Saturday, November 5, 2011

Proposed Rites for Holy Thursday

I've been researching lately the formation of the 1549 prayer book, and comparing it to the Sarum rites that came before. It seems to me that likely some of the "Ceremonies abolished" were abolished as much for lack of time to prepare, as for any definite purpose. (Now, by 1552, other forces had gained the ascendancy.) So, in the spirit of the 1549, I propose these rites for Holy Thursday, in the context of the traditional Book of Common Prayer.

Reconciliation of the Penitents
¶ Before Mass, the following is said,
Dearly beloved, as in the Primitive Church, at the beginning of Lent, such persons as stood convicted of notorious sin were put to open penance; so on this day those persons were returned to the loving arms of the Church.
The accepted time is come: The day of divine propitiation and salvation of men, when death was abolished and eternal life began. For albeit no time is devoid of the riches of the Lord’s goodness, yet now forgiveness of sins is more ample by reason of his indulgence, and the admission of those that are beginning a new life is more free by reason of his grace.
¶ A Procession is then made to the altar, singing,
Ant. Come ye, children, hearken unto me, I will teach you the fear of the Lord. Ps. 34

¶ Upon reaching the Quire, then shall be said,
Our Father etc.
V. And lead us not into temptation. R. But deliver us from evil.
V. My God, save thy servants and handmaidens. R. Which put their trust in thee.
V. Send them help from thy holy place; R. And evermore mightily defend them
V. Lord, hear my prayer. R. And let my cry come unto thee.
V. The Lord be with you. R. And with thy spirit.
Let us pray.
O Lord, Holy Father, Almighty, everlasting God, who hast deigned to heal our wounds: grant to these thy servants, O Lord, pardon for punishment, joy for mourning, life for death, that they may be counted worthy to attain unto the blessings of the reward of thy peace, and unto the gifts of Heaven. Through etc.
¶ Then the Priest shall turn to the people, and say,
Our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath left power to his Church to absolve all sinners who truly repent and believe in him, of his great mercy forgive thee thine offences: And by his authority committed to me, I absolve thee from all thy sins, In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. R. Amen.

The Maundy

¶ Before Evensong, the Celebrant shall gird himself with a towl, and proceeds to wash the feet of twelve persons, or as many as may be found.

¶ While this is done, the choir shall sing,
Ant. I give you a new commandment : that ye love one another. Psalm 133

Ant. Then Mary anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped them with her hair; and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment. Psalm 67

¶ The Priest then resumes his cope.
Our Father.
V. We wait for thy lovingkindness, O God. R. In the midst of thy temple.
V. Thou hast charged. R. That we should diligently keep thy commandments.
V. Behold, how good and joyful a thing it is. R. Brethren, to dwell together in unity.
V. Lord, hear my prayer. R. And let my cry come unto thee.
V. The Lord be with you. R. And with thy spirit.
Let us pray.
Be present, O Lord, we beseech thee, at the performance of our bounden duty; and because thou didst deign to wash thy disciples’ feet, despise not thou the work of thy hands which thou hast committed unto us to be retained; but as the outward impurities of our bodies are here washed away, so may the inward sins of us all be cleansed by thee, which do thou thyself deign to grant. Who etc.

The Stripping of the Altars
¶ After Evensong, the clergy shall strip the altars of all cloths and ornaments. During this time, the following is sung.
Ant. They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture they cast lots. Psalm 22

¶ The Altars are then washed with blessed water. After washing each altar, the Priest shall say the collect of the Saint in whose honour the Altar is consecrated.
¶ Meanwhile shall be sung,
Resp. On the Mount of Olives I prayed to the Father : Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. † Thy will be done. V. Nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt. † Thy will be done.

Resp. Lying men compassed me about; they scourged me without a cause: † but thou, O Lord, my defence, avenge me. V. For trouble is hard at hand, and there is none to help. † But thou, O Lord, my defence, avenge me.

¶ Afterword, all depart in silence.

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