Thirty-Nine articles of Religion. Text of the articles (with
a modern rendering) and links to other information on each article.
32-36: Church Discipline
32 The marriage of priests
33 The excommunicated : how they are to be avoided
34 The customs of the Church
35 The Homilies
36 The consecration of bishops and ministers
37-39 (next page)
also Donald Allister's Cross†Way article on Articles 33-36)
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.
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
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
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.
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
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
information on the Homilies and some texts
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
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.