Bischofs-Agende der Protestantisch-Bischöflichen Kirche in den Vereinigten Staaten von Amerika: Enthaltend den Ritus für die Weihe von Bischöfen, Priestern und Diakonen, mit Litanei und Communion; die Form der Kirch-Weihung, das Amt der Installation und die heilige Confirmations-Handlung; nebst den Religions-Artikeln
New York: New York Bible and Common Prayer Book Society, [1880].


The Articles of Religion, 4-15

The Form and Manner of Making, Ordaining, and Consecrating of Bishops, priests and Deacons

Foreword, 16
The Making of Deacons, 17-22
The Ordination of Priests, 23-34
The Consecration of a Bishop, 35-45

The Litany, with supplications, 46-52
The Order for the Distribution of the Holy Supper or the Communion, 53-71
The Form of Consecration of a Church or Chapel, 72-78
The Form of Installation of Ministers in Parishes or Churches, 79-87
The Order of Confirmation, 88-91
Appendix: Psalms and Hymns, 92-97

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This translation is not listed in David Griffiths's Bibliography of the Book of Common Prayer 1549-1999 (London: The British Library; New Castle, Delaware: Oak Knoll Press, 2002). It is also omitted from William Muss-Arnolt's discussion of the history of German translations in Chapter XV of The Book of Common Prayer among the Nations of the World (1914).

Translator Georg Friedrich Siegmund (1838-February 23, 1884) was a leader in the Church German Society, founded in 1874 in New York City with the following objects:

1. To provide Hymnals, Service Books, and suitable sermons in the German Language for such American clergymen or lay readers as may be able and willing to conduct German services.
2. To search out young Germans of good education and abilities to be educated for the ministry in our Church.
3. To assist such young men in acquiring the necessary preparation for ministerial work in both languages, so that they may be able to act as assistants in our American parish churches and missions.
4. To aid in the publication and circulation of such periodicals, books and tracts, as will lead the Germans in this country and abroad, to a better understanding of the position and principles of our Church: and on the other hand to the dissemination among our own people, of sound German literature, original and translated.
5. To act as a medium of communication between those Churchmen who are interested in the spiritual welfare of our German fellow-citizens, and to interest others.

The following account of this German translation project appears in Arthur Lowndes' A Century of Achievement: The History of the New York Bible and Common Prayer Book Society (New York: Edwin S. Gorham, 1909), pp 797-798:

November 21, 1881.
Dear Mr. Pott:—

Of the German translation of the Book of Common Prayer the larger and most important part is finished and in print. There are three volumes of which two are in constant use, German Mission and a little pamphlet.

1. The Vade Mecum containing the Baptismal Office with the Churching of Women, the Solemnization of Marriage, the Visitation Offices, the Communion of the Sick and the Burial Service; also Family Prayers and Prayers at Sea.

2. The Epistles and the Gospels with the Collects.

3. The Bishops' Ritual with the Ordinal, the services for the Consecration of Churches and the Institution, the Litany and the Communion belonging to the Ordinal, and the Articles of Religion; also Confirmation.

4. The latter is also bound up with the Catechism in a little manual for the instruction of children.

There is nothing wanting but Morning and Evening Prayer with the Psalter. The printing of the Psalter was so long delayed because the authorized German text is under revision. But it has passed the second reading and the final adoption will hardly involve any more changes, we might embody the Psalter at any time into our Version.

All the parts of Morning and Evening Prayer are also contained in our Mission Service, also the two exhortations of the Communion Service omitted in the Bishops' Celebration; the Preface of the old translation needs revision, but the Tables and the Calendar might go into the new book as they stand unless the new Leclionary is to be added.

All that remains is still subject to the examination and approval of the Joint Committee which never met but three times at three consecutive General Conventions and many members of which act by proxy.

Now, my dear Mr. Pott, you may be aware of the fact that I am not on the Joint Committee on the German Version of the Book of Common Prayer. I declined to serve as member because I would not be bound by a majority vote, but I was appointed at the General Convention of 1874 as authorized translator under the rules given in the proceedings of that Convention and reprinted in the last Annual Report of the Church German Society.

If I have succeeded in making a better translation than either that published by the Church of England or our own former Version, I am sure it is not only due to my peculiar preparation for this work, but also because I was free to reject or to accept according to my conscience. The most valuable suggestions I received were from Bishop Coxe and his associate in this work, Professor Francis P. Nash, of Baltimore, and from Liturgical scholars abroad who were asked to give their criticism. Dr. Falk, after consenting to have the Commission which he first held transferred to me, has given me the most generous commendation in the Committee and frequent encouragement in private correspondence. The other German member of Jewish extraction has repeatedly shewn that he has no feeling for the true genius of our noble language, but having no influence in the Committee his ludicrous emendations were without effect.

Although we have then everything in readiness for the first chance of a meeting of the Committee, no definite sanction of the whole book is possible before the meetmg of the next General Convention and there is no possibility of any action of the Committee before that time. The translation is completed; its publication is yet delayed.

Yours faithfully,

(Sig'd) Geo. F. Siegmund.

The following notice appeared in The Foreign Church Chronicle and Review, December 1, 1880, (Vol. IV, No. 16), p. 263:

Dr. Siegmund, who is Secretary of the American Church German Society, and one of the best Liturgiologists of the day, has published a series of books of great value. Gottesdienst-Ordnung fur deutsche Gemeinden der protestantisch-bischoflichen Kirche in den Vereinigten Staaten von Amerika (Pott, Young, and Co., pp. 150); a little volume named Bischofs-Agende, containing the Forms of Ordination and Consecration of Bishops Priests, and Deacons, the Litany, the Communion Office, the Forms of Consecration of Churches, of Installation, of Confirmation, together with the XXXIX. Articles (New York, pp. 97); Die heilige Taufhandlung, containing the Baptismal Offices, the Churching of Women, the Catechism, Confirmation Service, and Home Prayers (New York, pp. 49); and Vade Mecum Pastorale, containing (in German) the Office for Marriage, Visitation of the Sick, Communion of the Sick, Visitation of Prisoners, and Burial of the Dead (New York, pp. 53).

This book was digitized by Richard Mammana in 2011 from a copy provided by Wayne Kempton, Archivist and Historiographer of the Diocese of New York. It is believed to have been used by the Right Reverend Horatio Potter, pictured above.