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solemn re-dedication of themselves by the baptized, confirming in their own persons the vow taken for them by their Sponsors." It was accordingly ordered that they should first be instructed and examined in the faith, like candidates for Adult Baptism, and that they should publicly renew their vow. The age of Confirmation was still longer delayed with a view to these requisites, and it was ordered that, as a rule, only the confirmed should be admitted to the Holy Communion. This use of the ordinance, however, though of infinite practical value, is still only a secondary use, and a comparatively modern development.
In the Medieval Service Books the Service of Confirmation was simple and brief. It included prayer for the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit, and anointing, with the sign of the Cross, and with an appropriate prayer and Benediction. But except in the custom of the elevation of the hands of the Bishop at the opening prayer, the Imposition of hands itself seems, strangely enough, to have disappeared from the Service. In the Prayer Book of 1549 the Imposition of hands was brought once more into its right prominence, the sign of the Cross also retained, but the use of the Chrism (retained in the Baptismal Service) was in this Service discontinued. In 1552 the Service was brought to its present form, excepting the opening Exhortation and question (added in 1662).
As it stands, it brings out emphatically the two aspects of the Service-the blessing of God as marked by the imposition of hands (comp. Gen. xlviii. 9--20; Mark x. 16) expressly associated with the sevenfold gifts of the Spirit, and implying establishment and progress to full-grown Christian character and privilege-and the solemn self-dedication to God by renewal of the Baptismal Vow, trusting in this blessing of God, and opening the soul to receive it.
The PREFACE was inserted in view to more solemnly impress1662, taken in substance from ing on those confirmed the the Rubric of 1549 and the suc- reality and obligation of the ceeding editions ; which Rubric Baptismal Covenant. It bears was, however, much fuller in its considerable resemblance to a exposition of the idea of Confir- corresponding form in Hermation, as now administered. mann's Consultatio. For it not only, like our present Preface, recognised the im
The VERSICLES, translated
from the old Service, are taken portance of so arranging that those who come to be confirmed
(as usual) from the Psalms (Ps. may be able intelligently to re
cxxiv. 7; cxiii. 2; cii. 1), expres. new their vow; but it also dwelt
sing successively confidence, on the gift to them of "strength
thanksgiving, and prayer. and defence against all tempta
The PRAYER, also translated tions to sin, and assaults of the world and the devil," as specially
from the old Service, and itself seasonable at an age when chil.
of immemorial antiquity, is not
able, first (a), as expressing in dren“ begin to be in danger to the clearest terms confidence fall into sundry kinds of sin.” It was also stated that this cus
in the benefits of regeneration
and forgiveness, as given in Baptom had the authority of Church practice; and, lest any should be
tism; next (b), as bringing out
the true idea of Confirmation, uneasy at the postponement of the rite, it was declared that
viz., the strengthening” and
the “increase" of the spiritual those who are baptized "have already all things necessary to
life, already implanted, to fall their salvation, and, if they de
maturity; lastly (c), as dwelling on the
sevenfold gifts” of the part out of this life in their in.
Spirit. The description is quofancy, are undoubtedly saved.'
ted from Is. xi. 2, 3, thus referThe Vow, although it was at ring especially to the outpouring all times implied, was first ex- of the Spirit on the “Rod of plicitly inserted in 1662, with a Jesse,' which in measure is OR LAYING ON OF HANDS UPON THOSE THAT ARE BAPTIZED AND
COME TO YEARS OF DISCRETION. $ Upon the day appointed, all that are to be then confirmed, being placed, and standing in order, before the Bishop; he (or some other Minister appointed
by him) shall read this Preface following. To
hand upon the head of every one ministered to the more edifying of severally, saying, such as shall receive it, the Church hath thought good to order, That none heren DEFEND, O Lord, this thy Child (or
this thy Servant] with thy heavenly after shall be Confirmed, but such as can grace, that he may continue thine for Bay the Creed, the Lord's Prayer, and ever; and daily increase in thy holy the Ten Commandments, and can also Spirit more and more, until he come answer to such other Questions, as in unto thy everlasting kingdom. Amen. the short Catechism are contained : I Then shall the Bishop say, which order is very convenient to be ob- The Lord be with you. served; to the end, that children, being now come to the years of discretion, and
Answer. And with thy spirit. having learned what their Godfathers
And (all kneeling down the Bishop
shali add, and Godmothers promised for them in Baptism, they may themselves, with
Let us pray. their own mouth and consent, openly OUR Father, which art in heaven, before the Church, ratify and contirm
Hallowed be thy Name. Thy kingthe same; and also promise, that by the
dom come. Thy will be done in earth, grace of God they will evermore en
As it is in heaven. Give us this day our deavour
themselves faithfully to observe daily bread. And forgive us our tressuch things, as they, by their own con
passes, As we forgive them that tresfession, have assented unto.
pass against us. And lead us not into Then shall the Bishop say,
temptation ; But deliver us from evil.
Amen. Doxa bere in the presence of God,
And this Collect. and of this congregation, renew the
LMIGHTY and everliving God, who solemn promise and vow that was made makest us both to will and to do in your name at your Baptism ; ratify- those things that be good and acceptaing and confirming the same in your ble unto thy divine Majesty ; We make own persons, and acknowledging your- our humble supplications unto thee for selves bound to believe, and to do, all these thy servants, upon whom (after those things, which your Godfathers and the example of thy holy Apostles) we Godmothers then undertook for you? have now laid our hands, to certify them And every one shall audibly answer, (by this sign) of thy favour and graciI do.
ous goodness towards them. Let thy The Bishop.
fatherly hand, we beseech thee, ever be
over them; let thy Holy Spirit ever be UR help is in the Name of the Lord; with them; and so lead them in the
Answer. Who hath made heaven knowledge and obedience of thy Word, and earth.
that in the end they may obtain everBishop. Blessed be the Name of the lasting life; through our Lord Jesus Lord ;
Christ, who with thee and the Holy Answer. Henceforth, world without Ghost liveth and reigneth, ever one God, end.
world without end. Amen. Bishop. Lord, hear our prayers. Answer. And let our cry come unto
God, vouchsafe, we beseech thee, thee.
to direct, sanctify, and govern, both our The Bishop. Let us pray.
hearts and bodies, in the ways of thy ALMIGHTY and a verliving God, who wanaeddin the workout thy cousi thy servants by Water and the Holy mighty protection both here and ever, Ghost, and hast given unto them for- we may be preserved in body and soul; giveness of all their sins; Strengthen through our Lord and Saviour Jesus them, we beseech thee, O Lord, with Christ. Amen. the Holy Ghost the Comforter, and daily. I Then the Bishop shall bless them, increase in them thy manifold gifts of
saying thus, grace; the spirit of wisdom and understanding ; the spirit of counsel and THE Blessing of God Almighty, the
Father, the Son, and the Holy ghostly strength; the spirit of know
Ghost, be upon you, and remain with ledge and true godliness; and fill them,
you for ever. Amen.' O Lord, with the spirit of thy holy fear,
And there shall none be admitted to now and for ever.. Amen.
the holy Communion, until such time Then all of them in order kneeling as he be confirmed, or be ready and before the Bishop, he shall lay his desirous to be confirmed.
given also to those who are His; 1662, according to the usual plan but it adds to that description of all the Church Services, to the words “of true godliness," open the concluding Prayers. thus making up the sacred number seven. The three pairs of
The FIRST COLLECT following, gifts seem to correspond to the composed in 1549, and suggested intellectual, the moral, and the by a prayer in the Consultatio, devotional aspects of life, and all
first claims for Confirmation an are clenched by the “ spirit of
Apostolic origin, and a symbolic holy fear” (or reverence).
character as a seal of God's fa
vour to His children ; and then THE IMPOSITION OF HANDS.- prays that God's own hand may In 1549, after prayer that God be over them, and His Spirit would mark them His for always with them, leading them ever
by the sign of the Cross, through knowledge and obediand “confirm and strengthen ence to eternal life. them by the inward unction of
TH SECOND COLLECT is one of the Holy Ghost," the words of
the Occasional Collects of the administration
Communion Service, having no thee with the sign of the Cross, and lay my hands upon thee, in
special appropriateness to the
Service, except that it dwells on the Name of the Father and of
its leading idea of preservation the Son and of the Holy Ghost;" “the Peace of the Lord abide
and progress under God's Spirit. with you.” In 1552 the present The concluding RUBRIC, emform was substituted, which is a bodying ancient directions on the Prayer of Benediction for God's subject, lays down as a matter of defence of the child by His hea- Church Order, that Confirmation venly grace, that he may both shall precede Holy Communion ; continue and increase for ever in but as it allows those "who are His grace till he comes to glory; ready and desirous to be conand is followed by the Dominus firmed” to come to the Holy Vobiscum.
Table, it does not appear to make
this absolutely necessary, when. THE AFTER-SERVICE. The ever there is the right spiritual LORD'S PRAYER was inserted in preparation,
All these, except the Commination Service, are taken with variation and simplification from the Ancient Manual, and they embody the religious consecration of the chief phases of natural life. The Baptismal and Confirmation Services have already hallowed its beginning; the succeeding Services deal with Marriage, Childbirth, Sickness, and Death, thus covering the whole of human life from the cradle to the grave. All, and especially the Burial Service, contemplate a condition of things, in which all Englishmen, being regarded as members of the English Church, were considered as having a right to her ministrations, and as being subject to her authority and discipline. Of these the former condition still remains, but the latter has passed away. Hence, singularly impressive and beautiful as they confessedly are, they are in parts inappropriate to some of those for whom they are still used.
THE FORM OF
SOLEMNIZATION OF MATRIMONY.
The Service is taken in substance from the old Office in the Sarum Manual, omitting the formal Benediction of the Ring, and the special form of the Nuptial Mass immediately following the Service. In the old Service the opening Exhortation, the questions and answers, the words of betrothal, and the words on putting on the ring were always in English. Some of the hortatory portions are borrowed, as usual, from Hermann's Consultatio. There has been no change since 1549, except the omission of the “ tokens of spousage, as gold and silver,” presented with the ring, and the change into a recommendation of the original order, that the newly married persons should receive the Holy Communion at the time of Marriage. Of all our Services it preserves most of the old substance and form.
It divides itself naturally into two parts~(a) the Marriage Service proper, performed in the body of the Church ; (6) the succeeding Service at the Holy Table, evidently intended as an introduction to the Holy Communion following.
(A) THE MARRIAGE SERVICE
The original direction simply ordered the Banns to be asked, taking the place in the
Service as known. In 1662 the direction was immediately before the sentences for the Offertory." The present Rubric is in accordance with a later Act of Parliament, which leaves it, however, doubtful whether the direction for publication after the Second Lesson was not intended to apply to the Evening Service ness. In the second part (6) it only.
strikes a lower key, dwelling The alternative to the use of chiefly on the physical uses of Banns is the LICENCE of the marriage (in words plain-spoken Bishop, ordinary or special, almost to coarseness) before it which was evidently intended passes to the higher moral relato be used only under excep- tion of "mutual society, help, and tional circumstances.
comfort” which it creates. It The HOURS OF MARRIAGE are
ends (c) with the final repetition limited (see the lxii. Canon of
of the charge already given at 1604) to the hours between eight
the publication of the Banns, to and twelve in the morning;
declare cause, if there be cause, partly, no doubt, to secure pub- against the marriage. It thus licity and sobriety, partly, per
(d) leads on to a most solemn haps, in view of the administra- adjuration of the same tenour tion of the Holy Communion
to the persons coming to be which was to follow.
married, pronouncing marriage
against God's law to be no marIn the following Seasons mar
riage. riages were prohibited in the Manual :-(a) Advent to the The BETROTHAL.-The ques. octave of Epiphany, (6) Septua- tions and the words of betrothal gesima to the octave of Easter
are taken almost exactly from inclusive, (c) Rogation Sunday
the old form, and retain much of to Trinity Sunday. This list in
the old quaintness of tone. The cludes the chief Festal Seasons pledge is first, on both sides, & and Fasts of the Christian year. pledge of mutual love, honour,
The OPENING EXHORTATION. and support; next, on the man's -The first and last sentences side, of comfort and protection; are from the old Service, the lastly, on the woman's, of service rest chiefly from the Consultatio. and obedience. This pledge St. It opens (a) with a very emphatic Paul does not hesitate to hallow declaration of the sacredness of as the type of the relation beMarriage, as belonging to un- tween Christ and the Church, fallen humanity by Divine Insti. imitating the self-sacrificing love tution (Gen. ii. 24; Matt. xix. 5);
of Christ to the Church, and the hallowed as a type of the mys- free loyalty of the Church to tical union between Christ and
Her Master. In this the man His Church (Eph. v. 22—33) ; “plights" his troth, taking the honoured (even in its festive initiative; the woman "gives" aspect) by Our Lord's presence
hers in return. and first miracle at Cana of The woman is "given" in Galilee (John ii. 1-11); and de- marriage by her father or nearclared to be “honourable among est relative; for according to all men (Heb. xiii. 4).
the old law she was always under these the first and second are the some guardianship, and the conreally important points, indi- sent of her guardian was therecating the position of Marriage fore required. For the man in humanity as first created, there is no such requirement, and as redeemed by Christ,
unless he be under age. and thus declaring against the The whole breathes exactly the excessive admiration of celibacy, spirit of the teaching of the New which represented marriage as Testament; which, while it asmerely a condescension to weak- serts for woman & complete