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 Issues | 39 Articles | Articles 32-36

The Thirty-Nine articles of Religion.  Text of the articles (with a modern rendering) and links to other information on each article.

Articles 32-36: Church Discipline


Articles 25-31(previous page)

Article 32  The marriage of priests

Article 33  The excommunicated : how they are to be avoided

Article 34  The customs of the Church

Article 35  The Homilies

Article 36  The consecration of bishops and ministers

Articles 37-39 (next page)

(See also Donald Allister's Cross†Way article on Articles 33-36)

XXXII. Of the Marriage of Priests.
Bishops, Priests, and Deacons, are not commanded by God's Law, either to vow the estate of single life, or to abstain from marriage: therefore it is lawful also for them, as for all other Christian men, to marry at their own discretion, as they shall judge the same to serve better to godliness.

32 The marriage of priests
It is not commanded by any decree of God that bishops, presbyters or deacons take a vow of celibacy or abstain from marriage. So it is lawful for them, as for all other Christians, to marry at their own discretion when they judge that this will promote godliness.

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XXXIII. Of excommunicate Persons, how they are to be avoided.
That person which by open denunciation of the Church is rightly cut off from the unity of the Church, and excommunicated, ought to be taken of the whole multitude of the faithful, as an Heathen and Publican, until he be openly reconciled by penance, and received into the Church by a Judge that hath authority thereunto.

33 The excommunicated: how they are to be avoided
Any person who has openly been denounced by the church and justly cut off from its fellowship and excommunicated is to be regarded by the whole body of the faithful as a "pagan and tax-collector" until he is openly reconciled by repentance and received back into the church by a judge who has the necessary authority in such matters.

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XXXIV. Of the Traditions of the Church.
It is not necessary that Traditions and Ceremonies be in all places one, or utterly like; for at all times they have been divers, and may be changed according to the diversities of countries, times, and men's manners, so that nothing be ordained against God's Word. Whosoever through his private judgement, willingly and purposely, doth openly break the traditions and ceremonies of the Church, which be not repugnant to the Word of God, and be ordained and approved by common authority, ought to be rebuked openly, (that others may fear to do the like,) as he that offendeth against the common order of the Church, and hurteth the authority of the Magistrate, and woundeth the consciences of the weak brethren.
Every particular or national Church hath authority to ordain, change, and abolish, ceremonies or rites of the Church ordained only by man's authority, so that all things be done to edifying.

34 The customs of the church
It is not necessary that customs and forms of worship be exactly the same everywhere. Throughout history they have differed. They may be altered according to the differing nations, times and habits of people provided that nothing is commanded contrary to God's Word. Whoever by his own private judgment openly, willingly and deliberately breaks those customs and forms of worship of the church which do not contradict the Word of God and are approved by common authority, is to be openly rebuked. This is so that others will be afraid to act similarly, and in so doing offend against the common order of the church, to undermine the authority of the state's representative and to wound the consciences of weak Christians.
Every particular or national church has authority to command, change or abolish the ceremonies or forms of worship of the church which are appointed only by man's authority provided that everything is done for the building up of Christian people.

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XXXV. Of Homilies.
The second Book of Homilies, the several titles whereof we have joined under this Article, doth contain a godly and wholesome Doctrine, and necessary for these times, as doth the former Book of Homilies, which were set forth in the time of Edward the Sixth; and therefore we judge them to be read in Churches by the Ministers, diligently and distinctly, that they may be understanded of the people.

Of the Names of the Homilies.
1 Of the right use of the Church
2 Against peril of Idolatry
3 Of repairing and keeping clean of churches
4 Of good Works: first of fasting
5 Against Gluttony and Drunkenness
6 Against Excess of Apparel
7 Of Prayer
8 Of the Place and Time of Prayer
9 That Common Prayers and Sacraments ought to be ministered
in a known tongue
10 Of the reverend estimation of God’s Word
11 Of Alms-doing
12 Of the Nativity of Christ
13 Of the Passion of Christ
14 Of the Resurrection of Christ
15 Of the worthy receiving of the Sacrament of the Body and
Blood of Christ
16 Of the Gifts of the Holy Ghost
17 For the Rogation-days
18 Of the State of Matrimony
19 Of Repentance
20 Against Idleness
21 Against Rebellion

35 The Homilies
The second book of homilies contains godly and wholesome teaching which is necessary for these times, as does the first book of homilies published during the reign of Edward VI. We therefore judge that they ought be read diligently and distinctly in the churches by the ministers so that they may be understood by the people.

Further information on the Homilies and some texts

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XXXVI. Of Consecration of Bishops and Ministers.
The Book of Consecration of Archbishops and Bishops, and Ordering of Priests and Deacons, lately set forth in the time of Edward the Sixth, and confirmed at the same time by authority of Parliament, doth contain all things necessary to such Consecration and Ordering: neither hath it any thing, that of itself is superstitious and ungodly. And therefore whosoever are consecrated and ordered according to the Rites of that Book, since the second year of the forenamed King Edward unto this time, or hereafter shall be consecrated or ordered according to the same Rites; we decree all such to be rightly, orderly, and lawfully consecrated and ordered.

36 The consecration of bishops and ministers
The book for the consecration of archbishops and bishops and for ordaining presbyters and deacons, published in the time of Edward VI and confirmed at the same time by authority of Parliament, contains all things necessary to such consecration and ordination. Nor does it contain anything which of itself is superstitious and ungodly. Therefore whoever is consecrated or ordained according to the services of that book, since the second year of Edward VI to the present time, and whoever will be consecrated and ordained according to those services in the future, we declare to be rightly, duly and lawfully consecrated and ordained.

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Related Links
The Thirty Nine Articles
BulletImportance of the Articles

BulletArticles 1 - 5
BulletArticles 6 - 8
BulletArticles 9 - 14
BulletArticles 15 - 18
BulletArticles 19 - 22
BulletArticles 23 - 24
BulletArticles 25 - 31
BulletArticles 32 - 36
BulletArticles 37 - 39

BulletSalvation in the Articles
BulletRyle on the 39 Articles
BulletDonald Allister on the Articles
BulletWace - Main Purpose

BulletHistory of the Articles

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BulletThe Three Creeds
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BulletAnglican theology (other)
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