desert region and preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.  The whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem went out to him.  Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River.  John wore clothing made of camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his wait, and he ate locusts and wild honey.  And this was his message; “After me will come one more powerful than I, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie.  I baptize you with water, but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit”.

At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan.  And Jesus was coming up out of the water, He saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on Him like a dove.  And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased”.

 

Then follow the announcements

 

The hymn before the sermon.

The sermon.

Another hymn may be sung and after this the minister asks the sponsor(s) and those who have come for baptism to stand.  He says to them :

 

Minister :        Brothers and sisters in Christ, in the presence of God and this congregation do you renounce the devil and all his works, the empty display, greed and false values of the world, and the sinful desires of the flesh, so that You will not follow them or be led by them ?

 

Answer :         I renounce them all.

 

Minister :        Do you believe in God the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth ?

 

Answer :         I do believe in Him.

 

Minister :        Do you believe in Jesus Christ His only Son our Lord ?

 

Answer :         I do.  He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and was  born of the virgin Mary.  He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried.  He descended into hell, and on the third day rose again. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.  He will come again to judge the living and the dead.

 

Minister :        Do you believe in the Holy Spirit; Christ’s holy universal church; the fellowship of Christians; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body; and the life everlasting?

 

Answer :         All this I firmly believe.

 

Minister :        Will you then obediently keep God’s holy will and commandments and serve Him faithfully all your life ?

 

Answer :         I will.

 

Minister :        Merciful God, grant that your old nature may be so buried and that the new nature will grow in its place.

 

Congregation : Amen.

 

 

Minister :        Grant that your sinful desires may die and Christian values live in their place.

 

Congregation : Amen.

 

Minister :        Grant that you may have strength and endurance to win the victory over the devil, the world and your sinful nature.

 

Congregation : Amen.

 

The minister baptizes them in water saying :

 

Minister :        … I baptize you in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

 

We received you into the congregation of Christ’s flock and sign you with the sign

of the cross (here the minister makes a cross on their foreheads) to show that

you will not be ashamed to confess the faith of Christ crucified and to fight bravely under His name against sin, the world, and the devil, and to continue Christ’s faithful soldier and servant to your life’s end.  Amen.

 

Minister : Let us pray together :

 

Heavenly Father, we thank You that You hear our prayers; made in the name of Your Son Jesus Christ for these our brothers and sisters who according to Your word have been baptized in Your Name; that they might receive new birth by Your Holy Spirit, become Your own children by adoption, and living members of Your holy church.  Grant that they may die to sin and live to righteousness, being crucified with Christ and raised with Him, and that they, with the rest of Your children may inherit Your eternal kingdom; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

 

Minister :

 

To God’s gracious mercy and protection we commit you.  The Lord bless and keep you.  The Lord make His face to shine on you and be gracious to you.  The Lord give you peace both now and for ever.  Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Confirmation Service

 

 

The minister welcomes the congregation.  He announces the first hymn.  After the hymn has been sung he, or a minister duly appointed to do so, says :

 

As we come before God we are first of all to seek His forgiveness.  Let us therefore confess our sins together :

 

Most gracious God, we acknowledge that each one of us is a sinner, who has strayed from Your way.  We have sinned against You both in what we have done and in what we have failed to do.  Have mercy on us, most merciful Father.  Forgive us our sins and help us to serve You, not only with our lips, but also with our lives through Jesus Christ our Saviour.  Amen. 

 

The minister – standing – says :

 

God’s word assures us that if we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to purify us from all unrighteousness.  God so loved the world that He gave us His only Son, Jesus Christ to save it and whoever believes in Him will not be condemned but have everlasting life.  Amen.

 

Then follows the first reading from the Old Testament beginning :

“Hear the Word of God as it is written in Joshua, chapter 1 verses 1 to 9”.

 

The Lord commands Joshua

After the death of Moses the servant of the LORD, the LORD said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ aide: “Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them—to the Israelites.  I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses.  Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the great river, the Euphrates—all the Hittite country—to the Great Sea on the west.  No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.  “Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give them.  Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go.  Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.  Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go“.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here ends the first reading from God’s word.

.

The congregation sings or reads Psalm 1.

 

1          Blessed is the man

who has not walked in the counsel of the ungodly:

nor followed the way of sinners

nor taken his seat amongst the scornful.

 

2          But his delight is in the law of the Lord:

and on that law he will ponder day and night.

 

3          He is like a tree planted beside streams of water:

that yields its fruit in due season.

 

4          Its leaves also shall not wither:

            and look whatever he does it shall prosper.

 

5             As for the ungodly it is not so with them:

they are like the chaff which the wind scatters.

 

6             Therefore the ungodly

shall not stand up at the judgment:

nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.

 

7          For the Lord cares for the way of the righteous.

but the way of the ungodly shall perish.

 

 

Then follows the second reading, from the New Testament, beginning : “Hear the Word of God as it is written in the Apostle Paul’s second letter to Timothy, chapter 3, verses 10 to 17” and concluding “Here ends the second reading from God’s word”.

 

Paul’s Charge to Timothy

“You, however, know all about my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance, persecutions, sufferings—what kinds of things happened to me in Antioch, Iconium and Lystra, the persecutions I endured. Yet the Lord rescued me from all of them. In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil men and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work”.

 

 

 

Those to be confirmed stand at the front of the church facing the bishop who says to them :

 

Bishop :          Brothers and sisters, in the presence of God, and of this congregation do you here confirm your repentance from sin, your personal commitment to Christ as Saviour and Lord, and the promises made by you or for you at your baptism, to reject the devil and all his works, the empty display, greed and false values of the world and the sinful desires of the flesh ?

 

Answer :         Yes, I do.

 

Bishop :          Do you believe in God the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth ?

 

Answer :         I do believe in Him.

 

Bishop :          Do you believe in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord ?

 

Answer :         I do.  He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and was born of the virgin Mary.  He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried.  He descended into hell and on the third day He rose again.  He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.  He will come again to judge the living and the dead.

 

Bishop :          Do you believe in God the Holy Spirit, Christ’s holy universal church, the fellowship of Christians, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body and the life everlasting ?

 

Answer :         All this I truly believe.

 

Bishop :          Will you continue in the fellowship and worship of the church, and personal Bible study and prayer ?

 

Answer :         I will, with God’s help.

 

Bishop :                      Will you obey God’s holy will and commandments, and serve Him faithfully throughout your life ?

 

Answer :         I will, with God’s help.

 

Bishop :          May Almighty God who has given you the will to do all these things also give you the strength and endurance to perform them and keep you holy and blameless to the coming day of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Faithful is He who calls you and He will do it.  Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

The minister calls the names of those to be confirmed who kneel before the bishop.  He lays his

hand on each and prays :

 

Defend, Lord, these Your servants with Your heavenly grace, that they may continue Yours for ever, and daily increase in Your Holy Spirit until they come to Your everlasting Kingdom.  Amen. 

 

Bishop :          Let us pray the Lords prayer together.

 

Bishop :          Almighty and ever living God, we pray for these Your servants, upon whom, after the example of the Apostles, we now have laid hands to assure them of Your love for them.

May Your fatherly hand always protect and shield them.  May Your Holy Spirit always be with them, and lead them into all truth in obedience to Your word.  Grant that they may grow in the faith and knowledge of Christ, and to continue His loyal followers and servants to their lives’ end.  Amen.

 

The grace – said together

 

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all evermore.  Amen.

 

The announcements

The hymn before the sermon.

The sermon.

The closing hymn (during which the collection may be taken).

 

The blessing.

 

Now, to Him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before His glorious presence without fault and with great joy – to the only God our Saviour be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and for evermore.  Amen.

 

__________________________________

 

It is the rule of the Church of England that its members should have taken part, or be ready and willing to take part, in the confirmation service before they may share in the Lord’s Supper or Holy Communion. 

 

 

A Confession of the Christian Faith

 

usually called

 

The Creed of St. Athanasius

 

To be said on Trinity Sunday and at other suitable occasions instead of the Apostles’ Creed – all standing.  

 

1          Whosoever will be saved: before all things it is necessary that he hold the Holy Christian faith.

 

2          Which faith except everyone do keep whole and undefiled : without doubt he shall perish everlastingly.

 

3          And the Holy Christian Faith is this : that we worship one God in Trinity, and the Trinity in Unity;

 

4             Neither confounding the Persons : nor dividing the Substance.

 

5             For there is one Person of the Father, another of the Son: and another of the Holy Spirit.

 

6             But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, is all one : the Glory equal, the Majesty co-eternal.

 

7             Such as the Father is, such is the Son: and such is the Holy Spirit.

 

8             The Father uncreate, the Son uncreate: and the Holy Spirit uncreate.

 

9             The Father incomprehensible, the Son incomprehensible: and the Holy Spirit incomprehensible.

 

10          The Father eternal, the Son eternal: and the Holy Spirit eternal.

 

11          And yet they are not three eternals: but one eternal.

 

12          As also there are not three incomprehensibles, nor three uncreated : but one uncreated and one incomprehensible.

 

13          So likewise the Father is Almighty, the Son Almighty: and the Holy Spirit Almighty.

 

14          And yet they are not three Almighties: but one Almighty.

 

15          So the Father is God, the Son is God: and the Holy Spirit is God.

 

16          And yet they are not three Gods: but one God.

 

17                      So likewise the Father is Lord, the Son Lord: and the Holy Spirit Lord.

 

18          And yet not three Lords: but one Lord.

 

19          For like as we are compelled by Christian verity: to acknowledge every Person by Himself to be God and Lord.

 

20          So we are forbidden by the Holy Christian Faith: to say there be three Gods or three Lords.

 

21          The Father is made of none: neither created nor begotten.

 

22          The Son is of the Father alone: not made, nor created, but begotten.

 

23          The Holy Spirit is of the Father and of the Son; neither made, nor created, not begotten, but proceeding.

 

24          So there is one Father, not three Fathers, one Son, not three Sons; one Holy Spirit, not three Holy Spirits.

 

25          And in this Trinity none is before, or after another: non is greater, or less than another.

 

26          But the whole three Persons are co-eternal together: and co-equal.

 

27          So that in all things, as is aforesaid: the Unity in Trinity, and the Trinity in Unity is to be worshipped.

 

28          He therefore that will be saved: must thus think of the Trinity.

 

29          Furthermore, it is necessary to everlasting salvation: that he also believes rightly in the Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

30          For the right Faith is, that we believe and confess: that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and Man.

 

31          God, of the Substance of the Father, begotten before the worlds: and Man, of the Substance of his Mother, born in the world.

 

32          Perfect God, and perfect Man: of a reasonable soul and human flesh subsisting;

 

33          Equal to the Father, as touching his Godhead: and inferior to the Father, as touching his Manhood.

 

34          Who although He be God and Man: yet He is not two, but one Christ.

 

35          One; not by conversion of the Godhead into flesh: but by taking of the Manhood into God;

 

36          One altogether; not by confusion of substance: but by unity of Person.

 

37          For as the reasonable soul and flesh is one man: so God and Man is one Christ;

 

38          Who suffered for our salvation: descended into hell, rose again the third day from the dead.

 

39          He ascended into heaven, He sits on the right hand of the Father, God Almighty: from where He shall come to judge the living and the dead.

 

40          At whose coming all men shall rise again with their bodies: and shall give account for their own works.

 

41          And they that have done good shall go into life everlasting: and they that have done evil into everlasting fire.

 

42          This is the Faith of Christ’s Holy Universal Church: which except a man believes faithfully, he cannot be saved.

 

Glory to God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit

as in the beginning so now and for ever.  Amen.

 

 

The Athanasian Creed composed between AD381-428, based on the work of St. Athanasius, Bishop of Alexandria AD329-373, affirms and defines the fundamental Christian doctrine of God the Holy Trinity.

 

A Restatement of the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion.

 

Originally agreed upon by the Archbishops, the Bishops and the whole clergy of the Church of England – London 1562 – to put an end to differences of opinion and to settle permanent agreement in regard to true doctrine and true worship.

 

Subjects of the Articles

 

1             The Holy Trinity

2             Christ the Son of God

3             Christ’s descent into hell

4             Christ’s resurrection

5             The Holy Spirit

6             Sufficiency of the Bible

7             The Old Testament

8             The Three Creeds

9             Original Sin

10          Free Will

11          Justification

12          Good Works

13          Works before justification

14          Works of Supererogation

15          Christ alone without sin

16          Sin after Baptism

17          Predestination and Election

18          Salvation in Christ alone

19          The Church

20          Authority of the Church

21          Authority of General Councils

22          Purgatory

23          Church Ministry

24          Language of public worship

25          The Sacraments

26          Unworthy ministers

27          Baptism

28          The Lord’s Supper

29          Participation of unbelievers

30          Communion in both kinds

31          Christ’s one offering

32          Marriage of Ministers

33          Excommunicated persons

34          Church traditions

35          The Homilies

36          Consecration and Ordination

37          Civil Rulers

38          Private Property

39          Christian Oath-taking

 

 

 

1. The Holy Trinity

There is only one living and true God. His existence is everlasting, without beginning or end. As a spiritual being, not limited by a body and bodily members, and free from bodily desires and impulses, his power, wisdom, and goodness are infinite. He is the Creator and Preserver of all things whether seen or unseen. In the unity of this one true God there are three Persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, who are one in being, power and eternity.

2. Of the Word or Son of God

The Son, who is the Word of the Father (Jn 1.1), is the Son of the Father from everlasting to everlasting. He is truly and eternally God, one with the Father in being. He took our human nature to himself in the womb of the virgin Mary, so that two full and perfect natures, his divine and our human nature, were united in the one person of the incarnate Son, never to be divided. There is therefore one Christ who is truly God and truly man, and who truly suffered, was crucified, died and was buried. By Christ’s sacrifice of himself, not only for original guilt but also for all actual sins of men, God was reconciling the world to himself (2 Cor 5.19).

3. Christ’s descent to the grave

As Christ died for us and was buried, so also it is to be believed that the giving up of his life was a reality.

4. Of the Resurrection of Christ

Christ truly rose again from the dead. His was a bodily resurrection, with flesh, bones and all things that belong to the perfection of our human nature. His ascension was a bodily ascension into heaven, where he is now enthroned until the last day, when he will return to judge all men.

5. The Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit who proceeds from the Father and the Son is one in being, majesty, and glory with the Father and the Son, and thus is truly and eternally God.

6. The sufficiency of Holy Scripture for our salvation

Holy Scripture sets forth everything that is necessary for our salvation. Consequently, nobody should be required to believe as an article of the Christian faith, or to regard as necessary for salvation, anything that is not found in Scripture. By the term Holy Scripture we mean the canonical books of the Old and New Testaments, namely:

Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 and 2 Samuel, 1 and 2 Kings, 1 and 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi.

Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts, Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 and 2 Thessalonians, 1 and 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon, Hebrews, James, 1 and 2 Peter, 1, 2 and 3 John, Jude, Revelation.

The books known as the Apocrypha are read by the Church, as Jerome said, because of the examples they provide of the heroic lives and faithful conduct; but the Church does not use these books to establish any doctrine.

7. The Old Testament

The Old Testament is not contrary to the New Testament. In the Old as well as in the New Testament, everlasting life is offered to mankind through Christ; for Christ, who is both God and man, is the only Mediator between God and man. Therefore we must not pay attention to any who say that in the Old Testament the patriarchs and others were limited in their expectation to transitory promises. Although the ceremonies and rites of the Law which God gave through Moses, are not binding on Christians, and the civil precepts of the Law are not essential for the organisation of any state or commonwealth, yet no Christian is free from obedience to the commandments known as moral.

8. The three creeds

The three creeds, namely the Nicene Creed, the Athanasian Creed, and what is commonly called the Apostles’ Creed, should be received and believed without reservation, because they may be proved from Holy Scripture.

9. Original sin

Original sin does not consist in imitating the sin of Adam, (as the Pelagians wrongly teach), but is the fault and corruption of the nature with which all descendants of Adam are born. It is due to original sin that we have departed very far from the original righteousness in which we were created, and are naturally inclined to evil, with the result that there is a constant war between flesh and the spirit. Accordingly in every person born into this world, original sin is deserving of God’s wrath and condemnation. This infection of our nature remains even in those who in Christ are reborn. Because of it the desire of the flesh is not submissive to the Law of God. True though it is that there is no condemnation awaiting those who believe and are baptised, yet the Apostle asserts that all ungodly desires are in themselves sinful.

10. Free Will

Since the fall of Adam man’s state is such that he is unable, by his own natural strength and good works, to turn and dispose himself to believe and call upon God. Consequently, we have no power of our own to do good works that are pleasing and acceptable to God, unless the grace of God is first given through Christ, so that we may have a good will, and that same grace continues at work within us to maintain that good will.

11. Justification

It is not because of any good works or deservings on our part, but only by faith which rests on the merit of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, that we are accounted righteous before God. Therefore, the doctrine of our justification by faith alone is most edifying and full of strength and comfort. (This doctrine is more fully explained in the Homily on Justification.)

12. Good works

Although good works, which are the fruits of faith and follow after our justification, cannot put away our sins, and are subject to the severity of God’s judgment, yet, inasmuch as they are done in Christ and for His sake, they are pleasing and acceptable to God; for they spring necessarily from a true and vital faith, and are indeed the evidence of a vital faith, just as a tree is recognised by its fruit.

13. Works before Justification

Works that are done before receiving the grace of Christ and the indwelling of his Spirit are not pleasing to God, because they do not spring faith in Jesus Christ; nor is it true (as some say) that they render us fit to receive grace or are deserving of grace. On the contrary, the fact that such works are not done as God has willed and commanded them to be done can only mean that they have the nature of sin.

14. Works of Supererogation

Works which are supposedly done voluntarily beyond and in excess of what is required by God’s commandments (known as works of supererogation) cannot be taught without self-centered arrogance and irreverence; for it is claimed that persons who perform such works render to God not only as much as it is their duty to render, but actually do for God more than is of bounden duty required; whereas Christ plainly stated, “When you have done all that is commanded, say, We are unprofitable servants.” (Luke 17.10).

15. Christ alone without sin

As our true fellow man Christ was like us in all respects, with the exception only of sin, from which he was completely free, both in his flesh and in his spirit. He came into the world to be the Lamb without spot or blemish, and by his once-for-all sacrifice of himself to take away the sins of the world as the one in whom, as St John says, there was no sin (Jn 1.29; 1 Jn 3.5). But all the rest of us, though we have been baptized and born again in Christ, continue to offend in many things; and “if we say we have no sin we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us” (1 John 1.8).

16. Sin after Baptism

Not every serious sin committed after our baptism is an unpardonable sin against the Holy Spirit. Therefore persons who fall into sin after baptism should be encouraged to repent. After we have received the Holy Spirit it is possible for us to turn away from the grace we have experienced and to fall into sin, and it is possible for us who have fallen to rise again and amend our lives by the grace of God. Therefore persons who say that they cannot sin any more as long as they continue in this life (claiming to have attained sinless perfection), or who deny any opportunity of forgiveness to those who truly repent, are to be condemned.

17. Predestination and Election

Predestination to life belongs to God’s everlasting purpose. By this is meant that before foundation of the world, it is his unchangeable decree, in accordance with his secret counsel to deliver from curse and damnation those whom he has chosen in Christ, and to bring them by him to everlasting salvation, as vessels of his mercy (Rom 9.21ff). Therefore, those on whom such an excellent blessing of God is bestowed are called according to God’s purpose by the Holy Spirit working in them in God’s good time; through grace they obey this calling and are freely justified by God; they become the sons of God by adoption (Rom 3.24; 8.15f); they are conformed to the image of his only Son Jesus Christ; they lead holy lives that are given to good works to the glory of God; and at last, by God’s mercy, they attain to everlasting bliss (Rom 8.29f; Eph 2.8-10).

The reverent consideration of our predestination and election in Christ is full of sweet, pleasant, and unspeakable strength to godly persons, who feel the working in themselves of the Spirit of Christ, mortifying the works of the flesh and their earthly passions and drawing their thoughts upward to high and heavenly realities. This teaching is welcome to us both because it strongly establishes and confirms our assurance of eternal salvation to be enjoyed through Christ, and also because it kindles in us a fervent love to God. For unregenerated persons, however, who are moved by idle curiosity and who do not have the Spirit of Christ, to be constantly confronted with the doctrine God’s predestination is dangerous and disastrous, since the devil uses it to drive them either to despair or to abandon themselves to immoral and ungodly living, which is no less perilous than despair.

Furthermore, we must accept God’s promises in the way in which they are ordinarily presented to us in Holy Scripture, and in all that we do the will of God is to be followed precisely as it is revealed to us in the Word of God.

18. Salvation in Christ alone

They are to be condemned as false teachers who assert that persons will be saved no matter what beliefs they hold or what sect they belong to, provided they sincerely lead their lives according to those beliefs and to the light of nature; for Holy Scripture insists that it only by the name of Jesus Christ that we may be saved (Acts 4.12).

19. The Church

The visible Church of Christ is a gathering of believing people in the which the pure Word of God is preached and the sacraments are ministered with due order and discipline as ordained by Christ. Together with other churches, the Church of Rome has erred, not only matters of conduct and ceremonial but also in matters of doctrine.

20. The Authority of the Church

The Church has power to prescribe rites and ceremonies and has authority in theological controversies; but it is not lawful for the Church to prescribe anything that is contrary to God’s written Word, or to expound one passage of Scripture in such a way that it disagrees with another. Therefore, although the Church is a witness and a guardian of Holy Scripture, yet it is not open to it to prescribe anything contrary to Scripture, or to enforce anything not found in Scripture to be believed as necessary to salvation.

21. The authority of General Councils

Even general councils may err when they meet, and sometimes have erred, even in issues of theological importance – for such councils are composed of men, not all of whom may be governed by the Spirit and the Word of God. Therefore, nothing declared by such councils as necessary for salvation has binding power or authority unless it is plainly taught in Holy Scripture.

22. Purgatory

The Romish teaching about purgatory, pardons, the worship and adoration of images and relics, and also the practice of praying to saints, is a futile deception, which, far from being grounded in Scripture, is repugnant to the Word of God.

23. Ministering in the congregation

No man is permitted to take upon himself the office of public preaching or ministration of the sacraments before he has been called and appointed to fulfil this office. Those persons should be accepted as lawfully called and appointed who have been selected and called to this work by men entrusted with public authority in the Church to call and send ministers into the Lord’s vineyard.

24. The language of public worship

It is plainly incompatible with the Word of God, and with the custom of the primitive Church to conduct public worship or to minister the sacraments in the Church in a language the people do not understand.

25. The Sacraments

The sacraments prescribed by Christ are badges and tokens of our profession as Christians, and, more particularly, they are trustworthy witnesses and effectual signs of God’s grace and good will to us. By them God works invisibly in us, both arousing and also strengthening and confirming our faith in him.

Christ our Lord has ordained two gospel sacraments, namely baptism and the Lord’s supper.

The five that are commonly called sacraments, namely, confirmation, penance, ordination, matrimony, and extreme unction are not to be received as sacraments of the gospel, since they have in part developed from a false understanding of apostolic practice and in part represent states of life allowed in the Scriptures. Moreover, because they have no visible sign or ceremony commanded by God, they do not belong in the same category as the sacraments of baptism and the Lord’s supper.

The sacraments were not appointed by Christ to be a public spectacle or to be paraded for adoration, but to be used with due discipline. They have a beneficial effect or working only in those who receive them worthily; whereas those who receive them unworthily bring condemnation on themselves, as St Paul teaches (1 Cor 11.27ff).

26. The Unworthiness of ministers

Although in the visible Church there is always a mingling of evil good, and at times evil persons hold the chief positions in the ministry of the Word and sacraments, yet, because they do so not in their own but in Christ’s name and perform their ministry by his commission and authority, we may avail ourselves of their ministry both in hearing the Word of God and in receiving the sacraments. The effect of Christ’s ordinance is not taken away by their wickedness, nor is the grace of God’s gifts diminished in the case of those who receive the sacraments rightly and by faith; for, although ministered by evil men, these are effectual on account of Christ’s institution and promise.

Nevertheless, it belongs to the discipline of the Church that evil ministers should be investigated and that they should be accused by those who have knowledge of their offences, and, further, that, on being found guilty, they should by just judgment be deposed.

27. Baptism

Baptism is a sign of the faith we profess and a mark that differentiates Christian persons from those who are unbaptized; and it is also a sign of regeneration or new birth by which, as by an instrument, those who receive baptism rightly are grafted into the Church, the promises of forgiveness of sin and of our adoption to be the sons of God are visibly signified and sealed, and faith is confirmed and grace increased by virtue of prayer to God. The baptism of young children is under all circumstances to be retained in the Church as a practice fully agreeable with the institution of Christ.

28. The Lord’s supper

The supper of the Lord is not only a sign of the love that Christians ought to have among themselves for each other, but is especially a sacrament of our redemption by Christ’s death. Accordingly, for those who rightly, worthily, and with faith receive it the bread that is broken is a partaking of the body of Christ and the cup of blessing is a partaking of the blood of Christ (1 Cor 10.16).

Transubstantiation (the teaching that the substance the bread and wine is changed into the actual flesh and blood of Christ) in the supper of the Lord cannot be proved by Holy Scripture, but is repugnant to the plain words of Scripture, overthrows the nature of a sacrament, and has given rise to many superstitions.

In the Lord’s supper the body of Christ is given, taken and eaten only in a heavenly or spiritual manner, and faith is the means by which the body of Christ is received and eaten in the supper.

The Sacrament of the Lord’s supper was not commanded by Christ to be reserved, carried about, lifted up, or worshipped.

29. The participation of unbelievers

Though wicked persons, and all in whom a vital faith is absent, physically and visibly press the sacrament of the body and blood of Christ with their teeth (as Saint Augustine says), yet in no sense are they partakers of Christ; on the contrary, they eat and drink the sign or sacrament of so great a reality to their own condemnation.

30. Communion in both kinds

The cup of the Lord is not to be denied to the laity, for both parts of the Lord’s sacrament, the wine as well as the bread, ought by Christ’s ordinance and commandment to be ministered alike to all Christian persons.

31. The one offering of Christ finished in the cross

Christ’s offering of himself on the cross, once for all, is the perfect redemption, propitiation, and satisfaction for all the sins of the whole world, both original and actual, and there is no other satisfaction for sin, but that alone. Therefore the sacrifices of masses, in which it is commonly said that the Priest offers Christ for the living and the dead, to obtain the remission of their punishment or guilt, are blasphemous fables and dangerous deceits.

32. The marriage of ministers

Bishops, presbyters, and deacons are not commanded by God’s Law to take vows of celibacy or to abstain from marriage; therefore it is lawful for them, as for all other Christian persons, to marry at their own discretion, where they judge that it serves better to godliness for them to do so.

33. Excommunicated persons

Any person who by open denunciation of the Church is rightly cut off from the unity of the Church and excommunicated ought to be treated by the whole company of the faithful as a heathen and a traitor, until such time as he is reconciled by penitence and received back into the Church by a judge with authority to do so (cf Mt 18.17).

34. The traditions of the church

It is not necessary that traditions and ceremonies should be uniform and identical in every place; for these have at all times been diversified, and they may be changed to accord with the diversities of countries, times, and human customs, provided that nothing be ordained contrary to God’s Word. Anyone who by his private judgment willingly and deliberately breaks the traditions and ceremonies of the Church which are not repugnant to the Word of God, and are appointed and approved by common authority, ought to be openly rebuked (so that others may fear to follow his example) as one who offends against the common order of the Church, undermines authority, and wounds the consciences of weak fellow Christians.

Every particular or national church has authority to prescribe, change and abolish ceremonies or rites of the Church which have been ordered only by human authority, providing that all things are done for edification.

35. The Homilies

The two books of Homilies, which were set forth in the times of Edward VI and Elizabeth I respectively, contain godly and wholesome teaching.

36. The Consecration

of Bishops and Ministers The form of consecration of Archbishops and bishops and the ordering of presbyters and deacons, set forth in the time of Edward VI, contain all things necessary for such consecration and ordering and nothing that of itself is superstitious and ungodly. Therefore anyone who is consecrated or ordained according to these rites we declare to be rightly, orderly, and lawfully consecrated and ordained.

37. Civil Magistrates

We do not give to our princes or rulers the right to minister either God’s Word or the sacraments. The only prerogative which we recognise as having been given by God himself in Holy Scripture to all godly rulers is that they should rule all states and classes committed to their charge by God, whether ecclesiastical or secular, and restrain with the civil sword stubborn persons and evildoers.

The Bishop of Rome has no jurisdiction in this realm.

Christians may be punished by the laws of the realm with death for heinous and grievous offences.

It is lawful for Christian men to carry weapons and serve in wars at the command of the civil ruler.

38. Private property

The wealth and possessions of Christians are not common to all nor is their right and title to own private property to be questioned. Nevertheless, every person ought to give liberally and according to his ability from the things he possesses to the poor.

39. Oath-taking

While we acknowledge that vain and rash swearing is forbidden to Christians by our Lord Jesus Christ, and St James (Mt 5.34-37; Jam 5.12), we judge that our Christian religion does not prohibit us from swearing an oath when it is required by the magistrate in the cause of good faith and charity, providing it is done according to the prophet’s teaching in justice, judgment and truth.