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I HAVE been asked to write a short Preface in explanation of this work, which it is hoped may be found to meet a real want arising out of the happily increasing range of our devotional uses.
Our Convocations have lately sanctioned the adoption of Special Services for Special Occasions, to be used with approval of the Bishop, if omposed of passages taken out of the Bible or the Prayer Book. It was in accordance with this decision that the Bishop of Lincoln has lately put forth a Psalter for use in his Diocese, suited to particular occasions, and other Services have been drawn up on the same principle in various quarters.
It has been felt that the same permission might be extended to our Liturgical Office, and that without interfering with the Canon, or with the special Services appointed for the Sundays and Festivals, the Office might be adapted to particular occasions, or Holy Days desired to be commemorated. Occasions such as a Festival of the Patron Saint of a Church, or the Ember Days, a Marriage, a Death or Burial, or a Thanksgiving Service, when the Holy Communion is celebrated, naturally call for some special application or mention of the fact commemorated in the highest Service, as well as what is now very commonly done by the selection of Hymns at Mattins and Evensong.
The principle laid down by our Convocations has been carefully adhered to in the selections made for this purpose in the present work. The Epistles and Gospels are of course taken from the Holy Scriptures, and the portions selected have ancient authority for their use in connection with the object of the Service. The Collects, with only one exception, are taken from our Prayer Book, those selected seeming to have a certain suitableness to the occasion. The one exception is the Collect for the Dedication of a Church, which is taken from the Service in use by authority in the Diocese of Oxford.
I need only add that the collection has been prepared with great and reverent care, and with a single-hearted desire that it may tend to the more expressive and fuller devotion which it has pleased God to awaken among us in our Eucharistic Worship, and while providing for a greater variety of use, such as is now very commonly desired, will also connect our Communions more closely and more sensibly with seasons with which we have special bonds of interest or affection. That this work may thus tend with so many other like devotional Manuals of the present day, to the enlarging and deepening of the spiritual life, is my own desire, as it is that of the Compiler.
T. T. CARTER.
St. John's Lodge, Clewer.
Vigil of All Saints, 1882.