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


The Canticles Continued The Compound Anthem facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail