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CRITICAL AND PRACTICAL
*BOOK OF COMMON PRAYER,
AND ADMINISTRATION OF THE
RITES AND CEREMONIES OF THE CHURCH,
ACCORDING TO THE USE OF THE
United Church of England and Ireland.
BY THE LATE
JOHN SHEPHERD, M.A.
MINISTER OF PATTISWICK, ESSEX.
FIFTH EDITION OF VOL. I-FOURTH EDITION OF VOL. II. CORRECTED,
WITH A BRIEF 1EMOIR OF THE AUTHOR.
For the CHURCH OF ENGLAND I am persuaded that the constant Doctrine of
PRINTED FOR C. & J. RIVINGTON,
ST. PAUL'S CHURCH-YARD,
AND WATERLOO-PLACE, PALL-MALL.
In the elucidation of this office, the most convenient method appears to be to consider its several parts in the same order in which they are arranged by our Book of Administration of the Sacraments. This method will therefore lead me in the first place, to speak of the Collects, Epistles and Gospels to be used throughout the year. But, in the doing of this, it will be also proper to give an account of the Holidays or Festivals of the Church on which the said Collects, Epistles and Gospels, are more especially
appointed to be used. In treating of this subject, I shall first consider the Festivals with their appropriate offices generally; and afterwards in a more particular and distinct manner.
OF THE HOLIDAYS, OR FESTIVALS OF THE
The Holidays observed by our Church are either weekly or annual. Of the first sort are all the Sundays in the year. To the second class belong the Nativity of our Lord, Good-Friday, the Day of the Ascension and all those usually denominated Saints'days.
OF THE WEEKLY FESTIVAL, SUNDAY OR THE
The hallowing or sanctifying of every seventh day, by appropriating it to the more immediate service of God and the offices of Religion, is a practice common to both Jews and Christians; with this difference however among others, that the Christians, in the system of their ecclesiastical polity, transferred the repose and worship of the Sabbath or seventh day to Sunday, or the first day of the week, in commemoration of our Saviour's resurrection from the dead.
Of the practice of holding religious assemblies on the first day of the week or Sunday, in contradistinction to Saturday or the Jewish Sabbath, frequent mention is made in the New Testament. About
twenty-five years after our Lord's resurrection, and while all the Apostles, but James the greater, might yet be living, St. Paul preached to the disciples at Troas, upon the first day of the week, when they
came together to break bread *." To the Corinthians the same Apostle writes, " Concerning the col"lection for the Saints, as I have given orders to "the Churches of Galatia, even so do ye. Upon the "first day of the week let every one lay by him in "store as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come +."
The name of " the Lord's day"
likewise is nearly
as ancient as the Church itself. That it had commonly obtained among Christians towards the close of the first century is evident, from St. John's manner of employing it in the Book of the Revelation. It is however probable, that this title was not generally given to the day, long before the Revelation was written; for had "the Lord's day" been its usual appellation, when Paul preached at Troas, or when he wrote his Epistle to the Corinthians, it is not likely that both Luke and the Apostle should have omitted to mention it by its proper name, the name given to it κατ' εξοχήν; and described it only as the first day of the week.
Though we have no evidence from Scripture that the observance of the Lord's day as a season appropriated to religious solemnities, proceeded from any express command of our Saviour; yet it is to us
* Acts xx. 7.
+ 1 Cor. xvi. 1, 2.