Book of Common Prayer (1892)/An Act for the Uniformity of Common Prayer

An Act for the Vniformity of Common Prayer, and Service

in the Church, and Administration of the Sacraments, primo Elisabethæ

Where at the death of our late sovereign Lord King Edward the sixth, there remained one vniform order of Common service and prayer, and of the Administration of sacraments, Rites and Ceremonies in the Church of England which was set forth, in one Book, intituled, The Book of Com̃on Prayer, and Administration of Sacraments, and other Rites and Ceremonies in the Church of England, authorized by Act of Parliament holden in the fifth and sixth years of our said late soveraign Lord King Edward the sixth, intituled, An Act for the vniformity of common prayer, and Administration of the sacraments : The which was repealed and taken away by Act of Parliament in the first year of the raign of our late soveraign Lady Queen Mary to the great decay of the due honour of God, and discomfort to the Professors ̣ of the truth of Christs religion.

Be it therefore enacted by the authority of this present Parliament, that the said statute of repeal, and every thing therein contained, only concerning the said Book, and the service, Administration of sacraments, Rites, and Ceremonies contained or appointed in or by the said book, shall be void, and of none effect, from and after the feast of the Nativity of St ̣ Iohn Baptist next coming.

And that the said book with the order of service, and of the administration of Sacraments, Rites, and Ceremonies, with the Alteration and additions therein added and appointed by this statute, shall stand and be from and after the said feast of the nativity of Saint Iohn Baptist in full force and effect, according to the tenor and effect of this statute : anything in the foresaid statute of repeal to the contrary notwithstanding.

And further be it enacted by the Queens Highness, with the assent of the Lords and Commons of this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, that all and singular Ministers in any Cathedrall, or parish-church, or other place within this Realm of England, Wales, and the Marches of the same, or other the Queens dominions, shall from and after the feast of the nativity of St. Iohn Baptist next coming, be bounden to say and vse the Mattens, Evensong, celebration of the Lords supper, and Administration of each of the sacraments, and all other common and open prayer in such order and form as is mentioned in the said book, so authorized by Parliament in the said fifth and sixth year of the reign of King Edward the sixth, with one alteration or addition of certein lessons to be vsed on every Sunday in the year, and the form of the Letany altered, and corrected, and two sentences only added in the delivery of the sacrament to the communicants, and none other or otherwise. And that if any manner of Parson, Vicar, or other whatsoever Minister, that ought or should sing or say common prayer mentioned in the said book, or minister the Sacraments from and after the feast of the nativity of Saint John Baptist next coming, refuse to vse the said common prayers, or to minister the sacraments, in such Cathedral, or Parish church, or other places, as he should vse to minister the same in such order and form as they be mentioned and set forth in the said book, or shall wilfully or obstinately standing in the same, vse any other Rite, Ceremony, Order, Form, or Manner of celebrating of the Lords Supper openly or privily, or Mattens, Evensong, Administration of the sacraments, or other open prayers, then is mentioned and set forth in the said book [Open of Common Prayer prayer in and through this Act, is meant that prayer which is for other to come vnto, or hear, either in common churches, or private Chappels, or Oratories, commonly called, the Service of the Church] or shall preach, declare, or speak any thing in the derogation, or depraving of the said book, or any thing therein conteined, or of any part thereof, and shall be thereof lawfully convicted, according to the lawes of this Realm by verdict of twelve men, or by his own confession, or by the notorious evidence of the fact : shall lose and forfeit to the Queens Highness her heirs and successors, for his first offence, the profit of all his spirituall benefices, or promotions, coming or arising in one whole year next after his conviction : And also that the person so convicted, shall for the same offence suffer imprisonment by the space of six months without bail or mainprise. And if any such person once convict of any offence concerning the premisses, shall after his first conviction, eftsoons offend, and be thereof in form aforesaid lawfully convict : that then the same person shall for his second offence suffer imprisonment, by the space of one whole year, and also shall therefore be deprived ipso facto of all his spiritual promotions, And that it shall be lawfull to all Patrons or donors of all and singular the same spirituall promotions or any of them to present or collate to the same, as though the person or persons so offending were dead. And that if any such person or persons after he shall be twice convicted in form aforesaid, shall offend against any of the premisses the third time, and shall be thereof in form aforesaid lawfully convicted: that then the person so offending, and convicted the third time, shall be deprived ipso facto of all his spirituall promotions, and also shall suffer imprisonment during his life.

And if the person that shall offend and be convict in form aforesaid, concerning any of the premisses, shall not be beneficed, nor have any spirituall promotion: that then the same person so offending, and convict, shall for the first offence suffer imprisonment during one whole year next after his said conviction, without bail or mainprise. And if any such person not having any spiritual promotion, after his first conviction shall eftsoons offend in any thing concerning the premisses, and shall in form aforesaid be thereof lawfully convicted, that then the same person shall for his second offence suffer imprisonment during his life.

And it is ordained and enacted by the authority aforesaid that if any person or persons whatsoever after the said feast of the nativity of Saint Iohn Baptist next coming shall in any Enterludes, Playes, Songs, Rimes, or by other open words declare or speake any thing in the derogation, depriving or despising of the same book, or of any thing therein conteined, or any part thereof, or shall by open fact, deed, or by open threatnings compell or cause, or otherwise procure or mantein any Parson, Vicar or other Minister, in any Cathedrall or parish church, or in chappel, or in any other place to sing or say any common or open prayer, or to minister any sacrament otherwise, or in any other manner and form then is mentioned in the said book, or that by any of the said means shall vnlawfully interrupt, or let any Parson Vicar or other Minister in any Cathedrall or parish church, chappel, or any other place, to sing or say common and open prayer, or to minister the sacraments, or any of them in such manner and form as is mentioned in the said book: that then every such person, being thereof lawfully convicted in form abovesaid, shall forfeit to the Queen our Soveraign Lady, her heirs, and successrs
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for the first offence an hundred marks. And if any person or persons being once convict of any such offence, eftsoons offend against any of the last recited offences, and shall in form aforesaid be thereof lawfully convict: that then the same person so offending and convict, shall for the second offence forfeit to the Queen our Sovereign Lady, her heirs and successors four hundred Marks. And if any person after he in form aforesaid shall have been twice convict of any offence concerning any of the last recited offences, shall offend the third time, and be thereof in form abovesaid lawfully convict: that then every person so offending and convict, shall for his third offence forfeit to our Sovereign Lady the Queen all his goods and chattels, and shall suffer imprisonment during his life. And if any person or persons that for his first offence concerning the premisses shall be convict in form aforesaid, do not pay the summe to be payed by virtue of his conviction, in such manner and form as the same ought to be payed, within six weeks next after his conviction : that then every person so convict, and so not paying the same, shall for the same first offence, instead of the said summe, suffer imprisonment by the space of six months without bail or mainprise : And if any person or persons that for his second offence concerning the premisses shall be convict in form aforesaid, do not pay the said summe to be paied by virtue of his conviction, and this estatute in such manner and form as the same ought to be payed within six weeks next after this said second conviction : that then every person so convicted, and not paying the same, shall for the same second offence, in the stead of the said summe, suffer imprisonment during twelve monthes without Bail or mainprise. And that from and after the said feast of the nativity of Saint John Baptist next coming all and every person and persons inhabiting within this Realm, or any other the Queens Maiesties Dominions, shall diligently and faithfully, having no lawfull or reasonable excuse to be absent, indeavour themselves to resort to their parish church or chappell accustomed, or vpon reasonable let thereof, to some vsuall place where common prayer, and such service of God shall be vsed in such tyme of let, vpon every Sunday, and other dayes ordained, and vsed to be kept as holy dayes : and then and there to abide orderly and soberly during the time of common prayer, preachings or other service of God there to be vsed and ministred, vpon pain of punishment by the censures of the Church : and also vpon pain that every person so offending shall forfeit for every such offence twelve pence to be levied by the church-wardens of the parish where such offence shall be don to the vse of the poor of the same parish, of the goods lands and tenements of such offender, by way of distress. And for due execution hereof, the Queens most excellent Majesty, the Lords temporall, and all the Commons in this present Parliament assembled doth in Gods name earnestly require and charge all the Archbishops, Bishops, and other Ordinaries that they shall endeavour themselves to the vttermost of their knowledges that the due and true execution hereof may be had throughout their Diocess and charges, as they will answer before God, for such evils and plagues wherewith Almighty God may iustly punish his people for neglecting his good and wholesom law. And for the authority in this behalf, be it further inacted by the authority aforesayd that all and singular the same Archbishops, Bishops, and all other their officers exercising ecclesiasticall Jurisdiction, as well in place exempt, as not exempt within their Diocess, shall have full power and authority by this Act to reform correct, and punish by censures of the church, all and singular persons which shall offend within any of their Jurisdictions, or Diocess after the said feast of the nativity of Saint John Baptist next coming against this act and statute : any other law, Statute, priviledge liberty or provision heretofore made had or suffered to the contrary notwithstanding.

And it is ordained and enacted by the authority aforesaid that all and every Justice of Oyer and Determiner, or Iustices of Assize shall have full power and authority in every of their open and generall sessions, to inquire hear and determine all and all manner of offences, that shall be committed or done contrary to any Article conteined in this present Act, within the limits of the Commission to them directed, and to make process for the execution of the same, as they may do against any person being indicted before them of trespass, or lawfully convicted thereof.

Provided alwayes, and be it enacted by the authority aforesaid that all and every Archbishop and Bishop shall and may at all time and times at his liberty and pleasure ioin, and associate himself, by virtue of this Act, to the said Iustices of Oyer, and Determiner, or to the said Iustices of Assize, at every of the said open and generall sessions, to be holden in any place within his Diocess for and to the inquiry, hearing, and determining of the offences aforesaid.

Provided also, and be it enacted by the authority aforesaid that the books concerning the said service, shall at the costs and charges of the parishioners of every parish, and Cathedrall church be attained and gotten before the said feast of the nativity of Saint John Baptist next following: and that all such parishes and Cathedrall churches, or other places where the said books shall be attained, and gotten before the said feast of the nativity of Saint John Baptist, shall within three weeks next after the said books so attained and gotten, vse the said service and put the same in vse according to this Act.

And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid that no person or persons shall be at any time hereafter impeached or otherwise molested of or for any of the offences above mentioned hereafter to be committed or don contrary to this Act vnless he or they so offending be thereof indicted at the next generall sessions to be holden before any such Justices of Oyer and Determiner, or Justices of Assize next after any offence committed or don contrary to the tenor of this Act.

Provided allwayes and be it ordained and enacted by the authority aforesaid, that all and singular Lords of the Parliament for the third offence above mentioned, shall be tryed by their Peers

Provided also and be it ordained and enacted by the authority aforesaid, that the Major of London, and all other Majors Bayliffs, and other head-officers of all and singular cities, boroughs, and towns corporate within this Realm, Wales, and the Marches of the same to the which Iustices of Assize do not commonly repair, shall have full power and authority by virtue of this Act to enquire hear and determine the offences above said and every of them yearly, within fifteen dayes after the feasts of Easter, and Saint Michael the Archangel, in like manner and form as Justices of Assize, and Oyer, and Determiner may do.

Provided always, and be it ordained and enacted by the authority aforesaid, that all and singular Archbishops, and Bishops, and every of their Chancellors, Commissaries, Archdeacons, and other Ordinaries, having any peculiar ecclesiasticall jurisdiction, shall have full power and authority by virtue of this Act, as well to inquire in their Visitation, Synods, or elsewhere within their iurisdiction, at any other time and place to take accusations and informations of all and every the things above mentioned, done committed or perpetrated within the limits of their iurisdiction, and authority, and to punish the same by admonition, excommunication, sequestration, or deprivation, or other censures, and Processes in like form as heretofore hath been vsed in like cases, by the Queens ecclesiasticall lawes.

Provided always, and be it enacted, that whatsoever person offending in the premisses, shall for the first offence receive punishment of the Ordinary, having a testimonial thereof vnder the said Ordinaries seal, shall not for the same offence eftsoons be convicted before the Iustices : and likewise receiving for the said first offence, punishment by the Justices, he shall not for the same first offence, eftsoons receive punishment of the Ordinary : any thing contained in this Act to the contrary notwithstanding.

Provided always, and be it enacted, that such ornaments of the church, and of the Ministers thereof shall be retained, and be in vse, as was in this church of England by the authority of Parliament in the second year of the reign of King Edward the sixth, vntil other order shall be therein taken, by authority of the Queens Maiesty, with the advice of her Commissioners appointed and authorized vnder the; great seal of England, for causes ecclesiasticall or of the Metropolitane of this Realm. And also, that if there shall happen any contempt or irreverence to be vsed in the Ceremonies or Rites of the Church by the misvsing of the orders appointed in this book : the Queens Maiesty may by the like advice of the said Commissioners, or Metropolitane, ordain and publish such further Ceremonies or Rites, as may be most for the advancement of Gods glory, the edifying of his Church, and the due reverence of Christs holy Mysteries and sacraments.

And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, that all lawes Statutes and ordinances wherein or whereby any other service, administration of sacraments, or common prayer is limited, established, or set forth to be vsed
within this Realm, or any other the Queens
Dominions and Countries shall
from henceforth vtterly
be voyd and of
none effect.