From The Eleven Articles Of 1559 On The Lord’s Supper

IX. Moreover, I do not only acknowledge, that private masses were never used amongst the fathers of the primitive church, I mean, public ministration and receiving of the sacrament by the priest alone, without a just number of communicants, according to Christ’s saying, “Take ye and eat ye,” etc., but also, that the doctrine, that maintaineth the mass to be a propitiatiory sacrifice for the quick and dead, and a mean to deliver souls out of purgatory, is neither agreeable to Christ’s ordinance, nor grounded upon doctrine apostolic, but contrarywise most ungodly and most injurious to the precious redemption of our Saviour Christ, and his only sufficient sacrifice offered once for ever upon the altar of the cross.

X. I am of that mind also, that the holy communion or sacrament of the body and blood of Christ, for the due obedience to Christ’s institution, and to express the virtue of the same, ought to be ministered unto the people under both kinds; and that it is avouched by certain fathers of the church to be a plain sacrilege, to rob them of the mystical cup, for whom Christ hath shed his most precious blood, seeing he himself hath said, “Drink ye all of this:” considering also, that in the time of the ancient doctors of the Church, as Cyprian, Hierom, Augustine, Gelasius, and others, six hundred years after Christ and more, both the parts of the sacrament were ministered to the people.

Last of all, as I do utterly disallow the extolling of images, relics, and feigned miracles, and also all kind of expressing God invisible in the form of an old man, or the Holy Ghost in the form of a dove, and all other vain worshipping of God, devised by man’s fantasies, besides or contrary to the Scriptures, as wandering on pilgrimages, setting up of candles, praying upon beads, and such like superstition; which kind of works have no promise of reward in Scripture, but contrarywise threatenings and maledictions; so I do exhort all men to the obedience of God’s law, and to the works of faith, as charity, mercy, pity, alms, devout and frequent prayer with the affection of the heart, and not with the mouth only, godly abstinence and fasting, charity, obedience to the rulers, and superior powers, with such like works and godliness of life commanded by God in his word, which, as St. Paul saith, “hath promises both of this life and of the life to come,” and are works only acceptable in God’s sight. Read more»

Approved by Abp Matthew Parker c. 1559/1560 | Documents of the English Reformation, ch. 35. ©2004 James Clarke and Co.


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