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The Collects





The Books formerly used in Church.

In a passage of the Prayer Book Preface of 1549, which was not struck
out until the last Revision in 1662, it was said that "by this order
the Curates shall need none other books for their public service, but
this book and the Bible." The simplification of the Services has made
it possible for everyone to find his way easily through the Prayer
Book. The progressive inventions of printing, and of fine paper, have
made it possible for him to have the books always with him.

Before the reign of Edward VI. the Services, though printed, were not
contained in one book. Before the invention of printing the books were
of necessity numerous. We may mention some of them.

A book of Lessons--Legenda; of Antiphons--Antiphonarium; of Psalms--the
Psalter: these were required for the Day Hours. As an abbreviation of
them, sufficient for practical purposes, the Breviary was arranged. A
portable form of it was called Portiforium. The Breviary was printed
in four volumes on the Continent, but in England had only a Winter
Volume and a Summer Volume.

For the Occasional Services,--the Services which mark the great events
of a Christian's life, beginning with Baptism and ending with Burial,
they had the Manual.

For the Holy Communion, they had the Missal; including (1) the Gradual,
which was an Antiphoner, or book of the musical parts of the Service;
(2) the Lectionary, or book of the Epistles; (3) the Evangelistarium,
or book of the Gospels; and (4) the Sacramentary. The Sacramentary
contained, amongst other things, the Collects.

We have already referred to the combination and simplification of the
Breviary Services, which have given us our Morning and Evening Prayer.
We must now observe that many of our Collects come from the
Sacramentaries.





Next: Three Celebrated Sacramentaries

Previous: The Preces



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