Thursday, November 22, 2012

A BCP Thanksgiving Day Tie In


The following is a Thanksgiving Day proclamation by Jefferson Davis, a devout Episcopalian, during the Civil War. Notice how many direct turns of phrase and theology from the Book of Common Prayer he uses (He does not quite 'bewail his manifold sins and wickedness' but comes pretty close):

A DAY OF FASTING & HUMILIATION 1861
by JEFFERSON DAVIS, PRESIDENT OF THE CONFEDERATE STATES
WHEREAS, it hath pleased almighty God, the Sovereign Disposer of events, to protect and defend us hitherto in our conflicts with our enemies as to be unto them a shield.
And whereas, with grateful thanks we recognize His hand and acknowledge that not unto us, butr unto Him, belongeth the victory, and in humble dependence upon His almighty strength, and trusting in the justness of our purpose, we appeal to Him that He may set at naught the efforts of our enemies, and humble them to confusion and shame.
Now therefore, I, Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States, in view of impending conflict, do hereby set apart Friday, the 15th day of November, as a day of national humiliation and prayer, and do hereby invite the reverend clergy and the people of these Confederate States to repair on that day to their homes and usual places of public worship, and to implore blessing of almighty God upon our people, that he may give us victory over our enemies, preserve our homes and altars from pollution, and secure to us the restoration of peace and prosperity.
Given under hand and seal of the Confederate States at Richmond, this the 31st day of October, year of our Lord, one thousand eight hundred and sixty one.
By the President, Jefferson Davis.

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