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Book of Common Prayer

What You Should Know About Where It Came From, What It

Says and Means, And How We Use It

Starting Sunday, 27 August, 9:30am

 

"It is a most invaluable part of that blessed ‘liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free,’

that in his worship different forms and usages may without offence be

allowed,provided the substance of theFaith be 

kept entire" (Book of Common Prayer, p. 9).

 

 Note: links in these articles should take you to more detailed information.

 

Book of Common Prayer

What You Should Know About Where It Came From, What It

Says and Means, And How We Use It

Starting Sunday, 27 August, 9:30am

 

"It is a most invaluable part of that blessed ‘liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free,’

that in his worship different forms and usages may without offence be

allowed,provided the substance of theFaith be 

kept entire" (Book of Common Prayer, p. 9).

 

 Note: links in these articles should take you to more detailed information.

 

English-Reformation-Timeline

Timeline of the English Reformation

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This is a timeline of the Protestant Reformation in England. 

 

Date

Event

Significance to the Reformation in England

1496

Catherine of Aragon's hand secured for Arthur, Prince of Wales, son of Henry VII

 

1501, Oct.

Arthur marries Catherine

 

1502, Apr.

Arthur dies of a severe lung disease.

 

1504

Pope Julius II dissolves marriage between Catherine and Arthur

Catharine insisted that the marriage was not consummated. This makes it legal for Henry to marry Catharine, even though she had been his brother's wife.

11 June 1509

Henry VIII marries Catherine

 

1514, Dec.ember

Boy born to Catherine; dies 6 weeks later

 

18 Feb. 1516

Princess Mary born

 The only child of  Catharine that lived.

31 Oct. 1517

Martin Luther posts his 95 Theses on the door of a church in Wittenberg, Germany, formally beginning the Protestant Reformation

 

1521

Pope Leo X rewards Henry VIII for his written attack on Luther by granting him the title "Defender of the Faith"

Henry remains allied with Rome

1524, May

William Tyndale expelled

 

1525

Thomas Cromwell helps to suppress 29 monasteries

 

1525

The New Testament of the Tyndale Bible (in English) is published in Worms, Germany.

Although banned in England, Tyndale's work heavily influenced subsequent approved Bible translations.

1527

Henry VIII decides to divorce Catherine

"Divorce" in this era means what we mean by "annulment." Henry believed that he was in mortal sin for marrying his brother's wife, and that the Pope had no authority to declare his marriage legal.

1527, May

Catherine appeals to Rome

 

1529, June

Court opens in England for divorce case

 

9 Aug. 1529

Writs for new parliament; Thomas Wolsey removed as Lord Chancellor

 

9 Oct. 1529

Wolsey charged on Praemunire

 Praemunire is a set of laws from the 13th century rejecting outside political control of England, including that of the Pope. Wolsey is charged with aiding the Pope in controlling England.

1529, Nov.

'Reformation parliament' comes into being

 

1529, 3 Nov.

Bill of Attainder against Wolsey

 

1530, Spring

Wolsey returns to his see at York

 

1530, Summer

Writs of Praemunire against 15 clergy

 

29 Nov. 1530

Wolsey dies on way to trial

 

1531

Henry makes claims to imperial title

 

1531

Henry extends protection to clergymen denying papal supremacy

 

1532, Mar.

Supplication Against the Ordinaries

 

1532, Mar.

Act in Conditional Restraint of Appeals

 

1532, May

Submission of the Clergy

 

16 May 1532

Thomas More resigns

 

1532, Dec.

Anne Boleyn becomes pregnant

 

1533, Jan.

Thomas Cranmer appointed Archbishop of Canterbury

 

1533, 25 Jan.

Henry VIII marries Anne Boleyn at Whitehall

 

 

1533, Mar.

Statute in Restraint of Appeals

 

1533, May

Cranmer declares Henry's marriage to Catharine null and void

 

1533, Sept.

Princess Elizabeth born

 

1534

Henry begins negotiations with Pope Paul III

 

1534, Jan. to Mar.

Act Concerning Ecclesiastical Appointments and Absolute Restraint of Annates, Act Concerning Peter's Pence and Dispensations, Act of Succession

 

1534, Mar.

Clement VII pronounces marriage of Henry and Catharine valid

 

1534, Nov.

Act of Supremacy, Treason Act, Act of First Fruits and Tenths

 

1535

Henry adds "of the Church of England in Earth, under Jesus Christ, Supreme Head" to his royal style, and proclaims himself, not the Pope, to be the head of the Church of England

Supreme Head will be changed to Supreme Governor under Elizabeth I 

1535

The Coverdale Bible, compiled by Myles Coverdale published in Antwerp.

The first complete Modern English translation of the Bible (not just the Old Testament or New Testament), and the first complete printed translation into English. His translation of the Psalms was adopted by Cranmer for the 1549 Book of Common Prayer and remained for centuries the translation of the psalter prescribed for liturgical use in the Anglican church.

1535

Cromwell appoints Hugh Latimer, Edward Foxe, Nicholas Shaxton to episcopacy

 

1535, 6 July

Thomas More executed

 

1536

Ten Articles; Act Extinguishing the Authority of the Bishop of Rome; Campeggio visits England

 

1536, Jan.

Anne miscarries again

 

1536, Mar.

First Act of Dissolution

 

19 May 1536

Anne Boleyn is executed

 On charges of treason (adultery).

1536, Apr.

'Reformation parliament' dissolved

 

1536, 1 Oct.

Pilgrimage of Grace, Phase One

 Popular uprising in Yorkshire against Henry's changes. 

1536, 4 Oct.

Pilgrimage of Grace led by 18 members of the gentry

 

1536, 13 Oct.

York taken by 10,000 'pilgrims'

 

1536, 8 Dec.

Duke of Norfolk offers pardon to rebels

 

1537

Bishops' Book published, John Rogers produces the Matthew Bible

 

1537, Jan.

Bigod's Rebellion, a further phase of the Pilgrimage of Grace, led by Sir Francis Bigod

 

1537, 12 Oct.

Jane Seymour gives birth to Prince Edward at Hampton Court Palace.

 Jane died about two weeks after the birth.

1539

Publication of the Great Bible compiled by Miles Coverdale

This is the first English translation of the Bible to be authorised for use in parish churches.

1539

Second Act of Dissolution; Henry VIII intervenes to halt the doctrinal reformation

 

1540, 6 Jan.

Henry marries Anne of Cleves

 Marriage was by proxy.

1540, 9 July

Henry's marriage to Anne of Cleves is annulled

 Henry just thought she was ugly.

1540, 28 July

Thomas Cromwell is beheaded

 

1543

Cranmer is arrested on grounds of heresy, The King's Book is published

 

1546

'Creeping to the Cross' added to the list of forbidden practises

 

1547, 28 Jan.

Henry VIII dies, Edward VI accedes to the throne aged 9

Henry had appointed a Council of Regency dominated by Protestants, ensuring the continuation of the Reformation.

1547

The First Book of Homilies introduced by Thomas Cranmer

 Book of sermons for untrained clergy.

1549

The First Book of Common Prayer is introduced by Thomas Cranmer and the Act of Uniformity 1549

This makes the Book of Common Prayer the only lawful form of public worship

1549

Putting away of Books and Images Act orders the removal of religious books and the destruction of images in churches

 

1549, June-Aug.

The Prayer Book Rebellion in the West Country against the imposition of the new liturgy, especially amongst Cornish speakers who knew no English

 

1552

The Second Book of Common Prayer is introduced by Thomas Cranmer, the use of which is enforced by the Act of Uniformity 1552

 

1553, 6 July

Edward VI dies aged 15, leaving the throne to his Protestant cousin, Lady Jane Grey and excluding both his half-sisters.

 Jane is removed after two weeks.

1553, 19 July

Jane is deposed after the Catholic Princess Mary gathers military and popular support in Suffolk, arriving in London on 3 Aug.

 

1553, Dec.

First Statute of Repeal nullifies all religious legislation passed under Edward VI

 

1554, 26 Jan.

Start of Wyatt's rebellion in protest at Mary's planned marriage to Prince Philip of Spain

 

1554, 12 Feb.

Lady Jane Grey is executed

 

1554, 25 July

Mary marries her cousin Philip, who becomes King of England in a coregency with Mary

 

1554, 30 Nov.

Mary persuades Parliament to request that the Papal Legate, Cardinal Reginald Pole, obtain Papal absolution for England's separation from the Catholic Church.

This effectively returned the Church of England to Catholicism.

1554, Nov.

Revival of the Heresy Acts restored the death penalty for those that denied the principles of Catholicism.

More than 300 people would be executed during Mary's reign, mostly by burning at the stake.

1555, Jan.

Second Statute of Repeal removes all Protestant legislation passed since 1529

Note that Mary did not return the monastic property, nor agree that the Pope had authority in England.

1555, 16 Oct.

Former bishops Hugh Latimer and Nicholas Ridley were burned at the stake in Oxford.

Latimer said to Ridley as they were being burned, "Play the man, Master Ridley; we shall this day light such a candle, by God's grace, in England, as I trust shall never be put out."

1556, 21 Mar.

Thomas Cranmer burned at the stake in Oxford.

Cranmer had recanted, but on the day of his execution, he revoked it, and placed his hand in the fire while saying "that unworthy hand" and his dying words were, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit... I see the heavens open and Jesus standing at the right hand of God."

1558, 17 Nov.

Mary dies and her half-sister Elizabeth I accedes. Philip's English title lapses with the death of his wife.

 

1559, 15 Jan.

Elizabeth is crowned. Because of her Protestant views, only the low-ranking Bishop of Carlisle is willing to officiate

The last Catholic coronation of a British monarch

1558-59

Elizabethan Religious Settlement, a compromise which secured Protestant reforms but allowed some Catholic traditions to continue.

 

1559

Act of Supremacy 1558 confirmed Elizabeth as Head of the Church of England and abolished the authority of the Pope in England.

Final break with the Roman Church

1559

Act of Uniformity 1558 required attendances at services where a newly revised Book of Common Prayer was used.

 

1560

Geneva Bible published in Switzerland

Although never authorised for use in England, it was the first English Bible to be divided into verses and became popular with dissenters.

1568

Bishops' Bible published

A compromise between the vigorous but Calvinist Geneva Bible and the Great Bible, which it replaces in parish churches.

1570, 27 Apr.

Regnans in Excelsis a papal bull declaring Elizabeth a heretic and threatening those who obeyed her laws with excommunication.

 

1587, 8 Feb.

Mary, Queen of Scots is executed

 

1588, 8 Aug.

The Spanish Armada is defeated by the English fleet, aided by high winds

 

1603, 11 July

James VI of Scotland crowned James I of England

 

1605

Gunpowder Plot foiled, Guy Fawkes is executed(1606)

 

1611

King James Bible first published and used throughout the English speaking world.

 

1625, 27 Mar.

Charles I crowned King of England, Scotland and Ireland.

 

1642

English Civil War breaks out

Issues largely centered on the Church of England's being seen as too Catholic

1649, 30 Jan.

Triumph of the Puritans, execution of King Charles I

 

1660

Restoration of King Charles II

 

1688

The Glorious Revolution

 

39 Articles of Religion

Articles of Religion - US Book of Common Prayer

As established by the Bishops, the Clergy, and the Laity of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America, in Convention, on the twelfth day of September, in the Year of our Lord, 1801.

I. Of Faith in the Holy Trinity.

There is but one living and true God, everlasting, without body, parts, or passions; of infinite power, wisdom, and goodness; the Maker, and Preserver of all things both visible and invisible. And in the unity of this Godhead there be three Persons, of one substance, power, and eternity; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.

II. Of the Word or Son of God, which was made very Man.

The Son, which is the Word of the Father, begotten from everlasting of the Father, the very and eternal God, and of one substance with the Father, took Man's nature in the womb of the blessed Virgin, of her substance: so that two whole and perfect Natures, that is to say, the Godhead and Manhood, were joined together in one Person, never to be divided, whereof is one Christ, very God, and very Man; who truly suffered, was crucified, dead, and buried, to reconcile his Father to us, and to be a sacrifice, not only for original guilt, but also for actual sins of men.

III. Of the going down of Christ into Hell.

As Christ died for us, and was buried; so also it is to be believed, that he went down into Hell.

IV. Of the Resurrection of Christ.

Christ did truly rise again from death, and took again his body, with flesh, bones, and all things appertaining to the perfection of Man's nature; wherewith he ascended into Heaven, and there sitteth, until he return to judge all Men at the last day.

V. Of the Holy Ghost.

The Holy Ghost, proceeding from the Father and the Son, is of one substance, majesty, and glory, with the Father and the Son, very and eternal God.

VI. Of the Sufficiency of the Holy Scriptures for Salvation.

Holy Scripture containeth all things necessary to salvation: so that whatsoever is not read therein, nor may be proved thereby, is not to be required of any man, that it should be believed as an article of the Faith, or be thought requisite or necessary to salvation. In the name of the Holy Scripture we do understand those canonical Books of the Old and New Testament, of whose authority was never any doubt in the Church.

 Of the Names and Number of the Canonical Books

Genesis              The First Book of Samuel             The Book of Esther

Exodus               The Second Book of Samuel        The Book of Job

Leviticus             The First Book of Kings                 The Psalms

Numbers            The Second Book of Kings            The Proverbs

Deuteronomy    The First Book of Chronicles        Ecclesiastes or Preacher,

Joshua                 The Second Book of Chronicles   Cantica, or Songs of Solomon,

Judges                 The First Book of Esdras               Four Prophets the greater

Ruth                    The Second Book of Esdras          Twelve Prophets the less

And the other Books (as Hierome saith) the Church doth read for example of life and instruction of manners; but yet doth it not apply them to establish any doctrine; such are these following:

The Third Book of Esdras              The rest of the Book of Esther

The Fourth Book of Esdras            The Book of Wisdom

The Book of Tobias                         Jesus the Son of Sirach

The Book of Judith                          Baruch the Prophet

The Song of the Three Children    The Prayer of Manasses

The Story of Susanna                      The First Book of Maccabees,

Of Bel and the Dragon                    The Second Book of Maccabees.

 All the Books of the New Testament, as they are commonly received, we do receive, and account them Canonical.

VII. Of the Old Testament.

everlasting life is offered to Mankind by Christ, who is the only Mediator between God and Man, being both God and Man. Wherefore they are not to be heard, which feign that the old Fathers did look only for transitory promises. Although the Law given from God by Moses, as touching Ceremonies and Rites, do not bind Christian men, nor the Civil precepts thereof ought of necessity to be received in any commonwealth; yet notwithstanding, no Christian man whatsoever is free from the obedience of the Commandments which are called Moral.

VIII. Of the Creeds.

The Nicene Creed, and that which is commonly called the Apostles' Creed, ought thoroughly to be received and believed: for they may be proved by most certain warrants of Holy Scripture.

The original Article given Royal assent in 1571 and reaffirmed in 1662, was entitled, "Of the Three Creeds; and began as follows, "The Three Creeds, Nicene Creed, Athanasius's Creed, and that which is commonly called the Apostles' Creed . . ."

IX. Of Original or Birth Sin.

Original sin standeth not in the following of Adam, (as the Pelagians do vainly talk;) but it is the fault and corruption of the Nature of every man, that naturally is engendered of the offspring of Adam; whereby man is very far gone from original righteousness, and is of his own nature inclined to evil, so that the flesh lusteth always contrary to the Spirit; and therefore in every person born into this world, it deserveth God's wrath and damnation. And this infection of nature doth remain, yea in them that are regenerated; whereby the lust of the flesh, called in Greek, Φρόνημα σαρκός, (which some do expound the wisdom, some sensuality, some the affection, some the desire, of the flesh), is not subject to the Law of God. And although there is no condemnation for them that believe and are baptized; yet the Apostle doth confess, that concupiscence and lust hath of itself the nature of sin.

X. Of Free Will.

The condition of Man after the fall of Adam is such, that he cannot turn and prepare himself, by his own natural strength and good works, to faith, and calling upon God. Wherefore we have no power to do good works pleasant and acceptable to God, without the grace of God by Christ preventing us, that we may have a good will, and working with us, when we have that good will.

XI. Of the Justification of Man.

We are accounted righteous before God, only for the merit of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ by Faith, and not for our own works or deservings. Wherefore, that we are justified by Faith only, is a most wholesome Doctrine, and very full of comfort, as more largely is expressed in the Homily of Justification.

XII. Of Good Works.

Albeit that Good Works, which are the fruits of Faith, and follow after Justification, cannot put away our sins, and endure the severity of God's judgment; yet are they pleasing and acceptable to God in Christ, and do spring out necessarily of a true and lively Faith; insomuch that by them a lively Faith may be as evidently known as a tree discerned by the fruit.

XIII. Of Works before Justification.

Works done before the grace of Christ, and the Inspiration of the Spirit, are not pleasant to God, forasmuch as they spring not of faith in Jesus Christ; neither do they make men meet to receive grace, or (as the School-authors say) deserve grace of congruity: yea rather, for that they are not done as God hath willed and commanded them to be done, we doubt not but they have the nature of sin.

XIV. Of Works of Supererogation.

Voluntary Works besides, over and above, God's Commandments, which they call Works of Supererogation, cannot be taught without arrogancy and impiety: for by them men do declare, that they not only render unto God as much as they are bound to, but that they do more for his sake, than of bounden duty is required: whereas Christ saith plainly, When ye have done all that are commanded to you, say, We are unprofitable servants.

XV. Of Christ alone without Sin.

Christ in the truth of our nature was made like unto us in all things, sin only except, from which he was clearly void, both in his flesh, and in his spirit. He came to be the Lamb without spot, who, by sacrifice of himself once made, should take away the sins of the world; and sin (as Saint John saith) was not in him. But all we the rest, although baptized, and born again in Christ, yet offend in many things; and if we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

XVI. Of Sin after Baptism.

Not every deadly sin willingly committed after Baptism is sin against the Holy Ghost, and unpardonable. Wherefore the grant of repentance is not be denied to such as fall into sin after Baptism. After we have received the Holy Ghost, we may depart from grace given, and fall into sin, and by the grace of God we may arise again, and amend our lives. And therefore they are to be condemned, which say, they can no more sin as long as they live here, or deny the place of forgiveness to such as truly repent.

XVII. Of Predestination and Election.

Predestination to Life is the everlasting purpose of God, whereby (before the foundations of the world were laid) he hath constantly decreed by his counsel secret to us, to deliver from curse and damnation those whom he hath chosen in Christ out of mankind, and to bring them by Christ to everlasting salvation, as vessels made to honour. Wherefore, they which be endued with so excellent a benefit of God, be called according to God's purpose by his Spirit working in due season: they through Grace obey the calling: they be justified freely: they be made sons of God by adoption: they be made like the image of his only-begotten Son Jesus Christ: they walk religiously in good works, and at length, by God's mercy, they attain to everlasting felicity.

As the godly consideration of Predestination, and our Election in Christ, is full of sweet, pleasant, and unspeakable comfort to godly persons, and such as feel in themselves the working of the Spirit of Christ, mortifying the works of the flesh, and their earthly mem- bers, and drawing up their mind to high and heavenly things, as well because it doth greatly establish and confirm their faith of eternal Salvation to be enjoyed through Christ, as because it doth fervently kindle their love towards God: So, for curious and carnal persons, lacking the Spirit of Christ, to have continually before their eyes the sentence of God's Predestination, is a most dangerous downfall, whereby the Devil doth thrust them either into desperation, or into wrethchlessness of most unclean living, no less perilous than desperation.

Furthermore, we must receive God's promises in such wise, as they be generally set forth to us in Holy Scripture: and, in our doings, that Will of God is to be followed, which we have expressly declared unto us in the word of God.

XVIII. Of obtaining eternal Salvation only by the Name of Christ.

They also are to be had accursed that presume to say, That every man shall be saved by the Law or Sect which he professeth, so that he be diligent to frame his life according to that Law, and the light of Nature. For Holy Scripture doth set out unto us only the Name of Jesus Christ, whereby men must be saved.

XIX. Of the Church.

The visible Church of Christ is a congregation of faithful men, in which the pure Word of God is preached, and the Sacraments be duly ministered according to Christ's ordinance, in all those things that of necessity are requisite to the same.

As the Church of Jerusalem, Alexandria, and Antioch, have erred; so also the Church of Rome hath erred, not only in their living and manner of Ceremonies, but also in matters of Faith.

XX. Of the Authority of the Church.

The Church hath power to decree Rites or Ceremonies, and authority in Controversies of Faith: and yet it is not lawful for the Church to ordain anything that is contrary to God's Word written, neither may it so expound one place of Scripture, that it be repugnant to another. Wherefore, although the Church be a witness and a keeper of Holy Writ, yet, as it ought not to decree any thing against the same, so besides the same ought not to enforce any thing to be believed for necessity of Salvation.

XXI. Of the Authority of General Councils.

[The Twenty-first of the former Articles is omitted; because it is partly of a local and civil nature, and is provided for, as to the remaining parts of it, in other Articles.]

The original 1571, 1662 text of this Article, omitted in the version of 1801, reads as follows: "General Councils may not be gathered together without the commandment and will of Princes. And when they be gathered together, (forasmuch as they be an assembly of men, whereof all be not governed with the Spirit and Word of God,) they may err, and sometimes have erred, even in things pertaining unto God. Wherefore things ordained by them as necessary to salvation have neither strength nor authority, unless it may be declared that they be taken out of holy Scripture."

XXII. Of Purgatory.

The Romish Doctrine concerning Purgatory, Pardons, Worshipping and Adoration, as well of Images as of Relics, and also Invocation of Saints, is a fond thing, vainly invented, and grounded upon no warranty of Scripture, but rather repugnant to the Word of God.

XXIII. Of Ministering in the Congregation.

It is not lawful for any man to take upon him the office of public preaching, or ministering the Sacraments in the Congregation, before he be lawfully called, and sent to execute the same. And those we ought to judge lawfully called and sent, which be chosen and called to this work by men who have public authority given unto them in the Congregation, to call and send Ministers into the Lord's vineyard.

XXIV. Of Speaking in the Congregation in such a Tongue as the people understandeth.

It is a thing plainly repugnant to the Word of God, and the custom of the Primitive Church, to have public Prayer in the Church, or to minister the Sacraments, in a tongue not understanded of the people.

XXV. Of the Sacraments.

Sacraments ordained of Christ be not only badges or tokens of Christian men's profession, but rather they be certain sure witnesses, and effectual signs of grace, and God's good will towards us, by the which he doth work invisibly in us, and doth not only quicken, but also strengthen and confirm our Faith in him.

There are two Sacraments ordained of Christ our Lord in the Gospel, that is to say, Baptism, and the Supper of the Lord.

Those five commonly called Sacraments, that is to say, Confirmation, Penance, Orders, Matrimony, and Extreme Unction, are not to be counted for Sacraments of the Gospel, being such as have grown partly of the corrupt following of the Apostles, partly are states of life allowed in the Scriptures; but yet have not like nature of Sacraments with Baptism, and the Lord's Supper, for that they have not any visible sign or ceremony ordained of God.

The Sacraments are not ordained of Christ to be gazed upon, or to be carried about, but that we should duly use them. And in such only as worthily receive the same, they have a wholesome effect or operation: but they that receive them unworthily, purchase to themselves damnation, as Saint Paul saith.

XXVI. Of the Unworthiness of the Ministers, which hinders not the effect of the Sacraments.

Although in the visible Church the evil be ever mingled with the good, and sometimes the evil have chief authority in the Ministration of the Word and Sacraments, yet forasmuch as they do not the same in their own name, but in Christ's, and do minister by his commission and authority, we may use their Ministry, both in hearing the Word of God, and in receiving the Sacraments. Neither is the effect of Christ's ordinance taken away by their wickedness, nor the grace of God's gifts diminished from such as by faith, and rightly, do receive the Sacraments ministered unto them; which be effectual, because of Christ's institution and promise, although they be ministered by evil men.

Nevertheless, it appertaineth to the discipline of the Church, that inquiry be made of evil Ministers, and that they be accused by those that have knowledge of their offences; and finally, being found guilty, by just judgment be deposed.

XVII. Of Baptism.

Baptism is not only a sign of profession, and mark of difference, whereby Christian men are discerned from others that be not christened, but it is also a sign of Regeneration or New-Birth, whereby, as by an instrument, they that receive Baptism rightly are grafted into the Church; the promises of the forgiveness of sin, and of our adoption to be the sons of God by the Holy Ghost, are visibly signed and sealed; Faith is confirmed, and Grace increased by virtue of prayer unto God.

Baptism of young Children is in any wise to be retained in the Church, as most agreeable with the institution of Christ.

XVIII. Of the Lord's Supper.

The Supper of the Lord is not only a sign of the love that Christians ought to have among themselves one to another; but rather it is a Sacrament of our Redemption by Christ's death: insomuch that to such as rightly, worthily, and with faith, receive the same, the Bread which we break is a partaking of the Body of Christ; and likewise the Cup of Blessing is a partaking of the Blood of Christ.

Transubstantiation (or the change of the substance of Bread and Wine) in the Supper of the Lord, cannot be proved by Holy Writ; but is repugnant to the plain words of Scripture, overthroweth the nature of a Sacrament, and hath given occasion to many superstitions. The Body of Christ is given, taken, and eaten, in the Supper, only after an heavenly and spiritual manner. And the mean whereby the Body of Christ is received and eaten in the Supper, is Faith.

The Sacrament of the Lord's Supper was not by Christ's ordinance reserved, carried about, lifted up, or worshipped.

XXIX. Of the Wicked, which eat not the Body of Christ in the use of the Lord's Supper.

The Wicked, and such as be void of a lively faith, although they do carnally and visibly press with their teeth (as Saint Augustine saith) the Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ; yet in no wise are they partakers of Christ: but rather, to their condemnation, do eat and drink the sign or Sacrament of so great a thing.

XXX. Of both Kinds.

The Cup of the Lord is not to be denied to the Lay-people: for both the parts of the Lord's Sacrament, by Christ's ordinance and commandment, ought to be ministered to all Christian men alike.

XXXI. Of the one Oblation of Christ finished upon the Cross.

The Offering of Christ once made in that perfect redemption, propitiation, and satisfaction, for all the sins of the whole world, both original and actual; and there is none other satisfaction for sin, but that alone. Wherefore the sacrifices of Masses, in the which it was commonly said, that the Priest did offer Christ for the quick and the dead, to have remission of pain or guilt, were blasphemous fables, and dangerous deceits.

XXXII. Of the Marriage of Priests.

Bishops, Priests, and Deacons, are not commanded by God's Law, either to vow the estate of single life, or to abstain from marriage: therefore it is lawful for them, as for all other Christian men, to marry at their own discretion, as they shall judge the same to serve better to godliness.

XXXIII. Of excommunicate Persons, how they are to be avoided.

That person which by open denunciation of the Church is rightly cut off from the unity of the Church, and excommunicated, ought to be taken of the whole multitude of the faithful, as an Heathen and Publican, until he be openly reconciled by penance, and received into the Church by a Judge that hath the authority thereunto.

XXXIV. Of the Traditions of the Church.

It is not necessary that the Traditions and Ceremonies be in all places one, or utterly like; for at all times they have been divers, and may be changed according to the diversity of countries, times, and men's manners, so that nothing be ordained against God's Word. Whosoever, through his private judgment, willingly and purposely, doth openly break the Traditions and Ceremonies of the Church, which be not repugnant to the Word of God, and be ordained and approved by common authority, ought to be rebuked openly, (that others may fear to do the like,) as he that offendeth against the common order of the Church, and hurteth the authority of the Magistrate, and woundeth the consciences of the weak brethren.

Every particular or national Church hath authority to ordain, change, and abolish, Ceremonies or Rites of the Church ordained only by man's authority, so that all things be done to edifying.

XXXV. Of the Homilies.

The Second Book of Homilies, the several titles whereof we have joined under this Article, doth contain a godly and wholesome Doctrine, and necessary for these times, as doth the former Book of Homilies, which were set forth in the time of Edward the Sixth; and therefore we judge them to be read in Churches by the Ministers, diligently and distinctly, that they may be understanded of the people.

 Of the Names of the Homilies

1 Of the right Use of the Church.                           2 Against Peril of Idolatry.

3 Of repairing and keeping clean of Churches.  4 Of good Works: first of Fasting.

5 Against Gluttony and Drunkenness.                  6 Against Excess of Apparel.

 7 Of Prayer.                                                               8 Of the Place and Time of Prayer.

 9 That Common Prayers and Sacraments ought to be ministered in a known tongue.

10 Of the reverend Estimation of God's Word.   11 Of Alms-doing.

12 Of the Nativity of Christ.                                    13 Of the Passion of Christ.

14 Of the Resurrection of Christ.                          15 Of the worthy receiving of the Sacrament                                                                                               of the Body and Blood of Christ.

16 Of the Gifts of the Holy Ghost.                          17 For the Rogation-days.

18 Of the State of Matrimony.                                19 Of Repentance.

20 Against Idleness.                                                  21 Against Rebellion.

 [This Article is received in this Church, so far as it declares the Book of Homilies to be an explication of Christian doctrine, and instructive in piety and morals. But all references to the constitution and laws of England are considered as inapplicable to the circumstances of this Church; which also suspends the order for the reading of said Homilies in churches, until a revision of them may be conveniently made, for the clearing of them, as well from obsolete words and phrases, as from the local references.]

XXXVI. Of Consecration of Bishops and Ministers.

The Book of Consecration of Bishops, and Ordering of Priests and Deacons, as set forth by the General Convention of this Church in 1792, doth contain all things necessary to such Consecration and Ordering; neither hath it any thing that, of itself, is superstitious and ungodly. And, therefore, whosoever are consecrated or ordered according to said Form, we decree all such to be rightly, orderly, and lawfully consecrated and ordered.

The original 1571, 1662 text of this Article reads as follows: "The Book of Consecration of Archbishops and Bishops, and Ordering of Priests and Deacons, lately set forth in the time of Edward the Sixth, and confirmed at the same time by authority of Parliament, doth contain all things necessary to such Consecration and Ordering; neither hath it any thing, that of itself is superstitious and ungodly. And therefore whosoever are consecrated or ordered according to the Rites of that Book, since the second year of the forenamed King Edward unto this time, or hereafter shall be consecrated or ordered according to the same Rites; we decree all such to be rightly, orderly, and lawfully consecrated and ordered."

XXXVII. Of the Power of the Civil Magistrates.

The Power of the Civil Magistrate extendeth to all men, as well Clergy as Laity, in all things temporal; but hath no authority in things purely spiritual. And we hold it to be the duty of all men who are professors of the Gospel, to pay respectful obedience to the Civil Authority, regularly and legitimately constituted.

The original 1571, 1662 text of this Article reads as follows: "The King's Majesty hath the chief power in this Realm of England, and other his Dominions, unto whom the chief Government of all Estates of this Realm, whether they be Ecclesiastical or Civil, in all causes doth appertain, and is not, nor ought to be, subject to any foreign Jurisdiction. Where we attribute to the King's Majesty the chief government, by which Titles we understand the minds of some slanderous folks to be offended; we give not our Princes the ministering either of God's Word, or of the Sacraments, the which thing the Injunctions also lately set forth by Elizabeth our Queen do most plainly testify; but that only prerogative, which we see to have been given always to all godly Princes in holy Scriptures by God himself; that is, that they should rule all estates and degrees committed to their charge by God, whether they be Ecclesiastical or Temporal, and restrain with the civil sword the stubborn and evil-doers.

The Bishop of Rome hath no jurisdiction in this Realm of England.

The Laws of the Realm may punish Christian men with death, for heinous and grievous offences.

It is lawful for Christian men, at the commandment of the Magistrate, to wear weapons, and serve in the wars."

XXXVIII. Of Christian Men's Goods, which are not common.

The Riches and Goods of Christians are not common, as touching the right, title, and possession of the same; as certain Anabaptists do falsely boast. Notwithstanding, every man ought, of such things as he possesseth, liberally to give alms to the poor, according to his ability.

XXXIX. Of a Christian Man's Oath.

As we confess that vain and rash Swearing is forbidden Christian men by our Lord Jesus Christ, and James his Apostle, so we judge, that Christian Religion doth not prohibit, but that a man may swear when the Magistrate requireth, in a cause of faith and charity, so it be done according to the Prophet's teaching in justice, judgment, and truth.

39 Articles Simplified

Articles of Religion - US Book of Common Prayer

In Simplified Language

As established by the Bishops, the Clergy, and the Laity of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America, in Convention, on the twelfth day of September, in the Year of our Lord, 1801.

I.  Of Faith in the Holy Trinity.

There is only one God. God has no physical parts or human-type passions. God is infinite in power, wisdom and goodness. God made and preserves all things whether we can see them or not. God is a One, and exists in three persons, all of the same substance, power, and existance: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.

II.  Of the Word or Son of God, which was made very Man.

The Son is not created but is eternally begotten and is of the same material as the Father. He became human, being born of the Virgin Mary. He has two complete, united natures – God and human, never separate. This one Christ, completely God, and completely Man, truly suffered, was crucified, dead, and buried, to reconcile his Father to us, and to be a sacrifice, not only for the original sin of all humanity, but also for our actual sins.

III.  Of the going down of Christ into Hell.

Christ died for us and was buried; he also went down into Hell (the place of the dead.+

IV.  Of the Resurrection of Christ.

Christ actually, physically rose again from death, with flesh, bones, etc.; after this he ascended into Heaven, and sits there until he returns to judge all of us at the last day.

V.  Of the Holy Ghost.

The Holy Ghost, proceeds from the Father and the Son and is and always has been of one substance, majesty, and glory with the Father and the Son.

VI.  Of the Sufficiency of the Holy Scriptures for Salvation.

The Bible contains all things necessary to salvation. If its not there, or can’t be proved by what is there, it can’t be required of anyone, and is not an article of Faith and is not necessary for salvation.

The following books are definitely scripture. Such was never in doubt.

Genesis              The First Book of Samuel             The Book of Esther

Exodus               The Second Book of Samuel        The Book of Job

Leviticus            The First Book of Kings                  The Psalms

Numbers           The Second Book of Kings            The Proverbs

Deuteronomy   The First Book of Chronicles        Ecclesiastes or Preacher,

Joshua                The Second Book of Chronicles   Cantica, or Songs of Solomon,

Judges                The First Book of Esdras                Four Prophets the greater

Ruth                   The Second Book of Esdras           Twelve Prophets the less

These books (per St. Jerome) are usable for examples of life and instruction of manners; but do cannot establish any doctrine:

The Third Book of Esdras              The rest of the Book of Esther

The Fourth Book of Esdras            The Book of Wisdom

The Book of Tobias                          Jesus the Son of Sirach

The Book of Judith                           Baruch the Prophet

The Song of the Three Children    The Prayer of Manasses

The Story of Susanna                      The First Book of Maccabees,

Of Bel and the Dragon                    The Second Book of Maccabees.

 

The books of the New Testament as we’ve always had are all canonical.

VII.  Of the Old Testament.

The Old and New Testaments do not contradict each other. Everlasting life is offered to us by Christ, who is the only Mediator between us and God, since He is both God and Man, but those living before He came did not just receive temporary promises. The parts of the old law, which are ceremonies and rites, are not binding on Christians, nor are the civil laws necessarily applicable to current law. However, we are all bound by the moral commands.

VIII.  Of the Creeds.

The Nicene and Apostles Creeds, are provable from Scripture and should be understood and believed. The original Articles from 1571 and 1662 included the Athanasian Creed.

IX.  Of Original or Birth Sin.

Original sin is not just following the example of Adam (regardless of what some  say,) but is a fault in our very nature. We are now naturally inclined to evil, always wanting to go against the Spirit, and as a result, deserve condemnation. This infection remains in us, even when regenerated, regardless of what we want. Those who believe and are baptized are not condemned, but still have this perverse inclination.

X.  Of Free Will.

We do not have the ability, regardless of our will, to be acceptable to God. Without Christ leading us, we cannot do good works.

XI.  Of the Justification of Man.

We are considered righteous only because of the merits and faith of Christ, not by anything we do. It is a great comfort to know that we are made righteous.

XII.  Of Good Works.

Good works that come from Faith and after we are justified do not remove our sins, but they are pleasing to God as they are evidence of our Faith.

XIII.  Of Works before Justification.

Works done before the grace of Christ are not pleasant to God as they don’t come from faith in Christ. They do not make us qualified to receive grace, and are sinful in nature.

XIV.  Of Works of Supererogation.

There is no such thing as doing works above and beyond what God commands. As Christ said, when you have done everything commanded, you should still consider yoursef unworthy.

XV.  Of Christ alone without Sin.

Christ was made just like us, except without sin. We can’t claim any such thing for ourselves.

XVI.  Of Sin after Baptism.

You can be pardoned of sins committed after Baptism. “Once saved, always saved” is wrong.

XVII.  Of Predestination and Election.

We are predestined by God to life eternal in Heaven. We are adopted as children of God. We can reject that.

XVIII.  Of obtaining eternal Salvation only by the Name of Christ.

Only Christ provides salvation.

XIX.  Of the Church.

The visible Church is the congregation of the faithful in which the pure Word is preached, and the Sacraments properly administered. In all matters of faith and action, we, like those before us, fail.

XX.  Of the Authority of the Church.

While the Church has the power to establish rites and ceremonies, and decide controversies of faith, it is not lawful to it to mandate anything contrary to Scripture, nor can it try to make Scripture contradict itself. Regardless of its authority, it must not enforce anything not in Scripture.

XXI.  Of the Authority of General Councils.

This article is irrelevant as it stated that only “Princes” can call councils. Councils err.

XXII. Of Purgatory.

The Roman doctrines of Purgatory, Pardons, Worshipping and Adoration of  images and relics, and invocation of saints, is not Scriptural and is wrong.

XXIII.  Of Ministering in the Congregation.

No one can take on the office of preaching or celebrating Sacraments unless lawfully called in instituted.

XXIV.  Of Speaking in the Congregation in such a Tongue as the people understandeth.

Speak the language of the people. It is repugnant to do otherwise.

XXV.  Of the Sacraments.

Sacraments are sure witnesses and signs of grace, and are ordained by Christ.

There are two ordained by Christ in the Gospel – Baptism and the Lord’s Supper.

There are five others commonly called Sacraments - Confirmation, Penance, Orders, Matrimony, and Unction, but are not Sacraments of the Gospel, as they have become partly of the corrupt since early times, and are only applicable to some. They don’t have the same nature as they were not visible ordained ny God.

Sacraments are designed to be gazed upon, or to be carried about, but that we properly used. When they are worthily received, they have a wholesome effect or operation; but those who receive them unworthily, bring condemnation on themselves.

XXVI.  Of the Unworthiness of the Ministers, which hinders not the effect of the Sacraments.

Although evil is mixed with good, even in the Church, Sacraments by evil ministers are still valid. Christ’s effect cannot be taken away by their wickedness.

Nonetheless, we should depose such ministers.

XVII.  Of Baptism.

Baptism is not just a symbol, but actually effects regeneration or new birth and grafts us into the Church.

Baptism of young children is agreeable with the institution of Christ.

XVIII.  Of the Lord's Supper.

The Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper is a sign of our redemption. To do it rightly is to partake of the Body and Bloo of Christ.

Transubstantiation (changing the substance of Bread and Wine) is unscriptural and give rise to superstition. The Body of Christ is given, taken, and eaten, in the Supper, only after an heavenly and spiritual manner, only by means of Faith.

The elements of the Lord's Supper are not intended to be worshipped or adored of themselves.

XXIX.  Of the Wicked, which eat not the Body of Christ in the use of the Lord's Supper.

When the wicked, or those without a lively faith, take communion, they are not receiving Christ but condemning themselves.

XXX.  Of both Kinds.

Communion in both kinds is normative for all, per Jesus.

XXXI.  Of the one Oblation of Christ finished upon the Cross.

Christ made ONE sacrifice for the sins of the world, both original and actual. There is no other satisfaction for sin. Celebrating for the dead doesn’t work.

XXXII.  Of the Marriage of Priests.

Clergy can marry.

XXXIII.  Of excommunicate Persons, how they are to be avoided.

The excommunicate should be avoided until they are reconciled by penance.

XXXIV.  Of the Traditions of the Church.

Traditions vary. That’s ok as long as they correspond to God’s word. Those that willingly break the traditions and ceremonies should be rebuked. Every national or particular Church has the authority to establish its own rites consonant with God’s word..

XXXV. Of the Homilies.

The Book of Homilies was written to provide sermons to untrained (the majority) clergy. They are still useful, but are not required, and some are not relevant in the US. They are suspended until they can be rewritten (but never were.)

 Of the Names of the Homilies

1 Of the right Use of the Church.                           2 Against Peril of Idolatry.

3 Of repairing and keeping clean of Churches.   4 Of good Works: first of Fasting.

5 Against Gluttony and Drunkenness.                  6 Against Excess of Apparel.

 7 Of Prayer.                                                               8 Of the Place and Time of Prayer.

 9 That Common Prayers and Sacraments ought to be ministered in a known tongue.

10 Of the reverend Estimation of God's Word.    11 Of Alms-doing.

12 Of the Nativity of Christ.                                     13 Of the Passion of Christ.

14 Of the Resurrection of Christ.                           15 Of the worthy receiving of the Sacrament of

                                                                                           the Body and Blood of Christ.

16 Of the Gifts of the Holy Ghost.                           17 For the Rogation-days.

18 Of the State of Matrimony.                                 19 Of Repentance.

20 Against Idleness.                                                   21 Against Rebellion.

XXXVI.  Of Consecration of Bishops and Ministers.

The Book of Consecration of Bishops, and Ordering of Priests and Deacons, by the General Convention of this Church in 1792, has everything necessary for consecration and ordination and has nothing superstitious or ungodly. Those ordained with this usage are validly ordained. This is the US follow on to the same declaration by the Anglican church for the texts of 1571 and 1662.

XXXVII.  Of the Power of the Civil Magistrates.

Everyone is subject to civil authority and should be respectful of and obedient to it. However, it has no authority in things spiritual. This rule applies to clergy, too.

The Pope has no jurisdiction. Civil law may enforce the death penalty. It is lawful for Christians, and the command of civil authority, to wear weapons and serve in wars.

XXXVIII.  Of Christian Men's Goods, which are not common.

The church is not a communal organization. However, we should all give freely of what we have to the needy, according to our ability.

XXXIX.  Of a Christian Man's Oath.

Vain and rash swearing is forbidden, but valid and honest oaths are acceptable when required by civil authorities.

Timeline of PECUSA

Timeline of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the USA

1699: The Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge (SPCK) is founded.

1701: The Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts is founded.

1607-1785: The Church of England in New World is overseen by the Bishop of London. The vestry system develops. Clergy are paid from taxes. George Washington and Thomas Jefferson serve on vestries.

1776: The Declaration of Independence is signed. Most Anglican clergy, who have sworn loyalty to the King in their ordinations, stay loyal to England

1783: The Treaty of Paris ends the Revolutionary War.

1784: Samuel Seabury of Connecticut is consecrated the first overseas Anglican bishop by Scottish non-juring bishops, after being elected in Connecticut and rejected by Church of England bishops, who, legally, could not ordain him. Seabury promised to use the Scottish 1764 Communion service, influenced by the Eastern Orthodox service.

1785: The First General Convention of Episcopal Church is held, with clergy and lay representatives from Delaware, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Virginia. It authorizes the preparation of an American Prayer Book and names itself the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America.

1786The proposed American Book of Common Prayer is approved for use on a state-by-state basis. Revised and replaced in 1790.

1787: Samuel Provoost of New York and William White of Philadelphia are consecrated bishops by the Church of England. Seabury's Scottish consecration helped motivate Parliament and the Church of England to do this. Both continue to be rectors. The second General Convention adopts basically the present Episcopal Church structure. A revised Book of Common Prayer, prepared by White, is adopted; this version of the Book of Common Prayer is based on the 1662 Prayer Book with the exception of the 1764 Scottish Communion Service.

1804: Absalom Jones is ordained the first black priest in the Episcopal Church.

1817: General Convention authorizes the founding of the General Theological Seminary in New York City.

1833: The Oxford Movement (Anglo-Catholic) begins in England. In the following decades, many new Religious Orders (i.e., monastic communities) were formed.

1861-65: During the American Civil War, Southern Episcopal dioceses join the Protestant Episcopal Church of the Confederate States of America, but return after war ends. Other denominations experience long term (100+ years) splits.

1885: The House of Bishops adopts the Chicago Quadrilateral. General Convention approves the Quadrilateral in 1886.

1888: The Lambeth Conference of Anglican bishops adopts the Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral.

1892: Minor revisions are made to the Book of Common Prayer.

1919: The National Council (now the Executive Council) is established by General Convention. The Office of the Presiding Bishop is established to oversee national church programs.

1928: The revised Book of Common Prayer includes language updates and a new translation of Psalms. "…and obey" is dropped from the bride's vows in the service of Holy Matrimony.

1940: A new Hymnal is approved.

1944: Henry St. George Tucker becomes the Episcopal Church's first full-time Presiding Bishop.

1970: The first authorized women members join the House of Deputies.

1976: General Convention approves the ordination of women, and "regularizes" 1974-75 ordinations. First reading on proposed Prayer Book.

1979: Second reading approves new (present) Book of Common Prayer.

1982: A new Hymnal is approved.

1995: $2.2-million embezzlement by the church's treasurer, Ellen Cooke, is uncovered. She is subsequently imprisoned.

2000: General Convention approves "Called to Common Mission," a revised version of the Lutheran Concordat, establishing full communion between the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and the Episcopal Church, effective January 1, 2001. 

2009: General Convention charges the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music to develop theological and liturgical resources for same-sex blessings and report back to the General Convention in 2012.

2011: The Episcopal Church inaugurates a full-communion relationship with the Northern and Southern provinces of the Moravian Church in North America.

2012: The Episcopal Church approves the trial use of an official liturgy to bless same-sex couples and their unions, called "The Witnessing and Blessing of a Lifelong Covenant."

2015: The Most Reverend Michael Bruce Curry was installed as the 27th Presiding Bishop and Primate of The Episcopal Church on November 1, 2015.


 
 

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