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1529 [1529]

K. Edvvard. 6. An vniforme order of Communion set forth.

Marginalia1548.the true and right maner of administeryng the Sacramēt of the body & bloud of Christ accordyng to the rule of the Scriptures of God and first vsage of the primatiue Church, after their long, learned, wise and deliberate aduises, MarginaliaAn vniforme order of the Cōmunion.did finally conclude and agree vppon one godly and vniforme order of receauyng the same, not much differyng from the maner at this presēt vsed and authorised within this Realme and Church of England, commonly called the Communion. Whiche agrement beyng by them exhibited vnto the kyng, and of him most gladly accepted, was thereupō publickly Imprinted 

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The King's Printer, Richard Grafton, published four editions of The order of the communion on 8 March 1548 (STC 16456.5-16458.5). Consisting of an English translation of the part of the Mass in which members of the laity received communion, it was a forerunner of the vernacular service introduced in the Book of Common Prayer (1549). See MacCulloch, Thomas Cranmer, pp. 384-86.

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, and by his Maiesties Counsell particularly diuided and sent vnto euery bishop of the Realme, requiryng and commaundyng them by their Letters on the kynges Maiesties behalfe, that both they in their owne persons should forthwith haue a diligent and carefull respect to the due execution therof, and also should with all diligence cause the bookes which they then sent thē, to be deliuered to euery Parson, Vicare, and Curate within their Dioces, that they likewise might well and sufficiently aduise them selues for the better distribution of the sayd Cōmunion (accordyng to the tenour of the sayd booke) agaynst the feast of Easter then next ensuyng: as more fully appeareth by these their letters here folowyng.

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¶ Letters missiue from the Counsell to the Byshops of the Realme, concernyng the Communion to be Ministred in both kyndes 
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Cattley/Pratt, V, 843: 'These letters missiue from the Council are given at folio 112 of the Bonner Register, and folio 269 of the Westminster'.


MarginaliaThe Communion in both kinds to bee ministred.AFter our most harty commendations to your Lordshyp, where in the Parlamēt late holdē at Westminster it was amongest other thynges most godly established that accordyng to the first institution and vse of the primatiue Church, the most holy Sacrament of the body and bloud of our Sauiour Iesus Christ should be distributed to the people vnder the kyndes both of bread and wyne (accordyng to the effect whereof, the kynges Maiesty myndyng, with the aduice and consent of the Lord Protectours grace and the rest of the Counsayle to haue the sayd Statute well executed in such sorte, or lyke as it is agreable with the woorde of God, so the same may bee also faythfully and reuerently receaued of hys most louyng subiectes to their comfortes & wealth) hath caused sondry of his Maiesties most graue and well learned Prelates and other learned men in the Scriptures, to assemble them selues for this matter: who after longe conference together, haue with deliberate aduise, finally agreed vpon such an order to be vsed in all places of the Kynges Maiesties dominions in the distribution of the sayd most holy Sacrament, as may appeare to you by the booke thereof, which we send herewith vnto you. Albeit knowyng your Lordships knowledge in the Scriptures and earnest good will and zeale to the setting forth of all thynges accordyng to the truth therof, we be well assured, you will of your owne good will, and vpon respect to your duety diligently set forth, this most godly order here agreed vpon and commaūded to be vsed by the authority of the Kynges Maiestie: yet remembryng the crafty practise of the deuill, who ceaseth not by his members to worke by all wayes & meanes, the hynderaunce of all godlynes, & consideryng furthermore, that a great nomber of the Curates of the Realme, either for lacke of knowledge can not, or for want of good mynde will not be so ready to set forth the same, as we would wishe and as the importaunce of the matter and their own boundē duetyes requireth, we haue thought good to pray and require your Lordshyp, and neuertheles in the Kynges Maiesties our most dread soueraigne Lordes name to commaunde you to haue an earnest diligence, and carefull respect both in your owne person, and by all your officers and Ministers also to cause these bookes to be deliuered to euery Person, Vicar, and Curate within your Dioces, with such diligence as they may haue sufficient tyme, well to instructe and aduise them selues, for the distribution of the most holy Communion accordyng to the order of thys booke, before thys Easter tyme, and that they may by your good meanes be well directed to vse such good, gentle, and charitable instruction of their simple and vnlearned Parishners, as may be to all their good satisfactiōs as much a smay be, praying you to consider, that this order is set forth to the in- tent there shoulde bee in all partes of the Realme and among al men, one vniforme maner quietly vsed. The execution whereof, lyke as it shall stand very much in the diligence of you and others of your vocation: so doe we eftsoones require you to haue a diligent respect therunto, as ye tender the Kynges Maiesties pleasure, and wil aunswere for the contrary. And thus we byd your Lordshyp right hartely farewell. From Westminster the xiij. of Marche. 1548.

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Your Lordshyps louyng frendes.

Tho. Canterbury.Anth. Wingfield.
R. Rich.W. Peter.
W. Saint Iohn.Edward North.
Iohn Russell.Ed. Wootton.
Hen. Arrundell.

By meanes as well of this letter and the godlye order of the learned, as also of the statute and act of Parlament before mencioned, made for þe stablishing therof, all priuate blasphemous Masses 

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Book of Common Prayer

Reformers opposed celebration of the Masses by priests who communicated alone because of their sacrificial nature, the exclusion of laity, and the absence of the communal character of 'true' communion. Davies, Worship and Theology, vol. 1, p. 141.

John King

were nowe by iust authoritye fullye abolished throughout this realme of England, and the ryght vse of the Sacrament of the most precious bodye and bloud of our Sauiour Iesus Christ truly restored in steede of the same. But neuertheles, as at no time anye thing can be so well done of the godly, but that the wicked will finde some meanes subtilly to deface the same: MarginaliaPriuie hinderers of the likewise at this present, through the peruerse obstinacy & dissembling frowardnes of many the inferiour Priestes and Ministers of the Cathedral & other churches of this realme, there did aryse a marueilous schisme and varietie of fashions in celebrating the common seruice and administration of the Sacramentes, and other rites and ceremonies of the Church. MarginaliaDiuision among the priestes about the kinges procedinges.For some zealously allowing the kings proceedinges, dyd gladly follow the order therof: and others, though not to willinglye admitting them, dyd yet dissemblingly & patchingly vse some part of them: but many carelesly contemning all, would still exercise theyr old wonted popery.

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Whereof the kyng and hys Counsell hauyng good intelligence, and fearing the great inconueniences and daungers that might happen through thys diuision, & being therewithall loth at the first to vse any great seueritye towardes hys subiectes, but rather desirous by some quiet and godly order to bring them to some conformitie, dyd by their prudent aduises againe appoynt the Archbishop of Canterbury, wyth certaine of the best learned and discrete Bishops and other learned men, diligently to consider and ponder the premisses: and thereupon hauing aswell an eye and respect vnto the most sincere and pure christian religion taught by the holy scriptures, as also to the vsages of the primatiue Church, MarginaliaOne vniforme order of Common drawe and make one conuenient and mete order, rite, and fashion of common prayer and administration of the Sacramentes, to be had and vsed within this his Realme of England, and the dominiōs of the same. Who after most godly and learned conferences, through the ayde of the holy Ghost, with one vniforme agreement did conclude, set forth, and deliuer vnto the kinges highnes, a booke in English intituled: A booke of the common prayer and administration of the Sacraments, and other rites and ceremonies of the church, after the vse of the Churche of England. 

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During the five months following its issuance in March 1549, the first Book of Common Prayer was published in ten editions by the King's Printer, Richard Grafton, and his associate, Edward Whitchurch. John Oswen published two more in Shrewsbury (STC 16267-76). In retaining the Mass and much of the use of Sarum (the medieval rite employed at Salisbury), this prayer book was a compromise document overseen by Thomas Cranmer to allay opposition by conservatives. It did take the radical step of completing the introducing a new church service wholly in the English language.

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MarginaliaA Parlament assembled the 2. yeare of K. Edward.
An. 1548.
The which hys highnes receiuing wyth great comfort and quietnes of mynde, did forthwyth exhibite vnto the Lordes and Cōmons of the Parlament then assembled at Westminster, about the fourth of Nouember, in the second yeare of hys raygne, and in the yeare of our Lord. 1548. and continuing vnto the. xiiij. daye of Marche then next ensuing.

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Whereupon the Lordes spiritual and temporal, and the commons of that sayd Parlament assembled, well and throughly considering aswell the most godlye trauaile of the kinges highnes, of the Lord Protector, and other of his Maiesties Counsaile, in gatheryng together the sayd Archbyshop, Byshops, and other learned

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