BICKERSTETH, EDWARD HENRY: Bishop of Exeter, son of Edward Bickersteth, 1; b. at Islington, London, Jan. 25, 1825; d. in London May 16, 1906. He was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge (B.A., 1847), and was ordered deacon in 1848, and ordained priest in the following year. He was curate of Banningham, Norfolk (1848-51); rector of Hinton Martell, Dorset (1852-55); vicar of Christ Church, Hampstead (1855-85); rural dean of Highgate (1878-85), and dean of Gloucester (1885). He was consecrated bishop of Exeter in 1885, but resigned five years later on account of age. He wrote Water from the Well Spring (London, 1852); The Rock of Ages (1857); Commentary on the New Testament (1864); Yesterday, To-day, and Forever (poem in twelve books, 1866; prized as a devout revelation of heaven); The Spirit of Life (1869); Hymnal Companion to the Book of Common Prayer (1870); The Two Brothers and Other Poems, (1871); The Reef and Other Parables (1873); The Shadowed Home and the Light Beyond (1874); Words of Counsel to the Clergy and Laity of the Diocese of Exeter (1888); Charge at Third Visitation (1895); From Year to Year (1895); The Feast of Divine Love (1896); and Charge at Fourth Visitation (1898). He was the author of a number of well-known hymns.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: F. K. Aglionby, Life of E. H. Bickersteth, London, 1907.
BICKERSTETH, SAMUEL: Church of England, second son of Edward Henry Bickersteth; b. at Hampstead Sept. 9, 1857. He was educated at St. John's College, Oxford (B.A., 1881), and was ordered dean in 1881 and ordained priest in the following year. He was successively curate of Christ Church, Lancaster Gate (1881-84); chaplain to the bishop of Ripon (1884-87); vicar of Belvedere, Kent (1887-91); and vicar of Lewisham (1891-1905). Since 1905 he has been vicar of Leeds and rural dean. He has written Life and Letters of Edward Bickersteth, D.D., Bishop of South Tokyo (his brother, London, 1899), and is the editor of the Preachers of the Age series.
BIDDING PRAYER: Originally bidding of prayers, signifying "the praying (offering) of prayers," one of the meanings of the verb "to bid" down to the Reformation being "to ask pressingly, to beg, to pray." As this meaning became obsolete the phrase was interpreted to mean "the ordering or directing of prayers"; i.e., an authoritative direction to the people concerning what or whom they should pray for, such directions being not uncommon in England in the sixteenth century. Still later "bidding" was taken as an adjective and the phrase "bidding prayer" came to mean the prayer before the sermon, which the preacher introduced by directing the congregation to pray for the Church catholic, the sovereign and the royal family, different estates of men, etc. (Constitution and Canons of the Church of England, § 55). A collect is now usually substituted for it, as the sermon, except on rare occasions, is preceded by the common prayers, which include the petitions prescribed by the canon. When, however, these prayers are not said before the sermon (as at university sermons), and on occasions of more than usual solemnity, the "bidding prayer" is used.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: Forms of the Bidding Prayer are to be found in Manuale et Processionale . . . ecclesi Eboracensis, ed. W. G. Henderson in Surtees Society Publications, no. 63, Durham, 1875, and in F. Procter, Hist. of Book of Common Prayer . . . revised by W. H. Frere, p. 394, London, 1905. Consult C. Wheatley, Bidding of Prayers before Sermons, London, 1845; D. Rock, Church of our Fathers, 3 vols., ib. 1849-53.
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