Sunday, May 8, 2016

Jeremy Taylor's Eucharistic Rite and the priesthood of Christ

Following some appreciative emails in response to the quote from Jeremy Taylor posted yesterday, I want to share with those readers who know the good bishop only for his devotional writings the fact that he produced a revision of church services, including an order for Holy Communion ("An Office or Order for the Administration of the Holy Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper According to the Way of the Apostolical Churches, and the Doctrine of the Church of England"). This he did for the use of those to whom he ministered under great difficulty when the Book of Common Prayer was banned during the Commonwealth. The order for the Eucharist draws heavily on Scripture and the Church’s early liturgies, and demonstrates the Patristic theology of the Caroline Divines, with its focus on the High Priestly ministry of Jesus. Below is the Eucharistic Prayer. Go HERE for the full rite.

It is indeed truly just, righteous, and fitting 
to praise and to glorify, to worship and adore, 
to give thanks and to magnify thee 
the great Maker of all creatures, visible and invisible, 
the treasure of all good, temporal and eternal : 
The fountain of all life, mortal and immortal : 
The Lord and God of all things in Heaven and Earth, 
the great Father of his Servants, 
and great Master of his Children.

The Heavens and the Heaven of Heavens, 
and every power therein; 
the Sun and the Moon, and all the stars of the sky; 
the sea and the earth, 
the heights above and the depths below;
Jerusalem that is from above, 
the Congregation celestial, 
the Church of the first-born written in the Heavens, 
the spirits of the Prophets and of just men made perfect, 
the souls of the Apostles 
and all holy Martyrs, Angels and Archangels, 
Thrones and Dominions, Principalities and Powers, 
the spirits of Understanding and the spirits of Love, 
with never ceasing Hymns and perpetual Anthems 
cry out Night and Day:

Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of Hosts :
Heaven and Earth are full of thy glory.
Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest.

Let all corruptible flesh be silent, 
and stand with fear and trembling, 
and think within itself nothing that is earthly, 
nothing that is unholy. 
The King of Kings and the Lord of Lords, Christ our God, 
comes down from Heaven unto us, 
and gives himself to be meat for the Souls of all faithful People. 

All the glorious companies of Angels behold this 
and wonder, and love and worship Jesus. 
Every Throne and Dominion, 
The Cherubim with many Eyes, 
and the Seraphim with many Wings 
cover their Faces before the Majesty of his Glory, 
and sing a perpetual song for ever : 

Alleluia, Alleluia. 
Glory be to God on high; 
and in Earth peace; good will towards men. 

Have mercy upon us, O Heavenly Father, 
according to thy glorious mercies and promises, 
send thy Holy Ghost upon our hearts, 
and let him also descend upon these gifts, 
that by his good, his holy, his glorious presence, 
he may sanctify and enlighten our hearts, 
and he may bless and sanctify these gifts: 
that this bread may become the holy Body of Christ, 
and this chalice may become the life-giving Blood of Christ, 
that it may become unto us all that partake of it this day, 
a Blessed instrument of Union with Christ, 
of pardon and peace, of health and blessing, 
of holiness and life Eternal, through Jesus Christ our Lord. 

Holy and blessed art thou, O King of Eternal ages, 
fountain and giver of all righteousness. 
Holy art thou the eternal and only-begotten Son of God, 
our Lord Jesus Christ, Redeemer of the World. 
Holy art thou, O Blessed Spirit, that searchest all things, 
even the depths and hidden things of God.

Thou, O God, art Almighty: 
thou art good and gracious, dreadfull and venerable, 
holy and merciful to the work of thine own hands. 
Thou didst make man according to thine Image; 
thou gavest him the riches and the rest of Paradise: 
When he fell and broke thy easy Commandment 
thou didst not despise his folly, nor leave him in his sin, 
but didst chastise him with thy rod, 
and restrain him by thy Law, 
and instruct him by thy Prophets, 
and at last didst send thy Holy Son into the World,
that he might renew and repair thy broken Image.
Blessed be God.

He, coming from Heaven, and taking our flesh, 
by the power of the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary, 
conversed with men, and taught us the way of God, 
and the dispensation of eternal Life.
Holy Jesus! Blessed be God.

But when for the redemption of us sinners 
he would suffer death upon the Cross without sin, 
for us who were nothing but sin and misery,
in the night in which he was betrayed, he took bread, 
he looked up to Heaven, he gave thanks, he sanctified it, 
he brake it, and gave it to his Apostles saying: 
Take, eat, this is my Body which is broken for you. 
Do this in remembrance of me.

Likewise after Supper he took the Cup, 
and when he had given thanks and blessed it 
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 the remission of sins. 
Do this in remembrance of me. 

For as often as ye shall eat this Bread, and drink this Cup, 
we shall shew forth the Lord’s death till he come.
We believe, and we confess. 
We declare thy Death, and confess thy Resurrection.

We sinners, thy unworthy Servants, 
in remembrance of thy life-giving passion, 
thy cross and thy pains, 
thy death and thy burial, 
thy resurrection from the dead, 
and thy ascension into Heaven, 
thy sitting at the right hand of God, 
making intercession for us, 
and expecting, with fear and trembling, 
thy formidable and glorious return 
to judge the quick and dead, 
when thou shalt render to every man according to his works; 
do humbly present to thee, O Lord, 
this present Sacrifice of remembrance and thanksgiving, 
humbly and passionately praying thee 
not to deal with us according to our sins, 
nor recompense us after our transgressions; 
but according to thy abundant mercy, and infinite goodness, 
to blot out and take away the handwriting 
that is against us in the Book of Remembrances 
which thou hast written:
and that thou wilt give unto us spiritual, celestial, and eternal gifts, 
which neither eye hath seen, nor ear hath heard, 
neither hath it entered into the heart of man to understand, 
which God hath prepared for them that love him; 
through Jesus Christ our Lord. 

Glory be to thee, O God our Father, 
who hast vouchsafed to make us at this time 
partakers of the Body and Blood of thy holy Son : 
we offer unto thee, O God, our selves, our Souls and Bodies, 
to be a reasonable, holy, and living Sacrifice unto thee: 
keep us under the shadow of thy Wings, a
nd defend us from all evil, 
and conduct us by thy Holy Spirit of Grace into all good ; 
for thou who hast given thy holy Son unto us, 
how shalt not thou with him give us all things else? 
Blessed be the name of our God for ever and ever. Amen.

Glory be to thee, O Christ, our King, 
the only begotten Son of God, 
who wert pleas’d to become a sacrifice for our sins, 
a redemption from calamity, 
the physician and the physick, 
the life and the health, the meat and the drink of our Souls; 
thou, by thy unspeakable mercy, 
didst descend to the weakness of sinful flesh, 
remaining still in the perfect purity of Spirit, 
and hast made us partakers of thy holy Body and Blood : 
O condemn us not when thou comest to judgment, 
but keep us ever in thy truth, in thy fear, and in thy favour, 
that we may have our portion in thine inheritance, 
where holiness and purity, where joy and everlasting praises, 
do dwell for ever and ever. Amen.

Proceeding from glory to glory, 
we still glorifie thee, O Father of Spirits, 
and pray thee for ever to continue thy goodness towards us. 
Direct our way aright, establish us in holy purposes, 
keep us unspotted in thy faith,
 let the enemy have no part in us, 
but conform us for ever to the likeness of thy holy Son; 
lead us on to the perfect adoption of our souls, 
and to the redemption of our bodies from corruption, 
and fill our hearts and tongues 
with everlasting praises of thy name;
 through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


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