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RATIFICATION OF THE BOOK OF COMMON PRAYER.
By the Bishops, the Clergy, and the Laity of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America, in Convention, this 16th Day of October, in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty-nine.
THIS Convention having in their present Session, set forth A Book of Common Prayer, and Administration of the Sacraments, and other Rites and Ceremonies. of the Church, do hereby establish the said book: And they declare it to be the Liturgy of this Church : And require, that it be received as such by all the members of the same: And this book shall be in use from and after the first day of October, in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and ninety.
lessed liberty wherewith CHRIST hath made
ich the Protestant Episcopal Church in these
in her Preface, but likewise in her Articles and and expediency of occasional alterations and ublic Worship; and we find accordingly, that, between too much stiffness in refusing, and too ions in things once advisedly established, she hath, nce the first compiling of her Liturgy in the time and weighty considerations her thereunto moving, s in some particulars, as in their respective times o as that the main body and essential parts of the terials, as in the frame and order thereof) have still ken."
ifferent Reviews and Alterations hath been, as she Preface, "to do that which, according to her best nd to the preservation of peace and unity in the erence, and the exciting of piety and devotion in the he cutting off occasion, from them that seek occasion, Liturgy." And although, according to her judgment, contrary to the Word of God, or to sound doctrine, or with a good conscience use and submit unto, or which llowed such just and favourable construction, as, in llowed to all human writings;" yet upon the principles but be supposed, that further alteration would in time
be found expedient. Accordingly, a commission for a review was issued in the year 1689: but this great and good work miscarried at that time; and the Civil Authority has not since thought proper to revive it by any new commission.
But when in the course of Divine Providence, these American States became independent with respect to Civil Government, their Ecclesiastical Independence was necessarily included; and the different religious denominations of Christians in these States were left at full and equal liberty to model and organize their respective Churches, and forms of worship, and discipline, in such manner as they might judge most convenient for their future prosperity; consistently with the Constitution and Laws of their country.
The attention of this Church was, in the first place, drawn to those alterations in the Liturgy which became necessary in the prayers for our Civil Rulers, in consequence of the Revolution. And the principal care herein was to make them conformable to what ought to be the proper end of all such prayers, namely, that "Rulers may have grace, wisdom, and understanding to execute justice, and to maintain truth;" and that the People "may lead quiet and peaceable lives, in all godliness and honesty."
But while these alterations were in review before the Convention, they could not but, with gratitude to GOD, embrace the happy occasion which was offered to them (uninfluenced and unrestrained by any worldly authority whatsoever) to take a further review of the Public Service, and to establish such other alterations and amendments therein as might be deemed expedient.
It seems unnecessary to enumerate all the different alterations and amendments. They will appear, and it is to be hoped, the reasons of them also, upon a comparison of this with the Book of Common Prayer of the Church of England. In which it will also appear, that this Church is far from intending to depart from the Church of England in any essential point of doctrine, discipline, or worship; or further than local circumstances require.
And now, this important work being brought to a conclusion, it is hoped the whole will be received and examined by every true Member of our Church, and every sincere Christian, with a meek, candid, and charitable frame of mind; without prejudice or prepossessions; seriously considering what Christianity is, and what the truths of the Gospel are; and earnestly beseeching ALMIGHTY GOD to accompany with his blessing every endeavour for promulgating them to mankind in the clearest, plainest, most affecting and majestic manner, for the sake of JESUS CHRIST, our blessed LORD and SAVIOUR.
S APPOINTED TO BE READ.
h once every month, as it is there appointed, er. But in February it shall be read only to y of the month.
, July, August, October, and December, have ed, that the same Psalms shall be read the last read the day before; so that the Psalter may month ensuing.
ivided into twenty-two Portions, and is overdered, that at one time shall not be read above
From the Psalter as divided for Daily Morning f the Selections set out by this Church. nksgiving, appointed either by the Civil or by nister may appoint such Psalms as he shall shall have been appointed by the Ecclesiastical e occasion; which, in that case, shall be used,
IS ON CERTAIN DAYS.
as 89 EASTER-DAY, Psalms
the Selections, instead of any one of the above
LY SCRIPTURE IS APPOINTED TO BE READ.
ppointed for the First Lessons at Morning and most part thereof will be read every year once,
ppointed for the Second Lessons at Morning and
hall be read every day, look for the day of the month there ye shall find the chapters that shall be read for and Evening Prayer; except only the Moveable alendar; and the Immoveable, where there is a blank the proper Lessons for all which days are to be found
and Thanksgiving, the same rule is to obtain as in
of choice is allowed on occasions of Ecclesiastical aritable Collections.
Proper Psalms or Lessons are appointed, then the inary course appointed in the Psalter and Calendar, if omitted for that time.
Epistle, and Gospel, appointed for the Sunday, shall here it is not in this Book otherwise ordered.