A Saint Study: Charles Stuart, King and Martyr

The following was originally written for a course entitled “Prayer and Sanctity” as part of my M. Div. work at St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary. We were asked to examine the life and writings of a saint in our tradition and to consider the following: “ the official life (vita, synaxarion); legendary material; liturgical hymnography; scripture readings at liturgical offices; iconography; popular piety and sayings; the saint’s own writings, where available; non-hagiographical sources, where available.” Initially, I wanted to write on Blessed Bishop Andrewes, but realized that only his own writings would be sufficient for the rubric of the assignment. In fact, unless I were to use “Lesser Feasts and Fasts” or “Holy Men, Holy Women,” or the Breviary—if I wanted to use the Prayer Book alone as representative of the liturgy of our Church—then I must consider Charles Stuart, King and Martyr, for his martyrdom alone has been publicly commemorated in our Books in a manner approved by a full Church rather than composed by pious men and licensed by Bishops, diocese-by-diocese.

This article has the amusing inversion that Byzantine terms are not explained, but Anglican terms are. Simply put “troparia” and “stichera” both refer to hymn verses, but verses which follow different meters and function in different ways during the services. In this essay, more direction is given as a guide to the Order for Morning Prayer, the Order for Holy Communion, and the Order for Evening Prayer than most readers of this website would typically need; these directions have been retained given the length of the essay. Each Psalm has been included in full, according to the edition of the Coverdale Psalter printed in the American Book of Common Prayer (1928) What follows is some explanation as why this subject was taken for the sake of the paper, a full account of the services of the day, a reflection on the life of King Charles, and an account of his veneration since his death.

I. Introductory Remarks

The Christian Church is marked by her love for Jesus Christ, her Savior and Lord. She is also known in every generation by those who have borne witness to Christ in their bodies, whether in their lives or their deaths. Within the Catholic Church, by heresy and schism sadly rent, there are various traditions of how to commemorate those who have so borne witness. Often this comes by assigning official “Lives of the Saints” as approved pious accounts of their lives for the benefit of those still toiling in the Church Militant; legendary material accompany these biographies as well as popular sayings from the saint drawn from his or her own writings. Within the services of the Church, certain Scriptural readings will be selected, with the possibility of liturgical hymnography being composed for the day. Icons may be even be painted in the saint’s honor. Analysis of all these documents and images can be added by historical sources not intended as part of the saint’s glorification.

These features will change according to the needs of the tradition. The most obvious difference between the Eastern and Western traditions on this point is the basic unit of verse. In the Byzantine tradition, multiple commemorative troparia and stichera are written to be sung as portions of Vespers, Matins, and the Liturgy; these verses are addressed as prayer to the saint and to God, identifying particular features of the saints’ life and work and in forming the people’s devotional embrace. In the Western tradition, particular commemoration is often limited to one or two collects addressed either to the Saint, that he or she might assist in our contemplation of God, or to God himself in thankfulness for the life of the saint.[1] Both traditions share in selecting particular psalms appropriate to the commemoration at the Liturgy, but the Western tradition often adds a particular post-communion prayer appropriate to the saint.

Within the Western tradition, the tradition of the Church of England since 1534 has had certain peculiar features. In that year, England ceased commemorating the Pope of Rome at the Mass and developed her own service books in keeping with discussions and schisms commonly referred to as the Protestant Reformation. One Reformation concern shared between English and Continental Reformers was the overgrown practice of invoking and praying to the saints, particularly as the “cult of the saints” as-then-practiced obscured the redemptive work of Christ. The strongest English statement to this effect can be found in the twenty-second of the 39 Articles, “The Romish Doctrine concerning Purgatory, Pardons, Worshipping and Adoration, as well of Images as of Relics, and also Invocation of Saints, is a fond thing, vainly invented, and grounded upon no warranty of Scripture, but rather repugnant to the Word of God.”[2] What this text means is best seen in relation to the Book of Common Prayer. The Prayer Book is the unifying feature of Anglican life, worship, and piety; emendation to the Book requires the consent of the Bishops, the Clergy, and the Laity assembled in Synod.[3]

Liturgical commemorations in the Prayer Book Kalendar are a great deal shorter than in the medieval calendars. In addition to the Sundays of the year, propers are given for only twenty-seven feasts.[4] These feasts are the feasts of the Apostles, the Feasts of the Lord, and the three state services. In addition, the calendar lists sixty-three saints to be commemorated in the whole realm of England.[5] The occasions for which propers were given came to be known as “red-letter” days, and the others as “black-letter days.” No special rubrics are provided for Matins or are included for any of the saints listed on Black-Letter Days. [6]

There are a few exceptions to this rubrical absence. Among those black letter days are three “State Services.” The 1662 Book contains:

  • “A Form of prayer with Thanksgiving to be used yearly upon the Fifth day of November. For the happy deliverance of the King, and the Three Estates of the Realm, from the most Traiterous and Bloudy intended Massacre by Gun-Powder.”
  • “A Form of Common Prayer, to be used yearly upon the 30. Day of January, being the day of the Martyrdom of K. CHARLES the First.”
  • “A Form of PRAYER with THANKSGIVING To be used yearly on the 29. Day of May Being the day of His Majesties Birth, and happy Return to His Kingdoms.”

This second one, concerning the martyrdom of Charles I, is the only extra-biblical, sanctoral commemoration included in the Prayer Book tradition, or at least all that comes close. Analysis of this service will provide some note as to how Anglicans formally view sanctity and ecclesiastical good order.

II. Presentation and comments on the Services

The first rubric is that the service ought be celebrated on the next day following, e.g. Monday. This rubric indicates two things: that the feast is considered less than a Sunday, and that it will be celebrated every year potentially even by otherwise “Non-conforming” ministers. The Order for Morning Prayer begins with three Sentences of Scripture with the rubric “one of these sentences,” distinct from the ordinary Sentences.

  • “O Lord, correct me, but with judgment; not in thine anger, lest thou bring me to nothing.”
  • “And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the Lord your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil.”
  • “It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.”

These sentences, Jeremiah 10:24, Joel 2:13, or Lamentations 3:22, focus on the mercy of the Lord and the need to avoid judgment. [7]

The Confession is made as usual, but the Venite (Psalm 95, about eleven verses) is replaced by a “Psalm” composed of about sixteen verses.

  • O come, let us worship, and fall down: and kneel before the Lord our Maker. (Psalm 95:6)
  • Let us repent, and turn from our wickedness: and our sins shall be forgiven us. (Acts 3:19)
  • Let us turn every one from his evil way: and the Lord will turn from fierce anger, and we shall not perish. (Jonah 3:8-9)
  • We acknowledge our faults: and our sins are ever before us. (Psalm 51:3)
  • We have provoked thine anger, O Lord: but there is mercy with thee, therefore shalt thou be feared. (Lamentations 3:42; doubled as Psalm 130:4)
  • O shut not up our souls with sinners; nor our life with the blood-thirsty. (Psalm 26:9)
  • Thou hast promised, O Lord, that before we call, thou wilt answer: and whiles we are yet speaking, thou wilt hear. (Isaiah 65:24)
  • And now in the anguish of our souls we cry unto thee: Hear, Lord, and have mercy. (Baruch 3:1)
  • O Lord, rebuke us not in thine indignation: neither chasten us in thy displeasure. (Psalm 6:1)
  • For thy Names sake be merciful to our sin: for it is great. (Psalm 25:10)
  • Turn thy face from our sins: and put out all our misdeeds.
  • Make us clean hearts, O God; and renew a right spirit within us.
  • Deliver us from bloud-guiltiness, O God: thou that art the God of our salvation. (Psalm 51:9, 10, 14)
  • O deliver us, and be merciful to our sins; for thy Names sake. (Psalm 79:9)
  • O be favourable and gracious unto Sion: build thou the walls of Jerusalem. (Psalm. 51:18)
  • So we that are thy people, and sheep of thy pasture, shall give thee thanks for ever; and will always be shewing forth thy praise from generation to generations. (Psalm 79:14)
  • 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 without end. Amen[8]

The Proper Psalms assigned are 7, 9, 10, and 11. Psalm 7 concerns rescue from persecution. The Ninth Psalm concerns God’s vindication of the just. In Psalm 10, the Psalmist reproaches God for failing to rescue him from the self-satisfied, but remembers that God will rescue him.

Psalm 7. Domine, Deus meus.

  • O LORD my God, in thee have I put my trust: * save me from all them that persecute me, and deliver me;
  •     2 Lest he devour my soul like a lion, and tear it in pieces, * while there is none to help.
  •     3 O LORD my God, if I have done any such thing; * or if there be any wickedness in my hands;
  •    4 If I have rewarded evil unto him that dealt friendly with me; * (yea, I have delivered him that without any cause is mine enemy;)
  •    5 Then let mine enemy persecute my soul, and take me; * yea, let him tread my life down upon the earth, and lay mine honour in the dust.
  •    6 Stand up, O LORD, in thy wrath, and lift up thyself, because of the indignation of mine enemies; * arise up for me in the judgment that thou hast commanded.
  •     7 And so shall the congregation of the peoples1 come about thee: * for their sakes therefore lift up thyself again.
  •     8 The LORD shall judge the peoples: give sentence with me, O LORD, * according to my righteousness, and according to the innocency that is in me.
  •     9 O let the wickedness of the ungodly come to an end; * but guide thou the just.
  •     10 For the righteous God * trieth the very hearts and reins.
  •     11 My help cometh of God, * who preserveth them that are true of heart.
  •     12 God is a righteous Judge, strong, and patient; * and God is provoked every day.
  •     13 If a man will not turn, he will whet his sword; * he hath bent his bow, and made it ready.
  •     14 He hath prepared for him the instruments of death; * he ordaineth his arrows against the persecutors.
  •     15 Behold, the ungodly travaileth with iniquity; * he hath conceived mischief, and brought forth falsehood.
  •     16 He hath graven and digged up a pit, * and is fallen himself into the destruction that he made for other.
  •     17 For his travail shall come upon his own head, * and his wickedness shall fall on his own pate.
  •     18 I will give thanks unto the LORD, according to his righteousness; * and I will praise the Name of the LORD Most High.

Psalm 9. Confitebor tibi.

  • I WILL give thanks unto thee, O LORD, with my whole heart; * I will speak of all thy marvellous works.
  • 2 I will be glad and rejoice in thee; * yea, my songs will I make of thy Name, O thou Most Highest.
  • 3 While mine enemies are driven back, * they shall fall and perish at thy presence.
  • 4 For thou hast maintained my right and my cause; * thou art set in the throne that judgest right.
  • 5 Thou hast rebuked the heathen, and destroyed the ungodly; * thou hast put out their name for ever and ever.
  • 6 O thou enemy, thy destructions are come to a perpetual end; * even as the cities which thou hast destroyed, whose memorial is perished with them.
  • 7 But the LORD shall endure for ever; * he hath also prepared his seat for judgment.
  • 8 For he shall judge the world in righteousness, * and minister true judgment unto the people.
  • 9 The LORD also will be a defence for the oppressed, * even a refuge in due time of trouble.
  • 10 And they that know thy Name will put their trust in thee; * for thou, LORD, hast never failed them that seek thee.
  • 11 O praise the LORD which dwelleth in Sion; * show the people of his doings.
  • 12 For when he maketh inquisition for blood, he remembereth them, * and forgetteth not the complaint of the poor.
  • 13 Have mercy upon me, O LORD; consider the trouble which I suffer of them that hate me, * thou that liftest me up from the gates of death;
  • 14 That I may show all thy praises within the gates of the daughter of Sion: * I will rejoice in thy salvation.
  • 15 The heathen are sunk down in the pit that they made; * in the same net which they hid privily is their foot taken.
  • 16 The LORD is known to execute judgment; * the ungodly is trapped in the work of his own hands.
  • 17 The wicked shall be turned to destruction3, * and all the people that forget God.
  • 18 For the poor shall not alway be forgotten; * the patient abiding of the meek shall not perish for ever.
  • 19 Up, LORD, and let not man have the upper hand; * let the heathen be judged in thy sight.
  • 20 Put them in fear, O LORD, * that the heathen may know themselves to be but men.

Psalm 10. Ut quid, Domine ?

  • WHY standest thou so far off, O LORD, * and hidest thy face in the needful time of trouble?
  • 2 The ungodly, for his own lust, doth persecute the poor: * let them be taken in the crafty wiliness that they have imagined.
  • 3 For the ungodly hath made boast of his own heart’s desire, * and speaketh good of the covetous, whom the LORD abhorreth.
  • 4 The ungodly is so proud, that he careth not for God, * neither is God in all his thoughts.
  • 5 His ways are alway grievous; * thy judgments are far above out of his sight, and therefore defieth he all his enemies.
  • 6 For he hath said in his heart, Tush, I shall never be cast down, * there shall no harm happen unto me.
  • 7 His mouth is full of cursing, deceit, and fraud; * under his tongue is ungodliness and vanity.
  • 8 He sitteth lurking in the thievish corners of the streets, * and privily in his lurking dens doth he murder the innocent; his eyes are set against the poor.
  • 9 For he lieth waiting secretly; even as a lion lurketh he in his den, * that he may ravish the poor.
  • 10 He doth ravish the poor, * when he getteth him into his net.
  • 11 He falleth down, and humbleth himself, * that the congregation of the poor may fall into the hands of his captains.
  • 12 He hath said in his heart, Tush, God hath forgotten; * he hideth away his face, and he will never see it.
  • 13 Arise, O LORD God, and lift up thine hand; * forget not the poor.
  • 14 Wherefore should the wicked blaspheme God, * while he doth say in his heart, Tush, thou God carest not for it?
  • 15 Surely thou hast seen it; * for thou beholdest ungodliness and wrong, that thou mayest take the matter into thy hand.
  • 16 The poor committeth himself unto thee; * for thou art the helper of the friendless.
  • 17 Break thou the power of the ungodly and malicious; * search out his ungodliness, until thou find none.
  • 18 The LORD is King for ever and ever, * and the heathen are perished out of the land.
  • 19 LORD, thou hast heard the desire of the poor; * thou preparest their heart, and thine ear hearkeneth;
  • 20 To help the fatherless and poor unto their right, * that the man of the earth be no more exalted against them.

Psalm 11. In Domino confido.

  • IN the LORD put I my trust; * how say ye then to my soul, that she should flee as a bird unto the hill?
  • 2 For lo, the ungodly bend their bow, and make ready their arrows within the quiver, * that they may privily shoot at them which are true of heart.
  • 3 If the foundations be destroyed, * what can the righteous do?
  • 4 The LORD is in his holy temple; * the LORD’S seat is in heaven.
  • 5 His eyes consider the poor, * and his eyelids try the children of men.
  • 6 The LORD approveth1 the righteous: * but the ungodly, and him that delighteth in wickedness, doth his soul abhor.
  • 7 Upon the ungodly he shall rain snares, fire and brimstone, storm and tempest: * this shall be their portion to drink.
  • 8 For the righteous LORD loveth righteousness; * his countenance will behold the thing that is just.

Every Service of Morning or Evening Prayer is assigned two scripture lessons, generally one from the Old Testament and one from the New Testament. The first assigned scripture lesson is 2 Samuel 1. This is the account of David’s lament over the death of Saul and his anguish in receiving the news:

Now it came to pass after the death of Saul, when David was returned from the slaughter of the Amalekites, and David had abode two days in Ziklag; It came even to pass on the third day, that, behold, a man came out of the camp from Saul with his clothes rent, and earth upon his head: and so it was, when he came to David, that he fell to the earth, and did obeisance. And David said unto him, From whence comest thou? And he said unto him, Out of the camp of Israel am I escaped. And David said unto him, How went the matter? I pray thee, tell me. And he answered, That the people are fled from the battle, and many of the people also are fallen and dead; and Saul and Jonathan his son are dead also. And David said unto the young man that told him, How knowest thou that Saul and Jonathan his son be dead? And the young man that told him said, As I happened by chance upon mount Gilboa, behold, Saul leaned upon his spear; and, lo, the chariots and horsemen followed hard after him. And when he looked behind him, he saw me, and called unto me. And I answered, Here am I. And he said unto me, Who art thou? And I answered him, I am an Amalekite. He said unto me again, Stand, I pray thee, upon me, and slay me: for anguish is come upon me, because my life is yet whole in me. 10 So I stood upon him, and slew him, because I was sure that he could not live after that he was fallen: and I took the crown that was upon his head, and the bracelet that was on his arm, and have brought them hither unto my lord. 11 Then David took hold on his clothes, and rent them; and likewise all the men that were with him: 12 And they mourned, and wept, and fasted until even, for Saul, and for Jonathan his son, and for the people of the Lord, and for the house of Israel; because they were fallen by the sword. 13 And David said unto the young man that told him, Whence art thou? And he answered, I am the son of a stranger, an Amalekite. 14 And David said unto him, How wast thou not afraid to stretch forth thine hand to destroy the Lord’s anointed? 15 And David called one of the young men, and said, Go near, and fall upon him. And he smote him that he died. 16 And David said unto him, Thy blood be upon thy head; for thy mouth hath testified against thee, saying, I have slain the Lord’s anointed. 17 And David lamented with this lamentation over Saul and over Jonathan his son: 18 (Also he bade them teach the children of Judah the use of the bow: behold, it is written in the book of Jasher.) 19 The beauty of Israel is slain upon thy high places: how are the mighty fallen! 20 Tell it not in Gath, publish it not in the streets of Askelon; lest the daughters of the Philistines rejoice, lest the daughters of the uncircumcised triumph. 21 Ye mountains of Gilboa, let there be no dew, neither let there be rain, upon you, nor fields of offerings: for there the shield of the mighty is vilely cast away, the shield of Saul, as though he had not been anointed with oil. 22 From the blood of the slain, from the fat of the mighty, the bow of Jonathan turned not back, and the sword of Saul returned not empty. 23 Saul and Jonathan were lovely and pleasant in their lives, and in their death they were not divided: they were swifter than eagles, they were stronger than lions. 24 Ye daughters of Israel, weep over Saul, who clothed you in scarlet, with other delights, who put on ornaments of gold upon your apparel. 25 How are the mighty fallen in the midst of the battle! O Jonathan, thou wast slain in thine high places. 26 I am distressed for thee, my brother Jonathan: very pleasant hast thou been unto me: thy love to me was wonderful, passing the love of women. 27 How are the mighty fallen, and the weapons of war perished!

The second assigned scripture lesson is Matthew 27. The Lesson from the Gospel is Matthew’s Crucifixion account. Matthew’s account emphasizes the mockery of the Pharisees against Jesus’ claim to be King of the Jews:

27 When the morning was come, all the chief priests and elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death: And when they had bound him, they led him away, and delivered him to Pontius Pilate the governor. Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that. And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself. And the chief priests took the silver pieces, and said, It is not lawful for to put them into the treasury, because it is the price of blood. And they took counsel, and bought with them the potter’s field, to bury strangers in. Wherefore that field was called, The field of blood, unto this day. Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying, And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him that was valued, whom they of the children of Israel did value; 10 And gave them for the potter’s field, as the Lord appointed me. 11 And Jesus stood before the governor: and the governor asked him, saying, Art thou the King of the Jews? And Jesus said unto him, Thou sayest. 12 And when he was accused of the chief priests and elders, he answered nothing. 13 Then said Pilate unto him, Hearest thou not how many things they witness against thee? 14 And he answered him to never a word; insomuch that the governor marvelled greatly. 15 Now at that feast the governor was wont to release unto the people a prisoner, whom they would. 16 And they had then a notable prisoner, called Barabbas. 17 Therefore when they were gathered together, Pilate said unto them, Whom will ye that I release unto you? Barabbas, or Jesus which is called Christ? 18 For he knew that for envy they had delivered him. 19 When he was set down on the judgment seat, his wife sent unto him, saying, Have thou nothing to do with that just man: for I have suffered many things this day in a dream because of him. 20 But the chief priests and elders persuaded the multitude that they should ask Barabbas, and destroy Jesus. 21 The governor answered and said unto them, Whether of the twain will ye that I release unto you? They said, Barabbas. 22 Pilate saith unto them, What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ? They all say unto him, Let him be crucified. 23 And the governor said, Why, what evil hath he done? But they cried out the more, saying, Let him be crucified. 24 When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it. 25 Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children. 26 Then released he Barabbas unto them: and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified. 27 Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the common hall, and gathered unto him the whole band of soldiers. 28 And they stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe. 29 And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews! 30 And they spit upon him, and took the reed, and smote him on the head. 31 And after that they had mocked him, they took the robe off from him, and put his own raiment on him, and led him away to crucify him. 32 And as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name: him they compelled to bear his cross. 33 And when they were come unto a place called Golgotha, that is to say, a place of a skull, 34 They gave him vinegar to drink mingled with gall: and when he had tasted thereof, he would not drink. 35 And they crucified him, and parted his garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots. 36 And sitting down they watched him there; 37 And set up over his head his accusation written, This Is Jesus The King Of The Jews. 38 Then were there two thieves crucified with him, one on the right hand, and another on the left. 39 And they that passed by reviled him, wagging their heads, 40 And saying, Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save thyself. If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross. 41 Likewise also the chief priests mocking him, with the scribes and elders, said, 42 He saved others; himself he cannot save. If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him. 43 He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he will have him: for he said, I am the Son of God. 44 The thieves also, which were crucified with him, cast the same in his teeth. 45 Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour. 46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? 47 Some of them that stood there, when they heard that, said, This man calleth for Elias. 48 And straightway one of them ran, and took a spunge, and filled it with vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink. 49 The rest said, Let be, let us see whether Elias will come to save him. 50 Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. 51 And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; 52 And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, 53 And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many. 54 Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God. 55 And many women were there beholding afar off, which followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering unto him: 56 Among which was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of Zebedees children. 57 When the even was come, there came a rich man of Arimathaea, named Joseph, who also himself was Jesus’ disciple: 58 He went to Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be delivered. 59 And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, 60 And laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock: and he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre, and departed. 61 And there was Mary Magdalene, and the other Mary, sitting over against the sepulchre. 62 Now the next day, that followed the day of the preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees came together unto Pilate, 63 Saying, Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, After three days I will rise again. 64 Command therefore that the sepulchre be made sure until the third day, lest his disciples come by night, and steal him away, and say unto the people, He is risen from the dead: so the last error shall be worse than the first. 65 Pilate said unto them, Ye have a watch: go your way, make it as sure as ye can. 66 So they went, and made the sepulchre sure, sealing the stone, and setting a watch.

After both lessons follow the appropriate canticles.[9] Following the second lesson and its canticle, the Creed, the Kyrie, the Lord’s Prayer, and the Suffrages are recited as normal:

  • O Lord, show thy mercy upon us;
  • Answ. And grant us thy salvation.
  • Priest. O Lord, save the King.
  • Answ. And mercifully hear us, when we call upon thee.
  • Priest. Endue thy Ministers with righteousness;
  • Answ. And make thy chosen people joyful.
  • Priest. O Lord, save thy people;
  • Answ. And bless thine inheritance.
  • Priest. Give peace in our time, O Lord;
  • Answ. Because there is none other that fighteth for us, but only thou, O God.
  • Priest. O God, make clean our hearts within us;
  • Answ. And take not thy Holy Spirit from us.[10]

Ordinarily, three Collects are then prayed: the collect of the day, the Collect for Peace, and the Collect for Grace. The collect of the day is typically the collect from the Sunday preceding; these collects are usually one sentence only. The collect for King St. Charles the Martyr is highly unusual in that it is three distinct sentences. The prayer is a confession that the execution of the king was a sin and a plea that the people of England be not held responsible for the sin:

O Most mighty God, terrible in thy judgements, and wonderful in thy doings toward the children of men; who in thy heavy displeasure didst suffer the life of our gracious Sovereign King Charles the First, to be (as this day) taken away by the hands of cruel and bloody men: We thy sinful creatures here assembled before thee, do, in the behalf of all the people of this land, humbly confess, that they were the crying sins of this Nation, which brought down this heavy judgement upon us. But, O gracious God, when thou makest inquisition for blood, lay not the guilt of this innocent blood, (the shedding whereof nothing but the blood of thy Son can expiate,) lay it not to the charge of the people of this land; nor let it ever be required of us, or our posterity. Be merciful, O Lord, be merciful unto thy people, whom thou haſt redeemed; and be not angry with us for ever: But pardon us for thy mercies sake, through the merits of thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The service for Morning Prayer ends with the Prayer of Saint Chrysostom and the Dismissal from 2 Corinthians 13. The Litany of General Supplication then follows as normal with the addition of three collects just before its dismissal.

O Lord, we beseech thee mercifully hear our prayers, and spare all those who confess their sins unto thee; that they whose consciences by sin are accused, by thy merciful pardon may be absolved; through Christ our Lord. Amen.

MOST mighty God, and merciful Father, who hast compassion upon all men, and hatest nothing that thou hast made: who wouldest not the death of a sinner, but that he would rather turn from his sin, and be saved: Mercifully forgive us our trespasses; receive and comfort us, who are grieved and wearied with the burden of our sins. Thy property is always to have mercy; to thee only it appertaineth to forgive sins. Spare us therefore, good Lord, spare thy people, whom thou haſt redeemed; enter not into judgment with thy servants, who are vile earth and miserable sinners; but so turn thine anger from us, who meekly acknowledge our vileness, and truly repent us of our faults; and so make haste to help us in this world, that we may ever live with thee in the world to come; through Jeſus Christ our Lord. Amen.

TURN thou us, O good Lord, and so shall we be turned. Be favourable, O Lord, be favourable to thy people, Who turn to thee in weeping, fasting, and praying. For thou art a merciful God, full of compassion, long-suffering, and of great pity. Thou sparest, when we deserve punishment, And in thy wrath thinkest upon mercy. Spare thy people, good Lord, spare them, And let not thine heritage be brought to confusion. Hear us, O Lord, for thy mercy is great, And after the multitude of thy mercies look upon us, Through the merits and mediation of thy blessed Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The first collect is used again as a collect in later Prayer Books for Sundays in late Trinitytide. The second collect is comprised of sentences drawn from other portions of the Prayer Book. The third collect has the special rubric that the people are to speak the prayer directly rather than through the priest according to the rubric, “then shall the people say this that followeth, after the Minister.” This rubric goes back to the days when printing was still too expensive and literacy rates too low for every member of the Church of England to meaningfully use a Prayer Book in front of them.

The Communion Service adds an additional collect following the Commandments, which appears later as the appointed collect for a given Sunday in the American book:

O ALMIGHTY Lord, and everlasting God; Vouchsafe, we beseech thee, to direct, sanctifie, and govern both our hearts and bodies in the ways of thy laws, and in the works of thy commandments; that through thy most mighty protection both here and ever, we may be preserved in body and soul; through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.

The Communion Service of the 1662 continues with the ordinary prayers for the king and adds two new collects instead of the collect of the day:

BLESSED Lord, in whose sight the death of thy saints is precious; We magnify thy name for the abundant grace bestowed upon our martyred Sovereign; by which he was enabled so cheerfully to follow the steps of his blessed Master and Saviour, in a constant meek suffering of all barbarous indignities, and at last resisting unto blood; and even then, according to the same pattern, praying for his murderers. Let his memory, O Lord, be ever blessed among us; that we may follow the example of his courage and constancy, his meekness and patience, and great charity. And grant, that this our land may be freed from the vengeance of his righteous blood, and thy mercy glorified in the forgiveness of our sins: and all for Jesus Christ his sake, our only Mediator and Advocate. Amen.

GRANT, Lord, we beseech thee, that the course of this world may be so peacably ordered by thy governance, that thy Church may joyfully serve thee in all godly quietness, through Jesus Christ. Amen.”[11]

The assigned Epistle is 1 Peter 2:13ff. “Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man…” including those of the King:

Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; 14 Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well. 15 For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: 16 As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God. 17 Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king. 18 Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward. 19 For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. 20 For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God. 21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: 22 Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: 23 Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: 24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. 25 For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.

The Gospel is Matthew 21:33ff., the parable of the wicked tenants:

33 Hear another parable: There was a certain householder, which planted a vineyard, and hedged it round about, and digged a winepress in it, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country: 34 And when the time of the fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the husbandmen, that they might receive the fruits of it. 35 And the husbandmen took his servants, and beat one, and killed another, and stoned another. 36 Again, he sent other servants more than the first: and they did unto them likewise. 37 But last of all he sent unto them his son, saying, They will reverence my son. 38 But when the husbandmen saw the son, they said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and let us seize on his inheritance. 39 And they caught him, and cast him out of the vineyard, and slew him. 40 When the lord therefore of the vineyard cometh, what will he do unto those husbandmen? 41 They say unto him, He will miserably destroy those wicked men, and will let out his vineyard unto other husbandmen, which shall render him the fruits in their seasons. 42 Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes? 43 Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof. 44 And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder. 45 And when the chief priests and Pharisees had heard his parables, they perceived that he spake of them. 46 But when they sought to lay hands on him, they feared the multitude, because they took him for a prophet.

Some rubrics indicate that the Sermon ought be a straightforward reading of the Homily against Sedition. After the Prayer for the whole State of Christ’s Church, an additional prayer is inserted:

O LORD our heavenly Father, who didst not punish us as our sins have deserved, but hast in the midst of judgment remembered mercy; We acknowledge it thine especial favour, that though for our many and great provocations, thou didst suffer thine Anointed, blessed King Charles the Firs, (as on this day) to fall this day into the hands of violent and blood-thirsty men, and barbarously to be murdered by them; yet thou didst not leave us for ever, as sheep without a shepherd; but by thy gracious providence didst miraculously preserve the undoubted Heir of his Crown, our then gracious Sovereign King Charles the Second, from his bloody enemies, hiding him under the shadow of thy wings, until their tyranny was overpast; and bringing him back, in thy good appointed time, to sit upon the throne of his Father; and, together with the Royal Family, didst restore to us our ancient Government in Church and State. For these thy great and unspeakable mercies, we render to thee most humble and unfeigned thanks; beseeching thee still to continue thy gracious protection over the whole Royal Family; and to grant to our gracious Sovereign King N., a long and happy Reign over us: So we that are thy people, will give thee thanks for ever, and will always be shewing forth thy praise from generation to generation, through Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour. Amen.

The order for Evening Prayer has no special office hymn normally or for this occasion. The Psalms are 38, 64, and 143. Psalm 38 focuses on our dependence on God for defense from our enemies. Psalm 64 can be interpreted as a defense against sedition. Psalm 143 again concerns assaults from oppressive enemies:

Psalm 38. Domine, ne in furore.

  • PUT me not to rebuke, O LORD, in thine anger; * neither chasten me in thy heavy displeasure:
  • 2 For thine arrows stick fast in me, * and thy hand presseth me sore.
  • 3 There is no health in my flesh, because of thy displeasure; * neither is there any rest in my bones, by reason of my sin.
  • 4 For my wickednesses are gone over my head, * and are like a sore burden, too heavy for me to bear.
  • 5 My wounds stink, and are corrupt, * through my foolishness.
  • 6 I am brought into so great trouble and misery, * that I go mourning all the day long.
  • 7 For my loins are filled with a sore disease, * and there is no whole part in my body.
  • 8 I am feeble and sore smitten; * I have roared for the very disquietness of my heart.
  • 9 Lord, thou knowest all my desire; * and my groaning is not hid from thee.
  • 10 My heart panteth, my strength hath failed me, * and the light of mine eyes is gone from me.
  • 11 My lovers and my neighbours did stand looking upon my trouble, * and my kinsmen stood afar off.
  • 12 They also that sought after my life laid snares for me; * and they that went about to do me evil talked of wickedness, and imagined deceit all the day long.
  • 13 As for me, I was like a deaf man, and heard not; * and as one that is dumb, who doth not open his mouth.
  • 14 I became even as a man that heareth not, * and in whose mouth are no reproofs.
  • 15 For in thee, O LORD, have I put my trust; * thou shalt answer for me, O Lord my God.
  • 16 I have required that they, even mine enemies, should not triumph over me; * for when my foot slipt, they rejoiced greatly against me.
  • 17 And I truly am set in the plague, * and my heaviness is ever in my sight.
  • 18 For I will confess my wickedness, * and be sorry for my sin.
  • 19 But mine enemies live, and are mighty; * and they that hate me wrongfully are many in number.
  • 20 They also that reward evil for good are against me; * because I follow the thing that good is.
  • 21 Forsake me not, O LORD my God; * be not thou far from me.
  • 22 Haste thee to help me, * O Lord God of my salvation.

Psalm 64. Exaudi, Deus.

  • HEAR my voice, O God, in my prayer; * preserve my life from fear of the enemy.
  • 2 Hide me from the gathering together of the froward, * and from the insurrection of wicked doers;
  • 3 Who have whet their tongue like a sword, * and shoot out their arrows, even bitter words;
  • 4 That they may privily shoot at him that is perfect: * suddenly do they hit him, and fear not.
  • 5 They encourage themselves in mischief, * and commune among themselves, how they may lay snares; and say, that no man shall see them.
  • 6 They imagine wickedness, and practise it; * that they keep secret among themselves, every man in the deep of his heart.
  • 7 But God shall suddenly shoot at them with a swift arrow, * that they shall be wounded.
  • 8 Yea, their own tongues shall make them fall; * insomuch that whoso seeth them shall laugh them to scorn.
  • 9 And all men that see it shall say, This hath God done; * for they shall perceive that it is his work.
  • 10 The righteous shall rejoice in the LORD, and put his trust in him; * and all they that are true of heart shall be glad.

Psalm 143. Domine, exaudi.

  • HEAR my prayer, O LORD, and consider my desire; * hearken unto me for thy truth and righteousness’ sake.
  • 2 And enter not into judgment with thy servant; * for in thy sight shall no man living be justified.
  • 3 For the enemy hath persecuted my soul; he hath smitten my life down to the ground; * he hath laid me in the darkness, as the men that have been long dead.
  • 4 Therefore is my spirit vexed within me, * and my heart within me is desolate.
  • 5 Yet do I remember the time past; I muse upon all thy works; * yea, I exercise myself in the works of thy hands.
  • 6 I stretch forth my hands unto thee; * my soul gaspeth unto thee as a thirsty land.
  • 7 Hear me, O LORD, and that soon; for my spirit waxeth faint: * hide not thy face from me, lest I be like unto them that go down into the pit.
  • 8 O let me hear thy loving-kindness betimes in the morning; for in thee is my trust: * show thou me the way that I should walk in; for I lift up my soul unto thee.
  • 9 Deliver me, O LORD, from mine enemies; * for I flee unto thee to hide me.
  • 10 Teach me to do the thing that pleaseth thee; for thou art my God: * let thy loving Spirit lead me forth into the land of righteousness.
  • 11 Quicken me, O LORD, for thy Name’s sake; * and for thy righteousness’ sake bring my soul out of trouble.
  • 12 And of thy goodness slay mine enemies, * and destroy all them that vex my soul; for I am thy servant.

Options are given for the first lesson: either Jeremiah 41:9 ff. or Daniel 9:1-22 The Second Lesson is Hebrews 11:32-12:7. The first option for the Old Testament lesson is an unclear narrative concerned with the mop-up on a civil war in Israel:

Now the pit wherein Ishmael had cast all the dead bodies of the men, whom he had slain because of Gedaliah, was it which Asa the king had made for fear of Baasha king of Israel: and Ishmael the son of Nethaniah filled it with them that were slain. 10 Then Ishmael carried away captive all the residue of the people that were in Mizpah, even the king’s daughters, and all the people that remained in Mizpah, whom Nebuzar-adan the captain of the guard had committed to Gedaliah the son of Ahikam: and Ishmael the son of Nethaniah carried them away captive, and departed to go over to the Ammonites.

11 But when Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the forces that were with him, heard of all the evil that Ishmael the son of Nethaniah had done, 12 then they took all the men, and went to fight with Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, and found him by the great waters that are in Gibeon. 13 Now it came to pass, that when all the people which were with Ishmael saw Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the forces that were with him, then they were glad. 14 So all the people that Ishmael had carried away captive from Mizpah cast about and returned, and went unto Johanan the son of Kareah. 15 But Ishmael the son of Nethaniah escaped from Johanan with eight men, and went to the Ammonites. 16 Then took Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the forces that were with him, all the remnant of the people whom he had recovered from Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, from Mizpah, after that he had slain Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, even mighty men of war, and the women, and the children, and the eunuchs, whom he had brought again from Gibeon: 17 and they departed, and dwelt in the habitation of Chimham, which is by Beth-lehem, to go to enter into Egypt, 18 because of the Chaldeans: for they were afraid of them, because Ishmael the son of Nethaniah had slain Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, whom the king of Babylon made governor in the land.

The second option is Daniel petition for repentance. It may imply a sense in which the English Church can return to the land from the Exile of the Commonwealth:

In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of the seed of the Medes, which was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans; in the first year of his reign I Daniel understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem.

And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes: and I prayed unto the Lord my God, and made my confession, and said, O Lord, the great and dreadful God, keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love him, and to them that keep his commandments; we have sinned, and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even by departing from thy precepts and from thy judgments: neither have we hearkened unto thy servants the prophets, which spake in thy name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land. O Lord, righteousness belongeth unto thee, but unto us confusion of faces, as at this day; to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and unto all Israel, that are near, and that are far off, through all the countries whither thou hast driven them, because of their trespass that they have trespassed against thee. O Lord, to us belongeth confusion of face, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against thee. To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgivenesses, though we have rebelled against him; 10 neither have we obeyed the voice of the Lord our God, to walk in his laws, which he set before us by his servants the prophets. 11 Yea, all Israel have transgressed thy law, even by departing, that they might not obey thy voice; therefore the curse is poured upon us, and the oath that is written in the law of Moses the servant of God, because we have sinned against him. 12 And he hath confirmed his words, which he spake against us, and against our judges that judged us, by bringing upon us a great evil: for under the whole heaven hath not been done as hath been done upon Jerusalem. 13 As it is written in the law of Moses, all this evil is come upon us: yet made we not our prayer before the Lord our God, that we might turn from our iniquities, and understand thy truth. 14 Therefore hath the Lord watched upon the evil, and brought it upon us: for the Lord our God is righteous in all his works which he doeth: for we obeyed not his voice. 15 And now, O Lord our God, that hast brought thy people forth out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand, and hast gotten thee renown, as at this day; we have sinned, we have done wickedly.

16 O Lord, according to all thy righteousness, I beseech thee, let thine anger and thy fury be turned away from thy city Jerusalem, thy holy mountain: because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and thy people are become a reproach to all that are about us. 17 Now therefore, O our God, hear the prayer of thy servant, and his supplications, and cause thy face to shine upon thy sanctuary that is desolate, for the Lord’s sake. 18 O my God, incline thine ear, and hear; open thine eyes, and behold our desolations, and the city which is called by thy name: for we do not present our supplications before thee for our righteousnesses, but for thy great mercies. 19 O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O Lord, hearken and do; defer not, for thine own sake, O my God: for thy city and thy people are called by thy name.

20 And whiles I was speaking, and praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the Lord my God for the holy mountain of my God; 21 yea, whiles I was speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation. 22 And he informed me, and talked with me, and said, O Daniel, I am now come forth to give thee skill and understanding.

These readings are all notable as lessons in the lectionary tend go with whole chapter selections. The Second Lesson from Hebrews is the passage some have called the “Hall of Faith.” Here the purpose would be to align Charles with these Biblical heroes and the practice here invoked with St. Paul’s established commendations:

32 And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets: 33 who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. 35 Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection: 36 and others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: 37 they were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; 38 (of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. 39 And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: 40 God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.

12 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin. And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: for whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?

The service continues as normal, the Canticle options after the first lesson being the Magnificat or the “Cantate Domino” (Psalm 98), and the Canticles options being the Nunc Dimittis or the “Deus Misereatur” (Psalm 67). Different collects are appointed at the collect of the day than were appointed at Morning Prayer or the Holy Communion:

Almighty Lord God, who by thy wisdom not only guideth and ordereth all things most suitable to thine own justice; but also performest thy pleasure in such a manner, that we cannot but acknowledge thee to be righteous in all thy ways, and holy in all thy works: We thy sinful people do fall down before thee, confessing that thy judgments were right, in permitting cruel men, sons of Belial, (as on this day) to imbrue their hands in the blood of thine Anointed; We having drawn down the same upon our-selves, by the great and long provocations of our sins against thee. For which we do therefore here humble our-selves before thee, beseeching thee to deliver this Nation from bloud-guiltiness (that of this day especially) and to turn from us, and our posterity, all those judgments, which we by our sins have worthily deserved: Grant this for the all-sufficient merits of thy Son our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.

O BLESSED God, just, and powerful, who didst permit thy dear servant, our late dread Soveraign King Charles the First, to be (as upon this day) given up to the violent outrages of wicked men, to be despightfully used, and at last murdered by them; Though we cannot reflect upon so foul an act, but with horrour and astonishment; yet do we most greatly commemorate the glories of thy grace, which then shined forth in thine Annointed; whom thou wast pleased, even at the hour of death, to endue with an eminent measure of exemplary patience, meekness, and charity, before the face of his cruel enemies. And albeit thou didst suffer them to proceed to such an height of violence, as to kill him, and take possession of his Throne; yet didst thou in great mercy preserve his Son, whose right it was; and at length, by a wonderful providence bring him back, and set him thereon; to restore thy true Religion, and to settle peace among us: for these thy great mercies we glorify thy Name, through Jesus Christ our blessed Saviour. Amen.

These prayers are more explicit in condemning Cromwell and his ilk for their role in the crime and for separating the people from the sins of that party. The second collect refers to the faith of the Established Church as God’s “true religion” and to the king as the Lord’s anointed. This also speaks to the saintly qualities of Charles in his death. The order also calls for an additional prayer to be inserted before the penultimate prayer of the service:

ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, whose righteousness is like the strong mountains, and thy judgments like the great deep; and who, by that barbarous murder (as on this day) committed upon the sacred person of thine Annointed, has taught us, that neither the greatest of Kings, nor the best of men are more secure from violence than from natural death: Teach us also hereby so to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. And grant that neither the splendor of anything that is great, nor the conceit of anything that is good in us, may withdraw our eyes from looking upon ourselves as sinful dust and ashes; but that, according to the example of this thy blessed Martyr. we may press forward towards the prize of the high calling that is before us, in faith and patience, humility and meekness, mortification and self-denial, charity and constant perseverance unto the end: And all this for thy Son our Lord Jesus Christs sake; to whom, with thee and the Holy Ghost, be all honour and glory, world without end. Amen.

The phrase “King St. Charles the Martyr” does not exist per se in the Prayer Book tradition. In the Prayer Book Service, we pray that “his memory be ever blessed among us” in the first additional collect at the Communion. The title of the service refers to his execution as a martyrdom; this appellation follows in the first additional collect at the Communion and twice in the final collect at Evening Prayer. The final collect at Evening Prayer even refers to the King as “[the Lord’s] blessed Martyr.” The prayers which speak of the king, even to the praying for “his murderers,” are framed as examples drawn from his earthly life, and not understood as continuing in heaven. The pleas for mercy upon the land are directed to God and do not expect St. Charles to be praying for the nation from glory.

In anticipation of the discussion of his veneration at the close of this paper, we will step alongside the Prayer Book tradition into the Missal. The first collect at the Communion is retained as the communion in the (American) Anglican Missal. For that volume was composed a separate Post-Communion prayer, as the Missal expects a form of Prayer not expected in the Prayer Book, namely the “Post-communion.”

O Lord, we offer unto thee all praise and thanks for the glory of thy grace that shined forth in King Charles of England: and we beseech thee to give us all grace by a careful studious imitation of this thy blessed Saint and Martyr, and all other thy Saints and Martyrs that have gone before us; that we may be made worthy to receive benefit by their prayers, which they, in communion with the Church Catholic, offer up unto thee for that part of it here militant. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

This Post-Communion is unique in form among the Post-Communions given in the Missal, which indicates a later, special composition for the publication of the Missal in the early twentieth century.

III. Account of the life of King St. Charles.

King St. Charles the Martyr was born the nineteenth of November, 1600, the second son of James VI of Scotland. When James inherited the throne of England in 1603, being the first of his name in that realm, Charles was left behind being a sickly child; he joined the royal family in London the following year. After the death of his elder brother in 1612, Charles was invested Prince of Wales. In 1623, Charles was sent by his father to court the Spanish princess Maria Anna, an alliance of marriage and state rendered impossible by Spanish insistence that England return to the papal obedience. The following spring, Charles arranged to marry Henrietta Maria, the Roman Catholic daughter of the assassinated Protestant king of France, Henry IV (Navarre). A month before they were to be wed, Charles acceded to the throne in March of 1625 and thus their wedding observed by proxy in May, the wedding consummated in June. Because she retained her allegiance to the Pope of Rome, she was never formally coronated and remained an interloper in the eyes of many Englishmen.

The great tension of Charles’ reign was the status of the religion of the Church of England, and the relationship between Parliament and the King. The Puritans were firmly convinced that the sermon, rigorous and lengthy exposition of Scripture, was to be the central and primary feature of public Christian Worship, to the exclusion, even neglect, of the Holy Communion. They were similarly suspicious of the use of set form of worship such as the Book of Common Prayer, of vestments of any sort, and of the rights of bishops to enforce obedience in their own dioceses. Plain recitation of the Psalter was expected and use of the Canticles as anything but lessons was to be suppressed. In that era, there were regular protests by Puritan minister against the requirement of the plain white surplice at services and a strong preference for the black academic gown as then in Geneva Reformed usage rather than the cassock inherited from medieval England. The Puritans considered episcopal enforcement of the surplice or the Prayer Book as an encroachment of papist ceremonial upon their Christian liberty. King Charles was emphatic that the purpose of Christian worship was to receive the Sacraments, particularly in the Holy Communion, and to pray for the health of one’s soul, the realm, and the king. Worship was to be “in the beauty of holiness,” which expected the composition of liturgical hymns set to music with instruments and the use of candles beyond merely illuminative use. Though the monasteries had all but ceased to function a century earlier (even before the dissolution under Henry), Charles’ reign saw the restoration of lay community life, notably at Little Gidding under the leadership of Blessed Nicholas Ferrar who, though in deacon’s orders, functioned as something of an abbot to a community of forty persons; this community was mocked as a “Protestant nunnery” by ardent Calvinists, but recognized as a place of rigorous devotion throughout the realm. The English School of Theology experienced a renaissance of sorts under the “Caroline Divines,” the theologians who delineated the manner in which the Church of England did and did not agree with the Reformation as articulated on the Continent; these Divines number among them Blessed Lancelot Andrewes, Blessed George Herbert, Blessed John Cosin, Blessed Thomas Ken, Blessed William Laud, Blessed Jeremy Taylor, and Richard Hooker. These men were most emphatic on demonstrating their adherence to the Fathers of the Church rather than to their own reading of Scriptures.

The Parliamentarian question is where one might assess the greater fault in Charles’ policy, and is especially difficult to understand in the twenty-first century after some two centuries of clear preference for the authority of congresses and parliaments, not to mention the wars fought on those principles. From Charles’ accession to the throne and marriage, he was perceived to be insufficiently active in supporting the Protestant cause in Europe; for instance, his marriage treaty lent English ships to the French King to be used against the Protestant Huguenots at La Rochelle and he seemed prepared to relax civil restrictions against Roman-minded Englishmen. Charles’ resistance to Calvinistic predestination was understood as paving the return of the Roman discipline to England. The Puritan party began to advocate for the Parliament’s ability to suppress Roman waywardness in the king.

Rather than let Parliament discipline the Duke of Buckingham for poor leadership at sea against Spain in 1625, the King arrested two members of the House of Commons for criticizing the King’s ally. This action was motivated by Charles’ strong belief in the sacramental properties of his own anointing as king. Parliament refused to trust Buckingham even after the duke lead a small fleet to defend the Protestant efforts at La Rochelle in 1627. As Parliament grew more resistant to the King’s attempts to raise funds for the defense of the Realm. Charles dissolved Parliament and spent the 1630s as a period of “Personal Rule.” During the personal rule, Charles used increasingly obscure laws to exact taxes without Parliamentary approval. In 1633, Charles appointed William Laud as Archbishop of Canterbury and Primate of England, the same year he returned to Scotland for his coronation and insisted on Anglican ritual rather than a more Presbyterian ceremony. In 1638, the Scottish General Assembly formally abolished the episcopacy in that kingdom and condemned the Prayer Book imposed by Archbishop Laud the year previous. The English Civil War, comprised of multiple smaller wars, begins here with the conflicts known as the Bishop’s Wars breaking out in the spring of 1639; the Civil war between Parliamentarian and Royalist parties began in mid 1642. The wars did not go well for the Royalists. In 1645, Charles was offered support by the Scots against the English Parliament on condition of the dissolution of episcopacy in England. He refused and was eventually taken prisoner by a Scots army in April 1646 and remanded into English custody in January 1647. After a brief escape and attempt to win the war against a dividing Parliament, Charles was captured in December of 1648 and tried for treason in January. Charles refused to acknowledge the authority of Parliament in this matter as anything but arbitrary, and concerned himself with prayer and consultation with his Chaplain, Bishop Willian Juxon of London, later Archbishop of Canterbury. A sentence of guilty was passed by the Rump Parliament, those two hundred thirty Members opposed to the indictment of the King having been removed by the New Model Army. On the 29th of January, the King bade farewell to his two youngest children.

On the morning of his execution, he told his attendant, Thomas Herbert, “This is my second marriage day… for before night I hope to be espoused to my blessed Jesus.” He requested a second shirt as protection against the cold, lest anyone think he was shivering from fear. Bishop Juxon read Morning Prayer with the assigned lessons of Exodus 6:1-14 and Matthew 27. The King thought that the Crucifixion had been specially chosen by the Bishop and was most assured when the Bishop affirmed that this was the lectionary suggestion for the day. The king was to have been beheaded immediately at ten o’clock, but the official executioner refused and three hours were required to find a headsman. The King had intended that the Sacrament be all he received on his final day, but Juxon implored him to take a little refreshment of bread and claret lest he faint on the platform. From the platform, Charles declared himself to be “an honest man, a good king, and a good Christian” and that the depravity of the war was to be held to the Parliament’s cause. His final speech also proclaimed that he died for the laws of England. He replied to the benediction of the Bishop, “I go from a corruptible to an incorruptible Crown, where no disturbance can be, no disturbance in the world.”

IV. Account of his veneration

In the moment of his execution, a low groan went up from the crowd and some among them came close to the block to dip their handkerchiefs into his blood as mementos and blood relics. Ten days later, a book which claimed to be his prison memoir was published in London. Its title and the Frontispiece are the Eikon Basilike. The image was an allegorical interpretation of the King’s death, centered on his laying down the royal diadem for a crown of thorns. The book includes essays on all the topics pertinent to his reign: the situation and concessions of the Wars, advices to his children, and the disputes over the Prayer Book. This writings became quite popular through England and formed the center point of High Tory devotion to the king. During the “Commonwealth” and “Protectorate,” commemoration of the King as a martyr was kept by those parishes which still used the suppressed Book of Common Prayer. The monarchy was restored in 1660 by the coronation of Charles II. A new edition of the Prayer Book was made legally binding in 1662, containing the above discussed services which remained legally binding until 1859. In the 1850s, various acts of Parliament increased religious toleration; in that milieu, it seemed imprudent to celebrate services which expressly identified the King as Anglican against Non-conformists or the recently emancipated Roman Catholics. These tensions within the English Church and State are deeply bound up in the development of “Anglo-Catholicism,” a movement intent on emphasizing the pre-Reformation history of the Church of England, and additionally the use of more ancient and ornate practices in the worship of the Church.

On Easter Tuesday, 1894, the Society of King Charles the Martyr was founded as part of these devotional efforts and in recognition that King Charles was the last fully canonized saint of the Church of England. The Society celebrates Charles annually on the 30th of January according to its own liturgical manuals complete with hymns written for his commemoration in the style of Anglo-Catholic High Mass. The website of the Society suggests the following composition for the Sequence Hymn preceding the Gospel reading:

“HEAVENLY King, of Kings the Pastor,

Giv’r of laws, of justice master,

Ruling all by Thy behest,

Unto Thee to-day we render

Praise for him to memory tender,

Charles our King, of kings the best.

“Traitors shedding blood like water //

Filled the land with crime and slaughter, //

Law was trampled in the mud, //

Noble churches left forsaken //

And the White Rose, overtaken //

By the sword, was red with blood. //

Thus the bardic verse fulfilling //

There shall be a time of killing

// When the ravens shall be fed,

// And a King without pollution

// Midst a realm in revolution //

Shall be numbered with the dead. //

Violent men without compassion

Proudly spurned the ancient fashion

Of the sacred right divine;

From his friends by madmen riven

Was our King to judgment driven

Stained with blood his Royal line.

Faithful Son of Mother holy,

To the Church devoted solely,

He to keep her laws was fain.

He her champion ever glorious,

Was beaten still victorious,

Robbed of life, but conqueror slain.//

“He nothing common did nor mean

Upon that memorable scene”,

When on the block he laid his head;

“Nor called the gods with vulgar spite

To vindicate his helpless right”,

But went to death as to his bed.

Fair exchange king Charles was making

When, the crown immortal taking

For the earthly crown he wore,

By the axe he followed faster

To the realm of Christ his master,

And the cross behind him bore.

Lo, the priest who shares his glory

(Laud his name and laud his story),

For his fellow-martyr waits,

And the white-robed host upraising,

Heart and voice their Saviour praising,

Greets him at the heavenly gates.

He by dying brought salvation

To the torn and shattered nation,

Life restored and liberty;

For the Martyr’s blood was sowing

Seed from which the Church is growing,

Seed of immortality.

Ere his death one word was spoken:

That “Remember” was the token

Of his coming victory.

So his blood brought life and healing,

And the Church’s triumph sealing,

Never shall forgotten be. Amen. Alleluia.

The society exists for the cultivation of devotion to the Royal Martyr whether by encouraging attendance at his memorial Mass or establishment of shrines to his memory within parishes. The Society also celebrates those parishes dedicated to his memory, seven of those parishes so dedicated in the 17th century.

Devotion to the saint has never been apolitical. The institution of his commemoration in 1662 was in effect a discipline against the Puritans, many of whom were turned out their parishes for refusing to conform in any part to the Book of Common Prayer, an event referred to as the “Great Ejection.” Maintenance of the state services after 1859, the year of their abolition could be viewed as illegal, or at least “uncanonical,” in England. American celebration of the feast bears some awkwardness as the idea of royalty was rejected by the Revolutionary War. His martyrdom bears witness to the complications of life in this world and the necessity of principled living against self-willed men.

Contained above has been a fairly straightforward presentation of the services of the Church of England for the Commemoration of the Royal Martyr. I have alluded to some of the political difficulties of his commemoration in this form. I do think these offices posed interesting difficulties for contemporary Anglicanism. Against the “Reformed” Anglican who denies any petition or intercession of saints, one can look to the Prayer Book and say, “But we do, because we did it, and in the Book which Established the Church.” Against the Anglo-Catholic (among whom I count myself) and his tendency to commemorate wildly, one can look to the Prayer Book and say “Yes, the Prayer Book does it…but only one time.” Much reflection must yet be done, and I suggest that it be grounded in the liturgy of our Church.

  1. E.g. “To the Saint in Whose Honor the Mass is to be Celebrated from the St. Augustine’s Prayer Book.

  2. The strongest statement to this effect can be found in Article XXII, “In the last century and a half, Anglican theologians have debated the binding quality of the mentioned Article or of the whole 39 Articles of Religion. Their final form is that of 1572. Clergy of the Church of England were required to subscribe the Articles from 1604 onward. Members of the American clergy were never required to subscribe the Articles, even in their form which amended the texts concerning the relationship between Church and State. In the dispersion of the Anglican tradition in and beyond the Anglican Communion, some jurisdictions claiming the Anglican tradition have reduced the Articles to “Historical Documents,” whereas as others still require subscription.

  3. The English book went through a number of editions, notable those of 1549, 1552, 1559, and 1662. The Book of 1662 has since come to be regarded as the prime Prayer Book, the culmination of more than a century of theological, ecclesiological, and liturgical disputes as well the definitive explaining what it is to be a member of the Church of England or of a dissenting “chapel.”

  4. “Propers” are the collect, the Epistle, and the Gospel appropriate to the day. Some liturgical books refer to these as major propers, identifying as minor propers the introit alleluia verse, the “Secret” prayer associated with the Mass post-communion prayers.

  5. In addition to this calendar for the realm, each diocese would have been expected to cultivate its own list of commemorations for local veneration.

  6. Only in the 1928 Book are general collects provided for “A Saint’s Day,” one which allows for the insertion of a name. One was drawn from a 7th Century missal and the one with the insertion of a name was composed by the Commission which wrote the 1928 Book.

  7. Joel 2:13 is of the original, or ordinary, Sentences. The other original ordinary Sentences (with the rubric “one or more of the following Sentences”) in the 1662 Book are: Ezekiel 18:27; Psalm 51:3; 9, 17; Daniel 9:9-10; Jeremiah 10:24 (Psalm 6:1); Matthew 3:2; Luke 15:18-19; Psalm 143:2; 1 John 1:8-9. The 1928 Book has an entirely different schema of Opening Sentences.

  8. This is the version of the Canticle as drawn from the Oxford Press edition which binds together 1549, 15529 and 1662. Baskerville’s Edition of 1762 (found online through the archive of Justus.anglican.org) is much longer and structured differently.

  9. The 1662 Book provides the option of the Te Deum Laudamus (the ancient Western liturgical hymn attributed by legend to Sts. Augustine and Ambrose) or of the Benedicite Omnia Opera Domine (the Song of the Three Holy Children) following the first lesson; following the second lesson, the options are the Benedictus (the Song of Zechariah) and the Jubilate Deo (Psalm 100). Given the festal tone of the Te Deum, this would probably not be the chosen canticle. The option between canticles had already been in place in the 1559 edition of the Book.

  10. The Suffrages are something like an abbreviated litany:

    In the American Book, the Kyrie is removed and, unsurprisingly, so are the prayers for the King. By the 1928 Book, the suffrages are only retained in Evening Prayer.

  11. The Baskerville edition considers this as one of the collects of the day and recites it at Morning Prayer and the Holy Communion.


Raymond Davison

Raymond Davison is an Ordinand in the Diocese of the Holy Cross, a diocese comprised of parishes affiliated with Forward in Faith North America. He is a graduate of St. Vladimir's Orthodox Seminary and the King's College, NYC. Some seminary highlights have been reciting the Litany at two Marches for Life and serving as his Bishop's Acolyte at the Solemn High Mass of the Joint DHC-ACC-ACA-ACC Synod this past January.


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