All Devoutly Kneeling

Portrait of John Cosin, Bishop of Durham, half length in an oval frame on a pedestal, wearing cap, collar and episcopal robes; coat of arms and mitre in upper spandrils, skull and lantern on pedestal; frontispiece to his 'Funeral Sermons' (1673). British Museum.
Portrait of John Cosin, Bishop of Durham, half length in an oval frame on a pedestal, wearing cap, collar and episcopal robes; coat of arms and mitre in upper spandrils, skull and lantern on pedestal; frontispiece to his ‘Funeral Sermons’ (1673). British Museum.

On the rubric “All devoutly kneeling” after the Creed:

Est acrior Tertulliani objurgatio in eos, qui sedentes orant. “Cum enim (inquit) perinde faciant nationes adoratis sigillaribus suis residendo, vel propterea in nobis reprehendi meretur, quod apud idola celebratur. Eo adponitur et irreverentiæ crimen, etiam ipsis nationibus, siquid saperent, intelligendum, siquidem irreverens est adsidere sub conspectu ejus, quem cum maxime reverearis et venereris; quanto magis sub conspectu Dei vivi Angelo adhuc Orationis adstante, factum illud est irreligiosissimum, nisi quod exprobramus Deo, quod nos oratio fatigarit.” Tert. de Orat., c. 12. Ubi ex tribus capitibus format reprehensionem: 1°. quod perinde faciant nationes, quas imitari, meretur in nobis reprehendi. 2°. quod etiam inter homines irreverens sit, coram et contra eum sedere cui debes venerationem; 3°. denique signum sit animæ languentis et oratione fatigatæ. The ancient Christians performed all their service standing or kneeling; sitting they allowed not.

— John Cosin, Notes on the Book of Common Prayer, Works, Vol. 5, Oxford (1860).

Quando orabas cum lacrimis, et sepeliebas mortuos, et derelinquebas prandium tuum, et mortuos abscondebas per diem in domo tua, et nocte sepeliebas eos, ego obtuli orationem tuam Domino.

Tob. xii. 12.

Apparuit autem illi angelus Domini, stans a dextris altaris incensi.

Luc. i. 11.

Et alius angelus venit, et stetit ante altare habens thuribulum aureum: et data sunt illi incensa multa, ut daret de orationibus sanctorum omnium super altare aureum, quod est ante thronum Dei. Et ascendit fumus incensorum de orationibus sanctorum de manu angeli coram Deo.

Apoc. viii. 3, 4.

Curator: Christian Clay Columba Campbell

Christian Clay Columba Campbell is a Roman Catholic of the Anglican Use. As Senior Warden of the Cathedral of the Incarnation (Orlando, FL), he organised the process by which the parish accepted the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus, petitioning to join the Catholic Church. The Anglican Cathedral is now the Church of the Incarnation in the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter.

Personal queries should be directed to me at eccentricbliss dot com.

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