THE GENERAL THANKSGIVING. [To the Editor of the SPECTATOR.]
SIR,—" Irishman " wonders that the General Thanksgiving is said in churches by the clergyman only. May I remind him that this, and many other Prayer-book anomalies, are going to be corrected in the Revision which that archaic volume is now undergoing ?
It may interest him to know that in the English Liturgies of the Moravian Church—a Church whose ministers, since 1457, have been episcopally ordained—the General Thanks- giving is repeated by the whole congregation.—I am, Sir, &c., E. HENDERSON SNITS. Buttercup Cottage, Brockweir, near Chepstow.
AN anonymous correspondent writes :—In reply to your correspondent, may I say that there is no authority for the repetition of the General Thanksgiving by the congregation ? (1) Unlike the General Confession, which is to be said by all " after the priest," it is a General Thanksgiving because it is general as distinguished from the particular thanks- givings which follow. (2) If your correspondent will look at the " Amen " at the end of the General Thanksgiving, and compare it with the " Amen " which concludes the General Confession, he will at once see that whilst the latter is printed in Roman characters, the former is in italics, from which it is evident to those who understand the rule of the Prayer-book that the compilers intended the General Thanks- giving to be said by the minister alone. For " according to the Prayer-book usage the ' Amen,' when printed in Roman characters, is to be pronounced by minister and people, if both repeat the words which precede it, but by the minister only if he only repeats the previous words, as in the Lord's Prayer, which stands at the head of the Communion Office." But when printed in italics the " Amen " is to be said by the whole congregation. (3) Had the Anglican compilers in- tended it to be said by the congregation with the priest, they would have prefixed a rubric to that effect as in the case of the General Confession.