January 30th is the commemoration of King Charles the Martyr. In the 1662 Prayer Book (though later removed) this day was one of special devotion and fasting. A particular set of Collects, Scripture readings, Psalms, both for the Daily Offices and the Communion of the Day, and even a unique anthem in place of the usual Invitatory Psalm was prescribed. I suppose it was deemed to nationalistic or something, as it has since disappeared from that book. And with its heavy pro-monarchy language, it’s no wonder that it didn’t proliferate even into the “black letter day” commemorations of the American Prayer Book until (as far as I know) 2019.
I have written about the Martyrdom of Charles I before, once on my pastor’s blog and once on here last year, and I commend those to you if you want or need an introduction to his commemoration from an historical perspective. You can also get it straight from the horse’s mouth, as it were, and check out the actual 1662 prayer book material. Just scroll to the bottom and click on “Form of Prayer for the 30th Day of January.”
This entry, today, here and now, is turning instead to the question of how one can commemorate King Charles I in accordance with the 2019 Prayer Book.
The simplest approach would be to celebrate Communion or Antecommunion using the Propers For a Martyr as set forth int eh 2019 Prayer Book. But if you want to get fancier…
The Collect of the Day
This Collect is one of the two presented in the 1662 Prayer Book. Although it is not explicitly authorized in the 2019 Prayer Book, its use can be justified because it is an authentic piece of prior Prayer Book tradition (only “translated” to modern English) and because the ACNA is preparing a Lesser Feasts & Fasts book which will most likely put forth a Collect for this and other commemorations.
Blessed Lord, in whose sight the death of your saints is precious; We magnify your name for the abundant grace bestowed upon the martyred King, Charles the First; by which he was enabled so cheerfully to follow the steps of his blessed Master and Savior, 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 all for Jesus Christ’s sake, our only Mediator and Advocate. Amen.
The Lessons at Holy Communion
The Epistle and Gospel here are those appointed in the 1662 Prayer Book. The Old Testament lesson is from the same book’s Morning Prayer Office for this day, and the Psalm, likewise, is a part of the Psalms Appointed for the Morning of that day.
2 Samuel 1; Psalm 10:1-12; 1 Peter 2:13-22; Matthew 21:33-41.
The Supplemental Midday Prayer Lectionary provided here appoints 2 Samuel 1 as the commemorative reading for today. But if you are reading it for Communion or Antecommunion today, then read a different option from the 1662 book, like Jeremiah 12.