Bonfire Prayers

Remember, remember the Fifth of November The Gunpowder Treason

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Bonfire Anthem

Now is the time for marching Now let your hearts be gay Hark to

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Book of Common Prayer 1662 - Lewes Bonfire Night Celebrations

« Lewes Bonfire Night 1907

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An Act of Parliament was passed on January 21st 1606 (3 James I, cap 1), to appoint 5th November in each year as a day of thanksgiving for ‘the joyful day of deliverance’. This was by bell ringing, bonfires, church services etc.

This was a Holy Day as in Easter or Christmas and was observed in many Churches in Lewes fairly religiously until the mid 1730s, before being abolished in 1859, one assumes that many variations of prayer, hymns etc were used until the official version was included in the Book of Common Prayer in 1662. Below is the official version as written in the revised 1662 Book of Common Prayer. I have tried to leave the spelling and grammar as it was, when written where possible.

A FORM of PRAYER with THANKSGIVING to be uſed yearly upon the Fifth Day of November; for the happy Deliverance of King JAMES I, and the Three Eſtates of ENGLAND, from the moſt traiterous and bloody intended Maſſacre by Gunpowder: And alſo for the happy Arrival of His Majeſty King WILLIAM on this Day, for the Deliverance of our Church and Nation.

# # The Miniſter of every Pariſh ſhall give warning to his Pariſhioners publickly in the Church at Morning Prayer, the Sunday before, for the due obſervation of the ſaid Day. And after Morning Prayer, or preaching, upon the ſaid Fifth Day of November, ſhall read publickly, diſtinctly, and plainly, the Act of Parliament, made in the third Year of King James the Firſt, for the obſervation of it.

# # The Service ſhall be the ſame with the uſual Office for Holy Days in all things; except where it is hereafter otherwiſe appointed.

# # If this Day ſhall happen to be a Sunday, only the Collect proper for that Sunday ſhall be added to this Office in its place.

# # Morning Prayer ſhall begin with theſe Sentences:

THE Lord is full of compaſſion and mercy: long ſuffering, and of great goodneſs. Pſal. 103. 8.

He will not alway be chiding: neither keepeth he his anger for ever. ver. 9.

He hath not dealt with us after our ſins: nor rewarded us according to our wickedneſs. ver. 10.

# # Inſtead of Venite exultemus, ſhall this Hymn following be uſed; one verſe by the Prieſt, and another by the Clerk and People. Give thanks unto the Lord for he is gracious: and his mercy endureth for ever. Pſal. 107. 1.

Let them give thanks whom the Lord hath redeemed: and delivered from the hand of the enemy. ver. 2.

G U N P O W D E R   T R E A S O N

Many a time have they fought againſt me from my youth up: may Iſrael now ſay. Psal. 139. 1.

Yea, many a time have they vexed me from my youth up: but they have not prevailed againſt me. ver. 2.

They have privily laid their net to deſtroy me without a cauſe: yea, even without a cauſe, have they made a pit for my ſoul. Pſal. 35. 7.

They have laid a net for my feet, and preſſed down my ſoul: they have digged a pit before me , and are fallen into the midſt of it them-ſelves. Pſal. 57. 7.

Great is our Lord, and great is his power: yea, and his wiſdom is infinite. Pſal. 147. 5.

The Lord ſetteth up the meek : and bringeth the ungodly down to the ground. ver. 6.

Let thy hand be upon the man of thy right hand: and upon the ſon of man whom thou madeſt ſo ſtrong for thine own ſelf. Pſal. 80. 17.

And ſo will not we go back from thee: O let us live , and we ſhall call up on thy Name. ver. 18.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son: and to the Holy Ghoſt; As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever ſhall be : world with out end.

# # Proper Pſalms. 64, 124, 125.
# # Proper Leſſons.
The firſt, 2 Sam. 22.
Te Deum.
The ſecond, Acts 23.

# # In the Suffrages after the Creed, theſe ſhall be inſerted, and uſed for the King.

Prieſt. . O Lord, ſave the King;
People. . Who putteth his truſt in thee.
Prieſt. . Send him help from thy holy place;
People. . And evermore mightily defend him.
Prieſt. . Let his enemies have no advantage againſt him;
People. . Let not the wicked approach to hurt him.

# # Inſtead of the firſt Colleft for Morning Prayer, ſhall theſe two beuſed.

ALMIGHTY God, who haſt in all ages ſhewed thy power and mercy in the miraculous and gracious deliverance of thy Church, and in the protection of righteous and religious Kings and ſtates, profeſſing thy holy and eternal truth, from the wicked conſpiracies, and malicious practices of all the enemies thereof; We yield thee our unfeigned thanks and praiſe for the wonderful and mighty deliverance of our gracious Sovereign King James the Firſt, the Queen, the Prince, and all the Royal Branches, with the Nobility, Clergy and Commons of England, then aſſembled in Parliament, by Popiſh treachery appointed as ſheep to the ſlaughter, in a moſt barbarous and ſavage manner, beyond the examples of former ages. From this unnatural Conſpiracy, not our merit, but thy mercy; not our foreſight, but thy providence delivered us: And therefore not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto they Name be aſcribed all honour and glory, in all Churches of the Saints, from generation to generation, through Jeſus Chriſt our Lord.

ACCEPT alſo, moſt gracious God, of our unfeigned thanks, for filling our hearts again with joy and gladneſs, after the time that thou hadſt afflicted us, and putting a new ſong into our mouths, by bringing his Majeſty King William upon this day, for the deliverance of our Church and Nation from Popiſh tyranny and arbitrary power. We adore the wiſdom and juſtice of thy providence, which ſo timely interpoſed in our extreme danger, and diſappointed all the deſigns of our enemies. We beſeech thee, give us ſuch a lively and laſting ſenſe of what thou didſt then, and haſt ſince that time done for us, that we may not grow ſecure and careleſs in our obedience, by preſuming upon thy great and undeſerved goodneſs; but that it may lead us to repentance, and move us to be the more diligent and zealous in all the duties of our Religion, which thou haſt in a marvellous manner preſerved to us. Let truth and juſtice, brotherly kindneſs and charity, devotion and piety, concord and unity, with all other virtues, ſo flouriſh among us, that they may be the ſtability of our times, and make this Church a praiſe in the earth. All which we humbly beg for the ſake of our bleſſed Lord and Saviour.


# # In the end of the Litany , (which ſhall always this Day br uſed) after the Collect (We humbly beſeech thee, O Father, &c) ſhall this be ſaid which followeth.

ALMIGHTY God and heavenly Father, who of thy gracious providence, and tender mercy towards us, didſt prevent the malice and imaginations of our enemies, by diſcovering and confounding their horrible and wicked enterprize, plotted and intended this day to have been executed againſt the King, and whole State of England, for the ſubverſion of the Government and Religion eſtabliſhed among us; and didſt likwiſe upon this day wonderfully conduct thy ſervant King William, and bring him ſafely into England, to preſerve us from the attempts of our enemies to bereave us of our Religion and Laws; We moſt humbly praiſe and magnify thy moſt glorious Name for thy un-ſpeakable goodneſs towards us, expreſſed in both theſe acts of thy mercy. We confeſs it has been of thy mercy alone that we are not conſumed; for our ſins have cried to heaven againſt us, and our iniquities juſtly called for vengeance upon us. But thou haſt not dealt with us after our ſins, nor rewarded us after our iniquities; nor given us over, as we deſerved, to be a prey to our enemies; but haſt in mercy delivered us from their malice, and preſerved us from death and deſtruction. Let the conſideration of this thy repeated goodneſs, O Lord, work in us true repentance, that iniquity may not be our ruin: And increaſe in us more and more a lively faith and love, fruitful in all holy obedience; that thou mayeſt ſtill continue thy favour, with the light of thy Goſpel, to us and our poſterity for ever more; and that for thy dear Son’s ſake Jeſus Chriſt, our only Mediator and Advocate.

# # Inſtead of the Prayer (In time of War and Tumults) ſhall be uſed this Prayer following.

Lord, who didſt this day diſcover the ſnares of death that were laid for us, and didſt wonderfully deliver us from the ſame; Be thou ſtill our mightly Protector, and ſcatter our enemies that delight in blood: infatuate and defeat their counſels, abate their pride, aſſuage their malice, and confound their devices. Strengthen the hands of our gracious Sovereign King GEORGE, and all that are put in authority under him, with judgment and juſtice, to cut off all ſuch workers of iniquity, as turn Religion into Rebellion, and Faith into Faction; that they may never prevail againſt us, or triumph in the ruin of thy church among us: but that our gracious Sovereign and his Realms, being preſerved in thy true Religion, and by thy merciful goodneſs protected in the ſame, we may all duly ſerve thee, and give thee thanks in thy holy Congregation, through Jeſus Chriſt our Lord.

# # In the Communion Service, inſtead of the Collect for the Day ſhall this which followeth be uſed.

ETERNAL God, and our moſt mightly Protector, we thy unworthy ſervants do humbly preſent ourſelves before thy Majeſty, acknowledging thy power, wiſdom and goodneſs, in preſerving the King, and the Three Eſtates of the Realm of England aſſembled in Parliament, from the deſtruction this day intended againſt them. Make us, we beſeech thee, truly thankful for this, and for all other thy great mercies towards us; particularly for thy making this day againſt memorable, by a freſh inſtance of thy loving kindneſs towards us. We bleſs thee for giving his late Majeſty King William a ſafe arrival here, and for making all oppoſition fall before him, till he became our King and Governor. We beſeech thee to protect and defend our Sovereign King GEORGE, and all the Royal Family, from all treaſons and conſpiracies; Preſerve him in all thy faith, fear and love; Proſper his reign with long happineſs here on earth; and crown him with everlaſting glory hereafter, through Jeſus Chriſt our only Saviour and Redeemer.

The Epiſtle. ROM . 13. 1.

LET every ſoul be ſubject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be, are ordained of God. Whoſoever therefore reſiſteth the power, reſiſteth the ordinance of God: and they that reſiſt ſhall receive to themſelves damnation. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou ſhalt have praiſe of the ſame: for he is the miniſter of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the ſword in vain: for he is the miniſter of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. Wherefore ye muſt needs be ſubject, not only for wrath, but alſo for conſcience ſake. For, for this cauſe pay ye tribute alſo; for they are God’s miniſters, attending continually upon this very thing. Render therefore to all their dues; tribute to whom tribute is due, cuſtom to whom cuſtom, fear to whom fear, honour to whom honour.

The Goſpel. S. LUKE . 9. 51.

AND it came to paſs, when the time was come that he ſhould be received up, he ſtedfaſtly set his face to go to Jeruſalem, and ſent meſſengers before his face: and they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him. And they did not receive him, becauſe his face was as though he would go to Jeruſalem. And when his diſciples James and John ſaw this, they ſaid, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and conſume them, even as Elias did? But he turned and rebuked them, and ſaid, Ye know not what manner of ſpirit ye are of: For the Son of man is not come to deſtroy men’s lives, but to ſave them. And they went to another village.

# # After the Creed, if there be no Sermon, ſhall be read one of the ſix
homilies againſt Rebellion.

# # This Sentence is to be read at the Offertory.

WHATSOEVER ye would that men ſhould do to you, do ye even ſo to them; for this is the law and the prophets. St. Matth. 7. 12.

# # After the Prayer for the Church militant this following Prayer is to be uſed.

God, whoſe Name is excellent in all the earth, and thy glory above the heavens; who, on this day, didſt miraculouſly preſerve our Church and State from the ſecret contrivance and helliſh malice of Popiſh conſpirators; and on this day alſo didſt begin to give us a mightly deliverance from the open tyranny and oppreſſion of the ſame cruel and blood-thirſty enemies; We bleſs and adore thy glorious Majeſty, as for the former, ſo for this thy late marvellous loving-kindneſs to our church and Nation, in the preſervation of our religion and liberties. And we humbly pray, that the devout ſenſe of this thy repeated mercy may renew and increaſe in us a ſpirit of love and thankfulneſs to Thee its only Author; a ſpirit of peaceable ſubmiſſion and obedience to our gracious Sovereign Lord King GEORGE; and a ſpirit of fervent zeal for our holy religion, which thou haſt ſo wonderfully reſcued, and eſtabliſhed a bleſſing to us and our poſterity. And this we beg for Jeſus Chriſt his ſake.

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