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Min. Be unto him, O Lord,

a strong tower,

Answ. From the face of his enemy.

Min. O Lord, hear our


Answ. And let our cry come

unto thee.


O Lord, look down from heaven, behold, visit, and relieve this thy servant. Look upon him with the eyes of thy mercy, give him comfort and sure confidence in thee, defend him from the danger of the enemy, and keep him in perpetual peace and safety; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Hear us, Almighty and most merciful God and Saviour; extend thy accustomed goodness to this thy servant who is grieved with sickness. Sanctify, we beseech thee, this thy fatherly correction to him; that the sense of his weakness may add strength to his faith, and seriousness to his repentance: that, if it shall be thy good pleasure to restore him to his former health, he may lead the residue of his life in thy fear,

c Man. Sarisb. fol. 88.

Vers. Esto ei, Domine, turris fortitudinis,

Resp. A facie inimici.

Vers. Domine, exaudi orationem meam ;

Resp. Et clamor meus ad te veniat c.

Respice, Domine, de cœlo, et vide et visita hunc famulum tuum N. Et benedic eum sicut benedicere dignatus es Abraham, Isaac, et Jacob. Respice super eum, Domine, oculis misericordiæ tuæ, et reple eum omni gaudio et lætitia et timore tuo. Expelle ex eo omnes inimici insidias, et mitte Angelum pacis qui eum custodiat et domum istam in pace perpetua. Per Christum Dominum nostrum d.

Exaudi nos, omnipotens et misericors Deus, et visitationem conferre digneris super hunc famulum tuum N. quem diversa vexat infirmitas; visita eum Domine sicut visitare dignatus es socrum Petri puerumque centurionis, et Tobiam et Saram per sanctum angelum tuum Raphaelem. Restitue in eo, Domine, pristinam sanitatem, ut mereatur in atrio domus tuæ dicere, castigans castigavit me Dominus, et morti

d Ibid. fol. 89.

Answer. Henceforth, world without end.

Bishop. Lord, hear our


Answer. And let our cry come unto thee.

Resp. Ex hoc nunc et usque in sæculum.

Vers. Dominus vobiscum.

Resp. Et cum spiritu tuok.

The following prayer is one of very great antiquity, and is found in the sacramentary of Gelasius, of Gregory, and of many of the western churches. Originally it was accompanied by the imposition of hands; that is, the bishop held his hands raised over the heads of all who were to be confirmed, while he repeated it, as we may perceive by the sacramentary of Gelasius, and the old ordo Romanus, and also by the sacramentary of Leofric bishop of Exeter, where it is entitled, Ad manús impositionem1. As the following prayer is found in the sacramentary of Gelasius, we may say that it is at least as old as the year 494; but it is probably much more ancient. The invocation of the Holy Spirit, or prayer for his grace, seems essential to this rite, and we may justly conclude that the following prayer is one of the most important parts of the whole office. In every ritual now extant in the world, whether of the western or eastern churches, we find a similar form to that of the English ritual, which has been used by our church for above twelve hundred years.

The Bishop. Let us pray. Almighty and everliving God, who hast vouchsafed to regenerate these thy servants by water and the Holy Ghost,

k Man. Sarisb. fol. 156.


Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, qui regenerare dignatus es hos famulos tuos ex aqua et Spiritu Sancto, quique dedisti

1 MS. Leofr. fol. 286.

your estate, both toward God and man. . . Therefore I shall rehearse to you the Articles of our Faith, that you may know whether you do believe as a Christian man should, or no.

Here the minister shall rehearse the Articles of the Faith, saying thus;

Dost thou believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth? And in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord? And that he was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary; that he suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; that he went down into hell, and also did rise again the third day; that he ascended into heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty; and from thence shall come again at the end of the world, to judge the quick and the dead? And dost thou believe in the Holy Ghost; the holy catholic church; the communion of saints; the remission of sins; the resurrection of the flesh; and everlasting life after death?

bius fuerit ante mortem ... ad fidem solidam reducaturf.

Et si infirmus laicus vel simpliciter literatus fuerit, tunc potest sacerdos articulos fidei in generali ab eo inquirere sub hac forma;

Charissime frater, credis Patrem et Filium et Spiritum Sanctum esse tres personas, et unum Deum, et ipsam benedictam atque indivisibilem Trinitatem creasse omnia creata, visibilia et invisibilia. Et solum Filium, de Spiritu Sancto conceptum, incarnatum fuisse ex Maria Virgine, passum et mortuum pro nobis in cruce sub Pontio Pilato, sepultum descendisse ad inferna, die tertia resurrexisse a mortuis, ad cœlos ascendisse, iterumque venturum ad judicandos vivos et mortuos, omnesque homines tunc in corpore et anima resurrecturos, bona et mala secundum merita sua recepturos; et remissionem peccatorum per sacramentorum ecclesiæ perceptionem; et sanctorum communionem, id est omnes homines in charitate existentes, esse participes omnium

f Man. Sarisb. fol. 89.

bonorum gratiæ, quæ fiunt in ecclesia, et omnes qui commu

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nicant cum justis hic in gratia communicaturos cum eis in gloria.

Deinde respondeat infirmus, Credo firmiter in omnibus.. Deinde dicat sacerdos, Charissime frater, quia sine charitate nihil tibi proderit fides, testante apóstolo, qui dicit: Si habuero omnem fidem ita ut montes transferam, charitatem autem non habuero, nihil sum; ideo oportet te diligere Dominum Deum tuum super omnia ex toto corde tuo, et ex tota anima tua, et proximum tuum propter Deum sicut teipsum. Nam sine hujusmodi charitate nulla fides valet. Ex

erce igitur charitatis opera dum vales et si multum tibi affuerit, abundanter tribue, si autem exiguum illud impartire stude. Et ante omnia si quem injuste læseris, satisfacias si valeas, si autem non valeas, expedit ut ab eo veniam humiliter postules. Dimitte debitoribus tuis et illis qui in te peccaverunt: ut Deus tibi dimittat. . . . Charissime frater, si velis ad visionem Dei pervenire, oportet omnino quod sis mundus in mente et purus in conscientia. Ait enim Christus in evangelio, Beati mundo corde, quoniam ipsi Deum videbunt. Si ergo vis mundum


After which confession the priest shall absolve him (if he humbly and heartily desire it) after this sort :

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. Amen.

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Dominus noster Jesus Christus pro sua magna pietate te absolvat. Et ego auctoritate ejusdem Dei Domini nostri Jesu Christi, et beatorum apostolorum Petri et Pauli: et auctoritate mihi tradita, absolvo te ab omnibus peccatis his de quibus corde contritus et ore mihi confessus es: et ab omnibus aliis peccatis tuis de quibus si tuæ occurrerent memoriæ libenter confiteri velles : et sacramentis ecclesiæ te restituo. In nomine Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sancti. Amen.

The prayer which immediately follows the preceding form, is in fact the original absolution which has been given to dying penitents for more than thirteen hundred years in the western churches. This ancient absolution or reconciliation of a penitent near death is not only found in the old formularies of the English church, where it was used long before the preceding indicative form was introduced, but in the sacramentary of Gelasius, A. D. 494; and for many centuries was commonly used in the churches of the west.

h Ibid. fol. 91.

g Man. Sarisb. fol. 90, 91.

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