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A History of the Reformation (Vol. 2 of 2)

Communicants were required to receive the elements kneeling


came a second revision of the Prayer-Book--_The Boke of Common Prayer and Administration of the Sacramentes and other Rites and Ceremonies in the Churche of England_ (1552). It is commonly called the _Second Prayer-Book of King Edward the Sixth_.[488] Cranmer had conferences with some of the Bishops as early as Jan. 1551 on the subject, and also with some of the foreign divines then resident in England; and it is more than probable that his intention was to frame such a liturgy as would bring the worship of the Church of England into harmony with that of the continental Reformers. There is no proof that the book was ever presented to Convocation for revision, or that it was subject to a debate in Parliament, as was its predecessor. The authoritative proclamation says:

"The King's most excellent majesty, with the assent of the Lords and Commons in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, has caused the aforesaid order of common service, entitled The Book of Common Prayer, to be faithfully and godly perused, explained, and made fully perfect, and by the aforesaid authority has annexed and joined it, so explained and perfected, to this present statute."[489]

This _Book of Common Prayer_ deserves special notice, because, although some important changes were made, it is largely reproduced in the Book of Common Prayer which is at present used in the Church

of England. The main differences between it and the _First Prayer-Book of King Edward_ appear for the most part in the communion service, and were evidently introduced to do away with all thought of a propitiatory Mass. The word _altar_ is expunged, and _table_ is used instead: _minister_ and _priest_ are used indifferently as equivalent terms. "The minister at the time of the communion, and at all other times in his ministration, shall use neither Alb, Vestment, nor Cope; but being an archbishop or bishop, he shall have or wear a rochet: and being a priest or deacon, he shall have and wear a surplice only." Instead of "standing humbly afore the midst of the altar," he was to stand "at the north side of the table"; and the communion table was ordered to be removed from the east end of the church and to be placed in the chancel. Ordinary instead of unleavened bread was ordered to be used. In the older book the prayer, _Have mercy on us, O Lord_, had been used as an invocation of God present in the sacramental elements; in the new it became an ordinary prayer to keep the commandments. The _Ten Commandments_ were introduced for the first time. Some rubrics--that enjoining the minister to add a little water to the wine--were omitted. Similar changes were made in the services for baptism and confirmation, and in the directions for ordination. One rubric was retained which the more advanced Reformers wished done away with. Communicants were required to receive the elements kneeling. But the difficulties were removed by a later rubric:

"Yet lest the same kneeling might be thought or taken otherwise, we do declare that it is not meant thereby, that any adoration is done, or ought to be done, either unto the sacramental bread or wine there bodily received, or to any real or essential presence there being of Christ's natural flesh and blood."

This addition is said, on somewhat uncertain evidence, to have been suggested by John Knox.

The most important change, however, was that made in the words to be addressed to the communicant in the act of partaking. In the _First Prayer-Book_ the words were:

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