A Eucharistic Prayer
By Nathan Jennings and Richelle Thompson
In this series, we offer prayers edited from the corpus of Jeremy Taylor as examples of alternative liturgical texts deriving from local liturgical communities in response to the sixth clause of Resolution A068. We offer this material in hopes that it can be helpful to others as well. Part one; Part two
Taylor’s communion office anticipates many developments to come in Anglo-Catholicism and Liturgical Renewal. It includes an anamnesis in the prayer of oblation. It restores the Benedictus to its traditional place. It provides the Beatitudes as an alternative to the Ten Commandments. It retains and develops the celestial remembrances lost after 1552.
In addition to editing Jeremy Taylor’s prayers in the interest of brevity, we reworked Taylor’s Eucharistic prayer in order to fit the structure with which we are familiar from Liturgical Renewal and our 1979 prayer book. Generally speaking, we overlaid Taylor’s text over Rite I, Prayer I and normalized some spelling, while retaining Taylor’s language.
For the Eucharistic Prayer:
The presider faces the people and sings or says
The Lord be with you.
People And with thy spirit.
Celebrant Lift up your hearts.
People We lift them up unto the Lord.
Celebrant Let us give thanks unto our Lord God.
People It is just and right so to do.
Then, facing the Holy Table, the Celebrant proceeds
It is, indeed, truly just, righteous, and fitting, to praise and to glorify, to worship and adore, to give thanks and to magnify thee, the great Maker of all creatures, visible and invisible, the treasure of all good, temporal and eternal: the fountain of all life, mortal and immortal: the Lord and God of all things in Heaven and Earth, the great Father of his Servants, the great Master of his Children.
The Heavens and the Heaven of Heavens, and every power therein; the Sun and the Moon, and all the stars of the sky; the sea and the earth, the heights above and the depths below; Jerusalem that is from above, the Congregation celestial, the Church of the first-born written in the Heavens, the spirits of the Prophets and of just men made perfect, the souls of the Apostles and all holy Martyrs, Angels and Archangels, Thrones and Dominions, Principalities and Powers, the spirits of Understanding and the spirits of Love, with never-ceasing Hymns and perpetual Anthems cry out, Night and Day:
Celebrant and People
Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of Hosts:
Heaven and earth are full of thy Glory.
Glory be to thee, O Lord Most High.
Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest.
The presider continues:
Holy and blessed art thou, O King of Eternal ages, fountain and giver of all righteousness.
Holy art thou, the eternal and only-begotten Son of God, our Lord Jesus Christ, Redeemer of the World.
Holy art thou, O blessed Spirit, that searchest all things, even the depths and hidden things of God.
Thou, O God, art almighty: thou art good and gracious, dreadful and venerable, holy and merciful to the work of thine own hands.
Thou didst make man according to thine image; thou gavest him the riches and the rest of Paradise: when he fell and broke thy easy Commandment, thou didst not despise his Folly, nor leave him in his sin ; but didst chastise him with thy rod, and restrain him by thy Law, and instruct him by thy Prophets ; and, at last, didst send thy Holy Son into the World, that he might renew and repair thy broken image. He, coming from heaven, and taking our flesh, by the power of the Holy Ghost, of the Virgin Mary, conversed with men, and taught us the way of God, and the dispensation of eternal life.
But when for the redemption of us sinners he would suffer death upon the Cross without sin, for us who were nothing but sin and misery, for in the night in which he was betrayed, he took bread, he looked up to Heaven, he gave thanks, he sanctified it, he brake it, and gave it to his apostles, saying, “Take, eat, This is my body which is broken for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”
Likewise after Supper he took the Cup; and when he had given thanks and blessed it, he gave it to them, saying, “Drink ye all of this, for this is my Blood of the New Testament, which is shed for you and for many, for the remission of sins. Do this in remembrance of me.” For as often as ye shall eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye shall shew forth the Lord’s death till he come.
Celebrant Therefore: we believe, and we confess:
People We declare thy Death, and confess thy Resurrection.
Have mercy upon us, O heavenly Father, according to thy glorious mercies and promises, send thy Holy Ghost upon our hearts, and let him also descend upon these gifts, that by his good, his holy, his glorious presence, he may sanctify and enlighten our hearts, and he may bless and sanctify these gifts; that this Bread may become the Holy Body of Christ. And this Chalice may become the life-giving Blood of Christ. That it may become unto us all, that partake of it this day, a Blessed instrument of Union with Christ, of pardon and peace, of health and blessing, of holiness and life Eternal, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
We sinners, thy unworthy Servants, in remembrance of thy life-giving passion, thy cross and thy pains, thy death and thy burial, thy resurrection from the dead, and thy ascension into Heaven, thy sitting at the right hand of God, making intercession for us, and expecting, with fear and trembling, thy formidable and glorious return to judge the quick and dead, when thou shalt render to every man according to his works; do humbly present to thee, O Lord, this present Sacrifice of remembrance and thanksgiving, humbly and passionately praying thee not to deal with us according to our sins, nor recompense us after our transgressions; but according to thy abundant mercy, and infinite goodness, to blot out and take away the handwriting that is against us in the Book of Remembrances which thou hast written: and that thou wilt give unto us spiritual, celestial, and eternal gifts, which neither eye hath seen, nor ear hath heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man to understand, which God hath prepared for them that love him ; through Jesus Christ our Lord. By whom, and with whom, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, all honor and glory be unto thee, O Father Almighty, world without end. Amen.
Our Jeremy Taylor-inspired eucharistic rite began as a liturgy class assignment at Seminary of the Southwest, to create a service following an Order for Celebrating Holy Eucharist (BCP pp. 400ff). It is often overlooked that the Order for Celebrating Holy Eucharist, or, colloquially, “Rite III,” can be used to design traditional language alternative services just as well as something more contemporary. We eventually adapted the results of this assignment for use in the Seminary of the Southwest’s Christ Chapel on April 13th, 2018, and we were happy to find it well received by the community.
Carroll, Thomas K. Jeremy Taylor: Selected Works, by Jeremy Taylor and Thomas K. Carroll, Paulist Press, 1990, pp. 15–84. Classics of Western Spirituality.
Taylor, Jeremy. “An Office for the Lord’s Supper.” Edited by Gary Carson, Jeremy Taylor’s Communion Office, The Book of Common Prayer – Charles Wohlers, 3 Oct. 2018, justus.anglican.org/resources/bcp/Taylor_Communion.htm.
The Whole Works of Jeremy Taylor, Vol. 15 (1822) and Vol. 8 (“Revised and Corrected”, 1883); and Anglican Liturgies of the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries, by W Jardine Grisbrooke, SPCK, 1958.
Williamson, Hugh Ross. “Chapter XVI The Offices.” Jeremy Taylor, by Hugh Ross Williamson, Folcroft Library Editions, 1973, pp. 101–107.
The Rev. Richelle Thompson, a graduate of Seminary of the Southwest (MDiv, 18′), is rector of Resurrection, Rainbow City, AL. Prior to ordination, she worked for arts organizations including the Alabama Shakespeare Festival.
 This could be replaced with the more familiar “meet.” If so, the word “just,” ought also to be changed with “meet” in the sentence immediately below.
 Or the more ancient “Hosanna in the highest,” could replace “glory be to thee, O Lord Most High.”