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ORDER OF PREPARATION
GATHERED FROM THE
BOOK OF COMMON PRAYER
AND ADMINISTRATION OF THE SACRAMENTS,
ACCORDING TO THE USE OF
THE UNITED CHURCH OF ENGLAND AND IRELAND.
BY THE REV.
AUGUSTUS K. B. GRANVILLE, M.A.
PERPETUAL CURATE OF HATCHAM, LONDON.
FRANCIS & JOHN RIVINGTON,
The following Office is designed for the use of members of the Church of England, more particularly for those who have newly been confirmed, to assist them in their preparation for receiving the Holy Communion. It is arranged strictly in accordance with the teaching of the Church, and is intended to bring the Office for the administration of this Sacrament to the particular notice of the communicant, as supplying within itself the right means of preparation, and affording so much instruction on the subject as may enable every one in general, with proper thought and a prayerful spirit, to understand thoroughly “what is required of them who come to the Lord's Supper." Other parts of the Prayer Book, as the Catechism, bear on the same important subject; and Rubricks attached to most of our occasional Offices, show the design of the Church to be, to induce its members to be constant in their attendance at the altar. These have been brought together, with some collects and scriptures and portions of the Communion Service, to form a short preparation for the communicant; with the view, at the same time, of producing the feeling in the mind of every churchman, that the Book of Common Prayer is to be regarded and used, not only as the formulary for the public services of the congregation, but also as a manual of private devotion and instruction in the closet. For this purpose the Prayer Book is certainly pre-eminently fitted, with its numerous collects, litanies, and ejaculations, with its calendar for the daily reading of Scripture, with its Epistles and Gospels for festivals and fasts, with its Psalms for daily comfort and rejoicing:
The chief feature in “The Preparation” is the management of the communicant's examination according to the instruction delivered by the minister when he gives notice of Communion, and exhorts the members of the congregation to prepare themselves to partake of it, stating the way and means thereto." The Exhortation in the Communion Service is therefore broken up into several parts, and questions are proposed after each part, such as the context suggests, as necessary points of inquiry for the communicant. To these questions it is manifest that many more might be added to the same purpose; those which are introduced being intended only as suggestions, to show the plan on which an examination should be
conducted, and at the same time to help those who do not find themselves proficient in the performance of this duty. On the Ten Commandments, which are of course to form the matter of every examination, it would have exceeded the design of this tract to have given any thing beyond mere direction. If the communicant, however, be unable of himself to use the Commandments preceptively, by aid of his knowledge of the Scriptures and the Spirit of the divine will, he may have recourse to a sound digest of the moral law, such as that in the “Whole Duty of Man.” The experiencing of any doubt in questions which may suggest themselves, if of any importance, should induce the communicant to apply to his parish Clergyman, from whom he is sure to obtain proper spiritual counsel and advice.
It is much to be lamented that the present practice of the Church with respect to the reading of the Exhortation to Communion, when notice is to be given, is not in accordance with the Rubricks, and what we may suppose to have been the practice in former times. In some churches the first sentence only is read; in others the whole is read, but not in the part of the service where it is appointed, which the instruction says shall be “after the sermon or homily (is) ended.” If the first sentence only of the Exhortation be read after the Nicene Creed, it may be