CHURCH OF ENGLAND

The Book of Common-Prayer, and Administration of the Sacraments, and other Rites and Ceremonies of the Church, According to the Use of the Church of England, Together with the Psalter or Psalms of David, … And the Form & Manner of Making, Ordaining, & Consecrating of Bishops, Priests and Deacons.

London, Printed by His Maties: Printers, 1669; London, Printed by John Bill, Christopher Barker, Thomas Newcomb, and Henry Hills, Printers to the Kings most excellent Majesty, 1678.

£1150

Folio, pp. [554]; title-page, A-B6 C4 D6 E8 F-Z6 Aa-Xx6 Yy8. Black letter, sporadic Italic and Roman. T-p within architectural portico designed by artist Williamson (signed “P: Williamson scu.”). Additional title on Ee5 (Psalter) with earlier imprint and woodcut royal coat of arms of England. Half-titles on Ss6 and Yy2. Decorated initials, head- and tail-pieces, several diagrams and tables containing the calendar of movable and immovable feasts, in red and black ink, and prayer times. Pen autograph of “Edward Lloyd Esq., Pengwern 1753” of t-p and, on front pastedown, bookplate of the Welsh family Mostyn and ms. provenance “Bodysgallen / December 1910 / the Hon’ble Henry Mostyn / from Watkin Bishop of Bangor”. Bound in contemporary dark brown morocco, double-fillet gilt along edges and double fillet panel gilt at centre of covers with angular fleurons, title and publication date to gilt spine in compartments, six raised bands, a.e.g.. Light marginal soling and spotting throughout, some pages with frail edges and tiny tears in the beginning, head of spine and top of front hinge slightly damaged. Overall a lovely, clean copy.

First published in 1549, under the reign of Edward VI, the Book of Common Prayer (BPC) was the first prayer book to include the complete forms of service for daily and Sunday worship in English. It contained Morning Prayer, Evening Prayer, the Litany, and Holy Communion and also the occasional services in full: the orders for Baptism, Confirmation, Marriage, “prayers to be said with the sick”, and a funeral service. It also set out in full the “propers”: the collects and the epistle and gospel readings for the Sunday Communion Service. Old and New Testament readings for daily prayer were specified in tabular format as were the Psalms and canticles mostly biblical, that were provided to be said or sung between the readings. In 1604, King James I ordered some further changes, the most significant of these being the addition to the Catechism of a section on the Sacraments. Following the tumultuous events leading to and including the English Civil War, another major revision was published in 1662. That edition 12 has remained the official prayer book of the Church of England. The Act of Uniformity of 1662 prescribed the form of public prayers, administration of sacraments, and other rites of the Established Church of England, according to the rites and ceremonies prescribed in the Book of Common Prayer (BCP). Adherence to this was required in order to hold any office in government or the church, although the 1662 edition of the BCP prescribed by the Act was so new that most people had never even seen a copy. It also explicitly required episcopal ordination for all ministers, i.e. deacons, priests and bishops, which had to be reintroduced since the Puritans had abolished many features of the Church during the Civil War.

ESTC R36533; Griffiths, pp. 118.