Page images


The Missal-the Ritual-the Pontifical.

containing the order of the holy Communion was anciently called Sacramentarium; but the name Missal in time became more usual1, on account of the most important part of it, the order or 'canon' of the mass. It contained also the collects, epistles, and gospels, and the introits or anthems sung at the beginning of the Communion Service. But the epistles and gospels were sometimes contained in a separate book, called the Lectionarium; and the anthems in a book, which, from their being sung on the steps of the ambon or pulpit, was called the Graduale. To the Missal of Sarum we owe the greater number of our collects, epistles, and gospels. Our Communion Service is a compilation formed from various ancient Liturgies, with a small portion of original


III. The book containing the occasional offices was formerly called the Ritual, or Manual. From the Sarum Manual were taken, with some alterations, our present Offices of Matrimony, Visitation of the Sick, and Churching of Women.

IV. The Pontifical contained those Offices which could only be administered by the bishop, such as Confirmation, Ordination, &c.

V. As the Service-books were all written in Latin, a language 'not understanded of the people,' it was found necessary long before the Reformation, to publish some parts of the Offices in the vulgar tongue. books containing these translations were elementary manuals of faith, duty, and devotion, for the use of the unlearned,

1 Zaccaria, p. 40.



and were called primers, from the Latin primarium. Primers are frequently left as bequests in ancient wills; and the word occurs in Piers Ploughman, the date of which is about the middle of the fourteenth century.

During the reign of Henry VIII. three primers were printed, in the years 1535, 1539, and 1545, respectively. They contained an explanation of the Ten Commandments, the Creed, the Lord's Prayer, and the Ave Maria, an English version of the hours, the Litany, the Dirge, &c. The first, commonly known as Marshall's Primer, was published without authority. The second was prepared by John Hilsey, or Hildesley, a Dominican friar, afterwards Bishop of Rochester; it was published by command of Cromwell, and with the consent of Cranmer, to whose censure, however, it was not submitted until it had been printed. It contains an order for bidding of the beads,' which is the basis of our bidding prayer, enjoined by the fifty-fifth canon. In another respect, also, it was followed by our Reformers; for where the epistles and gospels differ from those of the missal, they generally agree with the lessons for Sundays and holidays in Bishop Hilsey's primer. The edition of 1545 was called the King's Primer, and was probably prepared under the direction of Cranmer, if not by his hand.

It has the litany (nearly in the present form), which had been published in the previous year by the king's authority. These three books have been recently republished by the late Dr Burton2.

2 See the ancient primer, probably of the fourteenth century, printed by Mr Maskell (Mon. Rit. Vol. II.), and the Dissertation preceding it.

[ocr errors]


Hermann's Consultation-Calvin's Liturgy.

VI. To the preceding list are to be added two liturgical works, which were used in some of the reformed churches of the continent. The first is the Simplex et pia deliberatio1, drawn up by Melancthon and Bucer for Hermann, Archbishop and Elector of Cologne, in whose name it was published at Bonn, in Latin, in the year 1545. It was not so much a new composition as a revision of the ancient formularies, and was taken in great measure from a reformed Liturgy, prepared by Luther, and used at Nuremberg. Hermann did not succeed in establishing within his electorate the reforms which he contemplated, and in 1547 he resigned his see: but his book having been translated into English, and published at London in 1547, was employed by our Reformers in the compilation of the Prayer Book. The Baptismal Service is in a great measure taken from it.

VII. Calvin's French Liturgy, composed for the use of his churches at Strasburg and Ge- | neva, and published in 1545, became better known in England through a Latin translation, which was printed in 1551 by Valerandus Pollanus, Minister of a congregation of Strasburg refugees at Glastonbury. The influence which it had upon the revision of the Prayer Book in 1552, may probably be traced in the introductory part of Morning and Evening Prayer, and in the insertion of the


Ten Commandments in the Communion Service.

Calvin approved of set forms of prayer not less than the Lutheran Reformers; but unlike the Lutherans, he chose to become an author rather than a compiler, and preferred the task of composing a new Liturgy to that of reforming an old one. The precedent, which he set, of forsaking the old paths, has been carried further than he intended by his disciples, who use no forms at all, each praying in his own way, and according to his own discretion. Another point of difference between the Lutheran and Calvinistic Liturgies is worthy of remark, that in the former the custom is retained of the congregation making responses to the Minister, in the latter the whole service is read by the Minister, and the congregation are not allowed to respond.

At the Reformation, all the reformed Churches laid aside the Latin Service-books, and formed for themselves new Liturgies in the vulgar tongue; and it is remarkable, that the Scottish Kirk is at the present day the only national Church without a Liturgy. "The order of Geneva,' drawn up by John Knox in 1562, was authorised by the general assembly in 1564, but never obtained general currency, and soon fell into disuse. The want of liturgical forms of prayer is a subject of regret with some of the most eminent members of that communion?.

1 The title deliberatio may have been borrowed from Quignonius. See above, p. 7.

2 See Preface to Cumming's edition of Knox's Liturgy.


The first Prayer Book of Edward VI.




1541 the Archbishop moved

Convocation that the Missals and other Liturgic Books might be reformed, omitting the names of the Pope, &c.:' and in the same year, by a regular act of that body, the Use of Sarum was made obligatory on all the clergy of the province of Can

realm shall have but one use.' Accordingly, an amended edition of the Breviary appeared the same year, printed at London by Whitchurch, who afterwards printed the Prayer Book of 1549. (Almost all preceding editions of the Service-books had been printed abroad.) It is also remarkable that from the year 1535 the printing of the ancient Service-books was suspended, as if the Authorities of the Church were contemplating the issue of them in a revised, or at least in a more popular form.

his successful assertion of the Royal supremacy, struck the first great blow at the papal power in this country; and though in his reign no systematic reformation of the Church was effected, he made several attempts to correct abuses both in matters of doctrine and dis-terbury; henceforth the whole cipline. In the year 1536 he three times issued injunctions to the clergy; twice with consent of Convocation, and once on his own sole authority. These injunctions, besides defining certain points of doctrine, contained explanations (not altogether such as we should now adopt) as to the use to be made of images, the honour to be paid to the saints, the prayers to be offered to them, and the use of rites and ceremonies. They abrogated many holidays, as tending to superstition and idleness; they discouraged pilgrimnages; they directed the clergy to teach and explain to their parishioners the Creed, the Lord's Prayer, and the Ten Commandments in English, exhorting all parents and householders to teach their children the same. They ordered a Bible in Latin and English to be placed in the choir of every parish-church, so that it might be accessible to all who should desire to read it. Meanwhile, the clergy appear not only to have cooperated with the king, but even themselves to have initiated measures for the reformation of the ritual.

In 1542, the King desired Convocation to appoint a Committee of both houses, by whom

all mass-books, antiphoners, portuises (breviaries) in the Church of England should be newly examined, corrected, reformed.' To this important proposition the Bishops replied by appointing two of their number. The lower house at first declined to make an appointment; and though they seem afterwards to have consented, it does not appear that the deliberations of the Committee led to any definite results1.

1 For a fuller account of the proceedings related in this and the preceding paragraphs, see Freeman, Principles of Divine Service, Vol. II. Pt. 1, pp. 104-109.

CH. II.] Bible read in churches-Injunctions of Edw. VI. IX

In the same year (1542) it was ordered by the Bishops in Convocation that every Sunday and holiday throughout the year, the curate of the parish, after the Te Deum and Magnificat, should read to the people one chapter of the New Testament in English, without exposition ; and when the New Testament was read over, then should begin the Old '.'

tions to the clergy were issued in the king's name, concerning church-matters in general, renewing for the most part those which had been published by Henry VIII., and containing some additional orders. These injunctions are an interesting memorial of the ecclesiastical customs and corruptions of the age. Such of them as touch upon liturgical matters are here given in an abridged form2.

"To the intent that all superstition and hypocrisy crept into divers mens' hearts may vanish away; the clergy shall not set forth or extol any images, relics, or miracles, for any superstition or lucre, nor allure the people by any enticements to the pilgrimage of any saint or image; but reproving the same, they shall teach that all goodness, health, and grace ought to be both asked and looked for only of God, as of the very author and giver of the same, and no other.

In 1544, the English Litany, as revised by Cranmer, was published and commanded by the king to be said in churches. In his letter to Cranmer announcing this change, Henry declared it to be his wish to encourage the more regular attendance of the people at religious processions, which had fallen into neglect partly from the want of good instruction, and partly because the prayers and suffrages, being in Latin, were not understood: and he expressed a hope that the 'godly prayer and suffrages,' now set forth by him in our native Item, that they shall make English tongue,' would 'not be in their churches one sermon for a month or two observed, every quarter of the year at and after slenderly considered, least, wherein they shall purely as other our injunctions have to and sincerely declare the word our no little marvel been used.' of God; and in the same exhort The accession of Edward VI. their hearers to the works of in 1547 gave a new impulse to faith, mercy, and charity, spethe Reformation, which from cially commanded in Scripture; this time ceased to depend on and that works devised by men's the personal views and caprices fantasies, besides Scripture, as of the monarch, and was zea- wandering to pilgrimages, oflously promoted by the Church fering of money, candles, or at large; some of the most im- tapers, relics or images, or kissportant measures being nowing and licking the same, prayoriginated not by the king, but ing upon beads, or such like by the clergy in convocation, superstition, have not only no whereas in the last reign the promise of reward in Scripture clergy more than once petition- for doing of them, but contraried the king against the tenets wise great threats and maledicof the Reformers. tions of God.

In September, 1547, injunc

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Item, that they shall cause

Collier, Eccl. Hist. Vol. V. p. 89.
2 Cardwell, Documentary Annals, I. 4.


Injunctions of Edward VI.

such images as have been abused with pilgrimage or of ferings of anything made thereto to be destroyed; and shall suffer no torches, nor candles, nor tapers, nor images of wax to be set before any image or picture, but only two lights upon the high altar, before the sacrament, which for the signification that Christ is the very true light of the world, they shall suffer to remain still.

'Item, that every holiday throughout the year, when they have no sermon, they shall immediately after the Gospel, recite to their parishioners in the pulpit the Pater noster, the Credo, and the ten Commandments in English, to the intent the people may learn the same by heart.

'Item, that they shall set up the Bible, and the paraphrase of Erasmus on the Gospels, in English, in some convenient place in the church, for the use of the parishioners.

'Item, that they shall keep in the church a register of christenings, weddings, and burials.

Item, that in the time of high Mass, he that saith or singeth the same, shall read or cause to be read the Epistle and Gospel of that Mass in English, and not in Latin, in the pulpit or in such convenient place as the people may hear the same; and shall also read daily in English one chapter of the New Testament at matins, and one of the Old Testament at even-song.

Item, that to avoid strife and contention by reason of fond courtesy, and challengings of places in procession, and that they may the more quietly hear that which is said or sung to their edifying, no procession shall be used about the church or churchyard; but immediately before high mass the Priests


and quire shall kneel in the midst of the church, and sing or say plainly the Litany in English. And in the time of the Litany, of the Mass, of the sermon, and when the Priest readeth the Scripture to the parishioners, no one shall depart out of the church except for urgent cause; and all ringing and knolling of bells shall be utterly forborne at that time, except one bell to be rung or knolled before the sermon.

'Item, that they shall destroy all shrines, covering of shrines, tables, candlesticks, trindles or rolls of wax, pictures, paintings, and all other monuments of feigned miracles, pilgrimages, idolatry, and superstition: and that the churchwardens shall provide a comely and honest pulpit, to be set up within the church.

'Item, because through lack of preachers in many places the people continue in ignorance and blindness, all parsons, &c. shall read in the churches every Sunday one of the homilies set forth by the king's authority.

'Item, that all persons who understand not the Latin tongue, shall pray upon the primer set forth by King Henry VIII. And that all graces at dinner and supper shall be always said in English. And that no grammar shall be taught but that set forth by the late king's authority' (i. e. Lily's grammar, composed by Wolsey, Colet, Lily, and Erasmus).

Then followed a form of the bidding prayer which included a prayer for all men that be departed out of this world in the faith of Christ, that they with us, and we with them at the day of judgment, may rest both body and soul, with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven.'

« PreviousContinue »