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THE ORDER FOR
INTRODUCTION.-This Service was drawn, with much alteration and simplification, and considerable additions, from two Services in the old Manual, the Commendation of the Soul”-said partly at the house of the dead, partly in procession to the Church, partly in the Church itself-and the Burial of the Dead, said partly in the Church and partly at the grave. These Services were very full and elaborate in Ceremonial, including the_ recitation of numerous Psalms, the constant repetition of the Requiem ("Grant him, o Lord, eternal rest”), censing and sprinkling with holy water, and the Blessing of the Grave. Our Service was resolutely cut down to shortness and simplicity, and yet so as to preserve the closest coherency and the most pathetic beauty.
In the Service of 1549 the ancient custom (traceable up to primitive times) of prayer for the dead was preserved, in the same simplicity which marked it in the “ Prayer for the whole Church" in the Communion Service--commending them to God, asking for them rest in Him now, and salvation with us at the Last Day. In 1552 such prayer was omitted in both places, no doubt on account of the many superstitions and practical abuses which had become associated, as it seemed indissolubly, with prayer for the departed. At the same time the Form of Communion to be used at Funerals, appended to the Service in 1549, was also omitted, probably for the same reason, in protest against the offering of Masses, as propitiatory, for the dead (see Art. xxx.).
The Service was drawn up at a time when it was presumed, first, that all Englishmen would be members of the Church of England, and next, that there would be such Church discipline as would place under censure and excommunication all who were guilty of open ard scandalous sin. It was framed accordingly; and all difficulties, which have since attached to its use, arise from the failure in these two presupposed conditions. As the law at present stands, the parish priest is bound to use it, if required, over all who die in his parish (not excluded by the opening Rubric) on penalty of immediate suspension; he may, however, at the desire or with the consent of the representatives of the dead, substitute a form of Service wholly Scriptural; he may also read, in the case of those excluded by the opening Rubric, a short Service (different from either of the two other Services) approved by the Ordinary; and at the demand of the representatives of the dead, the body may be committed to the grave in the churchyard or consecrated cemetery without Service, or with any other Service of a “ Christian and orderly" character, conducted by other person than the clergyman.
The OPENING RUBRIC was inserted in 1662, probably, however, stereotyping previous practice, and certainly accordant with the whole idea of the Service--the unbaptized having not yet been admitted into the Christian covenant according to the law of the Church, the excommunicate having been cut off from it, and those dying in the act of deliberate self murder (unless in unsound mind) being held to be virtually excommunicate thereby. (A) THE INTRODUCTORY PART
Of the OPENING SENTENCES
the first two are taken from the OF THE SERVICE.
the third was This is generally said in the added in 1549. The first (a) is Church, unless for physical or the fullest declaration of FAITH other reasons it is thought bet- in the Gospel promise by Our ter to go at once to the grave. Lord Himself, In virtue of our
THE ORDER FOR
THE BURIAL OF THE DEAD.
Here is to be noted, that the Office ensuing is not to be used for any that die unbaptized, or excommunicate, or have laid violent hands upon themselves. I The Priest and Clerks meeting the Corpse at the entrance of the Church-yard, and going before it, either into the Church, or towards the Grave, shall say,
or sing, I AM the resurrection and the life, am even consumed by means of thy
saith the Lord : he that believeth heavy hand. in me, though he were dead, yet shall When thou with rebukes dost chasten he live : and whosoever liveth and be- man for sin, thou makest his beauty to lieveth in me shall never die St. John consume away, like as it were a moth xi 25, 26.
fretting a garment : every man thereKNOW that my Redeemer liveth,
fore is but vanity. and that he shall stand at the latter
Hear my prayer, O Lord, and with day upon the earth. And though after
thine ears consider my calling : hold my skin worms destroy this body, yet
not thy peace at my tears. in my flesh shall I see God : whom I
For I am a stranger with thee : and a shall see for myself, and mine eyes
sojourner, as all my fathers were. shall behold, and not another. Job xix.
O spare me a little, that I may re25, 26, 27.
cover my strength : before I go hence,
and be no more seen. E brought nothing into this world, Glory be to the Father, and to the
and it is certain we can carry Son : and to the Holy Ghost; nothing out. The Lord gave, and the As it was in the beginning, is now, Lord hath taken away ; blessed be the and ever shall be : world without end. Name of the Lord. I Tim. vi. 7. Job i. Amen. 21.
Domine, refugium. Psalm 90. After they are come into the Church, shall be read one or both of these LORD, thou hast been our refuge : Psalms following.
Before the mountains were brought Dixi, custodiam. Psalm 39.
forth, or ever the earth and the world I
SAID, I will take heed to my ways : were made : thou art God from everthat I offend not in my tongue. lasting, and world without end. I will keep my mouth as it were with Thou turnest man to destruction : a bridle : while the ungodly is in my again thou sayest, Come again, ye chilsight.
dren of men. I held my tongue, and spake nothing : For a thousand years in thy sight are I kept silence, yea, even from good but as yesterday : seeing that is past as words ; but it was pain and grief to a watch in the night. me.
As soon as thou scatterest them, they My heart was hot within me, and are even as a sleep : and fade away while I was thus musing the fire kin- suddenly like the grass. dled : and at the last I spake with my In the morning it is green, and growtongue ;
eth up : but in the evening it is cut Lord, let me know mine end, and the
down, dried up, and withered. number of my days : that I may be cer- For we consume away in thy displeatified how long I have to live.
sure ; and are afraid at thy wrathful Behold, thou hast made my days as indignation. it were a span long : and mine age is Thou hast set our misdeeds before even as nothing in respect of thee; and thee : and our secret sins in the light of verily every man living is altogether thy countenance. vanity.
For when thou art angry all our days For man walketh in a vain shadow, are gone : we bring our years to an end, and disquieteth himself in vain : he as it were a tale that is told. heapeth up riches, and cannot tell who The days of our age are threescore shall gather them.
years and ten ; and though men be so And now, Lord, what is my hope : strong, that they come to fourscore truly my hope is even in thee.
years : yet is their strength then but Deliver me from all mine offences : labour and sorrow ; so soon passeth it and make me not & rebuke unto the away, and we are gone. foolish.
But who regardeth the power of thy I became dumb, and opened not my
wrath : for even thereafter as a man mouth : for it was thy doing.
feareth, so is thy displeasure. Tako thy plague away from me :1 So teach us to number our days :
unity with Him, “ He is the 08. 1-11, given a detailed and Resurrection, so that, though independent record of the fact we be dead, we shall live again; of the Lord's Resurrection and and “He is the Life," the eternal the witnesses to that fact, endlife, which can never die. In ing with himself, as “one born this saying the whole teaching out of due time;" next (b), in of the New Testament on Resur- v8. 12-19, declared emphatically rection and Life is summed up. that if there be no resurrection (6) The second is a sentence of for man, as man, the Resurrection HOPE, from one of the older of the Son of Man is impossible, books of the Old Testament and therefore Christian faith is (into which we are apt to read a delusion, and Christian preachà Christian meaning), expressing ing a lie. From these he passes in the original simply the rudi. on (c), in vs. 20—28, to explain mentary belief of Job in a Re- this by a declaration of Our deemer (or Avenger) who shall Lord as a second Adam, in whom plead his cause, and his hope "all are made alive,” and of His that, though his body be de- Resurrection as His entrance on stroyed by wasting sickness, yet the Mediatorial Kingdom, in that in his true undying person. which for us He shall subdue all ality he shall “ see God." (c) enemies, and death the last. The third is a composite sen. Here (d) occurs (in vs. 29-34) a tence (from 1 Tim. vi. 7 and Job curious digression of appeal to i. 21) of RESIGNATION, blessing their own practice, in the Bapthe God who gave all, and who
tism on behalf of the dead takes away, as He sees best. (when one desiring Baptism died
before he could receive it), and The Psalms.-In 1549, Ps.cxvi., cxxix., cxlvi., with the Lesson,
in the daily jeopardy of life and were directed to be said either
sacrifice, which would be untenbefore or after burial. Froin
able against the Epicurean " Let 1552 onwards, these were omitted.
us eat and drink,” if really “tomorrow we die.'
From this (e) In 1662 the present Psalms, xxxix.
he returns (in vs. 35–49) to notice and xc., were inserted here. (a) Ps. xxxix. is by tradition a
two speculative difficulties-by " Psalm of David”-a Psalm of
what power Resurrection can be sadness, first dumb, then break
effected, and what shall be the ing out into prayer to know his
body of the future. These quesend, in the deep sense of the
tions, he says, only a "fool" can shortness of life, its
ask; for the mystery of Resur
sorrow under the chastening of God,
rection is no greater than the and its vanity, but still in confi.
acknowledged, yet inscrutable, dence in God as our hope. (6)
mystery of birth; and the diffePs. XC., “the Prayer of Moses,
rence of the future body-the the man of God," is more calm
spiritual body," incorruptible, and thoughtful-meditating on
glorions, and strong-from the God's Eternity and man's tran
natural body, corruptible, poor, sitoriness, praying for instruc
and weak, is but anotherinstance tion thereby in wisdom, and ex
of the infinite variety of God's pressing confidence that, if we
works, familiar to us, though in perish, all good work done by
cause and method unknown. All our hands remains.
we need know is that the new
power of Resurrection, and the The LESSON (which till 1662 new body of the future, will come seems to have been read at the by our putting on the Image of grave) is the conclusion of the "the Lord from heaven." Lastly great chapter (1 Cor. xv.), which (f), sweeping aside all specula. contains beyond all others the tion, he declares the mystery explicit teaching of the New -the secret of God (that is, told Testament on the Resurrection, by Christ-of the great Resurwritten to meet speculative rection, swallowing up corrupdoubts and fears in the intellec. tion in incorruption, and death tual community at Corinth. In in immortality; and ends with a the preceding sections of this burst of thanksgiving to God, chapter St. Paul had, first (a), in who gives us the victory through
that we may apply our hearts unto ed, except it die. And that which thou wisdom.
sowest, thou sowest not that body that Turn thee again, O Lord, at the last : shall be, but bare grain, it may chance and be gracious unto thy servants. of wheat, or of some other grain : But
O satisfy us with thy mercy, and that God giveth it a body, as it hath pleased soon : so shall we rejoice and be glad him, and to every seed his own body. all the days of our life.
All flesh is not the same flesh; but there Comfort us again now after the time is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh that thou hast plagued us : and for the of beasts, another of fishes, and another years wherein we have suffered adver- of birds. There are also celestial bodies, sity.
and bodies terrestrial ; but the glory of shew thy servants thy work ; and the celestial is one, and the glory of the their children thy glory.
terrestrial is another. There is one glory And the glorious Majesty of the Lord of the sun, and another glory of the our God be upon us : prosper thou the moon, and another glory of the stars ; work of our hands upon us, o prosper for one star differeth from another star thou our handy-work.
in glory. So also is the resurrection of Glory be to the Father, and to the the dead : It is sown in corruption; it Son : and to the Holy Ghost ;
is raised in incorruption : It is sown in As it was in the beginning, is now, dishonour ; it is raised in glory. It is and ever shall be : world without end. sown in weakness ; it is raised in powAmen.
er : It is sown a natural body ; it is Then shall follow the Lesson taken
raised a spiritual body. There is a naout of the fifteenth Chapter of the
tural body, and there is a spiritual body. former Epistle of Saint Paul to the And so it is written, The first man Corinthians.
Adam was made a living soul ; the last
Adam was made a quickening spirit. 1 Cor. 15. 20. TOW is Christ risen from the dead,
Howbeit, that was not first which is and become the first-fruits of them
spiritual, but that which is natural ;
and afterward that which is spiritual. that slept. For since by man came
The first man is of the earth, earthy : death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all
the second man is the Lord from heaven. die, even so in Christ shall all be made
As is the earthy, such are they that are alive. But every man in his own order:
earthy: and as is the heavenly, such Christ the first-fruits ; afterward they
are they also that are heavenly. And as
we have borne the image of the earthy, that are Christ's, at his coming. Then cometh the end, when he shall have
we shall also bear the image of the headelivered up the kingdom to God, even
venly. Now this I say, brethren, that the Father, when he shall have put
flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdown all rule, and all authority, and
dom of God ; neither doth corruption power. For he must reign, till he hath
inherit incorruption. Behold, I shew put all enemies under his feet. The last
you a mystery : We shall not all sleep,
but we shall all be changed, in a moenemy that shall be destroyed is death. For he hath put all things under his
ment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the feet. But when he saith, all things are
last trump, (for the trumpet shall put under him, it is manifest that he is sound,) and the dead shall be raised excepted, which did put all things un
incorruptible, and we shall be changed. der him. And when all things shall be
For this corruptible must put on incorsubdued unto him, then shall the Son
ruption, and this mortal must put on also himself be subject unto him that
immortality. So when this corruptible put all things under him, that God may
shall have put on incorruption, and this be all in all. Else what shall they do
mortal shall have put on immortality; which are baptized for the dead, if the
then shall be brought to pass the saying dead rise not at all? Why are they then
that is written, Death is swallowed up baptized for the dead ? and why stand
in victory. O death, where is thy sting? we in jeopardy every hour ? I protest by
O grave, where is thy victory ? The your rejoicing, which I have in Christ
sting of death is sin, and the strength Jesus our Lord, I die daily. If after
of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, the manner of men I have fought with
which giveth us the victory through our beasts at Ephesus, what advantageth
Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beit me, if the dead rise not ? Let us eat
loved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveand drink, for to-morrow we die. Be
able, always abounding in the work of not deceived: evil communications cor
the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that rupt good manners. Awake to righte- your labour is not in vain in the Lord. ousness, and sin not ; for some have not [ When they come to the Grave, while the knowledge of God. I speak this to the Corpse is made ready to be laid your shame. But some man will say, into the earth, the Priest shall say, How are the dead raised up ? and with
or the Priest and Clerks shall sing : what body do they come ? Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quicken- but a short time to live, and is full
Our Lord Jesus Christ, and a shall change our “body of hucalm exhortation to sober, sted. miliation” into the likeness of fast work, since we know that it His “Body of Glory.' From cannot die and be in vain.
this point onward the tone of the
Service is of comfort and hope. (B) THE SERVICE AT THE
The SECOND ANTHEM (an AntiGRAVE.
phon from the “Vigils of the Of the Opening ANTHEM, the dead”) is the voice from Heaven first clause (Job xiv. 1, 2) is from heard by St. John (Rev. xiv. 13) the old “ Vigils of the dead;" the immediately following the vision rest is a free translation of a of the Lamb and His Saints in Lenten Anthem (sung at Com- glory, and accordingly declaring pline), dating from the 9th cen- that "henceforth" the old tertury.
ror of death is gone, because the It is throughout the expression faithful "die in the Lord,” and of natural human sorrow and that, while the labour of life sense of awe at the sight of the passes into rest, their works do open grave, crying out for God's not die, but follow them, to resalvation and mercy as our only ceive the blessing " Well done” stay in the hour of death.
at the Great Day. It has a profound and instruc
The concluding Service of tive gradation of thought. It opens (a) with Job's declaration
Prayer now opens, as usual, of the transitoriness and sorrow
with the Kyrie Eleeson and the
Lord's Prayer. of life; (6) hence confessing that “in the midst of life we are in The FIRST COLLECT (altered death,” and that God, our only in 1552 from one composed in succour, is justly displeased at 1549), expressing our faith that our sins (for “the sting of death the souls of the faithful still is sin"); but (c) crying out live with God, in rest, joy, and earnestly to God the Holy, the felicity, first thanks God for the Almighty, the All-merciful, to deliverance of the soul of "our keep us from the bitterness of brother" from this world of sin
eternal death,"the death of the and sorrow, and then prays that spirit, which is alienation from God, having accomplished this God; and (d) lastly, with the present dispensation, will hasten same earnest supplication, pray. the kingdom of glory, and that ing that He who reads the heart we and all who are departed in and knows its weakness, will not faith” may have our consummasuffer the crowning struggle of tion therein. It is a prayer of victhe last hour to loosen the grasp tory over natural sorrow, hard to of faith on Him.
win, and only to be won where
faith in Christ is strong, and This cry of human weakness is
where there is good hope that (so to speak) stilled by the solemn
the dead had died in the Lord. COMMENDATION. This, in the Service of 1549, was a commen- The SECOND COLLECT (taken dation of the soul to God, and from the Communion Office, the body to the gronnd. In 1552 following the Burial Service in the form was changed, acknow. 1549), calling on God emphati. ledging the soul as already in the cally as the “Father of the Lord hands of God, and committing Jesus Christ,”' quotes Our Lord's only the body to the earth, as own declaration at the grave of now simply.“ earth (committed) Lazarus (John xi. 25, 26), “I am to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to the Resurrection and the Life," dust." The rattle of the earth and St. Paul's exhortation (1 on the coffin marks the last sym- Thess. iv. 13, 14) not to "sorrow bolic confession of mere mor. without hope;" and prays that, tality. To this, by a glorious rising now to the new life of righttransition, succeeds the trium- eousness, we may have the twophant declaration of “the sure fold blessing, of which this life is and certain hope of the Resur- the earnest-rest in God in death rection to eternal life" at the (as we hope that our brother Second Coming of Him, who rests), and at the Great Day the