Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

National Prayers: Special Worship since the Reformation. Vol. I: Special Prayers, Fasts and Thanksgivings in the British Isles, 1533-1688

Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

National Prayers: Special Worship since the Reformation. Vol. I: Special Prayers, Fasts and Thanksgivings in the British Isles, 1533-1688

Article excerpt

National Prayers: Special Worship since the Reformation. Vol. I: Special Prayers, Fasts and Thanksgivings in the British Isles, 1533-1688. Edited by Natalie Mears, Aladsair Raffe, Stephen Taylor, and Philip Williamson, with Lucy Bates. [Church of England Record Society, Vol. 20.] (Rochester, NY: Boydell Press, an imprint of Boydell and Brewer. 2013. Pp. clxx, 766. S170.00. ISBN 9781-84383-868-5.)

This first volume of a three-volume reference work has been compiled by a group of four early-modern historians (with assistance from another) working in various universities and institutes in Great Britain. The goal of the work is to provide the official decrees and actual worship texts issued for national use in England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, and colonial territories from the establishment of an independent Church of England until 2012.

The editors have attempted to provide a comprehensive resource for instances of national worship. Volume I contains all extant examples of special worship from the announcement of a thanksgiving service to mark the birth of Princess Elizabeth in 1533 to an order for prayers throughout the country because of the danger of invasion by William of Orange in 1688.

The introduction is both for this volume and for the whole series. It offers a detailed description of the organization of the edition, providing for each service the date and occasion, a commentary on the event and prayer, bibliographical information, the text of the order, the text of the prayer (if available), other versions of the prayer, other texts associated with the prayer, additional sources used in the commentary, and examples of sermons given for the event. For each prayer there are two main primary sources: the order establishing the prayer and the actual prayer text.

The introduction then explores the question: what is national worship? This genre emerges from forms practiced in the medieval Catholic Church in England and then evolves within the Church of England (and its related bodies in Scotland, Wales, and Ireland) until the reign of James II. Discussed are the authority of the orders, the geographical extent of the orders, and the similarities and differences among them. …

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