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ASisale iRomanum nuper adoptatum cómodő
quozūcúoz sacerdotü fumma diligentiadiftin.
WAS IS61 SY
Fac-simile of the title page of the first Roman Missal published in America. Printed in the City of Mexico, by Antonio de Espinosa in 1561.
Early Prayer Books
BEING A DESCRIPTIVE ACCOUNT OF PRAYER BOOKS
PUBLISHED IN THE UNITED STATES,
MEXICO AND CANADA.
REV. JOHN WRIGHT, D.D.,
Author of "Early Bibles of America."
St. Paul, Dinn.
Rof St. Blackwell 9-14.17 15321
In the preparation of this book, I have ventured upon a subject that for the most part has not been written upon before. It is true that valuable works have treated of the Prayer Book of the American Episcopal Church, but of liturgies generally, as they have appeared in this country, little has been said, except in a fragmentary way, chiefly in magazine literature. I have had, as a result, to encounter all the difficulties of a pioneer, and in some directions the material to draw from has been at the best but limited. Unfortunately little attention has been given to collecting and preserving prayer books. Private collectors are very few in number, and directors of public libraries have, as a rule, given scarcely any consideration to books of this kind. It is rather remarkable that even theological seminaries with a few exceptions— have not been sufficiently interested to include prayer books in their libraries. Thousands of these volumes have perished as waste paper,
when their preservation would have been of great value to the history of liturgics.
Many persons have been inclined to associate prayer books solely with the Greek, Latin, English and American Episcopal Churches, but a perusal of this book will show that nearly all the leading bodies of Christians in this country have to a greater or less extent adopted liturgies. It will also be seen that in the United States, during one hundred years, there has been a great enrichment and expansion of liturgical forms. This does not apply to the American Episcopal Church only, but also to the Swedenborgians, Moravians, Evangelical Lutherans and others.
In gathering material for the book, I have obtained information of a helpful nature from a number of sources. In looking up the history of devotional books printed in Mexico, I have received assistance from a resident of that country, the Rev. Frank Borton, of Puebla, who has made Mexican bibliography a study for several years. Kindly offices have also been done me by Mr. José M. Vigil, librarian of the Biblioteca Nacional, and Mr. Jay A. Hendry, both of the city of Mexico. Concerning the various Manuals used by the Roman Catholics of the United States, I have been under obligation to the Rev. J. F. X. Mulvany, S. J., of Georgetown University, Georgetown, D.C., and the Rev. W.