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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 begotten 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 resurection of the flesh; and everlasting life after death?
The sick Person shall answer,
All this I steadfastly believe.
Then shall the Minister examine whether he repent him truly of his sins, and be in charity with all the world : exhorting him to forgive, from the bottom of his heart, all persons that have offended him, and, if he have offended any other, to ask them forgiveness; and where he hath done injury or wrong to any man, that he make amends to the utmost of his power. And if he hath not before disposed of his goods, let him then be admonished to make his will, and to declare his debts, what he oweth, and what is owing unto him ; for the better discharge of his conscience, and the quietness of his executors. But men should often be put in remembrance to take order for settling of their temporal estates, whilst they are in health.
These words, before rehearsed, may be said before the Minister begins his prayer, as he shall see cause.
The Minister should not omit earnestly to move such sick Persons as are of ability, to be liberal to the poor.
Here shall the sick Person be moved to make a special confession of his sins, if
he feel his conscience troubled with any weighty matter. After his 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.
And then the Priest shall say the collect following:
Let us pray.
O MOST merciful God, who, according to the multitude of thy mercies, dost so put away the sins of those who truly repent, that thou rememberest them no more ; open
eye of mercy upon this thy servant, who most earnestly desireth pardon and forgiveness. Renew in him, most loving Father, whatsoever hath been decayed by the fraud and malice of the Devil, or by his own carnal will and frailness ; preserve and continue this sick member in the unity of the church; consider his contrition, accept his tears, assuage his pain, as shall seem to thee most expedient for him. And, forasmuch as he putteth his full trust only in thy mercy, impute not unto him his former sins, but strengthen him with thy blessed Spirit; and when thou art pleased to take him hence, take him unto thy favour, through the merits of thy most dearly beloved Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Then shall the Minister say this Psalm.
In te, Domine, speravi.—Psalm lxxi. In thee, O Lord, have I put my trust; let me never be put to confusion : but rid me, and deliver me in thy righteousness; incline thine ear unto me, and save me.
Be thou a strong hold, whereunto I may alway resort: thou hast promised to help me, for thou art my house of defence, and my
castle. Deliver me, O my God, out of the hand of the ungodly; out of the hand of the unrighteous and cruel man.
For thou, O Lord, art the thing that I long for : thou art my hope, even from my youth.
Through thee have I been holden up ever since I was born : thou art he that took me out of my mother's womb; my praise shall always be of thee.
I am become as it were a monster to many ; but trust is in thee.
O let my mouth be filled with thy praise; that I may sing of thy glory and honour all day long.
Cast me not away in the time of age; forsake me not when my strength faileth me.
For mine enemies speak against me; and they that lay wait for my soul, take their counsel together ; saying, God
hath forsaken him ; persecute him, and take him, for there is none to deliver him.
Go not far from me, O God; my God, haste thee to help me.
Let them be confounded and perish, that are against my soul : let them be covered with shame and dishonour, that seek to do me evil.
As for me, I will patiently abide alway; and will praise thee more and more.
My mouth shall daily speak of thy righteousness and salvation : for I know no end thereof.
I will go forth in the strength of the Lord God; and will make mention of thy righteousness only.
Thou, O God, hast taught me from my youth up until now: therefore will I tell of thy wondrous works.
Forsake me not, O God, in mine old age, when I am greyheaded, until I have showed thy strength unto this generation, and thy power to all them that are yet for to come.
Thy righteousness, O God, is very high, and great things are they that thou hast done; O God, who is like unto thee?
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost;
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
Adding this: O SAVIOUR of the world, who by thy cross and precious blood hast redeemed us, save us, and help us, we humbly beseech thee, O Lord.
Then shall the Minister say:
THE Almighty Lord, who is à most strong tower to all them that put their trust in him; to whom all things in heaven, in earth, and under the earth, do bow, and obey ; be now, and evermore, thy defence, and make thee know and feel, that there is no other name under heaven given to man, in whom, and through whom, thou mayest receive health and salvation, but only the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
And after that shall say: Unto God's gracious mercy and protection we commit thee. The Lord bless thee, and keep thee. The Lord make his face to shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee. The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace, both now and evermore. Amen.
COMMUNION OF THE SICK.
FORASMUCH as all mortal men be subject to many sudden perils, diseases, and sicknesses, and ever uncertain what time they shall depart out of this life; therefore to the intent they may be always in readiness to die, whensoever it shall please Almighty God to call them, the Curates shall diligently, from time to time (but especially in time of pestilence, or other infectious sickness), exhort their parishoners to the often receiving the Holy Communion of the body and blood of our Saviour Christ, when it shall be publicly administered in the church; that, so doing, they may, in case of sudden visitation, have the less cause to be disquieted for lack of the same. But if the sick Person be not able to come to the church, and yet is desirous to receive the Communion in his house ; then he must give timely notice to the Curate, signifying also how many there are to communicate with him (which shall be three, or two at the least), and having a convenient place, in the sick man's house, with all things necessary, so prepared, that the Curate may reverently minister, he shall there celebrate the Holy communion, beginning with the Collect, Epistle, and Gospel here following.
ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, maker of mankind, who dost correct those whom thou dost love, and chastisest every one whom thou dost receive: we beseech thee to have mercy upon this thy servant visited with thine hand, and to grant that he may take his sickness patiently, and recover his bodily health (if it be thy gracious will): and whenever his soul shall depart from the body, it may be without spot presented unto thee, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The Epistle, Heb. xii. 5. My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him : for whom the Lord loveth, he chasteneth ; and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
The Gospel, St. John v. 24. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.
After which, the Priest shall procced according to the form prescribed for the Holy Communion, beginning at these words : [Ye that do truly.]
At the time of the distribution of the Holy Sacrament, the Priest shall first receive the communion himself, and afterward minister unto them that are appointed to communicate with the sick, and last of all to the sick Person.
But if a man, either by reason of extremity of sickness, or for want of warning in due time to the Curate, or for lack of company to receive with him, or by any other just impediment, do not receive the Sacrament of Christ's body and blood, the Curate shall instruct him, that if he truly repent him of his sins, and steadfastly believe Jesus Christ hath suffered death upon the cross for him, and shed his blood for his redemption, earnestly remembering the benefits he hath thereby, and giving him hearty thanks therefor, he doth eat and drink the body and blood of our Saviour Christ profitably to his soul's health, although he do not receive the sacrament with his mouth.
When the sick Person is visited, and receiveth the Holy Communion all at one time, then the Priest, for more expedition, shall cut off the form of the visitation, at the Psalm [In thee, O Lord, have I put my trust), and go straight to the Communion.
In the time of the plague, sweat, or other such like contagious times of sickness or diseases, when none of the parish or neighbours can be gotten to communicate with the sick in their houses, for fear of the infection, upon special request of the diseased, the Minister only may communicate with him.
At the time of the celebration of the Communion, the communicants being con
veniently placed for receiving of the Holy Sacrament, the Priest shall say this exhortation :
DEARLY beloved in the Lord, ye that mind to come to the Holy Communion of the body and blood of our Saviour Christ, must consider how St Paul exhorteth all persons diligently to try and examine themselves, before they presume to eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For as the benefit is great, if with a true penitent heart and lively faith, we receive that Holy Sacrament (for then we spiritually eat the flesh of Christ, and drink his blood; then we dwell in Christ, and Christ in us; we are one with Christ, and Christ with us): so is the danger great, if we receive the same unworthily : for then we are guilty of the body and blood of Christ our Saviour ; we eat and drink our own damnation, not considering the Lord's body; we kindle God's wrath against us; we provoke him to plague us with divers diseases, and sundry kinds of death. Judge therefore yourselves, brethren, that ye be not judged of the Lord; repent ye truly for your sins past; have a lively and steadfast faith in Christ our Saviour; amend your lives, and be in perfect charity with all men; so shall ye be meet partakers of these holy mysteries. And above all things, ye must give most humble and hearty thanks to God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, for the redemption of the world by