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THREE ORDINANCES OF THE Lords and Commons Aſſembled in Parliament.

For the better obſervation of the monethly Faſt; and more eſpecially the next Wedneſday, commonly called the Feaſt of the Nativity of Chriſt, Thorowout the Kingdome of England, and Dominion of Wales.

ORdered by the Lords in Parliament aſſembled, That this Ordinance be forthwith printed, and publiſhed on the next Lords day in all the Churches and Chappels within the line of communication, and bils of mortality.

J. Brown Cler. Parliamentorum.

LONDON, Printed for I. Wright in the Old baily, Decemb. 21. 1644.


WHereas ſome doubts have been raiſed whether the next Faſt ſhall be celebrated, be­cauſe it falleth on the day which heretofore was uſu­ally called the feaſt of the Nativity of our Saviour, The Lords and Commons in Parliament aſſembled doe or­der and ordaine that publique notice be gi­ven that the Faſt appointed to be kept on the laſt Wedneſday in every moneth ought to be obſerved untill it be otherwiſe ordered by both houſes of Parliament: And that this day in particular is to be kept with the more ſolemne humiliation, becauſe it may call to remembrance our ſinnes, and the ſins of our forefathers, who have turned this4 Feaſt, pretending the Memory of Chriſt, in­to an extreame forgetfulneſſe of him, by giving liberty to carnall and ſenſuall de­lights, being contrary to the life which Chriſt himſelfe led here upon earth, and to the ſpirituall life of Chriſt in our ſoules, for the ſanctifying and ſaving whereof Chriſt was pleaſed both to take a humane life, and to lay it down againe.

An Ordinnnce of the Lords and Commons in Parliament aſſembled, for the better obſervation of the monethly Faſt. 24 Aug. 1642.

WHeras the Kings moſt excellent Majeſty, upon the requeſt of the Lords and Commons in this preſent Parliament aſſembled, & by and with their adviſe and conſent, conſidering the lamen­table and diſtreſſed condition of His good Subjects in the Kingdome of Ireland; (that there may be a gene­rall humiliation of all the eſtates of this Kingdome be­fore5 Almighty God in Faſting and Prayer) was graci­ouſly pleaſed to Command the kéeping of a monethly Faſt; and to the end that all perſons might the better take notice thereof (and to leave ſuch without excuſe as ſhould not duly kéep and obſerve the ſame) did afterward by his Proclamation of the 8 of January 1641 appoint that the ſame ſhould be generally, publike­ly, and ſolemnly holden and kept, as well by abſti­nence from Food, as by publike Prayers, Preach­ing, and Hearing of the Word of God, and other Religious and holy Duties in all Cathedrals, Col­legiate, and Pariſh Churches, and Chappels within the Kingdome of England, and Dominion of Wales (without any exception) on the laſt Wedneſday of every Moneth, to continue during the troubles in the ſaid Kingdome of Ireland: All which His Majeſty did ſtrait­ly charge and command ſhould bee reverently and de­voutly performed by all His Subjects, as they deſire the bleſſing of Almighty God, and would avoid his heavie indignation againſt this Land and People; and upon paine of ſuch puniſhments as may juſtly be inflicted upon all ſuch as ſhall contemne or neglect ſo Religious a work and duty.

And whereas the Lords and Commons in both Hou­ſes of Parliament, have received divers Informations from ſeverall parts of this Kingdome and Dominion of Wales, of the great neglect of the due obſervation and kéeping of the ſaid Faſt upon the daies appointed, and of the prophanations of the ſame by many irreligious, iil-affected, looſe, and ſcandalous perſons, as well of the Clergy as others, who are ſo farre from afflicting their ſoules, and looſing the hands of wickedneſſe, as that6 they provoke the wrath of Almighty God, and make ſo pious a meanes to procure his bleſſings, the occaſion of greater Iudgements.

For the prevention whereof for time to come, the Lords and Commons doe Order, Declare, Ordaine, that in all and every the Cathedrals, Collegiate, and Pariſh Churches, and Chappels within the Kingdome of England, and Dominion of Wales, (without any ex­ception) upon every Lords day, next and immediately before any the dayes appointed for the ſaid publike Faſt, the Parſon Vicar, Curate, or Miniſter, that upon that day ſhall officiate, or exerciſe in any of the ſaid Cathedrals Collegiate, Pariſh Churches, or Chap­pels, ſhall give publike notice in every of the ſaid Ca­thedrals, Collegiate, Pariſh Churches, or Chappels reſpectively, of the Faſt day next enſuing immediately after Sermon or Prayer ended in the forenoon before the Congregation be diſmiſſed, earneſtly exhorting and perſwading all the people to the ſolemne due keeping and religious obſervation of the whole day appointed for the ſaid Faſt, and that they would repaire to ſome Church or Chappell, there diligently and reve­rently to attend all ſuch holy Duties as ſhall be uſed in the obſervance of the ſame; that they forbeare to uſe all manner of Sports and Paſtimes whatſoever, and their ordinary Trades and Callings upon the ſaid day, as well Carriers, Waggoners, Carters, Waynmen, Drovers, Butchers, Huckſters, Shopkéepers, La­bourers, or any other uſing any Art, Trade, Myſtery, or Manuall Occupation whatſoever, and that all Vintuers, Taverners, Alehouſe-kéepers, and keepers of Victualling-houſes, doe forbeare to keep open their Doores, Bulks, or Shops, or to ſell or utter (except in7 caſes of extream neceſſity) any Wine, Beere, Ale, or victu­all, till the publike Excerciſes, and religious Duties of that day in the reſpective Cathedrals, Collegiate, Pariſh Churches and Chappels be paſt and over.

And laſtly, all and every the Iuſtices of the Peace, Maiors, Bailiffes, Conſtables, Church-wardens, and other Officers inhabiting or reſiding within the limits or precincts of any ſuch Cathedrall Collegiate, Pariſh Church or Chappell, are hereby required to take ſpeciall notice as well of ſuch Parſons, Vicar, Curate, or other Miniſter that ought to officiate in any of the ſaid Cathe­drals, Collegiate, and Pariſh Churches or Chappels, upon any ſuch day appointed for any ſuch Faſt, that ſhall either refuſe or neglect to doe the ſame, or not doe or cauſe the ſame to be done in that religious and ſolemne manner as it ought to be, or that ſhall refuſe to give notice of the Faſt day at the time, and in the manner as aforeſaid, and forthwith to returne their names, and the names of all ſuch (from time to time) as ſhall wilfully offend herein, in contempt of the Laws, His Maieſty, and both Houſes of Parliament, unto ſome one or more of the Knights, Citizens, or Burgeſſes that ſerve for the County where ſuch offence is or ſhall be committed, that ſome ſpeedy courſe may be taken for the ſevere puniſhing of ſuch as ſhall offend herein, according to the Laws.

J. Brown Cler. Parliamentorum.
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WHereas the Lords and Commons in Parliament, have made an Ordinance for the more ſtrict and ſolemne keeping of the daies of publike Faſt, which are not by all perſons duely obſerved, even in theſe times of publike calamity, to the great diſhonour of God, and the contempt of the authority of both houſes of Parliament.

Now that more particular notice may be given to all ſuch that ſhall offend herein, before any exemplary pu­niſhment be inflicted upon them, It is ordered by the Commons aſſembled in Parliament, that all Conſtables (or their deputies ſhal the day before every publike Faſt repaire to every houſe within their ſeverall and reſpe­ctive Liberties, and charge all perſons, that they ſtrictly obſerve the Faſt, according to the directions in the ſaid Ordinance.

And they ſhal upon the ſaid daies of the publike Faſt, walke through their ſaid Liberties, diligently ſearching for, and taking notice of all perſons, who either by fol­lowing the worke of their calling, or ſitting in Tavernes, Victualling, or Alehouſes, or any other waies ſhall not duely obſerve the ſame, and they are hereby required, to return the names of all ſuch perſons as they ſhal finde ſo offending, as alſo ſuch informations as they ſhall receive againſt any other perſons within their Liberties guilty of the leaſt offence unto the Committee for Examinations, that ſo they may be proceeded againſt for the contempt of the ſaid Ordinance, and all Conſtables are to obſerve theſe directions from time to time, ſo long as the ſaid publike Faſt ſhall be kept, without expecting any further Order.

H. Elſynge, Cler. Parl. D. Com.

About this transcription

TextThree ordinances of the Lords and Commons assembled in Parliament. For the better observation of the monethly fast; and more especially the next Wednesday, commonly called the Feast of the Nativity of Christ, thorowout the kingdome of England, and dominion of Wales. Die Jovis, 19 Decemb. 1644. Ordered by the Lords in Parliament assembled, that this ordinance be forthwith printed, and published on the next Lords day in all the churches and chappels within the line of communication and bils of mortality. J. Brown Cler. Parliamentorum.
AuthorEngland and Wales. Parliament..
Extent Approx. 10 KB of XML-encoded text transcribed from 6 1-bit group-IV TIFF page images.
SeriesEarly English books online.
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(EEBO-TCP ; phase 2, no. A83509)

Transcribed from: (Early English Books Online ; image set 112051)

Images scanned from microfilm: (Thomason Tracts ; 4:E21[38])

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Bibliographic informationThree ordinances of the Lords and Commons assembled in Parliament. For the better observation of the monethly fast; and more especially the next Wednesday, commonly called the Feast of the Nativity of Christ, thorowout the kingdome of England, and dominion of Wales. Die Jovis, 19 Decemb. 1644. Ordered by the Lords in Parliament assembled, that this ordinance be forthwith printed, and published on the next Lords day in all the churches and chappels within the line of communication and bils of mortality. J. Brown Cler. Parliamentorum. England and Wales. Parliament.. 8 p. Printed for I. Wright in the Old baily,London :Decemb. 21. 1644.. (Reproduction of the original in the British Library.)
  • Fasts and feasts -- England -- Early works to 1800.

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ImprintAnn Arbor, MI ; Oxford (UK) : 2011-04 (EEBO-TCP Phase 2).
  • DLPS A83509
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  • EEBO-CITATION 99859947
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