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First, then, as to its intention. I need not state that I give it merely as a sample or model of such an Alternative Use. If the Church of England saw fit to put forth a detailed maximum of allowable ceremonial as well as a recognised minimum, those who would avail themselves of it ought certainly to be consulted as to matters of detail whether by their acknowledged leaders or by a committee of "experts." There are many individual points (indifferent in themselves) upon which opinions and tastes vary; but upon which by mutual consultation a "Consensus" might be obtained. Again, much that is here given might be retrenched, modified, or possibly added to, by a Ritual Committee of Convocation. I repeat, then, that if I seem to dogmatise, it is only for convenience' sake, and the better to obtain a hearing. I simply wish to be understood as saying, 'Here is the kind of thing "Ritualists" would be perfectly satisfied with as a permissive use. Take it and modify it as much as you will in detail; but give it us in principle.'
Nor is what I here plead for in any sense a new PrayerBook. It is in no way an attempt to bring in Liturgical Revision by a side-wind, or to obtain a legal footing for things at present illegal. "Bind us down" (I would be understood as saying) "as tightly as you please to use the present Book of Common Prayer with a statutable minimum of Ceremonial when there are a reasonable number of bona fide parishioners so desiring but give us liberty to use the maximum for additional services, and in churches built for our own people and with our own money." On this head half an ounce of statesmanship would save the Church and possibly the Establishment also. But the half-ounce has as yet been conspicuous only for its absence.*
The real way to get rid of "Aggrieved Parishioners," of whom there are Catholics as well as Protestants-"High" no less than "Low" Church-is to secure freedom of worship (which does not mean anarchy) within as well as outside the Established Church. Free-trade is a sound principle in religion as well as
Again what is sought is not the legalizing of now illegal rites, but (for peace' sake) a fuller declaration of what is at present enjoined, and its relegation from the category of præcepta to that of permissa. It is a waiving of rights to secure liberty, but the liberty asked for is freely conceded to others. The Rubric says SHALL be used": and by the aid of State Courts any three men of straw backed by an irresponsible association can say "shall NOT": we would say “MAY be used": and put it beyond the power of any to say "may NOT." True it is that individual points of ceremonial are here introduced which are not compatible with the letter of our present Rubrics: but these are, for the sake of bringing out in greater fulness, recognised principles. For example, there is nothing involved in the omission of the Gloria Patri on the three days before Easter that is not involved in germ in calling one Lord's Day a Sunday in Lent and another a Sunday after Easter. The principle in each is the recognition of ecclesiastical seasons. So, too, the Reservation of the Eucharist for Communions of the Sick and others out of Mass, is a logical outcome of the doctrine of the Real Presence, and has so been regarded by the Church from the first ages. Permitted by the Liturgy of 1549, it has since fallen into disuse (save in the Scotch
in commerce. So long as there are parties in the Church, and by consequence in the parish, it is absurd to make all men worship after one type, and that the (often arbitrary) type of the individual who happens to be the Parish Priest. The parochial system must be modified or it will stifle all life out of the Church. Áll that is here pleaded for is license for Catholics to minister to their own people. But Catholics in "Low Church" parishes (and Evangelicals in " High Church" ones) ought to be able to build or maintain private or subsidiary chapels irrespective of the parochial system; and for purposes of litigation Parishioners ought to be Churchmen, and to have a legitimate grievance. Dissenting Churchwardens, and aggrieved parishioners who never went near their parish church till egged on to do so, ab extra, for the purpose of litigation are a disgrace to a civilized country professing to administer justice!
Church), and this doubtless by the wise permission of Almighty God. Now that clergy are few and the population large, while the spirit of devotion has revived amongst us, there is a twofold reason for its restoration. Utilitarianism and piety alike demand it.
II. And secondly, as to the advantages of an Alternative Use such as this. I have already adverted to one of thesethe stopping of wearisome and fruitless litigation and the securing of liberty to congregations to agree (within recognised limits) to differ in their external acts of Divine Worship. But there are others. It may sound paradoxical to number among these the securing of uniformity. But would not such be the result? The Church of England at the Reformation expressed her wish to change the varying Uses (she enumerates five) for "but one use " throughout "all the whole Realm." In effect she changed them for five hundred. She may, therefore, be well content to fall back upon two. The State has recently recognised this principle by so far relaxing the Acts of Uniformity as to permit the use of two distinct Lectionaries side by side; the use upon week-days of the full or of a shortened service at discretion: and the employment of special Psalms when enjoined or permitted by the Ordinary. As regards the text of the present book, surely there is no greater divergence between it and our present Liturgy than exists between, say, a full Evensong with the Psalms of the day and the Lessons according to the Old Lectionary,* and an abbreviated form of the same with special Psalms
Beyond a few suggestions elsewhere, I have not ventured to meddle with so wide a subject as the Lectionary in these pages: nor shall I enter upon the battle of the old and new Lectionaries in this foot-note. Neither is perfect: perhaps the worst fault of the new is its State origin and authority and its treatment of the Apocrypha, which the Article tells us "the Church reads," but which the Lectionary does not let the Church read, with the exception of two books and one chapter of a third. Were the Liturgy of 1549 restored, could not a new arrangement of Lessons be devised according to seasons, ie., each week's Lesson to be indicated after the Sunday, and the day of the month arrangement altogether abandoned?
and the new Lessons! As regards the Ceremonial, it enjoins nothing in principle, and but little in detail, beyond what is already practised in scores of Churches, with the good-will of devout and earnest congregations.
To ourselves, again, many advantages would accrue from the uniformity of a recognised maximum of Ceremonial. We should no longer waste our strength in debating over minute points of ritual observance as has been inevitable in the past. An authoritative standard would be at hand whereby to reduce variations. Again, advantage would accrue to us from having the limits of our aims and objects clearly defined to outsiders. "Omne ignotum pro magnifico," and much of the opposition to "Ritualism" has been due to its being "an unknown quantity." Men have doubted of us (perhaps not altogether unreasonably) "whereunto this would grow." When it is seen that the extent of our ambition is, that in Divine worship everything should be done decently and in order," and "as the good Fathers in the Primitive Church frequented" the same,† much of this opposition would surely be disarmed. Men who believe that our present offices with the minimum of ceremonial which has grown up within the last 300 years, fulfil either of these conditions are in a state of "invincible ignorance," from which it would be hopeless to attempt to dislodge them.
III. And, lastly, a few words as to the principles which have governed me in the present compilation. I have taken throughout as the basis of my work the First Prayer Book of King Edward the Sixth-that Prayer Book which the act enforcing it affirms to have been drawn up by the then "Archbishop of Canterbury and certain of the most learned and discreet bishops having as well eye and respect to the most sincere and pure Christian Religion taught by the Scriptures as to the usages in the Primitive Church;" to be a "convenient and meet Order, Rite and Fashion of Common and Open
* 1 Cor. xiv. 40. + Second Book of Homilies.
Prayer and Administration of the sacraments.
the which, at this time, by the aid of the Holy Ghost, with one uniform agreement, is then concluded:"* and which the act that abolished it styles "a very godly order agreeable to the word of God and the Primitive Church, very comfortable to all good people desiring to live in Christian conversation, and most profitable to the estate of this realm "+ styling the causes which led to its abolition to have arisen "rather by the curiosity of the minister or mistakers, than any other worthy cause." Where I have have deemed it advisable to deviate from the ipsissima verba of that order, I have taken my additional matter from one of two sources, the Order of Divine Service which was legally established in the year 1548-the year referred to by the ornaments' Rubric as the Church's deliberately and oft-repeated standard in matters of worship-or the present Book of Common Prayer. It would be absurd to suppose that, on the first head, an epoch which is to determine the lex colendi has nothing to teach us as to the lex orandi: or that, on the second, none of the changes, modifications, or additions to the latter, subsequent to 1549, are of any value.
In compiling the Rubrics and Ceremonial, I have kept generally to the same limits: but I have not refused occasionally to introduce foreign matter, e.g. from the Roman Rite, where it has seemed that the foreign order is simpler, or likely to be more acceptable, than the English use. To speak unscientifically, I have only "Romanized" (ceremonially) where Rome is (or would seem to be to our people) less "Roman" than were the old English rites.§
Act of Uniformity 2 and 3 Edw. VI, cap. i. + 5 and 6 Edw. VI, cap. I.
Ibid. sect. 5.
§ As one who has written much in favour of what is called "Sarum Ritual," I may, without egotism, excuse myself from a charge of inconsistency. The continuity of the Church of England involves the position that whatever has not been abrogated at or since the Reformation, expressly or by implication,