21 September 2014

A Prayer from Father Field's Prayer Book


Today I suspect very few Episcopalians and Anglicans will remember the Father Field's Prayer Book published by the Cowley Fathers, but it stands as a monument to Anglo-Catholic faith and devotion in the Anglican Communion.  I believe Father Field, SSJE began work on the volume when he first was at S. Clement's in Philadelphia as part of his work with the Guild of the Iron Cross, but of this I am not certain.  The entire volume is a treasure, and within it the following prayer is a favourite of mine for its original source and its Anglican adaptation here.

ALMIGHTY GOD, we thine unworthy servants do beseech thee, for the merits of thy dear Son, and through his blessed Sacrifice, to have mercy upon us. Deal not with us after our sins, but according to thy great love and mercy. Send down thy Holy Spirit upon us all, through the appointed channels of grace in thy Church, for the sanctification of soul and body — for bringing forth the fruit of good works — for the remission of sins — and for life everlasting.

We entreat thee. O God, for thy Holy Catholic Church : furnish her plentifully with the rich gifts of thy Holy Spirit. Look down upon her in her captivity. Visit her with thy salvation, and grant her grace to serve thee in the beauty of holiness.

Remember, O Lord, the holy bishops in thy Church (especially thy servant our Bishop). Endow them with wisdom, and fill them with the Holy Ghost, that they may rightly divide and uprightly walk in the word of truth.

Remember, Lord, all the priests and deacons who serve at thy holy altar (especially of this church and parish), and preserve them unspotted in their ministry.

Remember, O Lord, all who bring forth fruit and do good works in thy Holy Church — all who are mindful of the poor, the sick, widows, orphans, strangers, and outcasts, and all who desire to be remembered in our prayers.

And we commend unto thee all sick persons, especially those now departing. Grant unto the sick, if it be thy will, restoration to health, and give pardon and peace to the souls of the dying.

Remember also, we beseech thee, thy servants who have gone before us with the seal of the Faith, and now rest in the sleep of peace. Grant unto them, O Lord, eternal rest, and let perpetual light shine upon them.

And grant that we, when we depart hence, may all find mercy and favour with all thy saints who from the beginning of the world have pleased thee in their several generations — Patriarchs, Prophets, Apostles, Martyrs, and every just spirit made perfect in the faith of thy Christ, from righteous Abel unto this day. May we, with them, rest among the faithful in Paradise, with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, where sorrow and sighing are banished away, where the light of thy countenance shines continually ; and vouchsafe to bring us to the full enjoyment of thy heavenly kingdom. And dispose the end of our lives, O Lord, in peace, that they may be Christian, well pleasing to thee, and free from sin; that so, with that innumerable company before thy throne, we may sing praises for evermore. And this we pray through Jesus Christ, our blessed Lord and Saviour. Amen.

Father Chas. Field, SSJE

A Book of Prayers 
for All Churchmen

“Father Field's 
Prayer Book”
1944 edition

Society of 
Saint John the Evangelist
Cambridge, Massachussetts
Pages 46 -47