Branching off the Via Media

  • G. J. Cuming


Few of those who signed the Annexed Book can have imagined that the rite was to remain in force for three hundred years. Even before it had become law, Convocation was looking farther afield. In March 1662 Cosin was asked to prepare a form for consecrating churches, which he duly presented in June; but it contained, according to Sheldon, ‘something amiss’, and was never approved.4 Being closely based on Andrewes’s form, it was probably thought too definitely Laudian in tone. In 1712 Convocation, faced with the prospect of fifty new churches being built in London, authorized a greatly simplified form, and revised it in 1714.5 When James II came to the throne, a service was needed for the anniversary of his accession, and the form used in the reigns of Elizabeth, James I and Charles I was revived. The service for Charles II’s restoration still continued in use, but now adapted to commemorate the restoration of the royal family. A cento psalm was substituted for Venite, new proper psalms and second lessons were appointed, and several collects were added. The service for 30 January was similarly treated, with the further addition of the first two parts of the Homily against Rebellion. William Ill’s landing in England took place on 4 November; he therefore had the ‘Gunpowder Treason’ service revised to celebrate this new event as well, and did not have a separate Accession service.


Communion Service Eighteenth Century Religious Worship Godly Life Prayer Book 
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© G. J. Cuming 1982

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  • G. J. Cuming

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