On 14 May 2020 — an excerpt adapted from The Book of Confessions: The Second Helvetic Confession

The Second Helvetic Confession


�Of the Prayers of the Church, of Singing, and of Canonical Hours


It is true that a [person] is permitted to pray privately in any language that [s/]he[/they] understand[(s)], but public prayers in meetings for worship are to be made in the common language known to all.


Let all the prayers of the faithful be poured forth to God alone, through the mediation of Christ only, out of faith and love. The priesthood of Christ the Lord and true religion forbid the invocation of saints in heaven or to use them as intercessors. Prayer is to be made for magistracy, for [(royal) rulers], and all that are placed in authority, for ministers of the Church, and for all needs of churches. In calamities, especially of the Church, unceasing prayer is to be made both privately and publicly.


Moreover, prayer is to be made voluntarily, without constraint or for any reward. Nor is it proper for prayer to be superstitiously restricted to one place, as if it were not permitted to pray anywhere except in a sanctuary. Neither is it necessary for public prayers to be the same in all churches with respect to form and time. Each Church is to exercise its own freedom. Socrates, in his history, says, “In all regions of the world you will not find two churches which wholly agree in prayer” (Hist. ecclesiast. V.22, 57). The authors of this difference, I think, were those who were in charge of the Churches at particular times. Yet if they agree, it is to be highly commended and imitated by others.


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