The Book of Common Prayer
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    The Ordinal
from the 1549, 1552 and 1559 Books of Common Prayer

 
Title page from the original
Ordinal title page, 1550
[The first Ordinal in English was not published until 1550.]
Ordinal title page, from a 1634 printing.

 

THE PREFACE.

IT is evident unto all men, diligently readinge holye scripture, and auncient aucthours, that from the Apostles tyme, there hathe bene these orders of Ministers in Christes church, Bisshoppes, Priestes, and Deacons, which Offices were evermore had in suche reverent estimacion, that no man by his own private aucthoritie, might presume to execute any of them, except he were first called, tried, examined, and knowen, to have such equalities, as were requisite for the same. And also by publique prayer, with imposicion of handes, approved, and admitted thereunto. And therfore to the entent these orders shoulde bee continued, and reverentlye used, and estemed in this Church of England, it is requysite, that no man (not beynge at thys presente Bisshop, Priest, nor Deacon) shall execute anye of them, excepte he be called, tryed, examined, and admitted, accordynge to the forme hereafter folowinge. And none shalbe admitted a Deacon, except he be xxi yeres of age at the least. And every man, which is to be admitted a Priest, shalbe full xxiiii yeres olde. And every man, which is to be consecrated a Bishop, shalbe fully thyrtie yeres of age. And the Bisshop knowinge, eyther by hymself, or by sufficient testimonye, any person to be a man of vertuous conversacion [=behavior], and wythoute cryme, and after examinacion and triall, fyndynge hym learned in the Latyne tongue, and sufficientlye instructed in holye Scripture, maye upon a Sondaye or Holyday, in the face of the church, admitte hym a Deacon in suche maner and fourme, as hereafter foloweth.

Preface from the Ordinal of 1550

Preface from the Ordinal of 1550; clicking on the image to the left will bring up a larger (125K), readable version.

 

 

 

THE FOURME AND MANER

OF

ORDERINGE OF DEACONS.

 
Fyrst, when the daye appoynted by the Bisshoppe is come, there shalbe an exhortacion, declaring the duetie and office, of suche as come to be admitted Ministers, howe necessarie suche Orders are in the Churche of Christe, and also howe the people oughte to esteme them in theyr vocacion.
 

1550:  1552, 59: 

After the exhortacion ended, the Archedeacon, or his deputie, shal present such as come to be admitted to the Bisshop every one of them, that are presented, having upon hym a playne Albe; and the Archedeacon or his deputie shal saye these wordes.
 

After the exhortacion ended, the Archedeacon, or his deputie, shal present such as come the Bisshop to be admitted, saying these wordes.

R EVERENDE Father in GOD, I presente unto you, these persones presente, to bee admitted Deacons.
The Bisshoppe. Take hede that the persones whom ye presente unto us, be apte and mete, for theyr learninge and godlye conversacion [=behavior], to exercyse theyr ministerye duely, to the honoure of God, and edifyinge of hys Church.

The Archedeacon shall aunswere.

    I have enquyred of them, and also examined them, and thynke them so to be.

And then the Bisshop shal saye unto the people.

BRETHREN, yf there bee anye of you, who knoweth anye impediment, or notable crime, in any of these persones presented to bee ordered Deacons, for the whych he oughte not to bee admitted to the same, lette hym come foorthe in the name of God, and shewe what the cryme, or impediment is.

And yf any great cryme, or impediment be objected, the Bisshoppe shal surcease [=desist], from ordering that person, untyl suche tyme as the partie accused, shal trye himself clere of that cryme.

    Then the Bisshop, commending suche as shalbe found mete to be ordered to the prayers of the congregacion, wyth the Clerkes, and people present, shalt saye or synge the Letany as foloweth[ wyth the prayers]*.

* added 1552.
 

The Letanie and Suffrages.

O GOD the father of heaven : have mercye upon us myserable synners.
    O God the father of heaven : have mercie upon us miserable synners.
    O God the sonne, redemer of the world : have mercye upon us myserable synners.
    O God the Sonne, redemer of the world : have mercy upon us miserable synners.
    O God the holy Ghost, proceding from the father and the sonne : have mercye upon us myserable synners.
    O God the holy gost, proceding from the Father and the sonne: have mercye upon us miserable synners.
    O holy, blessed, and glorious Trinitie, thre persons and one God : have mercie upon us miserable synners.
    O holy, blessed, and glorious Trinitie, thre persons and one God : have mercie upon us miserable synners.
    Remembre not Lorde our offences, nor the offences of oure forefathers, neyther take thou vengeaunce of oure synnes spare us good Lorde, spare thy people, whom thou hast redemed with thy most precious bloud, and be not angry wyth us for ever.

Spare us good Lorde.

From all evyll and mischiefe, from synne, from the craftes and assaultes of the devyll, from thy wrath, and from everlasting damnacion.

Good Lorde deliver us.

From [al]* blyndnes of hearte, from pryde, vayneglory, and hypocrisie, from envie, hatred, and malice, and all uncharitablenes.

Good lord, deliver us.

From fornicacion, and all [other]* deadlye synne, and from all the deceyptes of the worlde, the fleshe, and the devyll.

Good lord, deliver us.

From lightening[es]* and tempest[es]*, from plague, pestilence, and famine, from battayle and murther, and from sodeyne death.

Good lord, deliver us.
* added 1552.

1550, 52:
From all sedicion and pryvie conspiracie, from the tyrannye of the Bysshop of Rome, and al hys detestable enormities, from al false doctryne and heresy, from hardnes of hearte, and contempte of thy worde and commaundement.

1559:
From all sedicion and privey conspiracye, frome all false doctrine and heresy, from hardnes of herte, and contempte of thy worde and commaundement:

Good lord, deliver us.

By the misterye of thy holy incarnacion, by thy holy nativitie and circumcision, by thy baptisme, fastynge, and temptacion.

Good lord, deliver us.

By thyne agonye and bloudie sweate, by thy crosse, and passion, by thy precious death and buriall, by thy glorious resurrection and ascension, and by the cominge of the holy Ghost.

Good lord, deliver us.

In al time of our tribulacion, in al tyme of our welth, in the houre of death, and in the daye of judgement.

Good Lorde delyver us.

We synners doe beseche thee to heare us (O Lorde God), and that it may please thee to rule and governe thy holy Church universally, in the ryghte waye.

We beseche thee to heare us good Lorde.

That it may please the, to kepe [and strengthen in the true worshippinge of the in righteousnes, and holynes of lyfe, thy servaunt]* EDWARD the sixth our [most gracious]* Kynge and governour.

* added 1559, and changed appropriately for Queen Elizabeth, King James & King Charles

We beseehe thee to heare us good lord.

That it may please thee, to rule his heart in thy fayth feare and love, that he may alwayes have affiaunce [=faith] in thee, and ever seke thy honour and glory.  

[this petition and the one following changed appropriately for Queen Elizabeth]

We beseche thee to heare us good Lorde.

That it may please thee, to be his defendour and keper, gevyng hym the victorie over all his enemies.

We beseche thee to heare us good Lord.

That it may please thee, to illuminate al Bisshops, Pastours, and Ministers of the Churche, wyth true knowledge, and understanding of thy worde, and that both by theyr preachynge and lyving, they may sette it forth and shewe it accordingly.

We beseche thee to heare us good Lorde.

That it may please thee, to blesse these men, and send thy grace upon them, that they maye duelye execute the offyce nowe to bee commytted unto them, to the edifyinge of thy Churche, and to thy honoure, prayse, and glorye.

This petition omitted in 1559

We beseche thee to heare us good Lorde.

That it may please thee to endue the Lordes of the Counsayle and al the nobilitie wyth grace, wysdome, and understanding.

We beseche thee to heare us good Lord.

That it may please thee, to blesse and kepe the Magistrates, geving them grace to execute Justice, and to maynteyne trueth.

We beseche hee to heare us good Lorde.

That it may please thee, to blesse and kepe al thy people.

We beseche thee to heare us good Lorde.

That it may please thee, to geve to al nacions, unitie, peace, and concorde.

We beseche thee to heare us good Lorde.

That it may please thee to geve us an heart, to love and dreade [=respect] thee, and dyligently to lyve after thy commaundementes.

We beseche thee to heare us good Lorde.

That it maye please thee to geve all thy people encrease of grace, to heare mekely thy woorde, and to receyve it wyth pure affection, and to brynge foorth the fruytes of the spirite.

We beseche thee to heare us good Lorde.

That it maye please thee, to bringe into the waye of trueth, al suche as have erred, and are deceyved.

We beseche thee to heare us good Lorde.

That it may please thee, to strengthen suche as doe stande, and to comforte and helpe the weake hearted, and to rayse them up that fall, and finallye to beate downe Sathan under our feete.

We beseche thee to heare us good Lorde.

That it may please thee, to succoure, helpe and comforte, al that be in daunger, necessitie, and tribulacion.

We beseche thee to heare us good Lorde.

That it may please thee, to preserve al that travayl by lande, or by water, al women labouringe of chylde, al sycke persons and yonge chyldren, and to shewe thy pytie upon al prysoners and captyves.

We beseche thee to heare us good lorde.

That it may please thee, to defende and provide for the fatherles chyldren and wyddowes, and all that be desolate and oppressed.

We beseche thee to heare us good lorde.

That it may please thee, to have mercie upon al men.

We beseche thee to heare us good lorde.

That it may please thee, to forgeve oure enemyes, persecutours, and slaunderers, and to turne theyr heartes.

We beseche thee to heare us good Lorde.

That it may please thee, to geve and preserve to our use, the kyndly fruytes of the yearth, so as in due tyme we may enjoye them.

We beseche thee to heare us good Lorde.

That it may please thee to geve us true repentaunce, to forgeve us all oure synnes, negligences, and ignoraunces, and to endue us wyth the grace of thy holye spirite, to amende oure lyves accordinge to thy holye worde.

We beseche thee to heare us good Lorde.

Sonne of God: we beseche thee to heare us

Sonne of God: we beseche thee to heare us.

O Lambe of God, that takeste awaye the synnnes of the worlde.
    Graunt us thy peace.

O Lambe of God, that takest awaye the synnes of the worlde.
    Have mercie upon us.

O Christe heare us.
    O Christe, heare us.

Lorde have mercy upon us.
    Lorde have mercy upon us.

Christ have mercy upon us.
    Christ have mercy upon us.

Lorde have mercy upon us.
    Lorde have mercy upon us.

 
1550, 59:

Our father which art in heaven, etc.
And leade us not into temptacion.
    But deliver us from evill.
 
 
1552:

Our father which art in heaven, &c.
And leade us not into temptacion.
    But deliver us from evill.
 

1550:
The Versicle.
O lorde deale not with us after our sinnes.
The aunswere. Neither reward us after our iniquities.

1552, 59:
The Versicle.
O lorde deale not with us after our sinnes.
The aunswere. Neither reward us after our iniquities.

Let us pray.

O GOD mercyfull father, that despyseste not the sighinge of a contryte hearte, nor the desyre of suche as be sorowfull, mercyfully assiste oure prayers that we make before thee, in all oure troubles and adversities, whensoever they oppresse us: and graciously heare us, that those evyls, which the craft and subteltie of the devyl, or man worketh agaynst us, be brought to naught, and by the providence of thy goodnes, they may be dispersed, that we thy servauntes, beyng hurte by no persecutions, may evermore geve thankes unto thee, in thy holy Church, through Jesu Christ oure Lorde.
    O Lorde aryse, help us, and delyver us, for thy names sake.

O GOD, we have heard with our eares, and oure fathers have declared unto us, the noble workes, that thou dyddeste in their dayes, and in the olde tyme before them.
   O Lorde aryse, help us, and delyver us, for thyne honour.

    Glorye be to the father, [and to]* the sonne, and to the holy ghost. As it was in the begynning, is now, and ever shal be, world without ende. Amen.
    From our enemies defende us, O Christ.

* added 1552.
 

Graciously loke upon our afflictions.

    Pitifully beholde the doloure* of our heart.

"sorowes" from 1552.

Mercifully forgeve the synnes of thy people.

    Favourably with mercy heare our prayers.

O sonne of David have mercy upon us.

    Both nowe and ever vouchesafe to heare us, O Christ.

Graciously heare us, O Christe, Graciously heare us, O Lord Christe.

The Versicle. O Lorde let thy mercy be shewed upon us.
The Aunswere. As we do put our trust in thee.

Let us praye.

WE humbly beseche thee, O father, mercyfully to looke upon oure infirmities, and for the glory of thy names sake, tourne from us all those evylles, that we moste ryghteouslye have deserved: And graunte that in all oure troubles, we maye put oure whole trust, and confydence in thy mercye, and evermore serve thee, in holynes and purenesse of lyvinge, to thy honour and glorye, through our onely mediatour and advocate Jesus Christ our lord. Amen.

ALMYGHTIE God, which hast geven us grace at this tyme with one accorde, to make our common supplicacions unto the, and doest promise that when two, or three be gathered in thy name, thou wilt graunt their requestes, fulfyll nowe, O Lorde, the desyres and peticions of thy servauntes, as may be moste expediente for them, grauntynge us in thys worlde, knowledge of thy trueth, and in the worlde to come lyfe everlastynge. Amen.

Then shalbe sayde also thys that foloweth.

ALMYGHTIE God, whiche by thy devyne providence, haste appoynted dyverse Orders of ministers in the Churche: and dyddeste enspyre thyne holy Apostles to chose unto this Ordre of Deacons, the fyrste Martyr sainct Stephyn, wyth other: mercyfully beholde these thy servauntes, now called to the lyke office and administracion; replenishe them so wyth the trueth of thy doctryne, and innocencie of lyfe, that, both by worde and good example, they may faithfully serve thee in this office, to the glory of thy name, and profyte of the congregacion, through the merites of our saviour Jesu Christ, who lyveth and reygneth wyth thee, and the holy Ghost, nowe and ever. Amen.

 
 

Then shal be songe or sayd, the Communion of the daye, savyng the Epistle shalbe read out of Timothe, as foloweth.

LIKEWYSE muste the ministers be honest, not double-tongued, not geven unto muche wyne, neyther gredy of fylthy lucre, but holding the mistery of the fayth, wyth a pure conscience. And let them first be proved, and then let them minister, so that no man be able to reprove them. Even so must theyr wives be honest, not evyll speakers, but sobre and faythfull in all thinges. Lette the Deacons bee the husbandes of one wyfe, and suche as rule theyr chyldren well, and theyr owne housholdes. For they that minister well, geat themselves a good degre, and a greate lybertie in the fayth, whych is in Christ Jesu.
    These thinges wryte I unto thee trusting to come shortely unto thee; but and yf I tarye longe, that then thou mayst yet have knowledge, howe thou oughteste to behave thyselfe, in the house of God, whiche is the congregacion of the lyvinge God, the pyller and grounde of trueth. And without doubt, greate is that misterie of Godlynesse. God was shewed in the fleshe, was justifyed in the spirite, was sene amonge the Angels, was preached unto the Gentyles, was beleved on in the worlde, and receyved up in glory.
 

 

 

[1 Timothy 2:8-16]

Or els thys out of the sixth of the Actes.

THEN the twelve called the multitude of the disciples together, and sayde: it is not mete that we shoulde leave the worde of God, and serve tables. Wherefore brethren, looke ye oute amonge you, seven men of honest report and full of the holy goste and wysdome, to whome we maye committe thys busynesse: but we wyll geve oureselves continually to prayer, and to the administracion of the word. And that saying pleased the whole multitude. And they chose Stephin, a man ful of fayth, and ful of the holy ghoste, and Philip, and Procorus, and Nichanor, and Tymon, and Permenas, and Nicholas a convert of Antioche. These they set before the Apostles: and when they had prayed, they layed theyr handes on them. And the worde of God increased, and the nombre of the Disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly, and a great companie of the Priestes, were obedient unto the fayth.
 

 

 

[Acts 6:2-7]

1550, 52:  1559:   

And before the Gospel, the Bisshop sittinge in a Chaire, shall cause the Othe [oath] of the Kynges Supremacie, and against the power and aucthoritie of the Bishop of Rome, to be ministred unto every of them that are to be Ordred.

The Othe of the Kynges Supremacie.

I FROM henceforth shal utterly renounce, refuse, relinquisshe and forsake the Bysshop of Rome, and hys aucthoritie, power, and jurisdiction. And I shal never consent nor agree, that the Bysshop of Rome shall practyse, exercyse, or have any maner of aucthoritie, Jurisdiction, or Power wythin thys Realme, or anye other the Kynges dominions, but shall resyste the same at all tymes, to the uttermoste of my power. And I from hence foorth wyll accepte, repute, and take the Kynges Maiestie, to be the onelye Supreme head in earth, of the Church of Englande: And to my connynge, wytte, and uttermoste of my power, wythoute guyle, fraude, or other undue meane, I wyll observe, kepe, maynteyne and defende, the whole effectes and contentes, of al, and synguler actes and Statutes made, and to be made wythin thys realme in derogacion [=impairing], extirpacion [=extermination], and extinguishment of the Bisshop of Rome and his aucthoritie, and al other Actes and Statutes, made or to be made, in confirmacion and corroboracion of the Kynges power, of the supreme head in earth, of the Church of Englande: and this I wyll do agaynst all maner of persones, of what estate, dignitie or degree, or condicion they be, and in no wise do nor attempt, nor to my power, suffre to be done or attempted, directely or indirectly, any thing or thinges, prively or appertelye [apertly, =publicly], to the let [=prevention], hinderaunce, dammage, or derogacion thereof, or any part thereof, by any maner of meanes, or for any maner of pretence. And in case any othe bee made, or hath been made by me, to any person or persones, in mayntenaunce, defence, or favoure of the Bisshoppe of Rome, or hys aucthoritie, jurisdiction, or power, I repute the same, as vayne and adnichilate [=annulled]: so help me God, [all Saints and the holy Evangelist].*
 

And before the Gospell, the Bisshop sittyinge in a chayre, shall cause the Othe [oath] of the Quenes Souveraintie*, and against the power and authoritye of all foreyn pontentates, to be ministred unto every of them that are to be ordered.

The Othe of the Quenes [Kings] Soverainte.

I A. B. do utterly testifie and declare in my conscience that the quenes [Kings] highnesse is the onely supreame Governoure of this Realme and of all other her [his] highnesse dominions and countreyes, aswell in all spirituall or ecclesiasticall thinges or causes: as temporall, and that no forrayn prince, person, prelate, state, or potentate, hath or ought to have any jursidiction, power, superioritie, preheminence or aucthoritie ecclesiasticall or spiritual within this realme, and therefore I do utterly renounce and forsake all forayn jurisdictions, powers, superiorities, and aucthorities, and do promyse that from henceforth I shall beare fayth and trewe allegyaunce to the Quenes [kings] hyghnes, her [his] heyres and lawfull successours, and to my power shall assiste and defende all jurisdictions, privileges, preheminences, and aucthorities graunted or belonging to the Quenes [Kings] hyghnesse, her [his] heyres and successours, or united and annexed to thimperiall Croune of thys realme, so helpe me God, and the contentes of thys boke.

 

 

* Kings supremacie in 1604.

*  "through Jesus Christ" in 1552.

Then shalt the Bisshop examine every one of them that are to be ordered, in the presence of the people, after thys maner folowynge.

    Do you trust that you are inwardely moved by the holy Ghoste, to take upon you thys offyce and ministracion, to serve God, for the promotinge of hys glorye, and the edyfyinge of hys people?
    Aunswere. I truste so.
   The Bisshop. Do ye thinke, that ye truely be called accordinge to the wyll of our Lord Jesus Christe, and the due ordre of thys realme to the ministery of the Church?
   Aunswere. I thinke so.
    The Bisshop. Doe ye unfeynedly beleve all the Canonicall scriptures, of the olde and newe Testament?
    Aunswere. I doe beleve.
    The Bisshoppe. Will you diligently reade the same unto the people assembled in the Churche, where you shalbe appoynted to serve?
    Aunswere. I wyll.
    The Bisshoppe. It perteyneth to the office of a Deacon [in the Churche where he shalbe appoynted,]* to assiste the Prieste in devine service, and speciallye when he ministreth the holye Communion, and [to]* helpe him in distribucion thereof, and to reade holye scriptures and Homelies in the congregacion, and [to]* instructe the youth in the Cathechisme, to Baptise and [to]* preache yf he be [commaunded]† by the Bisshop. And further more, it is his office [where provision is so made]* to searche for the sicke, poore, and impotente people of the parishe, and to intimate theyr estates, names, and places where thei dwel to the Curate, that by his exhortacion they maye bee relieved by the parishe or other convenient almose [alms]: wil you do this gladly and wyllingly?

* added 1552.
† "admitted therto" from 1552.

    Aunswere. I wyll so do by the helpe of God.
    The Bisshoppe. Will you applye all youre diligence to frame and fasshion youre owne lyves, and the lives of all your familie according to the doctrine of Christ, and to make bothe your selves and them as muche as in you lieth, wholesome examples of the flocke of Christ?
    Aunswere. I wyll so do, the Lorde beyng my helper.
    The Bisshoppe. Will you reverently obeye your ordinary and other chiefe Ministers of the Church, and them to whom the governemente and charge is committed over you, folowyng wyth a gladde mynde and wyll theyr godly admonicions?
    Aunswere. I wyl thus endevor myself, the lord beyng my helper.

Then the Bishop layinge his handes severally upon the head of every of them, shall saye.

    Take thou aucthoritie to execute the office of a Deacon in the Church of God committed unto thee: in the name of the father, the sonne, and the holy ghost. Amen.

Then shal the Bisshop delyver to every one of them the newe Testamente, sayinge.

    Take thou aucthoritie to reade the Gospell in the Church of God, and to preache the same, yf thou bee thereunto ordinarely commaunded.

    Then one of them appoynted by the Bisshop, shal reade the Gospel of that daye.
    Then shal the Bisshop procede to the Communion, and al that be ordered, shal tarye and receyve the holy Communion the same daye wyth the Bisshop.
    The Communion ended, after the laste Collecte and immediatly before the benediction, shalbe sayed this Collecte folowynge.

ALMYGHTIE God, gever of al good thinges, which of thy great goodnes hast vouchsafed to accepte and take these thy servauntes unto the office of Deacons in thy church: make them we beseche thee, O Lorde, to bee modest, humble, and constant in their ministracion, to have a ready wyl to observe al spiritual discipline, that they havinge alwayes the testimonie of a good conscience, and continuing ever stable and strong in thy sonne Christ, may so wel use themselves in thys inferior offyce, that they may be found worthi to be called unto the higher ministeries in thy Church: through the same thy sonne our Saviour Christ, to whom be glorye and honoure, worlde wythout ende. Amen.

And here it must be shewed unto the Deacon that he must continue in that office of a Deacon, the space of a whole yeare at the least (excepte for reasonable causes, it bee otherwyse seen to his ordenarie) to thentent he may be perfecte, and wel expert in the thinges apperteyning to the Ecclesiasticall administracion, in executing whereof, yf he be found faithful and diligent, he may be admitted by his Diocesan to the ordre of Priesthode.


 

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