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This Hymnal is designed to be a companion to “ The Book of Common Prayer, and Administration of the Sacraments, and other Rites and Ceremonies of the Church." The tables of Contents correspond. The Order of the Ecclesiastical year is observed. The hymns are ranged under those divisions of the Prayer-book with which their subjects most easily coalesce.
It is humbly submitted to the consideration of those whom the compilers of our Liturgy address in their preface, namely, "the sober, peaceable, and truly conscientious sons of the Church of England,” as a Hymnal in unison with the sound doctrine of our Prayer-book, and fitted to the comprehensive framework of its services; as containing those valuable hymns and translations which have become so deservedly popular during the last twenty years; as affording sufficient variety of hymns without the encumbrance of those seldom or never used; and, lastly, as accompanied with a selection of the best music.
The Annotated Edition consists of three parts : (1) An Introduction explaining the principles on which the compilation is made, (2) The Hymnal, (3) Notes to every hymn, giving the name of the author and the approximate date when it was written, justifying any variations allowed (though the effort has been to cleave to the original text as far as possible), and showing in which of the