Reconstruction of the Service for the Consecration of Trinity Chapel at Lincoln’s Inn on May 22, 1623, Consisting of Morning Prayer, Litany, Sermon, and Holy Communion according to the Book of Common Prayer (1604), Together with Additional Prayers and Proclamations Especially Written for the Occasion
At 8:00 am on the morning of May 22, 1623, being the Feast of the Ascension, George Montaigne, Bishop of London, together with his attendants, met officials of Lincoln’s Inn at the door to Trinity Chapel and received from them the keys to the building. He alone then moved inside the chapel and, standing at the doorstep to the entrance, and began the service as follows:
I was glad when they said unto mee: we will goe in the house of
Peace be within theis walls and prosperetie within theis dores.
Because thou art a house for the Lord our God we will seeke to
doe thee good.
I have chosen and sanctified this place that my name may be
there for ever, and myne eyes and myne heart shall be there
The Bishop then moved forward into the Chapel and knelt, and with hands lifted to the sky towards the east, spoke the following prayer:
O eternall God mightie in power and of incomprehensible Majesty who fillest both heaven and earth with thy glorious presence, and therefore canst not be contained within anie the largest circuite, much lesse within this narrowe roome, for the consecracion whereof we are nowe assembled.
Notwithstandinge because it hath pleased thee to promise thine speciall presence in that place where two or three shall be gathered togither in thy name and for thine honour: We doe heare in all humility and with readiness of heart, wholly devote and dedicate this place this day for ever unto thee (utterly seperatinge it henceforth from all prophane and domesticall uses or affaires) and are bold to consecrate it to thy service onely, for hearing thy word, celebratinge the sacrament of the Lords Supper, and offering up the sacrifices both of prayer and thankesgivinge.
And although (miserable wretches as we are) We be altogether unworthy to appoint aine earthlie thinge to so greate a Maiesty, and the most unfitt of all thy Ministers to appeare before thee in so honorable a service, Yet we most humbly beseech thee to forgete and forgive our manifold sinnes, and to be present amongst us in this religious action : vouchsafe to accept it gratiouslie at our hands, blesse it with happie successe, and because thy holy word is heere to be preached, and thy holy Sacrament of the Lords Supper here to be administered, Lord give a blessing to thy holy word and Sacrament so ofte as thy servantes shall be here partakers of them.
And we beseech thee O Lord receive the prayers and supplications of us here assembled at this present, and of all others, who hereafter (entering into theis hallowed place) shall call uppon thee, and give both them and us grace whensoever we come into this thy place and house of residence, to bring hither cleane thoughts, pure heartes, bodies undefiled and minds sanctified, to wash our handes in innocency (good Lord) and then to come to thine Altar, that so we may present unto thee both our soules and bodies as holy temples of thy spirit, within this little temple, to the glory of thy holy name, and accomplishment of our desires, through Jesus Christe, to whom with the Father, and the Holy Ghost, be all honour and glory, now and for ever. Amen.
Then Bishop Montaigne turned towards the congregation still standing at the doors of the chapel, and himself standing in view of the congregation, consecrated the chapel by reading in public a schedule of dedication and consecration, a pronouncement put in writing and at that time extended and handed over to him by his vicar general in spiritual matters, containing the following words, to wit:
In the name of God, Amen. Since the reverend and worshipful men – counselors and students — in the Inn commonly called Lincoln’s Inn, sited and located, as is well known, beside the lane commonly called Chancery Lane in the suburbs of the city of London, of our London diocese and jurisdiction, induced by pious and religious devotion, have now newly erected, built and constructed this chapel in the aforesaid Inn, containing between the walls of the same, in longitude from east to west, sixty-eight feet or thereabouts, and in latitude, from north to south, forty-one feet or thereabouts, and a certain construction with steps or stairs for access or entrance to the same, upon their own lands and at their own expense for the honor of God and the use of counselors, students, and those staying now and in the future in the same; and have sufficiently and suitably decorated and fitted out the same chapel with altar, pulpit, suitable seats, a bell, and other things necessary to divine worship; and have begged us that we, by our ordained and episcopal authority, on our own behalf and that of our successors, should separate said chapel and other premises from all previous uses, common and profane, whatsoever, and dedicate and consecrate it to sacred and divine uses:
In response to the religious desire of said reverend and venerable men in this matter: We therefore, George, by divine permission Bishop of London, favorably assenting to the consecration of this chapel erected anew (as reported before), built, constructed and adorned by the expenditures of the aforesaid reverend and venerable men, proceeding by our ordained and episcopal authority: We have separated from every common and profane use this chapel, the whole building and the entrance of the same, and steps or stairs of the said chapel, as they exist constructed at present, and other premises connected with the said chapel, and we bear witness through those present that it has been so separated.
And as well, by our same ordained and episcopal authority, we grant license and right in the Lord, on our own behalf and that of our successors, for divine service to be conducted in the aforesaid chapel, to wit: recitation of public prayers and the holy liturgy of the Anglican church; the faithful propagation and preaching of the word of God, and the administration of the sacrament of the holy Eucharist, or supper of the Lord, in the same chapel. And just as to the priest ordained according to the custom and ritual of the Anglican Church, who will serve in the same chapel, we grant full power in the Lord to say divine prayers and do (the other) things aforementioned; so also to the said reverend and venerable men — counselors and students — and those staying in the aforesaid Inn, (we grant full power) to hear divine prayers in the said chapel and sermons made in the same place, and to participate in other aforementioned observances.
And the same chapel, so far as is in us, and we are able by the law, legislation, statutes, and canons of this kingdom of England, and so far as is permitted us, we consecrate to the honor of God and the sacred uses of the said reverend and venerable men and others staying in the aforesaid Inn, now and in the future, with the name, for the chapel, of the Holy and Indivisible Trinity in the Inn of Lincoln’s Inn, and we so call and name it and openly and publicly announce, decree, and declare that it has been so assigned, dedicated, consecrated, called and named, and should remain so in future times everlasting. In addition, we wish this chapel to be fortified to every effect of the law with privileges, all and sundry, in that area customary and requisite as applying by law to consecrated chapels.
And so far as is in us and by law we are able, we so fortify and establish it through those present — without however any prejudice, and always reserving the right and interest of the parish churches of St Dunstan in the West of London and St Andrew in Holborn of London; and reserving the right and interest also of rectors, vicars, curates and wardens of the aforesaid churches, and of other ministers of the same, as they exist at this time and of all other churches whatsoever in whose parishes the aforesaid Inn or the boundaries of the same or any part thereof are located and situated, reserving their interest, that is in all or any ecclesiastical offerings, donations, payments, fees, revenues, privileges, rights and emoluments, ordinary and extraordinary, owed to the same or customary, respectively, and arising and forthcoming within the precinct or boundaries of the aforesaid Inn to the said churches by law or custom, belonging and pertaining in any way to rectors, vicars, curates, wardens, and other ministers of the same churches, in as ample a manner and form as was owed before this our consecration of this chapel.
Which aforementioned things, all and sundry, as much as is in us and so far as we are able by law, on our own behalf and that of our successors we so decree and establish through those present.
When these things were done, the whole congregation was called together into the chapel, and at the bidding of Bishop Montaigne the service of Morning Prayer commenced, read by Thomas Wilson, one of the Bishop’s chaplains. of the said reverend father. In the place however of the Psalms there were chosen Psalms 24, 27, and 84 to be read. And for the first reading: 2 Chron: 6; for the second reading John 10, verses 22 to the end.
AN ORDRE FOR MORNING PRAYER DAYLY THROUGHOUT THE YERE.
At the beginning both of Morning Prayer, and lykewyse of Evening Prayer, the Minister shall reade with a lowde voyce, some one of these sentences of the Scriptures that folowe. And then he shall say that, which is written after the said sentences.
AT what tyme soever a synner doth repent him of his sin from the bottome of hys harte; I wil put al his wickednes out of my remembraunce sayeth the Lord.
I do know mine awne wickednes, and my syne is alwaies against me.
Turne thy face awaye from our sinnes (O lorde) and blotte out all our offences.
A sorowful spirite is a sacrifice to God: despise not (O Lorde) humble and contrite hartes.
Rende your hartes, and not your garmentes, and turne to the Lorde your God, because he is gentle and mercyful, he is pacient and of muche mercie, and such a one that is sory for your afflictions.
To the, O Lorde God belongeth mercies and forgevenes: for we have gone away from the, and have not harkened to thy voice, whereby we myght walcke in thy lawes, whiche thou hast appoincted for us.
Correct us, O Lorde, and yet in thy judgement, not in thy furie, least we shoulde be consumed and brought to nothyng.
Amende your lives, for the kyngdome of God is at hande.
I will go to my father, and say to him, father, I have sinned against heaven, and againste the, I am no more worthy to be called thy sonne.
Entre not in to judgement wyth thy servaunts, O Lorde, for no fleshe is rightous in thy sight.
If we saye that we have no synne, we deceyve ourselves, and there is no truthe in us.
DERELY beloved Brethren, the Scripture moveth us in sondry places, to acknowledge and confesse our manifolde sinnes and wickednes, and that we should not dissemble nor cloke them before the face of almighty God our heavenly father, but confesse them with an humble, lowly, penitent and obedient harte to the ende that we may obtaine forgevenes of the same by his infinite goodnesse and mercie. And although we ought at all tymes humbly to knowledge* our synnes before God, yet ought we moste chiefly so to doe, when we assemble and mete toguether, to rendre thankes for the greate benefites that we have received at his handes, to sette furth his moste worthie praise, to heare his moste holye worde, and to aske those thynges whiche be requisite and necessarie, aswel for the bodye as the soule. wherfore I praye and beseche you, as many as be here presente, to accompany me wyth a pure harte and humble voice, unto the throne of the heauenly grace, saying after me.
A generall confession, to be saide* of the whole congregacion after the minister, knelyng.
ALMIGHTIE and most merciful father, we have erred and straied from thy waies, lyke lost shepee we have folowed to much the devises and desires of our owne hartes. We have offended against thy holy lawes: We have left undone those thinges whiche we ought to have done, and we have done those thinges which we ought not to have done, and there is no health in us, but thou, O Lorde, have mercy upon us miserable offendours. Spare thou them O God, whiche confesse their faultes. Restore thou them that be penitent, accordyng to thy promises declared unto mankynde, in Christe Jesu our Lorde. And graunt, O most merciful father, for his sake, that we may hereafter lyve a godly, ryghtuous, and sobre life, to the glory of thy holy name. Amen.
The absolution[, or remission of sins,]* to be pronounced by the Minister alone.
ALMIGHTY God, the father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which de sireth not the deathe of a sinner, but rather that he maye turne from his wickednesse and lyve: and hath geven power and commaundement to hys Ministers, to declare and pronounce to his people beyng penitent, the absolution and remission of their synnes: he pardoneth and absolveth all them which truly repent, and unfeinedly beleve his holy gospel. Wherefore we beseche him to graunt us true repentaunce and hys holy spirite, that those thynges may please hym, whych we doe at thys present, and that the rest of our life hereafter may be pure and holy so that at the last we may come to his eternall ioye, through Jesus Christe our lorde.
The people shal aunswere. Amen.
Then shall the Minister heginne the Lordes Prayer wyth a loude voice.
OUR Father, whiche arte in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kyngdom come. Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven. Geve us this day our dayly breade. And forgeve us our trespasses, as we forgeve them that trespasse against us. And lead us not into temptacion. But deliver us from evil. Amene.
Then likewise he shall saye. O Lord, open thou our lippes.
Aunswere. And our mouthe shall shewe furth thy prayse.
Prieste. O God, make spede to save us.
Aunswere. Lord, make haste to helpe us.
Prieste. Glory be to the father, and to the sonne and to the holye Ghoste.
Aunswere. As it was in the beginning, is nowe and ever shalbe: worlde without ende. Amen.
Prieste. Praise ye the Lorde.
Then shalbe sayde or song, this Psalme folowyng.
O COME let us syng unto the lord: let us hartely rejoyce in the strength of our salvacion.
Let us come before his presence wyth thankesgevinge: and shewe oureselfe* gladde in hym wyth Psalmes.
For the Lorde is a great god: and a greate Kynge, above all goddes:
In his hand are al the corners of the earth: and the strength of the hilles is his also.
The Sea is his, and he made it and his handes prepared the drie lande.
O come, let us worshippe and fal doune: and knele before the lorde our maker.
For he is the Lord our god: and we are the people of his pasture, and the shepe of his handes.
To day if ye wyl heare his voyce, harden not your hartes: as in the provocacion, and as in the daie of temptacion in the wildernesse.
When your fathers tempted me : proved me, and sawe my workes.
Fortie yere long was I greved with this generacion, and saide: it is a people that doe erre in their hartes: for they have not knowen my wayes.
Unto whom I sware in my wrath that the shoulde not enter into my rest.
Glory be to the father, and to the sonne and to the holye Ghoste.
As it was in the beginning, is nowe and ever shalbe: worlde without ende. Amen.
Then followed Psalmes 24, 27, and 84, concluded by
Glory be to the father, and to the sonne and to the holye Ghoste.
As it was in the beginning, is nowe and ever shalbe: worlde without ende. Amen.
Then shalbe redde two lessons distinctly with a loude voyce, that the people may heare. The first of the olde Testament, the seconde of the newe, Lyke as they he appointed by the Kalender, except there be proper Lessons, assigned for that daye: the Minister that readeth the Lesson, standyng and turning him so as he may best be heard of all such as be present, And before every lesson, the Minister thai saye thus. The fyrst, second, thyrd, or fourth chapiter of Genesis or Exodus, Mathewe, Marke, or other like, as is appoincted in the Kalender, And in thend of everye chapiter, he shal saye,
Here endeth such a Chapiter of suche a Booke.
And (to the ende the people maye the better heare) in suche places where they do synge, there shall the lessons be songe in a plaine tune after the maner of distinct readinge: and likewise the Epystle and gospell.
After the firste lesson shall folowe, Te deum laudamus in Englyshe dayly throughe the whole yere.
We prayse the, O God, we knoweledge the to be the Lorde
All the earth doth worship the, the Father everlastynge.
To the al Aungels crye aloude, the heavens and all the powers therein.
To thee Cherubin, and Seraphin, continually do crye.
Holy, holy, holy, Lorde God of Sabaoth.
Heaven and earth are ful of the majestye of thy glory.
The glorious company of the Apostles prayse the.
The goodly felowship of the Prophetes prayse the.
The noble armye of Martyrs, prayse the.
The holye Churche through out al the worlde dothe knowledge [acknowledge] the.
The father of an infinite Majestye.
Thy honourable true, and onely sonne.
Also the holy ghost the comforter.
Thou art the kyng of glory, O Christe.
Thou arte the everlastynge sonne of the father.
When thou tokest upon the to deliver man, thou diddest not abhore the virgins wombe.
When thou haddeste overcome the sharpnes of death thou diddest open the kyngdome of heaven to al belevers.
Thou syttest on the ryght hand of God, in the glorye of the father.
We beleve that thou shalt come to be our judge. We therefore pray the, helpe thy servants whom thou hast redemed wyth thy precious bloude.
Make them to be numbred with thy saintes, in glorye everlasting.
O Lord save thy people: and blesse thine heritage.
Govern theme and lifte them up for ever.
Day by day we magnifye the.
And we worshyp thy name ever world without ende.
Vouchsafe, O Lorde, to kepe us thys daye withoute synne.
O Lorde, have mercy upon us, have mercie upon us.
O Lorde, let thy mercy lyghten upon us : as our trust is in the.
O Lorde, in the have I trusted : let me never be confounded.
Or this canticle, Benedicite omnia opera Domini domino.
O ALL ye worckes of the Lorde, blesse ye the Lorde : praise him, and magnify him for ever.
O ye Aungels of the Lord, blesse ye the Lorde : praise ye him, and magnifye him for ever.
O ye heavens, blesse ye the Lorde : prayse him, and rnagnifye him for ever.
O ye waters that be above the firmamente, blesse ye the Lorde: prayse him, and magnifye him for ever.
O all ye powers of the lord, blesse ye the Lorde : prayse hyrn, and magnifie him for ever.
O ye Sonne, and Mone, blesse ye the Lorde : prayse hym, and magnifie him for ever.
O ye starres of heaven, blesse ye the Lorde : praise him, and magnifie him for ever.
O ye showers, and dewe, blesse ye the Lorde : prayse him, and magnifie him for ever.
O ye windes of God, blesse ye the Lorde : prayse him, and magnifye him for ever.
O ye fyre and heate, blesse ye the Lord : praise him, and magnifie him for ever.
O ye Winter and Sommer, blesse ye the Lorde : praise him, and magnifye him for ever.
O ye dewes and frostes, blesse ye the Lorde : praise him, and magnifie him for ever.
O ye froste and cold, blesse ye the Lorde : praise him, and magnifie him for ever.
O ye Ice and Snowe, blesse ye the Lorde : praise him, and magnifie him for ever.
O ye nightes and daies, blesse ye the Lord : praise him, and magnifie him for ever.
O ye light and darknes, blesse ye the Lorde : prayse him, and magnifie him for ever.
O ye lyghtenynges and cloudes, blesse ye the Lorde : prayse him, and magnifie him for ever.
O let the earth blesse the Lorde : yea, let it praise hyrn, and magnifie hyrn for ever.
O ye mountaynes and hills : blesse ye the Lorde, prayse hym, and magnifie hym for ever.
O al ye grene thynges upon the earthe, blesse ye the Lord praise him, and magnifie hym for ever.
O ye welles, blesse ye the Lorde : praise him, and magnyfie hym for ever.
O ye Seas, and fluddes, blesse ye the Lorde : praise hym, and magnifie hym for ever.
O ye whales, and all that move in the waters, blesse ye the Lorde : prayse him, and magnifie him for ever.
O all ye foules of the aire, blesse ye the lord, praise him, and magnifie him for ever.
O all ye beastes, and cattell, blesse ye the Lorde : praise him, and magnifye him for ever.
O ye children of men blesse ye the Lord : praise him, and magnifye him for ever.
O let Israel blesse the Lorde : praise him, and magnify him for ever.
O ye prestes of the lord, blesse ye the Lord : prayse hym, and magnifye him for ever.
O ye servauntes of the Lord, blesse ye the Lord : prayse him, and magnifye him for ever.
O ye sprites and soules of the righteous, blesse ye the Lord: prayse him, and magnify him for ever.
O ye holy and humble men of herte blesse ye the Lord : praise him, and magnifye him for ever.
O Ananias, Azarias, and Misael, blesse ye the lord : prayse him, and magnifye him for ever.
Glory be to the father, and to the Sonne [: and to the holye Ghoste]*.
As it was in the begynninge, is nowe, [and ever, etc]*.
And after the second lesson shalbe used and sayde Benedictus, in Englyshe, as foloweth,
BLESSED be the Lord God of Israell : for he hath visited and redemed his people;
And hath raised up a mighty salvacion for us : in the house of hys servaunt David;
As he spake bi the mouth of his holy prophetes : which have benne sence the worlde began;
That we should be saved from our enemyes : and from the handes of al that hate us;
To performe the mercy promised to our forfathers : and to remember his holy covenant;
To perfourme the othe whiche he sware to our forefather Abraham : that he would geve us ;
That we beyng delivred out of the handes of oure enemies : might serve him withoute feare
In holynesse and ryghtuousnesse before hym : all the dayes of our lyfe.
And thou Chylde, shalt be called the Prophete of the hyghest for thou shalt go before the face of the Lorde to prepare hys wayes;
To geve knowledge of salvacion unto hys people: for the remission of theyr synnes,
Through the tender mercie of our God : whereby the day spring from on hyghe, hath visited us;
To geve light to them that sitte in darckenes, and in the shadowe of death : and to guyde our feete into the waye of peace.
Glory be to the father, and to the sonne, [and to the holy Gost]*.
As it was in the beginning, is now, [and ever shalbe : worlde wythout ende. Amen.]*
Or this Psalme.
O be joyfull in the Lorde (al ye landes:) serve the Lorde wyth gladnes, and come before hys presence wyth a song.
Be ye sure that the Lord he is God : it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are hys people, and the shepe of his pasture.
O go your way into his gates wyth thankesgeving, and into his courtes wyth prayse : be thanckefull unto hym, and speake good of hys name.
For the Lorde is gracious, his mercy is everlastyng : and his truth endureth from generacion to generacyon.
Glory be to the Father, &c. As it was in the, &c. Amen.
Then shal be sayd the Crede, by the Minister and the people, standyng.
I BELEVE in God the father almightie maker of heaven and earth. And in Jesus Christ hys onely sonne our Lorde, which was conceived by the holy ghoste, borne of the Virgen Mary. Suffred under Ponce Pylate, was crucified dead and buried, he descended into Helle. The thirde daye he rose agayn from the deade. He ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the ryghte hande of God the Father almightie. From thence he shall come to judge the quicke and the deade. I beleve in the holy Ghoste. The holy Catholique Churche. The communion of sainctes. The forgevenesse of sinnes. The resurrection of the body. And the life everlasting. Amen.
And after that, these prayers folowyng, aswell at Evenyng praier as at Mornyng prayer: al devoutlye knelyng. The Minister firste pronouncinge with a loude voyce.
The Lorde be with you.
Answer. And with thy spirite.
Minister. Let us praie.
Lorde have mercy upon us.
Christ have mercy upon us.
Lorde have mercy upon us.
Then the Minister, Clarkes, and people; shall saye the Lordes praier in Englyshe, with a loud voice.
Oure father Which, &c.
Then the Minister; standing up shal say.
O lorde, shewe thy mercy upon us.
Aunswere. And graunte us thy salvacion.
Prieste. O Lorde save the Queene.
Aunswere. And mercifully here us when we call upon the.
Prieste. Endue thy ministers with rightuousnes.
Aunswere. And make thy chosen people joyful.
Prieste. O Lorde save thy people.
Aunswere. And blesse thyne enheritaunce.
Prieste. Geve peace in our tyme, O Lorde.
Aunswere. Because there is none other that fyghteth for us, but onely thou, O God.
Prieste. O God make clene our hartes with in us.
Aunswere. And take not thy holy spirite from us.
Then shal folowe three Collectes. The firste of the daye, whiche shall be the same that is appoincted at the Communion, The seconde for peace, The thirde for Grace to live wel. And the two leaste Collectes shal never altre, but dayly be sayde at Mornyng praier, throughoute al the yere, foloweth.
The seconde Collecte for Peace.
O GOD, whiche art authour of peace, and lover of concord, in knowledge of whom standeth our eternal lyfe, whose service is perfect fredom; defend us thy humble servaunts in al assaultes of our enemies that we surely trusting in thy defence, may not feare the power of any adversaries : through the might of Jesu Christ our lord, Amen.
The thirde Collecte for Grace.
O LORDE our heavenly father, almightie and everlastyng God, whiche hast safely broughte us to the begynnyng of thys day: defende us in the same wyth thy myghtye power, and graunte that this daie we fall into no synne, nether rune into any kinde of daunger: but that al our doinges may be ordred by thy governaunce, to doe alwayes that is rightuous in thy sighte: through Jesus Christe our Lorde. Amen.
The Great Litany
53.The peace of God which passeth all understandinge etc. —
Sternold/Hopkins Translations of Psalm 23
The Lord is onely my support, and he that doth me feede:
how can I then lacke any thyng, wherof I stand in neede:
He doth me fold in coates most safe, the tender grasse fast by:
and after drives me to the streames, which run most pleasauntly.
And when I feele my selfe neare lost, then doth he me home take: 5
conductyng me in his right pathes, euen for his owne names sake.
And though I were euen at deathes doore, yet would I feare none ill:
for with thy rod, and shepheardes crooke, I am comforted still.
Thou hast my table richly deckt, in despight of my foe:
thou hast my head with baulme refresht, my cup doth overflo. 10
And finally while breath doth last, thy grace shall me defend:
and in the house of God will I, my life for ever spend.
My shepheard is the liuyng Lord, nothyng therfore I neede:
in pastures fayre with waters calme, he set me for to feede:
He did convert and glad my soule, and brought my mynde in frame:
to walke in pathes of righteousnesse, for his most holy name.
Yea though I walke in vale of death, yet will I feare none ill: 5
thy rod thy staffe doth comfort me, and thou art with me still.
And in the presence of my foes: my table thou shalt spread:
thou shalt (O Lord) fill full my cup, and eke annoynt my head.
Through all my life thy favour is, so franckly shewed to me:
that in thy house for euermore, my dwellyng place shall be. 10