The Order for the Administration

of the Lord's Supper, or Holy Communion

[George Herbert at Bemerton][With Poems Added from The Temple 1633.
The poems may be assigned to a narrator, to be called The Poet, or to the Curate, congregation or private worshipper.
The poems may be read by one person, antiphonally or groups.
(Links within the text may be used or omitted.)]

    So many as do intend to be partakers of the Holy Communion, shall signify their names to the curate overnight, or else in the morning, afore the beginning of Morning Prayer, or immediately after.
    And if any of those be an open and notorious evil liver, so that the congregation by him is offended, or have done any wrong to his neighbours by word or deed: the curate having knowledge thereof, shall call him, and advertise him, in any wise not to presume to the Lord's Table, until he have openly declared him self to have truly repented and amended his former naughty life, that the congregation may thereby be satisfied, which afore were offended; and that he have recompensed the parties whom he hath done wrong unto, or at the least declare himself to be in full purpose so to do, as soon as he conveniently may.
    The same order shall the curate use with those betwixt whom he preceiveth malice and hatred to reign, not suffering them to be partakers of the Lord's Table until he know them to be reconciled. And if one of the parties so at variance be content to forgive from the bottom of his heart all that the other hath trespassed against him, and to make amends for that he himself hath offended, and the other party will not be persuaded to a godly unity, but remain still in his frowardness and malice: the minister in that case ought to admit the penitent person to the Holy Communion, and not him that is obstinate.
[see "The Church Porch." for advice on specific offenses.]

Poet expresses personal dedication: "The Altar"

    The Table having at the Communion time a fair white linen cloth upon it, shall stand in the body of the church, or in the chancel, where Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer be appointed to be said. And the priest standing at the north side of the Table shall say the Lord's Prayer with this Collect following.

Poet's Confession.

[St. Andrew's, Bemerton, interior]ALMIGHTY God, unto whom all hearts be open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hid: Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of thy Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love thee, and worthily magnify thy holy name; through Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Poet reflects on human nature and the Laws of God. Church Monuments.

    Then shall the priest rehearse distinctly all the Ten Commandments, and the people, kneeling, shall after every commandment ask God's mercy for their transgression of the same, after this sort.

    Minister. God spake these words and said, I am the Lord thy God, Thou shalt have none other gods but me.
    People. Lord have mercy upon us, and incline our hearts to keep this law.
    Minister. Thou shalt not make to thyself any graven image, nor the likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or in the earth beneath, nor in the water under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down to them, nor worship them: For I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, and visit the sin of the fathers upon the children, unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me, and show mercy unto thousands in them that love me, and keep my commandments.
    People. Lord have mercy upon us, and incline our hearts to keep this law.
    Minister. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain: for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
    People. Lord have mercy upon us, and incline our hearts to keep this law.
    Minister. Remember that thou keep holy the Sabbath day: six days shalt thou labor and do all that thou hast to do, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God. In it thou shalt do no manner of work, thou and thy son and thy daughter, thy manservant, and thy maidservant, thy cattle, and the stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the seventh day and hallowed it.
    People. Lord have mercy upon us, and incline our, &c.
    Minister. Honor thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be long in the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.
    People. Lord have mercy upon us, and incline our, &c.
   Minister. Thou shalt do no murder.
    People. Lord have mercy upon us, and incline our, &c.
    Minister. Thou shalt not commit adultery.
    People. Lord have mercy upon us, and incline our, &c.
    Minister. Thou shalt not steal.
    People. Lord have mercy upon us, and incline our, &c.
    Minister. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.
   People. Lord have mercy upon us, and incline our hearts to keep this law.
    Minister. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his servant, nor his maid, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor anything that is his.
    People. Lord have mercy upon us, and write all these thy laws in our hearts, we beseech thee.

The Poet considers the effect of Sinne upon Law and the Sinner . (Optional)

    Then shall follow the Collect of the day, with one of these two Collects following for the Queen, the priest standing up and saying.

   Let us pray. Priest

  Collects For George Herbert's Feast Day with scripture lessons. [A service arranged for George Herbert at Christian Homemade Liturgy Exchange] George Herbert Ora Pro Nobis

Other Collects from the 1549, 1552 and 1559 Books of Common Prayer together with the Proper Epistles and Gospel readings.

ALMIGHTY God, whose kingdom is everlasting, and power infinite: Have mercy upon the whole congregation, and so rule the heart of thy chosen servant Elizabeth, our queen and governor, that she (knowing whose minister she is) may above all things seek thy honor and glory; and that we her subjects (duly considering whose authority she hath) may faithfully serve, honor, and humbly obey her, in thee, and for thee, according to thy blessed Word and ordinance; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with thee and the Holy Ghost liveth and reigneth ever one God, world without end. Amen.

ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, we be taught by thy holy Word, that the hearts of kings are in thy rule and governance, and that thou dost dispose and turn them, as it seemeth best to thy godly wisdom: We humbly beseech thee, so to dispose and govern the heart of Elizabeth, thy servant, our queen and governor, that in all her thoughts, words, and works, she may ever seek thy honor and glory, and study to preserve thy people committed to her charge, in wealth, peace, and godliness. Grant this, O merciful Father, for thy dear Son's sake, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

    Immediately after the Collects, the priest shall read the Epistle beginning thus.
    The Epistle written in the __________  Chapter of  __________. And the Epistle ended, he shall say the Gospel, beginning thus.
    The Gospel, written in the __________Chapter of   __________.       

Occasion (Old Testament) Epistle Gospel Homilie/Sermon
Feast Day of George Herbert Psalm 23 or Psalm 1 1 Peter 5:1-4 Matthew 5:1-10 "The Pilgrimage" or "Love unknown"
Psalm 27:1-6(7-14) Colossians 2:16-3:4 John 5:21-25 Coloss. 3. 3.
Dedication Genesis 6:3-7 Ephesians 4:(17-28)29-32 Mark 3:1-5 "Ephes. 4. 30."
Stewardship Exodus 29:18-25 2 Cor. 2:12-16 Luke 19:1-17 "The Odour. 2 Cor. 2. 15."
The Shepherd: New Venture, Retirement, Communion "The 23d Psalme," Ezek. 34:11-24 Hebrews 13:18-21 John 10:11-18 "Peace"
Sadness, Lent, Depression Genesis 37:23-30 Romans 8:26-28 Matthew 26:14-16; 27:1-6 "Josephs coat"
after final exams, after election day, after party weekend 4 Maccabees 9:7-9 Revelation 21:21-27 (1 Cor 1:23-31) Matthew 13:44-49 "The Pearl. Matth. 13. 45."
Lent 2 Samuel 15:24-30 [Acts 1:12-14] Matthew 26:36-42 "The Agonie"
Ezekiel 37:1-3 1 John 3:4-9 Mark 3:23-29 "Sinne (II)"
Psalm 37:1-11 James 4:1-6, 5:7-12 Mark 7:18-23 "The Church-floore"
Proverbs 14:15-22 2 Corinthians 1:12-14 Matthew 22:15-22 "Constancie"
Deuteronomy 33:24-27a Galatians 1:10-12 Mark 13:3-9 "Marie Magdalene"
Your Own: See Biblical Reference Appendix for other possibilities        

The Poet reads the response to the lessons: "The H Scriptures. I, " or "The H. Scriptures. II" ("The H. Scriptures. II" may be read after OT and the Epistle; "The H Scriptures. I" after the Gospel.)

   And the Epistle and Gospel being ended shall be said the Creed.

I BELIEVE in one God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible. And in one Lord Jesu 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 Poncius Pilate. He suffered and was buried, and the third day he rose again according to the Scriptures, and ascended into heaven, and sitteth at 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 none 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 worshiped 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.

The Poet: Ungratefulnesse or Reprisall.

    After the Creed, if there be no sermon, shall follow one of the homilies already set forth or hereafter to be set forth by common authority.

The homily may be one of the following: "Love Unknown," "Marie Magdalene," "The Agonie," "Sinne (II)," "The Church-floore," "Constancie," or "The Pilgrimage." [See above. The longer poems may be read without comment, or "Sinne (II)" may be made with a short comment for a homily. For a sermon the scripture may expand the meaning. Any other poem, including stanzas from "The Church Porch," that may make an illustration for a homily or sermon will find appropriate scripture readings. For Scripture/Poem suggestions.]

Music: "Elixir," [Use Herbert's words if you can.] hymn tune "Emmaus."  Open music in another program.

The Poet on the Poor: From "The Church Porch."

    After such sermon, homily, or exhortation, the curate shall declare unto the people whether there be any holy days or fasting days the week following, and earnestly exhort them to remember the poor, saying one or more of these sentences following, as he thinketh most convenient by his discretion.

LET your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. Matt. 5

    Lay not up for yourselves treasure upon the earth where the rust and moth doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal. But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither rust nor moth doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through and steal. Matt. 6

   Whatsoever you would that men should do unto you, even so do unto them: for this is the law and the Prophets. Matt. 7

    Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven: but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Matt. 7

    Zache stood forth, and said unto the Lord, Behold Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor, and if I have done any wrong to any man, I restore fourfold. Luke 19

    Who goeth a warfare at any time of his own cost? Who planteth a vineyard, and eateth not of the fruit thereof? Or who feedeth a flock, and eateth not of the milk of the flock? 1 Cor. 9

    If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great matter, if we shall reap your worldly things? 1 Cor. 9

    Do ye not know, that they which minister about holy things, live of the sacrifice? They which wait of the altar, are partakers with the altar. Even so hath the Lord also ordained, that they which preach the gospel, should live of the gospel. 1 Cor. 9

    He which soweth little, shall reap little: and he that soweth plenteously, shall reap plenteously. Let every man do according as he is disposed in his heart, not grudging, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. 2 Cor. 9

    Let him that is taught in the Word, minister unto him that teacheth, in all good things. Be not deceived, God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he reap. Gal. 6

    While we have time, let us do good unto all men, and specially unto them which are of the household of faith. Gal. 6

    Godliness is great riches, if a man be contented with that he hath: for we brought nothing into the world, neither may we carry anything out. 1 Tim. 6

    Charge them which are rich in this world, that they be ready to give, and glad to distribute: laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may attain eternal life. 1 Tim. 6

    God is not unrighteous that he will forget your works and labor that proceedeth of love: which love ye have showed for his name's sake, which have ministered unto saints, and yet do minister. Heb. 6

    To do good and to distribute, forget not: for with such sacrifices God is pleased. Heb. 13

    Whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? 1 John 3

    Give almose of thy goods, and turn never thy face from any poor man, and then the face of the Lord shall not be turned away from thee. Tob. 4

    Be merciful after thy power. If thou hast much, give plenteously. If thou hast little, do thy diligence gladly to give of that little: for so gatherest thou thyself a good reward in the day of necessity. Tob. 4

    He that hath pity upon the poor, lendeth unto the Lord: and look what he layeth out, it shall be paid him again. Prov. 19

    Blessed be the man that provideth for the sick and needy, the Lord shall deliver him in the time of trouble. Ps. 41

(optional: "An Offering" , first four stanzas said by the Poet/Priest. Last 3 verses said by the Poet and Congregation. If you want to make it clearer, The Poet can stand with/as the priest at the altar for the first four stanzas and stand down with the Congregation for the last 3.)


   Then shall the churchwardens, or some other by them appointed, gather the devotion of the people, and put the same into the poor men's box. And upon the offering days appointed, every man and woman shall pay to the curate the due and accustomed offerings. After which done, the priest shall say.

    Let us pray for the whole state of Christ's Church militant here in earth.

If there be none alms given unto the poor, then shall the words of accepting our alms be left out unsaid

ALMIGHTY and everliving God, which by thy holy Apostle hast taught us to make prayers and supplications, and to give thanks for all men: We humbly beseech thee most mercifully to accept our almse, and to receive these our prayers which we offer unto thy divine majesty; beseeching thee to inspire continually, the universal Church with the spirit of truth, unity, and concord: And grant that all they that do confess thy holy name, may agree in the truth of thy holy Word, and live in unity and godly love. We beseech thee also to save and defend all Christian kings, princes, and governors, and specially thy servant Elizabeth our queen, that under her we may be godly and quietly governed: And grant unto her whole Council, and to all that be put in authority under her, that they may truly and indifferently minister justice, to the punishment of wickedness and vice, and to the maintenance of God's true religion and virtue. Give grace (O heavenly Father) to all bishops, pastors, and curates, that they may both by their life and doctrine set forth thy true and lively Word, and rightly and duly administer thy holy sacraments: And to all thy people give thy heavenly grace, and especially to this congregation here present, that with meek heart and due reverence, they may hear and receive thy holy Word, truly serving thee in holiness and righteousness all the days of their life. And we most humbly beseech thee of thy goodness (O Lord) to comfort and succor all them which in this transitory life be in trouble, sorrow, need, sickness, or any other adversity. Grant this, O Father, for Jesus Christ's sake, our only mediator and advocate. Amen.

(Optional) The Poet/Priest shall face the people and say: Aaron. [First stanza facing the altar from the head of the congregation. Each stanza one step forward or up. Last stanza, before the altar, facing the faithful.]

The Poet to the Faithful: Before the Communion. Superliminare stz 1 & stz 2 or (Reprisall).

    Then shall follow this exhortation at certain times when the curate shall see the people negligent to come to the Holy Communion.


WE be come together at this time, dearly beloved brethren, to feed at the Lord's Supper, unto the which in God's behalf I bid you all that be here present, and beseech you for the Lord Jesus Christ's sake, that ye will not refuse to come thereto, being so lovingly called and bidden of God himself. Ye know how grievous and unkind a thing it is, when a man hath prepared a rich feast, decked his table with all kind of provision, so that there lacketh nothing but the guests to sit down; and yet they which be called without any cause most unthankfully refuse to come. Which of you in such a case would not be moved? Who would not think a great injury and wrong done unto him? Wherefore most dearly beloved in Christ, take ye good heed lest ye, withdrawing yourselves from this holy supper, provoke God's indignation against you. It is an easy matter for a man to say, I will not communicate, because I am otherwise letted with worldly business, but such excuses be not so easily accepted and allowed before God. If any man say, I am a grievous sinner, and therefore am afraid to come: wherefore then do you not repent and amend? When God calleth you, be you not ashamed to say you will not come? When you should return to God, will you excuse yourself and say that you be not ready? Consider earnestly with yourselves how little such fained excuses shall avail before God. They that refused the feast in the Gospel, because they had bought a farm, or would try their yokes of oxen, or because they were married, were not so excused but counted unworthy of the heavenly feast. I for my part am here present, and according unto mine office, I bid you in the name of God. I call you in Christ's behalf, I exhort you, as you love your own salvation, that ye will be partakers of this Holy Communion. And as the Son of God did vouchsafe to yield up his soul by death upon the cross for your health; even so it is your duty to receive the communion together in the remembrance of his death, as he himself commanded. Now if you will in no wise thus do, consider with yourselves how great injury you do unto God, and how sore punishment hangeth over your heads for the same. And whereas you offend God so sore in refusing this holy banquet, I admonish, exhort, and beseech you that unto this unkindness ye will not add any more. Which thing ye shall do, if ye stand by as gazers and lookers on them that do communicate, and be no partakers of the same yourselves. For what thing can this be accounted else, than a further contempt and unkindness unto God? Truly it is a great unthankfulness to say nay when ye be called; but the fault is much greater when men stand by, and yet will neither eat nor drink this Holy Communion with other. I pray you what can this be else, but even to have the mysteries of Christ in derision? It is said unto all, Take ye and eat. Take and drink ye all of this: do this in remembrance of me. With what face then, or with what countenance shall ye hear these words? What will this be else but a neglecting, a despising, and mocking of the testament of Christ? Wherefore, rather than you should so do, depart you hence, and give place to them that be godly disposed. But when you depart, I beseech you, ponder with yourselves from whom you depart: ye depart from the Lord's Table, ye depart from your brethren, and from the banquet of most heavenly food. These things if ye earnestly consider, ye shall by God's grace return to a better mind, for the obtaining whereof we shall make our humble petitions, while we shall receive the Holy Communion.

    And some time shall be said this also at the discretion of the curate.

 DEARLY beloved, forasmuch as our duty is to render to Almighty God our heavenly Father most hearty thanks, for that he hath given his Son our Savior Jesus Christ, not only to die for us, but also to be our spiritual food and sustenance, as it is declared unto us, as well by God's Word, as by the holy sacraments of his blessed body and blood, the which being so comfortable a thing to them which receive it worthily, and so dangerous to them that will presume to receive it unworthily: My duty is to exhort you to consider the dignity of the holy mystery, and the great peril of the unworthy receiving thereof, and so to search and examine your own consciences, as you should come holy and clean to a most godly and heavenly feast, so that in no wise you come but in the marriage garment, required of God in Holy Scripture, and so come and be received as worthy partakers of such a heavenly table. The way and the means thereto is: First to examine your lives and conversation by the rule of God's commandments, and whereinsoever ye shall perceive yourselves to have offended, either by will, word, or deed, there bewail your own sinful lives, confess yourselves to Almighty God with full purpose of amendment of life. And if ye shall perceive your offenses to be such as be not only against God but also against your neighbours, then ye shall reconcile yourselves unto them, ready to make restitution and satisfaction according to the uttermost of your powers, for all injuries and wrongs done by you to any other, and likewise being ready to forgive other that have offended you, as you would have forgiveness of your offenses at God's hand. For otherwise the receiving of the Holy Communion doth nothing else but increase your damnation. And because it is requisite that no man should come to the Holy Com munion but with a full trust in God's mercy, and with a quiet conscience, therefore if there be any of you which by the means aforesaid, cannot quiet his own conscience, but requireth further comfort or counsel, then let him come to me, or some other discreet and learned minister of God's Word, and open his grief that he may receive such ghostly counsel, advice, and comfort as his conscience may be relieved, and that by the ministry of God's Word he may receive comfort and the benefit of absolution, to the quieting of his conscience, and avoiding of all scruple and doubtfulness.

    Then shall the priest say this exhortation.

 DEARLY beloved in the Lord, ye that mind to come to the Holy Communion of the Body and Blood of our Savior Christ, must consider what Saint Paul writeth to the Corinthians, how he exhorteth all persons diligently to try and examine themselves, before they presume to eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For as the benefit is great, if with a truly penitent heart and lively faith we receive that holy Sacrament (for then we spiritually eat the flesh of Christ, and drink his blood, then we dwell in Christ and Christ in us, we be one with Christ, and Christ with us), so is the danger great if we receive the same unworthily. For then we be guilty of the body and blood of Christ our Savior. We eat and drink our own damnation, not considering the Lord's body. We kindle God's wrath against us. We provoke him to plague us with divers diseases, and sundry kinds of death. Therefore, if any of you be a blasphemer of God, an hinderer or slanderer of his Word, an adulterer, or be in malice or envy, or in any other grievous crime, bewail your sins, and come not to this holy table, lest after the taking of that holy Sacrament, the devil enter into you, as he entered into Judas, and fill you full of all iniquities, and bring you to destruction, both of body and soul. Judge therefore yourselves (brethren) that ye be not judged of the Lord. Repent you truly for your sins past, have a lively and steadfast faith in Christ our Savior. Amend your lives, and be in perfect charity with all men, so shall ye be meet partakers of those holy mysteries. And above all things ye must give most humble and hearty thanks to God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, for the redemption of the world by the death and passion of our Savior Christ both God and man; who did humble himself, even to the death upon the cross for us miserable sinners, which lay in darkness and shadow of death, that he might make us the children of God, and exalt us to everlasting life. And to the end that we should alway remember the exceeding great love of our master and only Savior Jesus Christ, thus dying for us, and the innumerable benefits which by his precious bloodshedding he hath obtained to us, he hath instituted and ordained holy mysteries, as pledges of his love, and continual remembrance of his death, to our great and endless comfort. To him therefore, with the Father and the Holy Ghost, let us give (as we are most bounden) continual thanks, submitting ourselves wholly to his holy will and pleasure, and studying to serve him in true holiness and righteousness all the days of our life. Amen.

The Poet as Priest gives "The Invitation."

    Then shall the priest say to them that come to receive the Holy Communion.

YOU that do truly and earnestly repent you of your sins, and be in love and charity with your neighbours, and intend to lead a new life, following the commandments of God, and walking from henceforth in his holy ways: Draw near, and take this holy Sacrament to your comfort; make your humble confession to Almighty God before this congregation here gathered to gether in his holy name, meekly kneeling upon your knees.

    Then shall this general confession be made in the name of all those that are minded to receive the Holy Communion, either by one of them, or else by one of the ministers, or by the priest himself, all kneeling humbly upon their knees.

ALMIGHTY God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, maker of all things, judge of all men, we knowledge and bewail our manifold sins and wickedness, which we from time to time most grievously have committed, by thought, word, and deed, against thy divine majesty, provoking most justly thy wrath and indignation against us. We do earnestly repent, and be heartily sorry for these our misdoings. The remembrance of them is grievous unto us, the burden of them is intolerable. Have mercy upon us, have mercy upon us most merciful Father, for thy Son our Lord Jesus Christ's sake; forgive us all that is past, and grant  that we may ever hereafter serve and please thee, in newness of life, to the honor and glory of thy name, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Poet for the Faithful expresses their "Repentance."

   Then shall the priest, or the bishop being present, stand up, and turning himself to the people, say thus.
ALMIGHTY God our heavenly Father, who of his great mercy hath promised forgiveness of sins to all them which with hearty repentance and true faith turn unto him: Have mercy upon you, pardon and deliver you from all your sins, confirm and strength you in all goodness, and bring you to ever lasting life, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Poet with the choir and Faithful sing "The 23rd Psalme," using George Herbert's translation:  Open music in another program.

    Then shall the priest also say.

    Hear what comfortable words our Savior Christ saith, to all that truly turn to him.

COME unto me all that travail and be heavy laden and I shall refresh you. So God loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, to the end that all that believe in him should not perish but have life everlasting.
    Hear also what Saint Paul saith.
    This is a true saying, and worthy of all men to be received, that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners.
    Hear also what Saint John saith.
    If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous, and he is the propitiation for our sins.

    After the which the priest shall proceed, saying.

    Lift up your hearts.
   Answer. We lift them up unto the Lord.
    Priest. Let us give thanks unto our Lord God.
   Answer. It is meet and right so to do.
    Priest. It is very meet, right, and our bounden duty that we should at all times, and in all places, give thanks unto thee, O Lord, holy Father, almighty, everlasting God.

    Here shall follow the proper preface, according to the time, if there be any specially appointed, or else immediately shall follow: Therefore with angels, &c.

Proper Prefaces


   Upon Sunday, with or without any of the following Proper Prefaces.


Upon Advent or Epiphany

"The Starre"

Upon Christmas Day, and Seven Days After

BECAUSE thou didst give Jesus Christ, thine only Son, to be born as this day for us, who by the operation of the Holy Ghost, was made very man of the substance of the Virgin Mary his mother, and that without spot of sin, to make us clean from all sin. Therefore, &c.



   Upon Ash Wednesday


   Upon Good Friday

"Good Friday" or "The Crosse"  ["The Sacrifice" may serve as an entire service combined with appropriate Scriptures, prayers and hymns. See also A Tenabræ Service for God's Friday based on "The Sacrifice" by George Herbert.]

   Upon Holy Saturday


Upon Easter Day, and Seven Days After

BUT chiefly are we bound to praise thee, for the glorious resurrection of thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord: for he is the very Paschal Lamb, which was offered for us, and hath taken away the sin of the world, who by his death hath destroyed death, and by his rising to life again, hath restored to us everlasting life. Therefore with, &c.


"Easter" with Music for Easter    Open music in an other program.

During Eastertide in a time of sorrow

"The Dawning"

Upon the Ascension Day, and Seven Days After

THROUGH thy most dear beloved Son, Jesus Christ our Lord: who after his most glorious resurrection, manifestly appeared to all his Apostles, and in their sight ascended up into heaven, to prepare a place for us, that where he is, thither might we also ascend, and reign with him in glory. Therefore with, &c.


"Easter Wings"

Upon Whitsunday, and Six Days After

THROUGH Jesus Christ our Lord, according to whose most true promise, the Holy Ghost came down this day from heaven, with a sudden great sound, as it had been a mighty wind, in the likeness of fiery tongues, lighting upon the Apostles to teach them, and to lead them to all truth, giving them both the gift of diverse languages, and also boldness, with fervent zeal, constantly to preach the gospel unto all nations, whereby we are brought out of darkness and error, into the clear light and true knowledge of thee, and of thy Son Jesus Christ. Therefore with, &c.



Upon the Feast of Trinity Only

IT is very meet, right, and our bounden duty, that we should at all times, and in all places, give thanks to thee, O Lord, almighty and everlasting God, which art one God, one Lord, not one only person, but three persons in one substance: for that which we believe of the glory of the Father, the same we believe of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, without any difference or in equality. Therefore with, &c.


"Trinitie Sunday"

   Upon November 1, being commonly titled All Saints' Day.

"To All Angels and Saints"

   Upon commemoration of George Herbert, whether it be his feast day, 27 February,
his death, 1 March 1632/3, or his birth, 3 April 1593,
or any other day set aside to remember his life and works.

Dedication (from "The Church Porch"), "Jordan (II)," "Love I," "Love II". Music: "The Call"  Open music in an other program.

   Upon a British national holiday, Church anniversary or Sovereign's Birthday.

"The British Church"

After which preface, shall follow immediately.

THEREFORE with angels and archangels, and with all the company of heaven, we laud and magnify thy glorious name, evermore praising thee, and saying: Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of hosts; heaven and earth are full of thy glory; glory be to thee, O Lord most high.

The Poet (Introduction to Communion): "Peace"  [for most seasons] or "Agonie" [for Lent].

    Then shall the priest kneeling down at God's board, say in the name of all them that shall receive the communion, this prayer following.

WE do not presume to come to this thy table (O merciful Lord) trusting in our own righteousness, but in thy manifold and great mercies. We be not worthy so much as to gather the crumbs under thy table, but thou art the same Lord, whose property is always to have mercy. Grant us therefore (gracious Lord) so to eat the flesh of thy dear Son Jesus Christ, and to drink his blood, that our sinful bodies may be made clean by his body, and our souls washed through his most precious blood, and that we may evermore dwell in him, and he in us. Amen.

The Congregation of Faithful: "The H. Communion" (A) first four stanzas.

The Poet: "The H. Communion" (B)

    Then the priest standing up shall say as followeth.

ALMIGHTY God our heavenly Father, which of thy tender mercy didst give thine only Son Jesus Christ, to suffer death upon the cross for our redemption; who made there (by his one oblation of himself once offered) a full, perfect, and sufficient sacrifice, oblation, and satisfaction for the sins of the whole world; and did institute, and in his holy gospel command us to continue, a perpetual memory of that his precious death, until his coming again. Hear us, O merciful Father, we beseech thee; and grant that we receiving these thy creatures of bread and wine, according to thy Son our Savior Jesu Christ's holy institution, in remembrance of his death and passion, may be partakers of his most blessed Body and Blood: who in the same night that he was betrayed, took bread, and when he had given thanks, he brake it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, Take, eat, this is my body which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me. Likewise after supper he took the cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of this, for this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for you and for many, for remission of sins: do this as oft as ye shall drink it in remembrance of me.

The Poet/Priest shall say: "Love (III)"

    Then shall the minister first receive the communion in both kinds himself, and next deliver it to other ministers, if any be there present (that they may help the chief minister) and after to the people in their hands kneeling. And when he delivereth the bread, he shall say.

THE body of our Lord Jesus Christ which was given for thee; preserve thy body and soul into everlasting life: and take and eat this, in remembrance that Christ died for thee, and feed on him in thy heart by faith, with thanksgiving.

    And the minister that delivereth the cup, shall say.

THE blood of our Lord Jesus Christ which was shed for thee, preserve thy body and soul into everlasting life: and drink this in remembrance that Christ's blood was shed for thee, and be thankful.

The Poet/ Congregation shall say: "The Banquet"

    Then shall the priest say the Lord's Prayer, the people repeating after him every petition.

    After shall be said as followeth.


O LORD and heavenly Father, we thy humble servants, entirely desire thy fatherly goodness, mercifully to accept this our sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving, most humbly beseeching thee to grant that by the merits and death of thy Son Jesus Christ, and through faith in his blood, we and all thy whole Church may obtain remission of our sins, and all other benefits of his passion. And here we offer and present unto thee, O Lord, ourselves, our souls and bodies, to be a reasonable, holy, and lively sacrifice unto thee, humbly beseeching thee, that all we which be partakers of this Holy Communion, may be fulfilled with thy grace, and heavenly benediction. And although we be unworthy, through our manifold sins, to offer unto thee any sacrifice, yet we beseech thee to accept this our bounden duty and service, not weighing our merits, but pardoning our offenses, through Jesus Christ our Lord, by whom and with whom, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, all honor and glory be unto thee, O Father Almighty, world without end. Amen.

    Or this.

ALMIGHTY and everliving God, we most heartily thank thee, for that thou dost vouchsafe to feed us, which have duly received these holy mysteries, with the spiritual food of the most precious body and blood of thy Son our Savior Jesus Christ, and dost assure us thereby of thy favor and goodness toward us, and that we be very members incorporate in thy mystical body, which is the blessed company of all faithful people, and be also heirs through hope of thy everlasting kingdom, by the merits of the most precious death and passion of thy dear Son. We now most humbly beseech thee, O heavenly Father, so to assist us with thy grace, that we may continue in that holy fellowship, and do all such good works as thou hast prepared for us to walk in; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom with thee and the Holy Ghost, be all honor and glory, world without end. Amen.


Between Poet and Priest, acting Christ's part: "Dialogue."

   Then shall be said or sung.

GLORY be to God on high. And in earth peace, good will toward 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 Jesu 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.


Music: "Antiphon (I)"   Open music in an other program.

    Then the priest or the bishop, if he be present, shall let them depart with this blessing.

THE peace of God which passeth all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God, and of his Son Jesu Christ our Lord: And the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, be amongst you, and remain with you always. Amen.


   Collects to be said after the offertory when there is no Communion, every such day one. And the same may be said also as often as occasion shall serve after the Collects, either of Morning and Evening Prayer, Communion, or Litany, by the discretion of the minister.

ASSIST us mercifully, O Lord, in these our supplications, and prayers, and dispose the way of thy servants toward the attainment of everlasting salvation; that among all the changes and chances of this mortal life, they may ever be defended by thy most gracious and ready help; through Christ our Lord. Amen.

O ALMIGHTY Lord and everliving God, vouchsafe we beseech thee to direct, sanctify, and govern both our hearts and bodies, in the ways of thy laws, and in the works of thy commandments; that through thy most mighty protection, both here and ever, we may be preserved in body and soul; through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

GRANT we beseech thee Almighty God, that the words which we have heard this day with our outward ears, may through thy grace be so grafted inwardly in our hearts, that they may bring forth in us the fruit of good living, to the honor and praise of thy name; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

PREVENT us, O Lord, in all our doings, with thy most gracious favor, and further us with thy continual help; that in all our works begun, continued, and ended in thee, we may glorify thy holy name, and finally by thy mercy obtain everlasting life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

ALMIGHTY God, the fountain of all wisdom, which knowest our necessities before we ask, and our ignorance in asking: We beseech thee to have compassion upon our infirmities, and those things which for our unworthiness we dare not, and for our blindness we cannot ask, vouchsafe to give us for the worthiness of thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

ALMIGHTY God, which hast promised to hear the petitions of them that ask in thy Son's name: We beseech thee mercifully to incline thine ears to us, that have made now our prayers and supplications unto thee; and grant that those things which we have faithfully asked according to thy will, may effectually be obtained, to the relief of our necessity, and to the setting forth of thy glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

    Upon the holy days, if there be no Communion, shall be said all that is appointed at the Communion, until the end of the homily, concluding with the general prayer for the whole estate of Christ's Church militant here in earth, and one or more of these Collects before rehearsed, as occasion shall serve.
    And there shall be no celebration of the Lord's Supper except there be a good number to communicate with the priest, according to his discretion.
    And if there be not above twenty persons in the parish of discretion to receive the communion, yet there shall be no Communion, except four, or three at the least, communicate with the priest. And in cathedral and collegiate churches where be many priests and deacons, they shall all receive the communion with the minister every Sunday at the least, except they have a reasonable cause to the contrary.
    And to take away the superstition, which any person hath or might have in the bread and wine, it shall suffice that the bread be such as is usual to be eaten at the table with other meats, but the best and purest wheat bread that conveniently may be gotten. And if any of the bread or wine remain, the curate shall have it to his own use.
    The bread and wine for the Communion shall be provided by the curate and the churchwardens at the charges of the parish, and the parish shall be discharged of such sums of money, or other duties, which hitherto they have paid for the same, by order of their houses every Sunday.
    And note, that every parishioner shall communicate at the least three times in the year, of which Easter to be one, and shall also receive the sacraments and other rites, according to the order in this book appointed. And yearly at Easter, every parishioner shall reckon with his parson, vicar, or curate, or his, or their deputy or deputies, and pay to them or him all ecclesiastical duties, accustomably due, then and at that time to be paid.

[George Herbert at Bemerton]

Editor's Note: This Holy Communion for George Herbert edition would take 2 hours to perform. It works as a computer page to show the relationship of some poems to the liturgical expressions and theological ideas of the Elizabethan Age. To actually use this as a service, some liturgy may have to be abbreviated or cut, depending on the purpose of the service and the number of poems used.

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