Saturday, March 26, 2016

The Holy Communion: First Order - A Contemporary Version of the 1552 Service of Holy Communion

The Holy Communion, First Order, is now on the A Prayer Book for North America website. The following comes from the introduction to the service:

The Holy Communion, First Order is a contemporary version of the 1552 service of Holy Communion. The 1552 service represents Archbishop Thomas Cranmer’s mature thinking on the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper and embodies the biblical and Reformation doctrine of justification by grace alone in Christ alone. It was first used during the reign of Henry VI, suppressed by his Roman Catholic older sister Mary, upon his death, and revived upon the ascension of his Protestant older sister Elizabeth I to the English throne. It would be the Holy Communion service used during the reigns of James I and Charles I. The only changes to the service were that the 1549 Words of Distribution were added to the 1552 Words of Distribution in 1559 and the Declaration on Kneeling omitted.  

“The 1662 service of Holy Communion is substantially the 1552 service with addition of the manual acts to the Prayer of Consecration, the 1559 Words of Distribution, and an Amen after the Words of Institution. The Restoration bishops also restored the Declaration on Kneeling. It is the reformed 1552 Prayer Book in its 1662 edition that forms along with the Articles of Religion of 1571 and the Ordinal of 1661 the Anglican Church’s authoritative standard of doctrine and worship, second only to the Bible.

“This contemporary version of the 1552 service of Holy Communion incorporates a number of features introduced in later rites. “Minister” is used throughout the entire service. The initial Lord’s Prayer, originally a private devotion of the priest, has been dropped. An optional Sentence of Scripture may be said or sung at the beginning of the service. The congregation joins the minister in saying the Collect for Purity. Our Lord’s Summary of the Law may be substituted for the Ten Commandments. Both the Ten Commandments and the Summary of the Law may be omitted.

“Three Bible readings may be read. The Gloria Tibi may be said before the reading from the Gospel.  An optional congregation response may be used after each reading. A pause for silent reflection may be observed after each reading. A psalm, a psalm portion, or a canticle may be sung or said after the first reading. Metrical versions of the psalms and canticles may be used. If three Bible readings are read, the reading from the Gospel may be introduced with an alleluia or a suitable hymn or song. The Sermon may be preached before or after the creed. The Apostles’ Creed may be substituted for the Nicene Creed. On weekdays the creed may be omitted. A hymn or song may be sung after the Sermon.

“Alternative forms for the Prayers may be used and may be concluded with the Lord’s Prayer. An optional prayer has been provided for use when the collection is received and the form of the Prayers printed in the service is not used.

“The Exhortations in the 1552 service have been replaced with two shorter optional Exhortations.  

“The selection of special prefaces has been expanded. An alternative Sanctus may be used. The Prayer of Humble Access has been revised to eliminate any suggestion that the bread cleanses the body and the wine the soul. An alternative Prayer of Humble Access has been provided. The congregation may join the minister in saying the Prayer of Humble Access. The exordium “all glory to you” has been added to the Post-Sanctus.

“The 1559 Words of Distribution may be substituted for the 1552 Words of Distribution and an optional Amen may be said after the Words of Distribution.

Other versions of the Gloria in Excelsis may be used. A suitable hymn of praise may be substituted for the Gloria in Excelsis. Other suitable Blessings may be substituted for the parting Blessing printed in the service.”

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