Friday, August 12, 2011

The First Reformed Episcopal Prayer Book: Evening Prayer

This article is the second in a series of articles on the 1874 Book of Common Prayer, the first Prayer Book of the Reformed Episcopal Church. The first article in this series was posted on Exploring The Book of Common Prayer on March 4, 2009. However, the university student who was assisting me with my research had to pull out of the project due to his academic load and other demands upon his time, and I had to shelve the project. He had access to a copy of the 1874 Prayer Book and was copying the services for me and sending them to me.

Recently I located two electronic editions of the 1874 Prayer Book on the Internet, which were not available at that time. I decided to dust off the second article that I had written for the series and to post it. I thought that Anglicans Ablaze readers might like to compare the 1874 Prayer Book with the latest Reformed Episcopal Prayer Book, A Modern Language Version of the Reformed Episcopal Book of Common Prayer, and the 2003 Prayer Book, upon which it is based.

In 1873 Bishop George David Cummins and a group of ministers and laymen of the Protestant Episcopal Church, frustrated by the strong opposition to their proposals for the revision of the 1789 Prayer Book in the General Convention, and concerned over the growth and increasing influence of Tractarianism and ritualism in the Protestant Episcopal Church, founded the Reformed Episcopal Church. The Evangelical party in the Protestant Episcopal Church had sought the addition of alternative wording or forms to the Offices of Baptism so that Evangelical ministers could in good conscience use the 1789 Prayer Book. They were convinced that these offices contained an incipient Catholic theology that was incompatible with the teachings of the Bible and the Reformation. The General Convention, however, had proven unreceptive to their proposals. An earlier Evangelical proposal that would have suppressed ritualism in the Protestant Episcopal Church had been defeated in the General Convention, and the High Church party had been emboldened by its defeat. Cummins and his fellow Evangelicals had come to believe that their only hope of a revised Prayer Book and a reformed Church lay outside of the Protestant Episcopal Church.

The Order for Evening Prayer in the 1874 Prayer Book follows the pattern of the Order for Morning Prayer with some notable exceptions. The seasonal Opening Sentences of Scripture are omitted. The Collect for the day is omitted altogether. In the Order for Morning Prayer it is optional. The Prayer for the Congress and the Litany are omitted. In place of the Litany are printed A Prayer for Ministers and People and A Prayer for All Conditions of Men.

Like the 1789 Prayer Book, the 1874 Prayer Book omits the Magnificat and the Nunc dimittis and adds the Bonum est confiteri (Psalm 92) as an alternative to the Cantate Domino (Psalm 98) and the Benedic, anima mea (Psalm 103) as an alternative to the Deus misereatur (Psalm 67). The replacement of the Magnificat and the Nunc dimittis with Psalms is a revision that the Puritans had sought in the Prayer Book in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The Prayer for All in Civil Authority is an adaptation of the Prayer for Civil Rulers in the 1786 Proposed Prayer Book. A Collect for Aid against Perils is taken from the 1789 Prayer Book. One of the peculiarities of the early American Prayer Books is their omission of the traditional Collect for Aid against Perils:

Lighten our darkness, we beseech thee, O Lord; and by thy great mercy defend us from all perils and dangers of this night; for the love of thy only Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.

For those wishing to use the 1874 Order for Morning Prayer, it has been reproduced below.

The words in square brackets may be omitted.
Words in bold type are said or sung by the congregation.


The Minister shall begin the Evening Prayer by reading one or more of the following Sentences.

Lord is in his holy temple; let all the earth keep silence before him. Hab. ii. 20.
From the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same, my name shall be great among the Gentiles; and in every place incense shall be offered unto my name and a pure offering; for my name shall be great among the heathen, saith the Lord of Hosts. Mal. i. 11.
God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. St. John iv, 24.
Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer. Psalm. xix, 14.
When the wicked man turneth away from his wickedness that he hath committed, and doeth that which is lawful and right, he shall save his soul alive. Ezek. xviii. 27.
I acknowledge my transgressions and my sin is ever before me. Psal. ii. 3.
Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities. Psal. li. 9.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise. Psal. li. 17.
Rend your hearts, and not your garments, and turn unto the Lord your God; for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil. Joel ii. 13.
To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgivenesses, though we have rebelled against him: neither have we obeyed the voice of the Lord our God, to walk in his laws which he set before us. Dan. ix. 9, 10.
O Lord, correct me, but with judgment: not in thine anger, lest thou bring me to nothing. Jer. x. 24. Psal. vi. 1.
Repent ye; for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. St. Mat. iii. 2.
I will arise, and go to my father; and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, and am no more worthy to be called thy son. St. Luke xv. 18, 19.
Enter not into judgment with thy servant, O Lord, for in thy sight shall no man living be justified. Psal. cxliii. 2.
If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us; but if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 St. John i. 8, 9.

Then the Minister shall say,

Dearly beloved brethren, the scripture moveth us in sundry places, to acknowledge and confess our manifold sins and wickedness, and that we should not dissemble nor cloke them before the face of Almighty God, our heavenly Father, but confess them with an humble, lowly, penitent, and obedient heart; to the end that we might obtain forgiveness of the same, by his infinite goodness and mercy. And although we ought at all times humbly to acknowledge our sins before God; yet ought we chiefly so to do, when we assemble and meet together, to render thanks for the great benefits that we have received at his hands, to set forth his most worthy praise, to hear his most holy word, and to ask those things which are requisite and necessary, as well for the body as the soul. Wherefore, I pray and beseech you, as many as are here present, to accompany me, with a pure heart and humble voice, unto the throne of the heavenly grace, saying:

A general Confession, to be said by the whole Congregation; with the Minister, all kneeling.

Almighty and most merciful Father; We have erred and strayed like from thy ways lost sheep. We have followed too much the devices and desires of our own hearts. We have offended against thy holy laws. We have left undone those things which we ought to have done; And we have done those things which we ought not to have done; And there is no health in us. But thou O Lord, have mercy upon us, miserable offenders. Spare thou those, O God, who confess their faults. Restore thou those who are penitent; According to thy promises declared unto mankind, in Christ Jesus our Lord. And grant, O most merciful Father, for his sake; That we may hereafter live a godly, righteous, and sober life; To the glory of thy holy Name. Amen.

The Minister, still kneeling, shall say the following prayer for forgiveness.

O almighty God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who direst not the death of a sinner, but rather that he may turn from his wickedness and live, pardon and accept, we beseech thee, all those who truly repent and unfeignedly believe thy holy Gospel. Grant us true repentance and thy Holy Spirit, that those things may please thee which we do at this present ; and that the rest of our life hereafter may be pure and holy; so that at the last we may come to thy eternal joy; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

The people shall answer here, and at the end of every Prayer, Amen.

Then the Minister shall say the Lord's Prayer; the people repeating it with him, both here, and wheresoever else it is used in Divine Service.

Our Father, who art in Heaven, hallowed be thy Name. Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done in Earth, As it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, As we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation; But deliver us from evil; For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

Then likewise he shall say,

O Lord, open thou our lips.
Answer. And our mouth shall show forth thy praise.

Here all standing up, the Minister shall say,

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son: and to the Holy Ghost;
Answer. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
Minister. Praise ye the Lord.
Answer. The Lord's Name be praised.

Then shall follow a portion of the Psalter. After which may be said or sung, the Gloria Patri, or else the Gloria in Excelsis.Gloria Patri

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost;
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Or this.

Gloria in Excelsis
Glory be to God on high, and on earth peace, good will towards men. We praise thee, we bless thee, we worship thee, we glorify thee, we give thanks to thee, for thy great glory, O Lord God, heavenly King, God the Father Almighty.
O Lord, the only begotten Son, Jesus Christ; O Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father, that takest away the sins of the world, have mercy upon us. Thou that takest away the sins of the world, have mercy upon us. Thou that takest away the sins of the world, receive our prayer. Thou that sittest at the right hand of God the Father, have mercy upon us.
For thou only art holy, thou only art the Lord; thou only, O Christ, with the Holy Ghost art most high in the glory of God the Father. Amen.

Then shall be read the first lesson, from the Old Testament. After which shall be said or sung the following Anthem.

Note, that before every Lesson, the minister shall say, Here beginneth such Chapter, or Verse of such Chapter, of such a Book: And after every Lesson, Here endeth the first or second Lesson.

Cantate Domino. Psalm x cviii.

O sing unto the LORD a new song; for he hath done marvelous things.
With his own right hand, and with his holy arm, hath he gotten himself the victory.
The LORD declared his salvation; his righteousness hath he openly showed in the sight of the heathen.
He hath remembered his mercy and truth toward the house of Israel; and all the ends of the world have seen the salvation of our God.
Show yourselves joyful unto the LORD, all ye lands; sing, rejoice, and give thanks.
Praise the LORD upon the harp; sing to the harp with a psalm of thanksgiving.
With trumpets also and shawms, O show yourselves joyful before the LORD the King.
Let the sea make a noise, and all that therein is; the round world, and they that dwell therein.
Let the floods clap their hands, and let the hills be joyful together before the LORD; for he cometh to judge the earth.
With righteousness shall he judge the world, and the people with equity.

Or this.

Bonum est confiteri. Psalm xc ii.

It is a good thing to give thanks unto the LORD, and to sing praises unto thy Name, O Most Highest.
To tell of thy loving kindness early in the morning, and of thy truth in the night season,
Upon an instrument of ten strings, and upon the lute; upon a loud instrument, and upon the harp.
For thou , LORD, hast made me glad through thy works; and I will rejoice in giving praise for the operations of thy hands.

Then shall be read the second lesson, taken out of the New Testament.

And after that, shall be sung or said this Anthem.

Deus misereatur. Psalm lxvii.

GOD be merciful unto us, and bless us, and show us the light of his countenance, and be merciful unto us;
That thy way may be known upon earth, thy saving health among all nations Let the people praise thee, O God; yea, let all the people praise
O let the nations rejoice and be glad; for thou shalt judge the folk righteously, and govern the nations upon earth.
Let the people praise thee O God; yea, let all the people praise thee.
Then shall the earth bring forth her increase; and God, even our own God, shall give us his blessing.
God shall bless us and all the ends of the world shall fear him.

Or this

Benedic anima mea Psalm ciii

PRAISE the LORD O my soul; and all that is within me praise his holy Name.
Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits;
Who forgiveth all thy sin, and healeth all thine infirmities;
Who saveth thy life from destruction, and crowneth thee with mercy and loving-kindness.
O praise the LORD, ye Angels of his, ye that excel in strength; ye that fulfil his commandment, and hearken unto the voice of his word.
O praise the LORD, all ye his hosts; ye servants of his that do his pleasure.
O speak good of the LORD, all ye works of his, in all places of his dominion;
praise thou the LORD, O my soul.

Then shall be said the Apostles’ Creed, by the Minister and the people, standing: And any church may insert after the words, Was crucified, dead and buried, the words, He descended into Hell, or the words, He went into the place of departed spirits.

I believe in God the Father Almighty; Maker of heaven and earth; And in, Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord; Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, Born of the Virgin Mary, Suffered under Pontius Pilate, Was crucified, dead, and buried; The third day he rose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, And sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Ghost; The Holy Catholic Church; the Communion of Saints; The forgiveness of Sins The resurrection of the body, And the life everlasting Amen.

Or this.

I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, And of all things visible and invisible:
And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, begotten of his Father before all worlds; God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father; by whom all things were made; who for us men and for our salvation, came down from Heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary, and was made man, and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate. He suffered and was buried, and the third day he rose again according to the Scriptures, and ascended into Heaven, And sitteth on the right hand of the Father. And he shall come again with glory to judge both the quick and the dead; Whose kingdom shall have no end.
And I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of Life, Who proceedeth from the Father and the Son, Who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified, Who spake by the Prophets. And I believe one Catholic and Apostolic Church; I acknowledge one Baptism for the remission of sins. And I look for the Resurrection of the dead, And the Life of the world to come. Amen.

[Note. By “One Catholic and Apostolic Church” is signified “The blessed company of all faithful people;” and by “One Baptism for the remission of sins” the Baptism of the Holy Ghost.]

Then the Minister shall say,

The Lord be with you.
Answer. And with thy spirit.

Minister. Let us pray.

O Lord show thy mercy upon us.
Answer. And grant us thy salvation.
Minister. O God, make clean our hearts within us;
Answer. And take not thy Holy Spirit from us.

A Collect for Peace.

O God from whom all holy desires, all good counsels, and all just works do proceed: Give unto thy servants that peace, which the world cannot give; that our hearts may be set to obey thy commandments, and also that by thee, we, being defended from the fear of our enemies, may pass our time in rest and quietness; through the merits of Jesus Christ our Saviour. Amen.

A Collect for Aid against Perils.

O Lord, our heavenly Father, by whose Almighty power we have been preserved this day; By thy great mercy defend us from all perils and dangers of this night; for the love of thy only Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen.

A Prayer for the All in Civil Authority.

O Lord, our heavenly Father, the high and mighty Ruler of the universe, who dost from thy throne behold all the dwellers upon earth; Most heartily we beseech thee, with thy favour to behold and bless thy servant the President of these United States, and all in authority, legislative, judicial, and executive; and so replenish them with the grace of thy holy Spirit, that they may always incline to thy will, and walk in thy way. Endue them plenteously with heavenly gifts; grant them in health and prosperity long to live; and finally, after this life, to attain everlasting joy and felicity; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

A Prayer for Ministers and People.

Almighty and everlasting God, from whom cometh every good and perfect gift; Send down upon all Bishops, and other Ministers, and upon the Congregations committed to their charge, the healthful Spirit of thy grace; and, that they may truly please thee, pour upon them the continual dew of thy blessing. Grant this, O Lord, for the honor of our Advocate and Mediator, Jesus Christ.Amen.

A Prayer for all Conditions of Men.

O God, the Creator and Preserver of all mankind, we humbly beseech thee for all sorts and conditions of men; that thou wouldest be pleased to make thy ways known unto them thy saving health unto all nations. More especially we pray for thy holy Church universal that it may be so guided and governed by thy good Spirit that all who profess and call themselves Christians may be led into the way of truth, and hold the faith in unity of spirit, in the bond of peace, and in righteousness of life. Finally we commend to thy fatherly goodness all those who are any ways afflicted or distressed in mind body or estate; that it may please thee to comfort and relieve them according to their several necessities; giving them patience
under their sufferings, and a happy issue out of all their afflictions. And this we beg for Jesus Christ’s sake. Amen.

A General Thanksgiving, to be said by the People, with the Minister.

Almighty God, Father of all mercies we thine unworthy servants do give thee most humble and hearty thanks for all thy goodness and loving kindness to us, and to all men: We bless thee for our creation, preservation and all the blessings of this life; but above all, for thine inestimable love in the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ; for the means of grace, and for the hope of glory. And we beseech thee, give us that due sense of all thy mercies that our hearts may be, unfeignedly thankful, and that we may shew forth thy praise, not only with our lips, but in our lives; by giving up ourselves to thy service, and by walking before thee in holiness and righteousness all our days, through Jesus Christ our Lord; to whom with thee and the Holy Ghost, be all honor and glory, world without end. Amen.

Here may be used any of the occasional prayers, or extemporaneous prayer.

A General Supplication

Almighty God, who hast given us grace at this time with one accord to make our common supplications unto thee; and dost promise, that when two or three are gathered together in thy Name, thou wilt grant their requests; Fulfill now, O Lord, the desires and petitions of thy servants, as may be most expedient for them; granting us in this world knowledge of thy truth, and in the world to come life everlasting. Amen.

2 Cor. Xiii. 14.

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Ghost, be with us all evermore. Amen.

Here endeth the Order of Evening Prayer.

Related Article: The First Reformed Episcopal Prayer Book: Morning Prayer

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