How to Use the Prayer-Book
Before the Service. -- If possible be in your place a few moments before the appointed hour, that you may collect your thoughts and prepare for the service. On entering, go at once quietly to your seat, kneel down, and say a short prayer for yourself and your fellow-worshipers. The Collect for the Nineteenth or the Twenty-third Sunday after Trinity, or the Collect, "Almighty God, unto whom all hearts are open," at the beginning of the Communion Office, you may find appropriate. When you have said your prayer, find the places for the service for the day, and after this occupy the {93} time till the service begins with reading some portion from the Prayer-Book.

At Morning Prayer. -- The following points should have attention:

(1) The several ways in which, after the opening Sentence, the Minister may proceed with the service. See the rubrics at the beginning of MORNING PRAYER.

(2) In the LORD'S PRAYER (as is also the case with other prayers printed in like manner) the capital letters beginning the several short clauses are intended to indicate the portions into which the prayer is to be broken for common recitation. There should be a slight pause after each clause, that all may join in saying the prayer.

(3) On the nineteenth day of the month the Venite is not used before the PSALTER, as it occurs in the portion for that day. It is omitted on Easter Day and Thanksgiving Day, as other anthems are appointed for these days (pages 6, 125, 319).

(4) After the Venite follows (page 6) the PSALTER (page 329) for the day of the month, or one of the SELECTIONS, or the PROPER PSALMS for the day. See HOW THE PSALTER IS APPOINTED TO BE READ (page vii). Note what is to be done, in using the PSALTER, when a month has thirty-one days. {94} Observe also the tables of SELECTIONS and PROPER PSALMS (pages vii, viii, 328).

(5) Study the use of the COLLECT FOR THE DAY -- where found (pages 52-188, 188-220), how used: "Except when the Communion Service is read" (page 13). "The Collect shall serve all the Week after, where not otherwise ordered." "The Collect for any Sunday or other Feast may be used at the Evening Service of the day before" (page 52). Note the use throughout the season of the COLLECT FOR THE FIRST SUNDAY IN ADVENT. Throughout Lent is used, in like manner, the COLLECT FOR ASH-WEDNESDAY (page 86). Observe the use of the COLLECT FOR CHRISTMAS DAY (page 62), and that the Collect, Epistle, and Gospel for St. Stephen's Day, St. John the Evangelist's Day, the Innocents' Day, and for the Circumcision, are not among those for the Saints'-days, but placed in connection with those for Christmas Day and the Sunday after. Note rubrics (pages 66, 69, 71, 87, 141).

(6) When two Feasts or Holy-days fall upon the same day, the usual custom is to make a "commemoration" of the day omitted by using the COLLECT of that day immediately after the COLLECT of the Feast or Holy-day that is observed.

"If there be more than twenty-five Sundays after {95} Trinity, the service of some of those Sundays that were omitted after the Epiphany shall be taken in to supply so many as are wanting. And if there be fewer than twenty-five Sundays, the overplus shall be omitted" (page 188).

(7) Observe the use of the OCCASIONAL PRAYERS, and the place in the service where they are to be said, if used. Note that some must be used at specified times (page 37).

(8) Observe the use of the THANKSGIVINGS -- where to be said in the service, if used (page 44).

(9) There are several ways in which the Minister may end the MORNING PRAYER: "On any day not a Sunday, he may end the MORNING PRAYER with the COLLECT FOR GRACE and 2 COR. XIII.14." The prayers following that "for the President of the United States" "shall be omitted when the LITANY is said, and may be omitted when the HOLY COMMUNION is immediately to follow" (pages 1, 14).

At Morning Prayer on Certain Days. -- (1) For Ash-Wednesday a PENITENTIAL OFFICE is provided (page 48), and must be read immediately after the prayer, "We humbly beseech Thee, O Father," in the LITANY.

(2) For Thanksgiving Day a special FORM OF {96} PRAYER AND THANKSGIVING TO ALMIGHTY GOD is appointed (page 319).

After the Service. -- When the service is ended, after the procession has gone out, kneel down and say a prayer. Do not omit this if for any cause you are obliged to leave before the conclusion of the service. You will find many of the Collects -- such as that for the First Sunday after Epiphany, or the Second Sunday after Easter, or the Thirteenth Sunday after Trinity, or those at the end of the Communion Office -- in every way appropriate.

At evening Prayer. -- (1) Note the several ways in which the Minister may proceed after the opening Sentence. On Sundays, he may say, "Let us humbly confess our sins unto Almighty God," and pass to the GENERAL CONFESSION. Or else he may say, "Dearly beloved brethren, the Scripture," etc. "On days other than the Lord's Day, he may, at his discretion, pass at once to the LORD'S PRAYER" (pages 16, 19).

(2) Note that the COLLECT FOR THE DAY must be said (page 27).

(3) EVENING PRAYER is said in full or may be ended after the COLLECT FOR AID (page 27).

(4) What has been said of the use of the OCCASIONAL PRAYERS and of the THANKSGIVINGS in {97} MORNING PRAYER is equally applicable to EVENING PRAYER.

At the Litany. -- (1) The LITANY is said ordinarily after MORNING PRAYER on Sundays, Wednesdays, and Fridays (page 30). A part may be omitted (page 33).

(2) It may also be said after the COLLECT FOR AID in EVENING PRAYER, or it may be used separately. See first and second paragraphs in CONCERNING THE SERVICE OF THE CHURCH (page vii).

At the Holy Communion. -- (1) The Communion Office follows immediately after the Collects, Epistles, and Gospels (page 221).

It is the common custom that the LORD'S PRAYER at the beginning of the service is said by the Priest alone, and not, as in other services, by all the people with him. This is due to the fact that this prayer and the following COLLECT FOR PURITY anciently formed part of the office for the Priest's private preparation before entering the sanctuary. The LORD'S PRAYER may be omitted if MORNING PRAYER has been said immediately before (page 221).

(2) Observe that the DECALOGUE may be omitted if said once on each Sunday, and what is to be done in that case (pages 222, 224).

(3) The COLLECT OF THE DAY, while used in other {98} Services, belongs properly to the Communion Office. It must be said. It is called in the Communion Service the Collect "of" the Day, elsewhere the Collect "for" the Day. The EPISTLE and the GOSPEL for the day are found in the same place as the COLLECT OF THE DAY (page 52).

(4) Observe that preference is given to the NICENE CREED, and that it must be said at certain times, on Christmas Day, Easter Day, Ascension Day, Whitsunday, and Trinity Sunday (page 224).

(5) When the Minister gives notice of the Holy Communion the EXHORTATION read, in whole or part, is that beginning, "Dearly beloved, on -- -- day next I purpose," or that beginning, "Dearly beloved brethren, on -- -- I intend, by God's grace" (pages 240, 242).

(6) Note that the EXHORTATION, "Dearly beloved in the Lord," may be omitted, provided it is said once, on a Sunday, in that same month (page 229).

(7) Note the use of the PROPER PREFACES which emphasize the special teaching of the great festivals (page 233).

(8) Note the direction (page 237) that in the administration to the communicants the Sacrament is to be delivered "into their hands." That can be best done, with reverence and care, if, when the Bread is {99} delivered, the person receiving will place the open right hand upon the left, the palm being slightly hollowed to receive the consecrated Bread, and, when the Cup is delivered, will take firm hold of the chalice with both hands -- of the bowl, or stem immediately under it, with the right hand, and of the pedestal with the left. Of course gloves should be removed.

(9) Observe what is done when a second CONSECRATION is necessary (page 237).

(10) Note that a hymn may be substituted for the Gloria in excelsis. This is commonly done in penitential seasons (page 238).

(11) Direction is given (page 240) that the consecrated Bread and Wine remaining after the Communion shall be reverently consumed. Small crumbs which cannot be taken otherwise are poured into the chalice, and the chalice rinsed two or three times with a little wine and water, the Priest drinking the same. This is called "The ablutions."

At the Baptism of Infants. -- (1) Note that the general congregation and the company at the Font are all to stand until the LORD'S PRAYER.

(2) Note the permission given to shorten the service. The Minister shall say, "Hear the words of the Gospel," etc., or else pass immediately to the {100} questions addressed to the sponsors, provided that "in every church the intermediate parts of the Service shall be used, once at least in every month, (if there be a baptism,) for the better instructing of the People in the grounds of Infant Baptism."

(3) Observe that the THANKSGIVING following the EXHORTATION upon the words of the GOSPEL is to be said by all, the people joining with the Minister.

At Private Baptism of Children. -- (1) Observe what the service is. See the third rubric at the beginning of the Office, and what follows (page 251).

(2) Note what is directed, after the FORM OF BAPTISM, as to the public reception of the child privately baptized (page 252).

(3) Note the conditional FORM provided for use in cases of doubt (page 256).

(4) Observe that the MINISTRATION OF BAPTISM and the receiving into the Church may be combined (page 257).

At the Baptism of Adults. -- (1) What has been pointed out, in connection with the BAPTISM OF INFANTS, in reference to the people standing until the LORD'S PRAYER, the saying of the THANKSGIVING after the EXHORTATION, and the use of a conditional FORM (page 265) in cases of reasonable doubt, applies also to the BAPTISM OF ADULTS.


(2) Observe what may be done when necessity may require the baptizing of adults in private houses. See the second rubric at the end of the Office (page 265).

(3) Observe that the Office of Infant Baptism and that of Adults may be conjoined. The service, however, involves so much difficulty and repetition that it is not often used. Third rubric (page 265).

At Confirmation. -- Observe that the congregation are to stand until the LORD'S PRAYER.

At Marriages. -- (1) Note that the Prayer-Book calls the service the "Solemnization" of Matrimony. The company present are there as witnesses and to ask God's blessing upon the marriage. While, therefore, they may bring into the church gladsome hearts on such an occasion, they should guard against levity. They should behave with reverence, attend to the service, say the Amens to the prayers, and conduct themselves with the same regard for the place, and for the sacredness of the act, as they would at any other service.

(2) The congregation should stand throughout the service, the bride and bridegroom only kneeling for the prayers and the BLESSING.

At the Communion of the Sick. -- (1) Note the order of the service. See the latter part of the {102} rubric at the beginning of the service, and the first and third rubrics following the GOSPEL (page 293).

(2) Note permission given in the last rubric following the GOSPEL.

At Burials. -- (1) Note that one or both of the SELECTIONS OF PSALMS may be used (page 294).

(2) Note the permission given for additions to the service (page 298).

(3) Observe that the response, "Christ, have mercy upon us," is to be said by the people in the Kyrie preceding the LORD'S PRAYER (page 300).

(4) Note the permission given in the rubric following the ADDITIONAL PRAYERS at the close of the Office.

[1] The page references are to the Prayer-Book, to editions larger than the small duodecimo; which larger editions are all paged alike.

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