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The First Church in Cambridge

(Congregational)

FORM OF ADMISSION

TO THE

COMMUNION OF THE CHURCH

The Candidates shall present themselves before the Chancel, where

they shall be met by the Minister, who shall repeat one or more of the following sentences of the Holy Scriptures, or such other sentences as he may choose:

Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

And the Spirit and the Bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.

Whosoever therefore shall confess Me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. The Minister shall then address the Candidates as follows, and shall recite the Creed of the Church for their assent:

Dearly Beloved, - You have presented yourselves in this holy place to make confession of the Lord Jesus Christ, and to enter into covenant with his Church. We trust that you know the solemnity and the blessedness of this time, and we are confident that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.

FORM OF ADMISSION TO THE CHURCH.

WE BELIEVE in one living and true God; Creator, Preserver, and Ruler of all things: glorious in holiness, plenteous in mercy and truth.

In the Father ALMIGHTY: Lord and giver of life; who is to be supremely loved and perfectly obeyed; whose commandment is holy and just and good. And in JESUS CHRIST, HIS SON, OUR LORD;

who was in the beginning with God and was God; who for us men, and for our salvation, came down from heaven and was made man.

He was crucified, dead, and buried. He arose from the dead and ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of the FATHER. He shall come again with glory to judge both the quick and the dead. Of His kingdom there shall be no end.

And we BELIEVE in the HOLY GHOST, the COMFORTER; who spake by the Prophets and Apostles; who renews and sanctifies the heart; by whose power we are kept unto immortal life. Who with the FATHER and the Son is to be worshipped and glorified, world without end.

Before Almighty God our HEAVENLY FATHER, we humbly acknowledge our guiltiness, casting ourselves upon His infinite goodness and mercy.

We BELIEVE in the forgiveness of sins through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, whose name we confess, whose Word we receive, in whose mediation alone we steadfastly trust.

We BELIEVE in one Church, on earth and in heaven: in one Baptism: in one Communion in the body and blood of Christ; and we look for the Resurrection of the dead, and the Life of the world to come. Amen.

You who have now made this Confession do acknowledge the Lord Jehovah the FATHER, the Son, and the HOLY GHOST to be your God; to Him you devote your

FORM OF ADMISSION TO THE CHURCH.

supreme affection;

to His service you consecrate your lives; and naming yourselves with the name of Christ, you avow your purpose to glorify Him in your body and in your spirit, which are His.

Baptism will here be administered to those who have not before

been baptized, with these words,

A. B., I baptize thee, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy GHOST. Amen.

To the other Candidates the Minister shall say,

You who were baptized in childhood do now gratefully accept that as your baptism, while you confirm the covenant which then was made for you.

The Members of the Church shall here rise and the Minister shall

continue :

Because you make this Confession, We, the members of this Church, affectionately welcome you to fellowship with us in all duties and blessings, rejoicing with you in the joy of the Lord, and praying for you with assurance and longing, that when the Chief Shepherd shall appear, ye may receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.

Here the Church, with those who have just made confession, and

those who have been received from other churches, shall repeat this covenant, saying:

We who are now brought together and united into one Church, under the Lord Jesus Christ, our Head, in such sort as becometh all those whom He hath redeemed and sanctified to Himself, do here solemnly and religiously, as in His most holy presence, promise and bind ourselves to walk in all our ways according to the rule of the Gospel, and in all sincere conformity to His holy ordinances, and in mutual love and respect each to other, so near as God shall give us grace.

FORM OF ADMISSION TO THE CHURCH.

Here the Minister shall take the new members by the hand in token

of fellowship with Christ and the Church, repeating some appropriate sentence of Scripture. He shall then address them in these words:

Now, therefore, Beloved in the Lord, ye are no more strangers and sojourners, but ye are fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God, being built upon the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the chief corner-stone.

(Here all will take the customary attitude of prayer.]

For this cause we bow our knees unto the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, that ye may be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inward man; that Christ may dwell in your

hearts through faith; to the end that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be strong to apprehend with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which passeth knowledge, that ye may be filled unto all the fulness of God.

Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, unto Him be glory in the Church and in Christ Jesus unto all generations forever and ever. Amen.

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